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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 05 February 2016
Leaf hydraulic vulnerability protects stem functionality under drought stress in Salvia officinalis 
Tadeja Savi, Maria Marin, Jessica Luglio, Francesco Petruzzellis, Sefan Mayr and Andrea Nardini

This work addresses the eco-physiology of Salvia officinalis, a Mediterranean shrub thriving in extreme microclimate. The results provide knowledge on the co-ordination of water transport efficiency/safety of stem and leaves in a plant experiencing important root-to-leaf water potential gradients during summers. We highlight the importance of adeep understanding of plant physiological responses to drought that considers the overall adaptation mechanisms conferring.

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Published online 05 February 2016
Tripogon loliiformis elicits a rapid physiological and structural response to dehydration for desiccation tolerance 
Mohammad Reza Karbaschi, Brett Williams, Acram Taji and Sagadevan G. Mundree

This paper reports on investigations into the close relationship between the structural and physiological changes that occur during dehydration and rehydration of the resurrection grass Tripogon loliiformis. Results showed that T. loliiformis minimises dehydration-related damage through a rapid series of physiological and structural responses. Many of these changes enable the plant to regain full metabolic activity upon rehydration. These results provide powerful insights into the tolerance mechanisms of naturally resilient angiosperms and display great potential for the development of stress-tolerant crop plants.

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Published online 04 February 2016
Floating and submerged leaves of Potamogeton nodosus exhibit distinct variation in the antioxidant system as an ecophysiological adaptive strategy 
Nisha Shabnam and P. Pardha-Saradhi

Phenotypic plasticity facilitates heterophyllous aquatic plants to display distinct ecophysiological adaptations. During an evaluation of ecophysiological adaptations, it was discovered that floating leaves of Potamogeton nodosus possess better photosynthetic efficiency and a superior antioxidant system compared with submerged leaves. A superior antioxidant system enables floating leaves to withstand high light intensity-induced photodamage to a significantly higher extent than submerged leaves.

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Published online 01 February 2016
Dynamic responses of photosynthesis and the antioxidant system during a drought and rehydration cycle in peanut plants 
Ana Furlan, Eliana Bianucci, María del Carmen Tordable, Aleysia Kleinert, Alexander Valentine and Stella Castro

This work highlighted the importance of studying the reversibility of drought stress in plants. The results revealed that peanut plants exposed to a drought and rehydration cycle showed the capacity to recover at 3 days after rehydration in terms of photosynthesis and antioxidant system activity. The resilience of plants is a crucial aspect to be considered in order to improve productivity in natural environments experiencing intermittent drought.

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Published online 01 February 2016
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 and Dorothea Bartels

The aim of this study was to develop an understanding of the molecular basis for differential gene expression in desiccation-tolerant and non-desiccation tolerant plants. Although the genetic information for the stress protective LEA-like protein is contained in closely related plants, the encoded transcript accumulates to higher levels in the desiccation tolerant plants than in the non-tolerant plants. The analysis identified specific promoter response elements that are responsible for the differential expression.

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Published online 14 January 2016
Chlorophyll fluorescence parameters allow the rapid detection and differentiation of plant responses in three different wheat pathosystems 
Olubukola O. Ajigboye, Louise Bousquet, Erik H. Murchie and Rumiana V. Ray

Rapid diagnosis of biotic stress is important to optimise targeted disease control and protect crop yield. We used OJIP to determine changes in PSII photochemistry associated with plant disease and we identified specific chlorophyll fluorescence parameters related to infections by different wheat pathogens. OJIP is a sensitive technique useful as diagnostic tool in crop disease management and varietal breeding programs.

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Published online 12 January 2016
Molecular and biochemical characterisation of a novel type II peroxiredoxin (XvPrx2) from the resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa 
Kershini Govender, Jennifer A. Thomson, Sagadevan Mundree, Abdelaleim Ismail ElSayed and Mohammed Suhail Rafudeen

Plant peroxiredoxins are remarkable enzymes that can detoxify reactive oxygen species (ROS) and undergo structural changes to provide chaperone activity. This study characterised a novel peroxiredoxin from the resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa, which was associated with abiotic stress where the enzyme could protect DNA from damage and detoxify ROS. These results emphasise the importance of peroxiredoxins in tolerance mechanisms against environmental stress.

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blank image Functional Plant Biology
Volume 43 Number 3 2016

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Descriptive Table of Contents 
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Arabidopsis thaliana constitutively active ROP11 interacts with the NADPH oxidase respiratory burst oxidase homologue F to regulate reactive oxygen species production in root hairs 
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Min Yan , Wen Jing , Ni Xu , Like Shen , Qun Zhang and Wenhua Zhang
pp. 221-231

Root hairs are important for the uptake of water and nutrients, and plant anchorage. We found that the constitutively active small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) ROP11 interacted with respiratory burst oxidase homologue F to regulate reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in root hairs of Arabidopsis thaliana (L). Heynh. The study reveals a functional connection between GTPase and ROS that is essential for the development of root hairs.

    | Supplementary Material (220 KB)

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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 
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Vineeta Rai , Shayan Sarkar , Suresh Satpati and Nrisingha Dey
pp. 232-243

Apart from the primary role of Peroxisomal enoyl-CoA delta isomerase 2 (PECI2) in the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), it also modulates normal plant development, ABA responses and response to high NaCl concentration via manipulation of the levels and content of various polar lipids when overexpressed in tobacco.

    | Supplementary Material (788 KB)

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Nitric oxide participates in waterlogging tolerance through enhanced adventitious root formation in the euhalophyte Suaeda salsa 
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Tianshu Chen , Fang Yuan , Jie Song and Baoshan Wang
pp. 244-253

The roles of adventitious roots in plants suffering flooding and root organogenesis have been major issues for decades. The function of NO in waterlogging tolerance is unclear. NO increases waterlogging tolerance through enhanced adventitious root formation and NO increase via the upregulation of nitric oxide synthase activity in Suaeda salsa under waterlogging. Understanding the mechanisms of plant waterlogging tolerance will be helpful for improving agricultural production.


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Salt effects on proline and glycine betaine levels and photosynthetic performance in Melilotus siculus, Tecticornia pergranulata and Thinopyrum ponticum measured in simulated saline conditions 
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Mohammad S. I. Bhuiyan , Greggory Maynard , Anantanarayanan Raman , Dennis Hodgkins , David Mitchell and Helen Nicol
pp. 254-265

Salinity stressed plants synthesise increased concentrations of organic compounds in their cells, in particular, glycine betaine and proline. We examined three economically important salt-adapted pasture species: messina (a legume), blackseed samphire (a succulent shrub) and tall wheat grass, to measure the relative contribution of these organic osmolytes to their salinity tolerance. We found that although all three manufactured more osmolytes as salinity stress increased, blackseed samphire and tall wheat grass synthesised more glycine betaine than proline, whereas messina synthesised more proline than glycine betaine. These findings improve our understanding of the mechanisms that underpin the performance of salt tolerant plants essential for the productive remediation of salinity affected lands.


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Biochemical and molecular characterisation of salt-induced poor grain filling in a rice cultivar 
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Binay B. Panda , Alok K. Badoghar , Sudhanshu Sekhar , Ekamber Kariali , Pravat K. Mohapatra and Birendra P. Shaw
pp. 266-277

Soil salinity is a major environmental stress for cultivation of rice globally. The study investigated the inhibitory effect of NaCl on rice grain filling and observed it to be a result of the inhibition of chromosomal endoreduplication in the endosperm cells mediated by ethylene. The results suggested that grain yield should be considered as a component of screening for salt tolerance in rice.

    | Supplementary Material (721 KB)

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Transcriptome comparison reveals candidate genes responsible for the betalain-/anthocyanidin-production in bougainvilleas 
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Suxia Xu , Qingyun Huang , Chunsong Lin , Lixian Lin , Qun Zhou , Fucong Lin and Enming He
pp. 278-286

The occurrence of betalains and anthocyanins is mutually exclusive and biochemical mechanisms for this restriction is unknown. Transcriptome analysis and real-time PCR results suggested that expression of betalain-/anthocyanidins-biosynthesis genes was detected. Based on the results, to explore function of these genes involving in anthocyanidins-biosynthesis is worthy of further research.


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Variable P supply affects N metabolism in a legume tree, Virgilia divaricata, from nutrient-poor Mediterranean-type ecosystems 
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Anathi Magadlela , Waafeka Vardien , Aleysia Kleinert , Emma T. Steenkamp and Alexander J. Valentine
pp. 287-297

Little is known about cellular P conservation mechanisms and their effects on N assimilation in legume nodules from nutrient-poor ecosystems. This study on variable P supply affecting P and N metabolism in legumes revealed that nodules can alter P and N metabolism during low P supply. Therefore, legumes in nutrient-poor ecosystems are able to persist due to their adaptable P and N metabolism.


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Isotopic evidence for nitrogen exchange between autotrophic and heterotrophic tissues in variegated leaves 
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Cyril Abadie , Marlène Lamothe-Sibold , Françoise Gilard and Guillaume Tcherkez
pp. 298-306

The specific origin of organic nitrogen in white sectors of variegated leaves is examined. We take advantage of isotopic methods (15N labelling) and show that white sectors assimilate very little nitrogen and thus rely on nitrate reduction and metabolism of green sectors. The N-sink represented by white sectors is considerable, representing ~50% of total assimilated N.

    | Supplementary Material (689 KB)

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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.

    FP15296  Accepted 11 February 2016
    Barrier against water loss: Relationship between epicuticular wax composition, gene expression and leaf water retention capacity in banana
    Megha Hastantram, Ravishankar Kundapura, Shivashankar Kodthalu, Tapas Roy, Laxman Hunashikatti, Rekha Ajitha, Shilpa Pandurangaiah

    FP15278  Accepted 24 January 2016
    Physiological factors determine the accumulation of D-glycero-D-ido-octulose (D-g-D-i-oct) in the desiccation tolerant resurrection plant Craterostigma plantagineum
    Qingwei Zhang, Dorothea Bartels

    FP15275  Accepted 24 January 2016
    Dry seeds and environmental extremes: consequences for seed lifespan and germination
    Anne Visscher, Charlotte Seal, Rosemary Newton, Alba Latorre Frances, Hugh Pritchard

    FP15283  Accepted 22 January 2016
    Photosynthesis, light energy partitioning, and photoprotection in the shade-demanding species Panax notoginseng under high and low level of growth irradiance
    Jun-Wen Chen, Shuang-Bian Kuang, Guang-Qiang Long, Sheng-Yang Yang, Zhen-Gui Meng, Long-Gen Li, Zhong-Jian Chen, Guang-Hui Zhang

    FP15320  Accepted 21 January 2016
    Temperature response of CO2 exchange in three tropical tree species
    Martijn Slot, Milton Garcia, Klaus Winter

    FP15329  Accepted 20 January 2016
    Potassium enhances frost tolerance in young individuals of three tropical dry forest species from Mexico
    Pilar Gómez-Ruiz, Roberto Lindig-Cisneros, Erick de la Barrera, Carlos Martorell

    FP15265  Accepted 19 January 2016
    Enhancing salt tolerance in quinoa by halotolerant bacterial inoculation
    Aizheng Yang, Saqib Saleem Akhtar, Shahid Iqbal, Muhammad Amjad, Muhammad Naveed, Zahir Zahir, Sven-Erik Jacobsen

    FP15247  Accepted 19 January 2016
    Different strategies of acclimation of photosynthesis, electron transport and antioxidative activity in leaves of two cotton species to water deficit
    Xiaoping Yi, Yali Zhang, Hesheng Yao, Honghai Luo, Ling Gou, Wah Soon Chow, Wangfeng Zhang

    FP15325  Accepted 14 January 2016
    Assessing the xanthophyll cycle in natural beech leaves with hyperspectral reflectance
    Rei Sonobe, Quan Wang

    FP15317  Accepted 13 January 2016
    Cloning and Function Analysis of BAG Family Genes in Wheat
    Shiming Ge, Zhen Kang, Ying Li, Fuzhen Zhang, Yinzhu Shen, Rongchao Ge, Zhanjing Huang

    FP15115  Accepted 14 January 2016
    Component traits of plant water use are modulated by vapor pressure deficit in pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.]
    Jana Kholova, Paul Zindy, Srikanth Mallayee, Rekha Baddam, Murugesan Tharanya, SivaSakthi Kaliamoorthy, C Hash, Olga Votrubova, Alex Soukup, Maria Kocova, Mareme Niang, Vincent Vadez

    FP15311  Accepted 08 January 2016
    Expression and functional analysis of PhEOL1 and PhEOL2 during flower senescence in petunia
    Juanxu Liu, Ji Zhao, Zhina Xiao, Xinlei Chang, Guoju Chen, Yixun Yu

    FP15356  Accepted 22 December 2015
    Contribution of apoplast to short-term copper uptake by wheat and mung bean roots
    Nataly Meychik, Yuliya Nikolaeva, Maria Kushunina, Igor Yermakov

    FP15174  Accepted 23 December 2015
    Reducing rainfall amount has a greater negative effect on the productivity of grassland plant species than reducing rainfall frequency
    Eleanor Gibson-Forty, Kirk Barnett, David Tissue, Sally Power

    FP15302  Accepted 22 December 2015
    Ozone damage, detoxification and the role of isoprenoids - new impetus for integrated models
    Supriya Tiwari, Ruediger Grote, Galina Churkina, Tim Butler

    FP15272  Accepted 10 December 2015
    β-Substituting Alanine Synthases (BSASs): roles in cysteine metabolism and abiotic and biotic stress signalling in plants
    Jibran Tahir, Paul Dijkwel

    FP15285  Accepted 10 December 2015
    Salt stress responses in a geographically diverse collection of Eutrema/Thellungiella spp. accessions
    Yang Ping Lee, Christian Funk, Alexander Erban, Joachim Kopka, Karin Koehl, Ellen Zuther, Dirk Hincha


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

Klaus Winter and Joseph A. M. Holtum

2. 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

3. 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

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 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

6. Published 11 January 2016
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

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

Abraham Blum

8. 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

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

Yaqiong Li and Min Chen

10. 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

11. Published 11 January 2016
Shoot–root carbon allocation, sugar signalling and their coupling with nitrogen uptake and assimilation

Lu Wang and Yong-Ling Ruan

12. 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

13. Published 10 June 2015
Assessment 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

14. 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

15. 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

16. 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

17. Published 12 May 2015
Whole-plant respiration and its temperature sensitivity during progressive carbon starvation

Martijn Slot and Kaoru Kitajima

18. Published 15 September 2015
Cellular pathways of source leaf phloem loading and phloem unloading in developing stems of Sorghum bicolor in relation to stem sucrose storage

Ricky J. Milne, Christina E. Offler, John W. Patrick and Christopher P. L. Grof

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

Roger Boyle, Fiona Corke and Catherine Howarth

20. Published 13 April 2015
Automated estimation of leaf area development in sweet pepper plants from image analysis

Graham W. Horgan, Yu Song, Chris A. Glasbey, Gerie W. A. M. van der Heijden, Gerrit Polder, J. Anja Dieleman, Marco C. A. M. Bink and Fred A. van Eeuwijk

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