New Phytologist (NEW PHYTOL )

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing


Published for the New Phytologist Trust High quality wide-ranging science - from intracellular processes to global environmental change. International and independent - the New Phytologist Trust is a charity dedicated to the promotion of plant science. Submissions describing original research on all aspects of plant science are welcomed. Letters commentary and opinion are encouraged in the Forum section and regular Special Issues highlight key areas of current research. The 1999 ISI® Impact Factor® for New Phytologist is 2.156.

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Blackwell Publishing

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Publications in this journal

  • New Phytologist 10/2014; 204(1):4-6.
  • New Phytologist 09/2014; 203(4):1021-1024.
  • New Phytologist 09/2014; 203(4):1025-1027.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tree internal carbon (C) fluxes between compound and compartment pools are difficult to measure directly. Here we used a C mass balance approach to decipher these fluxes and provide a full description of tree C allocation dynamics. We collected independent measurements of tree C sinks, source and pools in Pinus halepensis in a semi-arid forest, and converted all fluxes to g C per tree d(-1) . Using this data set, a process flowchart was created to describe and quantify the tree C allocation on diurnal to annual time-scales. The annual C source of 24.5 kg C per tree yr(-1) was balanced by C sinks of 23.5 kg C per tree yr(-1) , which partitioned into 70%, 17% and 13% between respiration, growth, and litter (plus export to soil), respectively. Large imbalances (up to 57 g C per tree d(-1) ) were observed as C excess during the wet season, and as C deficit during the dry season. Concurrent changes in C reserves (starch) were sufficient to buffer these transient C imbalances. The C pool dynamics calculated using the flowchart were in general agreement with the observed pool sizes, providing confidence regarding our estimations of the timing, magnitude, and direction of the internal C fluxes.
    New Phytologist 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Selected soil-borne rhizobacteria can trigger an induced systemic resistance (ISR) that is effective against a broad spectrum of pathogens. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the root-specific transcription factor MYB72 is required for the onset of ISR, but is also associated with plant survival under conditions of iron deficiency. Here, we investigated the role of MYB72 in both processes. To identify MYB72 target genes, we analyzed the root transcriptomes of wild-type Col-0, mutant myb72 and complemented 35S:FLAG-MYB72/myb72 plants in response to ISR-inducing Pseudomonas fluorescens WCS417. Five WCS417-inducible genes were misregulated in myb72 and complemented in 35S:FLAG-MYB72/myb72. Amongst these, we uncovered β-glucosidase BGLU42 as a novel component of the ISR signaling pathway. Overexpression of BGLU42 resulted in constitutive disease resistance, whereas the bglu42 mutant was defective in ISR. Furthermore, we found 195 genes to be constitutively upregulated in MYB72-overexpressing roots in the absence of WCS417. Many of these encode enzymes involved in the production of iron-mobilizing phenolic metabolites under conditions of iron deficiency. We provide evidence that BGLU42 is required for their release into the rhizosphere. Together, this work highlights a thus far unidentified link between the ability of beneficial rhizobacteria to stimulate systemic immunity and mechanisms induced by iron deficiency in host plants.
    New Phytologist 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Mixotrophy is increasingly recognized as an important and widespread nutritional strategy in various taxonomic groups ranging from protists to higher plants. We hypothesize that the availability of alternative carbon and energy sources during mixotrophy allows a switch to photoheterotrophic growth, where the photosynthetic apparatus mainly provides energy but not fixed carbon. Because such a change in the function of the photosynthetic machinery is probably reflected in its composition, we compared the photosynthetic machinery in Ochromonas danica during autotrophic and mixotrophic growth. Compared with autotrophic growth, the total pigmentation of O. danica was reduced during mixotrophic growth. Furthermore, the photosystem I (PSI):PSII ratio increased, and the cellular content of Rubisco decreased not only absolutely, but also relative to the content of PSII. The changing composition of the photosynthetic apparatus indicates a shift in its function from providing both carbon and energy during photoautotrophy to mainly providing energy during mixotrophy. This preference for photoheterotrophic growth has interesting implications for the contribution of mixotrophic species to carbon cycling in diverse ecosystems.
    New Phytologist 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of the current study were to investigate the origin of polyploidy in the woody bamboos and examine putative hybrid relationships in one major lineage (the temperate woody bamboos, tribe Arundinarieae). Phylogenetic analyses were based on sequence data from three nuclear loci and 38 species in 27 genera. We identify six ancestral genome donors for contemporary bamboo lineages: temperate woody bamboos (tribe Arundinarieae) contain genomes A and B, tropical woody bamboos (tribe Bambuseae) contain genomes C and D, and herbaceous bamboos (tribe Olyreae) contain genome H; some hexaploid paleotropical bamboos contain genome E in addition to C and D. Molecular data indicate that allopolyploidy arose independently in temperate (AABB) and tropical woody lineages (CCDD and CCDDEE), and speciation occurred subsequent to polyploidization. Moreover, hybridization has played a surprising and recurrent role in bamboo evolution, generating allohexaploid species in the paleotropical clade and intergeneric hybrids among the allotetraploid temperate bamboos. We suggest this complex history of reticulate evolution is at least partially responsible for the taxonomic difficulty associated with the woody bamboos. This newly-resolved phylogenetic framework reflects a major step forward in our understanding of bamboo biodiversity and has important implications for the interpretation of bamboo phylogenomics.
    New Phytologist 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: As one of the three key components of the 'Green Revolution', photoperiod insensitivity is vital for improved adaptation of wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivars to a wider geographical range. Photoperiod-B1a (Ppd-B1a) is one of the major genes that confers photoperiod insensitivity in 'Green Revolution' varieties, and has made a significant contribution to wheat yield improvement. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the photoperiod insensitivity of Ppd-B1a alleles from an epigenetic perspective using a combination of bisulfite genomic sequencing, orthologous comparative analysis, association analysis, linkage analysis and gene expression analysis. Based on the study of a large collection of wheat germplasm, we report two methylation haplotypes of Ppd-B1 and demonstrate that the higher methylation haplotype (haplotype a) was associated with increased copy numbers and higher expression levels of the Ppd-B1 gene, earlier heading and photoperiod insensitivity. Furthermore, assessment of the distribution frequency of the different methylation haplotypes suggested that the methylation patterns have undergone selection during the wheat breeding process. Our study suggests that DNA methylation in the regulatory region of the Ppd-B1 alleles, which is closely related to copy number variation, plays a significant role in wheat breeding, to confer photoperiod insensitivity and better adaptation to a wider geographical range.
    New Phytologist 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Kin1/Par-1/MARK kinases regulate various cellular processes in eukaryotic organisms. Kin1 orthologs are well conserved in fungal pathogens but none of them have been functionally characterized. Here, we show that KIN1 is important for pathogenesis and growth in two phytopathogenic fungi and that FgKin1 regulates ascospore germination and the localization of Tub1 β-tubulins in Fusarium graminearum. The Fgkin1 mutant and putative FgKIN1(S172A) kinase dead (nonactivatable) transformants were characterized for defects in plant infection, sexual and asexual reproduction, and stress responses. The localization of FgKin1 and two β-tubulins were examined in the wild-type and mutant backgrounds. Deletion of FgKIN1 resulted in reduced virulence and defects in ascospore germination and release. FgKin1 localized to the center of septal pores. FgKIN1 deletion had no effect on Tub2 microtubules but disrupted Tub1 localization. In the mutant, Tub1 appeared to be enriched in the nucleolus. In Magnaporthe oryzae, MoKin1 has similar functions in growth and infection and it also localizes to septal pores. The S172A mutation had no effect on the localization and function of FgKIN1 during sexual reproduction. These results indicate that FgKIN1 has kinase-dependent and independent functions and it specifically regulates Tub1 β-tubulins. FgKin1 plays a critical role in ascospore discharge, germination, and plant infection.
    New Phytologist 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Plant-soil feedbacks can influence plant growth and community structure by modifying soil biota and nutrients. Because most research has been performed at the species level and in monoculture, our ability to predict responses across species and in mixed communities is limited. As plant traits have been linked to both soil properties and plant growth, they may provide a useful approach for an understanding of feedbacks at a generic level. We measured how monocultures and mixtures of grassland plant species with differing traits responded to soil that had been conditioned by model grassland plant communities dominated by either slow- or fast-growing species. Soils conditioned by the fast-growing community had higher nitrogen availability than those conditioned by the slow-growing community; these changes influenced future plant growth. Effects were stronger, and plant traits had greater predictive power, in mixtures than in monocultures. In monoculture, all species produced more above-ground biomass in soil conditioned by the fast-growing community. In mixtures, slow-growing species produced more above-ground biomass, and fast-growing species produced more below-ground biomass, in soils conditioned by species with similar traits. The use of a plant trait-based approach may therefore improve our understanding of differential plant species responses to plant-soil feedbacks, especially in a mixed-species environment.
    New Phytologist 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Plant function requires effective mechanisms to regulate water transport at a variety of scales. Here, we develop a new theoretical framework describing plant responses to drying soil, based on the relationship between midday and predawn leaf water potentials. The intercept of the relationship (Λ) characterizes the maximum transpiration rate per unit of hydraulic transport capacity, whereas the slope (σ) measures the relative sensitivity of the transpiration rate and plant hydraulic conductance to declining water availability. This framework was applied to a newly compiled global database of leaf water potentials to estimate the values of Λ and σ for 102 plant species. Our results show that our characterization of drought responses is largely consistent within species, and that the parameters Λ and σ show meaningful associations with climate across species. Parameter σ was ≤1 in most species, indicating a tight coordination between the gas and liquid phases of water transport, in which canopy transpiration tended to decline faster than hydraulic conductance during drought, thus reducing the pressure drop through the plant. The quantitative framework presented here offers a new way of characterizing water transport regulation in plants that can be used to assess their vulnerability to drought under current and future climatic conditions.
    New Phytologist 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Volatile phenylpropenes play important roles in the mediation of interactions between plants and their biotic environments. Their biosynthesis involves the elimination of the oxygen functionality at the side-chain of monolignols and competes with lignin formation for monolignol utilization. We hypothesized that biochemical steps before the monolignol branch point are shared between phenylpropene and lignin biosynthesis; however, genetic evidence for this shared pathway has been missing until now. Our hypothesis was tested by RNAi suppression of the petunia (Petunia hybrida) cinnamoyl-CoA reductase 1 (PhCCR1), which catalyzes the first committed step in monolignol biosynthesis. Detailed metabolic profiling and isotopic labeling experiments were performed in petunia transgenic lines. Downregulation of PhCCR1 resulted in reduced amounts of total lignin and decreased flux towards phenylpropenes, whereas internal and emitted pools of phenylpropenes remained unaffected. Surprisingly, PhCCR1 silencing increased fluxes through the general phenylpropanoid pathway by upregulating the expression of cinnamate-4-hydroxylase (C4H), which catalyzes the second reaction in the phenylpropanoid pathway. In conclusion, our results show that PhCCR1 is involved in both the biosynthesis of phenylpropenes and lignin production. However, PhCCR1 does not perform a rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of phenylpropenes, suggesting that scent biosynthesis is prioritized over lignin formation in petals.
    New Phytologist 07/2014;
  • New Phytologist 07/2014;
  • New Phytologist 07/2014; 203(2):349-51.
  • New Phytologist 07/2014; 203(2):352-4.
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    ABSTRACT: Fungi play an important role in plant communities and ecosystem function. As a result, variation in fungal community composition can have important consequences for plant fitness. However, there are relatively few empirical data on how dispersal might affect fungal communities and the ecological processes they mediate. We established sampling stations across a large area of coastal landscape varying in their spatial proximity to each other and contrasting vegetation types. We measured dispersal of spores from a key group of fungi, the Basidomycota, across this landscape using qPCR and 454 pyrosequencing. We also measured the colonization of ectomycorrhizal fungi at each station using sterile bait seedlings. We found a high degree of spatial and temporal variability in the composition of Basidiomycota spores. This variability was in part stochastic and in part explained by spatial proximity to other vegetation types and time of year. Variation in spore community also affected colonization by ectomycorrhizal fungi and seedling growth. Our results demonstrate that fungal host and habitat specificity coupled with dispersal limitation can lead to local variation in fungal community structure and plant-fungal interactions. Understanding fungal communities also requires explicit knowledge of landscape context in addition to local environmental conditions.
    New Phytologist 06/2014;

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