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Sample records for plant functional group

  1. Plant functional group diversity promotes soil protist diversity.

    PubMed

    Ledeganck, Pieter; Nijs, Ivan; Beyens, Louis

    2003-07-01

    We tested whether effects of plant diversity can propagate through food webs, down to heterotrophic protists not linked directly to plants. To this end we synthesised grassland ecosystems with varying numbers of plant functional groups (FGN) and assessed corresponding changes in testate amoebae communities. The number of plant species was kept constant. When FGN was increased from 1 to 3, species number and total community density of live testate amoebae were enhanced according to a linear and a saturating function, respectively. From FGN 1 to 2, the appearance of new testate amoebae species did not affect the presence of the resident species, whereas, from FGN 2 to 3 about one quarter of the resident testate amoebae species was replaced, without altering the total species number. Overall, density by species increased, while evenness of the testate amoebae community was not affected by FGN; although Trinema lineare, one of the most common species, became more abundant. The observed relationship between plant functional group diversity and testate amoebae diversity could shed new light on the biogeographical distribution patterns of protists.

  2. Plant functional group diversity promotes soil protist diversity.

    PubMed

    Ledeganck, Pieter; Nijs, Ivan; Beyens, Louis

    2003-07-01

    We tested whether effects of plant diversity can propagate through food webs, down to heterotrophic protists not linked directly to plants. To this end we synthesised grassland ecosystems with varying numbers of plant functional groups (FGN) and assessed corresponding changes in testate amoebae communities. The number of plant species was kept constant. When FGN was increased from 1 to 3, species number and total community density of live testate amoebae were enhanced according to a linear and a saturating function, respectively. From FGN 1 to 2, the appearance of new testate amoebae species did not affect the presence of the resident species, whereas, from FGN 2 to 3 about one quarter of the resident testate amoebae species was replaced, without altering the total species number. Overall, density by species increased, while evenness of the testate amoebae community was not affected by FGN; although Trinema lineare, one of the most common species, became more abundant. The observed relationship between plant functional group diversity and testate amoebae diversity could shed new light on the biogeographical distribution patterns of protists. PMID:13677451

  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. 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.

  5. 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

    2015-01-01

    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 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands. PMID:27164912

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:24403847

  18. Delineating native and invasive plant functional groups in shrub-steppe vegetation using bidirectional reflectance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naupari, Javier A.; Vierling, Lee A.; Eitel, Jan U. H.

    2013-01-01

    Delineating invasive and native plant types using remote sensing is important for managing rangelands. Remote characterization of rangeland vegetation often utilizes only the nadir view, which can be complicated by background soil reflectance. We therefore collected bidirectional radiometric measurements on a shrub-steppe vegetated landscape throughout the mid- to late-growing season to: (1) quantify the BRFs of four rangeland vegetation functional groups (native shrub, native grasses, invasive annual grasses, and forbs), and (2) examine ways in which bidirectional reflectance values may help delineate native and invasive vegetation types. We found that the invasive grass medusahead rye (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) could be discriminated from other vegetation types at nadir and across four forward-viewing zenith angles because this species exhibited structural changes when leaf orientation changed from erectophile to planophile during and after the filling of seedheads. We also confirmed that native shrubs exhibited the highest anisotropy in all wavebands, as the relatively complex structure of the shrub canopy and concomitant shadowing greatly affected values of normalized difference vegetation index across all view angles. In order to delineate rangeland vegetation types at coarser scales, further study is needed to quantify the spectral angular signatures of these plant groups using satellite-based images.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:24497995

  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. Effects of species and functional group richness on production in two fertility environments: an experiment with communities of perennial plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanta, Vojtěch; Lepš, Jan

    2007-07-01

    The effects of species and functional group richness of sown species and fertilization on productivity and invasion of colonizers (i.e. unsown species) were studied in a three year field experiment. Both species and functional group numbers positively affected the average yield of sown species, but the effect changed among the three years. The biomass of colonizers generally decreased with the biomass of sown species, and so was negatively affected by the diversity characteristics of sown species. All three characteristics of biodiversity (selection, complementarity and overyielding effects) varied greatly during the study period, depending on both species and functional group richness and nutrient amendment. Functional differences among species led to the detection of high values of complementarity (resource use complementarity and/or facilitation), however this effect was not sufficient to cause transgressive overyielding. The compositional difference between fertilized and non-fertilized control plots increased with both time and species richness, whereas the relative difference in productivity decreased. This shows that the changes in species composition toward the one best-suited to the given environment, can lead to optimal resource use among plant species, and, as a consequence, diminish variation in community functioning in a changing environment.

  3. Experimental warming alters spring phenology of certain plant functional groups in an early-successional forest community.

    PubMed

    Rollinson, C R; Kaye, M W

    2012-01-01

    Experimental study of the effects of projected climate change on plant phenology allows us to isolate effects of warming on life history events such as leaf out. We simulated a 2°C temperature increase and 20% precipitation increase in a recently harvested temperate deciduous forest community in central Pennsylvania, USA, and observed the leaf out phenology of all species in 2009 and 2010. Over 130 plant species were monitored weekly in study plots, but due to high variability in species composition among plots, species were grouped into five functional groups: short forbs, tall forbs, shrubs, small trees, and large trees. Tall forbs and large trees, which usually emerge in the late spring, advanced leaf out 14-18 days in response to warming. Short forbs, shrubs, and small trees emerge early in spring and did not alter their phenology in response to warming or increased precipitation treatments. Earlier leaf out of tall forbs and large trees coincided with almost three weeks of increased community-level leaf area index (LAI), indicating greater competition and a condensed spring green-up period. While phenology of large trees and tall forbs appears to be strongly influenced by temperature-based growth cues, our results suggest that photoperiod and chilling cues more strongly influence the leaf out of other functional groups. Reduced freeze events and warmer temperatures from predicted climate change will interact with non-temperature growth cues to have cascading consequences throughout the ecosystem.

  4. THE INFLUENCE OF PLANT FUNCTIONAL GROUP REMOVAL ON SUCCESSION IN WYOMING BIG SAGEBRUSH COMMUNITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Defining rates of natural recovery for different pre-restoration plant communities would aid in prioritizing sagebrush steppe restoration activities by delineating those areas most likely to recover without intervention. The objective of our study was to identify the rate of short-term (<10 years) ...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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,…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The role of plant functional groups in methane dynamics in a boreal fen under pristine and water level drawdown conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riutta, T.; Tuittila, E.-S.; Laine, J.

    2012-04-01

    Vegetation and hydrology are important controlling factors in peatland methane dynamics. Vegetation structures (i.e. species composition, physiognomy, density) and productivity are strongly interlinked with moisture conditions (water table level variation), and the methane flux is a result of the vegetation-water table interaction, rather than a direct effect of water table or vegetation. Therefore, observational studies in pristine peatlands have a limited ability to separate the effects of these factors. This study aimed to experimentally quantify the role of the fen ecosystem components - sedges, dwarf shrubs, Sphagnum mosses, and the underlying peat - in methane fluxes in control and experimental water table drawdown conditions and to separate the plant-mediated effects from the effect of altered water table level on methane fluxes. We carried out the experiment in a boreal nutrient-poor fen using two treatments: a vegetation component removal treatment with four levels and a water level treatment with two levels (control and a 15 cm water level draw down). We measured methane fluxes during four growing seasons using a static chamber technique. The first year was a calibration season preceding the water level drawdown treatment. Based on the vegetation removal treatments, plant-mediated fluxes comprised 75% of the total cumulative growing season methane flux (7.8 ± 0.83 g CH4 m-2 from June to September) in the control water level conditions. Sedge and Sphagnum moss mediated fluxes accounted for 48% and 27% of the total flux, respectively. The presence of dwarf shrubs, on the other hand, had a slightly attenuating effect on the fluxes. In water level drawdown conditions, fluxes were significantly lowered (cumulative growing season flux 0.12 ± 0.10 g CH4 m-2) and the presence / absence of the plant groups had hardly any effect on the fluxes. There was a tight, positive relationship between net ecosystem production and methane flux in the control conditions but

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. Plant functional genomics.

    PubMed

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

    2002-06-01

    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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26897637

  17. 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.

  18. Functional insights of nucleocytoplasmic transport in plants

    PubMed Central

    Tamura, Kentaro; Hara-Nishimura, Ikuko

    2014-01-01

    Plant nucleocytoplasmic transport beyond the nuclear envelope is important not only for basic cellular functions but also for growth, development, hormonal signaling, and responses to environmental stimuli. Key components of this transport system include nuclear transport receptors and nucleoporins. The functional and physical interactions between receptors and the nuclear pore in the nuclear membrane are indispensable for nucleocytoplasmic transport. Recently, several groups have reported various plant mutants that are deficient in factors involved in nucleocytoplasmic transport. Here, we summarize the current state of knowledge about nucleocytoplasmic transport in plants, and we review the plant-specific regulation and roles of this process in plants. PMID:24765097

  19. 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)

  20. Tocochromanol functions in plants: antioxidation and beyond.

    PubMed

    Falk, Jon; Munné-Bosch, Sergi

    2010-06-01

    Tocopherols and tocotrienols, collectively known as tocochromanols, are lipid-soluble molecules that belong to the group of vitamin E compounds and are essential in the human diet. Not surprisingly, most of what is known about the biological functions of tocochromanols comes from studies of mammalian systems, yet they have been shown to be synthesized only by photosynthetic organisms. The last decade has seen a radical change in the appreciation of the biological role of tocochromanols in plants thanks to a detailed characterization of mutant and transgenic plants, including several Arabidopsis thaliana mutants, the sucrose export defective1 (sxd1) maize mutant, and some transgenic potato and tobacco lines altered in tocochromanol biosynthesis. Recent findings indicate that tocopherols may play important roles in plants beyond their antioxidant function in photosynthetic membranes. Plants deficient in tocopherols show alterations in germination and export of photoassimilates, and growth, leaf senescence, and plant responses to abiotic stresses, thus suggesting that tocopherols may influence a number of physiological processes in plants. Thus, in this review not only the antioxidant function of tocochromanols in plants, but also these new emerging possible roles will be considered. Particular attention will be paid to specific roles attributed to different tocopherol homologues (particularly alpha- and gamma-tocopherol) and the possible functions of tocotrienols, which in contrast to tocopherols are only present in a range of unrelated plant groups and are almost exclusively found in seeds and fruits.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:27677551

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:22999383

  5. Functional group diversity in dendrimers.

    PubMed

    Sivanandan, Kulandaivelu; Vutukuri, Dharmarao; Thayumanavan, S

    2002-10-17

    [structure: see text] A methodology for synthesizing dendrons with different peripheral functionalities is described. The benzyl ether-based dendrons reported here were synthesized using allyl and methoxymethyl ether-based protection-deprotection strategies.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.)

  8. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. Organic Functional Group Playing Card Deck

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, Michael J.

    2003-04-01

    The recognition and identification of organic functional groups, while essential for chemistry and biology majors, is also very useful for non-science majors in the study of molecules in art and life. In order to make this task more palatable for the non-science major (art and communications students), the images of a traditional playing deck of cards (heart, spade, diamond, and club) have been replaced with four representations of common organic functional groups. The hierarchy rules for naming two groups in a molecule is loosely incorporated to represent the sequence (King, Queen, Jack, ?, Ace) of the deck. Students practice recognizing and identifying organic groups by playing simple card games of "Old Maid" and "Go Fish". To play games like "Poker" or "Gin", a student must not only recognize the functional groups, but also master a naming hierarchy for the organic groups.

  10. 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

  11. Computer-assisted assignment of functional domains in the nonstructural polyprotein of hepatitis E virus: delineation of an additional group of positive-strand RNA plant and animal viruses.

    PubMed

    Koonin, E V; Gorbalenya, A E; Purdy, M A; Rozanov, M N; Reyes, G R; Bradley, D W

    1992-09-01

    Computer-assisted comparison of the nonstructural polyprotein of hepatitis E virus (HEV) with proteins of other positive-strand RNA viruses allowed the identification of the following putative functional domains: (i) RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, (ii) RNA helicase, (iii) methyltransferase, (iv) a domain of unknown function ("X" domain) flanking the papain-like protease domains in the polyproteins of animal positive-strand RNA viruses, and (v) papain-like cysteine protease domain distantly related to the putative papain-like protease of rubella virus (RubV). Comparative analysis of the polymerase and helicase sequences of positive-strand RNA viruses belonging to the so-called "alpha-like" supergroup revealed grouping between HEV, RubV, and beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV), a plant furovirus. Two additional domains have been identified: one showed significant conservation between HEV, RubV, and BNYVV, and the other showed conservation specifically between HEV and RubV. The large nonstructural proteins of HEV, RubV, and BNYVV retained similar domain organization, with the exceptions of relocation of the putative protease domain in HEV as compared to RubV and the absence of the protease and X domains in BNYVV. These observations show that HEV, RubV, and BNYVV encompass partially conserved arrays of distinctive putative functional domains, suggesting that these viruses constitute a distinct monophyletic group within the alpha-like supergroup of positive-strand RNA viruses. PMID:1518855

  12. Functionally and phylogenetically diverse plant communities key to soil biota.

    PubMed

    Milcu, Alexandru; Allan, Eric; Roscher, Christiane; Jenkins, Tania; Meyer, Sebastian T; Flynn, Dan; Bessler, Holger; Buscot, François; Engels, Christof; Gubsch, Marlén; König, Stephan; Lipowsky, Annett; Loranger, Jessy; Renker, Carsten; Scherber, Christoph; Schmid, Bernhard; Thébault, Elisa; Wubet, Tesfaye; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2013-08-01

    Recent studies assessing the role of biological diversity for ecosystem functioning indicate that the diversity of functional traits and the evolutionary history of species in a community, not the number of taxonomic units, ultimately drives the biodiversity--ecosystem-function relationship. Here, we simultaneously assessed the importance of plant functional trait and phylogenetic diversity as predictors of major trophic groups of soil biota (abundance and diversity), six years from the onset of a grassland biodiversity experiment. Plant functional and phylogenetic diversity were generally better predictors of soil biota than the traditionally used species or functional group richness. Functional diversity was a reliable predictor for most biota, with the exception of soil microorganisms, which were better predicted by phylogenetic diversity. These results provide empirical support for the idea that the diversity of plant functional traits and the diversity of evolutionary lineages in a community are important for maintaining higher abundances and diversity of soil communities.

  13. Interaction network among functional drug groups

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background More attention has been being paid to combinatorial effects of drugs to treat complex diseases or to avoid adverse combinations of drug cocktail. Although drug interaction information has been increasingly accumulated, a novel approach like network-based method is needed to analyse that information systematically and intuitively Results Beyond focussing on drug-drug interactions, we examined interactions between functional drug groups. In this work, functional drug groups were defined based on the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification System. We defined criteria whether two functional drug groups are related. Then we constructed the interaction network of drug groups. The resulting network provides intuitive interpretations. We further constructed another network based on interaction sharing ratio of the first network. Subsequent analysis of the networks showed that some features of drugs can be well described by this kind of interaction even for the case of structurally dissimilar drugs. Conclusion Our networks in this work provide intuitive insights into interactions among drug groups rather than those among single drugs. In addition, information on these interactions can be used as a useful source to describe mechanisms and features of drugs. PMID:24555875

  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. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. ...

  18. Multiple functions of inducible plant volatiles.

    PubMed

    Holopainen, Jarmo K

    2004-11-01

    A considerable amount of the carbon fixed by plants is emitted back into the atmosphere as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Novel inducible VOCs released from plants after biotic or abiotic stresses temporarily increase total emissions of carbon substantially. As well as having a role in attracting the natural enemies of herbivores, inducible VOCs are also involved in plant-to-plant signalling, pathogen defence and ozone quenching, as well as tropospheric ozone and fine-particle aerosol formation. To relate these diverse observations to active plant defence, a conceptual framework of four functional levels (plant cellular interspace, leaf boundary layer, ecosystem and atmosphere) of inducible VOCs is proposed to aid understanding of the evolutionary role of inducible plant volatiles.

  19. 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

  20. 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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Functional genomics: Probing plant gene function and expression with transposons

    PubMed Central

    Martienssen, Robert A.

    1998-01-01

    Transposable elements provide a convenient and flexible means to disrupt plant genes, so allowing their function to be assessed. By engineering transposons to carry reporter genes and regulatory signals, the expression of target genes can be monitored and to some extent manipulated. Two strategies for using transposons to assess gene function are outlined here: First, the PCR can be used to identify plants that carry insertions into specific genes from among pools of heavily mutagenized individuals (site-selected transposon mutagenesis). This method requires that high copy transposons be used and that a relatively large number of reactions be performed to identify insertions into genes of interest. Second, a large library of plants, each carrying a unique insertion, can be generated. Each insertion site then can be amplified and sequenced systematically. These two methods have been demonstrated in maize, Arabidopsis, and other plant species, and the relative merits of each are discussed in the context of plant genome research. PMID:9482828

  3. Functions of melatonin in plants: a review.

    PubMed

    Arnao, Marino B; Hernández-Ruiz, Josefa

    2015-09-01

    The number of studies on melatonin in plants has increased significantly in recent years. This molecule, with a large set of functions in animals, has also shown great potential in plant physiology. This review outlines the main functions of melatonin in the physiology of higher plants. Its role as antistress agent against abiotic stressors, such as drought, salinity, low and high ambient temperatures, UV radiation and toxic chemicals, is analyzed. The latest data on their role in plant-pathogen interactions are also discussed. Both abiotic and biotic stresses produce a significant increase in endogenous melatonin levels, indicating its possible role as effector in these situations. The existence of endogenous circadian rhythms in melatonin levels has been demonstrated in some species, and the data, although limited, suggest a central role of this molecule in the day/night cycles in plants. Finally, another aspect that has led to a large volume of research is the involvement of melatonin in aspects of plant development regulation. Although its role as a plant hormone is still far of from being fully established, its involvement in processes such as growth, rhizogenesis, and photosynthesis seems evident. The multiple changes in gene expression caused by melatonin point to its role as a multiregulatory molecule capable of coordinating many aspects of plant development. This last aspect, together with its role as an alleviating-stressor agent, suggests that melatonin is an excellent prospect for crop improvement.

  4. Preconversion catalytic deoxygenation of phenolic functional groups

    SciTech Connect

    Kubiak, C.P.

    1991-01-01

    The deoxygenation of phenols is a conceptually simple, but unusually difficult chemical transformation to achieve. Aryl carbon-oxygen bond cleavage is a chemical transformation of importance in coal liquefaction and the upgrading of coal liquids as well as in the synthesis of natural products. This proposed research offers the possibility of effecting the selective catalytic deoxygenation of phenolic functional groups using CO. A program of research for the catalytic deoxygenation of phenols, via a low energy mechanistic pathway that is based on the use of the CO/CO{sub 2} couple to remove phenolic oxygen atoms, is underway. We are focusing on systems which have significant promise as catalysts: Ir(triphos)OPh, (Pt(triphos)OPh){sup +} and Rh(triphos)OPh. Our studies of phenol deoxygenation focus on monitoring the reactions for the elementary processes upon which catalytic activity will depend: CO insertion into M-OPh bonds, CO{sub 2} elimination from aryloxy carbonyls {l brace}M-C(O)-O-Ph{r brace}, followed by formation of a coordinated benzyne intermediate.

  5. 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.

  6. Plant Stems: Functional Design and Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speck, Thomas; Burgert, Ingo

    2011-08-01

    Plant stems are one of nature's most impressive mechanical constructs. Their sophisticated hierarchical structure and multifunctionality allow trees to grow more than 100 m tall. This review highlights the advanced mechanical design of plant stems from the integral level of stem structures down to the fiber-reinforced-composite character of the cell walls. Thereby we intend not only to provide insight into structure-function relationships at the individual levels of hierarchy but to further discuss how growth forms and habits of plant stems are closely interrelated with the peculiarities of their tissue and cell structure and mechanics. This concept is extended to a further key feature of plants, namely, adaptive growth as a reaction to mechanical perturbation and/or changing environmental conditions. These mechanical design principles of plant stems can serve as concept generators for advanced biomimetic materials and may inspire materials and engineering sciences research.

  7. 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

  8. Phylogenetic analyses and expression studies reveal two distinct groups of calreticulin isoforms in higher plants.

    PubMed

    Persson, Staffan; Rosenquist, Magnus; Svensson, Karin; Galvão, Rafaelo; Boss, Wendy F; Sommarin, Marianne

    2003-11-01

    Calreticulin (CRT) is a multifunctional protein mainly localized to the endoplasmic reticulum in eukaryotic cells. Here, we present the first analysis, to our knowledge, of evolutionary diversity and expression profiling among different plant CRT isoforms. Phylogenetic studies and expression analysis show that higher plants contain two distinct groups of CRTs: a CRT1/CRT2 group and a CRT3 group. To corroborate the existence of these isoform groups, we cloned a putative CRT3 ortholog from Brassica rapa. The CRT3 gene appears to be most closely related to the ancestral CRT gene in higher plants. Distinct tissue-dependent expression patterns and stress-related regulation were observed for the isoform groups. Furthermore, analysis of posttranslational modifications revealed differences in the glycosylation status among members within the CRT1/CRT2 isoform group. Based on evolutionary relationship, a new nomenclature for plant CRTs is suggested. The presence of two distinct CRT isoform groups, with distinct expression patterns and posttranslational modifications, supports functional specificity among plant CRTs and could account for the multiple functional roles assigned to CRTs.

  9. Nuclear power-plant safety functions

    SciTech Connect

    Corcoran, W.R.; Finnicum, D.J.; Hubbard, F.R. III; Musick, C.R.; Walzer, P.F.

    1981-03-01

    The concept of safety functions is discussed. Ten critical safety functions and the multiple success paths available for accomplishing them are described. Use of the safety function concept in the development of emergency procedures, operator training, and control-room displays provides a systematic approach and a hierarchy of protection that an operator can use to mitigate the consequences of an event. The safety function concept can also be applied to the design and analysis of nuclear plant systems and to the evaluation of past expierience.

  10. Genes for Plant Autophagy: Functions and Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Soon-Hee; Kwon, Chian; Lee, Jae-Hoon; Chung, Taijoon

    2012-01-01

    Autophagy, or self-consuming of cytoplasmic constituents in a lytic compartment, plays a crucial role in nutrient recycling, development, cell homeostasis, and defense against pathogens and toxic products. Autophagy in plant cells uses a conserved machinery of core Autophagy-related (Atg) proteins. Recently, research on plant autophagy has been expanding and other components interacting with the core Atg proteins are being revealed. In addition, growing evidence suggests that autophagy communicates with other cellular pathways such as the ubiquitin-proteasome system, protein secretory pathway, and endocytic pathway. An increase in our understanding of plant autophagy will undoubtedly help test the hypothesized functions of plant autophagy in programmed cell death, vacuole biogenesis, and responses to biotic, abiotic, and nutritional stresses. In this review, we summarize recent progress on these topics and suggest topics for future research, after inspecting common phenotypes of current Arabidopsis atg mutants. PMID:22772908

  11. Serine in plants: biosynthesis, metabolism, and functions.

    PubMed

    Ros, Roc; Muñoz-Bertomeu, Jesús; Krueger, Stephan

    2014-09-01

    Serine (Ser) has a fundamental role in metabolism and signaling in living organisms. In plants, the existence of different pathways of Ser biosynthesis has complicated our understanding of this amino acid homeostasis. The photorespiratory glycolate pathway has been considered to be of major importance, whereas the nonphotorespiratory phosphorylated pathway has been relatively neglected. Recent advances indicate that the phosphorylated pathway has an important function in plant metabolism and development. Plants deficient in this pathway display developmental defects in embryos, male gametophytes, and roots. We propose that the phosphorylated pathway is more important than was initially thought because it is the only Ser source for specific cell types involved in developmental events. Here, we discuss its importance as a link between metabolism and development in plants.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Preconversion catalytic deoxygenation of phenolic functional groups

    SciTech Connect

    Kubiak, C.P.

    1990-01-01

    The deoxygenation of phenols is a conceptually simple, but unusually difficult chemical transformation of importance in organic synthesis and commercial coal liquefaction. The phenolic C-O bond energy of 103 kcal/mol is as strong as a benzene C-H bond and over 10 kcal/mol stronger than the C-O bonds of methanol and ethanol. The deoxygenation of phenols by CO is a viable process. metallolactones, created via late transition metal orthometallation of aryloxycarbonyl ligands, may provide the essential low energy pathway for elimination of CO{sub 2}, formation of a benzyne hydride intermediate, and thereby formation of the phenyl group. In the present Pt(OAr){sub 2}(dpps) system the phenyl group produced by phenol deoxygenation is eliminated with an aryloxycarbonyl ligand to yield phenylbenzoates. For this reason we are focusing our ongoing efforts on systems which contain one aryloxide, thus removing the possibility of reductive elimination of the phenyl group prior to elimination of free arenes.

  16. 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...

  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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:20569415

  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. Regulatory and functional interactions of plant growth regulators and plant glutathione S-transferases (GSTs).

    PubMed

    Moons, Ann

    2005-01-01

    Plant glutathioneS-transferases (GSTs) are a heterogeneous superfamily of multifunctional proteins, grouped into six classes. The tau (GSTU) and phi (GSTF) class GSTs are the most represented ones and are plant-specific, whereas the smaller theta (GSTT) and zeta (GSTZ) classes are also found in animals. The lambda GSTs (GSTL) and the dehydroascorbate reductases (DHARs) are more distantly related. Plant GSTs perform a variety of pivotal catalytic and non-enzymatic functions in normal plant development and plant stress responses, roles that are only emerging. Catalytic functions include glutathione (GSH)-conjugation in the metabolic detoxification of herbicides and natural products. GSTs can also catalyze GSH-dependent peroxidase reactions that scavenge toxic organic hydroperoxides and protect from oxidative damage. GSTs can furthermore catalyze GSH-dependent isomerizations in endogenous metabolism, exhibit GSH-dependent thioltransferase safeguarding protein function from oxidative damage and DHAR activity functioning in redox homeostasis. Plant GSTs can also function as ligandins or binding proteins for phytohormones (i.e., auxins and cytokinins) or anthocyanins, thereby facilitating their distribution and transport. Finally, GSTs are also indirectly involved in the regulation of apoptosis and possibly also in stress signaling. Plant GST genes exhibit a diversity of expression patterns during biotic and abiotic stresses. Stress-induced plant growth regulators (i.e., jasmonic acid [JA], salicylic acid [SA], ethylene [ETH], and nitric oxide [NO] differentially activate GST gene expression. It is becoming increasingly evident that unique combinations of multiple, often interactive signaling pathways from various phytohormones and reactive oxygen species or antioxidants render the distinct transcriptional activation patterns of individual GSTs during stress. Underestimated post-transcriptional regulations of individual GSTs are becoming increasingly evident and roles

  2. [2]Rotaxane with multiple functional groups.

    PubMed

    Saha, Subrata; Santra, Saikat; Akhuli, Bidyut; Ghosh, Pradyut

    2014-11-21

    High-yield syntheses of Cu(II)- and Ni(II)-templated [2]pseudorotaxane precursors (CuPRT and NiPRT, respectively) were achieved by threading bis(azide)bis(amide)-2,2'-bipyridine axle into a bis(amide)tris(amine) macrocycle. Single-crystal X-ray structural analysis of CuPRT revealed complete threading of the axle fragment into the wheel cavity, where strong aromatic π-π stacking interactions between two parallel arene moieties of the wheel and the pyridyl unit of axle are operative in addition to metal ion templation. Attachment of a newly developed bulky stopper molecule with a terminal alkyne to CuPRT via a Cu(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction failed as a result of dethreading of the azide-terminated axle under the reaction conditions. However, the synthesis of a metal-free [2]rotaxane containing triazole with other functionalities in the axle was achieved in ∼45% yield upon coupling between azide-terminated NiPRT and the alkyne-terminated stopper. The [2]rotaxane was characterized by mass spectrometry, 1D and 2D NMR (COSY, DOSY, and ROESY) experiments. Comparative solution-state NMR studies of the [2]rotaxane in its unprotonated and protonated states were carried out to locate the position of the wheel on the axle of the metal-free [2]rotaxane. Furthermore, a variable-temperature (1)H NMR study in DMSO-d6 of [2]rotaxane supported the kinetic inertness of the interlocked structure, where the newly developed stopper prevents dethreading of the 30-membered wheel from the axle.

  3. 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. PMID:25288547

  4. 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.

  5. 77 FR 75425 - Interagency Working Group on Plant Genomics (IWGPG): The National Plant Genome Initiative-What's...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-20

    ... Interagency Working Group on Plant Genomics (IWGPG): The National Plant Genome Initiative--What's Next? AGENCY... standardization. Summary: The National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) was established in 1998 as a coordinated national research program by the Interagency Working Group on Plant Genomes (IWGPG) under the Committee...

  6. Wigner functions from the two-dimensional wavelet group.

    PubMed

    Ali, S T; Krasowska, A E; Murenzi, R

    2000-12-01

    Following a general procedure developed previously [Ann. Henri Poincaré 1, 685 (2000)], here we construct Wigner functions on a phase space related to the similitude group in two dimensions. Since the group space in this case is topologically homeomorphic to the phase space in question, the Wigner functions so constructed may also be considered as being functions on the group space itself. Previously the similitude group was used to construct wavelets for two-dimensional image analysis; we discuss here the connection between the wavelet transform and the Wigner function.

  7. [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. PMID:7314446

  8. [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.

  9. Functional dissection of a plant Argonaute.

    PubMed

    Fátyol, Károly; Ludman, Márta; Burgyán, József

    2016-02-18

    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

  10. Meiotic chromosome structure and function in plants.

    PubMed

    Mainiero, Samantha; Pawlowski, Wojciech P

    2014-01-01

    Chromosome structure is important for many meiotic processes. Here, we outline 3 main determinants of chromosome structure and their effects on meiotic processes in plants. Cohesins are necessary to hold sister chromatids together until the first meiotic division, ensuring that homologous chromosomes and not sister chromatids separate during anaphase I. During meiosis in maize, Arabidopsis, and rice, cohesins are needed for establishing early prophase chromosome structure and recombination and for aligning bivalents at the metaphase plate. Condensin complexes play pivotal roles in controlling the packaging of chromatin into chromosomes through chromatin compaction and chromosome individualization. In animals and fungi, these complexes establish a meiotic chromosome structure that allows for proper recombination, pairing, and synapsis of homologous chromosomes. In plants, information on the role of condensins in meiosis is limited, but they are known to be required for successful completion of reproductive development. Therefore, we speculate that they play roles similar to animal and fungal condensins during meiosis. Plants generally have large and complex genomes due to frequent polyploidy events, and likely, condensins and cohesins organize chromosomes in such a way as to ensure genome stability. Hexaploid wheat has evolved a unique mechanism using a Ph1 locus-controlled chromosome organization to ensure proper chromosome pairing in meiosis. Altogether, studies on meiotic chromosome structure indicate that chromosome organization is not only important for chromatin packaging but also fulfills specific functions in facilitating chromosome interactions during meiosis, including pairing and recombination. PMID:25096046

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Nucleotide substitutions revealing specific functions of Polycomb group genes.

    PubMed

    Bajusz, Izabella; Sipos, László; Pirity, Melinda K

    2015-04-01

    POLYCOMB group (PCG) proteins belong to the family of epigenetic regulators of genes playing important roles in differentiation and development. Mutants of PcG genes were isolated first in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, resulting in spectacular segmental transformations due to the ectopic expression of homeotic genes. Homologs of Drosophila PcG genes were also identified in plants and in vertebrates and subsequent experiments revealed the general role of PCG proteins in the maintenance of the repressed state of chromatin through cell divisions. The past decades of gene targeting experiments have allowed us to make significant strides towards understanding how the network of PCG proteins influences multiple aspects of cellular fate determination during development. Being involved in the transmission of specific expression profiles of different cell lineages, PCG proteins were found to control wide spectra of unrelated epigenetic processes in vertebrates, such as stem cell plasticity and renewal, genomic imprinting and inactivation of X-chromosome. PCG proteins also affect regulation of metabolic genes being important for switching programs between pluripotency and differentiation. Insight into the precise roles of PCG proteins in normal physiological processes has emerged from studies employing cell culture-based systems and genetically modified animals. Here we summarize the findings obtained from PcG mutant fruit flies and mice generated to date with a focus on PRC1 and PRC2 members altered by nucleotide substitutions resulting in specific alleles. We also include a compilation of lessons learned from these models about the in vivo functions of this complex protein family. With multiple knockout lines, sophisticated approaches to study the consequences of peculiar missense point mutations, and insights from complementary gain-of-function systems in hand, we are now in a unique position to significantly advance our understanding of the molecular basis of

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Plant sex chromosomes: molecular structure and function.

    PubMed

    Jamilena, M; Mariotti, B; Manzano, S

    2008-01-01

    Recent molecular and genomic studies carried out in a number of model dioecious plant species, including Asparagus officinalis, Carica papaya, Silene latifolia, Rumex acetosa and Marchantia polymorpha, have shed light on the molecular structure of both homomorphic and heteromorphic sex chromosomes, and also on the gene functions they have maintained since their evolution from a pair of autosomes. The molecular structure of sex chromosomes in species from different plant families represents the evolutionary pathway followed by sex chromosomes during their evolution. The degree of Y chromosome degeneration that accompanies the suppression of recombination between the Xs and Ys differs among species. The primitive Ys of A. officinalis and C. papaya have only diverged from their homomorphic Xs in a short male-specific and non-recombining region (MSY), while the heteromorphic Ys of S. latifolia, R. acetosa and M. polymorpha have diverged from their respective Xs. As in the Y chromosomes of mammals and Drosophila, the accumulation of repetitive DNA, including both transposable elements and satellite DNA, has played an important role in the divergence and size enlargement of plant Ys, and consequently in reducing gene density. Nevertheless, the degeneration process in plants does not appear to have reached the Y-linked genes. Although a low gene density has been found in the sequenced Y chromosome of M. polymorpha, most of its genes are essential and are expressed in the vegetative and reproductive organs in both male and females. Similarly, most of the Y-linked genes that have been isolated and characterized up to now in S. latifolia are housekeeping genes that have X-linked homologues, and are therefore expressed in both males and females. Only one of them seems to be degenerate with respect to its homologous region in the X. Sequence analysis of larger regions in the homomorphic X and Y chromosomes of papaya and asparagus, and also in the heteromorphic sex chromosomes

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Single or functionalized fullerenes interacting with heme group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Wallison Chaves; Diniz, Eduardo Moraes

    2014-09-01

    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 C60 fullerene or with C60 functionalized with small functional groups (-CH3, -COOH, -NH2, -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. FGO: A novel ontology for identification of ligand functional group

    PubMed Central

    Varadwaj, Pritish Kumar; Lahiri, Tapobrata

    2007-01-01

    Small molecules play crucial role in the modulation of biological functions by interacting with specific macromolecules. Hence small molecule interactions are captured by a variety of experimental methods to estimate and propose correlations between molecular structures to their biological activities. The tremendous expanse in publicly available small molecules is also driving new efforts to better understand interactions involving small molecules particularly in area of drug docking and pharmacogenomics. We have studied and designed a functional group identification system with the associated ontology for it. The functional group identification system can detect the functional group components from given ligand structure with specific coordinate information. Functional group ontology (FGO) proposed by us is a structured classification of chemical functional group which acts as an important source of prior knowledge that may be automatically integrated to support identification, categorization and predictive data analysis tasks. We have used a new annotation method which can be used to construct the original structure from given ontological expression using exact coordinate information. Here, we also discuss about ontology-driven similarity measure of functional groups and uses of such novel ontology for pharmacophore searching and de-novo ligand designing. PMID:18288335

  4. 48 CFR 945.670-1 - Plant clearance function.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... contracting officer shall assume all responsibilities of the plant clearance officer identified in 48 CFR 45... 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....

  5. Functional Group and Substructure Searching as a Tool in Metabolomics

    PubMed Central

    Kotera, Masaaki; McDonald, Andrew G.; Boyce, Sinéad; Tipton, Keith F.

    2008-01-01

    Background A direct link between the names and structures of compounds and the functional groups contained within them is important, not only because biochemists frequently rely on literature that uses a free-text format to describe functional groups, but also because metabolic models depend upon the connections between enzymes and substrates being known and appropriately stored in databases. Methodology We have developed a database named “Biochemical Substructure Search Catalogue” (BiSSCat), which contains 489 functional groups, >200,000 compounds and >1,000,000 different computationally constructed substructures, to allow identification of chemical compounds of biological interest. Conclusions This database and its associated web-based search program (http://bisscat.org/) can be used to find compounds containing selected combinations of substructures and functional groups. It can be used to determine possible additional substrates for known enzymes and for putative enzymes found in genome projects. Its applications to enzyme inhibitor design are also discussed. PMID:18253485

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. Using the Group Presentation to Foster Functional Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Kim M.

    1990-01-01

    Suggests using group presentations as a method for instructors with large introductory courses to help students gain functional skills and also make the courses more interesting. Provides examples of group presentation projects. States goals of projects as showing how sociology can be used in everyday life and providing a review of the examination…

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27575107

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:24897501

  20. Functional Gene Group Summarization by Clustering MEDLINE Abstract Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jianji; Cohen, Aaron M.; Hersh, William R.

    2006-01-01

    Tools to automatically summarize functional gene group information from the biomedical literature will help genomics researchers both better interpret gene expression data and understand biological pathways. In this study, we built a system that takes in a set of genes and MEDLINE records and outputs clusters of genes along with summaries of each cluster by sentence extraction from MEDLINE abstracts. Our preliminary use-case evaluation shows that this approach can identify gene clusters similar to manually generated groupings. PMID:17238770

  1. The carbon functional group budget of a peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moody, Catherine; Worrall, Fred; Clay, Gareth; Apperley, David

    2016-04-01

    Organic matter samples were taken from each organic matter reservoir and fluvial flux found in a peatland and analysed by elemental analysis for carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen content, and by 13C solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for functional group composition. The samples analysed were: aboveground, belowground, heather, mosses and sedges, litter layer, four different depths from a peat core, and monthly samples of fluvial particulate and dissolved organic matter. All organic matter samples were taken from a 100% peat catchment within Moor House National Nature Reserve in the North Pennines, UK. The proportion of carbon atoms from each of the eight carbon functional groups (C-alkyl, N-alkyl/methoxyl C, O-alkyl, O2-alkyl/acetal C, aromatic/unsaturated C, phenolic C, aldehyde/ketone C and amide/carboxyl C) from each type of organic matter were combined with an existing carbon budget from the same site, to give a functional group carbon budget. The budget results show that the ecosystem is accumulating N-alkyl/methoxyl C, O-alkyl, O2-alkyl/acetal C and phenolic C groups, but losing C-alkyl, aromatic/unsaturated C, amide/carboxyl C and aldehyde/ketone C. Comparing the functional group compositions between the sampled organic matter pools shows that DOM arises from two distinct sources; from the peat itself and from a vegetation source.

  2. 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. PMID:24877952

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    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 ecological

  8. Galaxy and Group Baryonic Mass Functions for the RESOLVE Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eckert, Kathleen D.; Kannappan, Sheila; Moffett, Amanda J.; Baker, Ashley; Stark, David; Berlind, Andreas A.; Storey-Fisher, Kate; Erickcek, Adrienne L.; Norris, Mark A.; Resolve Team

    2015-01-01

    We present a comparison of the galaxy and group baryonic mass functions for a subvolume of the RESOLVE (Resolved Spectroscopy Of a Local VolumE) survey. RESOLVE occupies A and B semester volumes totaling ~52,000 cubic Mpc, complete in baryonic mass to ~10^9.3 Msun and 10^9.0 Msun respectively, with galaxies and groups ranging in halo mass from 10^11-10^14 Msun. The A semester volume is surrounded by the larger ECO catalog, which lacks complete HI data but occupies ~561,000 cubic Mpc. We define the observed baryonic mass of a galaxy or group to be the sum of its stellar and cold atomic hydrogen components, with the latter inferred indirectly for much of ECO. For groups, we infer the total baryonic mass by summing the observed components of each constituent galaxy and add the likely hot halo gas based on prescriptions from observations and semi-analytic models. We perform subhalo/halo abundance matching between observed galaxies/groups and dark matter simulations, and we compare derived halo properties based on matching on luminosity vs. on observed baryonic mass (or on inferred total baryonic mass for groups). We also present a status update on the galaxy and group velocity functions for these surveys, which will allow for more direct comparison with dark matter simulations. This project was supported by NSF funding for the RESOLVE survey (AST-0955368).

  9. 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. 945.670-1 Section 945.670-1 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY CONTRACT MANAGEMENT GOVERNMENT PROPERTY Reporting, Reutilization, and Disposal 945.670-1 Plant clearance function....

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  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. Structure and functions of plant calcium-dependent protein kinases.

    PubMed

    Klimecka, Maria; Muszyńska, Grazyna

    2007-01-01

    Calcium ions as second messengers play an essential role in many important cellular processes. In plants, transient changes in calcium content in the cytosol (calcium signatures) have been observed during growth, development and under stress conditions. Such diverse functions require many different calcium sensors. One of the largest and most differentiated group of calcium sensors are protein kinases, among them calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) which were identified only in plants and protists. CDPKs have a regulatory domain which is able to bind calcium ions. For regulation of CDPKs activities not only calcium ions but also specific phospholipids and autophosphorylation are responsible. CDPKs have many different substrates, which reflects the diversity of their functions. Potential protein substrates of CDPK are involved in carbon and nitrogen metabolism, phospholipid synthesis, defense responses, ion and water transport, cytoskeleton organization, transcription and hormone responses. Presently, participation of CDPKs in stress signal transduction pathways (e.g., cold, drought, high salinity, wounding) is intensively studied in many laboratories. An intriguing, but still not fully clarified problem is the cross-talk via CDPKs among different signaling pathways that enables signal integration at different levels and ensure appropriate downstream responses.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. From Tropics to Tundra: Global Convergence in Plant Functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reich, Peter B.; Walters, Michael B.; Ellsworth, David S.

    1997-12-01

    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.

  18. 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. PMID:26700811

  19. Functional group accessibility in hydrogen bonded polymer blends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pehlert, George James

    Intramolecular screening and functional group accessibility are important concepts in hydrogen bonded polymer blends. Intramolecular screening results from the fact that the units in a polymer are linked together via covalent bonds (chain connectivity). This linking together of the units results in an increase in the number of same chain contacts (self-association) due to the chains bending back upon themselves, both locally and through long range effects. Because of this effect, the number of interchain contacts (interassociation) in a polymer blend is significantly lower than that observed in an analogous low molecular weight mixture. In addition to intramolecular screening, evidence has been found showing that the accessibility of functional groups is affected by factors such as the functional groups being too close to one another along the (co)polymer chain and steric shielding due to the presence of bulky or long chain side groups. The effect of these factors on the scaling and transferability of self-association and interassociation equilibrium constants is discussed, together with ramifications in terms of the predictions of miscibility windows and maps (using the association model) for hydrogen bonded polymer blends.

  20. [Study on Characteristics of Terahertz Spectra of Organic Functional Groups].

    PubMed

    Ma, Chun-qian; Xu, Xiang-dong; Zou, Rui-jiao; Liu, Yi-ke; He, Qiong; Jiang, Ya-dong; Huang, Rui; Wen, Yue-jiang; Sun, Zi-qiang

    2015-04-01

    Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) was exploited to measure terahertz (THz) spectra in the wave number range of 30-300 cm(-1) for saturated straight chain organic molecules at room temperature. The results reveal that different organic functional groups exhibit different THz spectral characteristics. The absorption peaks of vibration modes of organic crystal lattice locate in high frequency range of THz, while those of vibration modes of intermolecular hydrogen (H) bonds appear in low frequency range of THz. Moreover, a typical absorption peak of intermolecular H bonds caused by saturated straight-chain monohydric alcohol hydroxyl functional groups locates at 57 cm(-1), while a characteristic absorption peak of intermolecular hydrogen bonds caused by triacontanoic acid carboxyl functional groups appears at 74 cm(-1). The intermolecular H bonds not only result in that the THz absorbing abilities of triacontanol and triacontanoic acid are significantly stronger than that of triacontane, but also cause regular red-shift and blue-shift of the THz absorption peaks of triacontanoic acid, as compared with those of triacontanol. In addition, density functional theory (DFT) B3LYP/6-311G(d,p) basis set was employed to simulate the THz spectra of saturated straight-chain alkane, alkanol and acid, respectively. The simulation results indicate that for the organic molecules with stronger intermolecular H bonds, lower consistent degree of the THz spectrum simulated from monomer molecule with the THz spectrum experimentally measured will occur. Moreover, the simulation results of dimer structures agree well with the measured spectra as compared to those simulated from monomer molecule structures. The results presented in this work are of great significance not only to the study of the THz spectral characteristics of other organic functional groups, but also to the clarification of the vibration modes of organic molecules. Particularly, our results are also helpful for clarifying

  1. Groups as units of functional analysis, individuals as proximate mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Wilson, David Sloan

    2014-06-01

    Whenever selection operates at a given level of a multitier hierarchy, units at that level should become the object of functional analysis, and units at lower levels should be studied as proximate mechanisms. This intuition already exists for the study of genes in individuals, when individuals are the unit of selection. It is only beginning to be applied for the study of individuals in groups, when groups are the unit of selection. Smaldino's target article is an important step in this direction with an emphasis on human cultural evolution, but the same algorithm applies to all multilevel evolutionary processes.

  2. Testing functional trait-based mechanisms underpinning plant responses to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning in grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, S. X.; Li, W. H.; Lan, Z. C.; Ren, H. Y.; Wang, K. B.; Bai, Y. F.

    2014-09-01

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, ecological strategies, community structure, and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have examined how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and functional group identity. We test functional trait-based mechanisms underlying the responses of different life forms to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning along a soil moisture gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland. A principal component analysis (PCA) based on 9 traits × 276 species matrix showed that the plant size spectrum (i.e., individual biomass), leaf economics spectrum (leaf N content and leaf density), and light competition spectrum (height and stem-leaf biomass ratio) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The three life forms exhibited differential strategies as indicated by trait responses to grazing. The annuals and biennials adopted grazing-tolerant strategies associated with high growth rate, reflected by high leaf N content and specific leaf area. The perennial grasses exhibited grazing-tolerant strategies associated with great regrowth capacity and high palatability scores, whereas perennial forbs showed grazing-avoidant strategies with short stature and low palatability scores. In addition, the dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance-resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive-conservative strategies in resource utilization. Grazing increased the relative abundance of perennial forbs with low palatability in the wet and fertile meadow, but it promoted perennial grasses with high palatability in the dry and infertile typical steppe. Our findings suggest that the effects of grazing on plant functional traits are dependent on both the abiotic (e.g., soil moisture) and biotic (e.g., plant functional group identity and composition) factors. Grazing-induced shifts in functional group composition are largely dependent on resource

  3. 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.

  4. Life span and structure of ephemeral root modules of different functional groups from a desert system.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bo; He, Junxia; Zeng, Fanjiang; Lei, Jiaqiang; Arndt, Stefan K

    2016-07-01

    The terminal branch orders of plant root systems have been proposed as short-lived 'ephemeral' modules specialized for resource absorption. The occurrence of ephemeral root modules has so far only been reported for a temperate tree species and it is unclear if the concept also applies to other woody (shrub, tree) and herb species. Fine roots of 12 perennial dicotyledonous herb, shrub and tree species were monitored for two growing seasons using a branch-order classification, sequential sampling and rhizotrons in the Taklamakan desert. Two root modules existed in all three plant functional groups. Among the first five branch orders, the first two (perennial herbs, shrubs) or three (trees) root orders were ephemeral and had a primary anatomical structure, high nitrogen (N) concentrations, high respiration rates and very short life spans of 1-4 months, whereas the last two branch orders in all functional groups were perennial, with thicker diameters, no or collapsed cortex, distinct secondary growth, low N concentrations, low respiration rates, but much longer life spans. Ephemeral, short-lived root modules and long-lived, persistent root modules seem to be a general feature across many plant functional groups and could represent a basic root system design.

  5. 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.

  6. Properties of graphene inks stabilized by different functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Di; Li, Hongwei; Han, Dongxue; Zhang, Qixian; Niu, Li; Yang, Huafeng; Bower, Chris; Andrew, Piers; Ryhänen, Tapani

    2011-06-01

    Different graphene inks have been synthesized by chemical methods. These uniform dispersions were stabilized by various functional groups such as room temperature ionic liquid, polyaniline, polyelectrolyte (poly[2,5-bis(3-sulfonatopropoxy)-1,4-ethynylphenylene-alt-1,4-ethynylphenylene] sodium salt) and poly(styrenesulfonate) (PSS). The dispersions can be easily cast into high-quality, free-standing films but with very different physiochemical properties such as surface tension and adhesion. SEM and AFM methods have been applied to have a detailed study of the properties of the inks. It is found that graphenes modified by p-type polyaniline show the highest surface tension. Diverse surface adhesive properties to the substrate are also found with various functional groups. The different viscoelasticities of graphene inks were related to the microscopic structure of their coating layer and subsequently related to the configuration, chemistry and molecular dimensions of the modifying molecules to establish the property-structure relationship. Modifications of graphene inks made from chemical reduction cannot only enable cost-effective processing for printable electronics but also extend the applications into, for example, self-assembly of graphene via bottom-up nano-architecture and surface energy engineering of the graphenes. To fabricate useful devices, understanding the surface properties of graphene inks is very important. It is the first paper of this kind to study the surface tension and adhesion of graphene influenced by different functional groups.

  7. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:25599106

  12. Functional renormalization group analysis of tensorial group field theories on Rd

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geloun, Joseph Ben; Martini, Riccardo; Oriti, Daniele

    2016-07-01

    Rank-d tensorial group field theories are quantum field theories (QFTs) defined on a group manifold G×d , which represent a nonlocal generalization of standard QFT and a candidate formalism for quantum gravity, since, when endowed with appropriate data, they can be interpreted as defining a field theoretic description of the fundamental building blocks of quantum spacetime. Their renormalization analysis is crucial both for establishing their consistency as quantum field theories and for studying the emergence of continuum spacetime and geometry from them. In this paper, we study the renormalization group flow of two simple classes of tensorial group field theories (TGFTs), defined for the group G =R for arbitrary rank, both without and with gauge invariance conditions, by means of functional renormalization group techniques. The issue of IR divergences is tackled by the definition of a proper thermodynamic limit for TGFTs. We map the phase diagram of such models, in a simple truncation, and identify both UV and IR fixed points of the RG flow. Encouragingly, for all the models we study, we find evidence for the existence of a phase transition of condensation type.

  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. Using plant functional traits as a link between land use and bee foraging abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pakeman, R. J.; Stockan, J.

    2013-07-01

    Many recent studies have shown that plant functional traits can be used to predict the response of plant assemblages to management or other environmental change. A further challenge is to use them to predict changes in the assemblages of other groups. Using data from a study of the impact of land use on biodiversity, the linkages between management drivers, a range of plant functional traits and the overall foraging numbers and assemblage of bees was assessed. Bee foraging numbers were only weakly predicted by plant traits, though bee foraging assemblage was closely related to a number of different groups of plant traits (flower colour and Forage Index, as well as taxonomic group). In turn, the selected traits were significantly correlated to some of the response traits that linked the plant assemblage to management, indicating that there was a predictive pathway from management to bee abundance and assemblage structure. However, models developed with just the environmental drivers proved superior at predicting both bee numbers and assemblage. Plant traits proved to be a moderately effective predictor of bee assemblage structure. However, the use of plant traits as a link between the bees and management did not offer any improvement on models directly developed from management variables. This suggests that the bee assemblage is responding to traits that have not been quantified and that developing these trophic linkage models may have to take a different approach.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26546226

  19. 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

  20. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield.

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. [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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Symmetry groups, density-matrix equations and covariant Wigner functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santana, A. E.; Neto, A. Matos; Vianna, J. D. M.; Khanna, F. C.

    2000-06-01

    A representation theory for Lie groups is developed taking the Hilbert space, say Hw, of the w∗-algebra standard representation as the representation space. In this context the states describing physical systems are amplitude wave functions but closely connected with the notion of the density matrix. Then, based on symmetry properties, a general physical interpretation for the dual variables of thermal theories, in particular the thermofield dynamics (TFD) formalism, is introduced. The kinematic symmetries, Galilei and Poincaré, are studied and (density) amplitude matrix equations are derived for both of these cases. In the same context of group theory, the notion of phase space in quantum theory is analysed. Thus, in the non-relativistic situation, the concept of density amplitude is introduced, and as an example, a spin-half system is algebraically studied; Wigner function representations for the amplitude density matrices are derived and the connection of TFD and the usual Wigner-function methods are analysed. For the Poincaré symmetries the relativistic density matrix equations are studied for the scalar and spinorial fields. The relativistic phase space is built following the lines of the non-relativistic case. So, for the scalar field, the kinetic theory is introduced via the Klein-Gordon density-matrix equation, and a derivation of the Jüttiner distribution is presented as an example, thus making it possible to compare with the standard approaches. The analysis of the phase space for the Dirac field is carried out in connection with the dual spinor structure induced by the Dirac-field density-matrix equation, with the physical content relying on the symmetry groups. Gauge invariance is considered and, as a basic result, it is shown that the Heinz density operator (which has been used to develope a gauge covariant kinetic theory) is a particular solution for the (Klein-Gordon and Dirac) density-matrix equation.

  6. Molecular dynamics simulations of functionalized carbon nanotubes in water: Effects of type and position of functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foroutan, Masumeh; Moshari, Mahshad

    2010-11-01

    In this work the behavior of the (8,2) single walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and functionalized carbon nanotubes (FCNTs) with four functional groups in water were studied using molecular dynamic (MD) simulation method. Glutamine as a long chain functional group and carboxyl as a short chain functional group have been used as functional groups in FCNTs. Four functional groups in each FCNT were localized at two positions: (i) all four functional groups were in the sidewalls of nanotube, (ii) two functional groups were at the ends and two functional groups were in the sidewalls of nanotube. The intermolecular interaction energies between CNTs or FCNTs and water molecules, the plots of radial distribution function and the diffusion coefficients of CNTs and FCNTs in water were computed for investigating the effects of type and position of functional groups on the behavior of FCNTs in water. The obtained results from three methods are consistent with each others. Results showed that the position of the functional groups in FCNTs has an important role in the interaction of hydrophilic groups of FCNTs with water molecules. Furthermore we also investigated the behavior of FCNTs with sixteen carboxyl functional groups in water. The presence of these large numbers of carboxyl functional groups on the carbon nanotubes prevents water molecules from moving towards hydrophilic carboxyl functional groups. This demonstrates the advantage of using lower number of functional groups each containing many hydrophilic groups like glutamine functional group.

  7. [Anti-inflammatory action of a group of plant extracts].

    PubMed

    Shipochliev, T; Dimitrov, A; Aleksandrova, E

    1981-01-01

    Use was made of Wistar albino rats in which an inflammation was induced via the simultaneous injection of caraginan and prostaglandin E1 in order to evaluate the antiinflammatory activity of 6 freeze dried plant extracts. It was found that with such model of inflammation the inflammatory effect of caraginan was strongly enhanced, which was accompanied by the rapid and prolific white blood cell extravasates. The freeze-dried extracts of St. John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum L.), potmarigold calendula (Calendula officinalis L.), camomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) and plantain (Plantago lanceolata L. et Pl. major L.) were found to suppress both the inflammatory effect and the leukocyte infiltration. The extracts of symphytum (Symphytum officinale L.) and those of flax seed (Linum usitatissimum L.) did not inhibit the inflammation, however, they suppressed the leukocyte infiltration at the 3rd and 4th hour of the induced inflammation. PMID:7199215

  8. [Anti-inflammatory action of a group of plant extracts].

    PubMed

    Shipochliev, T; Dimitrov, A; Aleksandrova, E

    1981-01-01

    Use was made of Wistar albino rats in which an inflammation was induced via the simultaneous injection of caraginan and prostaglandin E1 in order to evaluate the antiinflammatory activity of 6 freeze dried plant extracts. It was found that with such model of inflammation the inflammatory effect of caraginan was strongly enhanced, which was accompanied by the rapid and prolific white blood cell extravasates. The freeze-dried extracts of St. John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum L.), potmarigold calendula (Calendula officinalis L.), camomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) and plantain (Plantago lanceolata L. et Pl. major L.) were found to suppress both the inflammatory effect and the leukocyte infiltration. The extracts of symphytum (Symphytum officinale L.) and those of flax seed (Linum usitatissimum L.) did not inhibit the inflammation, however, they suppressed the leukocyte infiltration at the 3rd and 4th hour of the induced inflammation.

  9. 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.

  10. Identifying functional sites based on prediction of charged group behavior.

    PubMed

    Ondrechen, Mary Jo

    2004-09-01

    This protocol describes the implementation and interpretation of THEMATICS, a simple computational predictor of functional information for proteins from the three-dimensional structure. This method is based on the computation of the electrical potential function for the protein and the calculation of the predicted titration curves for each of the titratable groups in the protein. While most of the titratable residues in a protein have predicted titration behavior that fits the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, the ionizable residues in the active site generally deviate dramatically from the typical behavior. From the calculated titration curves, one identifies those residues that deviate significantly from Henderson-Hasselbalch behavior. A cluster of two or more of such deviant titratable residues in physical proximity is a reliable predictor of active-site location.

  11. Glutamate Receptor Homologs in Plants: Functions and Evolutionary Origins

    PubMed Central

    Price, Michelle Beth; Jelesko, John; Okumoto, Sakiko

    2012-01-01

    The plant glutamate-like receptor homologs (GLRs) are homologs of mammalian ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) which were discovered more than 10 years ago, and are hypothesized to be potential amino acid sensors in plants. Although initial progress on this gene family has been hampered by gene redundancy and technical issues such as gene toxicity; genetic, pharmacological, and electrophysiological approaches are starting to uncover the functions of this protein family. In parallel, there has been tremendous progress in elucidating the structure of animal glutamate receptors (iGluRs), which in turn will help understanding of the molecular mechanisms of plant GLR functions. In this review, we will summarize recent progress on the plant GLRs. Emerging evidence implicates plant GLRs in various biological processes in and beyond N sensing, and implies that there is some overlap in the signaling mechanisms of amino acids between plants and animals. Phylogenetic analysis using iGluRs from metazoans, plants, and bacteria showed that the plant GLRs are no more closely related to metazoan iGluRs as they are to bacterial iGluRs, indicating the separation of plant, other eukaryotic, and bacterial GLRs might have happened as early on as the last universal common ancestor. Structural similarities and differences with animal iGluRs, and the implication thereof, are also discussed. PMID:23115559

  12. 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

  13. Plant Lessons: Exploring ABCB Functionality Through Structural Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Bailly, Aurélien; Yang, Haibing; Martinoia, Enrico; Geisler, Markus; Murphy, Angus S.

    2012-01-01

    In contrast to mammalian ABCB1 proteins, narrow substrate specificity has been extensively documented for plant orthologs shown to catalyze the transport of the plant hormone, auxin. Using the crystal structures of the multidrug exporters Sav1866 and MmABCB1 as templates, we have developed structural models of plant ABCB proteins with a common architecture. Comparisons of these structures identified kingdom-specific candidate substrate-binding regions within the translocation chamber formed by the transmembrane domains of ABCBs from the model plant Arabidopsis. These results suggest an early evolutionary divergence of plant and mammalian ABCBs. Validation of these models becomes a priority for efforts to elucidate ABCB function and manipulate this class of transporters to enhance plant productivity and quality. PMID:22639627

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Functional group based Ligand binding affinity scoring function at atomic environmental level

    PubMed Central

    Varadwaj, Pritish Kumar; Lahiri, Tapobrata

    2009-01-01

    Use of knowledge based scoring function (KBSF) for virtual screening and molecular docking has become an established method for drug discovery. Lack of a precise and reliable free energy function that describes several interactions including water-mediated atomic interaction between amino-acid residues and ligand makes distance based statistical measure as the only alternative. Till now all the distance based scoring functions in KBSF arena use atom singularity concept, which neglects the environmental effect of the atom under consideration. We have developed a novel knowledge-based statistical energy function for protein-ligand complexes which takes atomic environment in to account hence functional group as a singular entity. The proposed knowledge based scoring function is fast, simple to construct, easy to use and moreover it tackle the existing problem of handling molecular orientation in active site pocket. We have designed and used Functional group based Ligand retrieval (FBLR) system which can identify and detect the orientation of functional groups in ligand. This decoy searching was used to build the above KBSF to quantify the activity and affinity of high resolution protein-ligand complexes. We have proposed the probable use of these decoys in molecular build-up as a de-novo drug designing approach. We have also discussed the possible use of the said KSBF in pharmacophore fragment detection and pseudo center based fragment alignment procedure. PMID:19255647

  18. 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. PMID:22116295

  19. 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.

  20. Selection on soil microbiomes reveals reproducible impacts on plant function.

    PubMed

    Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Poole, Angela C; Goodrich, Julia K; Ley, Ruth E; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny

    2015-04-01

    Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools.

  1. Selection on soil microbiomes reveals reproducible impacts on plant function.

    PubMed

    Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Poole, Angela C; Goodrich, Julia K; Ley, Ruth E; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny

    2015-04-01

    Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools. PMID:25350154

  2. Selection on soil microbiomes reveals reproducible impacts on plant function

    PubMed Central

    Panke-Buisse, Kevin; Poole, Angela C; Goodrich, Julia K; Ley, Ruth E; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Soil microorganisms found in the root zone impact plant growth and development, but the potential to harness these benefits is hampered by the sheer abundance and diversity of the players influencing desirable plant traits. Here, we report a high level of reproducibility of soil microbiomes in altering plant flowering time and soil functions when partnered within and between plant hosts. We used a multi-generation experimental system using Arabidopsis thaliana Col to select for soil microbiomes inducing earlier or later flowering times of their hosts. We then inoculated the selected microbiomes from the tenth generation of plantings into the soils of three additional A. thaliana genotypes (Ler, Be, RLD) and a related crucifer (Brassica rapa). With the exception of Ler, all other plant hosts showed a shift in flowering time corresponding with the inoculation of early- or late-flowering microbiomes. Analysis of the soil microbial community using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing showed distinct microbiota profiles assembling by flowering time treatment. Plant hosts grown with the late-flowering-associated microbiomes showed consequent increases in inflorescence biomass for three A. thaliana genotypes and an increase in total biomass for B. rapa. The increase in biomass was correlated with two- to five-fold enhancement of microbial extracellular enzyme activities associated with nitrogen mineralization in soils. The reproducibility of the flowering phenotype across plant hosts suggests that microbiomes can be selected to modify plant traits and coordinate changes in soil resource pools. PMID:25350154

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Xu, Changcheng; Shanklin, John

    2016-04-29

    Oils in the form of triacylglycerols are the most abundant energy-dense storage compounds in eukaryotes, and their metabolism plays a key role in cellular energy balance, lipid homeostasis, growth, and maintenance. Plants accumulate oils primarily in seeds and fruits. 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. Here, 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. PMID:26845499

  5. 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. PMID:26040756

  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. Highlighting functional groups in self-assembled overlayers with specific functionalized scanning tunnelling microscopy tips

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volcke, Cedric; Simonis, Priscilla; Thiry, Paul A.; Lambin, Philippe; Culot, Christine; Humbert, Christophe

    2005-11-01

    Overlayers of a fatty acid (palmitic and lauric acid) formed at the interface between a solution of this molecule in phenyloctane and the basal plane of graphite are studied by in situ scanning tunnelling microscopy. The layers organize into lamellae, which are formed by a close packing arrangement of molecules parallel to the graphite surface. Chemical modification of the STM tips used allowed identification of the functional group. Indeed, the gold tips used are functionalized with 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (4-MBA) and 4-mercaptotoluene (4-MT). The same functional group on a sample is then 'seen' as a dark and a bright spot when imaged with 4-MBA and 4-MT modified tips, respectively. This contrast distinction is related to interactions (or a lack of them) between the carboxyl group on the sample and molecules on the tip, which can facilitate (or hinder) the electron tunnelling.

  8. Sleeping functional group drives coral-reef recovery.

    PubMed

    Bellwood, David R; Hughes, Terry P; Hoey, Andrew S

    2006-12-19

    The world's coral reefs are in decline, with many exhibiting a phase shift from coral to macroalgal dominance . This change is often associated with habitat loss and overharvesting of herbivorous fishes, particularly parrotfishes and surgeonfishes . The challenge is to reverse this decline and enhance the resilience of coral-reef ecosystems . We demonstrate, by using a large-scale experimentally induced phase shift, that the rapid reversal from a macroalgal-dominated to a coral- and epilithic algal-dominated state was not a result of herbivory by parrotfishes or surgeonfishes. Surprisingly, phase-shift reversal was primarily driven by a single batfish species (Platax pinnatus), a fish previously regarded as an invertebrate feeder. The 43 herbivorous fishes in the local fauna played only a minor role, suggesting that biodiversity may not offer the protection we hoped for in complex ecosystems. Our findings highlight the dangers faced by coral reefs and other threatened complex ecosystems: Species or functional groups that prevent phase shifts may not be able to reverse phase shifts once they occur. Nevertheless, reversal is possible. The critical issue is to identify and protect those groups that underpin the resilience and regeneration of complex ecosystems.

  9. Biosynthesis, regulation and functions of tocochromanols in plants.

    PubMed

    Mène-Saffrané, Laurent; DellaPenna, Dean

    2010-05-01

    Tocopherols and tocotrienols have been originally identified as essential nutrients in mammals based on their vitamin E activity. These lipid-soluble compounds are potent antioxidants that protect polyunsaturated fatty acids from lipid peroxidation. The biosynthesis of tocopherols and tocotrienols occurs exclusively in photosynthetic organisms. The biosynthetic precursors and the different pathway intermediates have been identified by biochemical studies and the different vitamin E biosynthetic genes (VTE genes) have been isolated in several plants and cyanobacteria. The characterization of transgenic plants overexpressing one or multiple VTE genes combined with the study of vitamin E deficient mutants allows from now on understanding the regulation and the function of tocopherols and tocotrienols in plants.

  10. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  12. 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. PMID:27436829

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Evolutionary Relationships and Functional Diversity of Plant Sulfate Transporters

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Hideki; Buchner, Peter; Yoshimoto, Naoko; Hawkesford, Malcolm J.; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2011-01-01

    Sulfate is an essential nutrient cycled in nature. Ion transporters that specifically facilitate the transport of sulfate across the membranes are found ubiquitously in living organisms. The phylogenetic analysis of known sulfate transporters and their homologous proteins from eukaryotic organisms indicate two evolutionarily distinct groups of sulfate transport systems. One major group named Tribe 1 represents yeast and fungal SUL, plant SULTR, and animal SLC26 families. The evolutionary origin of SULTR family members in land plants and green algae is suggested to be common with yeast and fungal SUL and animal anion exchangers (SLC26). The lineage of plant SULTR family is expanded into four subfamilies (SULTR1–SULTR4) in land plant species. By contrast, the putative SULTR homologs from Chlorophyte green algae are in two separate lineages; one with the subfamily of plant tonoplast-localized sulfate transporters (SULTR4), and the other diverged before the appearance of lineages for SUL, SULTR, and SLC26. There also was a group of yet undefined members of putative sulfate transporters in yeast and fungi divergent from these major lineages in Tribe 1. The other distinct group is Tribe 2, primarily composed of animal sodium-dependent sulfate/carboxylate transporters (SLC13) and plant tonoplast-localized dicarboxylate transporters (TDT). The putative sulfur-sensing protein (SAC1) and SAC1-like transporters (SLT) of Chlorophyte green algae, bryophyte, and lycophyte show low degrees of sequence similarities with SLC13 and TDT. However, the phylogenetic relationship between SAC1/SLT and the other two families, SLC13 and TDT in Tribe 2, is not clearly supported. In addition, the SAC1/SLT family is absent in the angiosperm species analyzed. The present study suggests distinct evolutionary trajectories of sulfate transport systems for land plants and green algae. PMID:22629272

  16. How plant functional traits cascade to microbial function and ecosystem services in mountain grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavorel, S.; Grigulis, K.; Krainer, U.; Legay, N.; Turner, C.; Dumont, M.; Kastl, E.; Arnoldi, C.; Bardgett, R.; Poly, F.; Pommier, T.; Schloter, M.; Tappeiner, U.; Bahn, M.; Clément, J.-C.

    2012-04-01

    1. There is growing evidence that plant functional diversity and microbial communities of soil are tightly coupled, and that this coupling influences a range of ecosystem functions. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that changes in the nature of interactions between plant functional diversity and microbial communities along environmental gradients contributes to variation in the delivery of ecosystem services. Although there is empirical support for such relationships using broad plant and microbial functional classifications, or from studies of plant monocultures, such relationships and their consequences for ecosystem services have not been quantified under complex field conditions with diverse plant communities. 2. We aimed to provide an explicit quantification of how plant and microbial functional properties interplay to determine key ecosystem functions underlying ecosystem services provided by grasslands. At three mountain grassland sites in the French Alps, Austrian Tyrol and northern England, we quantified, along gradients of management intensity, (i) plant functional diversity, (ii) soil microbial community composition and parameters associated with nitrogen cycling, and (iii) key ecosystem processes related to the carbon and nitrogen cycles including aboveground biomass production, standing litter, litter decomposition, soil organic matter and nitrate and ammonium leaching . Considering that plants strongly determine microbial communities, we used a hierarchical approach that considered first direct effects of plant traits and then effects of soil microorganisms on processes, to determine the relative effects of plant and microbial functional parameters on key ecosystem properties. 3. We identified a gradient of relative effects of plant and microbial traits from properties controlled mostly by aboveground processes, such as plant biomass production and standing litter, to properties controlled mostly by microbial processes, such as soil leaching of

  17. The Cockayne syndrome group B protein is a functional dimer.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Mette; Thorslund, Tina; Jochimsen, Bjarne; Bohr, Vilhelm A; Stevnsner, Tinna

    2005-09-01

    Cockayne syndrome (CS) is a rare inherited human genetic disorder characterized by developmental abnormalities, UV sensitivity, and premature aging. The CS group B (CSB) protein belongs to the SNF2-family of DNA-dependent ATPases and is implicated in transcription elongation, transcription coupled repair, and base excision repair. It is a DNA stimulated ATPase and remodels chromatin in vitro. We demonstrate for the first time that full-length CSB positively cooperates in ATP hydrolysis as a function of protein concentration. We have investigated the quaternary structure of CSB using a combination of protein-protein complex trapping experiments and gel filtration, and found that CSB forms a dimer in solution. Chromatography studies revealed that enzymatically active CSB has an apparent molecular mass of approximately 360 kDa, consistent with dimerization of CSB. Importantly, in vivo protein cross-linking showed the presence of the CSB dimer in the nucleus of HeLa cells. We further show that dimerization occurs through the central ATPase domain of the protein. These results have implications for the mechanism of action of CSB, and suggest that other SNF2-family members might also function as dimers. PMID:16128801

  18. Haploid Strategies for Functional Validation of Plant Genes.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yaou; Pan, Guangtang; Lübberstedt, Thomas

    2015-10-01

    Increasing knowledge of plant genome sequences requires the development of more reliable and efficient genetic approaches for genotype-phenotype validation. Functional identification of plant genes is generally achieved by a combination of creating genetic modifications and observing the according phenotype, which begins with forward-genetic methods represented by random physical and chemical mutagenesis and move towards reverse-genetic tools as targeted genome editing. A major bottleneck is time need to produce modified homozygous genotypes that can actually be used for phenotypic validation. Herein, we comprehensively address and compare available experimental approaches for functional validation of plant genes, and propose haploid strategies to reduce the time needed and cost consumed for establishing gene function. PMID:26409779

  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. Structure and function of endosomes in plant cells.

    PubMed

    Contento, Anthony L; Bassham, Diane C

    2012-08-01

    Endosomes are a heterogeneous collection of organelles that function in the sorting and delivery of internalized material from the cell surface and the transport of materials from the Golgi to the lysosome or vacuole. Plant endosomes have some unique features, with an organization distinct from that of yeast or animal cells. Two clearly defined endosomal compartments have been studied in plant cells, the trans-Golgi network (equivalent to the early endosome) and the multivesicular body (equivalent to the late endosome), with additional endosome types (recycling endosome, late prevacuolar compartment) also a possibility. A model has been proposed in which the trans-Golgi network matures into a multivesicular body, which then fuses with the vacuole to release its cargo. In addition to basic trafficking functions, endosomes in plant cells are known to function in maintenance of cell polarity by polar localization of hormone transporters and in signaling pathways after internalization of ligand-bound receptors. These signaling functions are exemplified by the BRI1 brassinosteroid hormone receptor and by receptors for pathogen elicitors that activate defense responses. After endocytosis of these receptors from the plasma membrane, endosomes act as a signaling platform, thus playing an essential role in plant growth, development and defense responses. Here we describe the key features of plant endosomes and their differences from those of other organisms and discuss the role of these organelles in cell polarity and signaling pathways.

  1. 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

  2. Effects of Functional Groups and Sugar Composition of Quercetin Derivatives on Their Radical Scavenging Properties.

    PubMed

    Kato, Komei; Ninomiya, Masayuki; Tanaka, Kaori; Koketsu, Mamoru

    2016-07-22

    Quercetin derivatives are widespread in the plant kingdom and exhibit various biological actions. The aim of this study was to investigate the structure-activity relationships of quercetin derivatives, with a focus on the influence of functional groups and sugar composition on their antioxidant capacity. A series of quercetin derivatives were therefore prepared and assessed for their DPPH radical scavenging properties. Isoquercetin O-gallates were more potent radical scavengers than quercetin. The systematic analysis highlights the importance of the distribution of hydroxy substituents in isoquercetin O-gallates to their potency. PMID:27314621

  3. What makes plants different? Principles of extracellular matrix function in 'soft' plant tissues.

    PubMed

    Peters, W S; Hagemann, W; Deri Tomos, A

    2000-02-01

    An overview of the biomechanic and morphogenetic function of the plant extracellular matrix (ECM) in its primary state is given. ECMs can play a pivotal role in cellular osmo- and volume-regulation, if they enclose the cell hermetically and constrain hydrostatic pressure evoked by osmotic gradients between the cell and its environment. From an engineering viewpoint, such cell walls turn cells into hydraulic machines, which establishes a crucial functional differences between cell walls and other cellular surface structures. Examples of such hydraulic machineries are discussed. The function of cell walls in the control of pressure, volume, and shape establishes constructional evolutionary constraints, which can explain aspects commonly considered typical of plants (sessility, autotrophy). In plants, 'cell division' by insertion of a new cell wall is a process of internal cytoplasmic differentiation. As such it differs fundamentally from cell separation during cytokinesis in animals, by leaving the coherence of the dividing protoplast basically intact. The resulting symplastic coherence appears more important for plant morphogenesis than histological structure; similar morphologies are realized on the basis of distinct tissue architectures in different plant taxa. The shape of a plant cell is determined by the shape its cell wall attains under multiaxial tensile stress. Consequently, the development of form in plants is achieved by a differential plastic deformation of the complex ECM in response to this multiaxial force (hydrostatic pressure). Current concepts of the regulation of these deformation processes are briefly evaluated.

  4. Comparative functional genomics of plant pathogenic Fusarium species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fusarium species are among the most economically important group of plant pathogenic fungi. Comparison of the four currently available Fusarium genome sequences allows an unsurpassed and unprecedented ability to predict genes, determine synteny and define regulatory sequences for genes in phytopatho...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:23666030

  9. Tree species from different functional groups respond differently to environmental changes during establishment.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Eduardo R M; van Langevelde, Frank; Tomlinson, Kyle W; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Kirkman, Kevin; de Bie, Steven; Prins, Herbert H T

    2014-04-01

    Savanna plant communities change considerably across time and space. The processes driving savanna plant species diversity, coexistence and turnover along environmental gradients are still unclear. Understanding how species respond differently to varying environmental conditions during the seedling stage, a critical stage for plant population dynamics, is needed to explain the current composition of plant communities and to enable us to predict their responses to future environmental changes. Here we investigate whether seedling response to changes in resource availability, and to competition with grass, varied between two functional groups of African savanna trees: species with small leaves, spines and N-fixing associations (fine-leaved species), and species with broad leaves, no spines, and lacking N-fixing associations (broad-leaved species). We show that while tree species were strongly suppressed by grass, the effect of resource availability on seedling performance varied considerably between the two functional groups. Nutrient inputs increased stem length only of broad-leaved species and only under an even watering treatment. Low light conditions benefited mostly broad-leaved species' growth. Savannas are susceptible to ongoing global environment changes. Our results suggest that an increase in woody cover is only likely to occur in savannas if grass cover is strongly suppressed (e.g. by fire or overgrazing). However, if woody cover does increase, broad-leaved species will benefit most from the resulting shaded environments, potentially leading to an expansion of the distribution of these species. Eutrophication and changes in rainfall patterns may also affect the balance between fine- and broad-leaved species. PMID:24337711

  10. Expression and assembly of functional bacterial luciferase in plants

    PubMed Central

    Koncz, Csaba; Olsson, Olof; Langridge, William H. R.; Schell, Jeff; Szalay, Aladar A.

    1987-01-01

    The luxA and luxB structural genes of Vibrio harveyi luciferase [alkanal,reduced FMN:oxygen oxidoreductase (1-hydroxylating, luminescing), EC 1.14.14.3] were introduced into a plant expression vector and transferred into tobacco and carrot cells by Agrobacterium-mediated or direct DNA transformation. Simultaneous expression of the luxA and luxB genes was monitored by protein immunoblot analysis. Luciferase-mediated light emission provided evidence for the assembly of the two protein subunits into a functional dimeric enzyme in plant protoplasts, in transformed calli, and in leaves of transformed plants. Bacterial luciferase may provide a useful marker-gene system for the quantitative assay of coordinate gene expression in transgenic plants. Images PMID:16593793

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Mechanism and Function of Group II Chaperonins.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Tom; Dalton, Kevin; Frydman, Judith

    2015-09-11

    Protein folding in the cell requires the assistance of enzymes collectively called chaperones. Among these, the chaperonins are 1-MDa ring-shaped oligomeric complexes that bind unfolded polypeptides and promote their folding within an isolated chamber in an ATP-dependent manner. Group II chaperonins, found in archaea and eukaryotes, contain a built-in lid that opens and closes over the central chamber. In eukaryotes, the chaperonin TRiC/CCT is hetero-oligomeric, consisting of two stacked rings of eight paralogous subunits each. TRiC facilitates folding of approximately 10% of the eukaryotic proteome, including many cytoskeletal components and cell cycle regulators. Folding of many cellular substrates of TRiC cannot be assisted by any other chaperone. A complete structural and mechanistic understanding of this highly conserved and essential chaperonin remains elusive. However, recent work is beginning to shed light on key aspects of chaperonin function and how their unique properties underlie their contribution to maintaining cellular proteostasis. PMID:25936650

  14. Dissecting the cellular functions of plant microtubules using mutant tubulins.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Takashi

    2013-04-01

    α- and β-tubulins, the building blocks of the microtubule (MT) polymer, are encoded by multiple genes that are largely functionally redundant in plants. Null tubulin mutants are thus phenotypically indistinguishable from the wild type, but miss-sense or deletion mutations of critical amino acid residues that are important for the assembly, stability, or dynamics of the polymer disrupt the proper organization and function of the resultant MT arrays. Mutant tubulins co-assemble with wild-type tubulins into mutant MTs with compromised functions, and thus mechanistically act as dominant-negative MT poisons. Cortical MT arrays in interphase plant cells are most sensitive to tubulin mutations, and are transformed into helical structures or random orientation, which produce twisted or radially swollen cells. Mutant plants resistant to MT-targeted herbicides may possess tubulin mutations at the binding sites of the herbicides. Tubulin mutants are valuable tools for investigating how individual MTs are organized into particular patterns in cortical arrays, and for defining the functional contribution of MTs to various MT-dependent or -assisted cellular processes in plant cells.

  15. Two-phase functional redundancy in plant communities along a grazing gradient in Mongolian rangelands.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takehiro; Okubo, Satoru; Okayasu, Tomoo; Jamsran, Undarmaa; Ohkuro, Toshiya; Takeuchi, Kazuhiko

    2009-09-01

    The concept of functional redundancy is at the core of theory relating changes in ecosystem functioning to species loss. However, few empirical studies have investigated the strength and form of the relationship between species and functional diversity (i.e., the presence of functional redundancy in ecological communities) in this context. In particular, we know little about how local extinctions in real communities might impact functional diversity. Here, we examined the relationship between species and functional diversity in plant communities along a grazing gradient across Mongolian rangeland ecosystems. We applied a recently described measure of functional diversity that incorporates species' dissimilarities defined from plant functional traits and tested several hypothesized forms of the relationship between species and functional diversity using linear and nonlinear modeling techniques. We found a significant sigmoid logistic relationship between species richness and functional diversity in relatively benign environmental conditions. This indicates high functional redundancy at low levels of species richness followed by a rapid increase at intermediate levels, until functional diversity reaches an asymptote at high levels (i.e., two-phase functional redundancy). In contrast, we generally observed a positive linear relationship between these parameters in relatively harsh environmental conditions, indicating low functional redundancy. Observed functional redundancy probably resulted from two factors, intrinsic redundancy in species' functional traits and extrinsic redundancy caused by nonrandom compositional change that is nonrandom with respect to functional traits. Lack of either intrinsic or extrinsic redundancy may result in low functional redundancy. Two-phase functional redundancy suggests that functional traits are abruptly lost from a community below a certain level of species richness, and a community then shifts into a contrasting state that has a

  16. 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.

  17. Cadaverine's Functional Role in Plant Development and Environmental Response.

    PubMed

    Jancewicz, Amy L; Gibbs, Nicole M; Masson, Patrick H

    2016-01-01

    Cadaverine derives from lysine in a pathway that is distinct from that of the other well-characterized ornithine- or arginine-derived polyamines. Despite a multitude of studies in bacterial systems, cadaverine has garnered little attention in plant research. Nonetheless, many plants have been found to synthesize it. For instance, the Leguminosae have been shown to produce cadaverine and use it as a precursor in the biosynthesis of quinolizidine alkaloids, secondary metabolites that are involved in insect defense and also display therapeutic pharmacological properties. Cadaverine is also present in the environment; it can be produced by rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbes. Markedly, exogenous cadaverine application causes alterations in root-system architecture. Previous research suggests cadaverine has a role in stress response, with groups reporting an increase in content upon exposure to heat, drought, salt, and oxidative stress. However, data regarding the role of cadaverine in stress response remains conflicted, as some plant systems show enhanced tolerance to stresses in its presence, while others show increased sensitivity to the same stresses. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the role of cadaverine in plant growth, development, and stress response. We also address the possible roles rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbes may play in the delivery of exogenous cadaverine near plant organs, and discuss our current understanding of the molecular pathways that contribute to cadaverine homeostasis and response in plants. PMID:27446107

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Towards revealing the functions of all genes in plants.

    PubMed

    Rhee, Seung Yon; Mutwil, Marek

    2014-04-01

    The great recent progress made in identifying the molecular parts lists of organisms revealed the paucity of our understanding of what most of the parts do. In this review, we introduce computational and statistical approaches and omics data used for inferring gene function in plants, with an emphasis on network-based inference. We also discuss caveats associated with network-based function predictions such as performance assessment, annotation propagation, the guilt-by-association concept, and the meaning of hubs. Finally, we note the current limitations and possible future directions such as the need for gold standard data from several species, unified access to data and tools, quantitative comparison of data and tool quality, and high-throughput experimental validation platforms for systematic gene function elucidation in plants.

  2. Impact of Functional Group Modifications on Designer Phenethylamine Induced Hyperthermia.

    PubMed

    Grecco, Gregory G; Sprague, Jon E

    2016-05-16

    The popularity of designer phenethylamines such as synthetic cathinones ("bath salts") has led to increased reports of life-threatening hyperthermia. The diversity of chemical modifications has resulted in the toxicological profile of most synthetic cathinones being mostly uncharacterized. Here, we investigated the thermogenic effects of six recently identified designer phenethylamines (4-methylmethamphetamine, methylone, mephedrone, butylone, pentylone, and MDPV) and compared these effects to the established thermogenic agent 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Specifically, we determined the impact of a β-ketone, α-alkyl, or pyrrolidine functional group on core-body temperature changes. Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 5-6) were administered a dose (30 mg/kg, sc) of a designer phenethylamine or MDMA, and core body temperature measurements were recorded at 30 min intervals for 150 min post treatment. MDMA elicited the greatest maximum temperature change (ΔTmax), and this effect was significantly greater than that of its β-ketone analogue, methylone. Temperature-area under the curves (TAUCs) and ΔTmax were also significantly different between 4-methylmethamphetamine (4-MMA) and its β-ketone analogue mephedrone. Lengthening the α-alkyl chain of methylone to produce butylone and pentylone significantly attenuated the thermogenic response on both TAUCs and ΔTmax compared to those of methylone; however, butylone and pentylone were not different from each other. Pyrrolidine substitution on the N-terminus of pentylone produces 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), which did not significantly alter core body temperature. Thermogenic comparisons of MDMA vs methylone and 4-MMA vs mephedrone indicate that oxidation at the benzylic position significantly attenuates the hyperthermic response. Furthermore, either extending the α-alkyl chain to ethyl and propyl (butylone and pentylone, respectively) or extending the α-alkyl chain and adding a pyrrolidine on the N

  3. Detecting Functional Groups of Arabidopsis Mutants by Metabolic Profiling and Evaluation of Pleiotropic Responses

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Jörg; Börnke, Frederik; Schmiedl, Alfred; Kleine, Tatjana; Sonnewald, Uwe

    2011-01-01

    Metabolic profiles and fingerprints of Arabidopsis thaliana plants with various defects in plastidic sugar metabolism or photosynthesis were analyzed to elucidate if the genetic mutations can be traced by comparing their metabolic status. Using a platform of chromatographic and spectrometric tools data from untargeted full MS scans as well as from selected metabolites including major carbohydrates, phosphorylated intermediates, carboxylates, free amino acids, major antioxidants, and plastidic pigments were evaluated. Our key observations are that by multivariate statistical analysis each mutant can be separated by a unique metabolic signature. Closely related mutants come close. Thus metabolic profiles of sugar mutants are different but more similar than those of photosynthesis mutants. All mutants show pleiotropic responses mirrored in their metabolic status. These pleiotropic responses are typical and can be used for separating and grouping of the mutants. Our findings show that metabolite fingerprints can be taken to classify mutants and hence may be used to sort genes into functional groups. PMID:22639613

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  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. Prediction of functional sites in proteins using conserved functional group analysis.

    PubMed

    Innis, C Axel; Anand, A Prem; Sowdhamini, R

    2004-04-01

    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. PMID:15033369

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Synthesis and Function of Apocarotenoid Signals in Plants.

    PubMed

    Hou, Xin; Rivers, John; León, Patricia; McQuinn, Ryan P; Pogson, Barry J

    2016-09-01

    In plants, carotenoids are essential for photosynthesis and photoprotection. However, carotenoids are not the end products of the pathway; apocarotenoids are produced by carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCDs) or non-enzymatic processes. Apocarotenoids are more soluble or volatile than carotenoids but they are not simply breakdown products, as there can be modifications post-cleavage and their functions include hormones, volatiles, and signals. Evidence is emerging for a class of apocarotenoids, here referred to as apocarotenoid signals (ACSs), that have regulatory roles throughout plant development beyond those ascribed to abscisic acid (ABA) and strigolactone (SL). In this context we review studies of carotenoid feedback regulation, chloroplast biogenesis, stress signaling, and leaf and root development providing evidence that apocarotenoids may fine-tune plant development and responses to environmental stimuli. PMID:27344539

  17. Biosynthesis and possible functions of inositol pyrophosphates in plants.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. Recent Advances in Plant NLR Structure, Function, Localization, and Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Dong; Innes, Roger W.

    2013-01-01

    Nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins play a central role in the innate immune systems of plants and vertebrates. In plants, NLR proteins function as intracellular receptors that detect pathogen effector proteins directly, or indirectly by recognizing effector-induced modifications to other host proteins. NLR activation triggers a suite of defense responses associated with programed cell death (PCD). The molecular mechanisms underlying NLR activation, and how activation is translated into defense responses, have been particularly challenging to elucidate in plants. Recent reports, however, are beginning to shed some light. It is becoming clear that plant NLR proteins are targeted to diverse sub-cellular locations, likely depending on the locations where the effectors are detected. These reports also indicate that some NLRs re-localize following effector detection, while others do not, and such relocalization may reflect differences in signaling pathways. There have also been recent advances in understanding the structure of plant NLR proteins, with crystal structures now available for the N-terminal domains of two well-studied NLRs, a coiled-coil (CC) domain and a Toll-interleukin Receptor (TIR). Significant improvements in molecular modeling have enabled more informed structure-function studies, illuminating roles of intra- and inter-molecular interactions in NLR activation regulation. Several independent studies also suggest that intracellular trafficking is involved in NLR-mediated resistance. Lastly, progress is being made on identifying transcriptional regulatory complexes activated by NLRs. Current models for how plant NLR proteins are activated and how they induce defenses are discussed, with an emphasis on what remains to be determined. PMID:24155748

  1. 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.

  2. Recently discovered functions of glucosylceramides in plants and fungi.

    PubMed

    Warnecke, D; Heinz, E

    2003-05-01

    Glycosphingolipids are ubiquitous membrane lipids of eukaryotic organisms and a few bacteria. Whereas inositol-containing glycosphingolipids are restricted to plants and fungi, galactosylceramide occurs only in fungi and animals. In contrast, glucosylceramide is the unique glycosphingolipid which plants, fungi and animals have in common. However, there are specific differences in the structure of the ceramide backbone of glucosylceramides from these organisms. A comparison of the structural features and the biosynthesis of glucosylceramides from plants, fungi and animals will contribute to our understanding of their functions, which so far have been analysed mainly in animals. The availability of nearly all genes involved in the biosynthesis of glucosylceramides enables the specific manipulation of glycosphingolipid metabolism by techniques of forward and reverse genetics. Application of this approach to unicellular organisms like yeasts, multicellular filamentous fungi, as well as to complex organisms like plants will reveal common and different glucosylceramide functions in these organisms. These glycolipids play a role both in intracellular processes and in cell-to-cell interactions. These interactions may occur between cells of a multicellular organism or between cells of different species, as in host-pathogen interactions. PMID:12827281

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-20

    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.

  12. Use of morphological characteristics to define functional groups of predatory fishes in the Celtic Sea.

    PubMed

    Reecht, Y; Rochet, M-J; Trenkel, V M; Jennings, S; Pinnegar, J K

    2013-08-01

    An ecomorphological method was developed, with a focus on predation functions, to define functional groups in the Celtic Sea fish community. Eleven functional traits, measured for 930 individuals from 33 species, led to 11 functional groups. Membership of functional groups was linked to body size and taxonomy. For seven species, there were ontogenetic changes in group membership. When diet composition, expressed as the proportions of different prey types recorded in stomachs, was compared among functional groups, morphology-based predictions accounted for 28-56% of the interindividual variance in prey type. This was larger than the 12-24% of variance that could be explained solely on the basis of body size.

  13. 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.

  14. Application of the functionally generated path technique to restore mandibular molars in bilateral group function occlusion.

    PubMed

    DuVall, Nicholas B; Rogers, Paul M

    2013-04-01

    The functionally generated path (FGP) is a static representation of the opposing cusps' dynamic eccentric movements from a centric position to achieve optimal articulation and occlusal harmony. When understood and appreciated, use of the FGP technique is a straightforward and practical method to achieve harmonious occlusal anatomy of restorations with the anterior determinant/anterior guidance, the posterior determinant/condylar guidance, existing occlusal and cuspal anatomy, and the neuromuscular system. Although the FGP technique is normally used in the fabrication of maxillary posterior indirect restorations, it is described and applied here in the fabrication of mandibular posterior restorations that maintained the patient's bilateral group function occlusion while eliminating the nonworking side and protrusive interferences. This novel procedure involved the use of a stone crib to intraorally construct a stone core that captured the FGP recording while simultaneously indexing to the contralateral and ipsilateral mandibular dentition. This technique lends additional stability to the stone core to minimize error during the mounting process.

  15. Molecular and functional evolution of class I chitinases for plant carnivory in the caryophyllales.

    PubMed

    Renner, Tanya; Specht, Chelsea D

    2012-10-01

    Proteins produced by the large and diverse chitinase gene family are involved in the hydrolyzation of glycosidic bonds in chitin, a polymer of N-acetylglucosamines. In flowering plants, class I chitinases are important pathogenesis-related proteins, functioning in the determent of herbivory and pathogen attack by acting on insect exoskeletons and fungal cell walls. Within the carnivorous plants, two subclasses of class I chitinases have been identified to play a role in the digestion of prey. Members of these two subclasses, depending on the presence or absence of a C-terminal extension, can be secreted from specialized digestive glands found within the morphologically diverse traps that develop from carnivorous plant leaves. The degree of homology among carnivorous plant class I chitinases and the method by which these enzymes have been adapted for the carnivorous habit has yet to be elucidated. This study focuses on understanding the evolution of carnivory and chitinase genes in one of the major groups of plants that has evolved the carnivorous habit: the Caryophyllales. We recover novel class I chitinase homologs from species of genera Ancistrocladus, Dionaea, Drosera, Nepenthes, and Triphyophyllum, while also confirming the presence of two subclasses of class I chitinases based upon sequence homology and phylogenetic affinity to class I chitinases available from sequenced angiosperm genomes. We further detect residues under positive selection and reveal substitutions specific to carnivorous plant class I chitinases. These substitutions may confer functional differences as indicated by protein structure homology modeling.

  16. Molecular and functional evolution of class I chitinases for plant carnivory in the caryophyllales.

    PubMed

    Renner, Tanya; Specht, Chelsea D

    2012-10-01

    Proteins produced by the large and diverse chitinase gene family are involved in the hydrolyzation of glycosidic bonds in chitin, a polymer of N-acetylglucosamines. In flowering plants, class I chitinases are important pathogenesis-related proteins, functioning in the determent of herbivory and pathogen attack by acting on insect exoskeletons and fungal cell walls. Within the carnivorous plants, two subclasses of class I chitinases have been identified to play a role in the digestion of prey. Members of these two subclasses, depending on the presence or absence of a C-terminal extension, can be secreted from specialized digestive glands found within the morphologically diverse traps that develop from carnivorous plant leaves. The degree of homology among carnivorous plant class I chitinases and the method by which these enzymes have been adapted for the carnivorous habit has yet to be elucidated. This study focuses on understanding the evolution of carnivory and chitinase genes in one of the major groups of plants that has evolved the carnivorous habit: the Caryophyllales. We recover novel class I chitinase homologs from species of genera Ancistrocladus, Dionaea, Drosera, Nepenthes, and Triphyophyllum, while also confirming the presence of two subclasses of class I chitinases based upon sequence homology and phylogenetic affinity to class I chitinases available from sequenced angiosperm genomes. We further detect residues under positive selection and reveal substitutions specific to carnivorous plant class I chitinases. These substitutions may confer functional differences as indicated by protein structure homology modeling. PMID:22490823

  17. 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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Diversifying soybean production risk using maturity group and planting date choices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  20. 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)...

  1. 75 FR 41521 - Delphi Corporation, Automotive Holding Group, Instrument Cluster Plant, Currently Known as...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-16

    ..., including on-site leased workers from Securitas, EDS, Bartech and Mays Chemicals, Flint, Michigan. The... on-site at the Flint, Michigan location of Delphi Corporation. The Department has determined that... Holding Group, Instrument Cluster Plant, currently known as General Motors Corporation, Flint,...

  2. Soybean maturity group choices for early - and late - plantings in the US Midsouth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  3. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Plants used by a Quilombola group in Brazil with potential central nervous system effects.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Eliana; Carlini, E A

    2004-09-01

    This study focused on an ethnopharmacological survey among a group of Brazilian Quilombolas (descended from runaway slaves living in hideouts up-country) whose therapeutic practices involve a combination of healing ceremonies and prescription of medicinal plants consisting of the use of, at least, 48 plants with possible effect on the central nervous system (CNS), cited in 53 formulas prescribed for 17 therapeutic indications, the main ones being: to fortify the brain, for insomnia, as a sedative, for insanity, weight loss, and rejuvenation. The formulas consist of one to ten plants, and each plant may be recommended for up to seven different therapeutic indications, with evidence of non-specificity in the use of plants in this culture. Of these 48 plants, only 31 could be identified to the species level as belonging to 20 taxonomic families, with the Asteraceae, Malpighiaceae, Cyperaceae, and Myrtaceae as the most important families. Only eleven of these species have been previously studied and appear in scientific literature. Some of these plants are at present under study in the Department of Psychobiology of the Federal University of Sao Paulo.

  7. Functional-group specific aptamers indirectly recognizing compounds with alkyl amino group.

    PubMed

    Mei, Hongcheng; Bing, Tao; Yang, Xiaojuan; Qi, Cui; Chang, Tianjun; Liu, Xiangjun; Cao, Zehui; Shangguan, Dihua

    2012-09-01

    Aptamers are usually generated against a specific molecule. Their high selectivity makes them only suitable for studying specific targets. Since it is nearly impossible to generate aptamers for every molecule, it can be of great interest to select aptamers recognizing a common feature of a group of molecules in many applications. In this paper, we describe the selection of aptamers for indirect recognition of alkyl amino groups. Because amino groups are small and positive charged, we introduced a protection group, p-nitrobenzene sulfonyl (p-nosyl) to convert them into a form suitable for aptamer selection. Taking N(ε)-p-nosyl-L-lysine (PSL) as a target, we obtained a group of aptamers using the SELEX technique. Two optimized aptamers, M6b-M14 and M13a exhibit strong affinity to PSL with the K(d) values in the range of 2-5 μM. They also show strong affinity to other compounds containing p-nosyl-protected amino groups except those also possessing an α-carboxyl group. Both aptamers adopt an antiparallel G-quadruplex structure when binding to targets. An aptamer beacon based on M6b-M14 showed good selectivity toward the reaction mixture of p-nosyl-Cl and alkyl amino compounds, and could recognize lysine from amino acid mixtures indirectly, suggesting that aptamers against a common moiety of a certain type of molecules can potentially lead to many new applications. Through this study, we have demonstrated the ability to select aptamers for a specific part of an organic compound, and the chemical conversion approach may prove to be valuable for aptamer selection against molecules that are generally difficult for SELEX.

  8. Flavonoids as antioxidants in plants: location and functional significance.

    PubMed

    Agati, Giovanni; Azzarello, Elisa; Pollastri, Susanna; Tattini, Massimiliano

    2012-11-01

    Stress-responsive dihydroxy B-ring-substituted flavonoids have great potential to inhibit the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reduce the levels of ROS once they are formed, i.e., to perform antioxidant functions. These flavonoids are located within or in the proximity of centers of ROS generation in severely stressed plants. Efficient mechanisms have been recently identified for the transport of flavonoids from the endoplasmic reticulum, the site of their biosynthesis, to different cellular compartments. The mechanism underlying flavonoid-mediated ROS reduction in plants is still unclear. 'Antioxidant' flavonoids are found in the chloroplast, which suggests a role as scavengers of singlet oxygen and stabilizers of the chloroplast outer envelope membrane. Dihydroxy B-ring substituted flavonoids are present in the nucleus of mesophyll cells and may inhibit ROS-generation making complexes with Fe and Cu ions. The genes that govern the biosynthesis of antioxidant flavonoids are present in liverworts and mosses and are mostly up-regulated as a consequence of severe stress. This suggests that the antioxidant flavonoid metabolism is a robust trait of terrestrial plants. Vacuolar dihydroxy B-ring flavonoids have been reported to serve as co-substrates for vacuolar peroxidases to reduce H(2)O(2) escape from the chloroplast, following the depletion of ascorbate peroxidase activity. Antioxidant flavonoids may effectively control key steps of cell growth and differentiation, thus acting regulating the development of the whole plant and individual organs.

  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. 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. PMID:24771022

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Function of peroxisomes in plant-pathogen interactions.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Yasuyuki

    2013-01-01

    Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles of eukaryotic cells that accomplish a variety of biochemical functions, including β-oxidation of fatty acids, glyoxylate cycle, etc. Many reports have been accumulating that indicate peroxisome related metabolic functions are essential for pathogenic development of plant pathogenic fungi. They include peroxisome biogenesis proteins, peroxins and preferential destruction of peroxisomes, pexophagy. Gene disrupted mutants of anthracnose disease pathogen Colletotrichum orbiculare or rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae defective in peroxins or pexophagy showed deficiency in pathogenesis. Woronin body, a peroxisome related cellular organelle that is related to endurance of fungal cells against environmental damage has essential roles in pathogenesis of M. oryzae. Also, peroxisome related metabolisms such as β-oxidation and glyoxylate cycle are essential for pathogenesis in several plant pathogenic fungi. In addition, secondary metabolisms including polyketide melanin biosynthesis of C. orbiculare and M. oryzae, and host selective toxins produced by necrotrophic pathogen Alternaria alternata have pivotal roles in fungal pathogenesis. Every such factor was listed and their functions for pathogenesis were demonstrated (Table 18.1 and Fig. 18.1).

  15. Rectifying and negative differential resistance behaviors of a functionalized Tour wire: The position effects of functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwong, Gordon; Zhang, Zhenhua; Pan, Jinbo

    2011-09-01

    Based on Tour wire, we construct four D-π-A molecular devices with different positional functional groups, in an attempt to explore the position effects of functional groups on their electronic transport properties and to show that some interesting physical phenomena can emerge by only varying the position of functional groups. The first-principles calculations demonstrate that the position of functional groups can affect the rectifying behaviors (rectification direction and ratio) significantly and determines whether or not the negative differential resistance (NDR) can be observed as well as the physical origin of the NDR phenomenon.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. [Duffy blood group antigens: structure, serological properties and function].

    PubMed

    Łukasik, Ewa; Waśniowska, Kazimiera

    2016-01-01

    Duffy (Fy) blood group antigens are located on seven-transmembrane glycoprotein expressed on erythrocytes and endothelial cells, which acts as atypical chemokine receptor (ACKR1) and malarial receptor. The biological role of the Duffy glycoprotein has not been explained yet. It is suggested that Duffy protein modulate the intensity of the inflammatory response. The Duffy blood group system consists of two major antigens, Fy(a) and Fy(b), encoded by two codominant alleles designated FY*A and FY*B which differ by a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at position 125G>A of the FY gene that results in Gly42Asp amino acid change in the Fy(a) and Fy(b) antigens, respectively. The presence of antigen Fy(a) and/or Fy(b) on the erythrocytes determine three Duffy-positive phenotypes: Fy(a+b-), Fy(a-b+) and Fy(a+b+), identified in Caucasian population. The Duffy-negative phenotype Fy(a-b-), frequent in Africans, but very rare in Caucasians, is defined by the homozygous state of FY*B-33 alleles. The FY*B-33 allele is associated with a SNP -33T>C in the promoter region of the FY gene, which suppresses erythroid expression of this gene without affecting its expression in other tissues. The FY*X allele, found in Caucasians, is correlated with weak expression of Fy(b) antigen. Fy(x) antigen differs from the native Fy(b) by the Arg89Cys and Ala100Thr amino acid substitutions due to SNPs: 265C>T and 298G>A in FY*B allele. The frequency of the FY alleles shows marked geographic disparities, the FY*B-33 allele is predominant in Africans, the FY*B in Caucasians, while the FY*A allele is dominant in Asians and it is the most prevalent allele globally. PMID:26943312

  19. 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. PMID:25185980

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Proposed physiologic functions of boron in plants pertinent to animal and human metabolism.

    PubMed Central

    Blevins, D G; Lukaszewski, K M

    1994-01-01

    Boron has been recognized since 1923 as an essential micronutrient element for higher plants. Over the years, many roles for boron in plants have been proposed, including functions in sugar transport, cell wall synthesis and lignification, cell wall structure, carbohydrate metabolism, RNA metabolism, respiration, indole acetic acid metabolism, phenol metabolism and membrane transport. However, the mechanism of boron involvement in each case remains unclear. Recent work has focused on two major plant-cell components: cell walls and membranes. In both, boron could play a structural role by bridging hydroxyl groups. In membranes, it could also be involved in ion transport and redox reactions by stimulating enzymes like nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and reduced (NADH) oxidase. There is a very narrow window between the levels of boron required by and toxic to plants. The mechanisms of boron toxicity are also unknown. In nitrogen-fixing leguminous plants, foliarly applied boron causes up to a 1000% increase in the concentration of allantoic acid in leaves. In vitro studies show that boron inhibits the manganese-dependent allantoate amidohydrolase, and foliar application of manganese prior to application of boron eliminates allantoic acid accumulation in leaves. Interaction between borate and divalent cations like manganese may alter metabolic pathways, which could explain why higher concentrations of boron can be toxic to plants. PMID:7889877

  5. A Generalized Logistic Regression Procedure to Detect Differential Item Functioning among Multiple Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magis, David; Raiche, Gilles; Beland, Sebastien; Gerard, Paul

    2011-01-01

    We present an extension of the logistic regression procedure to identify dichotomous differential item functioning (DIF) in the presence of more than two groups of respondents. Starting from the usual framework of a single focal group, we propose a general approach to estimate the item response functions in each group and to test for the presence…

  6. 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

  7. Chloroplast Iron Transport Proteins - Function and Impact on Plant Physiology.

    PubMed

    López-Millán, Ana F; Duy, Daniela; Philippar, Katrin

    2016-01-01

    Chloroplasts originated about three billion years ago by endosymbiosis of an ancestor of today's cyanobacteria with a mitochondria-containing host cell. During evolution chloroplasts of higher plants established as the site for photosynthesis and thus became the basis for all life dependent on oxygen and carbohydrate supply. To fulfill this task, plastid organelles are loaded with the transition metals iron, copper, and manganese, which due to their redox properties are essential for photosynthetic electron transport. In consequence, chloroplasts for example represent the iron-richest system in plant cells. However, improvement of oxygenic photosynthesis in turn required adaptation of metal transport and homeostasis since metal-catalyzed generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) causes oxidative damage. This is most acute in chloroplasts, where radicals and transition metals are side by side and ROS-production is a usual feature of photosynthetic electron transport. Thus, on the one hand when bound by proteins, chloroplast-intrinsic metals are a prerequisite for photoautotrophic life, but on the other hand become toxic when present in their highly reactive, radical generating, free ionic forms. In consequence, transport, storage and cofactor-assembly of metal ions in plastids have to be tightly controlled and are crucial throughout plant growth and development. In the recent years, proteins for iron transport have been isolated from chloroplast envelope membranes. Here, we discuss their putative functions and impact on cellular metal homeostasis as well as photosynthetic performance and plant metabolism. We further consider the potential of proteomic analyses to identify new players in the field. PMID:27014281

  8. Functional groups grafted nonwoven fabrics for blood filtration-The effects of functional groups and wettability on the adhesion of leukocyte and platelet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Chao; Cao, Ye; Sun, Kang; Liu, Jiaxin; Wang, Hong

    2011-01-01

    In this work, the effects of grafted functional groups and surface wettability on the adhesion of leukocyte and platelet were investigated by the method of blood filtration. The filter materials, poly(butylene terephthalate) nonwoven fabrics bearing different functional groups including hydroxyl (OH), carboxyl (COOH), sulfonic acid group (SO3H) and zwitterionic sulfobetaine group (⊕N((CH3)2)(CH2)3SO3⊖) with controllable wettability were prepared by UV radiation grafting vinyl monomers with these functional groups. Our results emphasized that both surface functional groups and surface wettability had significant effects on the adhesion of leukocyte and platelet. In the case of filter materials with the same wettability, leukocytes adhering to filter materials decreased in the order: the surface bearing OH only > the surface bearing both OH and COOH > the surface bearing sulfobetaine group > the surface bearing SO3H, while platelets adhering to filter materials decreased as the following order: the surface bearing SO3H > the surface bearing both OH and COOH > the surface bearing OH only > the surface bearing sulfobetaine group. As the wettability of filter materials increased, both leukocyte and platelet adhesion to filter materials declined, except that leukocyte adhesion to the surface bearing OH only remained unchanged.

  9. Functional mapping of seasonal transition in perennial plants.

    PubMed

    Ye, Meixia; Jiang, Libo; Mao, Ke; Wang, Yaqun; Wang, Zhong; Wu, Rongling

    2015-05-01

    Unlike annuals, all perennial plants undergo seasonal transitions during ontogeny. As an adaptive response to seasonal changes in climate, the seasonal pattern of growth is likely to be under genetic control, although its underlying genetic basis remains unknown. Here, we develop a computational model that can map specific quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for seasonal transitions of growth in perennials. The model is founded on functional mapping, a statistical framework to map developmental dynamics, which is reformed to integrate a seasonally adjusted growth function. The new model is equipped with a capacity to characterize the genetic effects of QTLs on seasonal alternation at different ages and then to better elucidate the genetic architecture of development. The model is implemented with a series of testing procedures, including (i) how a QTL controls an overall ontogenetic growth curve, (ii) how the QTL determines seasonal trajectories of growth within years and (iii) how it determines the dynamic nature of age-specific season response. The model was validated through computer simulation. The extension of season adjustment to other types of biological curves is statistically straightforward, facilitating a wider variety of genetic studies into ontogenetic growth and development in perennial plants.

  10. 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.

  11. Functional traits explain variation in plant life history strategies.

    PubMed

    Adler, Peter B; Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Compagnoni, Aldo; Hsu, Joanna S; Ray-Mukherjee, Jayanti; Mbeau-Ache, Cyril; Franco, Miguel

    2014-01-14

    Ecologists seek general explanations for the dramatic variation in species abundances in space and time. An increasingly popular solution is to predict species distributions, dynamics, and responses to environmental change based on easily measured anatomical and morphological traits. Trait-based approaches assume that simple functional traits influence fitness and life history evolution, but rigorous tests of this assumption are lacking, because they require quantitative information about the full lifecycles of many species representing different life histories. Here, we link a global traits database with empirical matrix population models for 222 species and report strong relationships between functional traits and plant life histories. Species with large seeds, long-lived leaves, or dense wood have slow life histories, with mean fitness (i.e., population growth rates) more strongly influenced by survival than by growth or fecundity, compared with fast life history species with small seeds, short-lived leaves, or soft wood. In contrast to measures of demographic contributions to fitness based on whole lifecycles, analyses focused on raw demographic rates may underestimate the strength of association between traits and mean fitness. Our results help establish the physiological basis for plant life history evolution and show the potential for trait-based approaches in population dynamics.

  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. PMID:26700807

  13. Functional architecture of higher plant photosystem II supercomplexes

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. METALLICITY DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS OF FOUR LOCAL GROUP DWARF GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, Teresa L.; Holtzman, Jon; Saha, Abhijit; Anthony-Twarog, Barbara J. E-mail: holtz@nmsu.edu

    2015-06-15

    We present stellar metallicities in Leo I, Leo II, IC 1613, and Phoenix dwarf galaxies derived from medium (F390M) and broad (F555W, F814W) band photometry using the Wide Field Camera 3 instrument on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We measured metallicity distribution functions (MDFs) in two ways, (1) matching stars to isochrones in color–color diagrams and (2) solving for the best linear combination of synthetic populations to match the observed color–color diagram. The synthetic technique reduces the effect of photometric scatter and produces MDFs 30%–50% narrower than the MDFs produced from individually matched stars. We fit the synthetic and individual MDFs to analytical chemical evolution models (CEMs) to quantify the enrichment and the effect of gas flows within the galaxies. Additionally, we measure stellar metallicity gradients in Leo I and II. For IC 1613 and Phoenix our data do not have the radial extent to confirm a metallicity gradient for either galaxy. We find the MDF of Leo I (dwarf spheroidal) to be very peaked with a steep metal-rich cutoff and an extended metal-poor tail, while Leo II (dwarf spheroidal), Phoenix (dwarf transition), and IC 1613 (dwarf irregular) have wider, less peaked MDFs than Leo I. A simple CEM is not the best fit for any of our galaxies; therefore we also fit the “Best Accretion Model” of Lynden-Bell. For Leo II, IC 1613, and Phoenix we find similar accretion parameters for the CEM even though they all have different effective yields, masses, star formation histories, and morphologies. We suggest that the dynamical history of a galaxy is reflected in the MDF, where broad MDFs are seen in galaxies that have chemically evolved in relative isolation and narrowly peaked MDFs are seen in galaxies that have experienced more complicated dynamical interactions concurrent with their chemical evolution.

  15. Head-group acylation of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol is a common stress response, but the acyl-galactose acyl composition varies with the plant species and applied stress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  16. Diversity in in-group bias: structural factors, situational features, and social functions.

    PubMed

    Scheepers, Daan; Spears, Russell; Doosje, Bertjan; Manstead, Antony S R

    2006-06-01

    Four experiments addressed the different forms and functions of in-group bias in different contexts. The authors proposed 2 functions: an identity-expressive function and an instrumental function (or promotion of positive social change). The authors manipulated status differentials, the stability of these differences, and the communication context (intra- vs. intergroup) and measured in-group bias and both functions. As predicted, identity expression via in-group bias on symbolic measures was most important for stable, high-status groups. By contrast, material in-group bias for instrumental motives was most prevalent in unstable, low-status groups but only when communicating with in-group members. This latter effect illustrates the strategic adaptation of group behavior to audience (i.e., displaying in-group bias may provoke the out-group and be counterproductive in instrumental terms). Stable, low-status groups displayed more extreme forms of in-group bias for instrumental reasons regardless of communication context (i.e., they had nothing to lose). Results are discussed in terms of a contextual-functional approach to in-group bias.

  17. Group structure and weighting function effects on neutron penetration through thick sodium-iron shields

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, C.Y.; Ingersoll, D.T.

    1987-01-01

    The effects of group structures and weighting functions on neutron penetration through a thick Na-Fe geometry are studied. The recommended broad-group (61-neutron/23-gamma-ray) and few-group (22-neutron/10-gamma-ray) structures are tailored to the sodium and iron resonances, windows, and capture gamma-ray spectra. The best weighting functions are shown to be fine-group fluxes selected from a few key locations in the geometry. These group structures and weighting functions, relative to existing group structures and conventional weighting functions, improve the accuracy of the computed 61-neutron-group Bonner ball responses by up to one hundred percent and of the computed 22-neutron-group results by up to six hundred percent.

  18. Use of the Nosyl Group as a Functional Protecting Group in Applications of a Michael/Smiles Tandem Process.

    PubMed

    Coulibali, Siomenan; Godou, Timothé; Canesi, Sylvain

    2016-09-01

    Concise preparations of elaborated polycyclic and heterocyclic systems present in natural products were obtained using the nosyl group as a functional protecting group not only to mask the reactivity of a sensitive moiety but also to provide a structure desired in the final target. The group is transferred to the substrate during deprotection through a novel extension of the Truce-Smiles rearrangement in tandem with a 1,4-addition. This strategy provides access to a ring system laden with valuable functionalities for subsequent manipulations and can serve as a versatile building block for the construction of more complex molecular architectures such as indoles in a manner compatible with the concepts of green chemistry and atom economy. PMID:27513700

  19. 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.

  20. Structure and putative function of NFX1-like proteins in plants.

    PubMed

    Müssig, C; Schröder, F; Usadel, B; Lisso, J

    2010-05-01

    The human NFX1 transcription factor constitutes a group of NFX1-type zinc finger proteins. It forms a central Cys-rich region with several NFX1-type zinc finger domains that have been shown to mediate DNA binding. Proteins with NFX1-type zinc fingers are found in protists, fungi, animals and plants, and may be ubiquitous in eukaryotes. This review discusses the structure and putative roles of NFX1-like proteins, with a focus on human NFX1 and Arabidopsis NFXL1 proteins. By means of manual sequence analysis and application of hidden Markov models, we demonstrate that NFX1-like proteins form a specific RING finger motif with a C(4)HC(3) Zn ligand signature and additional distinct features, suggesting that these proteins function as E3 ubiquitin ligases. Phylogenetic analysis revealed different clades of NFX1-like proteins. The plant proteins group into two distinct clades. The genomes of plants such as rice, Arabidopsis, poplar and grapevine encode one member of each clade, suggesting that the presence of two NFX1-like factors is sufficient in flowering plants. The Arabidopsis proteins presumably fine-tune opposed biotic and abiotic stress response pathways.

  1. Melatonin in Plants - Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions.

    PubMed

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N (1)-acetyl-N (2)-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity. PMID:26925091

  2. The Plant Mitochondrial Carrier Family: Functional and Evolutionary Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Haferkamp, Ilka; Schmitz-Esser, Stephan

    2012-01-01

    Mitochondria play a key role in respiration and energy production and are involved in multiple eukaryotic but also in several plant specific metabolic pathways. Solute carriers in the inner mitochondrial membrane connect the internal metabolism with that of the surrounding cell. Because of their common basic structure, these transport proteins affiliate to the mitochondrial carrier family (MCF). Generally, MCF proteins consist of six membrane spanning helices, exhibit typical conserved domains and appear as homodimers in the native membrane. Although structurally related, MCF proteins catalyze the specific transport of various substrates, such as nucleotides, amino acids, dicarboxylates, cofactors, phosphate or H+. Recent investigations identified MCF proteins also in several other cellular compartments and therefore their localization and physiological function is not only restricted to mitochondria. MCF proteins are a characteristic feature of eukaryotes and bacterial genomes lack corresponding sequences. Therefore, the evolutionary origin of MCF proteins is most likely associated with the establishment of mitochondria. It is not clear whether the host cell, the symbiont, or the chimerical organism invented the ancient MCF sequence. Here, we try to explain the establishment of different MCF proteins and focus on the characteristics of members from plants, in particular from Arabidopsis thaliana. PMID:22639632

  3. Functional Groups Based on Leaf Physiology: Are they Spatially and Temporally Robust?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, Tammy E.; Brooks, J. Renee; Quincy, Charles (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The functional grouping hypothesis, which suggests that complexity in function can be simplified by grouping species with similar responses, was tested in the Florida scrub habitat. Functional groups were identified based on how species in fire maintained FL scrub function in terms of carbon, water and nitrogen dynamics. The suite of physiologic parameters measured to determine function included both instantaneous gas exchange measurements obtained from photosynthetic light response curves and integrated measures of function. Using cluster analysis, five distinct physiologically-based functional groups were identified. Using non-parametric multivariate analyses, it was determined that these five groupings were not altered by plot differences or by the three different management regimes; prescribed burn, mechanically treated and burn, and fire-suppressed. The physiological groupings also remained robust between the two years 1999 and 2000. In order for these groupings to be of use for scaling ecosystem processes, there needs to be an easy-to-measure morphological indicator of function. Life form classifications were able to depict the physiological groupings more adequately than either specific leaf area or leaf thickness. THe ability of life forms to depict the groupings was improved by separating the parasitic Ximenia americana from the shrub category.

  4. Effect of Planting Date and Maturity Group on Soybean Yield Response to Injury by Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae).

    PubMed

    Blount, J L; Buntin, G D; Roberts, P M

    2016-02-01

    The kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (F.), is an invasive member of the family Plataspidae originating from Asia. Since its discovery in Georgia in 2009, its distribution has increased to 13 southern and eastern states. In the United States, M. cribraria is bivoltine and has two primary developmental hosts, kudzu and soybean. Here, we evaluated the yield response of soybean to M. cribraria feeding injury in relation to planting date and soybean maturity group. The study contained four replicated trials in Griffin, Tifton, and Midville, GA, in 2012 and 2013. Four planting dates from April to July, served as the whole plot of a split-plot design with maturity group five and seven soybean and insecticide (lambda-cyhalothrin) randomized within planting date. Egg masses, nymphs, and adults were enumerated weekly to biweekly until soybean reached maturity. Two generations were observed in April and May plantings, but only one generation was evident in June and July soybean plantings. Insecticide-protected plots had consistently higher yields than unprotected plots. Grain yield was greatest in the May planting and lowest in the July planting. Season-long feeding by M. cribraria reduced grain yield in April, May, and June plantings but not in the July planting. Maturity group and planting date had significant effects on yield components in most comparisons. This study indicated that early-planted soybean are at greater risk of yield loss from M. cribraria injury compared with later-planted soybean.

  5. Effect of Planting Date and Maturity Group on Soybean Yield Response to Injury by Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae).

    PubMed

    Blount, J L; Buntin, G D; Roberts, P M

    2016-02-01

    The kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (F.), is an invasive member of the family Plataspidae originating from Asia. Since its discovery in Georgia in 2009, its distribution has increased to 13 southern and eastern states. In the United States, M. cribraria is bivoltine and has two primary developmental hosts, kudzu and soybean. Here, we evaluated the yield response of soybean to M. cribraria feeding injury in relation to planting date and soybean maturity group. The study contained four replicated trials in Griffin, Tifton, and Midville, GA, in 2012 and 2013. Four planting dates from April to July, served as the whole plot of a split-plot design with maturity group five and seven soybean and insecticide (lambda-cyhalothrin) randomized within planting date. Egg masses, nymphs, and adults were enumerated weekly to biweekly until soybean reached maturity. Two generations were observed in April and May plantings, but only one generation was evident in June and July soybean plantings. Insecticide-protected plots had consistently higher yields than unprotected plots. Grain yield was greatest in the May planting and lowest in the July planting. Season-long feeding by M. cribraria reduced grain yield in April, May, and June plantings but not in the July planting. Maturity group and planting date had significant effects on yield components in most comparisons. This study indicated that early-planted soybean are at greater risk of yield loss from M. cribraria injury compared with later-planted soybean. PMID:26511984

  6. [Responses of plant functional traits and soil factors to slope aspect in alpine meadow of South Gansu, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Min-Xi, Liu; Jian-Zu, Ma

    2012-12-01

    This paper studied the plant functional traits, soil factors, and their relationships at different slope aspects in the alpine meadow of South Gansu. On the sunny slope, grasses were the dominant functional groups; while on the shady slope, forbs and shrubs dominated. The plant community biomass was significantly higher on shady slope than on sunny slope, while the leaf N/P ratio was in adverse. The leaf phosphorus content, specific leaf area, and plant average height at different slope aspects were in the order of shady slope > partial shady slope > sunny slope, whereas the leaf nitrogen content on different slopes had less difference. The survival strategies of the vegetations on sunny and shady slopes had great changes, reflecting in the differences in the plant leaf traits and dominant functional groups. Soil temperature was in the order of sunny slope > partial shady slope > shady slope, while soil water content was in the order of shady slope > partial shady slope > sunny slope. Soil total phosphorus content increased from the sunny slope to the shady slope, while the other soil nutrients contents showed the sequence of shady slope > sunny slope > partial shady slope. The specific leaf area and plant average height were significantly positively correlated to the soil organic carbon, total phosphorous, and water contents, and significantly negatively correlated to soil pH. Soil water content and soil pH co-affected the distribution patterns of plant functional traits and soil nutrients at different slope aspects of alpine meadow.

  7. [Response of Phytoplankton Functional Groups to Eutrophication in Summer at Xiaoguan Reservoir].

    PubMed

    Li, Lei; Li, Qiu-hua; Jiao, Shu-lin; Li, Yue; Xiao, Jing; Deng, Long; Sun, Rong-guo; Gao, Yong-chun; Luo, Lan

    2015-12-01

    Hydrology and Water Resources Bureau of Guizhou Province, Guiyang 550002, China) Abstract: In order to explore the distribution characteristics of phytoplankton functional groups, eutrophication characteristics and response of phytoplankton functional groups to eutrophication in Xiaoguan Reservoir, phytoplankton and water samples were taken once a week from 25th July 2014 to 27th September 2014. The results showed that there were 22 phytoplankton functional groups, groups S1, D, J, B, G, MP, L₀, SN, X1, Y, Xph, F, T and W1 were comparatively common functional groups, Wherein, S1, D and J were the dominant functional groups. Weekly dynamics of phytoplankton functional groups were: S1-->S1-->S1-->S1-->S1--S1-->S1-->J/D/S1-->Sl1- >/1D. group Sl1dominated over other groups, the cell abundance of S1 appeared two peaks at week 5 and week 7 respectively, but there was a slump at week 8, and rose again at last, compared to two peaks before, the cell abundance had dropped from 10⁸cells · L⁻¹ to 10⁷cells · L⁻¹ Water flush caused by discharge gate opening artificially was the main reason. Based on the three methods of eutrophication evaluation, the water was in moderately eutrophic and eutrophic states in Xiaoguan Reservoir in the summer of 2014. Multivariate analysis (RDA) indicated transparency was the main factor affecting the distribution of phytoplankton functional groups, and nutrients were no longer the limiting factor. The study suggested that phytoplankton functional groups could make a good response to eutrophication: groups S1 and J adapted to the turbid eutrophic water bodies, D adapted to shallow turbid waters and was sensitive to nutrient depletion. Also, common functional groups like G, X1, WW1 F etc. mostly adapted to eutrophic water bodies.

  8. A Protein Phosphorylation Threshold for Functional Stacking of Plant Photosynthetic Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Fristedt, Rikard; Granath, Pontus; Vener, Alexander V.

    2010-01-01

    Phosphorylation of photosystem II (PSII) proteins affects macroscopic structure of thylakoid photosynthetic membranes in chloroplasts of the model plant Arabidopsis. In this study, light-scattering spectroscopy revealed that stacking of thylakoids isolated from wild type Arabidopsis and the mutant lacking STN7 protein kinase was highly influenced by cation (Mg++) concentrations. The stacking of thylakoids from the stn8 and stn7stn8 mutants, deficient in STN8 kinase and consequently in light-dependent phosphorylation of PSII, was increased even in the absence of Mg++. Additional PSII protein phosphorylation in wild type plants exposed to high light enhanced Mg++-dependence of thylakoid stacking. Protein phosphorylation in the plant leaves was analyzed during day, night and prolonged darkness using three independent techniques: immunoblotting with anti-phosphothreonine antibodies; Diamond ProQ phosphoprotein staining; and quantitative mass spectrometry of peptides released from the thylakoid membranes by trypsin. All assays revealed dark/night-induced increase in phosphorylation of the 43 kDa chlorophyll-binding protein CP43, which compensated for decrease in phosphorylation of the other PSII proteins in wild type and stn7, but not in the stn8 and stn7stn8 mutants. Quantitative mass spectrometry determined that every PSII in wild type and stn7 contained on average 2.5±0.1 or 1.4±0.1 phosphoryl groups during day or night, correspondingly, while less than every second PSII had a phosphoryl group in stn8 and stn7stn8. It is postulated that functional cation-dependent stacking of plant thylakoid membranes requires at least one phosphoryl group per PSII, and increased phosphorylation of PSII in plants exposed to high light enhances stacking dynamics of the photosynthetic membranes. PMID:20532038

  9. Plant aldo-keto reductases (AKRs) as multi-tasking soldiers involved in diverse plant metabolic processes and stress defense: A structure-function update.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Debashree; Naik, Dhiraj; Reddy, Attipalli R

    2015-05-01

    The aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily comprises of a large number of primarily monomeric protein members, which reduce a broad spectrum of substrates ranging from simple sugars to potentially toxic aldehydes. Plant AKRs can be broadly categorized into four important functional groups, which highlight their roles in diverse plant metabolic reactions including reactive aldehyde detoxification, biosynthesis of osmolytes, secondary metabolism and membrane transport. Further, multiple overlapping functional aspects of plant AKRs including biotic and abiotic stress defense, production of commercially important secondary metabolites, iron acquisition from soil, plant-microbe interactions etc. are discussed as subcategories within respective major groups. Owing to the broad substrate specificity and multiple stress tolerance of the well-characterized AKR4C9 from Arabidopsis thaliana, protein sequences of all the homologues of AKR4C9 (A9-like proteins) from forty different plant species (Phytozome database) were analyzed. The analysis revealed that all A9-like proteins possess strictly conserved key catalytic residues (D-47, Y-52 and K-81) and belong to the pfam00248 and cl00470 AKR superfamilies. Based on structural homology of the three flexible loops of AKR4C9 (Loop A, B and C) responsible for broad substrate specificity, A9-like proteins found in Brassica rapa, Phaseolus vulgaris, Cucumis sativus, Populus trichocarpa and Solanum lycopersicum were predicted to have a similar range of substrate specificity. Thus, plant AKRs can be considered as potential breeding targets for developing stress tolerant varieties in the future. The present review provides a consolidated update on the current research status of plant AKRs with an emphasis on important functional aspects as well as their potential future prospects and an insight into the overall structure-function relationships of A9-like proteins.

  10. Plant aldo-keto reductases (AKRs) as multi-tasking soldiers involved in diverse plant metabolic processes and stress defense: A structure-function update.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Debashree; Naik, Dhiraj; Reddy, Attipalli R

    2015-05-01

    The aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily comprises of a large number of primarily monomeric protein members, which reduce a broad spectrum of substrates ranging from simple sugars to potentially toxic aldehydes. Plant AKRs can be broadly categorized into four important functional groups, which highlight their roles in diverse plant metabolic reactions including reactive aldehyde detoxification, biosynthesis of osmolytes, secondary metabolism and membrane transport. Further, multiple overlapping functional aspects of plant AKRs including biotic and abiotic stress defense, production of commercially important secondary metabolites, iron acquisition from soil, plant-microbe interactions etc. are discussed as subcategories within respective major groups. Owing to the broad substrate specificity and multiple stress tolerance of the well-characterized AKR4C9 from Arabidopsis thaliana, protein sequences of all the homologues of AKR4C9 (A9-like proteins) from forty different plant species (Phytozome database) were analyzed. The analysis revealed that all A9-like proteins possess strictly conserved key catalytic residues (D-47, Y-52 and K-81) and belong to the pfam00248 and cl00470 AKR superfamilies. Based on structural homology of the three flexible loops of AKR4C9 (Loop A, B and C) responsible for broad substrate specificity, A9-like proteins found in Brassica rapa, Phaseolus vulgaris, Cucumis sativus, Populus trichocarpa and Solanum lycopersicum were predicted to have a similar range of substrate specificity. Thus, plant AKRs can be considered as potential breeding targets for developing stress tolerant varieties in the future. The present review provides a consolidated update on the current research status of plant AKRs with an emphasis on important functional aspects as well as their potential future prospects and an insight into the overall structure-function relationships of A9-like proteins. PMID:25840343

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Structure and function studies on enzymes with a catalytic carboxyl group(s): from ribonuclease T1 to carboxyl peptidases

    PubMed Central

    TAKAHASHI, Kenji

    2013-01-01

    A group of enzymes, mostly hydrolases or certain transferases, utilize one or a few side-chain carboxyl groups of Asp and/or Glu as part of the catalytic machinery at their active sites. This review follows mainly the trail of studies performed by the author and his colleagues on the structure and function of such enzymes, starting from ribonuclease T1, then extending to three major types of carboxyl peptidases including aspartic peptidases, glutamic peptidases and serine-carboxyl peptidases. PMID:23759941

  15. 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

  16. Geometries of functional group interactions in enzyme-ligand complexes: guides for receptor modelling.

    PubMed

    Tintelnot, M; Andrews, P

    1989-03-01

    An approach is described which makes use of X-ray structural data from enzyme-ligand complexes in order to obtain information for application in receptor modelling. The atomic surroundings of five different ligand functional groups were determined for all complex structures recorded in the Brookhaven Protein Data Bank. These atomic surroundings were then superimposed with respect to the atoms of the functional groups of the ligands in order to obtain clouds of neighbouring atoms. General principles were sought to describe the orientation or favoured position of groups or atoms around those functional groups when bound to a macromolecule. Some simple conclusions and leads for further modelling were thus derived.

  17. 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).

  18. Macroevolutionary trends of atomic composition and related functional group proportion in eukaryotic and prokaryotic proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu-Juan; Yang, Chun-Lin; Hao, You-Jin; Li, Ying; Chen, Bin; Wen, Jian-Fan

    2014-01-25

    To fully explore the trends of atomic composition during the macroevolution from prokaryote to eukaryote, five atoms (oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen) and related functional groups in prokaryotic and eukaryotic proteins were surveyed and compared. Genome-wide analysis showed that eukaryotic proteins have more oxygen, sulfur and nitrogen atoms than prokaryotes do. Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG) analysis revealed that oxygen, sulfur, carbon and hydrogen frequencies are higher in eukaryotic proteins than in their prokaryotic orthologs. Furthermore, functional group analysis demonstrated that eukaryotic proteins tend to have higher proportions of sulfhydryl, hydroxyl and acylamino, but lower of sulfide and carboxyl. Taken together, an apparent trend of increase was observed for oxygen and sulfur atoms in the macroevolution; the variation of oxygen and sulfur compositions and their related functional groups in macroevolution made eukaryotic proteins carry more useful functional groups. These results will be helpful for better understanding the functional significances of atomic composition evolution.

  19. 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

  20. Designing Invasion Resistant Plant Communities: The Role of Plant Functional Traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  1. Biogeographical boundaries, functional group structure and diversity of Rocky Shore communities along the Argentinean coast.

    PubMed

    Wieters, Evie A; McQuaid, Christopher; Palomo, Gabriela; Pappalardo, Paula; Navarrete, Sergio A

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the extent to which functional structure and spatial variability of intertidal communities coincide with major biogeographical boundaries, areas where extensive compositional changes in the biota are observed over a limited geographic extension. We then investigate whether spatial variation in the biomass of functional groups, over geographic (10's km) and local (10's m) scales, could be associated to species diversity within and among these groups. Functional community structure expressed as abundance (density, cover and biomass) and composition of major functional groups was quantified through field surveys at 20 rocky intertidal shores spanning six degrees of latitude along the southwest Atlantic coast of Argentina and extending across the boundaries between the Argentinean and Magellanic Provinces. Patterns of abundance of individual functional groups were not uniformly matched with biogeographical regions. Only ephemeral algae showed an abrupt geographical discontinuity coincident with changes in biogeographic boundaries, and this was limited to the mid intertidal zone. We identified 3-4 main 'groups' of sites in terms of the total and relative abundance of the major functional groups, but these did not coincide with biogeographical boundaries, nor did they follow latitudinal arrangement. Thus, processes that determine the functional structure of these intertidal communities are insensitive to biogeographical boundaries. Over both geographical and local spatial scales, and for most functional groups and tidal levels, increases in species richness within the functional group was significantly associated to increased total biomass and reduced spatial variability of the group. These results suggest that species belonging to the same functional group are sufficiently uncorrelated over space (i.e. metres and site-to-site ) to stabilize patterns of biomass variability and, in this manner, provide a buffer, or "insurance", against spatial variability

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2012-06-01

    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.

  4. 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

    2012-06-01

    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. PMID:22513094

  5. Respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function tests in security and safety products plant workers

    PubMed Central

    Balbay, Ege Gulec; Toru, Umran; Arbak, Peri; Balbay, Oner; Suner, Kezban Ozmen; Annakkaya, Ali Nihat

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Lock and key factory workers are under the risk of metal pneumoconiosis and occupational asthma. In this cross-sectional study, it’s aimed to evaluate the relationship between metal dust exposure and respiratory symptoms, pulmonary function tests of workers in different section of lock and key factory. Methods: 54 male workers (mean age, 32.8 ± 5.4) in a security and safety products plant were evaluated for respiratory symptoms, pulmonary function tests and smoking habits. Results have been interpreted by comparison of the painting (28/54) and grinding group workers (26/54). Results: There was no significant difference between painting (32.1 ± 4.8) and grinding (33.6 ± 6.1) groups regarding mean age (P > 0.05). Smokers were in significantly higher in grinding group (18/26). Cough and sputum were reported 14.3% (4/28) in painting and 3.8% (1/26) in grinding workers (P > 0.05). Chest tightness was seen in 7.1% and 7.7% of painting and grinding workers, respectively (P > 0.05). But no chest tightness was reported in both groups when they were away work. Breathlessness was seen in 10.7% and 7.7% of painting and grinding workers, respectively (P > 0.05). Breathlessness was similar in both groups (7.1% vs. 3.8%) when they were away work. When comparing painting and grinding workers respiratory functions no significant difference observed. Chest radiography in painting and grinding workers showed hyperlucency (3.6% vs.11.4%), respectively. Conclusion: Painting groups in lock and key factory workers had more but statistically insignificantrespiratory complaints. Interestingly, chest tightness was only observed when both groups were at work. It was thought that ventilation and using personal protective equipment in factory could provide significant benefits. PMID:25126195

  6. Recent Advances in the Emission and Functions of Plant Vegetative Volatiles.

    PubMed

    Dong, Fang; Fu, Xiumin; Watanabe, Naoharu; Su, Xinguo; Yang, Ziyin

    2016-01-01

    Plants synthesize and emit a large variety of volatile organic compounds, which possess extremely important ecological functions. In most case, most plant volatiles are liquids, rather than gases, at room temperature. Some volatiles are emitted "on demand" when plants, especially vegetative parts, are exposed to abiotic or biotic stress. In this review, we summarize some of the highlights of plant vegetative volatile emission and functions research published during the past few years. PMID:26805805

  7. Use of the Sequence Rule for Indexing Functional Groups in Organic Compounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hudrlik, Paul F.

    1973-01-01

    A new method of indexing functional groups in organic compounds is described, utilizing the Cahn-Ingold-Prelog sequence rule. Functional carbon atoms are first classified by functionality, a measure of the oxidation state, then ordered by means of a modified sequence rule. Substructure searching and other applications are discussed. (30…

  8. Biogeographical Boundaries, Functional Group Structure and Diversity of Rocky Shore Communities along the Argentinean Coast

    PubMed Central

    Wieters, Evie A.; McQuaid, Christopher; Palomo, Gabriela; Pappalardo, Paula; Navarrete, Sergio A.

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the extent to which functional structure and spatial variability of intertidal communities coincide with major biogeographical boundaries, areas where extensive compositional changes in the biota are observed over a limited geographic extension. We then investigate whether spatial variation in the biomass of functional groups, over geographic (10′s km) and local (10′s m) scales, could be associated to species diversity within and among these groups. Functional community structure expressed as abundance (density, cover and biomass) and composition of major functional groups was quantified through field surveys at 20 rocky intertidal shores spanning six degrees of latitude along the southwest Atlantic coast of Argentina and extending across the boundaries between the Argentinean and Magellanic Provinces. Patterns of abundance of individual functional groups were not uniformly matched with biogeographical regions. Only ephemeral algae showed an abrupt geographical discontinuity coincident with changes in biogeographic boundaries, and this was limited to the mid intertidal zone. We identified 3–4 main ‘groups’ of sites in terms of the total and relative abundance of the major functional groups, but these did not coincide with biogeographical boundaries, nor did they follow latitudinal arrangement. Thus, processes that determine the functional structure of these intertidal communities are insensitive to biogeographical boundaries. Over both geographical and local spatial scales, and for most functional groups and tidal levels, increases in species richness within the functional group was significantly associated to increased total biomass and reduced spatial variability of the group. These results suggest that species belonging to the same functional group are sufficiently uncorrelated over space (i.e. metres and site-to-site ) to stabilize patterns of biomass variability and, in this manner, provide a buffer, or “insurance”, against spatial

  9. Long-term warming alters richness and composition of taxonomic and functional groups of arctic fungi.

    PubMed

    Geml, József; Morgado, Luis N; Semenova, Tatiana A; Welker, Jeffrey M; Walker, Marilyn D; Smets, Erik

    2015-08-01

    Fungi, including symbionts, pathogens and decomposers, play crucial roles in community dynamics and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Despite their ecological importance, the response of most arctic fungi to climate warming is unknown, so are their potential roles in driving the observed and predicted changes in tundra communities. We carried out deep DNA sequencing of soil samples to study the long-term effects of experimental warming on fungal communities in dry heath and moist tussock tundra in Arctic Alaska. The data presented here indicate that fungal community composition responds strongly to warming in the moist tundra, but not in the dry tundra. While total fungal richness was not significantly affected by warming, there were clear correlations among operational taxonomic unit richness of various ecological and taxonomic groups and long-term warming. Richness of ectomycorrhizal, ericoid mycorrhizal and lichenized fungi generally decreased with warming, while richness of saprotrophic, plant and animal pathogenic, and root endophytic fungi tended to increase in the warmed plots. More importantly, various taxa within these functional guilds followed opposing trends that highlight the importance of species-specific responses to warming. We recommend that species-level ecological differences be taken into account in climate change and nutrient cycling studies that involve arctic fungi. PMID:26253509

  10. Long-term warming alters richness and composition of taxonomic and functional groups of arctic fungi.

    PubMed

    Geml, József; Morgado, Luis N; Semenova, Tatiana A; Welker, Jeffrey M; Walker, Marilyn D; Smets, Erik

    2015-08-01

    Fungi, including symbionts, pathogens and decomposers, play crucial roles in community dynamics and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Despite their ecological importance, the response of most arctic fungi to climate warming is unknown, so are their potential roles in driving the observed and predicted changes in tundra communities. We carried out deep DNA sequencing of soil samples to study the long-term effects of experimental warming on fungal communities in dry heath and moist tussock tundra in Arctic Alaska. The data presented here indicate that fungal community composition responds strongly to warming in the moist tundra, but not in the dry tundra. While total fungal richness was not significantly affected by warming, there were clear correlations among operational taxonomic unit richness of various ecological and taxonomic groups and long-term warming. Richness of ectomycorrhizal, ericoid mycorrhizal and lichenized fungi generally decreased with warming, while richness of saprotrophic, plant and animal pathogenic, and root endophytic fungi tended to increase in the warmed plots. More importantly, various taxa within these functional guilds followed opposing trends that highlight the importance of species-specific responses to warming. We recommend that species-level ecological differences be taken into account in climate change and nutrient cycling studies that involve arctic fungi.

  11. Bacterial associates of arboreal ants and their putative functions in an obligate ant-plant mutualism.

    PubMed

    Eilmus, Sascha; Heil, Martin

    2009-07-01

    Bacterial communities are highly diverse and have great ecological importance. In the present study, we used an in silico analysis of terminal restriction fragments (tRF) to characterize the bacterial community of the plant ant Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus. This species is an obligate inhabitant of Acacia myrmecophytes and feeds exclusively on plant-derived food sources. Ants are the dominant insect group in tropical rain forests. Associations of ants with microbes, which contribute particularly to the ants' nitrogen nutrition, could allow these insects to live on mostly or entirely plant-based diets and could thus contribute to the explanation of the high abundances that are reached by tropical ants. We found tRF patterns representing at least 30 prokaryotic taxa, of which the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Planctomycetes, Proteobacteria, and Spirochaetes comprised 93%. Because most bacterial taxa were found in all ant-derived samples studied and because the bacteria detected on the ants' host plant revealed little overlap with this community, we regard our results as reliably representing the bacterial community that is associated with P. ferrugineus. Genera with a likely function as ant symbionts were Burkholderia, Pantoea, Weissella, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. The presence of these and various other groups was confirmed via independent PCR and cultivation approaches. Many of the bacteria that we detected belong to purportedly N-fixing taxa. Bacteria may represent important further partners in ant-plant mutualisms, and their influences on ant nutrition can contribute to the extraordinary abundance and evolutionary success of tropical arboreal ants. PMID:19447959

  12. Succession of phytoplankton functional groups regulated by monsoonal hydrology in a large canyon-shaped reservoir.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Li-Juan; Wang, Tian; Hu, Ren; Han, Bo-Ping; Wang, Sheng; Qian, Xin; Padisák, Judit

    2011-10-15

    Liuxihe reservoir is a deep, monomictic, oligo-mesotrophic canyon-reservoir in the subtropical monsoon climate region of southern China. Phytoplankton functional groups in the reservoir were investigated and a comparison made between the succession observed in 2008, an exceptionally wet year, and 2009, an average year. The reservoir shows strong annual fluctuations in water level caused by monsoon rains and artificial drawdown. Altogether 28 functional groups of phytoplankton were identified, including 79 genera. Twelve of the groups were analyzed in detail using redundancy analysis. Because of the oligo-mesotrophic and P-limited condition of the reservoir, the dominant functional groups were those tolerant of nutrient (phosphorus) deficiency. The predominant functional groups in the succession process were Groups A (Cyclotella with greatest axial linear dimension<10 μm), B (Cyclotella with greatest axial linear dimension>10 μm), LO (Peridinium), LM (Ceratium and Microcystis), E (Dinobryon and Mallomonas), F (Botryococcus), X1 (Ankistrodesmus, Ankyra, Chlorella and Monoraphidium) and X2 (Chlamydomonas and Chroomonas). The development of groups A, B and LO was remarkably seasonal. Group A was dominant during stratification, when characteristic small size and high surface/volume ratio morphology conferred an advantage. Group LO was dominant during dry stratification, when motility was advantageous. Group B plankton exhibited a high relative biomass during periods of reduced euphotic depth and isothermy. Groups LM, E, F, X1 and X2 occasionally exhibited high relative biomasses attributable to specific environmental events (e.g. drawdown, changes in zooplankton community). A greater diversity of phytoplankton functional groups was apparent during isothermy. This study underscores the usefulness of functional algal groups in studying succession in subtropical impoundments, in which phytoplankton succession can be significantly affected by external factors such as

  13. Using Phylogenetic, Functional and Trait Diversity to Understand Patterns of Plant Community Productivity

    PubMed Central

    Cadotte, Marc W.; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Tilman, David; Oakley, Todd H.

    2009-01-01

    Background Two decades of research showing that increasing plant diversity results in greater community productivity has been predicated on greater functional diversity allowing access to more of the total available resources. Thus, understanding phenotypic attributes that allow species to partition resources is fundamentally important to explaining diversity-productivity relationships. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we use data from a long-term experiment (Cedar Creek, MN) and compare the extent to which productivity is explained by seven types of community metrics of functional variation: 1) species richness, 2) variation in 10 individual traits, 3) functional group richness, 4) a distance-based measure of functional diversity, 5) a hierarchical multivariate clustering method, 6) a nonmetric multidimensional scaling approach, and 7) a phylogenetic diversity measure, summing phylogenetic branch lengths connecting community members together and may be a surrogate for ecological differences. Although most of these diversity measures provided significant explanations of variation in productivity, the presence of a nitrogen fixer and phylogenetic diversity were the two best explanatory variables. Further, a statistical model that included the presence of a nitrogen fixer, seed weight and phylogenetic diversity was a better explanation of community productivity than other models. Conclusions Evolutionary relationships among species appear to explain patterns of grassland productivity. Further, these results reveal that functional differences among species involve a complex suite of traits and that perhaps phylogenetic relationships provide a better measure of the diversity among species that contributes to productivity than individual or small groups of traits. PMID:19479086

  14. Preference for different inorganic nitrogen forms among plant functional types and species of the Patagonian steppe.

    PubMed

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E; Yahdjian, Laura

    2013-11-01

    We have explored species-specific preferences for nitrate (NO3(-)) and ammonium (NH4(+)) as an alternative niche separation in ecosystems where nitrogen (N) is present mostly in inorganic forms. The Patagonian steppe is dominated by shrubs and grasses. Shrubs absorb water and nutrients from deep soil layers, which are poor in N, while grasses have the opposite pattern, absorbing most of their water and nutrients from the upper layers of the soil. We hypothesized that the preferences of shrub and grass for inorganic N forms are different and that the rate of potential N uptake is greater in shrubs than in grasses. To test this hypothesis, we grew individuals of six dominant species in solutions of different NH4(+):NO3(-) concentration ratios. Nitrate uptake was found to be higher in shrubs, while ammonium uptake was similar between plant functional types. The NH4(+):NO3(-) uptake ratio was significantly lower for shrubs than grasses. Shrubs, which under field conditions have deeper rooting systems than grasses, showed a higher N absorption capacity than grasses and a preference for the more mobile N form, nitrate. Grasses, which had lower N uptake rates than shrubs, preferred ammonium over nitrate. These complementary patterns between grasses and shrubs suggest a more thorough exploitation of resources by diverse ecosystems than those dominated by just one functional type. The loss of one plant functional group or a significant change in its abundance would therefore represent a reduction in resource use efficiency and ecosystem functioning. PMID:23812108

  15. Renormalization group functions for two-dimensional phase transitions: To the problem of singular contributions

    SciTech Connect

    Pogorelov, A. A.; Suslov, I. M.

    2007-08-15

    According to the available publications, the field theoretical renormalization group approach in the two-dimensional case gives the critical exponents that differ from the known exact values. This property is associated with the existence of nonanalytic contributions in the renormalization group functions. The situation is analyzed in this work using a new algorithm for summing divergent series that makes it possible to determine the dependence of the results for the critical exponents on the expansion coefficients for the renormalization group functions. It has been shown that the exact values of all the exponents can be obtained with a reasonable form of the coefficient functions. These functions have small nonmonotonic sections or inflections, which are poorly reproduced in natural interpolations. It is not necessary to assume the existence of singular contributions in the renormalization group functions.

  16. 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

  17. The Hidden World within Plants: Ecological and Evolutionary Considerations for Defining Functioning of Microbial Endophytes.

    PubMed

    Hardoim, Pablo R; van Overbeek, Leonard S; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stéphane; Campisano, Andrea; Döring, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela

    2015-09-01

    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.

  18. Variation in plant traits explains much of the global biogeographic patterns of distribution of major forest functional types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Xingjie; Wang, Ying-Ping; Reich, Peter; Wright, Ian; Dai, Yongjiu

    2015-04-01

    Contrasting foliage types (needle and broad leaf) and phenological habits (deciduous and evergreen) represent different adaptive strategies of trees, which can be quantified by the differences in a number of key plant traits. Previous studies have used vegetation models to explain adaptive advantage of different strategies as represented by the mean values of those key plant traits for each plant functional types, and are unable to explain the co-existence of multiple plant functional types in the absence of disturbance. However significant variations and co-variations among those key plant traits that have been observed within a plant functional type may have significant implication on the simulated competition among different plant functional types. Here we use the Australian Community Atmosphere-Biosphere-Land Exchange model (CABLE) to explore whether the observed key plant traits (leaf life span, leaf carbon allocation fraction, basal respiration rate of plant tissue, and leaf C:N ratio) can explain the observed co-existence of four forest types (evergreen or deciduous, needle leaf or broad leaf forests) globally. To incorporate the intra-specific variation of plant traits into the model, we run four groups of ensemble simulations, with each group including only one PFT prescribed in all forested land cells. Then we calculate the annual NPP at each one-degree forested land cell for each of 200 parameter sets that are randomly generated from the observed mean and variances of those key plant traits. Using NPP as a proxy for fitness, we calculate the probability of a forest PFT with higher NPP than all other three forest PFTs for each forested land cell by comparing each of 200 NPP estimates of a forest PFT with the NPP estimates of all other three forest PFTs. Assuming that probability is proportional to area abundance, we then compare the estimated abundance of all four forest types with the estimates from remote sensing. Overall our results captured the global

  19. Charge transfer, chemical potentials, and the nature of functional groups: answers from quantum chemical topology.

    PubMed

    Pendás, A Martín; Francisco, E; Blanco, M A

    2007-01-01

    We analyze the response of a quantum group within a molecule to charge transfer by using the interacting quantum atoms approach (IQA), an energy partitioning scheme within the quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAM). It is shown that this response lies at the core of the concept of the functional group. The manipulation of fractional electron populations is carried out by using distribution functions for the electron number within the quantum basins. Several test systems are studied to show that similar chemical potential groups are characterized by similar energetic behavior upon interaction with other groups. The origin of the empirical additivity rules for group energies in simple hydrocarbons is also investigated. It turns out to rest on the independent saturation of both the self-energies and the interaction energies of the groups as the size of the chain increases. We also show that our results are compatible with the standard group energies of the QTAM.

  20. Conserved regulatory mechanism controls the development of cells with rooting functions in land plants

    PubMed Central

    Tam, Thomas Ho Yuen; Catarino, Bruno; Dolan, Liam

    2015-01-01

    Land plants develop filamentous cells—root hairs, rhizoids, and caulonemata—at the interface with the soil. Members of the group XI basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) transcription factors encoded by LOTUS JAPONICUS ROOTHAIRLESS1-LIKE (LRL) genes positively regulate the development of root hairs in the angiosperms Lotus japonicus, Arabidopsis thaliana, and rice (Oryza sativa). Here we show that auxin promotes rhizoid and caulonema development by positively regulating the expression of PpLRL1 and PpLRL2, the two LRL genes in the Physcomitrella patens genome. Although the group VIII bHLH proteins, AtROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE6 and AtROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE1, promote root-hair development by positively regulating the expression of AtLRL3 in A. thaliana, LRL genes promote rhizoid development independently of PpROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE1 and PpROOT HAIR DEFECITVE SIX-LIKE2 (PpRSL1 and PpRSL2) gene function in P. patens. Together, these data demonstrate that both LRL and RSL genes are components of an ancient auxin-regulated gene network that controls the development of tip-growing cells with rooting functions among most extant land plants. Although this network has diverged in the moss and the angiosperm lineages, our data demonstrate that the core network acted in the last common ancestor of the mosses and angiosperms that existed sometime before 420 million years ago. PMID:26150509

  1. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. . PMID:27008777

  2. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. .

  3. Functional abilities of cultivable plant growth promoting bacteria associated with wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) crops

    PubMed Central

    Moreira, Fernanda da S.; da Costa, Pedro B.; de Souza, Rocheli; Beneduzi, Anelise; Lisboa, Bruno B.; Vargas, Luciano K.; Passaglia, Luciane M. P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract In the pursuit of sustainable agriculture, bioinoculants usage as providers of a crop's needs is a method to limit environmental damage. In this study, a collection of cultivable putative plant growth promoting (PGP) bacteria associated with wheat crops was obtained and this bacterial sample was characterized in relation to the functional diversity of certain PGP features. The isolates were obtained through classical cultivation methods, identified by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing and characterized for PGP traits of interest. Functional diversity characterization was performed using Categorical Principal Component Analysis (CatPCA) and Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA). The most abundant genera found among the 346 isolates were Pseudomonas, Burkholderia, and Enterobacter. Occurrence of PGP traits was affected by genus, niche, and sampling site. A large number of genera grouped together with the ability to produce indolic compounds; phosphate solubilization and siderophores production formed a second group related to fewer genera, in which the genus Burkholderia has a great importance. The results obtained may help future studies aiming prospection of putative plant growth promoting bacteria regarding the desired organism and PGP trait. PMID:27007904

  4. Conserved regulatory mechanism controls the development of cells with rooting functions in land plants.

    PubMed

    Tam, Thomas Ho Yuen; Catarino, Bruno; Dolan, Liam

    2015-07-21

    Land plants develop filamentous cells-root hairs, rhizoids, and caulonemata-at the interface with the soil. Members of the group XI basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors encoded by LOTUS JAPONICUS ROOTHAIRLESS1-LIKE (LRL) genes positively regulate the development of root hairs in the angiosperms Lotus japonicus, Arabidopsis thaliana, and rice (Oryza sativa). Here we show that auxin promotes rhizoid and caulonema development by positively regulating the expression of PpLRL1 and PpLRL2, the two LRL genes in the Physcomitrella patens genome. Although the group VIII bHLH proteins, AtROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE6 and AtROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE1, promote root-hair development by positively regulating the expression of AtLRL3 in A. thaliana, LRL genes promote rhizoid development independently of PpROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE1 and PpROOT HAIR DEFECITVE SIX-LIKE2 (PpRSL1 and PpRSL2) gene function in P. patens. Together, these data demonstrate that both LRL and RSL genes are components of an ancient auxin-regulated gene network that controls the development of tip-growing cells with rooting functions among most extant land plants. Although this network has diverged in the moss and the angiosperm lineages, our data demonstrate that the core network acted in the last common ancestor of the mosses and angiosperms that existed sometime before 420 million years ago. PMID:26150509

  5. Planting molecular functions in an ecological context with Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Krämer, Ute

    2015-01-01

    The vascular plant Arabidopsis thaliana is a central genetic model and universal reference organism in plant and crop science. The successful integration of different fields of research in the study of A. thaliana has made a large contribution to our molecular understanding of key concepts in biology. The availability and active development of experimental tools and resources, in combination with the accessibility of a wealth of cumulatively acquired knowledge about this plant, support the most advanced systems biology approaches among all land plants. Research in molecular ecology and evolution has also brought the natural history of A. thaliana into the limelight. This article showcases our current knowledge of the natural history of A. thaliana from the perspective of the most closely related plant species, providing an evolutionary framework for interpreting novel findings and for developing new hypotheses based on our knowledge of this plant. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06100.001 PMID:25807084

  6. Divergence of function in sequence-related groups of Escherichia coli proteins.

    PubMed

    Nahum, L A; Riley, M

    2001-08-01

    The most prominent mechanism of molecular evolution is believed to have been duplication and divergence of genes. Proteins that belong to sequence-related groups in any one organism are candidates to have emerged from such a process and to share a common ancestor. Groups of proteins in Escherichia coli having sequence similarity are mostly composed of proteins with closely related function, but some groups comprise proteins with unrelated functions. In order to understand how function can change while sequences remain similar, we have examined some of these groups in detail. The enzymes analyzed in this work include representatives of amidotransferases, phosphotransferases, decarboxylases, and others. Most sequence-related groups contain enzymes that are in the same classes of Enzyme Commission (EC) numbers. We have concentrated on groups that are heterogeneous in that respect, and also on groups containing more than one enzyme of any pathway. We find that although the EC number may differ, the reaction chemistry of these sequence-related proteins is the same or very similar. Some of these families illustrate how diversification has taken place in evolution, using common features of either reaction chemistry or ligand specificity, or both, to create catalysts for different kinds of biochemical reactions. This information has relevance to the area of functional genomics in which the activities of gene products of unknown reading frames are attributed by analogy to the functions of sequence-related proteins of known function.

  7. Unique determination of the effective potential in terms of renormalization group functions

    SciTech Connect

    Chishtie, F. A.; Hanif, T.; McKeon, D. G. C.; Steele, T. G.

    2008-03-15

    The perturbative effective potential V in the massless {lambda}{phi}{sup 4} model with a global O(N) symmetry is uniquely determined to all orders by the renormalization group functions alone when the Coleman-Weinberg renormalization condition (d{sup 4}V/d{phi}{sup 4})|{sub {phi}}{sub ={mu}}={lambda} is used, where {mu} represents the renormalization scale. Systematic methods are developed to express the n-loop effective potential in the Coleman-Weinberg scheme in terms of the known n-loop minimal-subtraction (MS) renormalization group functions. Moreover, it also proves possible to sum the leading- and subsequent-to-leading-logarithm contributions to V. An essential element of this analysis is a conversion of the renormalization group functions in the Coleman-Weinberg scheme to the renormalization group functions in the MS scheme. As an example, the explicit five-loop effective potential is obtained from the known five-loop MS renormalization group functions and we explicitly sum the leading-logarithm, next-to-leading-logarithm, and further subleading-logarithm contributions to V. Extensions of these results to massless scalar QED are also presented. Because massless scalar QED has two couplings, conversion of the renormalization group functions from the MS scheme to the Coleman-Weinberg scheme requires the use of multiscale renormalization group methods.

  8. Functional traits predict relationship between plant abundance dynamic and long-term climate warming.

    PubMed

    Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A; Elumeeva, Tatiana G; Onipchenko, Vladimir G; Shidakov, Islam I; Salpagarova, Fatima S; Khubiev, Anzor B; Tekeev, Dzhamal K; Cornelissen, Johannes H C

    2013-11-01

    Predicting climate change impact on ecosystem structure and services is one of the most important challenges in ecology. Until now, plant species response to climate change has been described at the level of fixed plant functional types, an approach limited by its inflexibility as there is much interspecific functional variation within plant functional types. Considering a plant species as a set of functional traits greatly increases our possibilities for analysis of ecosystem functioning and carbon and nutrient fluxes associated therewith. Moreover, recently assembled large-scale databases hold comprehensive per-species data on plant functional traits, allowing a detailed functional description of many plant communities on Earth. Here, we show that plant functional traits can be used as predictors of vegetation response to climate warming, accounting in our test ecosystem (the species-rich alpine belt of Caucasus mountains, Russia) for 59% of variability in the per-species abundance relation to temperature. In this mountain belt, traits that promote conservative leaf water economy (higher leaf mass per area, thicker leaves) and large investments in belowground reserves to support next year's shoot buds (root carbon content) were the best predictors of the species increase in abundance along with temperature increase. This finding demonstrates that plant functional traits constitute a highly useful concept for forecasting changes in plant communities, and their associated ecosystem services, in response to climate change. PMID:24145400

  9. Functional traits predict relationship between plant abundance dynamic and long-term climate warming

    PubMed Central

    Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A.; Elumeeva, Tatiana G.; Onipchenko, Vladimir G.; Shidakov, Islam I.; Salpagarova, Fatima S.; Khubiev, Anzor B.; Tekeev, Dzhamal K.; Cornelissen, Johannes H. C.

    2013-01-01

    Predicting climate change impact on ecosystem structure and services is one of the most important challenges in ecology. Until now, plant species response to climate change has been described at the level of fixed plant functional types, an approach limited by its inflexibility as there is much interspecific functional variation within plant functional types. Considering a plant species as a set of functional traits greatly increases our possibilities for analysis of ecosystem functioning and carbon and nutrient fluxes associated therewith. Moreover, recently assembled large-scale databases hold comprehensive per-species data on plant functional traits, allowing a detailed functional description of many plant communities on Earth. Here, we show that plant functional traits can be used as predictors of vegetation response to climate warming, accounting in our test ecosystem (the species-rich alpine belt of Caucasus mountains, Russia) for 59% of variability in the per-species abundance relation to temperature. In this mountain belt, traits that promote conservative leaf water economy (higher leaf mass per area, thicker leaves) and large investments in belowground reserves to support next year’s shoot buds (root carbon content) were the best predictors of the species increase in abundance along with temperature increase. This finding demonstrates that plant functional traits constitute a highly useful concept for forecasting changes in plant communities, and their associated ecosystem services, in response to climate change. PMID:24145400

  10. Functional traits predict relationship between plant abundance dynamic and long-term climate warming.

    PubMed

    Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A; Elumeeva, Tatiana G; Onipchenko, Vladimir G; Shidakov, Islam I; Salpagarova, Fatima S; Khubiev, Anzor B; Tekeev, Dzhamal K; Cornelissen, Johannes H C

    2013-11-01

    Predicting climate change impact on ecosystem structure and services is one of the most important challenges in ecology. Until now, plant species response to climate change has been described at the level of fixed plant functional types, an approach limited by its inflexibility as there is much interspecific functional variation within plant functional types. Considering a plant species as a set of functional traits greatly increases our possibilities for analysis of ecosystem functioning and carbon and nutrient fluxes associated therewith. Moreover, recently assembled large-scale databases hold comprehensive per-species data on plant functional traits, allowing a detailed functional description of many plant communities on Earth. Here, we show that plant functional traits can be used as predictors of vegetation response to climate warming, accounting in our test ecosystem (the species-rich alpine belt of Caucasus mountains, Russia) for 59% of variability in the per-species abundance relation to temperature. In this mountain belt, traits that promote conservative leaf water economy (higher leaf mass per area, thicker leaves) and large investments in belowground reserves to support next year's shoot buds (root carbon content) were the best predictors of the species increase in abundance along with temperature increase. This finding demonstrates that plant functional traits constitute a highly useful concept for forecasting changes in plant communities, and their associated ecosystem services, in response to climate change.

  11. Delineation of plant caleosin residues critical for functional divergence, positive selection and coevolution

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    analyses revealed that caleosins were under positive selection during evolution, and seven candidate amino acid sites (70R, 74G, 88 L, 89G, 100 K, 106A, 107S) for positive selection were identified. Interestingly, the critical amino acid residues of functional divergence and positive selection were mainly located in C-terminal domain. Finally, three groups of coevolved amino acid sites were identified. Among these coevolved sites, seven from group 2 were located in the Ca2+-binding region of crucial importance. Conclusion In this study, the evolutionary and expansion patterns of the caleosin gene family were predicted, and a series of amino acid sites relevant to their functional divergence, adaptive evolution, and coevolution were identified. These findings provide data to facilitate further functional analysis of caleosin gene families in the plant lineage. PMID:24913827

  12. Functional groups and elemental analyses of cuticular morphotypes of Cordaites principalis (Germar) Geinitz, Carboniferous Maritimes Basin, Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zodrow, E.L.; Mastalerz, Maria; Orem, W.H.; Simunek, Z.; Bashforth, A.R.

    2000-01-01

    Well-preserved cuticles were isolated from Cordaites principalis (Germar) Geinitz leaf compressions, i.e., foliage from extinct gymnosperm trees Coniferophyta: Order Cordaitales. The specimens were collected from the Sydney. Stellarton and Bay St. George subbasins of the once extensive Carboniferous Maritimes Basin of Atlantic Canada. Fourier transformation of infrared spectra (FTIR) and elemental analyses indicate that the ca. 300-306-million-year-old fossil cuticles share many of the functional groups observed in modern cuticles. The similarities of the functional groups in each of the three cuticular morphotypes studied support the inclusion into a single cordaite-leaf taxon, i.e., C. principalis (Germar), confirming previous morphological investigations. Vitrinite reflectance measurements on coal seams in close proximity to the fossil-bearing sediments reveal that the Bay St. George sample site has the lowest thermal maturity, whereas the sites in Sydney and Stellarton are more mature. IR absorption and elemental analyses of the cordaite compressions corroborate this trend, which suggests that the coalified mesophyll in the leaves follows a maturation path similar to that of vitrinite. Comparison of functional groups of the cordaite cuticles with those from certain pteridosperms previously studied from the Sydney Subbasin shows that in the cordaite cuticles highly conjugated C-O (1632 cm-1) bands dominate over carbonyl stretch that characterizes the pteridosperm cuticles. The differences demonstrate the potential of chemotaxonomy as a valuable tool to assist distinguishing between Carboniferous plant-fossil groups. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

  13. Plant species richness, identity and productivity differentially influence key groups of microbes in grassland soils of contrasting fertility.

    PubMed

    De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Quirk, Helen; Bardgett, Richard D

    2011-02-23

    The abundance of microbes in soil is thought to be strongly influenced by plant productivity rather than by plant species richness per se. However, whether this holds true for different microbial groups and under different soil conditions is unresolved. We tested how plant species richness, identity and biomass influence the abundances of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), saprophytic bacteria and fungi, and actinomycetes, in model plant communities in soil of low and high fertility using phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Abundances of saprophytic fungi and bacteria were driven by larger plant biomass in high diversity treatments. In contrast, increased AMF abundance with larger plant species richness was not explained by plant biomass, but responded to plant species identity and was stimulated by Anthoxantum odoratum. Our results indicate that the abundance of saprophytic soil microbes is influenced more by resource quantity, as driven by plant production, while AMF respond more strongly to resource composition, driven by variation in plant species richness and identity. This suggests that AMF abundance in soil is more sensitive to changes in plant species diversity per se and plant species composition than are abundances of saprophytic microbes.

  14. 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

  15. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    PubMed

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning.

  16. Functional Group Compositions of Carbonaceous Materials of Hayabusa-Returned Samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yabuta, H.; Uesugi, M.; Naraoka, H.; Ito, M.; Kilcoyne, D.; Sandford, S. A.; Kitajima, F.; Mita, H.; Takano, Y.; Yada, T.; Karouji, Y.; Ishibashi, Y.; Okada, T.; Abe, M.

    2014-09-01

    We have analyzed the functional group compositions of the carbonaceous materials of Hayabusa-returned samples by STXM-XANES, in order to identify whether the materials are terrestrial or extraterrestrial.

  17. Controlling surface functionality through generation of thiol groups in a self-assembled monolayer.

    SciTech Connect

    Lud, S. Q.; Neppl, S.; Richter, G.; Bruno, P.; Gruen, D. M.; Jordan, R.; Feulner, P.; Stutzmann, M.; Garrido, J. A.; Materials Science Division; Technische Univ. Munchen

    2010-01-01

    A lithographic method to generate reactive thiol groups on functionalized synthetic diamond for biosensor and molecular electronic applications is developed. We demonstrate that ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) thin films covalently functionalized with surface-generated thiol groups allow controlled thiol-disulfide exchange surface hybridization processes. The generation of the thiol functional head groups was obtained by irradiating phenylsulfonic acid (PSA) monolayers on UNCD surfaces. The conversion of the functional headgroup of the self-assembled monolayer was verified by using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS), and fluorescence microscopy. Our findings indicate the selective generation of reactive thiol surface groups. Furthermore, we demonstrate the grafting of yeast cytochrome c to the thiol-modified diamond surface and the electron transfer between protein and electrode.

  18. Production of Printed Indexes of Chemical Reactions. I. Analysis of Functional Group Interconversions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clinging, R.; Lynch, M. F.

    1973-01-01

    A program is described which identifies functional group interconversion reactions, hydrogenations, and dehydrogenations in a data base containing structures encoded as Wiswesser Line Notations. Production of the data base is briefly described. (17 references) (Authors)

  19. Plant geography upon the basis of functional traits: an example from eastern North American trees.

    PubMed

    Swenson, Nathan G; Weiser, Michael D

    2010-08-01

    Plant geographers have sought for decades to describe and predict the geographic distribution of vegetation types on the basis of plant function and its relationship with the abiotic environment. Traditionally this has been accomplished using categorical representations such as plant functional types. Increasingly, plant functional ecologists have sought to refine categorical functional types via quantitative functional traits in order to understand the ecological implications of trade-offs in plant form and function. Fewer works have focused upon testing whether commonly measured functional traits enhance our understanding of plant biogeography broadly and the geographic distribution of vegetation types in particular. Here we combine a continental-scale forest inventory data set containing 18 111 plots with a plant functional trait data set to ask: (1) Is there a strong relationship between the abiotic environment and the distribution of functional trait values in forest inventory plots? And (2) can different Holdridge life zones be distinguished upon the basis of their functional trait distributions? The results show geographic patterns of functional trait distributions that are often strongly correlated with climate and also show that the Holdridge life zones in the study area can be differentiated using a combination of functional traits. PMID:20836445

  20. Evidence of a general 2/3-power law of scaling leaf nitrogen to phosphorus among major plant groups and biomes.

    PubMed

    Reich, Peter B; Oleksyn, Jacek; Wright, Ian J; Niklas, Karl J; Hedin, Lars; Elser, James J

    2010-03-22

    Scaling relations among plant traits are both cause and consequence of processes at organ-to-ecosystem scales. The relationship between leaf nitrogen and phosphorus is of particular interest, as both elements are essential for plant metabolism; their limited availabilities often constrain plant growth, and general relations between the two have been documented. Herein, we use a comprehensive dataset of more than 9300 observations of approximately 2500 species from 70 countries to examine the scaling of leaf nitrogen to phosphorus within and across taxonomical groups and biomes. Power law exponents derived from log-log scaling relations were near 2/3 for all observations pooled, for angiosperms and gymnosperms globally, and for angiosperms grouped by biomes, major functional groups, orders or families. The uniform 2/3 scaling of leaf nitrogen to leaf phosphorus exists along a parallel continuum of rising nitrogen, phosphorus, specific leaf area, photosynthesis and growth, as predicted by stoichiometric theory which posits that plants with high growth rates require both high allocation of phosphorus-rich RNA and a high metabolic rate to support the energy demands of macromolecular synthesis. The generality of this finding supports the view that this stoichiometric scaling relationship and the mechanisms that underpin it are foundational components of the living world. Additionally, although abundant variance exists within broad constraints, these results also support the idea that surprisingly simple rules regulate leaf form and function in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:19906667

  1. The plant vascular system: Evolution, development and functions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  2. Modular plant culture systems for life support functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    The current state of knowledge with regard to culture of higher plants in the zero-G environment is assessed; and concepts for the empirical development of small plant growth chambers for the production of salad type vegetables on space shuttle or space station are evaluated. American and Soviet space flight experiences in gravitational biology are summarized.

  3. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects

    SciTech Connect

    Kardol, Paul; Cregger, Melissa; Campany, Courtney E; Classen, Aimee T

    2010-01-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the microbial communities that feed on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and water availability. Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils), and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: 1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activities, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in this case, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water availability. 2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. In sum, these results indicate that accurate assessments of climate change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the direct

  4. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects.

    PubMed

    Kardol, Paul; Cregger, Melissa A; Campany, Courtney E; Classen, Aimee T

    2010-03-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to atmospheric and climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the soil communities that depend on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and precipitation in Tennessee (USA). Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils) and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: (1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activity, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate-change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in our study, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water. (2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning, and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate-change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. These results indicate that accurate assessments of climate-change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate-change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the

  5. Multiple-Group Noncompensatory Differential Item Functioning in Raju's Differential Functioning of Items and Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oshima, T. C.; Wright, Keith; White, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Raju, van der Linden, and Fleer (1995) introduced a framework for differential functioning of items and tests (DFIT) for unidimensional dichotomous models. Since then, DFIT has been shown to be a quite versatile framework as it can handle polytomous as well as multidimensional models both at the item and test levels. However, DFIT is still limited…

  6. Activation of Plant Innate Immunity by Extracellular High Mobility Group Box 3 and Its Inhibition by Salicylic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Hyong Woo; Manohar, Murli; Manosalva, Patricia; Tian, Miaoying; Moreau, Magali; Klessig, Daniel F.

    2016-01-01

    Damage-associated molecular pattern molecules (DAMPs) signal the presence of tissue damage to induce immune responses in plants and animals. Here, we report that High Mobility Group Box 3 (HMGB3) is a novel plant DAMP. Extracellular HMGB3, through receptor-like kinases BAK1 and BKK1, induced hallmark innate immune responses, including i) MAPK activation, ii) defense-related gene expression, iii) callose deposition, and iv) enhanced resistance to Botrytis cinerea. Infection by necrotrophic B. cinerea released HMGB3 into the extracellular space (apoplast). Silencing HMGBs enhanced susceptibility to B. cinerea, while HMGB3 injection into apoplast restored resistance. Like its human counterpart, HMGB3 binds salicylic acid (SA), which results in inhibition of its DAMP activity. An SA-binding site mutant of HMGB3 retained its DAMP activity, which was no longer inhibited by SA, consistent with its reduced SA-binding activity. These results provide cross-kingdom evidence that HMGB proteins function as DAMPs and that SA is their conserved inhibitor. PMID:27007252

  7. Activation of Plant Innate Immunity by Extracellular High Mobility Group Box 3 and Its Inhibition by Salicylic Acid.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hyong Woo; Manohar, Murli; Manosalva, Patricia; Tian, Miaoying; Moreau, Magali; Klessig, Daniel F

    2016-03-01

    Damage-associated molecular pattern molecules (DAMPs) signal the presence of tissue damage to induce immune responses in plants and animals. Here, we report that High Mobility Group Box 3 (HMGB3) is a novel plant DAMP. Extracellular HMGB3, through receptor-like kinases BAK1 and BKK1, induced hallmark innate immune responses, including i) MAPK activation, ii) defense-related gene expression, iii) callose deposition, and iv) enhanced resistance to Botrytis cinerea. Infection by necrotrophic B. cinerea released HMGB3 into the extracellular space (apoplast). Silencing HMGBs enhanced susceptibility to B. cinerea, while HMGB3 injection into apoplast restored resistance. Like its human counterpart, HMGB3 binds salicylic acid (SA), which results in inhibition of its DAMP activity. An SA-binding site mutant of HMGB3 retained its DAMP activity, which was no longer inhibited by SA, consistent with its reduced SA-binding activity. These results provide cross-kingdom evidence that HMGB proteins function as DAMPs and that SA is their conserved inhibitor.

  8. Alteration of plant meristem function by manipulation of the Retinoblastoma-like plant RRB gene

    DOEpatents

    Durfee, Tim; Feiler, Heidi; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Jenkins, Susan; Roe, Judith; Zambryski, Patricia

    2007-01-16

    This invention provides methods and compositions for altering the growth, organization, and differentiation of plant tissues. The invention is based on the discovery that, in plants, genetically altering the levels of Retinoblastoma-related gene (RRB) activity produces dramatic effects on the growth, proliferation, organization, and differentiation of plant meristem.

  9. Evaluation of Assertive Training and Homosexual Guidance Service Groups Designed to Improve Homosexual Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, A.; Winkler, R.

    1977-01-01

    It is proposed that clinicians should develop research-based assertiveness training procedures for homosexuals that are designed to facilitate homosexual functioning. Subjects (N=27) were assigned to a behaviorally oriented assertive training group or a non-directive group run by a homosexual guidance service. Self-report measures indicated…

  10. The Use of Language Functions in Mathematical Group Games. Teacher Insights.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, Carolyn; Huerta, Maria G.

    1994-01-01

    Six group games were introduced into a second-grade bilingual classroom. Children's talk during each game was classified using a modification of Dyson's five language functions (representational, directive, heuristic, personal, and interactional). Group games provided many communication opportunities. Some children tried new communication styles.…

  11. Characteristics of Interactional Management Functions in Group Oral by Japanese Learners of English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Negishi, Junko

    2010-01-01

    This study attempted to investigate the characteristics of interaction dynamics in a group oral interaction carried out by Japanese learners of English. The relationship between the participants' language development and interactional management functions (IMFs) was also explored. Oral performance tests in a paired or a small group have recently…

  12. Aggressive and Prosocial Peer Group Functioning: Effects on Children's Social, School, and Psychological Adjustment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung-Hall, Janet; Chen, Xinyin

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the effects of aggressive and prosocial contexts of peer groups on children's socioemotional and school adjustment. Data on informal peer groups, social functioning, and different aspects of adjustment were collected from multiple sources in a sample of elementary school children (149 boys, 181 girls; M age = 10 years).…

  13. Identification of Differential Item Functioning in Multiple-Group Settings: A Multivariate Outlier Detection Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magis, David; De Boeck, Paul

    2011-01-01

    We focus on the identification of differential item functioning (DIF) when more than two groups of examinees are considered. We propose to consider items as elements of a multivariate space, where DIF items are outlying elements. Following this approach, the situation of multiple groups is a quite natural case. A robust statistics technique is…

  14. Functional Groups Based on Leaf Physiology: Are they Spatially and Temporally Robust?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, Tammy E.; Brooks, J. Renee

    2004-01-01

    The functional grouping hypothesis, which suggests that complexity in ecosystem function can be simplified by grouping species with similar responses, was tested in the Florida scrub habitat. Functional groups were identified based on how species in fire maintained Florida scrub regulate exchange of carbon and water with the atmosphere as indicated by both instantaneous gas exchange measurements and integrated measures of function (%N, delta C-13, delta N-15, C-N ratio). Using cluster analysis, five distinct physiologically-based functional groups were identified in the fire maintained scrub. These functional groups were tested to determine if they were robust spatially, temporally, and with management regime. Analysis of Similarities (ANOSIM), a non-parametric multivariate analysis, indicated that these five physiologically-based groupings were not altered by plot differences (R = -0.115, p = 0.893) or by the three different management regimes; prescribed burn, mechanically treated and burn, and fire-suppressed (R = 0.018, p = 0.349). The physiological groupings also remained robust between the two climatically different years 1999 and 2000 (R = -0.027, p = 0.725). Easy-to-measure morphological characteristics indicating functional groups would be more practical for scaling and modeling ecosystem processes than detailed gas-exchange measurements, therefore we tested a variety of morphological characteristics as functional indicators. A combination of non-parametric multivariate techniques (Hierarchical cluster analysis, non-metric Multi-Dimensional Scaling, and ANOSIM) were used to compare the ability of life form, leaf thickness, and specific leaf area classifications to identify the physiologically-based functional groups. Life form classifications (ANOSIM; R = 0.629, p 0.001) were able to depict the physiological groupings more adequately than either specific leaf area (ANOSIM; R = 0.426, p = 0.001) or leaf thickness (ANOSIM; R 0.344, p 0.001). The ability of

  15. Diversity patterns of selected Andean plant groups correspond to topography and habitat dynamics, not orogeny

    PubMed Central

    Mutke, Jens; Jacobs, Rana; Meyers, Katharina; Henning, Tilo; Weigend, Maximilian

    2014-01-01

    The tropical Andes are a hotspot of biodiversity, but detailed altitudinal and latitudinal distribution patterns of species are poorly understood. We compare the distribution and diversity patterns of four Andean plant groups on the basis of georeferenced specimen data: the genus Nasa (Loasaceae), the two South American sections of Ribes (sect. Parilla and sect. Andina, Grossulariaceae), and the American clade of Urtica (Urticaceae). In the tropical Andes, these often grow together, especially in (naturally or anthropogenically) disturbed or secondary vegetation at middle to upper elevations. The climatic niches of the tropical groups studied here are relatively similar in temperature and temperature seasonality, but do differ in moisture seasonality. The Amotape–Huancabamba Zone (AHZ) between 3 and 8° S shows a clear diversity peak of overall species richness as well as for narrowly endemic species across the groups studied. For Nasa, we also show a particular diversity of growth forms in the AHZ. This can be interpreted as proxy for a high diversity of ecological niches based on high spatial habitat heterogeneity in this zone. Latitudinal ranges are generally larger toward the margins of overall range of the group. Species number and number of endemic species of our taxa peak at elevations of 2,500–3,500 m in the tropical Andes. Altitudinal diversity patterns correspond well with the altitudinal distribution of slope inclination. We hypothesize that the likelihood and frequency of landslides at steeper slopes translate into temporal habitat heterogeneity. The frequency of landslides may be causally connected to diversification especially for the numerous early colonizing taxa, such as Urtica and annual species of Nasa. In contrast to earlier hypotheses, uplift history is not reflected in the pattern here retrieved, since the AHZ is the area of the most recent Andean uplift. Similarly, a barrier effect of the low-lying Huancabamba depression is not retrieved

  16. Diversity patterns of selected Andean plant groups correspond to topography and habitat dynamics, not orogeny.

    PubMed

    Mutke, Jens; Jacobs, Rana; Meyers, Katharina; Henning, Tilo; Weigend, Maximilian

    2014-01-01

    The tropical Andes are a hotspot of biodiversity, but detailed altitudinal and latitudinal distribution patterns of species are poorly understood. We compare the distribution and diversity patterns of four Andean plant groups on the basis of georeferenced specimen data: the genus Nasa (Loasaceae), the two South American sections of Ribes (sect. Parilla and sect. Andina, Grossulariaceae), and the American clade of Urtica (Urticaceae). In the tropical Andes, these often grow together, especially in (naturally or anthropogenically) disturbed or secondary vegetation at middle to upper elevations. The climatic niches of the tropical groups studied here are relatively similar in temperature and temperature seasonality, but do differ in moisture seasonality. The Amotape-Huancabamba Zone (AHZ) between 3 and 8° S shows a clear diversity peak of overall species richness as well as for narrowly endemic species across the groups studied. For Nasa, we also show a particular diversity of growth forms in the AHZ. This can be interpreted as proxy for a high diversity of ecological niches based on high spatial habitat heterogeneity in this zone. Latitudinal ranges are generally larger toward the margins of overall range of the group. Species number and number of endemic species of our taxa peak at elevations of 2,500-3,500 m in the tropical Andes. Altitudinal diversity patterns correspond well with the altitudinal distribution of slope inclination. We hypothesize that the likelihood and frequency of landslides at steeper slopes translate into temporal habitat heterogeneity. The frequency of landslides may be causally connected to diversification especially for the numerous early colonizing taxa, such as Urtica and annual species of Nasa. In contrast to earlier hypotheses, uplift history is not reflected in the pattern here retrieved, since the AHZ is the area of the most recent Andean uplift. Similarly, a barrier effect of the low-lying Huancabamba depression is not retrieved in

  17. Traditions and plant use during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum recovery by the Kry ethnic group in Lao PDR

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Activities and diet during the postpartum period are culturally dictated in many Southeast Asian cultures, and a period of confinement is observed. Plants play an important role in recovery during the postpartum period in diet and traditional medicine. Little is known of the Kry, a small ethnic group whose language was recently described, concerning its traditions and use of plants during pregnancy, parturition, postpartum recovery and infant healthcare. This research aims to study those traditions and identify medicinal plant use. Methods Data were collected in the 3 different Kry villages in Khammouane province, Lao PDR, through group and individual interviews with women by female interviewers. Results A total of 49 different plant species are used in women's healthcare. Plant use is culturally different from the neighboring Brou and Saek ethnic groups. Menstruation, delivery and postpartum recovery take place in separate, purpose-built, huts and a complex system of spatial restrictions is observed. Conclusions Traditions surrounding childbirth are diverse and have been strictly observed, but are undergoing a shift towards those from neighboring ethnic groups, the Brou and Saek. Medicinal plant use to facilitate childbirth, alleviate menstruation problems, assist recovery after miscarriage, mitigate postpartum haemorrhage, aid postpartum recovery, and for use in infant care, is more common than previously reported (49 species instead of 14). The wealth of novel insights into plant use and preparation will help to understand culturally important practices such as traditional delivery, spatial taboos, confinement and dietary restrictions, and their potential in modern healthcare. PMID:21569234

  18. Evolutionary Trails of Plant Group II Pyridoxal Phosphate-Dependent Decarboxylase Genes

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Rahul

    2016-01-01

    Type II pyridoxal phosphate-dependent decarboxylase (PLP_deC) enzymes play important metabolic roles during nitrogen metabolism. Recent evolutionary profiling of these genes revealed a sharp expansion of histidine decarboxylase genes in the members of Solanaceae family. In spite of the high sequence homology shared by PLP_deC orthologs, these enzymes display remarkable differences in their substrate specificities. Currently, limited information is available on the gene repertoires and substrate specificities of PLP_deCs which renders their precise annotation challenging and offers technical challenges in the immediate identification and biochemical characterization of their full gene complements in plants. Herein, we explored their evolutionary trails in a comprehensive manner by taking advantage of high-throughput data accessibility and computational approaches. We discussed the premise that has enabled an improved reconstruction of their evolutionary lineage and evaluated the factors offering constraints in their rapid functional characterization, till date. We envisage that the synthesized information herein would act as a catalyst for the rapid exploration of their biochemical specificity and physiological roles in more plant species.

  19. Evolutionary Trails of Plant Group II Pyridoxal Phosphate-Dependent Decarboxylase Genes

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Rahul

    2016-01-01

    Type II pyridoxal phosphate-dependent decarboxylase (PLP_deC) enzymes play important metabolic roles during nitrogen metabolism. Recent evolutionary profiling of these genes revealed a sharp expansion of histidine decarboxylase genes in the members of Solanaceae family. In spite of the high sequence homology shared by PLP_deC orthologs, these enzymes display remarkable differences in their substrate specificities. Currently, limited information is available on the gene repertoires and substrate specificities of PLP_deCs which renders their precise annotation challenging and offers technical challenges in the immediate identification and biochemical characterization of their full gene complements in plants. Herein, we explored their evolutionary trails in a comprehensive manner by taking advantage of high-throughput data accessibility and computational approaches. We discussed the premise that has enabled an improved reconstruction of their evolutionary lineage and evaluated the factors offering constraints in their rapid functional characterization, till date. We envisage that the synthesized information herein would act as a catalyst for the rapid exploration of their biochemical specificity and physiological roles in more plant species. PMID:27602045

  20. Evolutionary Trails of Plant Group II Pyridoxal Phosphate-Dependent Decarboxylase Genes.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rahul

    2016-01-01

    Type II pyridoxal phosphate-dependent decarboxylase (PLP_deC) enzymes play important metabolic roles during nitrogen metabolism. Recent evolutionary profiling of these genes revealed a sharp expansion of histidine decarboxylase genes in the members of Solanaceae family. In spite of the high sequence homology shared by PLP_deC orthologs, these enzymes display remarkable differences in their substrate specificities. Currently, limited information is available on the gene repertoires and substrate specificities of PLP_deCs which renders their precise annotation challenging and offers technical challenges in the immediate identification and biochemical characterization of their full gene complements in plants. Herein, we explored their evolutionary trails in a comprehensive manner by taking advantage of high-throughput data accessibility and computational approaches. We discussed the premise that has enabled an improved reconstruction of their evolutionary lineage and evaluated the factors offering constraints in their rapid functional characterization, till date. We envisage that the synthesized information herein would act as a catalyst for the rapid exploration of their biochemical specificity and physiological roles in more plant species. PMID:27602045

  1. Percolation galaxy groups and clusters in the sdss redshift survey: identification, catalogs, and the multiplicity function

    SciTech Connect

    Berlind, Andreas A.; Frieman, Joshua A.; Weinberg, David H.; Blanton, Michael R.; Warren, Michael S.; Abazajian, Kevork; Scranton, Ryan; Hogg, David W.; Scoccimarro, Roman; Bahcall, Neta A.; Brinkmann, J.; Gott, J.Richard, III; Kleinman, S.J.; Krzesinski, J.; Lee, Brian C.; Miller, Christopher J.; Nitta, Atsuko; Schneider, Donald P.; Tucker, Douglas L.; Zehavi, Idit; /CCPP, New York /Chicago U., Astron. Astrophys. Ctr. /Ohio State U., Dept. Astron. /Los Alamos /Pittsburgh U. /Princeton U. /Subaru Telescope /Apache Point Observ. /Mt. Suhora Observ., Cracow /LBL, Berkeley /Cerro-Tololo InterAmerican Obs. /Penn State U., Astron. Astrophys. /Fermilab /Arizona U., Astron. Dept. - Steward Observ. /Case Western Reserve U.

    2006-01-01

    We identify galaxy groups and clusters in volume-limited samples of the SDSS redshift survey, using a redshift-space friends-of-friends algorithm. We optimize the friends-of-friends linking lengths to recover galaxy systems that occupy the same dark matter halos, using a set of mock catalogs created by populating halos of N-body simulations with galaxies. Extensive tests with these mock catalogs show that no combination of perpendicular and line-of-sight linking lengths is able to yield groups and clusters that simultaneously recover the true halo multiplicity function, projected size distribution, and velocity dispersion. We adopt a linking length combination that yields, for galaxy groups with ten or more members: a group multiplicity function that is unbiased with respect to the true halo multiplicity function; an unbiased median relation between the multiplicities of groups and their associated halos; a spurious group fraction of less than {approx}1%; a halo completeness of more than {approx}97%; the correct projected size distribution as a function of multiplicity; and a velocity dispersion distribution that is {approx}20% too low at all multiplicities. These results hold over a range of mock catalogs that use different input recipes of populating halos with galaxies. We apply our group-finding algorithm to the SDSS data and obtain three group and cluster catalogs for three volume-limited samples that cover 3495.1 square degrees on the sky. We correct for incompleteness caused by fiber collisions and survey edges, and obtain measurements of the group multiplicity function, with errors calculated from realistic mock catalogs. These multiplicity function measurements provide a key constraint on the relation between galaxy populations and dark matter halos.

  2. Stabilization and strengthening effects of functional groups in two-dimensional titanium carbide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Z. H.; Zhang, Q. F.; Legut, D.; Si, C.; Germann, T. C.; Lookman, T.; Du, S. Y.; Francisco, J. S.; Zhang, R. F.

    2016-09-01

    Two-dimensional (2D) materials have attracted considerable interest due to their remarkable properties and potential applications for nanoelectronics, electrodes, energy storage devices, among others. However, many well-studied 2D materials lack appreciable conductivity and tunable mechanical strength, limiting their applications in flexible devices. Newly developed MXenes open up the opportunity to design novel flexible conductive electronic materials. Here, using density functional theory (DFT), we investigate systematically the effects of several functional groups on the stabilization, mechanical properties, and electronic structures of a representative MXene. It is found that oxygen possesses the largest adsorption energy as compared to other functional groups, indicating its good thermodynamic stabilization. In comparison with bare and other functionalized titanium carbides, the oxygen functionalized one exhibits the most superior ideal strength; however, the premature softening of the long-wave phonon modes might limit the intrinsic strength for T i3C2O2 . Furthermore, the introduction of functional groups can induce a strong anisotropy under tensile loading. By analyzing the deformation paths and the electronic instability under various loadings, we demonstrate that the unique strengthening by oxygen functional groups is attributed to a significant charge transfer from inner bonds to outer surface ones after functionalization. Our results shed a novel view into exploring a variety of MXenes for their potential applications in flexible electronic and energy storage devices.

  3. Psychosocial functioning in a group of Swedish adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism.

    PubMed

    Engström, I; Ekström, L; Emilsson, B

    2003-03-01

    This study reports on psychosocial functioning in Swedish adults with Asperger syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA). A systematically selected sample of patients and relatives was interviewed concerning their psychosocial situation. The majority was living independently. All persons but one were unemployed. None was married and none had children. Only a few had some kind of partner. Most persons needed a high level of public and/or private support. The overall adjustment was rated good in 12 percent, fair in 75 percent and poor in 12 percent. Adult persons with AS/HFA have extensive need for support from their families and/or society. This information is important in order to provide adequate interventions that are in accordance with the expressed needs of the individuals themselves.

  4. The electrokinetic characterization of gold nanoparticles, functionalized with cationic functional groups, and its' interaction with DNA.

    PubMed

    Lazarus, Geraldine Genevive; Revaprasadu, Neerish; López-Viota, Julián; Singh, Moganavelli

    2014-09-01

    Gold nanoparticles have attracted strong biomedical interest for drug delivery due to their low toxic nature, surface plasmon resonance and capability of increasing the stability of the payload. However, gene transfection represents another important biological application. Considering that cellular barriers keep enclosed their secret to deliver genes using nanoparticles, an important step can be achieved by studying the functionalization of nanoparticles with DNA. In the present contribution the synthesis of nanoparticles consisting of a gold core coated with one or more layers of amino acid (l-lysine), and cationic polyelectrolytes (poly-ethyleneimine and poly-l-lysine) is reported. All nanoparticles were subjected to dynamic light scattering, electrophoretic mobility measurements, UV-vis optical spectrophotometry analysis and transmission electron microscopy imaging. In addition, the adsorption of DNA plasmid (pSGS) with linear and supercoiled configurations was studied for those gold nanoparticles under the most suitable surface modifications. Preliminary results showed that the gold nanoparticles functionalized with poly-ethyleneimine and poly-l-lysine, respectively, and bound to linear DNA configurations, present in absolute value a higher electrophoretic mobility irrespective of the pH of the media, compared to the supercoiled and nicked configuration. The findings from this study suggest that poly-ethyleneimine and poly-l-lysine functionalized gold nanoparticles are biocompatible and may be promising in the chemical design and future optimization of nanostructures for biomedical applications such as gene and drug delivery.

  5. INVASIVE PLANTS HARBOR HUNGRY DETRITIVORES THAT ALTER ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystems are expected to function more efficiently in response to a diverse community of inhabitants. However, biological invasions may change expected relationships between ecosystem function and diversity. We observed increased decomposition, a measure of ecosystem function...

  6. Decomposer diversity and identity influence plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Reich, Peter B; Isbell, Forest

    2012-10-01

    Plant productivity and other ecosystem functions often increase with plant diversity at a local scale. Alongside various plant-centered explanations for this pattern, there is accumulating evidence that multi-trophic interactions shape this relationship. Here, we investigated for the first time if plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning are mediated or driven by decomposer animal diversity and identity using a double-diversity microcosm experiment. We show that many ecosystem processes and ecosystem multifunctionality (herbaceous shoot biomass production, litter removal, and N uptake) were affected by both plant and decomposer diversity, with ecosystem process rates often being maximal at intermediate to high plant and decomposer diversity and minimal at both low plant and decomposer diversity. Decomposers relaxed interspecific plant competition by enlarging chemical (increased N uptake and surface-litter decomposition) and spatial (increasing deep-root biomass) habitat space and by promoting plant complementarity. Anecic earthworms and isopods functioned as key decomposers; although decomposer diversity effects did not solely rely on these two decomposer species, positive plant net biodiversity and complementarity effects only occurred in the absence of isopods and the presence of anecic earthworms. Using a structural equation model, we explained 76% of the variance in plant complementarity, identified direct and indirect effect paths, and showed that the presence of key decomposers accounted for approximately three-quarters of the explained variance. We conclude that decomposer animals have been underappreciated as contributing agents of plant diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Elevated decomposer performance at high plant diversity found in previous experiments likely positively feeds back to plant performance, thus contributing to the positive relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning.

  7. Understanding Early Elementary Children's Conceptual Knowledge of Plant Structure and Function through Drawings

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Jane P.; Jones, Alan M.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined children's drawings to explain children's conceptual understanding of plant structure and function. The study explored whether the children's drawings accurately reflect their conceptual understanding about plants in a manner that can be interpreted by others. Drawing, survey, interview, and observational data were collected from 182 students in grades K and 1 in rural southeastern United States. Results demonstrated the children held a wide range of conceptions concerning plant structure and function. These young children held very simple ideas about plants with respect to both their structure and function. Consistent with the drawings, the interviews presented similar findings. PMID:25185222

  8. The impact of functional group on the electronic structure of coordination center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooshmand Gharehbagh, Zahra; L, Duy; Rahman, Talat S.

    While 9, 10 dicyano-anthracene (DCA) forms a coordination network on Cu(111) surface with Cu adatom coordinated by three DCA molecules, its isomers, 9,10-diisocyano-anthracene forms, surprisingly, molecular rows on the same surface. To understand the impact of functional groups on the electronic structure of the coordination center, we have carried out density functional theory based calculations of the electronic structure of a set of naphthalene molecules with different functional groups (N, CN, NC, NH2, COH, COOH) adsorbed on Cu(111), with and without a Cu adatom. Our results show that while the interaction between the naphthalene backbone and the Cu(111) surface is dominated by van der Waals (vdW) forces, in all cases considered the functional group forms a covalent bond with the Cu (ad)atom (on) of the surface. The calculated differential charge redistribution shows that the strongest covalent bond is formed by the NC group, which differs remarkably from that formed by the CN group, while the vdW interaction is very similar in both cases. These results provide insights into the different surface coordination behavior of molecules with above-mentioned functional groups. Work support in part by NSF Grant CHE-1310327.

  9. Classifying proteins into functional groups based on all-versus-all BLAST of 10 million proteins.

    PubMed

    Kolker, Natali; Higdon, Roger; Broomall, William; Stanberry, Larissa; Welch, Dean; Lu, Wei; Haynes, Winston; Barga, Roger; Kolker, Eugene

    2011-01-01

    To address the monumental challenge of assigning function to millions of sequenced proteins, we completed the first of a kind all-versus-all sequence alignments using BLAST for 9.9 million proteins in the UniRef100 database. Microsoft Windows Azure produced over 3 billion filtered records in 6 days using 475 eight-core virtual machines. Protein classification into functional groups was then performed using Hive and custom jars implemented on top of Apache Hadoop utilizing the MapReduce paradigm. First, using the Clusters of Orthologous Genes (COG) database, a length normalized bit score (LNBS) was determined to be the best similarity measure for classification of proteins. LNBS achieved sensitivity and specificity of 98% each. Second, out of 5.1 million bacterial proteins, about two-thirds were assigned to significantly extended COG groups, encompassing 30 times more assigned proteins. Third, the remaining proteins were classified into protein functional groups using an innovative implementation of a single-linkage algorithm on an in-house Hadoop compute cluster. This implementation significantly reduces the run time for nonindexed queries and optimizes efficient clustering on a large scale. The performance was also verified on Amazon Elastic MapReduce. This clustering assigned nearly 2 million proteins to approximately half a million different functional groups. A similar approach was applied to classify 2.8 million eukaryotic sequences resulting in over 1 million proteins being assign to existing KOG groups and the remainder clustered into 100,000 functional groups. PMID:21809957

  10. Interrogating Surface Functional Group Heterogeneity of Activated Thermoplastics Using Super-Resolution Fluorescence Microscopy.

    PubMed

    ONeil, Colleen E; Jackson, Joshua M; Shim, Sang-Hee; Soper, Steven A

    2016-04-01

    We present a novel approach for characterizing surfaces utilizing super-resolution fluorescence microscopy with subdiffraction limit spatial resolution. Thermoplastic surfaces were activated by UV/O3 or O2 plasma treatment under various conditions to generate pendant surface-confined carboxylic acids (-COOH). These surface functional groups were then labeled with a photoswitchable dye and interrogated using single-molecule, localization-based, super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to elucidate the surface heterogeneity of these functional groups across the activated surface. Data indicated nonuniform distributions of these functional groups for both COC and PMMA thermoplastics with the degree of heterogeneity being dose dependent. In addition, COC demonstrated relative higher surface density of functional groups compared to PMMA for both UV/O3 and O2 plasma treatment. The spatial distribution of -COOH groups secured from super-resolution imaging were used to simulate nonuniform patterns of electroosmotic flow in thermoplastic nanochannels. Simulations were compared to single-particle tracking of fluorescent nanoparticles within thermoplastic nanoslits to demonstrate the effects of surface functional group heterogeneity on the electrokinetic transport process.

  11. GPU-based parallel group ICA for functional magnetic resonance data.

    PubMed

    Jing, Yanshan; Zeng, Weiming; Wang, Nizhuan; Ren, Tianlong; Shi, Yingchao; Yin, Jun; Xu, Qi

    2015-04-01

    The goal of our study is to develop a fast parallel implementation of group independent component analysis (ICA) for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data using graphics processing units (GPU). Though ICA has become a standard method to identify brain functional connectivity of the fMRI data, it is computationally intensive, especially has a huge cost for the group data analysis. GPU with higher parallel computation power and lower cost are used for general purpose computing, which could contribute to fMRI data analysis significantly. In this study, a parallel group ICA (PGICA) on GPU, mainly consisting of GPU-based PCA using SVD and Infomax-ICA, is presented. In comparison to the serial group ICA, the proposed method demonstrated both significant speedup with 6-11 times and comparable accuracy of functional networks in our experiments. This proposed method is expected to perform the real-time post-processing for fMRI data analysis.

  12. The SAND domain protein ULTRAPETALA1 acts as a trithorax group factor to regulate cell fate in plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During development, trithorax group (trxG) chromatin remodeling complexes counteract repression by Polycomb group (PcG) complexes to sustain active expression of key regulatory genes. Although PcG complexes are well characterized in plants, little is known about trxG activities. Here we demonstrate ...

  13. Identifying organic aerosol sources by comparing functional group composition in chamber and atmospheric particles.

    PubMed

    Russell, Lynn M; Bahadur, Ranjit; Ziemann, Paul J

    2011-03-01

    Measurements of submicron particles by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in 14 campaigns in North America, Asia, South America, and Europe were used to identify characteristic organic functional group compositions of fuel combustion, terrestrial vegetation, and ocean bubble bursting sources, each of which often accounts for more than a third of organic mass (OM), and some of which is secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from gas-phase precursors. The majority of the OM consists of alkane, carboxylic acid, hydroxyl, and carbonyl groups. The organic functional groups formed from combustion and vegetation emissions are similar to the secondary products identified in chamber studies. The near absence of carbonyl groups in the observed SOA associated with combustion is consistent with alkane rather than aromatic precursors, and the absence of organonitrate groups can be explained by their hydrolysis in humid ambient conditions. The remote forest observations have ratios of carboxylic acid, organic hydroxyl, and nonacid carbonyl groups similar to those observed for isoprene and monoterpene chamber studies, but in biogenic aerosols transported downwind of urban areas the formation of esters replaces the acid and hydroxyl groups and leaves only nonacid carbonyl groups. The carbonyl groups in SOA associated with vegetation emissions provides striking evidence for the mechanism of esterification as the pathway for possible oligomerization reactions in the atmosphere. Forest fires include biogenic emissions that produce SOA with organic components similar to isoprene and monoterpene chamber studies, also resulting in nonacid carbonyl groups in SOA.

  14. Identifying organic aerosol sources by comparing functional group composition in chamber and atmospheric particles

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Lynn M.; Bahadur, Ranjit; Ziemann, Paul J.

    2011-01-01

    Measurements of submicron particles by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in 14 campaigns in North America, Asia, South America, and Europe were used to identify characteristic organic functional group compositions of fuel combustion, terrestrial vegetation, and ocean bubble bursting sources, each of which often accounts for more than a third of organic mass (OM), and some of which is secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from gas-phase precursors. The majority of the OM consists of alkane, carboxylic acid, hydroxyl, and carbonyl groups. The organic functional groups formed from combustion and vegetation emissions are similar to the secondary products identified in chamber studies. The near absence of carbonyl groups in the observed SOA associated with combustion is consistent with alkane rather than aromatic precursors, and the absence of organonitrate groups can be explained by their hydrolysis in humid ambient conditions. The remote forest observations have ratios of carboxylic acid, organic hydroxyl, and nonacid carbonyl groups similar to those observed for isoprene and monoterpene chamber studies, but in biogenic aerosols transported downwind of urban areas the formation of esters replaces the acid and hydroxyl groups and leaves only nonacid carbonyl groups. The carbonyl groups in SOA associated with vegetation emissions provides striking evidence for the mechanism of esterification as the pathway for possible oligomerization reactions in the atmosphere. Forest fires include biogenic emissions that produce SOA with organic components similar to isoprene and monoterpene chamber studies, also resulting in nonacid carbonyl groups in SOA. PMID:21317360

  15. Farnesol-mediated shift in the metabolic origin of prenyl groups used for protein prenylation in plants.

    PubMed

    Huchelmann, Alexandre; Brahim, Mathieu Semir; Gerber, Esther; Tritsch, Denis; Bach, Thomas J; Hemmerlin, Andréa

    2016-08-01

    Little is known about how plant cells regulate the exchange of prenyl diphosphates between the two compartmentalized isoprenoid biosynthesis pathways. Prenylation of proteins is a suitable model to study such interactions between the plastidial methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) and the cytosolic mevalonate (MVA) pathways because prenyl moieties used to modify proteins rely on both origins. Tobacco cells expressing a prenylatable GFP were treated with specific MEP and/or MVA pathways inhibitors to block the formation of prenyl diphosphates and therefore the possibility to modify the proteins. Chemical complementation assays using prenyl alcohol precursors restore the prenylation. Indeed, geranylgeraniol (C20 prenyl alcohol) and to a lesser but significant level C15-farnesol restored the prenylation of a protein bearing a geranylgeranylation CaaX motif, which under standard conditions is modified by a MEP-derived prenyl group. However, the restoration takes place in different ways. While geranylgeraniol operates directly as a metabolic precursor, the C15-prenyl alcohol functions indirectly as a signal that leads to shift the metabolic origin of prenyl groups in modified proteins, here from the plastidial MEP pathway in favor of the cytosolic MVA pathway. Furthermore, farnesol interferes negatively with the MEP pathway in an engineered Escherichia coli strain synthesizing isoprenoids either starting from MVA or from MEP. Following the cellular uptake of a fluorescent analog of farnesol, we showed its close interaction with tobacco plastids and modification of plastid homeostasis. As a consequence, in tobacco farnesol supposedly inhibits the plastidial MEP pathway and activates the cytosolic MVA pathway, leading to the shift in the metabolic origin and thereby acts as a potential regulator of crosstalk between the two pathways. Together, those results suggest a new role for farnesol (or a metabolite thereof) as a central molecule for the regulation of isoprenoid

  16. A new index for the quantification of chromosome number variation: an application to selected animal and plant groups.

    PubMed

    Peruzzi, Lorenzo; Caparelli, Katia Francesca; Bedini, Gianni

    2014-07-21

    Quantitative parameters have been used to characterize chromosome number (CN) variation. This gave us the idea to collect available data in various organisms and compare them, in order to verify if variation patterns differ between animal and plant groups and to quantify these patterns with an Index of CN Heterogeneity (ICNH), useful as a parameter to compare related taxonomical/geographical groups of organisms. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to compare CN variation in animal and plant groups with large datasets. The quantitative analysis allowed detecting significant differences among most groups of animals and plants. The most striking difference, however, is the close relationship between mean CN and SD restricted to plants, in which higher CN are also associated with a larger variation degree, possibly due to the well known genomic plasticity in this group and a propensity for polyploidization higher than in animals. The ICNH defined here can be easily calculated for both animal and plant groups based on commonly available data. It summarizes data accumulated in over a century of research and includes so-called anomalies like fB and fOCN, sometimes overlooked by researchers due to lack of a proper way of comparison.

  17. Subtle cytotoxicity and genotoxicity differences in superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles coated with various functional groups

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Seong Cheol; Lee, Jong Ho; Lee, Jaewook; Kim, Hyeon Yong; Park, Jung Youn; Cho, Johann; Lee, Jaebeom; Han, Dong-Wook

    2011-01-01

    Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have been widely utilized for the diagnosis and therapy of specific diseases, as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents and drug-delivery carriers, due to their easy transportation to targeted areas by an external magnetic field. For such biomedical applications, SPIONs must have multifunctional characteristics, including optimized size and modified surface. However, the biofunctionality and biocompatibility of SPIONs with various surface functional groups of different sizes have yet to be elucidated clearly. Therefore, it is important to carefully monitor the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of SPIONs that are surfaced-modified with various functional groups of different sizes. In this study, we evaluated SPIONs with diameters of approximately 10 nm and 100~150 nm, containing different surface functional groups. SPIONs were covered with −O− groups, so-called bare SPIONs. Following this, they were modified with three different functional groups – hydroxyl (−OH), carboxylic (−COOH), and amine (−NH2) groups – by coating their surfaces with tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS), (3-aminopropyl)trimethoxysilane (APTMS), TEOS-APTMS, or citrate, which imparted different surface charges and sizes to the particles. The effects of SPIONs coated with these functional groups on mitochondrial activity, intracellular accumulation of reactive oxygen species, membrane integrity, and DNA stability in L-929 fibroblasts were determined by water-soluble tetrazolium, 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein, lactate dehydrogenase, and comet assays, respectively. Our toxicological observations suggest that the functional groups and sizes of SPIONs are critical determinants of cellular responses, degrees of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity, and potential mechanisms of toxicity. Nanoparticles with various surface modifications and of different sizes induced slight, but possibly meaningful, changes in cell cytotoxicity and

  18. Plant phospholipases D and C and their diverse functions in stress responses.

    PubMed

    Hong, Yueyun; Zhao, Jian; Guo, Liang; Kim, Sang-Chul; Deng, Xianjun; Wang, Geliang; Zhang, Gaoyang; Li, Maoyin; Wang, Xuemin

    2016-04-01

    Phospholipases D (PLD) and C (PLC) hydrolyze the phosphodiesteric linkages of the head group of membrane phospholipids. PLDs and PLCs in plants occur in different forms: the calcium-dependent phospholipid binding domain-containing PLDs (C2-PLDs), the plekstrin homology and phox homology domain-containing PLDs (PX/PH-PLDs), phosphoinositide-specific PLC (PI-PLC), and non-specific PLC (NPC). They differ in structures, substrate selectivities, cofactor requirements, and/or reaction conditions. These enzymes and their reaction products, such as phosphatidic acid (PA), diacylglycerol (DAG), and inositol polyphosphates, play important, multifaceted roles in plant response to abiotic and biotic stresses. Here, we review biochemical properties, cellular effects, and physiological functions of PLDs and PLCs, particularly in the context of their roles in stress response along with advances made on the role of PA and DAG in cell signaling in plants. The mechanism of actions, including those common and distinguishable among different PLDs and PLCs, will also be discussed. PMID:26783886

  19. On the psychological function of flags and logos: Group identity symbols increase perceived entitativity.

    PubMed

    Callahan, Shannon P; Ledgerwood, Alison

    2016-04-01

    Group identity symbols such as flags and logos have been widely used across time and cultures, yet researchers know very little about the psychological functions that such symbols can serve. The present research tested the hypotheses that (a) simply having a symbol leads collections of individuals to seem more like real, unified groups, (b) this increased psychological realness leads groups to seem more threatening and effective to others, and (c) group members therefore strategically emphasize symbols when they want their group to appear unified and intimidating. In Studies 1a-1c, participants perceived various task groups as more entitative when they happened to have a symbol. In Study 2, symbols not only helped groups make up for lacking a physical characteristic associated with entitativity (physical similarity), but also led groups to seem more threatening. Study 3 examined the processes underlying this effect and found that group symbols increase entitativity by increasing perceived cohesiveness. Study 4 extended our results to show that symbols not only shape the impressions people form of novel groups, but also change people's existing impressions of more familiar and real-world social groups, making them seem more entitative and competent but also less warm. Finally, Studies 5a and 5b further expand our understanding of the psychological function of symbols by showing that group members strategically display symbols when they are motivated to convey an impression of their group as unified and threatening (vs. inclusive and cooperative). We discuss implications for understanding how group members navigate their social identities. PMID:27078507

  20. Geographic variation in plant community structure of salt marshes: species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongyu; Chamberlain, Scott A; Elhaik, Eran; Jalli, Inder; Lynes, Alana-Rose; Marczak, Laurie; Sabath, Niv; Vargas, Amy; Więski, Kazimierz; Zelig, Emily M; Pennings, Steven C

    2015-01-01

    In general, community similarity is thought to decay with distance; however, this view may be complicated by the relative roles of different ecological processes at different geographical scales, and by the compositional perspective (e.g. species, functional group and phylogenetic lineage) used. Coastal salt marshes are widely distributed worldwide, but no studies have explicitly examined variation in salt marsh plant community composition across geographical scales, and from species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. Based on studies in other ecosystems, we hypothesized that, in coastal salt marshes, community turnover would be more rapid at local versus larger geographical scales; and that community turnover patterns would diverge among compositional perspectives, with a greater distance decay at the species level than at the functional or phylogenetic levels. We tested these hypotheses in salt marshes of two regions: The southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. We examined the characteristics of plant community composition at each salt marsh site, how community similarity decayed with distance within individual salt marshes versus among sites in each region, and how community similarity differed among regions, using species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. We found that results from the three compositional perspectives generally showed similar patterns: there was strong variation in community composition within individual salt marsh sites across elevation; in contrast, community similarity decayed with distance four to five orders of magnitude more slowly across sites within each region. Overall, community dissimilarity of salt marshes was lowest on the southern Atlantic Coast, intermediate on the Gulf Coast, and highest between the two regions. Our results indicated that local gradients are relatively more important than regional processes in structuring coastal salt marsh communities. Our results also suggested that in

  1. Geographic Variation in Plant Community Structure of Salt Marshes: Species, Functional and Phylogenetic Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Hongyu; Chamberlain, Scott A.; Elhaik, Eran; Jalli, Inder; Lynes, Alana-Rose; Marczak, Laurie; Sabath, Niv; Vargas, Amy; Więski, Kazimierz; Zelig, Emily M.; Pennings, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In general, community similarity is thought to decay with distance; however, this view may be complicated by the relative roles of different ecological processes at different geographical scales, and by the compositional perspective (e.g. species, functional group and phylogenetic lineage) used. Coastal salt marshes are widely distributed worldwide, but no studies have explicitly examined variation in salt marsh plant community composition across geographical scales, and from species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. Based on studies in other ecosystems, we hypothesized that, in coastal salt marshes, community turnover would be more rapid at local versus larger geographical scales; and that community turnover patterns would diverge among compositional perspectives, with a greater distance decay at the species level than at the functional or phylogenetic levels. We tested these hypotheses in salt marshes of two regions: The southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. We examined the characteristics of plant community composition at each salt marsh site, how community similarity decayed with distance within individual salt marshes versus among sites in each region, and how community similarity differed among regions, using species, functional and phylogenetic perspectives. We found that results from the three compositional perspectives generally showed similar patterns: there was strong variation in community composition within individual salt marsh sites across elevation; in contrast, community similarity decayed with distance four to five orders of magnitude more slowly across sites within each region. Overall, community dissimilarity of salt marshes was lowest on the southern Atlantic Coast, intermediate on the Gulf Coast, and highest between the two regions. Our results indicated that local gradients are relatively more important than regional processes in structuring coastal salt marsh communities. Our results also suggested that in

  2. Single-cell-type proteomics: toward a holistic understanding of plant function.

    PubMed

    Dai, Shaojun; Chen, Sixue

    2012-12-01

    Multicellular organisms such as plants contain different types of cells with specialized functions. Analyzing the protein characteristics of each type of cell will not only reveal specific cell functions, but also enhance understanding of how an organism works. Most plant proteomics studies have focused on using tissues and organs containing a mixture of different cells. Recent single-cell-type proteomics efforts on pollen grains, guard cells, mesophyll cells, root hairs, and trichomes have shown utility. We expect that high resolution proteomic analyses will reveal novel functions in single cells. This review provides an overview of recent developments in plant single-cell-type proteomics. We discuss application of the approach for understanding important cell functions, and we consider the technical challenges of extending the approach to all plant cell types. Finally, we consider the integration of single-cell-type proteomics with transcriptomics and metabolomics with the goal of providing a holistic understanding of plant function.

  3. Relationships between phyllosphere bacterial communities and plant functional traits in a neotropical forest.

    PubMed

    Kembel, Steven W; O'Connor, Timothy K; Arnold, Holly K; Hubbell, Stephen P; Wright, S Joseph; Green, Jessica L

    2014-09-23

    The phyllosphere--the aerial surfaces of plants, including leaves--is a ubiquitous global habitat that harbors diverse bacterial communities. Phyllosphere bacterial communities have the potential to influence plant biogeography and ecosystem function through their influence on the fitness and function of their hosts, but the host attributes that drive community assembly in the phyllosphere are poorly understood. In this study we used high-throughput sequencing to quantify bacterial community structure on the leaves of 57 tree species in a neotropical forest in Panama. We tested for relationships between bacterial communities on tree leaves and the functional traits, taxonomy, and phylogeny of their plant hosts. Bacterial communities on tropical tree leaves were diverse; leaves from individual trees were host to more than 400 bacterial taxa. Bacterial communities in the phyllosphere were dominated by a core microbiome of taxa including Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria, and Sphingobacteria. Host attributes including plant taxonomic identity, phylogeny, growth and mortality rates, wood density, leaf mass per area, and leaf nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations were correlated with bacterial community structure on leaves. The relative abundances of several bacterial taxa were correlated with suites of host plant traits related to major axes of plant trait variation, including the leaf economics spectrum and the wood density-growth/mortality tradeoff. These correlations between phyllosphere bacterial diversity and host growth, mortality, and function suggest that incorporating information on plant-microbe associations will improve our ability to understand plant functional biogeography and the drivers of variation in plant and ecosystem function.

  4. Traits, properties, and performance: how woody plants combine hydraulic and mechanical functions in a cell, tissue, or whole plant.

    PubMed

    Lachenbruch, Barbara; McCulloh, Katherine A

    2014-12-01

    This review presents a framework for evaluating how cells, tissues, organs, and whole plants perform both hydraulic and mechanical functions. The morphological alterations that affect dual functionality are varied: individual cells can have altered morphology; tissues can have altered partitioning to functions or altered cell alignment; and organs and whole plants can differ in their allocation to different tissues, or in the geometric distribution of the tissues they have. A hierarchical model emphasizes that morphological traits influence the hydraulic or mechanical properties; the properties, combined with the plant unit's environment, then influence the performance of that plant unit. As a special case, we discuss the mechanisms by which the proxy property wood density has strong correlations to performance but without direct causality. Traits and properties influence multiple aspects of performance, and there can be mutual compensations such that similar performance occurs. This compensation emphasizes that natural selection acts on, and a plant's viability is determined by, its performance, rather than its contributing traits and properties. Continued research on the relationships among traits, and on their effects on multiple aspects of performance, will help us better predict, manage, and select plant material for success under multiple stresses in the future.

  5. Modeling phytoplankton community in reservoirs. A comparison between taxonomic and functional groups-based models.

    PubMed

    Di Maggio, Jimena; Fernández, Carolina; Parodi, Elisa R; Diaz, M Soledad; Estrada, Vanina

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we address the formulation of two mechanistic water quality models that differ in the way the phytoplankton community is described. We carry out parameter estimation subject to differential-algebraic constraints and validation for each model and comparison between models performance. The first approach aggregates phytoplankton species based on their phylogenetic characteristics (Taxonomic group model) and the second one, on their morpho-functional properties following Reynolds' classification (Functional group model). The latter approach takes into account tolerance and sensitivity to environmental conditions. The constrained parameter estimation problems are formulated within an equation oriented framework, with a maximum likelihood objective function. The study site is Paso de las Piedras Reservoir (Argentina), which supplies water for consumption for 450,000 population. Numerical results show that phytoplankton morpho-functional groups more closely represent each species growth requirements within the group. Each model performance is quantitatively assessed by three diagnostic measures. Parameter estimation results for seasonal dynamics of the phytoplankton community and main biogeochemical variables for a one-year time horizon are presented and compared for both models, showing the functional group model enhanced performance. Finally, we explore increasing nutrient loading scenarios and predict their effect on phytoplankton dynamics throughout a one-year time horizon.

  6. Energies of the adsorption of functional groups to calcium carbonate polymorphs: the importance of -OH and -COOH groups.

    PubMed

    Okhrimenko, D V; Nissenbaum, J; Andersson, M P; Olsson, M H M; Stipp, S L S

    2013-09-01

    The adsorption behavior of calcium carbonate is an important factor in many processes in nature, industry, and biological systems. We determined and compared the adsorption energies for a series of small molecules of different sizes and polarities (i.e., water, several alcohols, and acetic acid) on three synthetic CaCO3 polymorphs (calcite, aragonite, and vaterite). We measured isosteric heats of adsorption from vapor adsorption isotherms for 273 < T < 293 K, and we used XRD and SEM to confirm that samples did not change phase during the experiments. Density functional calculations and molecular dynamics simulations complemented the experimental results and aided interpretation. Alcohols with molecular mass greater than that of methanol bind more strongly to the calcium carbonate polymorphs than water and acetic acid. The adsorption energies for the alcohols are typical of chemisorption and indicate alcohol displacement of water from calcium carbonate surfaces. This explains why organisms favor biomolecules that contain alcohol functional groups (-OH) to control which polymorph they use, the crystal face and orientation, and the particle shape and size in biomineralization processes. This new insight is also very useful in understanding organic molecule adsorption mechanisms in soils, sediments, and rocks, which is important for predicting the behavior of mineral-fluid interactions when the challenge is to remediate contaminated groundwater aquifers or to produce oil and gas from reservoirs.

  7. The Plant Heat Stress Transcription Factors (HSFs): Structure, Regulation, and Function in Response to Abiotic Stresses

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Meng; Liu, Jin-Hong; Ma, Xiao; Luo, De-Xu; Gong, Zhen-Hui; Lu, Ming-Hui

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic stresses such as high temperature, salinity, and drought adversely affect the survival, growth, and reproduction of plants. Plants respond to such unfavorable changes through developmental, physiological, and biochemical ways, and these responses require expression of stress-responsive genes, which are regulated by a network of transcription factors (TFs), including heat stress transcription factors (HSFs). HSFs play a crucial role in plants response to several abiotic stresses by regulating the expression of stress-responsive genes, such as heat shock proteins (Hsps). In this review, we describe the conserved structure of plant HSFs, the identification of HSF gene families from various plant species, their expression profiling under abiotic stress conditions, regulation at different levels and function in abiotic stresses. Despite plant HSFs share highly conserved structure, their remarkable diversification across plants reflects their numerous functions as well as their integration into the complex stress signaling and response networks, which can be employed in crop improvement strategies via biotechnological intervention. PMID:26904076

  8. The Plant Heat Stress Transcription Factors (HSFs): Structure, Regulation, and Function in Response to Abiotic Stresses.

    PubMed

    Guo, Meng; Liu, Jin-Hong; Ma, Xiao; Luo, De-Xu; Gong, Zhen-Hui; Lu, Ming-Hui

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic stresses such as high temperature, salinity, and drought adversely affect the survival, growth, and reproduction of plants. Plants respond to such unfavorable changes through developmental, physiological, and biochemical ways, and these responses require expression of stress-responsive genes, which are regulated by a network of transcription factors (TFs), including heat stress transcription factors (HSFs). HSFs play a crucial role in plants response to several abiotic stresses by regulating the expression of stress-responsive genes, such as heat shock proteins (Hsps). In this review, we describe the conserved structure of plant HSFs, the identification of HSF gene families from various plant species, their expression profiling under abiotic stress conditions, regulation at different levels and function in abiotic stresses. Despite plant HSFs share highly conserved structure, their remarkable diversification across plants reflects their numerous functions as well as their integration into the complex stress signaling and response networks, which can be employed in crop improvement strategies via biotechnological intervention.

  9. Plant diversity and root traits benefit physical properties key to soil function in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Gould, Iain J; Quinton, John N; Weigelt, Alexandra; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning, including important effects on soil. Most studies that have explored plant diversity effects belowground, however, have largely focused on biological processes. As such, our understanding of how plant diversity impacts the soil physical environment remains limited, despite the fundamental role soil physical structure plays in ensuring soil function and ecosystem service provision. Here, in both a glasshouse and a long-term field study, we show that high plant diversity in grassland systems increases soil aggregate stability, a vital structural property of soil, and that root traits play a major role in determining diversity effects. We also reveal that the presence of particular plant species within mixed communities affects an even wider range of soil physical processes, including hydrology and soil strength regimes. Our results indicate that alongside well-documented effects on ecosystem functioning, plant diversity and root traits also benefit essential soil physical properties.

  10. Plant diversity and root traits benefit physical properties key to soil function in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Gould, Iain J; Quinton, John N; Weigelt, Alexandra; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning, including important effects on soil. Most studies that have explored plant diversity effects belowground, however, have largely focused on biological processes. As such, our understanding of how plant diversity impacts the soil physical environment remains limited, despite the fundamental role soil physical structure plays in ensuring soil function and ecosystem service provision. Here, in both a glasshouse and a long-term field study, we show that high plant diversity in grassland systems increases soil aggregate stability, a vital structural property of soil, and that root traits play a major role in determining diversity effects. We also reveal that the presence of particular plant species within mixed communities affects an even wider range of soil physical processes, including hydrology and soil strength regimes. Our results indicate that alongside well-documented effects on ecosystem functioning, plant diversity and root traits also benefit essential soil physical properties. PMID:27459206

  11. 2009 Plant Lipids: Structure, Metabolism & Function Gordon Research Conference - February 1- 6 ,2009

    SciTech Connect

    Kent D. Chapman

    2009-02-06

    The Gordon Research Conference on 'Plant Lipids: Structure, Metabolism and Function' has been instituted to accelerate research productivity in the field of plant lipids. This conference will facilitate wide dissemination of research breakthroughs, support recruitment of young scientists to the field of plant lipid metabolism and encourage broad participation of the plant lipid community in guiding future directions for research in plant lipids. This conference will build upon the strengths of the successful, previous biannual meetings of the National Plant Lipid Cooperative (www.plantlipids.org) that began in 1993, but will reflect a broader scope of topics to include the biochemistry, cell biology, metabolic regulation, and signaling functions of plant acyl lipids. Most importantly, this conference also will serve as a physical focal point for the interaction of the plant lipid research community. Applications to attend this conference will be open to all researchers interested in plant lipids and will provide a venue for the presentation of the latest research results, networking opportunities for young scientists, and a forum for the development and exchange of useful lipid resources and new ideas. By bringing together senior- and junior-level scientists involved in plant lipid metabolism, a broad range of insights will be shared and the community of plant lipid researchers will function more as a network of vested partners. This is important for the vitality of the research community and for the perceived value that will encourage conference attendance into the future.

  12. Linking of Sensor Molecules with Amino Groups to Amino-Functionalized AFM Tips

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The measuring tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) can be upgraded to a specific biosensor by attaching one or a few biomolecules to the apex of the tip. The biofunctionalized tip is then used to map cognate target molecules on a sample surface or to study biophysical parameters of interaction with the target molecules. The functionality of tip-bound sensor molecules is greatly enhanced if they are linked via a thin, flexible polymer chain. In a typical scheme of tip functionalization, reactive groups are first generated on the tip surface, a bifunctional cross-linker is then attached with one of its two reactive ends, and finally the probe molecule of interest is coupled to the free end of the cross-linker. Unfortunately, the most popular functional group generated on the tip surface is the amino group, while at the same time, the only useful coupling functions of many biomolecules (such as antibodies) are also NH2 groups. In the past, various tricks or detours were applied to minimize the undesired bivalent reaction of bifunctional linkers with adjacent NH2 groups on the tip surface. In the present study, an uncompromising solution to this problem was found with the help of a new cross-linker (“acetal-PEG-NHS”) which possesses one activated carboxyl group and one acetal-protected benzaldehyde function. The activated carboxyl ensures rapid unilateral attachment to the amino-functionalized tip, and only then is the terminal acetal group converted into the amino-reactive benzaldehyde function by mild treatment (1% citric acid, 1–10 min) which does not harm the AFM tip. As an exception, AFM tips with magnetic coating become demagnetized in 1% citric acid. This problem was solved by deprotecting the acetal group before coupling the PEG linker to the AFM tip. Bivalent binding of the corresponding linker (“aldehyde-PEG-NHS”) to adjacent NH2 groups on the tip was largely suppressed by high linker concentrations. In this way, magnetic AFM tips could be

  13. 7 CFR 340.2 - Groups of organisms which are or contain plant pests and exemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest; (iv) The cloned genes are not... pest contained in the genome of the plant Arabiodopsis thaliana, provided that all of the following... genome; (iii) The cloned material does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest....

  14. 7 CFR 340.2 - Groups of organisms which are or contain plant pests and exemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest; (iv) The cloned genes are not... pest contained in the genome of the plant Arabiodopsis thaliana, provided that all of the following... genome; (iii) The cloned material does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest....

  15. 7 CFR 340.2 - Groups of organisms which are or contain plant pests and exemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest; (iv) The cloned genes are not... pest contained in the genome of the plant Arabiodopsis thaliana, provided that all of the following... genome; (iii) The cloned material does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest....

  16. 7 CFR 340.2 - Groups of organisms which are or contain plant pests and exemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest; (iv) The cloned genes are not... pest contained in the genome of the plant Arabiodopsis thaliana, provided that all of the following... genome; (iii) The cloned material does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest....

  17. 7 CFR 340.2 - Groups of organisms which are or contain plant pests and exemptions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest; (iv) The cloned genes are not... pest contained in the genome of the plant Arabiodopsis thaliana, provided that all of the following... genome; (iii) The cloned material does not include the complete infectious genome of a known plant pest....

  18. Carboxyl group (-CO2 H) functionalized coordination polymer nanoparticles as efficient platforms for drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Novio, Fernando; Lorenzo, Julia; Nador, Fabiana; Wnuk, Karolina; Ruiz-Molina, Daniel

    2014-11-17

    Functionalization of nanoparticles can significantly influence their properties and potential applications. Although researchers can now functionalize metal, metal oxide, and organic polymer nanoparticles with a high degree of precision, controlled surface functionalization of nanoscale coordination polymer particles (CPPs) has remained a significant challenge. The lack of methodology is perhaps one of the greatest roadblocks to the advancement of CPPs into high added-value drug delivery applications. Here, we report having achieved this goal through a stepwise formation and functionalization protocol. We fabricated robust nanoparticles with enhanced thermal and colloidal stabilities by incorporation of carboxyl groups and these surface carboxyl groups could be subsequently functionalized through well-known peptide coupling reactions. The set of chemistries that we employed as proof-of-concept enabled a plethora of new functional improvements for the application of CPPs as drug delivery carriers, including enhanced colloidal stabilities and the incorporation of additional functional groups such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) or fluorescent dyes that enabled tracking of their cellular uptake. Finally, we ascertained the cytotoxicity of the new CPP nanoparticles loaded with camptothecin to human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7). Efflux measurements show that the encapsulation of camptothecin enhances the potency of the drug 6.5-fold and increases the drug retention within the cell. PMID:25284328

  19. Carboxyl group (-CO2 H) functionalized coordination polymer nanoparticles as efficient platforms for drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Novio, Fernando; Lorenzo, Julia; Nador, Fabiana; Wnuk, Karolina; Ruiz-Molina, Daniel

    2014-11-17

    Functionalization of nanoparticles can significantly influence their properties and potential applications. Although researchers can now functionalize metal, metal oxide, and organic polymer nanoparticles with a high degree of precision, controlled surface functionalization of nanoscale coordination polymer particles (CPPs) has remained a significant challenge. The lack of methodology is perhaps one of the greatest roadblocks to the advancement of CPPs into high added-value drug delivery applications. Here, we report having achieved this goal through a stepwise formation and functionalization protocol. We fabricated robust nanoparticles with enhanced thermal and colloidal stabilities by incorporation of carboxyl groups and these surface carboxyl groups could be subsequently functionalized through well-known peptide coupling reactions. The set of chemistries that we employed as proof-of-concept enabled a plethora of new functional improvements for the application of CPPs as drug delivery carriers, including enhanced colloidal stabilities and the incorporation of additional functional groups such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) or fluorescent dyes that enabled tracking of their cellular uptake. Finally, we ascertained the cytotoxicity of the new CPP nanoparticles loaded with camptothecin to human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7). Efflux measurements show that the encapsulation of camptothecin enhances the potency of the drug 6.5-fold and increases the drug retention within the cell.

  20. Assessment of female sexual function in a group of uncircumcised obese Egyptian women.

    PubMed

    Elnashar, A R M; Ibrahim, N H; Ahmed, H-Eh; Hassanin, A M; Elgawady, M A

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess female sexual function in an obese group (250 women) and to compare it with a control group (100 women), among 25-35-year-old uncircumcised Egyptian women, using female sexual function index (FSFI) score. FSFI total score of ⩽ 26.55 was considered diagnostic of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). The percentage of FSD in the obese group was 73.6% while it was 71% in the control group, which was statistically insignificant (P > 0.05). The difference between both groups regarding the total (FSFI) score was insignificant (P > 0.05), but arousal and satisfaction domains scores were significantly lower in the obese group. In the obese group, a strong negative correlation between body mass index and arousal, orgasm and the total FSFI score was found. Women with excessive obesity had the lowest total FSFI score. In the obese group, college graduates had the highest total scores and all domain scores of FSFI followed by high school graduates while the least educated women had the lowest scores and when these subgroups were compared, significant differences were found among them. We conclude that in uncircumcised 25-35-year-old Egyptian women, obesity is not a major detrimental factor for FSD, but it may affect some sexual domains such as arousal and satisfaction, although excessive obesity is associated with FSD. Also, educational and cultural factors may have an impact on perception of sex and pleasure. PMID:26155831

  1. Wigner functions for noncommutative quantum mechanics: A group representation based construction

    SciTech Connect

    Chowdhury, S. Hasibul Hassan; Ali, S. Twareque

    2015-12-15

    This paper is devoted to the construction and analysis of the Wigner functions for noncommutative quantum mechanics, their marginal distributions, and star-products, following a technique developed earlier, viz, using the unitary irreducible representations of the group G{sub NC}, which is the three fold central extension of the Abelian group of ℝ{sup 4}. These representations have been exhaustively studied in earlier papers. The group G{sub NC} is identified with the kinematical symmetry group of noncommutative quantum mechanics of a system with two degrees of freedom. The Wigner functions studied here reflect different levels of non-commutativity—both the operators of position and those of momentum not commuting, the position operators not commuting and finally, the case of standard quantum mechanics, obeying the canonical commutation relations only.

  2. Porous polymer monoliths with large surface area and functional groups prepared via copolymerization of protected functional monomers and hypercrosslinking.

    PubMed

    Maya, Fernando; Svec, Frantisek

    2013-11-22

    A new approach to the preparation of porous polymer monoliths possessing both large surface area and functional groups has been developed. The chloromethyl groups of poly(styrene-co-4-acetoxystyrene-co-vinylbenzyl chloride-co-divinylbenzene) monolith enable post-polymerization hypercrosslinking catalyzed by ferric chloride in dichloroethane leading to a multitude of small pores thus enhancing the surface area. The acetoxy functionalities are easily deprotected using hydrazine to produce polar phenolic hydroxyl groups, which would be difficult to obtain by direct copolymerization of hydroxyl-containing monomers. The hypercrosslinking and deprotection reactions as well as their sequence were studied in detail with bulk polymer monoliths containing up to 50% 4-acetoxystyrene and its progress monitored by infrared spectrometry and nitrogen adsorption/desorption measurements. No significant difference was found for both possible successions. All monoliths were also prepared in a capillary column format, then deprotected and hypercrosslinked. Capillary columns were tested for the separation of small molecules using reversed phase and normal phase chromatographic modes. For polymer monoliths containing 50% deprotected 4-acetoxystyrene, column efficiencies of 40,000 plates/m for benzene in reversed phase mode and 31,800 plates/m for nitrobenzene in normal phase mode, were obtained. The percentage of hydroxyl groups in the monoliths enables modulation of polarity of the stationary phase. They also represent functionalities that are potentially suitable for further modifications and formation of new types of stationary phases for liquid chromatography.

  3. High-throughput comparison, functional annotation, and metabolic modeling of plant genomes using the PlantSEED resource.

    PubMed

    Seaver, Samuel M D; Gerdes, Svetlana; Frelin, Océane; Lerma-Ortiz, Claudia; Bradbury, Louis M T; Zallot, Rémi; Hasnain, Ghulam; Niehaus, Thomas D; El Yacoubi, Basma; Pasternak, Shiran; Olson, Robert; Pusch, Gordon; Overbeek, Ross; Stevens, Rick; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie; Ware, Doreen; Hanson, Andrew D; Henry, Christopher S

    2014-07-01

    The increasing number of sequenced plant genomes is placing new demands on the methods applied to analyze, annotate, and model these genomes. Today's annotation pipelines result in inconsistent gene assignments that complicate comparative analyses and prevent efficient construction of metabolic models. To overcome these problems, we have developed the PlantSEED, an integrated, metabolism-centric database to support subsystems-based annotation and metabolic model reconstruction for plant genomes. PlantSEED combines SEED subsystems technology, first developed for microbial genomes, with refined protein families and biochemical data to assign fully consistent functional annotations to orthologous genes, particularly those encoding primary metabolic pathways. Seamless integration with its parent, the prokaryotic SEED database, makes PlantSEED a unique environment for cross-kingdom comparative analysis of plant and bacterial genomes. The consistent annotations imposed by PlantSEED permit rapid reconstruction and modeling of primary metabolism for all plant genomes in the database. This feature opens the unique possibility of model-based assessment of the completeness and accuracy of gene annotation and thus allows computational identification of genes and pathways that are restricted to certain genomes or need better curation. We demonstrate the PlantSEED system by producing consistent annotations for 10 reference genomes. We also produce a functioning metabolic model for each genome, gapfilling to identify missing annotations and proposing gene candidates for missing annotations. Models are built around an extended biomass composition representing the most comprehensive published to date. To our knowledge, our models are the first to be published for seven of the genomes analyzed. PMID:24927599

  4. Contribution of above- and below-ground plant traits to the structure and function of grassland soil microbial communities

    PubMed Central

    Legay, N.; Baxendale, C.; Grigulis, K.; Krainer, U.; Kastl, E.; Schloter, M.; Bardgett, R. D.; Arnoldi, C.; Bahn, M.; Dumont, M.; Poly, F.; Pommier, T.; Clément, J. C.; Lavorel, S.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Abiotic properties of soil are known to be major drivers of the microbial community within it. Our understanding of how soil microbial properties are related to the functional structure and diversity of plant communities, however, is limited and largely restricted to above-ground plant traits, with the role of below-ground traits being poorly understood. This study investigated the relative contributions of soil abiotic properties and plant traits, both above-ground and below-ground, to variations in microbial processes involved in grassland nitrogen turnover. Methods In mountain grasslands distributed across three European sites, a correlative approach was used to examine the role of a large range of plant functional traits and soil abiotic factors on microbial variables, including gene abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers and their potential activities. Key Results Direct effects of soil abiotic parameters were found to have the most significant influence on the microbial groups investigated. Indirect pathways via plant functional traits contributed substantially to explaining the relative abundance of fungi and bacteria and gene abundances of the investigated microbial communities, while they explained little of the variance in microbial activities. Gene abundances of nitrifiers and denitrifiers were most strongly related to below-ground plant traits, suggesting that they were the most relevant traits for explaining variation in community structure and abundances of soil microbes involved in nitrification and denitrification. Conclusions The results suggest that consideration of plant traits, and especially below-ground traits, increases our ability to describe variation in the abundances and the functional characteristics of microbial communities in grassland soils. PMID:25122656

  5. Exotic plants contribute positively to biodiversity functions but reduce native seed production and arthropod richness.

    PubMed

    Cook-Patton, Susan C; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2014-06-01

    Although exotic plants comprise a substantial portion of floristic biodiversity, their contributions to community and ecosystem processes are not well understood. We manipulated plant species richness in old-field communities to compare the impacts of native vs. exotic species on plant biomass, seed production, and arthropod community structure. Plants within diverse communities, regardless of whether they were native or exotic, had higher biomass and seed production than in monocultures and displayed positive complementarity. Increasing native or exotic plant richness also enhanced the richness of arthropods on plants, but exotics attracted fewer arthropod species for a given arthropod abundance than did natives. Additionally, when exotic and native plants grew together, exotics suppressed seed production of native species. Thus, exotic plants appear to contribute positively to some biodiversity functions, but may impact native communities over longer time frames by reducing native seed production and recruiting fewer arthropod species.

  6. Functional grouping and cortical–subcortical interactions in emotion: A meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies

    PubMed Central

    Kober, Hedy; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Joseph, Josh; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Lindquist, Kristen; Wager, Tor D.

    2009-01-01

    We performed an updated quantitative meta-analysis of 162 neuroimaging studies of emotion using a novel multi-level kernel-based approach, focusing on locating brain regions consistently activated in emotional tasks and their functional organization into distributed functional groups, independent of semantically defined emotion category labels (e.g., “anger,” “fear”). Such brain-based analyses are critical if our ways of labeling emotions are to be evaluated and revised based on consistency with brain data. Consistent activations were limited to specific cortical sub-regions, including multiple functional areas within medial, orbital, and inferior lateral frontal cortices. Consistent with a wealth of animal literature, multiple subcortical activations were identified, including amygdala, ventral striatum, thalamus, hypothalamus, and periaqueductal gray. We used multivariate parcellation and clustering techniques to identify groups of co-activated brain regions across studies. These analyses identified six distributed functional groups, including medial and lateral frontal groups, two posterior cortical groups, and paralimbic and core limbic/brainstem groups. These functional groups provide information on potential organization of brain regions into large-scale networks. Specific follow-up analyses focused on amygdala, periaqueductal gray (PAG), and hypothalamic (Hy) activations, and identified frontal cortical areas co-activated with these core limbic structures. While multiple areas of frontal cortex co-activated with amygdala sub-regions, a specific region of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC, Brodmann’s Area 9/32) was the only area co-activated with both PAG and Hy. Subsequent mediation analyses were consistent with a pathway from dmPFC through PAG to Hy. These results suggest that medial frontal areas are more closely associated with core limbic activation than their lateral counterparts, and that dmPFC may play a particularly important role in the

  7. Functional network organizations of two contrasting temperament groups in dimensions of novelty seeking and harm avoidance.

    PubMed

    Kyeong, Sunghyon; Kim, Eunjoo; Park, Hae-Jeong; Hwang, Dong-Uk

    2014-08-01

    Novelty seeking (NS) and harm avoidance (HA) are two major dimensions of temperament in Cloninger׳s neurobiological model of personality. Previous neurofunctional and biological studies on temperament dimensions of HA and NS suggested that the temperamental traits have significant correlations with cortical and subcortical brain regions. However, no study to date has investigated the functional network modular organization as a function of the temperament dimension. The temperament dimensions were originally proposed to be independent of one another. However, a meta-analysis based on 16 published articles found a significant negative correlation between HA and NS (Miettunen et al., 2008). Based on this negative correlation, the current study revealed the whole-brain connectivity modular architecture for two contrasting temperament groups. The k-means clustering algorithm, with the temperamental traits of HA and NS as an input, was applied to divide the 40 subjects into two temperament groups: 'high HA and low NS' versus 'low HA and high NS'. Using the graph theoretical framework, we found a functional segregation of whole brain network architectures derived from resting-state functional MRI. In the 'high HA and low NS' group, the regulatory brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC), are clustered together with the limbic system. In the 'low HA and high NS' group, however, brain regions lying on the dopaminergic pathways, such as the PFC and basal ganglia, are partitioned together. These findings suggest that the neural basis of inhibited, passive, and inactive behaviors in the 'high HA and low NS' group was derived from the increased network associations between the PFC and limbic clusters. In addition, supporting evidence of topological differences between the two temperament groups was found by analyzing the functional connectivity density and gray matter volume, and by computing the relationships between the morphometry and function of the brain.

  8. A Simple and Versatile Amide Directing Group for C-H Functionalizations.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ru-Yi; Farmer, Marcus E; Chen, Yan-Qiao; Yu, Jin-Quan

    2016-08-26

    Achieving selective C-H activation at a single and strategic site in the presence of multiple C-H bonds can provide a powerful and generally useful retrosynthetic disconnection. In this context, a directing group serves as a compass to guide the transition metal to C-H bonds by using distance and geometry as powerful recognition parameters to distinguish between proximal and distal C-H bonds. However, the installation and removal of directing groups is a practical drawback. To improve the utility of this approach, one can seek solutions in three directions: 1) Simplifying the directing group, 2) using common functional groups or protecting groups as directing groups, and 3) attaching the directing group to substrates via a transient covalent bond to render the directing group catalytic. This Review describes the rational development of an extremely simple and yet broadly applicable directing group for Pd(II) , Rh(III) , and Ru(II) catalysts, namely the N-methoxy amide (CONHOMe) moiety. Through collective efforts in the community, a wide range of C-H activation transformations using this type of simple directing group have been developed. PMID:27479708

  9. Application of Functional Genomics and Proteomics to Plant Cryopreservation

    PubMed Central

    Volk, Gayle M

    2010-01-01

    Plant cryobiology has primarily emerged from the classical fields of cryobiology and plant stress physiology. Cryopreservation tools are now available to geneticists for germplasm preservation and the field itself is advancing significantly through the use of molecular techniques. Long-term preservation of vegetatively propagated tissues can minimize the risks of long-term maintenance under tissue culture or field conditions. Cells can be successfully cryopreserved when the adverse affects of ice crystal formation are mitigated by the removal of water or procedures to limit ice formation and crystal growth. The addition of cryoprotectant solutions to hydrated cells may improve the survival of microdissected shoot tips or embryonic axes. Recent discoveries in the genetic pathways leading to cold acclimation and freezing tolerance suggest the involvement of key cold-regulated genes in the acquisition of cold tolerance in plant tissues. Model systems of banana and Arabidopsis have revealed the involvement of genes and proteins in the glycolytic and other metabolic pathways, particularly processes involved in dehydration tolerance, osmoprotection, and membrane transport. Furthermore, successful recovery appears to be dependent upon the presence of antioxidant protection from reactive oxygen species. Characterization of specific genes and proteins will lead to significant advances in plant cryobiology research. PMID:20808520

  10. Function of blue iridescence in tropical understorey plants.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Katherine R; Kolle, Mathias; Whitney, Heather M; Glover, Beverley J; Steiner, Ullrich

    2010-12-01

    The blue colouration seen in the leaves of Selaginella willdenowii is shown to be iridescent. Transmission electron microscopy studies confirm the presence of a layered lamellar structure of the upper cuticle of iridescent leaves. Modelling of these multi-layer structures suggests that they are responsible for the blue iridescence, confirming the link between the observed lamellae and the recorded optical properties. Comparison of blue and green leaves from the same plant indicates that the loss of the blue iridescence corresponds to a loss of the multi-layer structure. The results reported here do not support the idea that iridescence in plants acts to enhance light capture of photosynthetically important wavelengths. The reflectance of light in the range 600-700 nm is very similar for both iridescent and non-iridescent leaves. However, owing to the occurrence of blue colouration in a wide variety of shade dwelling plants it is probable that this iridescence has some adaptive benefit. Possible adaptive advantages of the blue iridescence in these plants are discussed.

  11. Functional genetic studies of the tarnished plant bug

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The tarnished plant bug (TPB), Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beuvois) has become a primary pest of cotton in the Mississippi Delta. To identify new techological and genetic methods to control TPB, studies have begun to focus on genes expressed by the insect. Initial studies on interference of transcr...

  12. Pyrrolic tripodal receptors for carbohydrates. Role of functional groups and binding geometry on carbohydrate recognition.

    PubMed

    Cacciarini, Martina; Nativi, Cristina; Norcini, Martina; Staderini, Samuele; Francesconi, Oscar; Roelens, Stefano

    2011-02-21

    The contribution from several H-bonding groups and the impact of geometric requirements on the binding ability of benzene-based tripodal receptors toward carbohydrates have been investigated by measuring the affinity of a set of structures toward octyl β-D-glucopyranoside, selected as a representative monosaccharide. The results reported in the present study demonstrate that a judicious choice of correct geometry and appropriate functional groups is critical to achieve the complementary hydrogen bonding interactions required for an effective carbohydrate recognition.

  13. Differential effects of plant diversity on functional trait variation of grass species

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Functional trait differences and trait adjustment in response to influences of the biotic environment could reflect niche partitioning among species. In this study, we tested how variation in above-ground plant traits, chosen as indicators for light and nitrogen acquisition and use, differs among taxonomically closely related species (Poaceae) to assess their potential for niche segregation at increasing plant diversity. Methods Traits of 12 grass species were measured in experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) of varying species richness (from 1 to 60) and presence of particular functional groups (grasses, legumes, tall herbs and small herbs). Key Results Grass species increased shoot and leaf length, investment into supporting tissue (stem mass fraction) and specific leaf area as well as reduced foliar δ13C values with increasing species richness, indicating higher efforts for light acquisition. These species-richness effects could in part be explained by a higher probability of legume presence in more diverse communities. Leaf nitrogen concentrations increased and biomas s : N ratios in shoots decreased when grasses grew with legumes, indicating an improved nitrogen nutrition. Foliar δ15N values of grasses decreased when growing with legumes suggesting the use of depleted legume-derived N, while decreasing δ15N values with increasing species richness indicated a shift in the uptake of different N sources. However, efforts to optimize light and nitrogen acquisition by plastic adjustment of traits in response to species richness and legume presence, varied significantly among grass species. It was possible to show further that trait adjustment of grass species increased niche segregation in more diverse plant communities but that complementarity through niche separation may differ between light and nutrient acquisition. Conclusions The results suggest that even among closely related species such as grasses different strategies are used to

  14. Designed nitrogen doping of few-layer graphene functionalized by selective oxygenic groups

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Few-layer nitrogen doped graphene was synthesized originating from graphene oxide functionalized by selective oxygenic functional groups (hydroxyl, carbonyl, carboxyl etc.) under hydrothermal conditions, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) observation evidenced few-layer feature of the graphene oxide. X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern confirmed phase structure of the graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide. Nitrogen doping content and bonding configuration of the graphene was determined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), which indicated that different oxygenic functional groups were evidently different in affecting the nitrogen doping process. Compared with other oxygenic groups, carboxyl group played a crucial role in the initial stage of nitrogen doping while hydroxyls exhibited more evident contribution to the doping process in the late stage of the reaction. Formation of graphitic-like nitrogen species was controlled by a synergistic effect of the involved oxygenic groups (e.g., -COOH, -OH, C-O-C, etc.). The doping mechanism of nitrogen in the graphene was scrutinized. The research in this work may not only contribute to the fundamental understandings of nitrogen doping within graphene but promote the development of producing novel graphene-based devices with designed surface functionalization. PMID:25520594

  15. The Effect of Functional Groups in Bio-Derived Fuel Candidates.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Rhodri W; Moore, Cameron M; Semelsberger, Troy A; Chuck, Christopher J; Gordon, John C; Sutton, Andrew D

    2016-05-10

    Interest in developing renewable fuels is continuing to grow and biomass represents a viable source of renewable carbon with which to replace fossil-based components in transportation fuels. During our own work, we noticed that chemists think in terms of functional groups whereas fuel engineers think in terms of physical fuel properties. In this Concept article, we discuss the effect of carbon and oxygen functional groups on potential fuel properties. This serves as a way of informing our own thinking and provides us with a basis with which to design and synthesize molecules from biomass that could provide useful transportation fuels. PMID:27099975

  16. In Vivo Models to Address the Function of Polycomb Group Proteins.

    PubMed

    Bantignies, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Initially discovered as repressors of homeotic gene expression in Drosophila, Polycomb group (PcG) proteins have now been shown to be involved in a plethora of biological processes. Indeed, by repressing a large number of target genes, including specific lineage genes, these chromatin factors play major roles in a multitude of cellular functions, such as pluripotency, differentiation, reprogramming, tissue regeneration, and nuclear organization. In this book chapter are presented in vivo approaches and technologies, which have been used in both mammalian and Drosophila systems to study the cellular functions of Polycomb group proteins. PMID:27659991

  17. Effects of surface functional groups on the formation of nanoparticle-protein corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podila, R.; Chen, R.; Ke, P. C.; Brown, J. M.; Rao, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    Herein, we examined the dependence of protein adsorption on the nanoparticle surface in the presence of functional groups. Our UV-visible spectrophotometry, transmission electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and dynamic light scattering measurements evidently suggested that the functional groups play an important role in the formation of nanoparticle-protein corona. We found that uncoated and surfactant-free silver nanoparticles derived from a laser ablation process promoted a maximum protein (bovine serum albumin) coating due to increased changes in entropy. On the other hand, bovine serum albumin displayed a relatively lower affinity for electrostatically stabilized nanoparticles due to the constrained entropy changes.

  18. The OMA orthology database in 2015: function predictions, better plant support, synteny view and other improvements.

    PubMed

    Altenhoff, Adrian M; Škunca, Nives; Glover, Natasha; Train, Clément-Marie; Sueki, Anna; Piližota, Ivana; Gori, Kevin; Tomiczek, Bartlomiej; Müller, Steven; Redestig, Henning; Gonnet, Gaston H; Dessimoz, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    The Orthologous Matrix (OMA) project is a method and associated database inferring evolutionary relationships amongst currently 1706 complete proteomes (i.e. the protein sequence associated for every protein-coding gene in all genomes). In this update article, we present six major new developments in OMA: (i) a new web interface; (ii) Gene Ontology function predictions as part of the OMA pipeline; (iii) better support for plant genomes and in particular homeologs in the wheat genome; (iv) a new synteny viewer providing the genomic context of orthologs; (v) statically computed hierarchical orthologous groups subsets downloadable in OrthoXML format; and (vi) possibility to export parts of the all-against-all computations and to combine them with custom data for 'client-side' orthology prediction. OMA can be accessed through the OMA Browser and various programmatic interfaces at http://omabrowser.org.

  19. The OMA orthology database in 2015: function predictions, better plant support, synteny view and other improvements.

    PubMed

    Altenhoff, Adrian M; Škunca, Nives; Glover, Natasha; Train, Clément-Marie; Sueki, Anna; Piližota, Ivana; Gori, Kevin; Tomiczek, Bartlomiej; Müller, Steven; Redestig, Henning; Gonnet, Gaston H; Dessimoz, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    The Orthologous Matrix (OMA) project is a method and associated database inferring evolutionary relationships amongst currently 1706 complete proteomes (i.e. the protein sequence associated for every protein-coding gene in all genomes). In this update article, we present six major new developments in OMA: (i) a new web interface; (ii) Gene Ontology function predictions as part of the OMA pipeline; (iii) better support for plant genomes and in particular homeologs in the wheat genome; (iv) a new synteny viewer providing the genomic context of orthologs; (v) statically computed hierarchical orthologous groups subsets downloadable in OrthoXML format; and (vi) possibility to export parts of the all-against-all computations and to combine them with custom data for 'client-side' orthology prediction. OMA can be accessed through the OMA Browser and various programmatic interfaces at http://omabrowser.org. PMID:25399418

  20. Ghrelin in plants: what is the function of an appetite hormone in plants?

    PubMed

    Aydin, Suleyman; Geckil, Hikmet; Zengin, Fikriye; Ibrahim Ozercan, H; Karatas, Fikret; Aydin, Suna; Turgut-Balik, Dilek; Ozkan, Yusuf; Dagli, Ferda; Celik, Venhar

    2006-07-01

    In the present work, we provide compelling evidence for the expression of a ghrelin-like peptide hormone that has only been associated with animals, in various plant tissues. Ghrelin, the appetite stimulating hormone, has been identified from a number of different species including humans, rat, pig, mouse, gerbil, eel, goldfish, bullfrog and chicken. The study here was conducted using an immunohistochemistry assay to screen whether plants have any ghrelin immunoreactivity. In this respect, Prunus x domestica L. and Marus alba were examined. Immunohistochemistry results showed that there is a strong human ghrelin immunoreactivity substance in the parenchyma cells of these plants. This was entirely unexpected since this hormone was considered to be present solely in animals. Thus, this study is the first to report the presence of a peptide with ghrelin-like activity in plants, a finding that has only been observed in the animal kingdom. RIA analysis confirmed that these plants contain significant amounts of this substance. Furthermore, reverse-phase HPLC analyses of plant extracts showed an elution characteristic of the peptide identical to that of human ghrelin. In general, fruit from both plants had higher levels of the peptide than the vegetative parts.

  1. Recent advances on host plants and expression cassettes' structure and function in plant molecular pharming.

    PubMed

    Makhzoum, Abdullah; Benyammi, Roukia; Moustafa, Khaled; Trémouillaux-Guiller, Jocelyne

    2014-04-01

    Plant molecular pharming is a promising system to produce important recombinant proteins such as therapeutic antibodies, pharmaceuticals, enzymes, growth factors, and vaccines. The system provides an interesting alternative method to the direct extraction of proteins from inappropriate source material while offering the possibility to overcome problems related to product safety and source availability. Multiple factors including plant hosts, genes of interest, expression vector cassettes, and extraction and purification techniques play important roles in the plant molecular pharming. Plant species, as a biosynthesis platform, are a crucial factor in achieving high yields of recombinant protein in plant. The choice of recombinant gene and its expression strategy is also of great importance in ensuring a high amount of the recombinant proteins. Many studies have been conducted to improve expression, accumulation, and purification of the recombinant protein from molecular pharming systems. Re-engineered vectors and expression cassettes are also pivotal tools in enhancing gene expression at the transcription and translation level, and increasing protein accumulation, stability, retention and targeting of specific organelles. In this review, we report recent advances and strategies of plant molecular pharming while focusing on the choice of plant hosts and the role of some molecular pharming elements and approaches: promoters, codon optimization, signal sequences, and peptides used for upstream design, purification and downstream processing.

  2. Recent advances on host plants and expression cassettes' structure and function in plant molecular pharming.

    PubMed

    Makhzoum, Abdullah; Benyammi, Roukia; Moustafa, Khaled; Trémouillaux-Guiller, Jocelyne

    2014-04-01

    Plant molecular pharming is a promising system to produce important recombinant proteins such as therapeutic antibodies, pharmaceuticals, enzymes, growth factors, and vaccines. The system provides an interesting alternative method to the direct extraction of proteins from inappropriate source material while offering the possibility to overcome problems related to product safety and source availability. Multiple factors including plant hosts, genes of interest, expression vector cassettes, and extraction and purification techniques play important roles in the plant molecular pharming. Plant species, as a biosynthesis platform, are a crucial factor in achieving high yields of recombinant protein in plant. The choice of recombinant gene and its expression strategy is also of great importance in ensuring a high amount of the recombinant proteins. Many studies have been conducted to improve expression, accumulation, and purification of the recombinant protein from molecular pharming systems. Re-engineered vectors and expression cassettes are also pivotal tools in enhancing gene expression at the transcription and translation level, and increasing protein accumulation, stability, retention and targeting of specific organelles. In this review, we report recent advances and strategies of plant molecular pharming while focusing on the choice of plant hosts and the role of some molecular pharming elements and approaches: promoters, codon optimization, signal sequences, and peptides used for upstream design, purification and downstream processing. PMID:23959796

  3. [Responses of ground arthropod functional groups to the enclosure of grazing grassland in desert steppe].

    PubMed

    Liu, Ren-tao; Li, Xue-bin; Xin, Ming; Ma, Lin; Liu, Kai

    2011-08-01

    With the support of the National Resources Monitoring Station in Yanchi County of Ningxia, an investigation was conducted on the ground arthropods, vegetations, and soil properties in the enclosed and un-enclosed grazing grassland in desert steppe. In the meantime, the functional groups of ground arthropods were classified according to their feeding habits. The ground arthropods in the desert steppe could be classified into four functional groups, i.e., predatory, phytophagous, saprophagous, and omnivorous, among which, predatory and phytophagous groups were dominant in quantity, and phytophagous and saprophagous groups were predominant in biomass, implying that the ground arthropod in desert steppe was mainly characterized by phytophagous arthropods. Enclosure increased the individual and group number of predatory, phytophagous, and omnivorous arthropods as well as the biomass of predatory and omnivorous arthropods, and enhanced the biodiversity of predatory and phytophagous arthropods, which was closely correlated with the vegetation recovery and soil environment improvement, and demonstrated that the enclosure of grazing grassland increased the diversity and complexity of ground arthropod functional groups in desert steppe. Nevertheless, the individual number and biomass of saprophagous arthropods decreased after the enclosure, reflecting the dependence of these arthropods on grazing grassland.

  4. Homologues of xenobiotic metabolizing N-acetyltransferases in plant-associated fungi: Novel functions for an old enzyme family

    PubMed Central

    Karagianni, Eleni P.; Kontomina, Evanthia; Davis, Britton; Kotseli, Barbara; Tsirka, Theodora; Garefalaki, Vasiliki; Sim, Edith; Glenn, Anthony E.; Boukouvala, Sotiria

    2015-01-01

    Plant-pathogenic fungi and their hosts engage in chemical warfare, attacking each other with toxic products of secondary metabolism and defending themselves via an arsenal of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes. One such enzyme is homologous to arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) and has been identified in Fusarium infecting cereal plants as responsible for detoxification of host defence compound 2-benzoxazolinone. Here we investigate functional diversification of NAT enzymes in crop-compromising species of Fusarium and Aspergillus, identifying three groups of homologues: Isoenzymes of the first group are found in all species and catalyse reactions with acetyl-CoA or propionyl-CoA. The second group is restricted to the plant pathogens and is active with malonyl-CoA in Fusarium species infecting cereals. The third group generates minimal activity with acyl-CoA compounds that bind non-selectively to the proteins. We propose that fungal NAT isoenzymes may have evolved to perform diverse functions, potentially relevant to pathogen fitness, acetyl-CoA/propionyl-CoA intracellular balance and secondary metabolism. PMID:26245863

  5. Homologues of xenobiotic metabolizing N-acetyltransferases in plant-associated fungi: Novel functions for an old enzyme family.

    PubMed

    Karagianni, Eleni P; Kontomina, Evanthia; Davis, Britton; Kotseli, Barbara; Tsirka, Theodora; Garefalaki, Vasiliki; Sim, Edith; Glenn, Anthony E; Boukouvala, Sotiria

    2015-01-01

    Plant-pathogenic fungi and their hosts engage in chemical warfare, attacking each other with toxic products of secondary metabolism and defending themselves via an arsenal of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes. One such enzyme is homologous to arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) and has been identified in Fusarium infecting cereal plants as responsible for detoxification of host defence compound 2-benzoxazolinone. Here we investigate functional diversification of NAT enzymes in crop-compromising species of Fusarium and Aspergillus, identifying three groups of homologues: Isoenzymes of the first group are found in all species and catalyse reactions with acetyl-CoA or propionyl-CoA. The second group is restricted to the plant pathogens and is active with malonyl-CoA in Fusarium species infecting cereals. The third group generates minimal activity with acyl-CoA compounds that bind non-selectively to the proteins. We propose that fungal NAT isoenzymes may have evolved to perform diverse functions, potentially relevant to pathogen fitness, acetyl-CoA/propionyl-CoA intracellular balance and secondary metabolism.

  6. Multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory: barrier heights and main group and transition metal energetics.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Rebecca K; Li Manni, Giovanni; Sonnenberger, Andrew L; Truhlar, Donald G; Gagliardi, Laura

    2015-01-13

    Kohn-Sham density functional theory, resting on the representation of the electronic density and kinetic energy by a single Slater determinant, has revolutionized chemistry, but for open-shell systems, the Kohn-Sham Slater determinant has the wrong symmetry properties as compared to an accurate wave function. We have recently proposed a theory, called multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory (MC-PDFT), in which the electronic kinetic energy and classical Coulomb energy are calculated from a multiconfiguration wave function with the correct symmetry properties, and the rest of the energy is calculated from a density functional, called the on-top density functional, that depends on the density and the on-top pair density calculated from this wave function. We also proposed a simple way to approximate the on-top density functional by translation of Kohn-Sham exchange-correlation functionals. The method is much less expensive than other post-SCF methods for calculating the dynamical correlation energy starting with a multiconfiguration self-consistent-field wave function as the reference wave function, and initial tests of the theory were quite encouraging. Here, we provide a broader test of the theory by applying it to bond energies of main-group molecules and transition metal complexes, barrier heights and reaction energies for diverse chemical reactions, proton affinities, and the water dimerization energy. Averaged over 56 data points, the mean unsigned error is 3.2 kcal/mol for MC-PDFT, as compared to 6.9 kcal/mol for Kohn-Sham theory with a comparable density functional. MC-PDFT is more accurate on average than complete active space second-order perturbation theory (CASPT2) for main-group small-molecule bond energies, alkyl bond dissociation energies, transition-metal-ligand bond energies, proton affinities, and the water dimerization energy.

  7. Plant hydraulics as a central hub integrating plant and ecosystem function: meeting report for 'Emerging Frontiers in Plant Hydraulics' (Washington, DC, May 2015).

    PubMed

    Sack, Lawren; Ball, Marilyn C; Brodersen, Craig; Davis, Stephen D; Des Marais, David L; Donovan, Lisa A; Givnish, Thomas J; Hacke, Uwe G; Huxman, Travis; Jansen, Steven; Jacobsen, Anna L; Johnson, Daniel M; Koch, George W; Maurel, Christophe; McCulloh, Katherine A; McDowell, Nate G; McElrone, Andrew; Meinzer, Frederick C; Melcher, Peter J; North, Gretchen; Pellegrini, Matteo; Pockman, William T; Pratt, R Brandon; Sala, Anna; Santiago, Louis S; Savage, Jessica A; Scoffoni, Christine; Sevanto, Sanna; Sperry, John; Tyerman, Stephen D; Way, Danielle; Holbrook, N Michele

    2016-09-01

    Water plays a central role in plant biology and the efficiency of water transport throughout the plant affects both photosynthetic rate and growth, an influence that scales up deterministically to the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, hydraulic traits mediate the ways in which plants interact with their abiotic and biotic environment. At landscape to global scale, plant hydraulic traits are important in describing the function of ecological communities and ecosystems. Plant hydraulics is increasingly recognized as a central hub within a network by which plant biology is connected to palaeobiology, agronomy, climatology, forestry, community and ecosystem ecology and earth-system science. Such grand challenges as anticipating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, and improving the security and sustainability of our food supply rely on our fundamental knowledge of how water behaves in the cells, tissues, organs, bodies and diverse communities of plants. A workshop, 'Emerging Frontiers in Plant Hydraulics' supported by the National Science Foundation, was held in Washington DC, 2015 to promote open discussion of new ideas, controversies regarding measurements and analyses, and especially, the potential for expansion of up-scaled and down-scaled inter-disciplinary research, and the strengthening of connections between plant hydraulic research, allied fields and global modelling efforts.

  8. Plant hydraulics as a central hub integrating plant and ecosystem function: meeting report for 'Emerging Frontiers in Plant Hydraulics' (Washington, DC, May 2015).

    PubMed

    Sack, Lawren; Ball, Marilyn C; Brodersen, Craig; Davis, Stephen D; Des Marais, David L; Donovan, Lisa A; Givnish, Thomas J; Hacke, Uwe G; Huxman, Travis; Jansen, Steven; Jacobsen, Anna L; Johnson, Daniel M; Koch, George W; Maurel, Christophe; McCulloh, Katherine A; McDowell, Nate G; McElrone, Andrew; Meinzer, Frederick C; Melcher, Peter J; North, Gretchen; Pellegrini, Matteo; Pockman, William T; Pratt, R Brandon; Sala, Anna; Santiago, Louis S; Savage, Jessica A; Scoffoni, Christine; Sevanto, Sanna; Sperry, John; Tyerman, Stephen D; Way, Danielle; Holbrook, N Michele

    2016-09-01

    Water plays a central role in plant biology and the efficiency of water transport throughout the plant affects both photosynthetic rate and growth, an influence that scales up deterministically to the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, hydraulic traits mediate the ways in which plants interact with their abiotic and biotic environment. At landscape to global scale, plant hydraulic traits are important in describing the function of ecological communities and ecosystems. Plant hydraulics is increasingly recognized as a central hub within a network by which plant biology is connected to palaeobiology, agronomy, climatology, forestry, community and ecosystem ecology and earth-system science. Such grand challenges as anticipating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, and improving the security and sustainability of our food supply rely on our fundamental knowledge of how water behaves in the cells, tissues, organs, bodies and diverse communities of plants. A workshop, 'Emerging Frontiers in Plant Hydraulics' supported by the National Science Foundation, was held in Washington DC, 2015 to promote open discussion of new ideas, controversies regarding measurements and analyses, and especially, the potential for expansion of up-scaled and down-scaled inter-disciplinary research, and the strengthening of connections between plant hydraulic research, allied fields and global modelling efforts. PMID:27037757

  9. Rapid plant identification using species- and group-specific primers targeting chloroplast DNA.

    PubMed

    Wallinger, Corinna; Juen, Anita; Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Mitterrutzner, Evi; Steiner, Eva-Maria; Thalinger, Bettina; Traugott, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Plant identification is challenging when no morphologically assignable parts are available. There is a lack of broadly applicable methods for identifying plants in this situation, for example when roots grow in mixture and for decayed or semi-digested plant material. These difficulties have also impeded the progress made in ecological disciplines such as soil- and trophic ecology. Here, a PCR-based approach is presented which allows identifying a variety of plant taxa commonly occurring in Central European agricultural land. Based on the trnT-F cpDNA region, PCR assays were developed to identify two plant families (Poaceae and Apiaceae), the genera Trifolium and Plantago, and nine plant species: Achillea millefolium, Fagopyrum esculentum, Lolium perenne, Lupinus angustifolius, Phaseolus coccineus, Sinapis alba, Taraxacum officinale, Triticum aestivum, and Zea mays. These assays allowed identification of plants based on size-specific amplicons ranging from 116 bp to 381 bp. Their specificity and sensitivity was consistently high, enabling the detection of small amounts of plant DNA, for example, in decaying plant material and in the intestine or faeces of herbivores. To increase the efficacy of identifying plant species from large number of samples, specific primers were combined in multiplex PCRs, allowing screening for multiple species within a single reaction. The molecular assays outlined here will be applicable manifold, such as for root- and leaf litter identification, botanical trace evidence, and the analysis of herbivory. PMID:22253728

  10. Rapid Plant Identification Using Species- and Group-Specific Primers Targeting Chloroplast DNA

    PubMed Central

    Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Mitterrutzner, Evi; Steiner, Eva-Maria; Thalinger, Bettina; Traugott, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Plant identification is challenging when no morphologically assignable parts are available. There is a lack of broadly applicable methods for identifying plants in this situation, for example when roots grow in mixture and for decayed or semi-digested plant material. These difficulties have also impeded the progress made in ecological disciplines such as soil- and trophic ecology. Here, a PCR-based approach is presented which allows identifying a variety of plant taxa commonly occurring in Central European agricultural land. Based on the trnT-F cpDNA region, PCR assays were developed to identify two plant families (Poaceae and Apiaceae), the genera Trifolium and Plantago, and nine plant species: Achillea millefolium, Fagopyrum esculentum, Lolium perenne, Lupinus angustifolius, Phaseolus coccineus, Sinapis alba, Taraxacum officinale, Triticum aestivum, and Zea mays. These assays allowed identification of plants based on size-specific amplicons ranging from 116 bp to 381 bp. Their specificity and sensitivity was consistently high, enabling the detection of small amounts of plant DNA, for example, in decaying plant material and in the intestine or faeces of herbivores. To increase the efficacy of identifying plant species from large number of samples, specific primers were combined in multiplex PCRs, allowing screening for multiple species within a single reaction. The molecular assays outlined here will be applicable manifold, such as for root- and leaf litter identification, botanical trace evidence, and the analysis of herbivory. PMID:22253728

  11. Effect of Duration of Disease on Ventilatory Function in an Ethnic Saudi Group of Diabetic Patients

    PubMed Central

    Meo, Sultan A.; Al Drees, Abdul Majeed; Ahmed, Jehangeer; Ahmed Shah, Sayed Fayaz; Al-Regaiey, Khalid; Husain, Ashraf; Al-Rubean, Khalid

    2007-01-01

    Background Diabetes mellitus is a leading cause of illness and death across the world and is responsible for a growing proportion of global health care expenditures. The present study was designed to observe the effect of diabetes mellitus on lung function in patients with diabetes belonging to a specific ethnic group, namely Saudis. Method In this study, a group of 47 apparently healthy volunteer male Saudi patients with diabetes was randomly selected. Their ages ranged from 20 to 70 years. The patients were matched with another group of 50 healthy male control subjects in terms of age, height, weight, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Both groups met exclusion criteria as per standard. Spirometry was performed with an electronic spirometer (Schiller AT-2 Plus, Switzerland), and results were compared by a Student's t test. Results Subjects with diabetes showed a significant reduction in forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) relative to their matched controls. However, there were no significant differences in the forced expiratory ratio (FEV1/FVC%) and the middle half of the FVC (FEF25–75%) between the groups. We observed a significantly negative correlation between duration of disease and pulmonary function, as measured by FEV1 (r = 0.258, p = 0.04), FVC (r = 0.282, p = 0.28), and the middle half of the FVC (FEF25–75%) (r = 0.321, p = 0.014). Conclusions Pulmonary function in a specific ethnic group of patients with diabetes was impaired as evidenced by a decrease in FVC and FEV1 compared to pulmonary function in matched controls. Stratification of results by years of disease revealed a significant correlation between duration of disease and a decline in pulmonary function. PMID:19885139

  12. Isolation and Characterization of Functional Tripartite Group II Introns Using a Tn5-Based Genetic Screen

    PubMed Central

    Ritlop, Christine; Monat, Caroline; Cousineau, Benoit

    2012-01-01

    Background Group II introns are RNA enzymes that splice themselves from pre-mRNA transcripts. Most bacterial group II introns harbour an open reading frame (ORF), coding for a protein with reverse transcriptase, maturase and occasionally DNA binding and endonuclease activities. Some ORF-containing group II introns were shown to be mobile retroelements that invade new DNA target sites. From an evolutionary perspective, group II introns are hypothesized to be the ancestors of the spliceosome-dependent nuclear introns and the small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs – U1, U2, U4, U5 and U6) that are important functional elements of the spliceosome machinery. The ability of some group II introns fragmented in two or three pieces to assemble and undergo splicing in trans supports the theory that spliceosomal snRNAs evolved from portions of group II introns. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a transposon-based genetic screen to explore the ability of the Ll.LtrB group II intron from the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis to be fragmented into three pieces in vivo. Trans-splicing tripartite variants of Ll.LtrB were selected using a highly efficient and sensitive trans-splicing/conjugation screen. We report that numerous fragmentation sites located throughout Ll.LtrB support tripartite trans-splicing, showing that this intron is remarkably tolerant to fragmentation. Conclusions/Significance This work unveils the great versatility of group II intron fragments to assemble and accurately trans-splice their flanking exons in vivo. The selected introns represent the first evidence of functional tripartite group II introns in bacteria and provide experimental support for the proposed evolutionary relationship between group II introns and snRNAs. PMID:22876289

  13. Talking about Plants--Comments of Primary School Groups Looking at Plant Exhibits in a Botanical Garden (ITS).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tunnicliffe, Sue Dale

    2001-01-01

    Presents a study in which the conversations of primary school groups were collected in a botanical garden and analyzed for content. The data were examined for the effects of the presence or absence of an adult in the group, age, and the sex of the pupils. (Contains 27 references.) (Author/DDR)

  14. Engineered Minichromosomes in Plants: Structure, Function, and Applications.

    PubMed

    Graham, Nathaniel D; Cody, Jon P; Swyers, Nathan C; McCaw, Morgan E; Zhao, Changzeng; Birchler, James A

    2015-01-01

    Engineered minichromosomes are small chromosomes that contain a transgene and selectable marker, as well as all of the necessary components required for maintenance in an organism separately from the standard chromosome set. The separation from endogenous chromosomes makes engineered minichromosomes useful in the production of transgenic plants. Introducing transgenes to minichromosomes does not have the risk of insertion within a native gene; additionally, transgenes on minichromosomes can be transferred between lines without the movement of linked genes. Of the two methods proposed for creating engineered minichromosomes, telomere-mediated truncation is more reliable in plant systems. Additionally, many plants contain a supernumerary, or B chromosome, which is an excellent starting material for minichromosome creation. The use of site-specific recombination systems in minichromosomes can increase their utility, allowing for the addition or subtraction of transgenes in vivo. The creation of minichromosomes with binary bacterial artificial chromosome vectors provides the ability to introduce many transgenes at one time. Furthermore, coupling minichromosomes with haploid induction systems can facilitate transfer between lines. Minichromosomes can be introduced to a haploid-inducing line and crossed to target lines. Haploids of the target line that then contain a minichromosome can then be doubled. These homozygous lines will contain the transgene without the need for repeated introgressions. PMID:26315884

  15. Attachment theory and group processes: the association between attachment style and group-related representations, goals, memories, and functioning.

    PubMed

    Rom, Eldad; Mikulincer, Mario

    2003-06-01

    Four studies examined attachment-style differences in group-related cognitions and behaviors. In Studies 1-2, participants completed scales on group-related cognitions and emotions. In Studies 3-4, participants were divided into small groups, and their performance in group tasks as well as the cohesion of their group were assessed. Both attachment anxiety and avoidance in close relationships were associated with negative group-related cognitions and emotions. Anxiety was also related to the pursuit of closeness goals and impaired instrumental performance in group tasks. Avoidance was related to the pursuit of distance goals and deficits in socioemotional and instrumental performance. Group cohesion significantly moderated the effects of attachment anxiety. The discussion emphasizes the relevance of attachment theory within group contexts. PMID:12793586

  16. Attachment theory and group processes: the association between attachment style and group-related representations, goals, memories, and functioning.

    PubMed

    Rom, Eldad; Mikulincer, Mario

    2003-06-01

    Four studies examined attachment-style differences in group-related cognitions and behaviors. In Studies 1-2, participants completed scales on group-related cognitions and emotions. In Studies 3-4, participants were divided into small groups, and their performance in group tasks as well as the cohesion of their group were assessed. Both attachment anxiety and avoidance in close relationships were associated with negative group-related cognitions and emotions. Anxiety was also related to the pursuit of closeness goals and impaired instrumental performance in group tasks. Avoidance was related to the pursuit of distance goals and deficits in socioemotional and instrumental performance. Group cohesion significantly moderated the effects of attachment anxiety. The discussion emphasizes the relevance of attachment theory within group contexts.

  17. 14 CFR 10 - Functional Classification-Operating Expenses of Group I Air Carriers

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 4 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Functional Classification-Operating Expenses of Group I Air Carriers Section 10 Section Section 10 Aeronautics and Space OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (AVIATION PROCEEDINGS) ECONOMIC REGULATIONS UNIFORM SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTS AND REPORTS FOR LARGE CERTIFICATED AIR...

  18. Review of Social Skills Training Groups for Youth with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cappadocia, M. Catherine; Weiss, Jonathan A.

    2011-01-01

    Although social skills deficits represent core symptoms of Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism, there is limited research investigating the empirical validity of social skills interventions currently being used with these populations. This literature review compares three types of social skills training groups: traditional, cognitive…

  19. Attraction to a Group as a Function of Attitude Similarity and Geographic Distance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, John M.

    1984-01-01

    Investigated attraction toward a group as a function of attitude similarity and perceived geographic distance in students (N=60). Results showed that effects of attitude similarity were strongly significant and that distance had no signficant effect on attraction and limited effect on evaluations. (LLL)

  20. An Epistemological Inquiry into Organic Chemistry Education: Exploration of Undergraduate Students' Conceptual Understanding of Functional Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akkuzu, Nalan; Uyulgan, Melis Arzu

    2016-01-01

    This study sought to determine the levels of conceptual understanding of undergraduate students regarding organic compounds within different functional groups. A total of 60 students who were enrolled in the Department of Secondary Science and Mathematics Education of a Faculty of Education at a state university in Turkey and who had followed an…

  1. A FUNCTIONAL GROUP CHARACTERIZATION OF ORGANIC PM 2.5 EXPOSURE: RESULTS FROM THE RIOPA STUDY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The functional group (FG) composition of urban residential outdoor, indoor, and personal fine particle (PM2.5) samples is presented and used to provide insights relevant to organic PM2.5 exposure. PM2.5 samples (48 h) were collected during the Rel...

  2. Social Resources and Change in Functional Health: Comparing Three Age Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Randall, G. Kevin; Martin, Peter; Bishop, Alex J.; Johnson, Mary Ann; Poon, Leonard W.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the mediating and moderating role of social resources on the association between age and change in functional health for three age groups of older adults. Data were provided by those in their 60s, 80s, and 100s who participated in the first two phases of the Georgia Centenarian study. Analyses confirmed the study's hypothesis…

  3. Chemkarta: A Card Game for Teaching Functional Groups in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knudtson, Christopher A.

    2015-01-01

    Students in undergraduate organic chemistry courses are frequently overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of information they are expected to learn. To aid in students' learning of organic functional groups, a novel card game "ChemKarta" is reported that can serve as a useful alternative to flashcards. This pedagogy is a simple…

  4. Detecting Native Language Group Differences at the Subskills Level of Reading: A Differential Skill Functioning Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Hongli; Suen, Hoi K.

    2013-01-01

    Differential skill functioning (DSF) exists when examinees from different groups have different probabilities of successful performance in a certain subskill underlying the measured construct, given that they have the same ability on the overall construct. Using a DSF approach, this study examined the differences between two native language…

  5. Urinary Cortisol Circadian Rhythm in a Group of High-Functioning Children with Autism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richdale, Amanda L.; Prior, Margot R.

    1992-01-01

    This study found no evidence for abnormal temporal placement of the basal urinary cortisol circadian rhythm in a group of 18 high-functioning children (ages 4-14) with autism. There was a tendency toward cortisol hypersecretion during the day, predominantly in autistic children who were integrated into the normal school system. (Author/JDD)

  6. Group-Specific Effects of Matching Subtest Contamination on the Identification of Differential Item Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keiffer, Elizabeth Ann

    2011-01-01

    A differential item functioning (DIF) simulation study was conducted to explore the type and level of impact that contamination had on type I error and power rates in DIF analyses when the suspect item favored the same or opposite group as the DIF items in the matching subtest. Type I error and power rates were displayed separately for the…

  7. Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticle functionalization: isocyanate moiety as a suitable monodentate anchoring group.

    PubMed

    Carrara, Claudio; Sala, Maria C; Caneva, Enrico; Cauteruccio, Silvia; Licandro, Emanuela

    2014-01-17

    A new strategy for anchoring organic molecules onto superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) using isocyanate containing linkers has been realized. This functional group easily and efficiently reacts with the hydroxyl residues of the nanoparticle surface, leading to the formation of a stable carbamate bond, as confirmed by means of spectroscopic and analytical data.

  8. Youth in group home care: youth characteristics and predictors of later functioning.

    PubMed

    Chow, Wai-Ying; Mettrick, Jennifer E; Stephan, Sharon H; Von Waldner, Christina A

    2014-10-01

    This paper presents the findings of an exploratory research study of foster care youth residing in group homes in a mid-Atlantic state in the USA. The aims of the present study were to (1) describe youth characteristics, (2) explore whether baseline functioning differed by gender or ethnicity, (3) explore predictors of cross-time differences in psychosocial functioning, and (4) explore predictors of later functioning, specifically age, gender, and length of stay. Psychosocial functioning at two time points (i.e., T1 = admission into group home; T2 = current or discharge) in 180 charts from 29 randomly selected group homes were reviewed. Youth were on average 14.86 years of age, predominantly male (71%; n = 128), and predominantly African American (79%). Findings suggest that group home placement may benefit some youth but not others, particularly girls and younger children with lower initial level of need. Findings underscore the potential complexity of intervention impact in the context of unique youth, family, and environment factors. PMID:22529035

  9. Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams: Effects of Group Contingency Programs in Urban Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamps, Debra; Wills, Howard P.; Heitzman-Powell, Linda; Laylin, Jeff; Szoke, Carolyn; Petrillo, Tai; Culey, Amy

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of the Class-Wide Function-related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT) program, a group contingency intervention for whole classes, and for students with disruptive behaviors who are at risk for emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD). The CW-FIT program includes four elements designed from…

  10. Neuropsychological Functioning in Specific Learning Disorders--Reading, Writing and Mixed Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kohli, Adarsh; Kaur, Manreet; Mohanty, Manju; Malhotra, Savita

    2006-01-01

    Aim: The study compared the pattern of deficits, intelligence and neuropsychological functioning in subcategories of learning disorders. Methods: Forty-six children (16 with reading disorders, 11 with writing disorders and 19 with both reading and writing disorders--mixed group) in the age range of 7-14 years were assessed using the NIMHANS Index…

  11. Minerals and functional groups present in the jackfruit seed: a spectroscopic investigation.

    PubMed

    Barua, A Gohain; Boruah, B R

    2004-09-01

    In this work, emission and Fourier transform infrared spectra of the jackfruit seed, in powdered form, are recorded. Analysis of the emission spectrum confirms the presence of two hitherto undetected elements, manganese and magnesium. The Fourier transform infrared spectrum reveals the presence of some specific functional groups, attributed to the different bands present in the spectrum.

  12. IMPORTANCE OF ACTIVATED CARBON'S OXYGEN SURFACE FUNCTIONAL GROUPS ON ELEMENTAL MERCURY ADSORPTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effect of varying physical and chemical properties of activated carbons on adsorption of elemental mercury [Hg(0)] was studied by treating two activated carbons to modify their surface functional groups and pore structures. Heat treatment (1200 K) in nitrogen (N2), air oxidat...