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

Functional Plant Biology

Functional Plant Biology

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. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Sergey Shabala

Current Issue

Functional Plant Biology

Volume 45 Number 5 2018

Leaf carbon isotope composition (δ13C) has been used to screen for water-use efficiency in C3 plants, but gaps in the understanding of factors influencing δ13C have limited its application in C4 species. This study exploited maize genetic diversity to explore biochemical and post-photosynthetic factors that may influence δ13C. Our findings indicate that the observed variation in leaf carbon isotope composition across diverse maize lines is likely driven by differences in stomatal and mesophyll conductance and not photosynthetic or respiratory metabolism.

FP17233Impact of hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) infestation on xylem structure and function and leaf physiology in eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

Brett A. Huggett, Jessica A. Savage, Guang-You Hao, Evan L. Preisser and N. Michele Holbrook
pp. 501-508

Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is an invasive insect that feeds upon the foliage of eastern hemlock trees leading to a decline in health and mortality. During early infestation, HWA-induced decline in the health of eastern hemlock is not initially caused by compromised water transport or needle loss. Our results contribute to efforts to understand the mechanisms leading to the demise of eastern hemlocks.

Stomatal guard cells sense and respond to sugar, but the means by which they do so have not been fully elucidated. Our study showed that RGS1, a putative receptor for D-glucose, mediates D-glucose-induced H2O2 and NO production in guard cells and subsequent stomatal closure. The data suggest that photosynthetic product D-glucose, as an integrative signal, coordinates plant CO2 uptake with water loss.

FP17199Seasonal variations of leaf chlorophyll–protein complexes in the wintergreen herbaceous plant Ajuga reptans L.

Olga Dymova, Mikhail Khristin, Zbigniew Miszalski, Andrzej Kornas, Kazimierz Strzalka and Tamara Golovko
pp. 519-527

In the perennial herbaceous wintergreen plant Ajuga reptans (bugle), the photosynthetic apparatus (PSA) is reorganised during winter. The aim of this work was to examine the structural changes in the pigment–protein complexes of PSA. Changes in aggregation of the thylakoid protein complexes were observed including a restructuring of the PSI–PSII megacomplex and the PSII–LHCII supercomplex parallel to changes in the zeaxanthin-dependent protective mechanism.

In the study presented we identified MdDof genes in apple and analysed their response to biotic/abiotic stress. The aim of the work was to give references to understand the function of MdDof genes generally and serve as a reference for studies of Dof zinc finger genes in other plants. Finally, we fit the original images into the software Photoshop 6.0 for bigger pictures.

FP17212Structural and functional characterisation of two novel durum wheat annexin genes in response to abiotic stress

Marwa Harbaoui, Rania Ben Saad, Nihed Ben Halima, Mouna Choura and Faiçal Brini
pp. 542-552

Abiotic stress reduces the grain yield of cereal crops. Here, we show that the two durum wheat annexin genes, TdAnn6 and TdAnn12, are induced by different abiotic stresses and heterologous expression in yeast improves tolerance to different stresses. These results show that the two annexins are potentially useful candidate genes for engineering abiotic stress tolerance in cultivated plants.

We proved for the first time the effects of H2S, a novel gasotransmitter, on darkness-induced stomatal closure and the relationship with H2O2 in Vicia faba. Here we found that H2S mediated darkness-induced stomatal closure in Vicia faba and it acted downstream of H2O2 in this process. This work enriches the signalling network during darkness-regulated stomatal movement and provides evidence for further research.

Bacterial pathogens secrete effectors to modulate plant immunity, enabling unlimited pathogen growth inside host, and causing disease. Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae executes XopR effector to suppress immune responses in rice for its growth and subsequent blight disease. This finding provides insights into understanding the key weapon used by the pathogen, and will help to identify the novel targets for disease management.

Chilling stress limits the productivity and geographical distribution of many plants throughout the world. Accumulation of the endoplasmic reticulum-located small heat shock protein CaHSP22.5 enhanced photochemical activity and oxidation resistance and alleviated endoplasmic reticulum stress caused by chilling stress in transgenic tobacco plants. CaHSP22.5 could be useful for improving the tolerance of chilling-sensitive plant types.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 19 April 2018

FP17359Effects of nutrient supply on carbon and water economies of C4 grasses

Laura Rose, Robert Buitenwerf, Michael Cramer, Edmund C. February and Steven I. Higgins

Whether plants can induce mass flow of nutrient-rich soil water via increased transpiration might influence their competitive strength. We tested the response of C4 grasses to low nutrient availability at the roots but found no physiological indication of active mass flow induction. This can mean a competitive disadvantage of water-efficient C4 plants to C3 plants under high atmospheric CO2.

We review metabolic adaptations of plant tissues to severe reductions in energy-production (‘energy-crises’) that occur in various situations, including O2-deprivation during flood-events. We conclude that most major differences between tissues intolerant and tolerant to an energy-crisis are associated with only a few gene-proteins. These concern efficient energy production and energy-efficient-transporters, necessary to retain membrane integrity, essential to life.

Published online 12 April 2018

FP17271Quantitative trait locus analysis of adventitious and lateral root morphology of barley grown at low and high P

Jingyi Guo, Guangdeng Chen, Xizhou Zhang, Tingxuan Li, Haiying Yu and Chunji Liu

This research demonstrated the different growth dynamics in adventitious and lateral roots of barley in response to low-P stress and detected quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for them. Lateral roots play a role in P uptake in barley. The new QTL region Cl2H had great potential for future genetic improvement of barley lateral root growth and may offer valuable clues for fine mapping in barley.

Published online 10 April 2018

FP17349Calcium oxalate degradation is involved in aerenchyma formation in Typha angustifolia leaves

Xiaomin Du, Xiaolong Ren, Lingli Wang, Ke Yang, Guiliang Xin, Guolun Jia, Xilu Ni and Wenzhe Liu

The developing aerenchyma of Typha angustifolia is accompanied by calcium oxalate crystals (CaOx). The degradation of CaOx crystals causes high levels of H2O2, which is considered a key signalling molecule that triggers programmed cell death (PCD). It suggested that CaOx degradation is involved in the regulation of the PCD process of aerenchyma in T. angustifolia leaves.

Published online 10 April 2018

FP17366Does foliage metal accumulation influence plant–insect interactions? A field study of two sympatric tree metallophytes

Denise R. Fernando, Chaya S. Smith, Martin J. Steinbauer, Kevin Farnier, Simon J. Watson and Peter T. Green

The defence capacity of metal-rich foliage in two rainforest tree species was examined via a field study. Plant–insect interactions associated with tree metallophytes remain poorly understood. Although there was no direct evidence here of metal defence, the study found indirect effects, and evidence of adaptation by a galling insect that exploits foliar metal. This field study revealed complex ecological relationships undetectable by controlled experiments.

Published online 29 March 2018

FP17232Improved leaf nitrogen reutilisation and Rubisco activation under short-term nitrogen-deficient conditions promotes photosynthesis in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) at the seedling stage

Jingwen Gao, Feng Wang, Hang Hu, Suyu Jiang, Abid Muhammad, Yuhang Shao, Chuanjiao Sun, Zhongwei Tian, Dong Jiang and Tingbo Dai

Superfluous N is consumed during wheat cultivation, causing environmental problems. Thus N fertiliser applications must be reduced without decreasing yield, which can be achieved by characterising the mechanism of adaptation to low N and breeding N-efficient cultivars. We found that under short-term N-deficient conditions, tolerant cultivars can efficiently reuse stored NO3 and photorespiration-released NH4+ to maintain Rubisco content, and promote Rubisco activation to improve photosynthesis, which could help develop long-term N-deficiency tolerance.

Published online 27 March 2018

FP17268Diurnal variation in gas exchange and nonstructural carbohydrates throughout sugarcane development

Amanda P. De Souza, Adriana Grandis, Bruna C. Arenque-Musa and Marcos S. Buckeridge

To further increase sugarcane yield, it is necessary to understand the dynamics of carbohydrate accumulation and whole-plant partitioning. This paper presents the diurnal variation in gas exchange and nonstructural carbohydrates in the leaves, culm and roots of sugarcane during different stages of development in a field experiment. It gives insights into how the environment and development control sugar and biomass accumulation.

Published online 22 March 2018

FP17318Trafficking to the seed protein storage vacuole

Joanne R. Ashnest and Anthony R. Gendall

Increasing global demand for high quality, plant-based proteins has driven a strong interest in the sorting and processing of seed storage proteins. This review summarises recent primary research findings regarding vacuolar trafficking and seed protein biology, in the context of established and novel paradigms. We also highlight several key gaps in the scientific understanding of these processes.

Published online 20 March 2018

FP17301Roles of hydrogen gas in plants: a review

Changxia Li, Tingyu Gong, Biting Bian and Weibiao Liao

Hydrogen gas (H2) – a unique signal molecule – has broad application prospects in biology. Here, we focus on the fact that H2 has positive effects on various developmental processes and abiotic stresses through enhancing antioxidant defense system and regulating related genes in plants. With its promising application in plants, hydrogen agriculture will be welcomed in the near future.

Published online 20 March 2018

FP17149Exogenous spermidine enhances the photosynthetic and antioxidant capacity of rice under heat stress during early grain-filling period

She Tang, Haixiang Zhang, Ling Li, Xia Liu, Lin Chen, Wenzhu Chen and Yanfeng Ding

Frequency and intensity of high temperature negatively affected the rice production in China and challenges the food security, thus appropriate mitigation measures are urgently need to be proposed. From the photosynthetic and antioxidant capacity aspects, exogenous spermidine effectively alleviates the adverse consequences of high temperature. Findings from this study may provide strategies in mitigating the challenges of global warming- induced yield loss and other possible relevant issues.

Published online 16 March 2018

FP17134Phosphorus deficiency alters scaling relationships between leaf gas exchange and associated traits in a wide range of contrasting Eucalyptus species

Nur H. A. Bahar, Paul P. G. Gauthier, Odhran S. O'Sullivan, Thomas Brereton, John R. Evans and Owen K. Atkin

Leaf and soil phosphorus have been identified as key factors modulating metabolic rates at leaf and ecosystem levels. We investigated the effect of phosphorus deficiency on leaf trait relationships within a single genus (Eucalyptus). Our results highlight the importance of phosphorus availability in determining relationships between metabolic performance and leaf structural and chemical composition traits in a genus widespread across the Australian continent.

Published online 16 March 2018

FP17281Differential protein expression reveals salt tolerance mechanisms of Desmostachya bipinnata at moderate and high levels of salinity

Hina Asrar, Tabassum Hussain, Bilquees Gul, M. Ajmal Khan and Brent L. Nielsen

Saline soils limit crop productivity worldwide and highlight the need to study plants of arid-saline lands. The mechanism of survival of Desmostachya bipinnata through proteomic analysis was determined by shortlisting 103 plant proteins involved in energy and salt stress regulation systems. Results may help in developing a salt tolerant crop that could enhance productivity under saline conditions.

Published online 13 March 2018

FP17161Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) contrasting for the transpiration response to vapour pressure deficit also differ in their dependence on the symplastic and apoplastic water transport pathways

Murugesan Tharanya, Kaliamoorthy Sivasakthi, Gloria Barzana, Jana Kholová, Thiyagarajan Thirunalasundari and Vincent Vadez

Differences in plant hydraulics may explain an important phenotype for drought adaptation: saving water by restricting the transpiration rate, especially under high vapour pressure deficit (VPD). Soil grown roots limited high VPD transpiration, even more so in low Tr genotype. Root water transport was more apoplastic in low Tr genotype and more symplastic in high Tr genotype. These were hypothesised to ‘tune-up’ the aquaporin-mediated symplastic pathway under high VPD.

Published online 13 March 2018

FP18014Grapevine fanleaf virus affects grape (Vitis vinifera) berry anthocyanin content via the transcriptional regulation of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes

Maja Rupnik-Cigoj, Anastazija Jež-Krebelj, Simone D. Castellarin, Kajetan Trošt, Paolo Sivilotti and Maruša Pompe-Novak

Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) causes grapevine fanleaf degeneration, one of the oldest known viral diseases of grapevines. Our research showed that GFLV infection caused a drop of the yield due to both a reduction of cluster weight and berry weight. GFLV infection also affected the berry composition due to increase of anthocyanin concentration and modification of proportions between di- and tri-, hydroxylated or methylated derivatives of anthocyanins, due to modified expression of F3ʹ5’H, F3ʹH and F3H1 genes.

Published online 13 March 2018

FP17333Rising [CO2] changes competition relationships between native woody and alien herbaceous Cerrado species

Nayara M. J. Melo, Rayete S.-E. G. Rosa, Eduardo G. Pereira and João Paulo Souza

Rising [CO2] is likely to influence plant functioning as well as structure and composition of native ecosystems. Results demonstrated that rising CO2 will improve biomass allocation to vegetative organs responsible for acquiring crucial resources for growth. The shift in the pattern of biomass allocation would improve the competitive capacity of woody over herbaceous species and potentially change important ecological relationships in the savanna ecosystem of Cerrado.

Published online 05 March 2018

FP17248Mild preflowering drought priming improves stress defences, assimilation and sink strength in rice under severe terminal drought

R. N. Bahuguna, A. Tamilselvan, R. Muthurajan, C. A. Solis and S. V. K. Jagadish

Drought stress is a major constraint for global rice production. Short-term mild drought priming could improve CO2 assimilation and sink strength under severe drought. Priming can be considered as an effective strategy in rice to reduce severe yield penalties under drought stress.

Published online 21 February 2018

FP17227Counting the costs: nitrogen partitioning in Sorghum mutants

Cecilia K. Blomstedt, Viviana C. Rosati, Birger Lindberg Møller and Ros Gleadow

Sorghum synthesises the specialised metabolite dhurrin, which, when enzymatically hydrolysed releases hydrogen cyanide, which is toxic to grazing animals. We used dhurrin deficient mutants to test growth–defence trade-offs at different nitrogen fertiliser levels. Plants lacking dhurrin were slower growing as seedlings but had a growth advantage at later developmental stages, suggesting a benefit of dhurrin in early growth but a cost at later stages. To maintain global food security, crop yields must be optimised while resource input is minimised.

Published online 20 February 2018

FP17209Linking root traits to superior phosphorus uptake and utilisation efficiency in three Fabales in the Core Cape Subregion, South Africa

Dunja MacAlister, A. Muthama Muasya and Samson B. M. Chimphango

Dwindling phosphate reserves and the high costs of P fertilisers drive the need to develop more P-efficient crops through enhancing P uptake. We expected that Aspalathus linearis, a cluster-root-forming species, would be better at P acquisition than other species. Polygala myrtifolia, however, developed a root system with better P uptake traits and had a higher P uptake efficiency. Therefore, other root traits besides cluster roots are important for enhancing P uptake in plants.

Published online 16 February 2018

FP17278Dynamic analysis of the impact of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) on biomass and N uptake in two contrasting genotypes of rice

Jingjing Wu, Herbert J. Kronzucker and Weiming Shi

Elevated [CO2] increases rates of photosynthesis and crop yields, but the degree of enhancement varies among cultivars. The present study indicates that the more effective use of CO2 in IIY compared with WYJ results in a strong response in root growth, nitrogen uptake, and in yield, N synchronises biomass responses between shoot and root. Our findings help clarify key mechanisms by which elevated [CO2] elicits differential growth and yield responses among cultivars in rice.

Published online 16 February 2018

FP17304Selection of optimal reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR transcript abundance analysis in white clover (Trifolium repens L.)

Rafael Narancio, Ulrik John, John Mason and German Spangenberg

Quantitative reverse transcription PCR, a widely used technique for measuring the transcriptional activity of genes, is critically dependent upon the use of reference genes. This manuscript is the first reported systematic search for reference genes in the commercially important forage legume white clover. Three genes, out of seven evaluated, were identified as reliable references, paving the way for future work on any gene in white clover.

Published online 15 February 2018

FP17241Structural and functional disorder in the photosynthetic apparatus of radish plants under magnesium deficiency

Izabela A. Samborska, Hazem M. Kalaji, Leszek Sieczko, Vasilij Goltsev, Wojciech Borucki and Anjana Jajoo

Detection of nutrients deficiency in plants has previously been based on either observation of visible changes or destructive estimation methods. Here we identify parameters related to photosynthetic efficiency that enable early detection of Mg deficiency in radish plants before visual symptoms appear. We confirm that some parameters can be used as bioindicators for transient and persistent Mg deficiency.

Published online 13 February 2018

FP17127Enhancing antioxidant systems by exogenous spermine and spermidine in wheat (Triticum aestivum) seedlings exposed to salt stress

Abdelaleim I. ElSayed, Mohammed S. Rafudeen, Mohamed A. M. El-hamahmy, Dennis C. Odero and M. Sazzad Hossain

Salinity stress is one of the major limitations to crop productivity worldwide. The aim of the present study was to understand the functional role of spermidine and spermine with respect to salt stress in wheat seedlings. Our results show that exogenous spermidine and spermine effectively up-regulated transcriptional levels of antioxidant enzyme genes and improved the defence response of plants under salt stress.

Published online 13 February 2018

FP17192MeBIK1, a novel cassava receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase, regulates PTI response of transgenic Arabidopsis

Ke Li, Xi Xiong, Shousong Zhu, Hualan Liao, Xiaorong Xiao, Zhijuan Tang, Yuhui Hong, Chunxia Li, Lijuan Luo, Linlin Zheng, Xiaolei Niu and Yinhua Chen

Cassava bacterial blight is the most destructive disease of cassava, which results in a significant reduction in cassva production caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis; however, little is known about the resistance mechanisms of cassava bacterial blight. In our study, MeBIK1, an ortholog of the AtBIK1 gene was cloned from cassava and MeBIK1 was found to positively regulate pathogen resistance. Our results provide the basis for elucidating the mechanism of disease resistance in cassava.

Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in most crops is low, resulting in N waste, leading to increased crop production costs and environmental concerns globally. Efficient and reliable phenotyping would help manage N application and speeding up efforts to breed crop varieties with higher NUE. A comprehensive insight is provided into the approaches, tools and methods applicable to phenotyping NUE-related traits in crops.

CAM is a flexible photosynthetic mode conferring robust environmental resilience. This investigation tackles the scarcity of data linking anatomical evolution and CAM function, showing that in a diverse family, co-option and augmentation of existing succulence was integral to multiple CAM origins. The results clarify the evolution of CAM and also help define the baseline level of cell and tissue succulence required in efforts to bioengineer CAM into food and biomass crops.

Published online 29 January 2018

FP17249S-nitrosocysteine-responsive genes modulate diverse regulatory pathways in Oryza sativa: a transcriptome profiling study

Bong-Gyu Mun, Sang-Uk Lee, Adil Hussain, Hyun-Ho Kim, Nkulu Kabange Rolly, Ki-Hong Jung and Byung-Wook Yun

One of the good news in plants is NO news. NO is an all-around molecule that plays a vital role during the entire life cycle of plants. This study identified a large number of genes that were activated in response to exogenous NO in rice. In conclusion, NO mediates the transcriptional control of genes involved in a wide variety of physiological functions in rice.

Published online 18 January 2018

FP17195Wheat pre-anthesis development as affected by photoperiod sensitivity genes (Ppd-1) under contrasting photoperiods

Thomas I. Pérez-Gianmarco, Gustavo A. Slafer and Fernanda G. González

The duration of phases leading to wheat anthesis date, and hence yield potential, are regulated by daylength (photoperiod). Genes controlling the response to photoperiod (Ppd-1): (i) provided varying magnitudes of insensitivity; (ii) were not particularly associated to duration – photoperiod sensitivity – of any specific phase; and (iii) showed no additive effect when stacked. Further investigation with different allelic variants should be conducted to tailor time to anthesis and duration of each particular phase to improve wheat yield potential facing climate change.

Published online 15 January 2018

FP17162Antioxidant capacity along the leaf blade of the C3-CAM facultative bromeliad Guzmania monostachia under water deficit conditions

Maria E. Abreu, Victória Carvalho and Helenice Mercier

Guzmania monostachia is an epiphytic, tank-forming bromeliad that displays variable degrees of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) along the leaf blade under water deficit conditions. The hypothesis that the most intense CAM found in the apex portion is related to reduced oxidative burden was not confirmed. However, G. monostachia was able to keep reactive oxygen species under tolerable levels under water deficit conditions by increasing the antioxidant capacity in the apex, which is the leaf portion most exposed to light.

Published online 05 January 2018

FP17303Integrated genomics, physiology and breeding approaches for improving nitrogen use efficiency in potato: translating knowledge from other crops

Jagesh K. Tiwari, Darren Plett, Trevor Garnett, Swarup K. Chakrabarti and Rajesh K. Singh

Potato is a high nitrogen-responsive crop, hence improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of plant is important to reduce production cost and minimize environmental loss. Potato is a less studied crop especially at plant level with enhanced NUE. This review highlights translation of advanced NUE research from other plants like Arabidopsis, rice, wheat and maize applying integrated genomics, physiology and breeding approaches.

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