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 44 Number 2 2017


Growth is an issue of central importance in plant physiology and agriculture. Growing cells expand by generating an internal hydrostatic pressure – the turgor. A thorough revision of over 40 years of research suggests that turgor results from a steady-state between passive water uptake via aquaporins driven by an osmotic gradient (which is generally accepted) and by a secondary active water secretion, including a cotransport of water and solutes.

FP15289Aluminium-inhibited NO3 uptake is related to Al-increased H2O2 content and Al-decreased plasma membrane ATPase activity in the root tips of Al-sensitive black soybean

Dan Yang, Dongjie Chen, Ping Wang, Daihua Jiang, Huini Xu, Xiaolu Pang, Limei Chen, Yongxiong Yu and Kunzhi Li
pp. 198-207

The study on the effect of Al stress on the absorption of NO3 N in soybean could provide a scientific basis for N management in acid soil. The results showed that Al stress could significantly inhibit the absorption of NO3N in soybean; however, Mg and ascorbic acid could reduce the inhibition of NO3 N uptake by Al stress. The inhibition of nitrate uptake in soybean in acid soil is expected to be alleviated by applying Mg and ascorbic acid.

FP16180The seed-borne Southern bean mosaic virus hinders the early events of nodulation and growth in Rhizobium-inoculated Phaseolus vulgaris L.

Mariadaniela López, Nacira Muñoz, Hernan Ramiro Lascano and María Luisa Izaguirre-Mayoral
pp. 208-218

Seed-transmitted viruses are a major threat in tropical and subtropical fields, hindering the benefits of applying Rhizobium inoculants in legume crops. We developed an easy, 100% effective protocol to promote the infection of germinating seeds with a legume virus. This protocol will enable further research beyond our findings with Phaseolus vulgaris L. for improving cultural practices to reduce the incidence of viruses in tropical and subtropical legume crops.

FP16082Effects of drought stress on morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics of wheat species differing in ploidy level

Jian Yong Wang, Neil C. Turner, Ying Xia Liu, Kadambot H. M. Siddique and You Cai Xiong
pp. 219-234

Modern polyploid wheat has diploid and tetraploid ancestors that may harbour beneficial drought resistance genes lost during domestication and subsequent breeding. We compared the morpho-physiological and biochemical responses to drought of eight accessions of wild and domesticated wheat differing in ploidy level, and show that modern polyploid wheat invests less biomass in roots and more in leaves and reproductive organs, particularly under drought.

FP16154Genotypic variation in soil water use and root distribution and their implications for drought tolerance in chickpea

Ramamoorthy Purushothaman, Lakshmanan Krishnamurthy, Hari D. Upadhyaya, Vincent Vadez and Rajeev K. Varshney
pp. 235-252

Knowledge on soil water use pattern is critical for adapting chickpea to drought. Drought reduced surface root distribution while enhancing the deeper ones Water use from 15 to 30 and 90 to 120 cm soil depths were critical for best adaptation.

FP16263Assessing the suitability of various screening methods as a proxy for drought tolerance in barley

Md. Hasanuzzaman, Lana Shabala, Tim J. Brodribb, Meixue Zhou and Sergey Shabala
pp. 253-266

In a search for a convenient and rapid screening method for drought tolerance, barley genotypes were evaluated for a range of physiological and agronomical measures. Leaf chlorophyll fluorescence Fv/Fm ratio and the relative root growth rate of polyethylene glycol-treated seedlings were found to be the most suitable proxies for quantifying drought tolerance.

FP16189Warming alters the positive impact of elevated CO2 concentration on cotton growth and physiology during soil water deficit

Katrina J. Broughton, Renee A. Smith, Remko A. Duursma, Daniel K. Y. Tan, Paxton Payton, Michael P. Bange and David T. Tissue
pp. 267-278

Alterations in climate factors such as rising CO2 concentration ([CO2]), warming and reduced precipitation may have significant impacts on plant physiology and growth. Cotton was grown in the glasshouse at two [CO2] treatments (CA, 400 µL L–1; CE, 640 µL L–1) and two temperature treatments (TA, 28°C :17°C day : night; TE, 32°C : 21°C day : night), and subjected to two progressive water deficit cycles, with a 5-day recovery period between the water deficit periods. CE may provide positive growth and physiological benefits to cotton under TA if sufficient water is available but CE will not mitigate the negative effects of rising temperature on cotton growth and physiology in future environments.

Online Early

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

Published online 11 January 2017

FP16321Arabidopsis thaliana phytaspase: identification and peculiar properties

Nina V. Chichkova, Raisa A. Galiullina, Larisa V. Mochalova, Svetlana V. Trusova, Zulfazli M. Sobri, Patrick Gallois and Andrey B. Vartapetian
 

Although plant proteases of the phytaspase family are important contributors to stress-induced plant cell death, phytaspase of a classical model plant Arabidopsis thaliana has escaped identification thus far. We identified the Arabidopsis phytaspase-encoding gene and characterised the recombinant enzyme. Substrate specificity and properties of the Arabidopsis phytaspase display both important similarities with and distinctions from the already characterised phytaspases.

Published online 09 January 2017

FP16299Vein density is independent of epidermal cell size in Arabidopsis mutants

Madeline R. Carins Murphy, Graham J. Dow, Gregory J. Jordan and Timothy J. Brodribb
 

It has been proposed that the densities at which veins and stomata are present in leaves are co-ordinated by epidermal cell expansion. However, we found that vein density is not causally linked to epidermal cell size. This suggests that adaptation favours synchronised changes to cell size in different leaf tissues to coordinate vein and stomatal density, and thus, maintain a balance between water supply and transpirational demand.

Published online 05 January 2017

FP16214Photoprotective and antioxidative mechanisms against oxidative damage in Fargesia rufa subjected to drought and salinity

Cheng-Gang Liu, Qing-Wei Wang, Yan-Qiang Jin, Kai-Wen Pan and Yan-Jie Wang
 

Drought and salinity adversely affect plant productivity. Here, we investigated the photoprotective and antioxidative mechanisms against oxidative damage in bamboo (Fargesia rufa Yi) subjected to isolated and combined drought and salinity stresses. Relative to salinity and combined stress, F. rufa under drought exhibit highly efficient mechanism to prevent oxidative damage, which allows accelerated recovery of photosynthetic performance once the stress is removed.

Published online 05 January 2017

FP16266Active defence by an Australian native host, Lomandra longifolia, provides resistance against Phytophthora cinnamomi

Md Tohidul Islam, James E. Rookes and David M. Cahill
 

The plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi poses a major threat to a wide range of host plants. This study examined resistance in Lomandra longifolia (an Australian native plant) and found high levels of resistance to infection, along with the identification of several resistant-related components. Understanding L. longifolia’s resistance to the pathogen may help develop strategies for protection of more susceptible species.

Published online 21 December 2016

FP16202Phenotyping of plants in competitive but controlled environments: a study of drought response in transgenic wheat

Nataliya Kovalchuk, Hamid Laga, Jinhai Cai, Pankaj Kumar, Boris Parent, Zhi Lu, Stanley J. Miklavcic and Stephan M. Haefele
 

Drought as a limiting factor for plant growth, development and reproduction remains a major challenge for Australian breeders and growers, and precise phenotyping techniques are needed urgently. We developed a platform where transgenic wheat plants can be grown and tested in competition and under conditions similar to those in a field situation. New imaging techniques developed for non-destructive plant growth characterisation are promising and can be used for a range of image-based plant phenotyping analyses.

Published online 21 December 2016

FP16272Evaluation of root porosity and radial oxygen loss of disomic addition lines of Hordeum marinum in wheat

Dennis Konnerup, A. l. Imran Malik, A. K. M. R. Islam and Timothy David Colmer
 

Hordeum marinum is a waterlogging-tolerant wild relative of wheat (Triticum aestivum) and has been hybridised with wheat to produce amphiploids containing the genomes from both species. We found that although an amphiploid had improved root aeration traits compared with the wheat parent, the addition lines containing chromosome pairs did not have these traits of greater root porosity or a barrier to radial O2 loss. Thus, these root aeration traits were not expressed in any of the six of the seven possible chromosome addition lines, hampering efforts to use H. marinum as a donor of waterlogging tolerance to wheat.

Published online 20 December 2016

FP16337cGMP signalling in plants: from enigma to main stream

Jean-Charles Isner and Frans J. M. Maathuis
 

Cyclic GMP (cGMP) signalling in plants is crucial for many physiological processes. Recent analytical and genomic developments now allow detailed studies into the biochemistry and physiological role of cGMP in plants, and the latest findings are reviewed in this article.

Published online 16 December 2016

FP16194Distinct growth and physiological responses of Arabidopsis thaliana natural accessions to drought stress and their detection using spectral reflectance and thermal imaging

Karel Klem, Kumud B. Mishra, Kateřina Novotná, Barbora Rapantová, Petra Hodaňová, Anamika Mishra, Daniel Kováč and Otmar Urban
 

Within this study we have demonstrated that the physiological tolerance to drought in certain Arabidopsis thaliana accessions is closely associated with the reduction of leaf area, and vice versa. This means that the ability to reduce leaf area under drought stress may represent a suitable indicator of drought tolerance. We also proved that the physiological response of plants to drought can be reliably monitored with non-invasive methods of thermal imaging and spectral reflectance.

Published online 16 December 2016

FP16338Two-pore cation (TPC) channel: not a shorthanded one

Igor Pottosin and Oxana Dobrovinskaya
 

Large conductance SV/TPC1 channels are ubiquitously and abundantly expressed in the vacuolar membranes of higher plants. They are unique established Ca2+-permeable channels in vacuoles, but their activity is strongly negatively controlled, so that they were believed to be inactive or to act only locally. Recent evidence suggests the key role of SV/TPC1 channels in the long-distance Ca2+ signalling.

Published online 15 December 2016

FP16151Elevated temperature increases in planta expression levels of virulence related genes in Magnaporthe oryzae and compromises resistance in Oryza sativa cv. Nipponbare

Geoffrey Onaga, Kerstin D. Wydra, Birger Koopmann, Yakouba Séré and Andreas von Tiedemann
 

Elevated temperature is often predicted to lead to increased susceptibility of plants to pathogens, but little information is available on pathogen transcriptome changes associated with pathogenicity at high temperature. Using Magnaporthe oryzae and rice as a model, we have shown that pre-exposure of plants to heat promoted pathogen proliferation, increased effector encoding transcripts in planta, and accelerated plant tissue necrosis. Thus, increasing temperatures may result in an increase in disease by facilitating rapid colonisation of plant tissues by the pathogen.

Published online 14 December 2016

FP16239Transcriptome profiling of rice seedlings under cold stress

Luciano C. da Maia, Pablo R. B. Cadore, Leticia C. Benitez, Rodrigo Danielowski, Eugenia J. B. Braga, Paulo R. R. Fagundes, Ariano M. Magalhães and Antonio Costa de Oliveira
 

Sub-optimal environmental conditions for crops are called abiotic stress; cold is one of the main stresses for rice. In this study, the RNAseq technique was used to identify genes expressed in response to cold in rice germination. The results indicated that a large number of genes were expressed in the sensitive genotype and few genes in the tolerant genotype. We have identified possible genes that are responsible for cold tolerance in rice plants of the cold tolerant cultivar.


Regulation of water transport in fruits like grape clusters is pivotal for fruit development and ripening. Comparing two contrasting grape varieties showed that the differing hydraulic behaviour observed in vegetative structures also extends to their fruit. The previously observed decline in xylem water uptake into ripening berries could be explained by a decrease in the suction of the fruit rather than increasing hydraulic resistance.

Published online 30 November 2016

FP16078Stomatal behaviour under terminal drought affects post-anthesis water use in wheat

Renu Saradadevi, Helen Bramley, Jairo A. Palta and Kadambot H. M. Siddique
 

Terminal drought reduced grain yield in wheat by affecting grain filling. To expose the shallow part of the root system to soil dryness while the roots at depth have access to water, watering was provided only to the bottom 30 cm of the pot from anthesis. The wheat genotype that showed a higher degree of stomatal closure limited post-anthesis water uptake at depth. Grain yield was related to post-anthesis water use.


Plants adapt to environmental light conditions with the use of the sophisticated phytochrome system. In this work, polymorphism of its major component – phytochrome A– was investigated. With the use of transgenic Arabidopsis and fluorescence technique, it was shown that two molecular types of the photoreceptor differ by the state of phosphorylation and their existence accounts for its complex functions.

Published online 30 November 2016

FP16234Impact of fog drip versus fog immersion on the physiology of Bishop pine saplings

Sara A. Baguskas, Jennifer Y. King, Douglas T. Fischer, Carla M. D'Antonio and Christopher J. Still
 

Fog water is known to offset plant water stress during the dry season in Mediterranean ecosystems; however, the underlying mechanisms of fog water use and its impact on physiological function has yet to be elucidated for many species. We assessed the impact of fog drip and fog immersion on the physiological function of a drought-sensitive pine species restricted to the fog belt of coastal California. Fog drip to the soil is the primary mechanism by which fog water inputs relieve stress and enhance instantaneous carbon gain of Bishop pine saplings, although foliar absorption is also a viable mechanism by which Bishop pines use fog water. Our results are important for understanding how the carbon and water relations of foggy forests may be impacted by potential changes in the fog regime.

Published online 22 November 2016

FP16222The half-life of the cytochrome bf complex in leaves of pea plants after transfer from moderately-high growth light to low light

Hui Zhu, Ling-Da Zeng, Xiao-Ping Yi, Chang-Lian Peng, Wang-Feng Zhang and Wah Soon Chow
 

The cytochrome (cyt) bf complex content is the main factor limiting photosynthetic electron transport capacity, but the cyt bf life-time is not well characterised. We found that upon transferring high-light-grown pea plants to low light, the cyt f content decreased with a half-life of 1.7 days, even with the re-introduction of high light during part of the low-light photoperiod. It appears that mature leaves could not make new cyt bf complex, which was inevitably partially lost in low light.

Published online 09 November 2016

FP16242Rapid changes in root HvPIP2;2 aquaporins abundance and ABA concentration are required to enhance root hydraulic conductivity and maintain leaf water potential in response to increased evaporative demand

Dmitry S. Veselov, Dmitry S. Veselov, Guzel V. Sharipova, Guzel V. Sharipova, Stanislav Yu. Veselov, Stanislav Yu. Veselov, Ian C. Dodd, Ian C. Dodd, Igor Ivanov, Igor Ivanov, Guzel R. Kudoyarova and Guzel R. Kudoyarova
 

The ABA-deficient barley mutant Az34 and wild type (WT) were exposed to air warming. Although transpiration rate of both genotypes increased, leaf water potential decreased in the mutant but was maintained in WT plants. Only WT plants showed increased root ABA accumulation, which increased root hydraulic conductivity and aquaporin abundance, which seems important in maintaining leaf hydration.

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