Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
Functional Plant Biology

Functional Plant Biology

Volume 41 Number 6 2014

FP13339Environmental stress activation of plant long-terminal repeat retrotransposons

Ahmed M. Alzohairy, Jamal S. M. Sabir, Gábor Gyulai, Rania A. A. Younis, Robert K. Jansen and Ahmed Bahieldin
pp. 557-567

Abiotic and biotic stresses activate long-terminal repeat retrotransposons in photosynthetic eukaryotes. In this article, we reviewed the ways that retrotransposons are activated by environmental stimuli to affect restructuring and diversification of the host genome. We recommend the use of RNA-Seq data of other plant species (e.g. Rhazya stricta) to get a deeper view of activation patterns.

FP13254Variation in mesophyll conductance among Australian wheat genotypes

Eisrat Jahan, Jeffrey S. Amthor, Graham D. Farquhar, Richard Trethowan and Margaret M. Barbour
pp. 568-580

Conductance to CO2 diffusion within leaves (mesophyll conductance) forms a significant and variable limitation on photosynthesis but remains poorly understood. Here, mesophyll conductance was found to vary 2-fold among wheat genotypes, and to be positively related to photosynthetic rate. These results suggest that both photosynthetic rate and water-use efficiency could be improved through breeding for higher mesophyll conductance.

FP13224Spring barley shows dynamic compensatory root and shoot growth responses when exposed to localised soil compaction and fertilisation

Johannes Pfeifer, Marc Faget, Achim Walter, Stephan Blossfeld, Fabio Fiorani, Ulrich Schurr and Kerstin A. Nagel
pp. 581-597

The effects of localised soil compaction plus nutrient availability on root system architecture (RSA) and root growth dynamics have scarcely been investigated. We investigated the impact of heterogeneous soil conditions on barley RSA, and root and shoot growth using split-root rhizotrons, and observed dynamic compensatory alterations, particularly in lateral root initiation. In loose compartments formation of lateral roots started earlier than in uniform treatments and was significantly increased in compacted compartments when only these compartments were fertilised.

FP13267Assessment of phloem mobility of xenobiotics in Triticum aestivum and Brachypodium distachyon

Olena Zhivotovsky Castello, Andrew J. Bowling, Gerrit Deboer and Yelena Adelfinskaya
pp. 598-608

Measurement of the phloem translocation of herbicides is a challenge, especially at the initial development of compounds. B. distachyon was evaluated for potential use in phloem bioassay showing a clear evidence of xylem discontinuity. This novel bioassay provides an opportunity to determine quantitatively phloem mobility of molecules in vivo without the use of radiolabel and with a high throughput during the early stages of pesticides research.


Climate change scenarios predict an increase in extreme climatic events. In our study we tested the effects of multiple extreme events on plant performance and trait intraspecific variation, and discovered that trait intraspecific variation was not induced by extreme events. However, multiple extreme events have quantitatively and qualitatively different impacts on plant performance than single events and it is difficult to predict those impacts beforehand, which hampers predicting plant responses to a future climate.


Heat events are a natural summer occurrence in Australian vineyards but costly in lost production, thus, protecting vines during these events is an economically important issue. We have assessed spraying water onto vines for brief periods as a means of reducing canopy temperatures. The canopies were nearly 10°C cooler during the heat events and both yields and berry composition were improved, suggesting spraying water onto vines is an effective means of reducing impacts of high temperatures.

FP13271Morpho-structural and physiological response of container-grown Sangiovese and Montepulciano cvv. (Vitis vinifera) to re-watering after a pre-veraison limiting water deficit

Alberto Palliotti, Sergio Tombesi, Tommaso Frioni, Franco Famiani, Oriana Silvestroni, Maurizio Zamboni and Stefano Poni
pp. 634-647

The intraspecific diversity of Sangiovese and Montepulciano grapevine varieties is accentuated under early water deficit. Higher physiological and productive efficiency under non-limiting water supply noted by the near-isohydric Montepulciano compared with the near-anisohydric Sangiovese was reversed when both cultivars were subjected to a pre-veraison water deficit. Sangiovese had excellent net CO2 exchange (NCER) recovery upon re-watering and is confirmed to be better adapted to dry/hot conditions.


In order to further the use of plant biomass stable isotope ratios as a proxy for environmental stressors such as drought and salinity, we must understand the long-term impact of such stressors on the isotopic composition of leaf water. Here we show with stomatal count and artificial leaves, that the lower leaf water isotopic enrichment observed in mangroves compared to freshwater plants is due their larger and lower density of stomatal pores. Our results have important implications in interpreting paleoclimate with tree ring oxygen isotope ratios, since stomatal frequency and size has varied over the ages.

FP13335Over-expression of SlCycA3 gene in Arabidopsis accelerated the cell cycle transition

Jia Guo, Jiawen Wu, Tiantian Zhang and Haijun Gong
pp. 659-670

Since the connection between cyclins and plant development involving plant hormones is poorly understood, we characterise the SlCycA3 gene to determine the effect of A3-type cyclin gene on cell-cycle-related plant growth and its regulation mechanisms under auxin treatment. Our results showed that overexpression of the SlCycA3 gene accelerated root growth and development. Cyclin abundance may function as a regulator to control root growth in response to plant hormone treatment.

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