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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 26 April 2016
Barrier against water loss: relationship between epicuticular wax composition, gene expression and leaf water retention capacity in banana 
Megha H. Sampangi-Ramaiah, Kundapura V. Ravishankar, Shivashankar K. Seetharamaiah, Tapas K. Roy, Laxman R. Hunashikatti, Ajitha Rekha and Pandurangaiah Shilpa

This study examines the quantitative and qualitative composition of cuticular wax and their relationship with leaf water retention in banana. The role of total cuticular wax content, wax compounds and their relationship with leaf water retention, followed by gene expression analysis are reported. The results shows that both cuticular wax content and composition plays an important role in maintaining leaf water content.

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Published online 26 April 2016
Hybrid variation for root system efficiency in maize: potential links to drought adaptation 
Erik J. van Oosterom, Zongjian Yang, Fenglu Zhang, Kurt S. Deifel, Mark Cooper, Carlos D. Messina and Graeme L. Hammer

Root traits may enhance drought adaptation in maize. Root system efficiency (RSE) is defined here as a measure of canopy conductance per unit of investment in root biomass. The significant genotypic differences in RSE found in this study allow the design of breeding strategies to exploit this trait.

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Published online 19 April 2016
Halophytes as a source of salt tolerance genes and mechanisms: a case study for the Salt Lake area, Turkey 
Ceyda Ozfidan-Konakci, Baris Uzilday, Rengin Ozgur, Evren Yildiztugay, A. Hediye Sekmen and Ismail Turkan

Halophytes are salt tolerant plants that can live and reproduce at salt concentrations as high as sea water level. Salt Lake area in Turkey is rich in halophyte diversity and most of these species are endemics, which can be only found around Salt Lake area in the world. This review provides information on halophytes around Salt Lake and their tolerance mechanisms including research on model halophyte Eutrema parvulum (Schrenk) Al-Shehbaz & Warwick, which originates from Salt Lake, Turkey.

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Published online 13 April 2016
Phosphatidic acid synthesis, octadecanoic pathway and fatty acids content as lipid markers of exogeneous salicylic acid-induced elicitation in wheat 
Christine Tayeh, Béatrice Randoux, Frédéric Laruelle, Natacha Bourdon and Philippe Reignault

Salicylic acid (SA) induces plant defences and renders wheat resistant to the fungal pathogen responsible for the powdery mildew disease. It has been delivered here directly inside wheat leaf tissues in order to test its effect on the treated cells. Lipid metabolism is affected to a great extent by such a treatment and is proposed to be, at least in wheat, a useful marker of the induction of defences by SA, as a potential alternative to fungicides.

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Published online 06 April 2016
Dry seeds and environmental extremes: consequences for seed lifespan and germination 
Anne M. Visscher, Charlotte E. Seal, Rosemary J. Newton, Alba Latorre Frances and Hugh W. Pritchard

The focus of this review is the effects of extreme environmental conditions on dry seed lifespan and germination. We discuss dry seed survival of extreme temperatures, ultraviolet radiation and ultra-drying – conditions encountered in natural environments on Earth or in the vacuum of space. We indicate gaps in knowledge and also highlight the research that is needed to discover many of the mechanisms leading to extreme tolerance of dry seeds to these environmental conditions.

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Published online 03 March 2016
Enhancing salt tolerance in quinoa by halotolerant bacterial inoculation 
Aizheng Yang, Saqib Saleem Akhtar, Shahid Iqbal, Muhammad Amjad, Muhammad Naveed, Zahir Ahmad Zahir and Sven-Erik Jacobsen

Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) containing specific enzymes or hormones have been successful in ameliorating salinity stress in glycophytic plants, but halophytes have not previously been tested. We analysed the effects of PGPB on quinoa – regarded as a new global crop – under salt stress. Productivity of the salt tolerant species was improved by inoculating with PGPB in salt-affected soils.

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Published online 03 March 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 and Dorothea Bartels

The eight carbon sugar octulose is correlated with desiccation tolerance in Craterostigma plantagineum: what happens when desiccation tolerance confronts senescence? During senescence carbohydrate and gene expression profiles change, which reflects a loss of desiccation tolerance. The synthesis of octulose is light-driven and octulose is involved in the antioxidant defence in C. plantagineum.

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Published online 01 March 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-Chao Yang, Zhen-Gui Meng, Long-Gen Li, Zhong-Jian Chen and Guang-Hui Zhang

Ecologists have extensively studied the photoprotection of the shade-demanding species from high light with one objective being to elucidate photoprotective mechanisms of a typically shade-demanding species Panax notoginseng. In high-light-grown plants irradiated by high light, more electrons are consumed by non-net carboxylative processes that activate the component of nonphotochemical quenching. The present study shows an interesting aspect of photosynthesis and photoprotection in a shade-demanding species.

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Published online 16 February 2016
Salt stress responses in a geographically diverse collection of Eutrema/Thellungiella spp. accessions 
Yang Ping Lee, Christian Funk, Alexander Erban, Joachim Kopka, Karin I. Köhl, Ellen Zuther and Dirk K. Hincha

Salinity impairs plant growth but halophytes such as Eutrema salsugineum tolerate much higher salt concentrations than glycophytes such as Arabidopsis thaliana. We found natural variation in the salt tolerance of Eutrema accessions that was not correlated with compatible solute content. Metabolome and transcriptome analyses indicated metabolic pre-adaptation to salt stress in the halophyte and little overlap between salt-regulated genes in the two species.

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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 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 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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Volume 43 Number 5 2016

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Descriptive Table of Contents 
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Cloning and function analysis of BAG family genes in wheat 
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Shiming Ge , Zhen Kang , Ying Li , Fuzhen Zhang , Yinzhu Shen , Rongchao Ge and Zhanjing Huang
pp. 393-402

The plant heat resistance relative TaBAG gene is reported here. TaBAG2 can enhance the heat tolerance of Arabidopsis by interacting with Hsp70 and CaM proteins. Results of this work reveal the mechanism of heat tolerance in plants.


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Contribution of apoplast to short-term copper uptake by wheat and mung bean roots 
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Nataly Meychik , Yuliya Nikolaeva , Maria Kushunina and Igor Yermakov
pp. 403-412

The cell wall is the first structure in the root that comes into contact with external solution, so it plays an essential role in the control of solute transport into the cell. Here we show that accumulation of copper in root cell walls is a principal response of wheat and mung bean plants to excess Cu, limiting symplastic Cu uptake in roots in short-term treatment. This enhances our understanding of the functioning of plant root cells under elevated Cu concentrations.


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Expression and functional analysis of PhEOL1 and PhEOL2 during flower senescence in petunia 
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Juanxu Liu , Ji Zhao , Zhina Xiao , Xinlei Chang , Guoju Chen and Yixun Yu
pp. 413-422

Ethylene controls flower senescence in petunia but it is not known whether EOL1 protein, negatively regulating ACS, the key enzyme of ethylene biosynthesis, plays a role during flower senescence. Here, silencing of petunia EOL1 accelerated flower senescence and produced more ethylene than the control. The results are important for molecular breeding of cut flower for preservation.

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Component traits of plant water use are modulated by vapour pressure deficit in pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br.) 
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Jana Kholová , Paul Zindy , Srikanth Malayee , Rekha Baddam , Tharanya Murugesan , Sivasakthi Kaliamoorthy , C. Tom Hash , Olga Votrubová , Aleš Soukup , Marie Kočová , Mareme Niang and Vincent Vadez
pp. 423-437

Traits related to plant water use were measured in pearl millet plants grown under different vapour pressure deficits (VPDs). High VPD growth conditions decreased leaf growth and affected root anatomy. High VPD led plants to develop in a way that allowed more water transport. These long-term effects affected the transient response of transpiration to increasing VPD in a genotype-dependent manner.


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Assessing the xanthophyll cycle in natural beech leaves with hyperspectral reflectance 
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Rei Sonobe and Quan Wang
pp. 438-447

The xanthophyll cycle is critical for protecting the photosynthetic apparatus, and a clear view of it is important for understanding abiotic stresses. This study has identified a new hyperspectral index to trace the xanthophyll cycle in typical temperate deciduous species and its robustness has also been confirmed. The proposed index is hence applicable for tracing the xanthophyll cycle in deciduous forests.


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Different strategies of acclimation of photosynthesis, electron transport and antioxidative activity in leaves of two cotton species to water deficit 
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Xiao-Ping Yi , Ya-Li Zhang , He-Sheng Yao , Hong-Hai Luo , Ling Gou , Wah Soon Chow and Wang-Feng Zhang
pp. 448-460

The mechanisms of drought-tolerant may be related to photoprotective feature in cotton plants. Upland cotton can rely on enhanced alternative electron transport such as photorespiration and the Mehler reaction while pima cotton can through photorespiration and heat dissipation to dissipate light energy. The two cotton species possess different adaptation mechanisms to water deficit in field conditions.


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Potassium enhances frost tolerance in young individuals of three tropical dry forest species from Mexico 
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Pilar A. Gómez-Ruiz , Roberto Lindig-Cisneros , Erick de la Barrera and Carlos Martorell
pp. 461-467

Climate change will shift species distribution ranges, so movement of species outside their current range of distribution could provide a strategy for conservation. We evaluated frost tolerance of three tropical dry forest species; all were susceptible to frost damage, but potassium addition increased resistance. If plants are moved to areas that are colder areas than their current habitat, the use of potassium fertilisation could improve survival.


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Temperature response of CO2 exchange in three tropical tree species 
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Martijn Slot , Milton N. Garcia and Klaus Winter
pp. 468-478

We have a limited understanding of how climate change will affect tropical forests, particularly tree physiology. Our study showed large differences in how temperature affected carbon uptake and release characteristics among early- and late-successional Panamanian tree species, and between seedlings and canopy trees. Such laboratory and field comparisons are essential to improve predictions of the high-temperature performance of tropical forests.

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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.

    FP16018  Accepted 03 May 2016
    Reduced soybean photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency associated with evolutionary genetic bottlenecks
    José Rotundo, Lucas Borrás

    FP15337  Accepted 28 April 2016
    Dew absorption by the leaf trichomes of Combretum leprosum in the Brazilian semi-arid region
    Ana Lucia Pina, Roberta Zandavalli, Rafael Oliveira, Fernando Martins, Arlete Soares

    FP16064  Accepted 27 April 2016
    Depicting how Eucalyptus globulus survives drought: involvement of redox and DNA methylation events
    Barbara Correia, Luis Valledor, Robert Hancock, Claudia Jesus, Joana Amaral, Monica Meijon, Glória Pinto

    FP15235  Accepted 18 April 2016
    Effects of plant growth stage and leaf aging on the response of transpiration and photosynthesis to water deficit in sunflower
    Fety ANDRIANASOLO, Pierre CASADEBAIG, Nicolas LANGLADE, Philippe Debaeke, Pierre Maury

    FP16017  Accepted 24 April 2016
    The influence of water stress on grapevine ('Vitis vinifera' L.) shoots in a cool, humid climate: growth, gas exchange, and hydraulics
    Vinay Pagay, Vivian Zufferey, Alan Lakso

    FP16037  Accepted 20 April 2016
    Root morphological traits that determine phosphorus-acquisition efficiency and critical external phosphorus requirement in pasture species
    Rebecca Haling, Zongjian Yang, Natalie Shadwell, Richard Culvenor, Adam Stefanski, Megan Ryan, Graeme Sandral, Daniel Kidd, Hans Lambers, Richard Simpson

    FP15385  Accepted 18 April 2016
    Identification of novel stress-responsive biomarkers from gene expression datasets in tomato roots
    Almudena Ferrández-Ayela, Ana Belén Sánchez-García, Cristina Martínez-Andújar, Zoltan Kevei, Miriam Gifford, Andrew Thompson, Francisco Perez-Alfocea, José Manuel Pérez-Pérez

    FP16028  Accepted 15 April 2016
    Integrated Transcriptomics and Metabolomics Reveal Induction of Hierarchies of Resistance Genes in Potato against Late Blight
    Kalenahalli Yogendra, Ajjamada Kushalappa

    FP16006  Accepted 15 April 2016
    Phosphite-induced ROS production, and ethylene and ABA biosynthesis, mediate the control of Phytophthora capsici in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.)
    Peiqing Liu, Benjing Li, Min Lin, Guoliang Chen, Xueling Ding, Qiyong Weng, Qinghe Chen

    FP15336  Accepted 14 April 2016
    Stomatal conductance scales with petiole xylem traits in Populus genotypes
    Caroline Brocious, Uwe Hacke

    FP16044  Accepted 13 April 2016
    In situ detection of laccase activity and immunolocalization of a compression-wood-specific laccase (CoLac1) in differentiating xylem of Chamaecyparis obtusa
    Hideto Hiraide, Masato Yoshida, Saori Sato, Hiroyuki Yamamoto

    FP16035  Accepted 11 April 2016
    Separating species and environmental determinants of leaf functional traits in temperate rainforest plants along a soil-development chronosequence
    Matthew Turnbull, Kevin Griffin, Nikolaos Fyllas, Jonathan Lloyd, Patrick Meir, Owen Atkin

    FP16025  Accepted 09 April 2016
    Salinity tolerances of three succulent halophytes (Tecticornia spp.) differentially distributed along a salinity gradient
    Louis Moir-Barnetson, Erik Veneklaas, Tim Colmer

    FP15350  Accepted 22 March 2016
    Expression of a Nicotiana tabacum pathogen-induced gene is involved in the susceptibility to black shank
    Roxana Portieles, Eduardo Canales, Osmani Chacon, Yussuan Silva, Ingrid Hernandez, Yunior Lopez, Mayra Rodriguez, Ryohei Terauchi, Hideo Matsumura , Carlos Borroto , Jonathan D. Walton , Ramon Santos Bermúdez, Orlando Borras-Hidalgo

    FP15335  Accepted 21 March 2016
    Changes in photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism in sugarcane during the development of Yellow Canopy Syndrome (YCS)
    Annelie Marquardt, Gerard Scalia, Priya Joyce, Jayampathi Basnayake, Frederik Botha

    FP16057  Accepted 09 March 2016
    Insights into root structure and function of Bassia indica: water redistribution and element dispersion
    Oren Shelef, Paula Pongrac, Primož Pelicon, Primož Vavpetič, Mitja Kelemen, Merav Seifan, Boris Rewald, Shimon Rachmilevitch

    FP15284  Accepted 06 March 2016
    Salt tolerance of the halophyte Limonium delicatulum is more associated with antioxidant enzyme activities than phenolic compounds
    Aymen Souid, Morena Gabriele, Vincenzo Longo, Laura Pucci, Lorenza Bellani, Abderrazak Smaoui, Chedly Abdelly, Karim Ben Hamed

    FP15348  Accepted 29 February 2016
    Rapid stomatal response to fluctuating light: an under-explored mechanism to improve drought tolerance in rice
    Mingnan Qu, Saber Hamdani, Wenzhen Li, Shimei Wang, Zhuo Chen, Qingfeng Song, Ming Li, Honglong Zhao, Tiangen Chang, Chengcai Chu, Xin-Guang Zhu


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 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

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

Klaus Winter and Joseph A. M. Holtum

3. 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

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

Massimo Minervini, Hanno Scharr and Sotirios A. Tsaftaris

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

Lu Wang and Yong-Ling Ruan

6. 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

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

Abraham Blum

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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

11. Published 8 March 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

12. Published 10 December 2015
Signalling via glutamate and GLRs in Arabidopsis thaliana

Matthias Weiland, Stefano Mancuso and Frantisek Baluska

13. 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

14. Published 13 April 2016
Temperature response of CO2 exchange in three tropical tree species

Martijn Slot, Milton N. Garcia and Klaus Winter

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

Yaqiong Li and Min Chen

16. 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

17. Published 13 August 2015
The hydraulic architecture of Eucalyptus trees growing across a gradient of depth-to-groundwater

Sepideh Zolfaghar, Randol Villalobos-Vega, Melanie Zeppel and Derek Eamus

18. Published 10 December 2015
Root biomass in the upper layer of the soil profile is related to the stomatal response of wheat as the soil dries

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

19. Published 10 December 2015
Physiological trade-offs of stomatal closure under high evaporative gradients in field grown soybean

Viviana Medina and Matthew E. Gilbert

20. Published 10 July 2015
Interactive effect of biochar and plant growth-promoting bacterial endophytes on ameliorating salinity stress in maize

Saqib Saleem Akhtar, Mathias Neumann Andersen, Muhammad Naveed, Zahir Ahmad Zahir and Fulai Liu

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