Plant Biology (PLANT BIOLOGY )

Publisher: Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft; Koninklijke Nederlandse Botanische Vereniging, Blackwell Publishing


Plant Biology is an international journal of the broadest scope bringing together the different subdisciplines of plant science, such as physiology, molecular biology, cell biology, development, genetics, systematics, ecology, evolution, ecophysiology, plant-microbe interactions and mycology. To this end, the members of the board of section editors represent all major areas of plant science giving the journal an international base.

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  • Website
    Plant Biology website
  • Other titles
    Plant biology (Stuttgart, Germany: Online)
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  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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Blackwell Publishing

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    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley'
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    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Selected strains of non-pathogenic rhizobacteria can trigger induced systemic resistance (ISR) in plants against aboveground insect herbivores. However, the underlying mechanisms of plant-mediated interactions between rhizobacteria and herbivorous insects are still poorly understood. Using Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 - Pseudomonas fluorescens WCS417r as a model system, we investigated the performance and the molecular mechanisms underlying plant-mediated effects of rhizobacteria on the generalist caterpillar Mamestra brassicae and the specialist Pieris brassicae. Rhizobacteria colonization of Arabidopsis roots resulted in decreased larval weight of M. brassicae, whereas no effect was observed on larval weight of P. brassicae. Using a jasmonic acid (JA)-impaired mutant (dde2-2), we confirmed the importance of JA in rhizobacteria-mediated ISR against M. brassicae. Interestingly, in some experiments we also observed rhizobacteria-induced systemic susceptibility to M. brassicae. The role of soil composition in the variable outcomes of microbe-plant-insect interactions was then assessed by comparing M. brassicae performance and gene transcription in plants grown in potting soil or a mixture of potting soil and sand in a 1:1 ratio. In a mixture of potting soil and sand, rhizobacteria treatment had a consistent negative effect on M. brassicae, whereas the effect was more variable in potting soil. Interestingly, at 24 hpi rhizobacteria treatment primed plants grown in a mixture of potting soil and sand for a stronger expression of the JA- and ethylene-regulated genes PDF1.2 and HEL. Our study shows that soil composition can modulate rhizobacteria-plant-insect interactions, and is a factor that should be considered when studying these belowground–aboveground interactions.
    Plant Biology 09/2014; 16.
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    ABSTRACT: Measuring biomarkers from plant tissue samples is challenging and expensive when the desire is to integrate transcriptomics, fluxomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, proteomics, physiomics and phenomics. We present a computational biology method where only the transcriptome needs to be measured and is used to derive a set of parameters for deterministic kinetic models of metabolic pathways. The technology is called Transcriptome-To-Metabolome™ (TTM™ ) biosimulations, currently under commercial development, but available for non-commercial use by researchers. The simulated results on metabolites of 30 primary and secondary metabolic pathways in rice (Oryza sativa) were used as the biomarkers to predict whether the transcriptome was from a plant that had been under drought conditions. The rice transcriptomes were accessed from public archives and each individual plant was simulated. This unique quality of the TTM™ technology allows standard analyses on biomarker assessments, i.e. sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, accuracy, receiver operator characteristics (ROC) curve and area under the ROC curve (AUC). Two validation methods were also used, the holdout and 10-fold cross validations. Initially 17 metabolites were identified as candidate biomarkers based on either statistical significance on binary phenotype when compared with control samples or recognition from the literature. The top three biomarkers based on AUC were gibberellic acid 12 (0.89), trehalose (0.80) and sn1-palmitate-sn2-oleic-phosphatidylglycerol (0.70). Neither heat map analyses of transcriptomes nor all 300 metabolites clustered the stressed and control groups effectively. The TTM™ technology allows the emergent properties of the integrated system to generate unique and useful 'Omics' information.
    Plant Biology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Nuclear DNA sequence data are essential for obtaining a complete understanding of plant species relationships, yet these data have been conspicuously absent from phylogenetic analyses of Lemnaceae (duckweeds). Using a modified Sanger sequencing protocol, we obtained DNA sequences of duckweed nuclear ribosomal regions, including 18S and 26S rDNA genes, the external transcribed spacer (ETS) and the frequently used internal transcribed spacer (ITS). After obtaining sequence data for all Lemnaceae species, we ascertained that prior difficulty in sequencing the ITS regions likely resulted from extremely rigid secondary structures, precipitated by a high proportion of G/C nucleotides. In phylogenetic analyses, nuclear ribosomal data largely supported relationships that had been inferred using chloroplast DNA sequence data.
    Plant Biology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In several gynodioecious species, intermediate sex between female and hermaphrodite has been reported, but few studies have investigated fitness parameters of this intermediate phenotype. Here, we examined the interactions between plant sex and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal species affecting the reproductive output of Geranium sylvaticum, a sexually polymorphic plant species with frequent intermediate sexes between females and hermaphrodites, using a common garden experiment. Flowering phenology, AM colonisation levels and several plant vegetative and reproductive parameters, including seed and pollen production, were measured. Differences among sexes were detected in flowering, fruit set, pollen production and floral size. The two AM species used in the present work had different effects on plant fitness parameters. One AM species increased female fitness through increasing seed number and seed mass, while the other species reduced seed mass in all sexes investigated. AM fungi did not affect intermediate and hermaphrodite pollen content in anthers. The three sexes in G. sylvaticum did not differ in their reproductive output in terms of total seed production, but hermaphrodites had potentially larger fathering ability than intermediates due to higher anther number. The ultimate female function – seed production – did not differ among the sexes, but one of the AM fungi used potentially decreased host plant fitness. In addition, in the intermediate sex, mycorrhizal symbiosis functioned similarly in females as in hermaphrodites.
    Plant Biology 02/2014; 16(2):306-314.
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    ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana has two isoforms of alpha-glycan phosphorylase (EC, one residing in the plastid and the other in the cytosol. The cytosolic phosphorylase, PHS2, acts on soluble heteroglycans that constitute a part of the carbohydrate pool in a plant. This study aimed to define a physiological role for PHS2. Under standard growth conditions phs2 knock-out mutants do not show any clear growth phenotype, and we hypothesised that during low-light conditions where carbohydrate imbalance is perturbed, this enzyme is important. Soil-grown phs2 mutant plants developed leaf lesions when placed in very low light. Analysis of soluble heteroglycan (SHG) levels showed that the amount of glucose residues in SHG was higher in the phs2 mutant compared to wild-type plants. Furthermore, a standard senescence assay from soil-grown phs2 mutant plants showed that leaves senesced significantly faster in darkness than the wild-type leaves. We also found decreased hypocotyl extension in in vitro-grown phs2 mutant seedlings when grown for long time in darkness at 6 °C. We conclude that PHS2 activity is important in the adult stage during low-light conditions and senescence, as well as during prolonged seedling development when carbohydrate levels are unbalanced.
    Plant Biology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Jute (Corchorus spp.), as a natural fibre-producing species, ranks next only to cotton. Inadequate understanding of its genetic architecture is a major lacuna for genetic improvement of this crop in terms of yield and quality. Establishment of a physical map provides a genomic tool that helps in positional cloning of valuable genes. In this report, an attempt was initiated to study association and localisation of single copy expressed sequence tag (EST) loci in the genome of Corchorus olitorius. The chromosome-specific association of EST was determined based on the appearance of an extra signal for a single copy cDNA probe in mitotic interphase nuclei of specific trisomic(s) for fluorescence in situ hybridisation, and validated using a cDNA fragment of the 26S rRNA gene (600 bp) as molecular probe. The probe exhibited three signals in meiotic interphase nuclei of trisomic 5, instead of two as observed in diploids and other trisomics, indicating its association with chromosome 5. Subsequent hybridisation of the same probe on the pachytene chromosomes of diploids confirmed that 26S rRNA occupies the terminal end of the short arm of chromosome 5 in C. olitorius. Subsequently, chromosome-specific association of 63 single copy EST and their physical localisation were determined on chromosomes 2, 4, 5 and 7. The study describes chromosome-specific physical localisation of genes in jute. The approach used here could be a step towards construction of genome-wide physical maps for any recalcitrant plant species like jute.
    Plant Biology 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: As ecosystem engineers, Sphagnum mosses control their surroundings through water retention, acidification and peat accumulation. Because water retention avoids desiccation, sphagna are generally intolerant to drought; however, the literature on Sphagnum desiccation tolerance (DT) provides puzzling results, indicating the inducible nature of their DT. To test this, various Sphagnum species and other mesic bryophytes were hardened to drought by (i) slow drying; (ii) ABA application and (iii) chilling or frost. DT tolerance was assessed as recovery of chlorophyll fluorescence parameters after severe desiccation. We monitored the seasonal course of DT in bog bryophytes. Under laboratory conditions, following initial de-hardening, untreated Sphagnum shoots lacked DT; however, DT was induced by all hardening treatments except chilling, notably by slow drying, and in Sphagnum species of the section Cuspidata. In the field, sphagna in hollows and lawns developed DT several times during the growing season, responding to reduced precipitation and a lowered water table. Hummock and aquatic species developed DT only in late autumn, probably as a response to frost. Sphagnum protonemata failed to develop DT; hence, desiccation may limit Sphagnum establishment in drier habitats with suitable substrate chemistry. Desiccation avoiders among sphagna form compact hummocks or live submerged; thus, they do not develop DT in the field, lacking the initial desiccation experience, which is frequent in hollow and lawn habitats. We confirmed the morpho-physiological trade-off: in contrast to typical hollow sphagna, hummock species invest more resources in water retention (desiccation avoidance), while they have a lower ability to develop physiological DT.
    Plant Biology 11/2013; 16(4):765–773.
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    ABSTRACT: The congeners Rhinanthus angustifolius and Rhinanthus minor, two annual hemiparasites pollinated by bumblebees, are known to hybridise in the wild. Both species are self-compatible, but the capacity for autonomous selfing is higher in R. minor. This suggests a difference in realized outcrossing rates, which have not been determined before in these species. Using microsatellites, both species turned out to have mixed mating systems, but with a much lower multilocus outcrossing rate (0.13) for R. minor compared to R. angustifolius (0.76). We hypothesised that a higher outcrossing rate should lead to a higher chance of heterospecific pollination, and we therefore determined the rate of hybrid formation on each species in an artificial mixed population. Hybrid seeds were produced at low frequency (4.5%), and no significant difference was found between the species. It is therefore likely that post-pollination processes influence hybrid seed formation to counteract the expected difference in heterospecific pollen deposition. We checked fruit set, seed set and the rate of autonomous selfing in controlled crosses in the greenhouse in 2 years, and found that fruit set (2003) or seed set (2010) were lower in R. angustifolius × R. minor crosses relative to the reciprocal cross. Hybrid seeds produced on R. angustifolius also had a much lower germination rate, so most of the established F(1) hybrid plants have the R. minor cytoplasm. The formation of advanced hybrids depends on pollinator preference, which is biased towards R. angustifolius if present in sufficient numbers, because it offers more rewards.
    Plant Biology 05/2013; 15(3):541-547.
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    ABSTRACT: The gene, indole‐3‐butyric acid (IBA)‐RESPONSE (IBR) 3, is thought to participate in peroxisomal β‐oxidation of IBA to indole‐3‐acetic acid. Here we show that IBR3 may also play a role in Arabidopsis thaliana defence response to microbial pathogens. IBR3 is up‐regulated during infection by virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000 bacteria. Although mutant ibr3‐4 did not show a pathogen phenotype, lines overexpressing IBR3 demonstrated enhanced susceptibility to Pst DC3000. Increased susceptibility phenotypes of IBR3 overexpressors were correlated with defective SA defence signalling and impairment of pattern‐triggered immunity (PTI) activation. Notably, reactive oxygen species production was reduced in IBR3 overexpressors after treatment with the microbe‐associated molecular patterns flg22 and efl26. Later PTI responses, such as accumulation of FRK1 transcripts and callose deposition were also reduced in transgenics overexpressing IBR3 after inoculation with the Type III secretion system deficient bacterial mutant Pst DC3000 hrcC or treatment with flg22 or elf26. Importantly, overexpression of IBR3 did not affect indole‐3‐acetic acid content or auxin‐responsive gene expression. These results suggest a novel role for IBR3 in A. thaliana defence response against bacterial pathogens.
    Plant Biology 01/2013; 15(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Considering that their distribution is limited to altitudinal gradients along mountains that are likely to become warmer and drier, climate change poses an increased threat to temperate forest species from tropical regions. We studied whether the understorey shrub Lupinus elegans, endemic to temperate forests of west‐central Mexico, will be able to withstand the projected temperature increase under seven climate change scenarios. Seeds were collected along an altitudinal gradient and grown in a shade‐house over 7 months before determining their temperature tolerance as electrolyte leakage. The plants from colder sites tolerated lower temperatures, i.e. the temperature at which half of the maximum electrolyte leakage occurred (LT50), ranged from −6.4 ± 0.7 to −2.4 ± 0.3 °C. In contrast, no pattern was found for tolerance to high temperature (LT50 average 42.8 ± 0.3 °C). The climate change scenarios considered here consistently estimated an increase in air temperature during the present century that was higher for the maximum air temperature than for the mean or minimum. In particular, the anomaly from the normal maximum air temperature at the study region ranged from 2.8 °C by 2030 to 5.8 °C by 2090. In this respect, the inability of L. elegans to adapt to increasingly higher temperatures found here, in addition to a possible inhibition of reproduction caused by warmer winters, may limit its future distribution.
    Plant Biology 01/2013; 15(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (FOL) induces resistance in pepper against the airborne pathogen Botrytis cinerea and the soil‐borne pathogen Verticillium dahliae. However, its practical use is limited due to its pathogenicity to other crops. In this study we tested several fractions of a heat‐sterilised crude FOL‐elicitor preparation to protect pepper against B. cinerea and V. dahliae. Only the protein‐free insoluble fraction of the preparation reduced B. cinerea infection. However, none of the fractions reduce V. dahliae symptoms. The insoluble protein‐free fraction induced expression of defence genes in the plant, namely a chitinase (CACHI2), a peroxidase (CAPO1), a sesquiterpene cyclase (CASC1) and a basic PR1 (CABPR1). Even though the CASC1 gene was not induced directly after treatment with the insoluble fraction in the leaves, it was induced after B. cinerea inoculation, showing a priming effect. The insoluble protein‐free FOL‐elicitor protected pepper against the airborne pathogen through a mechanism that involves induced responses in the plant, but different to the living FOL.
    Plant Biology 01/2013; 15(6).