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Plants, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2013), Pages 354-540

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Progamic Phase in High-Mountain Plants: From Pollination to Fertilization in the Cold
Plants 2013, 2(3), 354-370; doi:10.3390/plants2030354
Received: 12 April 2013 / Revised: 24 May 2013 / Accepted: 26 May 2013 / Published: 25 June 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In high-mountains, cold spells can occur at any time during the growing season and plants may be covered with snow for several days. This raises the question to what extent sexual processes are impaired by low temperatures. We tested pollen performance and [...] Read more.
In high-mountains, cold spells can occur at any time during the growing season and plants may be covered with snow for several days. This raises the question to what extent sexual processes are impaired by low temperatures. We tested pollen performance and fertilization capacity of high-mountain species with different elevational distribution in the European Alps (Cerastium uniflorum, Gentianella germanica, Ranunculus glacialis, R. alpestris, Saxifraga bryoides, S. caesia, S. moschata) during simulated cold snaps in the laboratory. Plants were exposed to 0 °C (the temperature below the snow) for 12, 36, 60 and 84 h. In S. caesia, the experiment was verified in situ during a cold snap. Sexual processes coped well with large temperature differences and remained functional at near-freezing temperatures for a few days. During the cooling-down phase a high percentage (67–97%) of pollen grains germinated and grew tubes into the style. At zero degrees, tube growth continued slowly both in the laboratory and in situ below the snow. Fertilization occurred in up to 100% of flowers in the nival species and in G. germanica, but was strongly delayed or absent in the alpine species. During rewarming, fertilization continued. Overall, progamic processes in high-mountain plants appear fairly robust toward weather extremes increasing the probability of successful reproduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube Growth)
Open AccessArticle In Vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Origanum vulgare L. on HCT-116 and MDA-MB-231 Cell Lines
Plants 2013, 2(3), 371-378; doi:10.3390/plants2030371
Received: 6 April 2013 / Revised: 16 May 2013 / Accepted: 6 June 2013 / Published: 25 June 2013
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Abstract
In the present investigation, we examined the cytotoxic effect of methanolic extract from Origanum vulgare on HCT-116 and MDA-MB-231 cell line in vitro. In order to determine the cytotoxic effects we used an MTT viability assay. The results showed that cell [...] Read more.
In the present investigation, we examined the cytotoxic effect of methanolic extract from Origanum vulgare on HCT-116 and MDA-MB-231 cell line in vitro. In order to determine the cytotoxic effects we used an MTT viability assay. The results showed that cell growth is significantly lower in extract treated cells compared to untreated control. The effect of inhibition of cell growth was higher in the treatment of HCT-116 cell line than in MDA-MB-231. Based on the results it is determined that O. vulgare is a significant source of biologically active substances that have cytotoxic and antiproliferative activity in vitro. Full article
Open AccessArticle SPL8 Acts Together with the Brassinosteroid-Signaling Component BIM1 in Controlling Arabidopsis thaliana Male Fertility
Plants 2013, 2(3), 416-428; doi:10.3390/plants2030416
Received: 22 April 2013 / Revised: 22 May 2013 / Accepted: 18 June 2013 / Published: 25 June 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (969 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The non-miR156 targeted SBP-box gene SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE 8 (SPL8), plays an important role in Arabidopsis anther development, where its loss-of-function results in a semi-sterile phenotype. Fully male-sterile plants are obtained when a spl8 loss-of-function mutation is introduced into [...] Read more.
The non-miR156 targeted SBP-box gene SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE 8 (SPL8), plays an important role in Arabidopsis anther development, where its loss-of-function results in a semi-sterile phenotype. Fully male-sterile plants are obtained when a spl8 loss-of-function mutation is introduced into a 35S:MIR156 genetic background, thereby revealing functional redundancy between SPL8 and miR156-targeted SBP-box genes. Here, we show that BIM1, a gene encoding a bHLH protein involved in brassinosteroid signaling and embryonic patterning, functions redundantly with SPL8 in its requirement for male fertility. Although bim1 single mutants displayed a mild fertility problem due to shortened filaments in some flowers, mutation of BIM1 significantly enhanced the semi-sterile phenotype of the spl8 mutant. Expression of both SPL8 and BIM1 was detected in overlapping expression domains during early anther developmental stages. Our data suggest that in regulating anther development, SPL8 and BIM1 function cooperatively in a common complex or in synergistic pathways. Phylogenetic analysis supports the idea of an evolutionary conserved function for both genes in angiosperm anther development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Biology and Biotechnology of Plant Sexual Reproduction)
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Open AccessArticle Growth Media Induces Variation in Cell Wall Associated Gene Expression in Arabidopsis thaliana Pollen Tube
Plants 2013, 2(3), 429-440; doi:10.3390/plants2030429
Received: 28 March 2013 / Revised: 3 June 2013 / Accepted: 18 June 2013 / Published: 25 June 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (704 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The influence of three different pollen germination media on the transcript profile of Arabidopsis pollen tubes has been assessed by real-time PCR on a selection of cell wall related genes, and by a statistical analysis of microarray Arabidopsis pollen tube data sets. [...] Read more.
The influence of three different pollen germination media on the transcript profile of Arabidopsis pollen tubes has been assessed by real-time PCR on a selection of cell wall related genes, and by a statistical analysis of microarray Arabidopsis pollen tube data sets. The qPCR assays have shown remarkable differences on the transcript levels of specific genes depending upon the formulation of the germination medium used. With the aid of principal component analysis performed on existing microarray data, a subset of genes has been identified that is more prone to produce diverging transcript levels. A functional classification of those genes showed that the clusters with higher number of members were those for hydrolase activity (based in molecular function) and for cell wall (based in cellular component). Taken together, these results may indicate that the nutrient composition of the pollen germination media influences pollen tube metabolism and that caution must be taken when interpreting transcriptomic data of pollen tubes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube Growth)
Open AccessArticle Molecular Mapping of D1, D2 and ms5 Revealed Linkage between the Cotyledon Color Locus D2 and the Male-Sterile Locus ms5 in Soybean
Plants 2013, 2(3), 441-454; doi:10.3390/plants2030441
Received: 2 May 2013 / Revised: 15 June 2013 / Accepted: 26 June 2013 / Published: 5 July 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In soybean, genic male sterility can be utilized as a tool to develop hybrid seed. Several male-sterile, female-fertile mutants have been identified in soybean. The male-sterile, female-fertile ms5 mutant was selected after fast neutron irradiation. Male-sterility due to ms5 was associated with [...] Read more.
In soybean, genic male sterility can be utilized as a tool to develop hybrid seed. Several male-sterile, female-fertile mutants have been identified in soybean. The male-sterile, female-fertile ms5 mutant was selected after fast neutron irradiation. Male-sterility due to ms5 was associated with the “stay-green” cotyledon color mutation. The cotyledon color trait in soybean is controlled by two loci, D1 and D2. Association between cotyledon color and male-sterility can be instrumental in early phenotypic selection of sterility for hybrid seed production. The use of such selection methods saves time, money, and space, as fewer seeds need to be planted and screened for sterility. The objectives of this study were to compare anther development between male-fertile and male-sterile plants, to investigate the possible linkages among the Ms5, D1 and D2 loci, and to determine if any of the d1 or d2 mutations can be applied in hybrid seed production. The cytological analysis during anther development displayed optically clear, disintegrating microspores and enlarged, engorged pollen in the male-sterile, female-fertile ms5ms5 plants, a common characteristic of male-sterile mutants. The D1 locus was mapped to molecular linkage group (MLG) D1a and was flanked by Satt408 and BARCSOYSSR_01_1622. The ms5 and D2 loci were mapped to MLG B1 with a genetic distance ~12.8 cM between them. These results suggest that use of the d2 mutant in the selection of male-sterile line may attenuate the cost hybrid seed production in soybean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Biology and Biotechnology of Plant Sexual Reproduction)
Open AccessArticle Self-Affinity, Self-Similarity and Disturbance of Soil Seed Banks by Tillage
Plants 2013, 2(3), 455-472; doi:10.3390/plants2030455
Received: 22 April 2013 / Revised: 7 May 2013 / Accepted: 1 July 2013 / Published: 5 July 2013
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Abstract
Soil seed banks were sampled in undisturbed soil and after soil had been disturbed by tillage (tine, harrow or plough). Seeds were sorted by size and shape, and counted. Size-number distributions were fitted by power law equations that allowed the identification of [...] Read more.
Soil seed banks were sampled in undisturbed soil and after soil had been disturbed by tillage (tine, harrow or plough). Seeds were sorted by size and shape, and counted. Size-number distributions were fitted by power law equations that allowed the identification of self-similarity and self-affinity. Self-affinity and thus non-random size-number distribution prevailed in undisturbed soil. Self-similarity and thus randomness of size-number distribution prevailed after tillage regardless of the intensity of disturbance imposed by cultivation. The values of fractal dimensions before and after tillage were low, suggesting that short-term, short-range factors govern size-number distribution of soil seed banks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex System Theory Applied to Plant Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle Network Connectance Analysis as a Tool to Understand Homeostasis of Plants under Environmental Changes
Plants 2013, 2(3), 473-488; doi:10.3390/plants2030473
Received: 10 May 2013 / Revised: 2 July 2013 / Accepted: 3 July 2013 / Published: 10 July 2013
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Abstract
The homeostasis of plants under environmental constraints may be maintained by alterations in the organization of their physiological networks. The ability to control a network depends on the strength of the connections between network elements, which is called network connectance. Herein, we [...] Read more.
The homeostasis of plants under environmental constraints may be maintained by alterations in the organization of their physiological networks. The ability to control a network depends on the strength of the connections between network elements, which is called network connectance. Herein, we intend to provide more evidence on the existence of a modulation pattern of photosynthetic networks, in response to adverse environmental conditions. Two species (Glycine max-C3 metabolism, and Brachiaria brizantha-C4 metabolism) were submitted to two environmental constraints (water availability, and high and low temperatures), and from the physiological parameters measured, the global connectance (Cgtotal) and the modules connectance (gas exchange-Cgge and photochemical-Cgpho) were analyzed. Both types of environmental constraints impaired the photosynthetic capacity and the growth of the plants, indicating loss of their homeostasis, but in different ways. The results showed that in general the Cgtotal of both species increased with temperature increment and water deficit, indicating a higher modulation of photosynthetic networks. However, the Cg variation in both species did not influence the total dry biomass that was reduced by environmental adversities. This outcome is probably associated with a loss of system homeostasis. The connectance network analyses indicated a possible lack of correspondence between the photosynthetic networks modulation patterns and the homeostasis loss. However, this kind of analysis can be a powerful tool to access the degree of stability of a biological system, as well as to allow greater understanding of the dynamics underlying the photosynthetic processes that maintain the identity of the systems under environmental adversities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex System Theory Applied to Plant Sciences)
Open AccessArticle The Arabidopsis Plant Intracellular Ras-group LRR (PIRL) Family and the Value of Reverse Genetic Analysis for Identifying Genes that Function in Gametophyte Development
Plants 2013, 2(3), 507-520; doi:10.3390/plants2030507
Received: 26 April 2013 / Revised: 2 July 2013 / Accepted: 24 July 2013 / Published: 9 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (428 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Arabidopsis thaliana has proven a powerful system for developmental genetics, but identification of gametophytic genes with developmental mutants can be complicated by factors such as gametophyte-lethality, functional redundancy, or poor penetrance. These issues are exemplified by the Plant Intracellular Ras-group LRR ( [...] Read more.
Arabidopsis thaliana has proven a powerful system for developmental genetics, but identification of gametophytic genes with developmental mutants can be complicated by factors such as gametophyte-lethality, functional redundancy, or poor penetrance. These issues are exemplified by the Plant Intracellular Ras-group LRR (PIRL) genes, a family of nine genes encoding a class of leucine-rich repeat proteins structurally related to animal and fungal LRR proteins involved in developmental signaling. Previous analysis of T-DNA insertion mutants showed that two of these genes, PIRL1 and PIRL9, have an essential function in pollen formation but are functionally redundant. Here, we present evidence implicating three more PIRLs in gametophyte development. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that disruption of either PIRL2 or PIRL3 results in a low frequency of pollen morphological abnormalities. In addition, molecular analysis of putative pirl6 insertion mutants indicated that knockout alleles of this gene are not represented in current Arabidopsis mutant populations, suggesting gametophyte lethality may hinder mutant recovery. Consistent with this, available microarray and RNA-seq data have documented strongest PIRL6 expression in developing pollen. Taken together, these results now implicate five PIRLs in gametophyte development. Systematic reverse genetic analysis of this novel LRR family has therefore identified gametophytically active genes that otherwise would likely be missed by forward genetic screens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Biology and Biotechnology of Plant Sexual Reproduction)
Open AccessArticle New Compounds Induce Brassinosteroid Deficient-like Phenotypes in Rice
Plants 2013, 2(3), 521-529; doi:10.3390/plants2030521
Received: 29 May 2013 / Revised: 5 August 2013 / Accepted: 8 August 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (615 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are steroidal plant hormones with potent plant growth promoting activity. Because BR-deficient mutants of rice exhibit altered plant architecture and important agronomic traits, we conducted a systemic search for specific inhibitors of BR biosynthesis to manipulate the BR levels in [...] Read more.
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are steroidal plant hormones with potent plant growth promoting activity. Because BR-deficient mutants of rice exhibit altered plant architecture and important agronomic traits, we conducted a systemic search for specific inhibitors of BR biosynthesis to manipulate the BR levels in plant tissues. Although previous studies have been conducted with BR biosynthesis inhibitors in dicots, little is known regarding the effects of BR biosynthesis inhibition in monocot plants. In this work, we used potent inhibitors of BR biosynthesis in Arabidopsis, and we performed a hydroponic culture of rice seedlings to evaluate the effects of BR biosynthesis inhibition. Among the test compounds, we found that 1-[[2-(4-Chlorophenyl)-4-(phenoxymethyl)-1,3-dioxolan-2-yl]methyl]-1H-1,2,4-triazole (1) is a potent inhibitor that could induce phenotypes in rice seedlings that were similar to those observed in brassinosteroid deficient plants. The IC50 value for the retardation of plant growth in rice seedlings was approximately 1.27 ± 0.43 μM. The IC50 value for reducing the bending angle of the lamina joint was approximately 0.55 ± 0.15 μM. Full article
Open AccessArticle Identification of CP12 as a Novel Calcium-Binding Protein in Chloroplasts
Plants 2013, 2(3), 530-540; doi:10.3390/plants2030530
Received: 11 July 2013 / Revised: 8 August 2013 / Accepted: 19 August 2013 / Published: 26 August 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (494 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Calcium plays an important role in the regulation of several chloroplast processes. However, very little is still understood about the calcium fluxes or calcium-binding proteins present in plastids. Indeed, classical EF-hand containing calcium-binding proteins appears to be mostly absent from plastids. In [...] Read more.
Calcium plays an important role in the regulation of several chloroplast processes. However, very little is still understood about the calcium fluxes or calcium-binding proteins present in plastids. Indeed, classical EF-hand containing calcium-binding proteins appears to be mostly absent from plastids. In the present study we analyzed the stroma fraction of Arabidopsis chloroplasts for the presence of novel calcium-binding proteins using 2D-PAGE separation followed by calcium overlay assay. A small acidic protein was identified by mass spectrometry analyses as the chloroplast protein CP12 and the ability of CP12 to bind calcium was confirmed with recombinant proteins. CP12 plays an important role in the regulation of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham Cycle participating in the assembly of a supramolecular complex between phosphoribulokinase and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, indicating that calcium signaling could play a role in regulating carbon fixation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Calcium Signaling in Plants)

Review

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Open AccessReview Homeotic Genes and the ABCDE Model for Floral Organ Formation in Wheat
Plants 2013, 2(3), 379-395; doi:10.3390/plants2030379
Received: 19 April 2013 / Revised: 2 June 2013 / Accepted: 18 June 2013 / Published: 25 June 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (615 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Floral organ formation has been the subject of intensive study for over 20 years, particularly in the model dicot species Arabidopsis thaliana. These studies have led to the establishment of a general model for the development of floral organs in higher [...] Read more.
Floral organ formation has been the subject of intensive study for over 20 years, particularly in the model dicot species Arabidopsis thaliana. These studies have led to the establishment of a general model for the development of floral organs in higher plants, the so-called ABCDE model, in which floral whorl-specific combinations of class A, B, C, D, or E genes specify floral organ identity. In Arabidopsis, class A, B, C, D, E genes encode MADS-box transcription factors except for the class A gene APETALA2. Mutation of these genes induces floral organ homeosis. In this review, I focus on the roles of these homeotic genes in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), particularly with respect to the ABCDE model. Pistillody, the homeotic transformation of stamens into pistil-like structures, occurs in cytoplasmic substitution (alloplasmic) wheat lines that have the cytoplasm of the related wild species Aegilops crassa. This phenomenon is a valuable tool for analysis of the wheat ABCDE model. Using an alloplasmic line, the wheat ortholog of DROOPING LEAF (TaDL), a member of the YABBY gene family, has been shown to regulate pistil specification. Here, I describe the current understanding of the ABCDE model for floral organ formation in wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Biology and Biotechnology of Plant Sexual Reproduction)
Open AccessReview Understanding of Leaf Development—the Science of Complexity
Plants 2013, 2(3), 396-415; doi:10.3390/plants2030396
Received: 28 April 2013 / Revised: 7 May 2013 / Accepted: 18 June 2013 / Published: 25 June 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (742 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The leaf is the major organ involved in light perception and conversion of solar energy into organic carbon. In order to adapt to different natural habitats, plants have developed a variety of leaf forms, ranging from simple to compound, with various forms [...] Read more.
The leaf is the major organ involved in light perception and conversion of solar energy into organic carbon. In order to adapt to different natural habitats, plants have developed a variety of leaf forms, ranging from simple to compound, with various forms of dissection. Due to the enormous cellular complexity of leaves, understanding the mechanisms regulating development of these organs is difficult. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of technically advanced imaging techniques and computational modeling in studies of leaf development. Additionally, molecular tools for manipulation of morphogenesis were successfully used for in planta verification of developmental models. Results of these interdisciplinary studies show that global growth patterns influencing final leaf form are generated by cooperative action of genetic, biochemical, and biomechanical inputs. This review summarizes recent progress in integrative studies on leaf development and illustrates how intrinsic features of leaves (including their cellular complexity) influence the choice of experimental approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leaf Development)
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Open AccessReview Ensuring Reproduction at High Temperatures: The Heat Stress Response during Anther and Pollen Development
Plants 2013, 2(3), 489-506; doi:10.3390/plants2030489
Received: 3 June 2013 / Revised: 28 June 2013 / Accepted: 3 July 2013 / Published: 11 July 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sexual reproduction in flowering plants is very sensitive to environmental stresses, particularly to thermal insults which frequently occur when plants grow in field conditions in the warm season. Although abnormalities in both male and female reproductive organs due to high temperatures have [...] Read more.
Sexual reproduction in flowering plants is very sensitive to environmental stresses, particularly to thermal insults which frequently occur when plants grow in field conditions in the warm season. Although abnormalities in both male and female reproductive organs due to high temperatures have been described in several crops, the failure to set fruits has mainly been attributed to the high sensitivity of developing anthers and pollen grains, particularly at certain developmental stages. A global view of the molecular mechanisms involved in the response to high temperatures in the male reproductive organs will be presented in this review. In addition, transcriptome and proteomic data, currently available, will be discussed in the light of physiological and metabolic changes occurring during anther and pollen development. A deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the stress response to high temperatures in flowers and, particularly, in the male reproductive organs will be a major step towards development of effective breeding strategies for high and stable production in crop plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Biology and Biotechnology of Plant Sexual Reproduction)

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