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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 30 September 2015
Copper amine oxidase-catalysed hydrogen peroxide involves production of nitric oxide in darkness-induced stomatal closure in broad bean 
Ai-Xia Huang, Yong-Shun Wang, Xiao-Ping She, Juan Mu and Jin-Liang Zhao

As the commonest environmental factor, the light–dark cycle regulates transpiration and gas exchange in plants by controlling stomatal movement. This work shows that the copper amine oxidase-catalysed product H2O2 is required for NO production and cytosolic alkalinisation in darkness-induced stomatal closure. This finding may contribute to the knowledge of the guard-cell signalling cascade in response to darkness.

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Published online 29 September 2015
Responses of pea plants to elevated UV-B radiation at varying nutrient levels: N-metabolism, carbohydrate pool, total phenolics and yield 
Suruchi Singh, Shashi B. Agrawal and Madhoolika Agrawal

A holistic study to evaluate elevated UV-B response of a legume at varying NPK additions was not attempted before. In the present study, various metabolic- and oxidative stress related variables of pea were analysed and correlated with nitrogen (N) metabolism and plant performance. Recommended NPK through optimum N metabolism helped the plants to counter the negative impact of elevated UV-B, maximally by maintaining yield.

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    | Supplementary Material (89 KB)
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Published online 28 September 2015
Expression of maize heat shock transcription factor gene ZmHsf06 enhances the thermotolerance and drought-stress tolerance of transgenic Arabidopsis 
Hui-cong Li, Hua-ning Zhang, Guo-liang Li, Zi-hui Liu, Yan-min Zhang, Hong-mei Zhang and Xiu-lin Guo

Heat shock factors (HSFs) play an important role in regulation of heat-induced transcriptional reprogramming. To understand the molecular mechanism of maize adaptation to heat stress, the ZmHsf06, A1 subclass, was cloned and the expression and role were investigated. ZmHsf06 may be a central representative of maize Hsfs and useful as a candidate gene in molecular breeding of crops for enhanced tolerance during terminal heat and drought stresses.

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Published online 08 September 2015
Modelling photosynthesis in flag leaves of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) considering the variation in photosynthesis parameters during development 
Jingsong Sun, Jindong Sun and Zhaozhong Feng

Modelling photosynthesis is one key step in estimating plant biomass under different growth conditions. In this study, we investigated and quantified the patterns of the photosynthesis parameters Vcmax, Jmax and gm during flag leaf development in two cultivars of winter wheat. The dynamics of the photosynthesis parameters, particularly gm, play an important role in estimating the photosynthesis rate of winter wheat, which greatly improves the modelling of photosynthesis in plants.

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Published online 02 September 2015
Physiological characterisation and fine mapping of a salt-tolerant mutant in rice (Oryza sativa) 
Ping Deng, Dan Jiang, Yanmin Dong, Xingyu Shi, Wen Jing and Wenhua Zhang

Salt-tolerant mutants are valuable resources for basic and applied research on plant salt tolerance. In the present study, we characterised a salt-tolerant rice mutant that had a higher survival rate under salt stress and found that its increased tolerance to salt stress was controlled by a single gene located on Chromosome 6. This result will be useful for molecular breeding to improve the salt tolerance of rice.

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Published online 28 August 2015
Lipoxygenase 2 functions in exogenous nitric oxide-induced stomatal closure in Arabidopsis thaliana 
Yanfeng Sun, Dong Lv, Wei Wang, Wei Xu, Li Wang, Chen Miao and Hong-Hui Lin

The stomata controls water and gaseous exchange and even the response to bacterial invasion. Its aperture is finely regulated by plants. However, its regulation mechanism still needs to be explored. The possible role of oxylipin in NO signalling in guard cells was studied and the existence of LOX-NO crosstalk in A. thaliana guard cells was indicated.

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blank image Functional Plant Biology
Volume 42 Number 10 2015

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Descriptive Table of Contents 
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Genetic approaches to enhancing nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) in cereals: challenges and future directions 
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Trevor Garnett , Darren Plett , Sigrid Heuer and Mamoru Okamoto
pp. 921-941

Australian farmers apply large amounts of nitrogen fertiliser to cereal crops to achieve high yields and maintain grain quality. The use of this applied nitrogen fertiliser by cereals is poor, and leads to economic losses and environmental problems. This review details the problem in an Australian context and details genetic approaches to improve the use of nitrogen fertiliser by cereal plants.


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Genetic diversity for root plasticity and nitrogen uptake in wheat seedlings 
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Vanessa J. Melino , Gabriele Fiene , Akiko Enju , Jinhai Cai , Peter Buchner and Sigrid Heuer
pp. 942-956

Enhancing nitrogen (N) use efficiency of crops is a global research priority aimed at reducing costs of production and environmental pollution. In this study, diverse wheat genotypes were analysed for root N responses, N flux capacity and expression of N transporter genes. All wheat genotypes responded to low N with enhanced root growth, but differed in their ability to accumulate N. Identifying plant responses to N will assist breeders with developing wheat cultivars that can cope with changing soil nutrient availability.

    | Supplementary Material (107 KB)

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Cellular pathways of source leaf phloem loading and phloem unloading in developing stems of Sorghum bicolor in relation to stem sucrose storage 
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Ricky J. Milne , Christina E. Offler , John W. Patrick and Christopher P. L. Grof
pp. 957-970

Sugar accumulation in Sorghum bicolor stems is an important biofuel resource. We demonstrate that phloem loading is apoplasmic and phloem unloading in developing stems shifts from an apoplasmic to a symplasmic route, coinciding with the onset of sucrose accumulation. This knowledge will inform future studies targeting increases in sugar storage.

    | Supplementary Material (59 KB)

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The significance of image compression in plant phenotyping applications 
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Massimo Minervini , Hanno Scharr and Sotirios A. Tsaftaris
pp. 971-988

The use of cameras and image processing solutions has considerably increased the throughput of phenotyping experiments. Data are typically compressed by manufacturers (unknown to users) or end-user choice to save storage space. We demonstrate that lossy image compression affects the extraction and analysis of visual traits from plant images. Via a thorough comparison of state-of-the-art approaches, we identify suitable compression options and best practices for a variety of typical phenotyping applications.


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Re-analysis of plant CO2 responses during the exponential growth phase: interactions with light, temperature, nutrients and water availability 
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Miko U. F. Kirschbaum and Suzanne M. Lambie
pp. 989-1000

The CO2 response of plant growth remains one of the most uncertain aspects of plant performance under climate change despite many years of research. This is partly caused by an incomplete and confounded analysis of past experimental observations, which we aimed to rectify by reanalysing published research results to derive an unconfounded assessment of growth responses. This provided new insights into plant CO2 responses that partly confirmed theoretical expectations, but conflicted with others, such as not showing the theoretically expected temperature × CO2 interaction.

   | Supplementary Material (304 KB)  |        Open Access Article

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Simultaneous recording of diurnal changes in leaf turgor pressure and stem water status of bread wheat reveal variation in hydraulic mechanisms in response to drought 
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Helen Bramley , Rebecca Bitter , Gertraud Zimmermann and Ulrich Zimmermann
pp. 1001-1009

Information about water relations within crop canopies is needed to improve our understanding of canopy resource distribution and crop productivity. This study involved continuously (and non-destructively) monitoring water status of different organs of wheat plants, and showed that flag leaves have superior turgor maintenance over penultimate leaves under drought, whereas turgor oscillated during post-drought recovery in leaves and stems. These traits are expected to be beneficial for grain filling and maintaining yield.

    | Supplementary Material (67 KB)

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Response of leaf water status, stomatal characteristics, photosynthesis and yield in black gram and green gram genotypes to soil water deficit 
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Bhaswatee Baroowa , Nirmali Gogoi , Sreyashi Paul and Kushal Kumar Baruah
pp. 1010-1018

Stomatal behaviour plays an important role in plants’ response to environmental stress. This study documents the differences in drought tolerance at leaf and stomatal level of two drought susceptible pulses – black gram and green gram. Genotypic variability has been observed in both the pulses and between the two crops, green gram was found to be affected to a greater extent than black gram. Findings of this study will be useful for future breeding programs aimed to improve drought resistance in black gram and green gram.


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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.

    FP15132  Accepted 06 October 2015
    Native hemiparasite and light effects on photoprotection and photodamage in a native host
    Robert Cirocco, Melinda Waterman, Sharon Robinson, Jose Facelli, Jennifer Watling

    FP15252  Accepted 06 October 2015
    Root to shoot signalling: integration of diverse molecules, pathways and functions
    Sergey Shabala, Rosemary White, Michael Djordjevic, Yong-Ling Ruan, Ulrike (Guest Editor) Mathesius

    FP15106  Accepted 30 September 2015
    Impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on cucumber growth and phosphorus uptake under cold stress
    Jun Ma, Martina JanouÅ¡ková, Yansu Li, Xianchang Yu, Zhirong Zou, Chaoxing He, Yan Yan

    FP15228  Accepted 29 September 2015
    Of growing importance: combining greater early vigour and transpiration efficiency for wheat in variable rainfed environments.
    Pip Wilson, Greg Rebetzke, Tony Condon

    FP15204  Accepted 11 September 2015
    Hydrogen-rich water-alleviated ultraviolet-B-triggered oxidative damage is partially associated with the manipulation of the metabolism of (iso)flavonoids and antioxidant defence in Medicago sativa
    Yanjie Xie, Wei Zhang, Xingliang Duan, Chen Dai, Yihua Zhang, Weiti Cui, Ren Wang, Wenbiao Shen

    FP15194  Accepted 10 September 2015
    Root responses of triticale and soybean to soil compaction in the field are reproducible under controlled conditions
    Tino Colombi, Achim Walter

    FP15119  Accepted 10 September 2015
    Exogenous salicylic acid-triggered changes in the glutathione transferases and peroxidases are key factors in the successful salt stress acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana
    Edit Horváth, Szilvia Brunner, Krisztina Bela, Csaba Papdi, Leszlo Szabados, Irma Tari, Jolán Csiszár

    FP15168  Accepted 09 September 2015
    Relationships between biomass allocation, axis organogenesis and organ expansion under shading and water deficit conditions in grapevine.
    Benoit Pallas, Angelique Christophe

    FP15190  Accepted 05 September 2015
    In vitro cell wall extensibility controls age-related changes in the growth rate of etiolated Arabidopsis hypocotyls
    Dmitry Suslov, Alexander Ivakov, Agnieszka Boron, Kris Vissenberg

    FP15079  Accepted 05 September 2015
    A comparative structural and functional study of leaf traits and sap flow in Dracaena cinnabari and Dracaena draco seedlings
    Nadezhda Nadezhdina, Roman Plichta, Valerij Nadezhdin, Roman Gebauer, Radek Jupa, Hana Habrova, Petr Madera


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 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

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

Klaus Winter and Joseph A. M. Holtum

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

Abraham Blum

4. 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

5. 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

6. Published 7 January 2015
High night temperature induces contrasting responses for spikelet fertility, spikelet tissue temperature, flowering characteristics and grain quality in rice

Onoriode Coast, Richard H. Ellis, Alistair J. Murdoch, Cherryl Quiñones and Krishna S. V. Jagadish

7. Published 15 September 2015
The significance of image compression in plant phenotyping applications

Massimo Minervini, Hanno Scharr and Sotirios A. Tsaftaris

8. 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

9. 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

10. Published 11 December 2014
Suppression of starch synthesis in rice stems splays tiller angle due to gravitropic insensitivity but does not affect yield

Masaki Okamura, Tatsuro Hirose, Yoichi Hashida, Ryu Ohsugi and Naohiro Aoki

11. Published 12 March 2015
The variability in the xylem architecture of grapevine petiole and its contribution to hydraulic differences

Uri Hochberg, Asfaw Degu, Tanya Gendler, Aaron Fait and Shimon Rachmilevitch

12. Published 13 February 2015
Auxin-modulated root growth inhibition in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings with ammonium as the sole nitrogen source

Huaiyu Yang, Jenny von der Fecht-Bartenbach, Ji?í Friml, Jan U. Lohmann, Benjamin Neuhäuser and Uwe Ludewig

13. Published 7 January 2015
Ionic and photosynthetic homeostasis in quinoa challenged by salinity and drought – mechanisms of tolerance

Fatemeh Razzaghi, Sven-Erik Jacobsen, Christian Richardt Jensen and Mathias Neumann Andersen

14. 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

15. 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

16. Published 11 December 2014
Foliar trait contrasts between African forest and savanna trees: genetic versus environmental effects

Franziska Schrodt, Tomas F. Domingues, Ted R. Feldpausch, Gustavo Saiz, Carlos Alberto Quesada, Michael Schwarz, F. Yoko Ishida, Halidou Compaore, Adamo Diallo, Gloria Djagbletey, Fidele Hien, Bonaventure Sonké, Herman Toedoumg, Loius Zapfack, Pierre Hiernaux, Eric Mougin, Michael. I. Bird, John Grace, Simon L. Lewis, Elmar M. Veenendaal and Jon Lloyd

17. Published 13 April 2015
Surface reconstruction of wheat leaf morphology from three-dimensional scanned data

Daryl M. Kempthorne, Ian W. Turner, John A. Belward, Scott W. McCue, Mark Barry, Joseph Young, Gary J. Dorr, Jim Hanan and Jerzy A. Zabkiewicz

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

Yaqiong Li and Min Chen

19. Published 13 February 2015
Metabolomics deciphers quantitative resistance mechanisms in diploid potato clones against late blight

Kalenahalli N. Yogendra, Ajjamada C. Kushalappa, Felipe Sarmiento, Ernesto Rodriguez and Teresa Mosquera

20. Published 7 January 2015
Shoot branching in response to nodal roots is mimicked by application of exogenous cytokinin in Trifolium repens

Roderick G. Thomas and Michael J. M. Hay

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