Ecology and Global Changes
Updated in October 2019
The superoxide (O2−)-generating NADPH oxidases are crucial for the defense of plants against attack from pathogens; however, it remains unknown whether they also mediate responses against chewing insect herbivores. The transcripts of the respiratory burst NADPH oxidase homolog Narboh D in Nicotiana attenuate are rapidly and transiently elicited by wounding, and are amplified when Manduca sexta oral secretions (OS) are added to the wounds. The fatty-acid-amino-acid-conjugates (FACs), demonstrably the major elicitors in M. sexta OS, are responsible for the increase in Narboh D transcripts. Silencing Narboh D significantly reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels after OS elicitation, but neither OS-elicited jasmonic acid (JA) or JA-isoleucine (JA-Ile) bursts, pivotal hormones that regulates plant resistance to herbivores, nor early transcripts of herbivore defense-related genes (NaJAR4 and NaPAL1), were influenced. However, late OS-elicited increases in trypsin proteinase inhibitors (TPIs), as well as the transcript levels of defense genes such as polyphenol oxidase, TPI and Thionin were significantly reduced. In addition, Narboh D-silenced plants were more vulnerable to insect herbivores, especially the larvae of the generalist Spodoptera littoralis. We thus conclude that Narboh D-based defenses play an important role in late herbivore-elicited responses.
Wu J, Wang L, W¨unsche H, Baldwin IT (2013) Narboh D, a respiratory burst oxidase homolog in Nicotiana attenuata, is required for late defense responses after herbivore attack. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(2), 187–198.
Transgene escape from genetically modified (GM) rice into weedy rice via gene flow may cause undesired environmental consequences. Estimating the field performance of crop-weed hybrids will facilitate our understanding of potential introgression of crop genes (including transgenes) into weedy rice populations, allowing for effective biosafety assessment. Comparative studies of three weedy rice strains and their hybrids with two GM rice lines containing different insectresistance transgenes (CpTI or Bt/CpTI) indicated an enhanced relative performance of the crop-weed hybrids, with taller plants, more tillers, panicles, and spikelets per plant, as well as higher 1 000-seed weight, compared with the weedy rice parents, although the hybrids produced less filled seeds per plant than their weedy parents. Seeds from the F1 hybrids had higher germination rates and produced more seedlings than the weedy parents, which correlated positively with 1 000-seed weight. The crop-weed hybrids demonstrated a generally enhanced relative performance than their weedy rice parents in our field experiments. These findings indicate that transgenes from GM rice can persist to and introgress into weedy rice
populations through recurrent crop-to-weed gene flow with the aid of slightly increased relative fitness in F1 hybrids.
Cao QJ, Xia H, Yang X, Lu B-R (2009). Performance of hybrids between weedy rice and insect-resistant transgenic rice under field experiments: Implication for environmental biosafety assessment. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(12), 1138–1148.
Changes in precipitation can influence soil water and nutrient availability, and thus affect plant nutrient conservation strategies. Better understanding of how nutrient conservation changes with variations in water availability is crucial for predicting the potential influence of global climate change on plant nutrient-use strategy. Here, green-leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations, N- and P resorption proficiency (the terminal N and P concentration in senescent leaves, NRP and PRP, respectively), and N- and P-resorption efficiency (the proportional N and P withdrawn from senescent leaves prior to abscission, NRE and PRE, respectively) of Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel., a typical perennial grass species in northern China, were examined along a water supply gradient to explore how plant nutrient conservation responds to water change. Increasing water supply at low levels (< 9000 mL/year) increased NRP, PRP and PRE, but decreased green-leaf N concentration. It did not significantly affect green-leaf P concentration or NRE. By contrast, all N and P conservation indicators were not significantly influenced at high water supply levels (> 9000 mL/year). These results indicated that changes in water availability at low levels could affect leaf-level nutrient characteristics, especially for the species in semiarid ecosystems. Therefore, global changes in precipitation may pose effects on plant nutrient economy, and thus on nutrient cycling in the plant-soil systems.
Huang JY, Yu HL, Li LH, Yuan ZY, Bartels S (2009). Water supply changes N and P conservation in a perennial grass Leymus chinensis. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(11), 1050–1056.
Soil carbon sequestration was estimated in a conifer forest and an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau using a carbon- 14 radioactive label provided by thermonuclear weapon tests (known as bomb-14C). Soil organic matter was physically separated into light and heavy fractions. The concentration spike of bomb-14C occurred at a soil depth of 4 cm in both the forest soil and the alpine meadow soil. Based on the depth of the bomb-14C spike, the carbon sequestration rate was determined to be 38.5 g C/m2 per year for the forest soil and 27.1 g C/m2 per year for the alpine meadow soil. Considering that more than 60% of soil organic carbon (SOC) is stored in the heavy fraction and the large area of alpine forests and meadows on the Tibetan Plateau, these alpine ecosystems might partially contribute to “the missing carbon sink”.
Tian YQ, Xu XL, Song MH, Zhou CP, Gao Q, Ouyang H (2009). Carbon sequestration in two alpine soils on the Tibetan Plateau. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(9), 900–905.
Astragalus is a species-rich genus occurring in the western arid habitats in China and its diversification and infrageneric relationships in this region remain unclear. In the present study, based on molecular data, we aim to (i) test whether Phyllolobium (previously treated as a subgenus Pogonophace in Astragalus) should be warranted; and (ii) date the origin of Phyllolobium and probable diversification of Astragalus sensu stricto (s.s.). We sequenced five species from Phyllolobium first and collected all related sequences from the genus, Astragalus s.s and their close relatives (Oxytropis and Caragana etc.). Our phylogenetic analyses suggested that all species of Phyllolobium comprise amonophyletic sister-group to genera of the subtribe Coluteinae. Molecular dating suggested that Phyllolobium and Astragalus s.s. originated around 8 and 10 million years ago. These two estimates are highly consistent with the intense uplifts of the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau inferred from geological evidence. In addition, one section of Pogonophace (Sect. Robusti) was estimated to originate 2.5 million years ago and this section with a tendency for dry habitats seems to be evidence of Asian intensified aridity resulting from the intense uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
Zhang M, Kang Y, Zhou L, Podlech D (2009). Phylogenetic origin of Phyllolobium with a further implication for diversification of Astragalus in China. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(9), 889–899.
To date, little is still known about how alpine species occurring in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) responded to past climatic oscillations. Here, by using variations of the chloroplast trnT-L, we examined the genetic distribution pattern of 101 individuals of Potentilla glabra, comprising both the interior QTP and the plateau edge. Phylogenetic and network analyses of 31 recovered haplotypes identified three tentative clades (A, B and C). Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that most of the genetic variability was found within populations (0.693), while differentiations between populations were obviously distinct (Fst = 0.307). Two independent range expansions within clades A and B occurring at approximately 316 and 201 thousand years ago (kya) were recovered from the hierarchical mismatch analysis, and these two expansions were also confirmed by Fu’s FS values and ‘g’ tests. However, distant distributions of clade C and private haplotypes from clades A and B suggest that they had survived the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and previous glaciers in situ since their origins. Our findings based on available limited samples support that multiple refugia of a few cold-enduring species had been maintained in the QTP platform during LGM and/or previous glacial stages.
Wang LY, Ikeda H, Liu TL, Wang YJ, Liu JQ (2009). Repeated range expansion and glacial endurance of Potentilla glabra (Rosaceae) in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(7), 698-706.
Knowledge of sex ratio and spatial distribution of males and females of dioecious species is both of evolutionary interest and of crucial importance for biological conservation. Eurycorymbus cavaleriei, the only species in the genus Eurycorymbus (Sapindaceae), is a dioecious tree endemic to subtropical montane forest in South China. Sex ratios were investigated in 15 natural populations for the two defined ages (young and old). Spatial distribution of males and females was further studied in six large populations occurring in different habitats (fragmented and continuous). The study revealed a slight trend of male-biased sex ratio in both ages of E. cavaleriei, but sex ratio of most populations (13 out of 15) did not display statistically significant deviation from equality. All of the four significantly male-biased populations in the young class shifted to equality or even female-biased. The Ripley's K analysis of the distribution of males with respect to females suggested that individuals of the opposite sexes were more randomly distributed rather than spatially structured. These results suggest that the male-biased sex ratio in E. cavaleriei may result from the precocity of males and habitat heterogeneity. The sex ratio and the sex spatial distribution pattern are unlikely to constitute a serious threat to the survival of the species.
Gao P, Kang M, Wang J, Ye Q, Huang H (2009). Neither biased sex ratio nor spatial segregation of the sexes in the subtropical dioecious tree Eurycorymbus cavaleriei (Sapindaceae). J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(6), 604–613.
The aim of our work was to assess photosynthetic plasticity of two hairgrass species with different ecological origins (a temperate zone species, Deschampsia caespitosa (L.) Beauv. and an Antarctic species, D. antarctica) and to consider how the anticipated climate change may affect vitality of these plants. Measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence showed that the photosystem II (PSII) quantum efficiency of D. caespitosa decreased during 4 d of incubation at 4 ◦C but it remained stable in D. antarctica. The fluorescence half-rise times were almost always lower in D. caespitosa than in D. antarctica, irrespective of the incubation temperature. These results indicate that the photosynthetic apparatus of D. caespitosa has poorer performance in these conditions. D. caespitosa reached the maximum photosynthesis rate at a higher temperature than D. antarctica although the values obtained at 8 ◦C were similar in both species. The photosynthetic water-use efficiency (photosynthesis-to-transpiration ratio, P/E) emerges as an important factor demonstrating presence of mechanisms which facilitate functioning of a plant in non-optimal conditions. Comparison of the P/Evalues, which were higher in D. antarctica than in D. caespitosa at low and medium temperatures, confirms a high degree of adjustability of the photosynthetic apparatus in D. antarctica and unveils the lack of such a feature in D. caespitosa.
Bystrzejewska-Piotrowska G, Urban PL (2009). Tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa) exhibits a lower photosynthetic plasticity than Antarctic hairgrass (D. antarctica). J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(6), 593-603
Carbon fluxes were measured using a static chamber technique in an alpine steppe in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from July 2000 to July 2001. It was shown that carbon emissions decreased in autumn and increased in spring of the next year, with higher values in growth seasons than in winters. An exponential correlation (Ecarbon = 0.22(exp(0.09T) + ln(0.31P + 1)), R2 = 0.77, P < 0.001) was shown between carbon emissions and environmental factors such as temperature (T) and precipitation (P). Using the daily temperature ((T) and total precipitation (R), annual carbon emission from soil to the atmosphere was estimated to be 79.6 g C/m2, 46% of which was emitted by microbial respiration. Considering an average net primary production of 92.5 g C/m2 per year within the 2 year experiment, alpine steppes can take up 55.9 g CO2-C/m2 per year. This indicates that alpine steppes are a distinct carbon sink, although this carbon reservoir was quite small.
Pei ZY, Ouyang H, Zhou CP, Xu XL (2009). Carbon balance in an alpine steppe in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(5), 521-526.
The frequency and distribution of the major vernalization requirement genes and their effects on growth habits were studied. Of the 551 bread wheat genotypes tested, seven allelic combinations of the three Vrn-1 genes were found to be responsible for the spring habit, three for the facultative habit and one for the winter habit. The three Vrn-1 genes behaved additively with the dominant allele of Vrn-A1 exerting the strongest effect. The allele combinations of the facultative genotypes and the discovery of spring genotypes with “winter” allele of Vrn-1 implied the presence of as yet unidentified alleles/genes for vernalization response. The dominant alleles of the three Vrn-1 genes were found in all ten ecological regions where wheat is cultivated in China, with Vrn-D1 as the most common allele in nine and Vrn-A1 in one. The combination of vrn-A1vrn- B1Vrn-D1 was the predominant genotype in seven of the regions. Compared with landraces, improved varieties contain a higher proportion of the spring type. This was attributed by a higher frequency of the dominant Vrn-A1 and Vrn-B1 alleles in the latter. Correlations between Vrn-1 allelic constitutions and heading date, spike length, plant type as well as cold tolerance were established.
Sun QM, Zhou RH, Gao LF, Zhao GY, Jia JZ (2009) The characterization and geographical distribution of the genes responsible for vernalization requirement in Chinese bread wheat. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(4), 423–432.
A limnological study was carried out to determine the responses of superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and soluble protein (SP) contents of 11 common aquatic plants to eutrophication stress. Field investigation in 12 lakes in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River was carried out from March to September 2004. Our results indicated that nonsubmersed (emergent and floating-leafed) plants and submersed plants showed different responses to eutrophication stress. Both SOD activities of the non-submersed and submersed plants were negatively correlated with their SP contents (P < 0.000 1). SP contents of non-submersed plants were significantly correlated with all nitrogen variables in the water (P < 0.05), whereas SP contents of submersed plants were only significantly correlated with carbon variables as well as ammonium and Secchi depth (SD) in water (P < 0.05). Only SOD activities of submersed plants were decreased with decline of SD in water (P < 0.001). Our results indicate that the decline of SOD activities of submersed plants were mainly caused by light limitation, this showed a coincidence with the decline of macrophytes in eutrophic lakes, which might imply that the antioxidant system of the submersed plants were impaired under eutrophication stress.
Wu AP, Cao T, Wu SK, Ni LY, Xie P (2009) Trends of superoxide dismutase and soluble protein of aquatic plants in lakes of different trophic levels in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(4), 414–422.
The aim of the present study is to probe the relation between plant growth and its decontamination effect in constructed wetlands. Four species were studied in the small-scale mono-cultured constructed wetlands, which were fed with domestic wastewater. Plant rowth indexes were correlated with contaminant removal performance of the constructed wetlands. Wetlands planted with Cyperus flabelliformis Rottb. showed the highest growth indexes such as shoot growth, biomass, root activity, root biomass increment, and the highest contaminant removal rates, whereas wetlands planted with Vetiveria zizanioides L. Nash had the lowest growth indexes and the lowest removal rates. Above-ground biomass and total biomass were significantly correlated with ammonia nitrogen removal, and below-ground biomass with soluble reactive phosphorus removal. Photosynthetic rate had higher correlation with nitrogen removal in these species. Root activity and root biomass increment was more correlated with 5 d biochemical oxygen demand removal. Chemical oxygen demand removal had lower correlations with plant growth indexes. All four species had higher removal rates in summer and autumn. The results suggest that the effect of plant growth on contaminant removal in constructed wetlands were different specifically in plants and contaminants.
Cheng XY, Liang MQ, Chen WY, Liu XC, Chen ZH (2009). Growth and contaminant removal effect of several plants in constructed wetlands. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(3), 325–335.
In hermaphroditic plants, female reproductive success often varies among different positions within an inflorescence. However, few studies have evaluated the relative importance of underlying causes such as pollen limitation, resource limitation or architectural effect, and few have compared male allocation. During a 2-year investigation, we found that female reproductive success of an acropetally flowering species, Corydalis remota Fisch. ex Maxim. var. lineariloba Maxim. was significantly lower in the upper late developing flowers when compared with the lower early flowers. Supplementation with outcross pollen did not improve female reproductive success of the upper flowers, while removal of the lower developing fruits significantly increased female reproductive success of the upper flowers in both years, evidencing resource limitation of the upper flowers. Female production in upper flowers was greatly improved by simultaneous pollen supplementation of the upper flowers and removal of the lower fruits, suggesting that, when resources are abundant, pollenmay limit the female reproductive success of the upper flowers. The less seed mass in the upper flowers didn’t increase in all treatments due to architecture. In the upper flowers, ovule production was significantly lower and the pollen : ovule ratio was significantly higher. These results suggest that male-biased sex allocation in the upper flowers may lead to increased male reproductive success, whereas the lower flowers have higher female reproductive success.
Zeng YF, Bai WN, Zhou Y, Zhang DY (2009). Variation in floral sex allocation and reproductive success in sequentially flowering inflorescence of Corydalis remota var. lineariloba (Fumariaceae). J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(3), 299–307.
Aerobic rice is a new production system in which specially-developed varieties are grown under nonflooded, nonpuddled, and nonsaturated soil conditions. Insight is needed into water and fertilizer N response and water by N interaction to develop appropriate management recommendations. In 2003-2004, irrigation x N experiments were done near Beijing using variety HD297. Water treatments included four irrigation levels, and N treatments included different fertilizer N application rates and different number of N splits. The highest yields were 4.5 t ha-1 with 688 mm of total (rain plus irrigation) water input in 2003 and 6.0 t ha-1 with 705 mm of water input in 2004. Because of quite even distribution of rainfall in both years, the four irrigation treatments did not result in large differences of soil water conditions. There were few significant effects of irrigation on biomass accumulation, but yield increased with total amount of water applied. High yields coincided with high harvest index and high percentage of grain filling. The application of fertilizer N either reduced biomass and yield or kept it at the same level as 0 N and consistently reduced percentage grain filling and 1000-grain weight. There were no or inconsistent interactions between water and N. With the highest water application, five splits of N gave higher yield than three splits, whereas three splits gave higher yield than five splits with lower water applications. High yields with 0 N were probably caused by frequent overfertilization in the past, leading to high levels of indigenous soil N supply. A longer-term (over three years) experiment may be needed to quantify the N response of aerobic rice and how much N fertilizer can be saved in N-saturated soils.