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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Functional Plant Biology publishes new and significant information on the functional biology of plants at all scales from the molecular through whole plant to community. More

Editor-in-Chief: Sergey Shabala


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Published online 30 November 2015
Carbon dioxide fertilisation and supressed respiration induce enhanced spring biomass production in a mixed species temperate meadow exposed to moderate carbon dioxide enrichment 
Matthew Haworth, Gerald Moser, Antonio Raschi, Claudia Kammann, Ludger Grünhage and Christoph Müller

Rising atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) directly affects plants, having consequences for crop yields and water use. The Giessen free air CO2 enrichment facility allows simulation of the response of a mixed species temperate grassland to likely [CO2] levels over the next 20–30 years. Higher [CO2] caused increased spring biomass production due to stimulation of photosynthesis and reduction of respiration in the plant species.

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Published online 25 November 2015
Differential growth of Spartina densiflora populations under saline flooding is related to adventitious root formation and innate root ion regulation 
Carla E. Di Bella, Agustín A. Grimoldi, María S. Rossi Lopardo, Francisco J. Escaray, Edmundo L. Ploschuk and Gustavo G. Striker

Long-lasting floods in lowland areas of salt marshes are expected as a consequence of global warming. We assessed the ability of Spartina densiflora plants collected from lowlands and uplands along a subtle topographic gradient of a salt marsh to deal with saline flooding. A better performance in favour of lowland plants in adventitious rooting and root ion regulation indicated the presence of locally adapted populations.

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Published online 24 November 2015
Physiological trade-offs of stomatal closure under high evaporative gradients in field grown soybean 
Viviana Medina and Matthew E. Gilbert

Breeding crops for water conservation leads to hotter leaves under hot, high-light conditions and thus, the potential for heat-related damage or photoinhibition to the photosynthesis apparatus. However, damaging temperatures were not reached in soybeans under soil water deficits or high air temperature, and no sign of prolonged photosynthetic damage was evident. It appears that for the broad range of conditions measured in this study, water conservation did not have negative consequences on photosynthetic capacity.

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Published online 23 November 2015
Signalling via glutamate and GLRs in Arabidopsis thaliana 
Matthias Weiland, Stefano Mancuso and Frantisek Baluska

Distinct proteins that are main actors in neurotransmission in animals exist also in other living organism. Extensive studies in plants revealed an involvement of these so-called glutamate receptors in fundamental signalling events covering the whole plant life cycle. This review presents a comprehensive theory of their role in Arabidopsis thaliana by compiling, condensing and re-evaluating more than 15 years of research.

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Published online 20 November 2015
Shoot–root carbon allocation, sugar signalling and their coupling with nitrogen uptake and assimilation 
Lu Wang and Yong-Ling Ruan

Sugars are not only substrates for diverse metabolic pathways, but also powerful signalling molecules that regulate developmental processes such as flowering. Sucrose produced from mature leaves is translocated through phloem to sink organs. Sugars leaked from phloem may also enter the xylem stream. Here, we assessed advances in understanding how carbon (C) allocation and sugar signalling co-ordinate shoot–root growth. The analyses provided new insights to this topic including the coupling between C and nitrogen (N) uptake and the regulatory proteins and hormonal pathways involved in balancing shoot–root C–N status.

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Published online 19 November 2015
Root biomass in the upper layer of the soil profile is related to the stomatal response of wheat as the soil dries 
Renu Saradadevi, Helen Bramley, Jairo A. Palta, Everard Edwards and Kadambot H. M. Siddique

Terminal drought is the most detrimental abiotic stress affecting wheat grain yield in Mediterranean-type environments. When terminal drought was initiated by withholding water from the top segment of a split pot, wheat genotype with more root density distributed in the drying upper soil layer initiated stomatal closure earlier than the other. The results highlight the importance of stomatal regulation and root efficiency to extract water from deeper soil profile to reduce yield gap under terminal drought.

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Published online 13 November 2015
Root-to-shoot signalling: integration of diverse molecules, pathways and functions 
Sergey Shabala, Rosemary G. White, Michael A. Djordjevic, Yong-Ling Ruan and Ulrike Mathesius

Plant adaptive potential is critically dependent upon efficient communication and co-ordination of resource allocation and signalling between above- and below-ground plant parts by various physical, chemical and molecular signals. This review summarises the current knowledge of these signalling mechanisms, and reveals the hierarchy and discuss integration of these signalling components, to enable optimal plant functioning in a dynamic environment.

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Published online 20 October 2015
Root responses of triticale and soybean to soil compaction in the field are reproducible under controlled conditions 
Tino Colombi and Achim Walter

Soil compaction is a major environmental threat to arable land that adversely affects root growth and crop productivity. The reproducibility of field results under controlled conditions will be crucial to identify root traits that are suitable for such conditions at high throughput rates. This study showed that root responses to soil compaction in the field were, to a large extent, reproducible under controlled conditions, and that roots were affected by increased mechanical impedance and limited oxygen availability.

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blank image Functional Plant Biology
Volume 42 Number 12 2015

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Descriptive Table of Contents 
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Of growing importance: combining greater early vigour and transpiration efficiency for wheat in variable rainfed environments 
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P. B. Wilson , G. J. Rebetzke and A. G. Condon
pp. 1107-1115

Two independent physiological traits in wheat, greater early vigour and higher transpiration efficiency, have been shown to have varied effects on yield in water-limited environments. We discuss the potential benefit to yield of combining these traits and the physiological basis of their interaction with different environments. Finally, we suggest a phenotypic screening strategy for managing the complex genetics underpinning early vigour and transpiration efficiency when selecting both traits in commercial wheat breeding programs.


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Relationships between biomass allocation, axis organogenesis and organ expansion under shading and water deficit conditions in grapevine 
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Benoît Pallas and Angélique Christophe
pp. 1116-1128

Relationships between whole-plant growth and morphogenetic processes under abiotic stresses are still partly unknown limiting the predictive capacity of plant models. In this paper we investigated the effects of soil water deficit and shading on grapevine shoot growth. This study provides new experimental data to improve the formalisms used to simulate plant morphogenesis processes in source–sink plant models.


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Exogenous salicylic acid-triggered changes in the glutathione transferases and peroxidases are key factors in the successful salt stress acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana 
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Edit Horváth , Szilvia Brunner , Krisztina Bela , Csaba Papdi , László Szabados , Irma Tari and Jolán Csiszár
pp. 1129-1140

Using chemicals such as salicylic acid (SA) as a pretreatment agent may alleviate subsequent salt stress-triggered damages in Arabidopsis thaliana. Exogenous SA fine-tunes the production of reactive oxygen species and, in a proper concentration, increases antioxidant peroxidase and glutathione transferase (GST) activity, and enhances the transcript level of several GST genes. Induction of AtGSTU24 and AtGSTU19 genes by SA can be an important part of priming and salt stress acclimation.

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Hydrogen-rich water-alleviated ultraviolet-B-triggered oxidative damage is partially associated with the manipulation of the metabolism of (iso)flavonoids and antioxidant defence in Medicago sativa 
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Yanjie Xie , Wei Zhang , Xingliang Duan , Chen Dai , Yihua Zhang , Weiti Cui , Ren Wang and Wenbiao Shen
pp. 1141-1157

External administration of hydrogen-rich water (HRW) benefits plants from multiple environmental stimuli, whereas the corresponding mechanisms are still elusive. Our findings illustrated that HRW confers tolerance to UVB-induced oxidative damage, partially by the manipulation of (iso)flavonoids metabolism and antioxidant defence in Medicago sativa. These studies could provide some theoretical basis of the potential relievable strategy for UVB-induced oxidative stress in plants.

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Impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on cucumber growth and phosphorus uptake under cold stress 
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Jun Ma , Martina Janoušková , Yansu Li , Xianchang Yu , Yan Yan , Zhirong Zou and Chaoxing He
pp. 1158-1167

Symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi improves plant phosphorus uptake and tolerance to environmental stresses. Short-term cold stress, relevant in some agricultural production conditions, reduced the benefits provided by mycorrhiza to cucumber plants, although they still benefited from being mycorrhizal by increased phosphorus uptake. The dependence of mycorrhizal effects on temperature must be taken into account when introduction of the fungi into production systems is considered.

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Native hemiparasite and light effects on photoprotection and photodamage in a native host 
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Robert M. Cirocco , Melinda J. Waterman , Sharon A. Robinson , José M. Facelli and Jennifer R. Watling
pp. 1168-1178

Parasitic plants use suckers to feed off other plants and may reduce the levels of leaf pigments that protect against harsh light conditions. We explored whether a native parasite was reducing these levels in a native plant in high or low light and found that they were not compromised under either of the test conditions. This discovery helps explain why native plants with this native parasite avoid light stress to survive in nature.


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The influence of shoot and root size on nitrogen uptake in wheat is affected by nitrate affinity in the roots during early growth 
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Jiayin Pang , Stephen P. Milroy , Gregory J. Rebetzke and Jairo A. Palta
pp. 1179-1189

Efficient capture of N by the root system is important in deep sandy soils, where we determined whether the similarity in N uptake in genotypes with different biomass was associated with differences in the affinity of the root system for nitrate uptake. Genotypes with less root growth and proliferation than the vigorous genotypes have a higher affinity for nitrate.


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These articles have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. They are still in production and have not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

    FP15291  Accepted 27 November 2015
    Molecular and biochemical characterization of a novel type II peroxiredoxin (XvPrx2) from the resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa (Baker)
    Kershini Govender, Jennifer Thomson, Sagadevan Mundree, Abdelaleim ElSayed, Mohamed Rafudeen

    FP15330  Accepted 25 November 2015
    Na+ and Cl- accumulation influences proline and glycine betaine levels and photosynthetic performance in Melilotus siculus, Tecticornia pergranulata, and Thinopyrum ponticum grown in salt-amended soils in greenhouse conditions
    Mohammad Bhuiyan, Greggory Maynard, Anantanarayanan Raman, Dennis Hodgkins, David Mitchell, Helen Nicol

    FP15238  Accepted 24 November 2015
    Differences in LEA-like 11-24 gene expression in desiccation tolerant and sensitive species of Linderniaceae are due to variations in gene promoter sequences
    Saeedeh Ataei, Verena Braun, Dinakar Challabathula, Dorothea Bartels

    FP15292  Accepted 20 November 2015
    Overexpression of human peroxisomal Enoyl-CoA delta isomerase2 HsPECI2, an ortholog of bamboo expressed during gregarious flowering alters salinity stress responses and polar lipid content in tobacco
    Nrisingha Dey, Vineeta Rai, Shayan Sarkar, Suresh Satpati

    FP15120  Accepted 16 November 2015
    Nitric Oxide Participates in Waterlogging Tolerance through Enhanced Adventitious Root Formation in the Euhalophyte Suaeda salsa
    Tianshu Chen, Fang Yuan, Jie Song, Baoshan Wang

    FP15253  Accepted 12 November 2015
    Salt-stress induced alterations in the root lipidome of two barley genotypes with contrasting responses to salinity
    Siria Natera, Camilla Hill, Thusitha Rupasinghe, Ute (Guest Editor) Roessner

    FP15244  Accepted 12 November 2015
    Brachypodium distachyon genotypes vary in resistance to Rhizoctonia solani AG8
    Katharina Schneebeli, Ulrike (Guest Editor) Mathesius, Alec Zwart, Jennifer Bragg, John Vogel, Michelle Watt

    FP15187  Accepted 12 November 2015
    Isotopic evidence for nitrogen exchange between autotrophic and heterotrophic tissues in variegated leaves
    Cyril Abadie, Marlene Lamothe, Francoise Gilard, Guillaume Tcherkez

    FP15262  Accepted 11 November 2015
    Variable P supply affect N metabolism in a legume tree, Virgilia divaricata, from nutrient-poor Mediterranean-type ecosystems.
    Anathi Magadlela, Aleysia Kleinert, Emma Steenkamp, Alexander Valentine

    FP15090  Accepted 12 November 2015
    Arabidopsis CA-ROP11 interacts with the NADPH oxidase RbohF to regulate ROS production in root hairs
    Min Yan, Wen Jing, Ni Xu, Like Shen, Qun Zhang, Wenhua Zhang

    FP15229  Accepted 06 November 2015
    Biochemical and molecular characterization of salt-induced poor grain filling in a rice cultivar
    Binay Panda, Alok Badoghar, Sudhanshu Sekhar, Ekamber Kariali, Pravat Kumar Mohapatra, Birendra Shaw

    FP15213  Accepted 07 November 2015
    Tripogon loliiformis elicits a rapid physiological and structural response to dehydration for desiccation tolerance
    Mohammad Reza Karbaschi, Brett Williams, Acram Taji, Sagadevan Mundree

    FP15182  Accepted 06 November 2015
    Wheats developed for high yield on stored soil moisture have deep vigorous root systems.
    Sarah Rich, Anton Wasson, Richard Richards, Trushna Katore, Renu Prashar, Ritika Chowdhary, Dinesh Saxena, H.M. Mamrutha, Alec Zwart, Satish Misra, S.V. Prasad, Ravish Chatrath, Jack Christopher, Michelle Watt

    FP15200  Accepted 05 November 2015
    Rhizosphere bacteria containing 1-aminocyclopropane-1- carboxylate deaminase increase growth and photosynthesis of pea plants under salt stress by limiting Na+ accumulation
    Qiyuan Wang, Ian Dodd, Andrey Belimov, Fan Jiang

    FP15245  Accepted 03 November 2015
    Tracer experiment using 42K+ and 137Cs+ revealed the different transport rates of potassium and cesium within rice roots
    Natsuko Kobayashi, Ryohei Sugita, Tatsuya Nobori, keitaro Tanoi, Tomoko Nakanishi

    FP15246  Accepted 02 November 2015
    Transcriptome Comparison Reveals Candidate Genes Responsible for the Betalain/anthocyanidin-production in Bougainvilleas
    Suxia Xu, Qingyun Huang, Chunsong Lin, Lixian Lin, Qun Zhou, Fucong Lin, Enming He

    FP15211  Accepted 03 November 2015
    A SDD1-like subtilase is exuded by tobacco roots
    Tim Wendlandt, Moche Martin, Dörte Becher, Christine Stöhr

    FP15312  Accepted 01 November 2015
    Rutin, a flavonoid with antioxidant activity, improves plant salinity tolerance by regulating K+ retention and Na+ exclusion from leaf mesophyll in quinoa and broad beans
    Hebatollah Ismail , Jelena DragiÅ¡ić Maksimović, Vuk Maksimović, Lana Shabala, Branka Zivanovic, Yu Tian, Sven-Erik Jacobsen, Sergey Shabala

    FP15162  Accepted 29 October 2015
    Evolutionary divergences in root system morphology, allocation, and nitrogen uptake in species from high- versus low-fertility soils
    Alan Bowsher, Benjamin Miller, Lisa Donovan


The Most Read ranking is based on the number of downloads from the CSIRO PUBLISHING website of articles published in the previous 12 months. Usage statistics are updated daily.

Rank Paper Details
1. Published 13 February 2015
The structure and activity of nodulation-suppressing CLE peptide hormones of legumes

April H. Hastwell, Peter M. Gresshoff and Brett J. Ferguson

2. Published 10 July 2015
Cryptic crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in Jatropha curcas

Klaus Winter and Joseph A. M. Holtum

3. Published 15 September 2015
Genetic approaches to enhancing nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) in cereals: challenges and future directions

Trevor Garnett, Darren Plett, Sigrid Heuer and Mamoru Okamoto

4. Published 15 September 2015
The significance of image compression in plant phenotyping applications

Massimo Minervini, Hanno Scharr and Sotirios A. Tsaftaris

5. Published 12 May 2015
Towards a conceptual ABA ideotype in plant breeding for water limited environments

Abraham Blum

6. Published 12 March 2015
Image based phenotyping during winter: a powerful tool to assess wheat genetic variation in growth response to temperature

Christoph Grieder, Andreas Hund and Achim Walter

7. Published 12 May 2015
Effects of different temperature regimes on flower development, microsporogenesis and fertility in bolting garlic (Allium sativum)

Einat Shemesh Mayer, Tomer Ben-Michael, Sagie Kimhi, Itzhak Forer, Haim D. Rabinowitch and Rina Kamenetsky

8. Published 7 January 2015
High night temperature induces contrasting responses for spikelet fertility, spikelet tissue temperature, flowering characteristics and grain quality in rice

Onoriode Coast, Richard H. Ellis, Alistair J. Murdoch, Cherryl Quiñones and Krishna S. V. Jagadish

9. Published 13 April 2015
On the evaluation of methods for the recovery of plant root systems from X-ray computed tomography images

Stefan Mairhofer, Craig Sturrock, Darren M. Wells, Malcolm J. Bennett, Sacha J. Mooney and Tony P. Pridmore

10. Published 12 March 2015
The variability in the xylem architecture of grapevine petiole and its contribution to hydraulic differences

Uri Hochberg, Asfaw Degu, Tanya Gendler, Aaron Fait and Shimon Rachmilevitch

11. Published 12 May 2015
Novel chlorophylls and new directions in photosynthesis research

Yaqiong Li and Min Chen

12. Published 13 February 2015
Linking osmotic adjustment and stomatal characteristics with salinity stress tolerance in contrasting barley accessions

Min Zhu, Meixue Zhou, Lana Shabala and Sergey Shabala

13. Published 10 July 2015
Dynamic response of plant chlorophyll fluorescence to light, water and nutrient availability

M. Pilar Cendrero-Mateo, A. Elizabete Carmo-Silva, Albert Porcar-Castell, Erik P. Hamerlynck, Shirley A. Papuga and M. Susan Moran

14. Published 11 December 2014
Suppression of starch synthesis in rice stems splays tiller angle due to gravitropic insensitivity but does not affect yield

Masaki Okamura, Tatsuro Hirose, Yoichi Hashida, Ryu Ohsugi and Naohiro Aoki

15. Published 12 March 2015
Sufficient leaf transpiration and nonstructural carbohydrates are beneficial for high-temperature tolerance in three rice (Oryza sativa) cultivars and two nitrogen treatments

Dongliang Xiong, Tingting Yu, Xiaoxia Ling, Shah Fahad, Shaobing Peng, Yong Li and Jianliang Huang

16. Published 11 December 2014
Foliar trait contrasts between African forest and savanna trees: genetic versus environmental effects

Franziska Schrodt, Tomas F. Domingues, Ted R. Feldpausch, Gustavo Saiz, Carlos Alberto Quesada, Michael Schwarz, F. Yoko Ishida, Halidou Compaore, Adamo Diallo, Gloria Djagbletey, Fidele Hien, Bonaventure Sonké, Herman Toedoumg, Loius Zapfack, Pierre Hiernaux, Eric Mougin, Michael. I. Bird, John Grace, Simon L. Lewis, Elmar M. Veenendaal and Jon Lloyd

17. Published 13 February 2015
Auxin-modulated root growth inhibition in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings with ammonium as the sole nitrogen source

Huaiyu Yang, Jenny von der Fecht-Bartenbach, Ji?í Friml, Jan U. Lohmann, Benjamin Neuhäuser and Uwe Ludewig

18. Published 15 September 2015
Genetic diversity for root plasticity and nitrogen uptake in wheat seedlings

Vanessa J. Melino, Gabriele Fiene, Akiko Enju, Jinhai Cai, Peter Buchner and Sigrid Heuer

19. Published 13 August 2015
What drives fruit growth?

Robert C. O. Okello, Ep Heuvelink, Pieter H. B. de Visser, Paul C. Struik and Leo F. M. Marcelis

20. Published 13 April 2015
Image-based estimation of oat panicle development using local texture patterns

Roger Boyle, Fiona Corke and Catherine Howarth

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