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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 24 September 2014
Resilience of a semi-deciduous shrub, Cistus salvifolius, to severe summer drought and heat stress 
Olga M. Grant, ?ukasz Tronina, José I. García-Plazaola, Raquel Esteban, João Santos Pereira and M. Manuela Chaves

Climate change is expected to exacerbate summer drought in Mediterranean environments. We analysed the response of a rockrose species to a heat wave superimposed on severe drought, discovering that a combination of physiological and biochemical adjustments allowed survival, with recovery following autumn rains. The shrub’s capacity to withstand substantial seasonal variability may also buffer the impact of significant inter-annual variation in water availability, indicating potential resilience to climate change in the understorey of Mediterranean oak woodlands.

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Published online 23 September 2014
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

Realistic virtual models of leaf surfaces are important for several applications in plant sciences, such as simulating agrichemical spray droplet motion on the leaf surface. Although there are effective approaches for reconstructing leaf surface from 3D scanned data, complications arise when dealing with wheat (Triticum aestivum) leaves, which tend to twist and bend. We present an algorithm that overcomes this topological difficulty, allowing significantly more leaf varieties to be modelled in this way.

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Published online 22 September 2014
Blobs and curves: object-based colocalisation for plant cells 
Carl J. Nelson, Patrick Duckney, Timothy J. Hawkins, Michael J. Deeks, P. Philippe Laissue, Patrick J. Hussey and Boguslaw Obara

Quantifying the colocalisation of labels is a major application of fluorescent microscopy in plant biology. Pixel-based quantification of colocalisation, such as Pearson’s correlation coefficient, gives limited information for further analysis. We show how applying bioimage informatics tools to a commonplace experiment allows further quantifiable results to be extracted. We use our object-based colocalisation technique to extract distance information, show temporal changes and demonstrate the advantages and pitfalls of using bioimage informatics for plant science.

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Published online 18 September 2014
Nitrogen supply controls vegetative growth, biomass and nitrogen allocation for grapevine (cv. Shiraz) grown in pots 
Aurélie Metay, Jessica Magnier, Nicolas Guilpart and Angélique Christophe

Apart from water, nitrogen is also an important limiting factor in grape growing. The effects of nitrogen deficiency were investigated with 2-year-old Vitis vinifera cv. Shiraz plants grown in pots and exposed to various N supplies under well watered conditions. Primary axis elongation, leaf emergences on the primary and the secondary axes and lamina area expansion were significantly inhibited by nitrogen deficiency from flowering in an intensity-dependent manner.

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Published online 18 September 2014
Seed coating reduces respiration losses and affects sugar metabolism during germination and early seedling growth in cereals 
Linda Gorim and Folkard Asch

We investigated how and why cereal seedlings performed better when grown from hydro-absorber coated seeds. We analysed the proportion of reserves mobilised for growth and respiration and sucrose mobilisation and found that mobilisation efficiency was higher resulting in higher biomass when cereals were coated and in each cereal, sucrose was mobilised differently. Further investigations into oxygen availability while imbibition is occurring have to be done.

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Published online 17 September 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

In rice (Oryza sativa L.), tiller angle – defined as the angle between the main culm and its side tillers – is one of the important factors involved in light use efficiency. Our analysis of a low stem starch mutant revealed suppression of starch synthesis in rice stems splays tiller angle due to gravitropic insensitivity but does not necessarily impact dry matter production. These findings provided new insights for rice breeding to improve plant architecture.

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Published online 16 September 2014
Water use efficiency in Sangiovese grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) subjected to water stress before veraison: different levels of assessment lead to different conclusions 
Maria Clara Merli, Matteo Gatti, Marco Galbignani, Fabio Bernizzoni, Eugenio Magnanini and Stefano Poni

How grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) use irrigation under drought needs to be determined. Previous work shows contradictory results regarding the method used. Single-leaf and whole-canopy methods for assessing water use efficiency (WUE) were compared in V. vinifera cv. Sangiovese subjected to progressive water deficit before veraison. Single-leaf WUE assessment was poorly correlated with yield and grape composition, whereas whole-canopy assessment was more reliable. Guidelines were that not less than 70% of daily water use should be supplied to Sangiovese vines before veraison.

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Published online 16 September 2014
Importance of natural cloud regimes to ecophysiology in the alpine species, Caltha leptosepala and Arnica parryi, Snowy Range Mountains, southeast Wyoming, USA 
Adriana Sanchez, Nicole M. Hughes and William K. Smith

Natural cloud regimes across the globe are expected to change with continued global warming. Yet, little is known about the impacts on plants, except for a few studies showing potentially strong effects on photosynthetic carbon gain and transpirational water loss. We found that these changes to the natural cloud regime had substantial impacts on photosynthesis, transpiration and water use efficiency.

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Published online 12 September 2014
Does age matter under winter photoinhibitory conditions? A case study in stems and leaves of European mistletoe (Viscum album) 
Fátima Míguez, Beatriz Fernández-Marín, Antonio Hernández, José Maria Becerril and José Ignacio García-Plazaola

European mistletoe (Viscum album) is an evergreen hemiparasitic plant characterised by a continuous photosynthetic surface composed of leaves and stems. We have taken advantage of these traits and used this species as a perfect model plant to study the interactive effect of age and winter on photosynthetic regulation. Winter, as in other temperate evergreens, induces a downregulation of photosynthesis, which in stems is compensated by an ageing-dependent stimulatory effect. Overall, this case study supports the theory of negative senescence.

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Published online 04 September 2014
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

High night temperature (HNT) can significantly reduce rice yield and quality. Flowering dynamics, spikelet tissue temperature determines seed-set among diverse rice genotypes exposed to early and/or late night temperature stress. Documented for the first time is a critical night temperature threshold of 27°C beyond which reduction in spikelet fertility is induced. The different sensitivities to HNT of cultivars for spikelet fertility and quality will complement plant breeding efforts targeted towards enhancing resilience of rice cultivars to warmer climates.

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Published online 04 September 2014
Higher flower and seed number leads to higher yield under water stress conditions imposed during reproduction in chickpea 
Raju Pushpavalli, Mainassara Zaman-Allah, Neil C. Turner, Rekha Baddam, Mandali V. Rao and Vincent Vadez

Ten chickpea genotypes contrasting in yield under terminal stress in the field were exposed to a controlled drought treatment in the glasshouse during reproduction. The ranking for relative seed yield (yield water stress/yield well watered) in the glasshouse conditions differed from the field. High seed yield under drought was linked to higher flower, pod and seed number, especially under mild water stress, while seed size was hardly affected by the drought treatment

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Published online 28 August 2014
Transcriptional regulation of phosphate transporters from Lolium perenne and its mycorrhizal symbionts in response to phosphorus supply 
Qianhe Liu, Anthony J. Parsons, Hong Xue, Chris S. Jones and Susanne Rasmussen

Phosphorus is essential for plant growth but little is known about its acquisition in pasture grasses. We isolated a phosphate transporter gene from perennial ryegrass together with genes associated with mycorrhizal fungal colonisation and studied how these were affected by varying phosphate supply. This research will help understand phosphorus uptake in pasture grasses and how the relationship with symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi supports this.

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Published online 28 August 2014
Radial oxygen loss and physical barriers in relation to root tissue age in species with different types of aerenchyma 
Milena E. Manzur, Agustín A. Grimoldi, Pedro Insausti and Gustavo G. Striker

Plants grown under flooding conditions display a large variation in aeration strategies in order to maintain suitable levels of oxygen to survive. We investigated these responses in three lowland grassland species, focusing into radial oxygen loss from roots, with different arrangement of aerenchyma. We found that hypoxia response as the oxygenation of roots depends on species and we discuss the physiological implications of the different responses.

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Published online 26 August 2014
Changes in timing of water uptake and phenology favours yield gain in terminal water stressed chickpea AtDREB1A transgenics 
Krithika Anbazhagan, Pooja Bhatnagar-Mathur, Kiran K. Sharma, Rekha Baddam, P. B. Kavi Kishor and Vincent Vadez

Effect of DREB1A on the yield under stress of transgenic chickpea was tested in a lysimetric system. Only modest yield benefits were found and higher yield related with higher water availability during the reproduction and grain filling period and the capacity to successfully produce filled pods from late flowers. This confirms earlier results obtained with chickpea germplasm.

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Published online 25 August 2014
Potential advantages of highly mycotrophic foraging for the establishment of early successional pioneer plants on sand 
Ingo Höpfner, Martina Friede, Stephan Unger and Wolfram Beyschlag

Nutrient uptake through symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi can be considered as an alternative to nutrient acquisition via roots. A comparison of both strategies in sand pioneer plants revealed that in ‘mycorrhiza strategists’ the enlargement of the absorptive surface area was clearly promoted and led to enhanced soil phosphorus depletion compared with ‘root strategists’. Thus, mycorrhizal fungi may be an important factor for the establishment of some plant species in nutrient poor sandy habitats.

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Published online 21 August 2014
PvLOX2 silencing in common bean roots impairs arbuscular mycorrhiza-induced resistance without affecting symbiosis establishment 
Guadalupe A. Mora-Romero, Maria A. Gonzalez-Ortiz, Francisco Quiroz-Figueroa, Carlos L. Calderon-Vazquez, Sergio Medina-Godoy, Ignacio Maldonado-Mendoza, Analilia Arroyo-Becerra, Anahí Perez-Torres, Fulgencio Alatorre-Cobos, Federico Sanchez and Melina Lopez-Meyer

Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization elicits mycorrhizal-induced resistance (MIR), an enhanced pathogen defence response. To investigate the role of the oxylipin biosynthetic pathway in this phenomenon, we silenced lipoxygenases in normally AM colonized common bean roots and observed MIR impairment against a foliar pathogen. These findings provide novel insights into the onset of MIR, and will eventually be of great benefit to agriculture.

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Published online 20 August 2014
Increasing nitrogen supply stimulates phosphorus acquisition mechanisms in the fynbos species Aspalathus linearis 
Pravin M. Maistry, A. Muthama Muasya, Alex J. Valentine and Samson B. M. Chimphango

The mechanisms for growth of Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos tea) in the nutrient-poor soils of the Core Cape subregion, and its response to combined addition of N and P, are not known. When addition of N induced low availability of P, the species increased partitioning of resources towards acquisition of P and also enhanced growth. Our findings show that plant growth is colimited by multiple resources.

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Published online 20 August 2014
Light-stimulated heat tolerance in leaves of two neotropical tree species, Ficus insipida and Calophyllum longifolium 
G. Heinrich Krause, Klaus Winter, Barbara Krause and Aurelio Virgo

In the tropics, climate warming and intensified extreme weather events may lead to elevated peak temperatures transgressing the limit of thermal tolerance in plant leaves, causing permanent tissue damage. We demonstrate experimentally that light absorbed by leaves in excess of photosynthetic utilisation ameliorates thermal tolerance. Our results contradict the widespread notion that exposure of leaves to high light in combination with heat aggravates leaf damage.

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Published online 20 August 2014
Photoperiodic variations induce shifts in the leaf metabolic profile of Chrysanthemum morifolium 
Katrine Heinsvig Kjaer, Morten Rahr Clausen, Ulrik Kræmer Sundekilde, Bent Ole Petersen, Hanne Christine Bertram and Carl-Otto Ottosen

Diurnal patterns in leaf primary metabolites are complex, and vary in relation to light intensity and photoperiodic variation. We demonstrate a coupling between diurnal patterns in leaf metabolites and leaf expansion, and that diurnal patterns of some metabolites are not affected by photoperiodic variation. The results enlighten the plasticity of primary metabolism and leaf expansion in an ever-changing environment.

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Published online 19 August 2014
Response of floret fertility and individual grain weight of wheat to high temperature stress: sensitive stages and thresholds for temperature and duration 
P. V. Vara Prasad and Maduraimuthu Djanaguiraman

High temperature (HT) stress causes significant yield losses in wheat. The two periods most sensitive to short episodes of HT stress were identified as gamete development and fertilisation. Short episodes (5 days) of mean temperatures >24°C decreased floret fertility. Increasing duration (from 2 to 30 days) of HT stress (mean temperature of 30°C) linearly decreased floret fertility and individual grain weight.

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Published online 19 August 2014
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

The total area of the leaves on a plant is important in horticulture, but manually measuring it is tedious and destructive. Getting a computer to recognise and count leaves is difficult, so we have used statistical methods to relate leaf area to the variations in colour in an image. This has potential to be a big help for scientists developing and testing new crop cultivars.

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Published online 14 August 2014
Seedling mortality during biphasic drought in sandy Mediterranean soils 
Stephen M. Benigno, Kingsley W. Dixon and Jason C. Stevens

Increasing drought events may further exacerbate the currently high seedling mortality patterns observed in restoration programs. This paper demonstrates a catastrophic decrease in physiological resilience of three Mediterranean tree species during the seedling establishment phase to successive droughts. An understanding of plant functional requirements through critical development stages will enable restoration practitioners to overcome high failure rates and improve biodiversity outcomes generally.

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Published online 14 August 2014
Rhizobium-induced elevation in xylem cytokinin delivery in pigeonpea induces changes in shoot development and leaf physiology 
Jean W. H. Yong, D. Stuart Letham, S. Chin Wong and Graham D. Farquhar

Pigeon pea, inoculated with Rhizobium strain IC3342, offers a novel system to study the role of xylem cytokinin in shoot development. With a 3-fold elevation in xylem cytokinin delivery to the shoot, various aspects of leaf physiology and shoot development were altered especially lateral bud outgrowth. Overall, xylem sap cytokinin appears to act as a pleiotropic regulator of plant development.

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Published online 05 August 2014
Post–flood nitrogen and basal phosphorus management affects survival, metabolic changes and anti-oxidant enzyme activities of submerged rice (Oryza sativa) 
Priyanka Gautam, Banwari Lal, Rajagounder Raja, Mirza Jaynul Baig, Deepika Haldar, Liza Rath, Mohammad Shahid, Rahul Tripathi, Sangita Mohanty, Pratap Bhattacharyya and Amaresh Kumar Nayak

Post-flood nitrogen and basal phosphorus application were evaluated on submergence tolerance of rice under clear and turbid water with submergence tolerant and susceptible cultivars. Urea spray and basal phosphorus improved survival, chlorophyll, non-structural carbohydrates and reduced shoot elongation and ethylene even in turbid water. Nutrient management options can provide opportunities for better survival and establishment of submerged rice, helping farmers to cope with the existing problems in flood-prone areas.

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Published online 05 August 2014
Functional characterisation of a WRKY transcription factor of wheat and its expression analysis during leaf rust pathogenesis 
Dhananjay Kumar, Anjali Kapoor, Dharmendra Singh, Lopamudra Satapathy, Ashwini Kumar Singh, Manish Kumar, Kumble Vinod Prabhu and Kunal Mukhopadhyay

The WRKY TFs has been a subject of intense research; however, their functional analysis in crops like wheat is still lacking. The molecular structure of a WRKY gene JX028549 was revealed and its spatio-temporal expression showed upregulation in response to the leaf rust pathogenesis. The results contribute towards understanding the structure and function of a wheat WRKY TF that can be used as a candidate gene to improve biotic stress tolerance.

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Published online 04 August 2014
Vigour reduction in girdled peach trees is related to lower midday stem water potentials 
Sergio Tombesi, Kevin R. Day, R. Scott Johnson, Rebecca Phene and Theodore M. DeJong

Trunk girdling (horticultural practice used to increase fruit size) reduces vegetative shoot growth although there appears to be higher availability of carbohydrates above the girdle in girdled trees. This research indicates that early spring scaffold girdling decreased stem water potential above the girdle suggesting that early spring girdling not only influences phloem flow (that is interrupted by girdling) but also decreases xylem flow. The decreased stem water potentials appear to be directly related to reductions in vegetative shoot growth and explain why early spring girdling reduces shoot growth. It is hypothesized that early spring girdling affects xylem flow because the girdling process interrupts cambial activity and the production of new xylem however girdling may also influence root activity.

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Published online 31 July 2014
Drought tolerances of three stem-succulent halophyte species of an inland semiarid salt lake system 
Victoria A. Marchesini, Chuanhua Yin, Timothy D. Colmer and Erik J. Veneklaas

Tecticornia species are dominant in saline habitats differing in the frequency and intensity of drought and flooding. In controlled conditions, the comparative response of three species to drying soil was remarkably similar, despite their distribution at opposite ends of a water availability gradient. Combined osmotic and matrix components of soil water potential during drought stress in drying saline soils have important implications for the understanding of physiological tolerance mechanisms and habitat requirements of salt lake halophytes.

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Published online 31 July 2014
Development of a diurnal dehydration index for spring barley phenotyping 
Pablo Rischbeck, Peter Baresel, Salah Elsayed, Bodo Mistele and Urs Schmidhalter

Breeding for drought tolerance is important for improving yield stability in agriculture in the coming decades. A new approach for precise, high-throughput and low-cost optical measurement of drought stress in barley was developed. This may enable the identification of drought tolerant varieties in field trials.

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Published online 29 July 2014
Brachypodium distachyon: a model species for aluminium tolerance in Poaceae 
Roberto Contreras, Ana M. Figueiras, Francisco J. Gallego and Cesar Benito

Aluminium (Al) toxicity is the main abiotic stress limiting plant productivity in acidic soils. Brachypodium distachyon (Bd) is a good model species for Al tolerance in Poaceae. The exudation of organic acids was involved in the Al tolerance of Brachypodium. An insertion was present in the promoter region of BdALMT1 (Al-activated malate transporter) gene of tolerant diploid and allotetraploid plants.

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Published online 23 July 2014
Do wide crowns in arid woodland trees reflect hydraulic limitation and reduction of self-shading? 
Martín Escoto-Rodríguez, José M. Facelli and Jennifer R. Watling

In arid lands many trees develop broad crowns that affect many ecological interactions, but how that form is acquired is unresolved. We measured crown shape and carbon isotope ratios. We found that upper branches suffered more water stress than laterally spreading branches, and that lower branches were affected by self-shading. When lower and upper branches are stressed, lateral spreading at middle crown become the best alternative for growth. These results advance our understanding of crown development in trees.

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Published online 22 July 2014
Early detection of Psa infection in kiwifruit by means of infrared thermography at leaf and orchard scale 
Wouter H. Maes, Peter E. H. Minchin, William P. Snelgar and Kathy Steppe

Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) the causal agent of bacterial canker of kiwifruit, has become a worldwide threat for the kiwifruit industry. In this work, we show that Psa can be detected at early stages of infection both at leaf and canopy scale using infrared thermography. At leaf scale, this method will be able to assist fundamental research of infection mechanisms; at canopy scale, the method could be used to identify regions of Psa-infection to be pruned out to prevent further devastating spread of the disease.

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blank image Functional Plant Biology
Volume 41 Number 10 & 11 2014
Interdrought IV

 
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Descriptive Table of Contents 
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Developing drought tolerant crops: hopes and challenges in an exciting journey 
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Vincent Vadez , Jairo Palta and Jens Berger
pp. v-vi
 
 

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Balancing crop yield and water productivity tradeoffs in herbaceous and woody crops 
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Elías Fereres , Francisco Orgaz , Victoria Gonzalez-Dugo , Luca Testi and Francisco J. Villalobos
pp. 1009-1018

Trade-offs between crop yield and water productivity (WP; yield divided by water use) are important in water-limited situations. Genetic improvement for WP generally has yield trade-offs, whereas management measures devised to improve WP tend to enhance yield as well. In contrast to the behaviour of the major herbaceous crops, WP increases in woody crops in response to water stress, facilitating the application of deficit irrigation strategies.

 
  
 

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Modelling the effect of plant water use traits on yield and stay-green expression in sorghum 
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Jana Kholová , Tharanya Murugesan , Sivasakthi Kaliamoorthy , Srikanth Malayee , Rekha Baddam , Graeme L. Hammer , Greg McLean , Santosh Deshpande , C. Thomas Hash , Peter Q. Craufurd and Vincent Vadez
pp. 1019-1034

Post-rainy sorghum production, the source of livelihood in developing countries, is being decimated by drought. Water use traits linked to stay-green expression were modelled and are predicted to have positive effect on sorghum production in target groups of environments in India. Trait-based breeding approach could enhance the production in target environments world-wide.

   | Supplementary Material (731 KB)  |        Open Access Article
 

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Phenotyping novel stay-green traits to capture genetic variation in senescence dynamics 
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John T. Christopher , Mathieu Veyradier , Andrew K. Borrell , Greg Harvey , Susan Fletcher and Karine Chenu
pp. 1035-1048

Stay-green crops retain green leaves longer after anthesis which can improve yield, particularly under water-limitation. We describe a new method to monitor and analyse the dynamics of canopy greenness with improved detection and interpretation of genotypic variation in stay-green. It is anticipated that selection for the identified novel stay-green traits will enhance genetic progress toward high-yielding cultivars.

 
  
 

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Quantitative trait locus mapping of the transpiration ratio related to preflowering drought tolerance in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) 
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Mohankumar H. Kapanigowda , William A. Payne , William L. Rooney , John E. Mullet and Maria Balota
pp. 1049-1065

Improving the ratio of biomass produced to water transpired is one way to improve water productivity, which is necessary to increase production to feed 9.6 billion by 2050. The study aimed to understand the genetic basis of the transpiration ratio (A : E), and the genetic and physiological determinants of water use in sorghum. Favourable alleles for A : E traits related to preflowering drought tolerance along with stay-green may help develop more drought-tolerant sorghum cultivars.

 
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Grain yield and physiological traits of rice lines with the drought yield QTL qDTY12.1 showed different responses to drought and soil characteristics in upland environments 
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Amelia Henry , Shalabh Dixit , Nimai P. Mandal , M. S. Anantha , Rolando Torres and Arvind Kumar
pp. 1066-1077

The major-effect drought-yield quantitative trait locus qDTY12.1 in rice was evaluated across 18 upland experiments. The yield advantage from qDTY12.1 was highest under intermittent drought stress, where yields were greater than 0.5 t ha–1, whereas the effects of qDTY12.1 on lateral root and transpiration efficiency were observed under a range of conditions. qDTY12.1 therefore showed different environmental responses for grain yield and physiological traits.

 
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Genotypic differences in deep water extraction associated with drought tolerance in wheat 
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Eric S. Ober , Peter Werner , Edward Flatman , William J. Angus , Peter Jack , Lucy Smith-Reeve and Chris Tapsell
pp. 1078-1086

Accessing sufficient soil moisture is vital to maintaining yield during droughts, but to produce improved varieties for such conditions breeders must be able to identify lines with deep root systems. We found that wheat varieties differed in the ability to mine water from deep soil layers, which was related to drought tolerance and without significant yield penalty. These findings and the methods employed should help validate new candidate lines to realise greater breeding progress for water limited conditions.

 
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Partial root zone drying exerts different physiological responses on field-grown grapevine (Vitis vinifera cv. Monastrell) in comparison to regulated deficit irrigation 
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Pascual Romero , Juan Gabriel Pérez-Pérez , Francisco M. del Amor , Adrián Martinez-Cutillas , Ian C. Dodd and Pablo Botía
pp. 1087-1106

High irrigation volumes applied to the wet part of the root system are critical to successfully implement partial root zone drying irrigation (PRI) to improve vine performance compared to regulated deficit irrigation under semiarid conditions. Physiological responses induced by PRI were due to both the placement of irrigation and the volume of water. Thresholds and optima of soil water content in wet and dry root zones were established.

 
    | Supplementary Material (293 KB)
 

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Two potato (Solanum tuberosum) varieties differ in drought tolerance due to differences in root growth at depth 
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Jaime Puértolas , Carlos Ballester , E. David Elphinstone and Ian C. Dodd
pp. 1107-1118

Since potato crops often require supplemental irrigation, selecting drought-tolerant varieties might help save water. We tested the importance of root biomass growth by comparing the physiology of two varieties with contrasting drought tolerance. When root growth was constrained, there were no genotypic differences in shoot physiological responses as the soil dried. Under field conditions, the drought-tolerant variety had greater root growth and maintained yield with less irrigation by better accessing moist soil layers deeper in the profile.

 
  
 

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Soil water-holding capacity mediates hydraulic and hormonal signals of near-isohydric and near-anisohydric Vitis cultivars in potted grapevines 
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Sara Tramontini , Johanna Döring , Marco Vitali , Alessandra Ferrandino , Manfred Stoll and Claudio Lovisolo
pp. 1119-1128

The ecophysiological behaviour of grapevine cultivars in response to drought is influenced by the soil conditions and by the plant genotype. These two components interact through a complex of hydraulic and hormonal signal exchanges occurring between roots and leaves. Our work highlights the differences in these signals observed in a near-isohydric and a near-anisohydric grapevine cultivars on two soil substrates with different textures, causing different dynamics of water deprivation during an imposed increasing water stress.

 
  
 

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Mucilage exudation facilitates root water uptake in dry soils 
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Mutez A. Ahmed , Eva Kroener , Maire Holz , Mohsen Zarebanadkouki and Andrea Carminati
pp. 1129-1137

As roots take up water and the soil dries, water depletion is expected to occur near the root surface, ultimately limiting root water uptake. By exuding mucilage, a gel that can hold much water, roots keep the soil in their vicinity wet and can better extract water from dry soils. Mucilage exudation seems to be an optimal plant trait that favours the capture of water during drought.

 
  
 

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Harvest index combined with impaired N availability constrains the responsiveness of durum wheat to elevated CO2 concentration and terminal water stress 
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Gorka Erice , Alvaro Sanz-Sáez , Amadeo Urdiain , Jose L. Araus , Juan José Irigoyen and Iker Aranjuelo
pp. 1138-1147

Despite the predicted increase in ambient CO2 concentration ([CO2]), agricultural production is expected to be impacted by stressful conditions. We aimed to characterise the role of harvest index (HI) in durum wheat under elevated [CO2] and terminal drought stress. Regardless of water treatment, plants with high HI increased biomass production under elevated [CO2], but those with low HI showed photosynthetic acclimation symptoms. Leaf N assimilation, carbohydrate build-up and limitations in CO2 diffusion were the main parameters involved in responsiveness.

 
    | Supplementary Material (52 KB)
 

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Individual and combined effects of transient drought and heat stress on carbon assimilation and seed filling in chickpea 
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Rashmi Awasthi , Neeru Kaushal , Vincent Vadez , Neil C. Turner , Jens Berger , Kadambot H. M. Siddique and Harsh Nayyar
pp. 1148-1167

Droughts are often accompanied by rising temperatures, severely affecting seed filling. The effects of these stresses, individually or combined, on biochemical processes related to seed filling was investigated in chickpea genotypes having contrasting sensitivity to heat and drought stress. Leaf photosynthetic function and sucrose metabolism in seeds were severely disrupted, especially by combined stress, resulting in reductions in seed weight and yield. A drought-tolerant genotype appeared to have partial cross-tolerance to heat stress.

 
  
 

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Physiological basis of salt stress tolerance in rice expressing the antiapoptotic gene SfIAP 
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Thi My Linh Hoang , Brett Williams , Harjeet Khanna , James Dale and Sagadevan G. Mundree
pp. 1168-1177

Salinity is a growing problem worldwide that causes a significant reduction in crop yields. We have addressed this problem by manipulating the programmed cell death pathways in rice, resulting in enhanced salt stress tolerance. The implication is that farmers could grow rice containing such a trait in environments where salinisation of the soil exists, thereby addressing food security needs.

 
  
 

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Genomics-assisted breeding for drought tolerance in chickpea 
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Mahendar Thudi , Pooran M. Gaur , Lakshmanan Krishnamurthy , Reyazul R. Mir , Himabindu Kudapa , Asnake Fikre , Paul Kimurto , Shailesh Tripathi , Khela R. Soren , Richard Mulwa , Chellapilla Bharadwaj , Subhojit Datta , Sushil K. Chaturvedi and Rajeev K. Varshney
pp. 1178-1190

For enhancing precision and efficiency in chickpea breeding especially for drought tolerance, large-scale genomic resources have been developed. These resources together with genetics and physiological approaches facilitated dissecting complex phenomenon of drought tolerance. Marker-assisted backcrossing has generated several lines with enhanced yield under rainfed conditions. Such advances have made it possible to deploy genomics-assisted breeding for drought tolerance in chickpea.

   |        Open Access Article
 

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Genomics for drought resistance – getting down to earth 
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Abraham Blum
pp. 1191-1198

This Perspective paper inquires why, after 20 years of extensive research into the genomics of drought resistance, there are hardly any transgenic genetically modified drought-resistant crop cultivar on the market to date. An important reason is that often, the drought stress simulations and testing methods used in genomics are at fault. Guidelines for relevant drought stress physiological methods in genomics are suggested.

 
  
 

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Strategies to increase the yield and yield stability of crops under drought – are we making progress? 
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Neil C. Turner , Abraham Blum , Mehmet Cakir , Pasquale Steduto , Roberto Tuberosa and Neil Young
pp. 1199-1206

Agronomic and genetic progress to improve the drought tolerance of crops for water-limited environments was showcased at the interdisciplinary InterDrought-IV conference held In Perth Australia in September 2013. The integration of breeding, precision phenotyping, genomics and molecular technologies, field evaluation in target environments, and the use of crop growth models has resulted in cultivars with increased yields in drought-prone environments. The paper recommends that further research is required to ensure that progress continues and even increases to meet the nutritional demands of the world’s increasing population in the face of climate change.

 
  
 

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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.

    FP14068  Accepted 25 September 2014
    Automatic Estimation of Wheat Grain Morphometry from CT Data
    Harry Strange, Reyer Zwiggelaar, Craig Sturrock, Sacha Mooney, John Doonan
    Abstract


    FP14177  Accepted 23 September 2014
    Metabolomics Deciphers Quantitative Resistance Mechanisms in Diploid Potato Clones Against Late Blight
    Kalenahalli Yogendra, Ajjamada Kushalappa, Felipe Sarmientio, Ernesto Rodriguez, Teresa Mosquera
    Abstract


    FP14171  Accepted 23 September 2014
    Auxin-modulated root growth depression in Arabidopsis seedlings by ammonium as sole nitrogen source
    huaiyu yang, Jenny von der Fecht-Bartenbach, Jiri Friml, Jan Lohmann, Benjamin Neuhäuser, Uwe Ludewig
    Abstract


    FP14162  Accepted 15 September 2014
    Heterotrimeric G-proteins involved in the MeJA regulated ion flux and stomatal closure in Arabidopsis thaliana
    Suli Yan, Shuitian Luo, Shanshan Dong, Ting Zhang, Jingru Sun, Ningning Wang, Hongjun Yao, Yingbai Shen
    Abstract


    FP14158  Accepted 31 August 2014
    Shoot branching in response to nodal roots is mimicked by application of exogenous cytokinin in Trifolium repens L.
    Roderick Thomas, Mike Hay
    Abstract


    FP14132  Accepted 30 August 2014
    Ionic and photosynthetic homeostasis in quinoa challenged by salinity and drought – mechanisms of tolerance
    Fatemeh Razzaghi, Sven-Erik Jacobsen, Christian Jensen, Mathias N Andersen
    Abstract


    FP14056  Accepted 29 August 2014
    Image based estimation of oat panicle development using local texture patterns
    Roger Boyle, Fiona Corke, Catherine Howarth
    Abstract


    FP14040  Accepted 09 July 2014
    Foliar trait contrasts between African forest and savanna trees: Genetic versus environmental effects.
    Franziska Schrodt, Tomas Domingues, Ted Feldpausch, Gustavo Saiz, Carlos Quesada, Michael Schwarz, Francoise Ishida, Halidou Compaore, Adamo Diallo, Gloria Djagbletey, Fidele Hien, Bonaventure Sonke, Hermann Taedoumg, Louis Zapfack, Pierre Hiernaux, Eric Mougin, Michael Bird, John Grace, Elmar Veenendaal, Jonathan Lloyd
    Abstract




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 12 December 2013
Development and evaluation of a field-based high-throughput phenotyping platform

Pedro Andrade-Sanchez, Michael A. Gore, John T. Heun, Kelly R. Thorp, A. Elizabete Carmo-Silva, Andrew N. French, Michael E. Salvucci and Jeffrey W. White

2. Published 11 February 2014
Root growth and anchorage by transplanted ‘Tifgreen’ (Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis) turfgrass

Jeffrey S. Amthor and James B. Beard

3. Published 6 January 2014
Wheat genotypes with high early vigour accumulate more nitrogen and have higher photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency during early growth

Jiayin Pang, Jairo A. Palta, Gregory J. Rebetzke and Stephen P. Milroy

4. Published 6 January 2014
Plot size matters: interference from intergenotypic competition in plant phenotyping studies

Greg J. Rebetzke, Ralph (Tony) A. Fischer, Anthony F. van Herwaarden, Dave G. Bonnett, Karine Chenu, Allan R. Rattey and Neil A. Fettell

5. Published 11 February 2014
Identification of stay-green and early senescence phenotypes in high-yielding winter wheat, and their relationship to grain yield and grain protein concentration using high-throughput phenotyping techniques

Sebastian Kipp, Bodo Mistele and Urs Schmidhalter

6. Published 15 November 2013
Overexpression of miR160 affects root growth and nitrogen-fixing nodule number in Medicago truncatula

Pilar Bustos-Sanmamed, Guohong Mao, Ying Deng, Morgane Elouet, Ghazanfar Abbas Khan, Jérémie Bazin, Marie Turner, Senthil Subramanian, Oliver Yu, Martin Crespi and Christine Lelandais-Brière

7. Published 15 November 2013
FT genes and regulation of flowering in the legume Medicago truncatula

Joanna Putterill, Lulu Zhang, Chin Chin Yeoh, Martin Balcerowicz, Mauren Jaudal and Erika Varkonyi Gasic

8. Published 15 November 2013
Water: the most important ‘molecular’ component of water stress tolerance research

Vincent Vadez, Jana Kholova, Mainassara Zaman-Allah and Nouhoun Belko

9. Published 14 March 2014
Awn primordium to tipping is the most decisive developmental phase for spikelet survival in barley

Ahmad M. Alqudah and Thorsten Schnurbusch

10. Published 15 November 2013
Plant–aphid interactions with a focus on legumes

Lars G. Kamphuis, Katherine Zulak, Ling-Ling Gao, Jonathan Anderson and Karam B. Singh

11. Published 7 May 2014
Variation in mesophyll conductance among Australian wheat genotypes

Eisrat Jahan, Jeffrey S. Amthor, Graham D. Farquhar, Richard Trethowan and Margaret M. Barbour

12. Published 12 December 2013
Root growth and N dynamics in response to multi-year experimental warming, summer drought and elevated CO2 in a mixed heathland-grass ecosystem

M. F. Arndal, I. K. Schmidt, J. Kongstad, C. Beier and A. Michelsen

13. Published 14 August 2014
Crop yield components – photoassimilate supply- or utilisation limited-organ development?

John W. Patrick and Kim Colyvas

14. Published 15 November 2013
VIGS technology: an attractive tool for functional genomics studies in legumes

Stéphanie Pflieger, Manon M. S. Richard, Sophie Blanchet, Chouaib Meziadi and Valérie Geffroy

15. Published 30 September 2014
Genomics for drought resistance – getting down to earth

Abraham Blum

16. Published 8 April 2014
Soil water availability influences the temperature response of photosynthesis and respiration in a grass and a woody shrub

Tony Joseph, David Whitehead and Matthew H. Turnbull

17. Published 11 February 2014
PrometheusWiki Gold Leaf Protocol: gas exchange using LI-COR 6400

John R. Evans and Louis S. Santiago

18. Published 15 October 2013
A dynamic model of tomato fruit growth integrating cell division, cell growth and endoreduplication

Julienne Fanwoua, Pieter H. B. de Visser, Ep Heuvelink, Xinyou Yin, Paul C. Struik and Leo F. M. Marcelis

19. Published 15 November 2013
Functional genomics to study stress responses in crop legumes: progress and prospects

Himabindu Kudapa, Abirami Ramalingam, Swapna Nayakoti, Xiaoping Chen, Wei-Jian Zhuang, Xuanqiang Liang, Guenter Kahl, David Edwards and Rajeev K. Varshney

20. Published 8 April 2014
Vapour pressure deficit aids the interpretation of cotton canopy temperature response to water deficit

Warren C. Conaty, James R. Mahan, James E. Neilsen and Greg A. Constable


      
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