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

Functional Plant Biology

Volume 42 Number 7 2015

FP14240In vivo epidermal UV-A absorbance is induced by sunlight and protects Soldanella alpina leaves from photoinhibition

Constance Laureau, Sylvie Meyer, Xavier Baudin, Christophe Huignard and Peter Streb
pp. 599-608

High intensities of UV radiation and visible light are important stress factors affecting plants’ photosynthetic performance, particularly in the mountains. Protection from this stress is provided by UV-absorbing pigments in the epidermis of Soldanella alpina leaves and is induced by visible light. This UV shielding protects leaves from photodamage in their natural environment.


How light drives the development of forest ecosystems is still not fully understood. The aim of this study is to reveal the mechanism driving subtropical forest succession along a light gradient. Our results indicate that photosynthetic capacity decreases along the successional axis and that late-successional species have more responsive energy dissipation capability to compensate for their inferior photosynthetic capacity.


Plant organs of C3 plants differ in their C isotopic signature (δ13C) but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. We induced different allocation strategies and found that the spatial δ13C variation within plants was strongly influenced by the life stage of the leaves. These results are important, as foliar δ13C is used in many fields of plant science (e.g. for estimating photosynthetic isotope fractionation).


Black poplar (Populus nigra L.) is one of the most threatened tree species in Europe and they produce seeds characterised by short longevity. Oxidative stress increases during seed storage and injures seed tissues resulting in a loss of viability, particularly at temperatures higher than -10°C. Successful storage of seeds might be prolonged when specific low temperature is applied that minimises oxidative stress effects.


Crosstalk among NO, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ in tree species was not clear. The study showed that NO plays important roles in the synthesis and accumulation of triterpenoids in birch by regulating the intracellular ROS and Ca2+ signalling pathway. These results provide the theoretical basis and the technical support required for the use of triterpenoid biotechnology.

FP15013Assessment of drought tolerance and its potential yield penalty in potato

Heike Sprenger, Katharina Rudack, Christian Schudoma, Arne Neumann, Sylvia Seddig, Rolf Peters, Ellen Zuther, Joachim Kopka, Dirk K. Hincha, Dirk Walther and Karin Köhl
pp. 655-667

Reduced water availability for agriculture make potato a desirable crop due to its high calorie production per unit of water; however, the crop is sensitive to drought. A research project detected drought-tolerant cultivars among those bred for temperate climate. These cultivars will be used to identify marker-based strategies for the efficient breeding of drought-tolerant potatoes to reduce yield loss due to water shortage.


Fruit water balance changes during the late growth stage in part due to xylem flow decrease. Our measurements on mango revealed that the decline in xylem flow was related to the decrease in the hydraulic conductivity of xylem vessels due to embolism. The xylem decrease in the later growth stage could affect fruit growth and fruit mineral composition.

FP15026Genetic suppression of plant development and chloroplast biogenesis via the Snowy Cotyledon 3 and Phytochrome B pathways

Diep Ganguly, Peter Crisp, Klaus Harter, Barry J. Pogson and Verónica Albrecht-Borth
pp. 676-686

In this study, we used genetic approaches and transcriptome profiling to unravel the complex interaction of different developmental pathways required for chloroplast development in plants. The recently described snowy cotyledon 3 (sco3) Arabidopsis thaliana mutant as well as the well characterised Phytochrome B (phyB) mutant revealed a complex suppressive or additive genetically linked regulation of chloroplast development, flowering time and transcription regulation in the double mutant sco3–phyB.


Leaf photosynthesis, as a most important functional trait, is usually represented by point measurements, based on a hypothesis of photosynthetic rate is uniform within leaves. In this paper, we investigated the heterogeneity of photosynthesis within leaves in two rice cultivars. The results indicated that CO2 diffusion conductance as well as leaf nitrogen, Rubisco, and chlorophyll contents increased from base to apex; consequently, photosynthesis increased along leaves. The findings could provide knowledge complement in rice photosynthesis.

FP14127Sapwood allocation in tropical trees: a test of hypotheses

Peter Schippers, Mart Vlam, Pieter A. Zuidema and Frank Sterck
pp. 697-709

Carbon allocation in tropical trees is a key process in determining the carbon sequestration of the forest. By combining a tree growth model and tree ring records we discovered that allocation with low priority to sapwood was the best candidate explaining our results. This new allocation assumption may greatly influence predicted carbon sequestration of tropical forests under climatic change.

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