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Journal of Experimental Botany



ISSN: 0022-0957 (1460-2431)
Plant Sciences - Plant Science - Physiology
APC costs unknown

Recent articles

1 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404262
This article comments on:Garg A, Kirchler T, Fillinger S, Wanke F, Stadelhofer B, Stahl M, Chaban C. 2019.
Targeted manipulation of bZIP53 DNA-binding properties influences Arabidopsis metabolism and growth

. Journal of Experimental Botany 70, 5659–5671.
2 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404263
This article comments on:Fabre D, Yin X, Dingkuhn M, Clément-Vidal A, Roques S, Rouan L, Soutiras A, Luquet D. 2019.
Is triose phosphate utilization involved in the feedback inhibition of photosynthesis in rice under conditions of sink limitation'

Journal of Experimental Botany 70, 5773–5785.
3 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404264

AbstractSingle-marker genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully detected associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and agronomic traits such as flowering time and grain yield in barley. However, the analysis of individual SNPs can only account for a small proportion of genetic variation, and can only provide limited knowledge on gene network interactions. Gene-based GWAS approaches provide enormous opportunity both to combine genetic information and to examine interactions among genetic variants. Here, we revisited a previously published phenotypic and genotypic data set of 895 barley varieties grown in two years at four different field locations in Australia. We employed statistical models to examine gene–phenotype associations, as well as two-way epistasis analyses to increase the capability to find novel genes that have significant roles in controlling flowering time in barley. Genetic associations were tested between flowering time and corresponding genotypes of 174 putative flowering time-related genes. Gene–phenotype association analysis detected 113 genes associated with flowering time in barley, demonstrating the unprecedented power of gene-based analysis. Subsequent two-way epistasis analysis revealed 19 pairs of gene×gene interactions involved in controlling flowering time. Our study demonstrates that gene-based association approaches can provide higher capacity for future crop improvement to increase crop performance and adaptation to different environments.
4 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404265

AbstractCadmium (Cd) is a highly toxic heavy metal in nature, which causes severe damage to plant growth. The molecular mechanisms for Cd detoxification are poorly understood. Here, we report that a G-type ATP-binding cassette transporter, OsABCG36, is involved in Cd tolerance in rice. OsABCG36 was expressed in both roots and shoots at a low level, but expression in the roots rather than the shoots was greatly up-regulated by a short exposure to Cd. A spatial expression analysis showed that Cd-induced expression of OsABCG36 was found in both the root tip and the mature root region. Transient expression of OsABCG36 in rice protoplast cells showed that it was localized to the plasma membrane. Immunostaining showed that OsABCG36 was localized in all root cells except the epidermal cells. Knockout of OsABCG36 resulted in increased Cd accumulation in root cell sap and enhanced Cd sensitivity, but did not affect tolerance to other metals including Al, Zn, Cu, and Pb. The concentration of Cd in the shoots was similar between the knockout lines and wild-type rice. Heterologous expression of OsABCG36 in yeast showed an efflux activity for Cd, but not for Zn. Taken together, our results indicate that OsABCG36 is not involved in Cd accumulation in the shoots, but is required for Cd tolerance by exporting Cd or Cd conjugates from the root cells in rice.
5 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404266

AbstractPolyploidization is a significant source of genomic and organism diversification during plant evolution, and leads to substantial alterations in plant phenotypes and natural fitness. To help understand the phenotypic and molecular impacts of autopolyploidization, we conducted epigenetic and full-transcriptomic analyses of a synthesized autopolyploid accession of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in order to interpret the molecular and phenotypic changes. We found that mCHH levels were decreased in both genic and transposable element (TE) regions, and that TE methylation near genes was decreased as well. Among 142 differentially expressed genes involved in cell division, cellulose biosynthesis, auxin response, growth, and reproduction processes, 75 of them were modified by 122 differentially methylated regions, 10 miRNAs, and 15 siRNAs. In addition, up-regulated PvTOE1 and suppressed PvFT probably contribute to later flowering time of the autopolyploid. The expression changes were probably associated with modification of nearby methylation sites and siRNAs. We also experimentally demonstrated that expression levels of PvFT and PvTOE1 were regulated by DNA methylation, supporting the link between alterations in methylation induced by polyploidization and the phenotypic changes that were observed. Collectively, our results show epigenetic modifications in synthetic autopolyploid switchgrass for the first time, and support the hypothesis that polyploidization-induced methylation is an important cause of phenotypic alterations and is potentially important for plant evolution and improved fitness.
6 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404267

AbstractNatural processes and human activities have caused widespread background contamination with non-essential toxic elements. The uptake and accumulation of cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), and lead (Pb) by crop plants results in chronic dietary exposure and is associated with various health risks. Current human intake levels are close to what is provisionally regarded as safe. This has recently triggered legislative actions to introduce or lower limits for toxic elements in food. Arguably, the most effective way to reduce the risk of slow poisoning is the breeding of crops with much lower accumulation of contaminants. The past years have seen tremendous progress in elucidating molecular mechanisms of toxic element transport. This was achieved in the model systems Arabidopsis thaliana and, most importantly, rice, the major source of exposure to As and Cd for a large fraction of the global population. Many components of entry and sequestration pathways have been identified. This knowledge can now be applied to engineer crops with reduced toxic element accumulation especially in edible organs. Most obvious in the case of Cd, it appears likely that subtle genetic intervention has the potential to reduce human exposure to non-essential toxic elements almost immediately. This review outlines the risks and discusses our current state of knowledge with emphasis on transgenic and gene editing approaches.
7 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404268

AbstractLateral organ development is essential for cucumber production. The protein kinase PINOID (PID) participates in distinct aspects of plant development by mediating polar auxin transport in different species. Here, we obtained a round leaf (rl) mutant that displayed extensive phenotypes including round leaf shape, inhibited tendril outgrowth, abnormal floral organs, and disrupted ovule genesis. MutMap+ analysis revealed that rl encodes a cucumber ortholog of PID (CsPID). A non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism in the second exon of CsPID resulted in an amino acid substitution from arginine to lysine in the rl mutant. Allelic testing using the mutant allele C356 with similar phenotypes verified that CsPID was the causal gene. CsPID was preferentially expressed in young leaf and flower buds and down-regulated in the rl mutant. Subcellular localization showed that the mutant form, Cspid, showed a dotted pattern of localization, in contrast to the continuous pattern of CsPID in the periphery of the cell and nucleus. Complementation analysis in Arabidopsis showed that CsPID, but not Cspid, can partially rescue the pid-14 mutant phenotype. Moreover, indole-3-acetic acid content was greatly reduced in the rl mutant. Transcriptome profiling revealed that transcription factors, ovule morphogenesis, and auxin transport-related genes were significantly down-regulated in the rl mutant. Biochemical analysis showed that CsPID physically interacted with a key polarity protein, CsREV (REVOLUTA). We developed a model in which CsPID regulates lateral organ morphogenesis and ovule development by stimulating genes related to auxin transport and ovule development.
8 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404269

AbstractThe increasing occurrence of heatwaves has intensified temperature stress on terrestrial vegetation. Here, we investigate how two contrasting isoprene-emitting tropical species, Ficus benjamina and Pachira aquatica, cope with heat stress and assess the role of internal plant carbon sources for isoprene biosynthesis in relation to thermotolerance. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report isoprene emissions from P. aquatica. We exposed plants to two levels of heat stress and determined the temperature response curves for isoprene and photosynthesis. To assess the use of internal C sources in isoprene biosynthesis, plants were fed with 13C position-labelled pyruvate. F. benjamina was more heat tolerant with higher constitutive isoprene emissions and stronger acclimation to higher temperatures than P. aquatica, which showed higher induced isoprene emissions at elevated temperatures. Under heat stress, both isoprene emissions and the proportion of cytosolic pyruvate allocated into isoprene synthesis increased. This represents a mechanism that P. aquatica, and to a lesser extent F. benjamina, has adopted as an immediate response to sudden increase in heat stress. However, in the long run under prolonged heat, the species with constitutive emissions (F. benjamina) was better adapted, indicating that plants that invest more carbon into protective emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds tend to suffer less from heat stress.
9 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404270

AbstractThe 70 kDa heat shock proteins function as molecular chaperones and are involved in diverse cellular processes. However, the functions of the plant mitochondrial HSP70s (mtHSC70s) remain unclear. Severe growth defects were observed in the Arabidopsis thaliana mtHSC70-1 knockout lines, mthsc70-1a and mthsc70-1b. Conversely, the introduction of the mtHSC70-1 gene into the mthsc70-1a background fully reversed the phenotypes, indicating that mtHSC70-1 is essential for plant growth. The loss of mtHSC70-1 functions resulted in abnormal mitochondria and alterations to respiration because of an inhibition of the cytochrome c oxidase (COX) pathway and the activation of the alternative respiratory pathway. Defects in COX assembly were observed in the mtHSC70-1 knockout lines, leading to decreased COX activity. The mtHSC70-1 knockout plants have increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The introduction of the Mn-superoxide dismutase 1 (MSD1) or the catalase 1 (CAT1) gene into the mthsc70-1a plants decreased ROS levels, reduced the expression of alternative oxidase, and partially rescued growth. Taken together, our data suggest that mtHSC70-1 plays important roles in the establishment of COX-dependent respiration.
10 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404271

AbstractHerbicides inhibiting either aromatic or branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis trigger similar physiological responses in plants, despite their different mechanism of action. Both types of herbicides are known to activate ethanol fermentation by inducing the expression of fermentative genes; however, the mechanism of such transcriptional regulation has not been investigated so far. In plants exposed to low-oxygen conditions, ethanol fermentation is transcriptionally controlled by the ethylene response factors-VII (ERF-VIIs), whose stability is controlled in an oxygen-dependent manner by the Cys-Arg branch of the N-degron pathway. In this study, we investigated the role of ERF-VIIs in the regulation of the ethanol fermentation pathway in herbicide-treated Arabidopsis plants grown under aerobic conditions. Our results demonstrate that these transcriptional regulators are stabilized in response to herbicide treatment and are required for ethanol fermentation in these conditions. We also observed that mutants with reduced fermentative potential exhibit higher sensitivity to herbicide treatments, thus revealing the existence of a mechanism that mimics oxygen deprivation to activate metabolic pathways that enhance herbicide tolerance. We speculate that this signaling pathway may represent a potential target in agriculture to affect tolerance to herbicides that inhibit amino acid biosynthesis.
11 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404272

AbstractPhototropin1 (phot1) perceives low- to high-fluence blue light stimuli and mediates both the first and second positive phototropisms. High-fluence blue light is known to induce autophosphorylation of phot1, leading to the second positive phototropism. However, the phosphorylation status of phot1 by low-fluence blue light that induces the first positive phototropism had not been observed. Here, we conducted a phosphoproteomic analysis of maize coleoptiles to investigate the fluence-dependent phosphorylation status of Zmphot1. High-fluence blue light induced phosphorylation of Zmphot1 at several sites. Notably, low-fluence blue light significantly increased the phosphorylation level of Ser291 in Zmphot1. Furthermore, Ser291-phosphorylated and Ser369Ser376-diphosphorylated peptides were found to be more abundant in the low-fluence blue light-irradiated sides than in the shaded sides of coleoptiles. The roles of these phosphorylation events in phototropism were explored by heterologous expression of ZmPHOT1 in the Arabidopsis thaliana phot1phot2 mutant. The first positive phototropism was restored in wild-type ZmPHOT1-expressing plants; however, plants expressing S291A-ZmPHOT1 or S369AS376A-ZmPHOT1 showed significantly reduced complementation rates. All transgenic plants tested in this study exhibited a normal second positive phototropism. These findings provide the first indication that low-fluence blue light induces phosphorylation of Zmphot1 and that this induced phosphorylation is crucial for the first positive phototropism.
12 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404273

AbstractDate palms are remarkably tolerant to environmental stresses, but the mechanisms involved remain poorly characterized. Leaf metabolome profiling was therefore performed on mature (ML) and young (YL) leaves of 2-year-old date palm seedlings that had been grown in climate chambers that simulate summer and winter conditions in eastern Saudi Arabia. Cultivation under high temperature (summer climate) resulted in higher YL H2O2 leaf levels despite increases in dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) activities. The levels of raffinose and galactinol, tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, and total amino acids were higher under these conditions, particularly in YL. The accumulation of unsaturated fatty acids, 9,12-octadecadienoic acid and 9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid, was lower in ML. In contrast, the amounts of saturated tetradecanoic acid and heptadecanoic acid were increased in YL under summer climate conditions. The accumulation of phenolic compounds was favored under summer conditions, while flavonoids accumulated under lower temperature (winter climate) conditions. YL displayed stronger hydration, lower H2O2 levels, and more negative δ 13C values, indicating effective reactive oxygen species scavenging. These findings, which demonstrate the substantial metabolic adjustments that facilitate tolerance to the high temperatures in YL and ML, suggest that YL may be more responsive to climate change.
13 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404274

AbstractPhotosynthesis depends on light. However, excess light can be harmful for the photosynthetic apparatus because it produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause photoinhibition. Oxygenic organisms evolved photoprotection mechanisms to counteract light-dependent ROS production, including preventive dissipation of excited states of chlorophyll (1Chl*) into heat in the process termed non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). This consists in the activation of 1Chl* quenching reactions when the thylakoid luminal pH drops below 5.2. In turn, acidification occurs when the rate of the CO2 reducing cycle is saturated and cannot regenerate ADP+Pi, thus inhibiting ATPase activity and the return of protons (H+) to the stromal compartment. The major and fastest component of NPQ is energy quenching, qE, which in algae depends on the Light-Harvesting Complex Stress-Related (LHCSR) proteins. In mosses, LHCSR proteins have remained the major catalysts of energy dissipation, but a minor contribution also occurs via a homologous protein, Photosystem II Subunit S (PSBS). In vascular plants, however, LHCSR has disappeared and PSBS is the only pH-sensitive trigger of qE. Why did PSBS replace LHCSR in the later stages of land colonization' Both PSBS and LHCSR belong to the Light Harvesting Complex superfamily (LHC) and share properties such as harboring protonatable residues that are exposed to the chloroplast lumen, which is essential for pH sensing. However, there are also conspicuous differences: LHCSR binds chlorophylls and xanthophylls while PSBS does not, implying that the former may well catalyse quenching reactions while the latter needs pigment-binding partners for its quenching function. Here, the evolution of quenching mechanisms for excess light is reviewed with a focus on the role of LHCSR versus PSBS, and the reasons for the redundancy of LHCSR in vascular plants as PSBS became established.
14 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404275

Brassica rapa includes several important leafy vegetable crops with the potential for high cadmium (Cd) accumulation, posing a risk to human health. This study aims to understand the genetic basis underlying the variation in Cd accumulation among B. rapa vegetables. Cd uptake and translocation in 64 B. rapa accessions were compared. The role of the heavy metal ATPase gene BrHMA3 in the variation of Cd accumulation was investigated. BrHMA3 encodes a tonoplast-localized Cd transporter. Five full-length and four truncated haplotypes of the BrHMA3 coding sequence were identified, explaining >80% of the variation in the Cd root to shoot translocation among the 64 accessions and in F2 progeny. Truncated BrHMA3 haplotypes had a 2.3 and 9.3 times higher shoot Cd concentration and Cd translocation ratio, respectively, than full-length haplotypes. When expressed in yeast and Arabidopsis thaliana, full-length BrHMA3 showed activity consistent with a Cd transport function, whereas truncated BrHMA3 did not. Variation in the BrHMA3 promoter sequence had little effect on Cd translocation. Variation in the BrHMA3 coding sequence is a key determinant of Cd translocation to and accumulation in the leaves of B. rapa. Strong alleles of BrHMA3 can be used to breed for B. rapa vegetables that are low in Cd in their edible portions.
15 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404276

AbstractPlant-parasitic nematodes secrete numerous effectors to facilitate parasitism, but detailed functions of nematode effectors and their plant targets remain largely unknown. Here, we characterized four macrophage migration inhibitory factors (MIFs) in Meloidogyne incognita resembling the MIFs secreted by human and animal parasites. Transcriptional data showed MiMIFs are up-regulated in parasitism. Immunolocalization provided evidence that MiMIF proteins are secreted from the nematode hypodermis to the parasite surface, detected in plant tissues and giant cells. In planta MiMIFs RNA interference in Arabidopsis decreased infection and nematode reproduction. Transient expression of MiMIF-2 could suppress Bax- and RBP1/Gpa2-induced cell death. MiMIF-2 ectopic expression led to higher levels of Arabidopsis susceptibility, suppressed immune responses triggered by flg22, and impaired [Ca2+]cyt influx induced by H2O2. The immunoprecipitation of MiMIF-2-interacting proteins, followed by co-immunoprecipitation and bimolecular fluorescence complementation validations, revealed specific interactions between MiMIF-2 and two Arabidopsis annexins, AnnAt1 and AnnAt4, involved in the transport of calcium ions, stress responses, and signal transduction. Suppression of expression or overexpression of these annexins modified nematode infection. Our results provide functional evidence that nematode effectors secreted from hypodermis to the parasite cuticle surface target host proteins and M. incognita uses MiMIFs to promote parasitism by interfering with the annexin-mediated plant immune responses.
16 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404277

AbstractInorganic phosphorus (Pi) fertilizers are expected to become scarce in the near future; so, breeding for improved Pi acquisition-related root traits would decrease the need for fertilizer application. This work aimed to decipher the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying the differences between two commercial wheat cultivars (Crac and Tukan) with contrasting Pi acquisition efficiencies (PAE). For that, four independent experiments with different growth conditions were conducted. When grown under non-limiting Pi conditions, both cultivars performed similarly. Crac was less affected by Pi starvation than Tukan, presenting higher biomass production, and an enhanced root development, root:shoot ratio, and root efficiency for Pi uptake under this condition. Higher PAE in Crac correlated with enhanced expression of the Pi transporter genes TaPht1;2 and TaPht1;10. Crac also presented a faster and higher modulation of the IPS1–miR399–PHO2 pathway upon Pi starvation. Interestingly, Crac showed increased levels of strigolactones, suggesting a direct relationship between this phytohormone and plant P responses. Based on these findings, we propose that higher PAE of the cultivar Crac is associated with an improved P signalling through a fine-tuning modulation of PHO2 activity, which seems to be regulated by strigolactones. This knowledge will help to develop new strategies for improved plant performance under P stress conditions.
17 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404278

AbstractMetabolite profiles provide a top-down overview of the balance between the reactions in a pathway. We compared Calvin–Benson cycle (CBC) intermediate profiles in different conditions in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and rice (Oryza sativa) to learn which features of CBC regulation differ and which are shared between these model eudicot and monocot C3 species. Principal component analysis revealed that CBC intermediate profiles follow different trajectories in Arabidopsis and rice as irradiance increases. The balance between subprocesses or reactions differed, with 3-phosphoglycerate reduction being favoured in Arabidopsis and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate regeneration in rice, and sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase being favoured in Arabidopsis compared with fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase in rice. Photosynthesis rates rose in parallel with ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate levels in Arabidopsis, but not in rice. Nevertheless, some responses were shared between Arabidopsis and rice. Fructose 1,6-bisphosphate and sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphate were high or peaked at very low irradiance in both species. Incomplete activation of fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase may prevent wasteful futile cycles in low irradiance. End-product synthesis is inhibited and high levels of CBC intermediates are maintained in low light or in low CO2 in both species. This may improve photosynthetic efficiency in fluctuating irradiance, and facilitate rapid CBC flux to support photorespiration and energy dissipation in low CO2.
18 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404279

Arlequin (Alq) is a gain-of-function mutant whose most relevant feature is that sepals are able to become fruit-like organs due to the ectopic expression of the ALQ-TAGL1 gene. The role of this gene in tomato fruit ripening was previously demonstrated. To discover new functional roles for ALQ-TAGL1, and most particularly its involvement in the fruit set process, a detailed characterization of Alq yield-related traits was performed. Under standard conditions, the Alq mutant showed a much higher fruit set rate than the wild type. A significant percentage of Alq fruits were seedless. The results showed that pollination-independent fruit set in Alq is due to early transition from flower to fruit. Analysis of endogenous hormones in Alq suggests that increased content of cytokinins and decreased level of abscisic acid may account for precocious fruit set. Comparative expression analysis showed relevant changes of several genes involved in cell division, gibberellin metabolism, and the auxin signalling pathway. Since pollination-independent fruit set may be a very useful strategy for maintaining fruit production under adverse conditions, fruit set and yield in Alq plants under moderate salinity were assessed. Interestingly, Alq mutant plants showed a high yield under saline conditions, similar to that of Alq and the wild type under unstressed conditions.
19 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404280

AbstractCommercial seeds of Brassicaceae vegetable crops are mostly F1 hybrids, the production of which depends on self-incompatibility during pollination. Self-incompatibility is known to be weakened by exposure to elevated temperatures, which may compromise future breeding and seed production. In the Brassicaceae, self-incompatibility is controlled by two genes, SRK and SCR, which function as female and male determinants of recognition specificity, respectively. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the breakdown of self-incompatibility under high temperature are poorly understood. In this study, we examined the self-incompatibility phenotypes of self-incompatible Arabidopsis thaliana SRK-SCR transformants under normal (23 °C) and elevated (29 °C) temperatures. Exposure to elevated temperature caused defects in the stigmatic, but not the pollen, self-incompatibility response. In addition, differences in the response to elevated temperature were observed among different S haplotypes. Subcellular localization revealed that high temperature disrupted the targeting of SRK to the plasma membrane. SRK localization in plants transformed with different S haplotypes corresponded to their self-incompatibility phenotypes, further indicating that defects in SRK localization were responsible for the breakdown in the self-incompatibility response at high temperature. Our results provide new insights into the causes of instability in self-incompatibility phenotypes.
20 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404281

AbstractPrevailing evidence indicates that abscisic acid (ABA) negatively influences immunity to the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea in most but not all cases. ABA is required for cuticle biosynthesis, and cuticle permeability enhances immunity to Botrytis via unknown mechanisms. This complex web of responses obscures the role of ABA in Botrytis immunity. Here, we addressed the relationships between ABA sensitivity, cuticle permeability, and Botrytis immunity in the Arabidopsis thaliana ABA-hypersensitive mutants protein phosphatase2c quadruple mutant (pp2c-q) and enhanced response to aba1 (era1-2). Neither pp2c-q nor era1-2 exhibited phenotypes predicted by the known roles of ABA; conversely, era1-2 had a permeable cuticle and was Botrytis resistant. We employed RNA-seq analysis in cuticle-permeable mutants of differing ABA sensitivities and identified a core set of constitutively activated genes involved in Botrytis immunity and susceptibility to biotrophs, independent of ABA signaling. Furthermore, botrytis susceptible1 (bos1), a mutant with deregulated cell death and enhanced ABA sensitivity, suppressed the Botrytis immunity of cuticle permeable mutants, and this effect was linearly correlated with the extent of spread of wound-induced cell death in bos1. Overall, our data demonstrate that Botrytis immunity conferred by cuticle permeability can be genetically uncoupled from PP2C-regulated ABA sensitivity, but requires negative regulation of a parallel ABA-dependent cell-death pathway.
21 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404282

AbstractAs trees grow taller, hydraulic resistance can be expected to increase, causing photosynthetic productivity to decline. Yet leaves maintain productivity over vast height increases; this maintenance of productivity suggests that leaf-specific conductance remains constant as trees grow taller. Here we test the assumption of constant leaf-specific conductance with height growth and document the stem xylem anatomical adjustments involved. We measured the scaling of total leaf area, mean vessel diameter at terminal twigs and at the stem base, and total vessel number in 139 individuals of Moringa oleifera of different heights, and estimated a whole-plant conductance index from these measurements. Whole-plant conductance and total leaf area scaled at the same rate with height. Congruently, whole-plant conductance and total leaf area scaled isometrically. Constant conductance is made possible by intricate adjustments in anatomy, with conduit diameters in terminal twigs becoming wider, lowering per-vessel resistance, with a concomitant decrease in vessel number per unit leaf area with height growth. Selection maintaining constant conductance per unit leaf area with height growth (or at least minimizing drops in conductance) is likely a potent selective pressure shaping plant hydraulics, and crucially involved in the maintenance of photosynthetic productivity per leaf area across the terrestrial landscape.
22 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404283

AbstractPlant development studies often generate data in the form of multivariate time series, each variable corresponding to a count of newly emerged organs for a given development process. These phenological data often exhibit highly structured patterns, and the aim of this study was to identify such patterns in cultivated strawberry. Six strawberry genotypes were observed weekly for their course of emergence of flowers, leaves, and stolons during 7 months. We assumed that these phenological series take the form of successive phases, synchronous between individuals. We applied univariate multiple change-point models for the identification of flowering, vegetative development, and runnering phases, and multivariate multiple change-point models for the identification of consensus phases for these three development processes. We showed that the flowering and the runnering processes are the main determinants of the phenological pattern. On this basis, we propose a typology of the six genotypes in the form of a hierarchical classification. This study introduces a new longitudinal data modeling approach for the identification of phenological phases in plant development. The focus was on development variables but the approach can be directly extended to growth variables and to multivariate series combining growth and development variables.
23 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404284

AbstractNarrow-leafed lupin (NLL, Lupinus angustifolius) is a promising legume crop that produces seeds with very high protein content. However, NLL accumulates toxic quinolizidine alkaloids (QAs) in most of its tissues, including the seeds. To determine the level of in situ biosynthesis in the seeds, we compared the accumulation of QAs with the expression of the biosynthetic gene lysine decarboxylase (LDC) in developing seeds and pods of a bitter (high-QA) variety of NLL. While QAs accumulated steadily in seeds until the drying phase, LDC expression was comparatively very low throughout seed development. In contrast, both QA accumulation and LDC expression peaked early in pods and decreased subsequently, reaching background levels at the onset of drying. We complemented these studies with MS imaging, which revealed the distribution patterns of individual QAs in cross-sections of pods and seeds. Finally, we show that a paternal bitter genotype does not influence the QA levels of F1 seeds grown on a maternal, low-QA genotype. We conclude that the accumulation of QAs in seeds of bitter NLL is mostly, if not exclusively, transported from other tissues. These results open the possibility of using transport engineering to generate herbivore-resistant bitter NLL varieties that produce QA-free seeds.
24 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404285

AbstractFor many potato cultivars, tuber yield is optimal at average daytime temperatures in the range 14–22 °C. Above this range, tuber yield is reduced for most cultivars. We previously reported that moderately elevated temperature increases steady-state expression of the core circadian clock gene TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION 1 (StTOC1) in developing tubers, whereas expression of the StSP6A tuberization signal is reduced, along with tuber yield. In this study we provide evidence that StTOC1 links environmental signalling with potato tuberization by suppressing StSP6A autoactivation in the stolons. We show that transgenic lines silenced in StTOC1 expression exhibit enhanced StSP6A transcript levels and changes in gene expression in developing tubers that are indicative of an elevated sink strength. Nodal cuttings of StTOC1 antisense lines displayed increased tuber yields at moderately elevated temperatures, whereas tuber yield and StSP6A expression were reduced in StTOC1 overexpressor lines. Here we identify a number of StTOC1 binding partners and demonstrate that suppression of StSP6A expression is independent of StTOC1 complex formation with the potato homolog StPIF3. Down-regulation of StTOC1 thus provides a strategy to mitigate the effects of elevated temperature on tuber yield.
25 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404286

AbstractLight-dependent seed germination is induced by gibberellins (GA) and inhibited by abscisic acid (ABA). The widely accepted view of the GA/ABA ratio controlling germination does not, however, explain the fact that seeds deficient in ABA still germinate poorly under shade conditions that repress germination. In Arabidopsis, MOTHER-OF-FT-AND-TFL1 (MFT) acts as a key negative regulator of germination, modulating GA and ABA responses under shade conditions. Under full light the oxylipin cis-12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA), a precursor of the stress-related phytohormone jasmonic acid, interacts with ABA and MFT to repress germination. Here, we show that under shade conditions both OPDA and ABA repress germination to varying extents. We demonstrate that the level of shade-induced MFT expression influences the ability of OPDA and/or ABA to fully repress germination. We also found that MFT expression decreases with seed age and this again correlates with the response of seeds to OPDA and ABA. We conclude that OPDA plays an essential role alongside ABA in repressing germination in response to shade and the combined effect of these phytohormones is integrated to a significant extent through MFT.
26 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404287

AbstractGermline specification is the first step during sexual and apomictic plant reproduction, and takes place in the nucellus of the ovule, a specialized domain of the reproductive flower tissues. In each case, a sporophytic cell is determined to form the sexual megaspore mother cell (MMC) or an apomictic initial cell (AIC). These differ in their developmental fates: while the MMC undergoes meiosis, the AIC modifies or omits meiosis to form the female gametophyte. Despite great interest in these distinct developmental processes, little is known about their gene regulatory basis.To elucidate the gene regulatory networks underlying germline specification, we conducted tissue-specific transcriptional profiling using laser-assisted microdissection and RNA sequencing to compare the transcriptomes of nucellar tissues between different sexual and apomictic Boechera accessions representing four species and two ploidy levels. This allowed us to distinguish between expression differences caused by genetic background or reproductive mode. Statistical data analysis revealed 45 genes that were significantly differentially expressed, and which potentially play a role for determination of the reproductive mode. Based on annotations, these included F-box genes and E3 ligases that most likely relate to genes previously described as regulators important for germline development. Our findings provide novel insights into the transcriptional basis of sexual and apomictic reproduction.
27 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404288

AbstractThe question of whether lignin is covalently linked to carbohydrates in native wood, forming what is referred to as lignin–carbohydrate complexes (LCCs), still lacks unequivocal proof. This is mainly due to the need to isolate lignin from woody materials prior to analysis, under conditions leading to partial chemical modification of the native wood polymers. Thus, the correlation between the structure of the isolated LCCs and LCCs in situ remains open. As a way to circumvent the problematic isolation, biomimicking lignin polymerization in vivo and in vitro is an interesting option. Herein, we report the detection of lignin–carbohydrate bonds in the extracellular lignin formed by tissue-cultured Norway spruce cells, and in modified biomimetic lignin synthesis (dehydrogenation polymers). Semi-quantitative 2D heteronuclear singular quantum coherence (HSQC)-, 31P -, and 13C-NMR spectroscopy were applied as analytical tools. Combining results from these systems, four types of lignin–carbohydrate bonds were detected; benzyl ether, benzyl ester, γ-ester, and phenyl glycoside linkages, providing direct evidence of lignin–carbohydrate bond formation in biomimicked lignin polymerization. Based on our findings, we propose a sequence for lignin–carbohydrate bond formation in plant cell walls.
28 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404289

AbstractRedox regulation in heterotrophic organisms relies on NADPH, thioredoxins (TRXs), and an NADPH-dependent TRX reductase (NTR). In contrast, chloroplasts harbor two redox systems, one that uses photoreduced ferredoxin (Fd), an Fd-dependent TRX reductase (FTR), and TRXs, which links redox regulation to light, and NTRC, which allows the use of NADPH for redox regulation. It has been shown that NTRC-dependent regulation of 2-Cys peroxiredoxin (PRX) is critical for optimal function of the photosynthetic apparatus. Thus, the objective of the present study was the analysis of the interaction of NTRC and 2-Cys PRX in vivo and the identification of proteins interacting with them with the aim of identifying chloroplast processes regulated by this redox system. To assess this objective, we generated Arabidopsis thaliana plants expressing either an NTRC–tandem affinity purification (TAP)-Tag or a green fluorescent protein (GFP)–TAP-Tag, which served as a negative control. The presence of 2-Cys PRX and NTRC in complexes isolated from NTRC–TAP-Tag-expressing plants confirmed the interaction of these proteins in vivo. The identification of proteins co-purified in these complexes by MS revealed the relevance of the NTRC–2-Cys PRX system in the redox regulation of multiple chloroplast processes. The interaction of NTRC with selected targets was confirmed in vivo by bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assays.
29 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404290

AbstractCapsidiol is a sesquiterpenoid phytoalexin produced in Nicotiana and Capsicum species in response to pathogen attack. Whether capsidiol plays a defensive role and how its biosynthesis is regulated in the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata when the plant is attacked by Alternaria alternata (tobacco pathotype), a notorious necrotrophic fungus causing brown spot disease, are unknown. Transcriptome analysis indicated that a metabolic switch to sesquiterpene biosynthesis occurred in young leaves of N. attenuata after A. alternata inoculation: many genes leading to sesquiterpene production were strongly up-regulated, including the capsidiol biosynthetic genes 5-epi-aristolochene synthase (EAS) and 5-epi-aristolochene hydroxylase (EAH). Consistently, the level of capsidiol was increased dramatically in young leaves after fungal inoculation, from not detectable in mock control to 50.68±3.10 µg g−1 fresh leaf at 3 d post-inoculation. Capsidiol-reduced or capsidiol-depleted plants, which were generated by silencing EAHs or EASs by virus-induced gene silencing, were more susceptible to the fungus. In addition, this sesquiterpene when purified from infected plants exhibited strong anti-fungal activities against A. alternata in vitro. Furthermore, an ERF2-like transcription factor was found to positively regulate capsidiol production and plant resistance through the direct transactivation of a capsidiol biosynthetic gene, EAS12. Taken together, our results demonstrate that capsidiol, a phytoalexin highly accumulated in N. attenuata plants in response to A. alternata infection, plays an important role in pathogen resistance independent of jasmonate and ethylene signaling pathways, and its biosynthesis is transcriptionally regulated by an ERF2-like transcription factor.
30 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404291

AbstractPotassium (K+) is a critical determinant of salinity tolerance, and H2O2 has been recognized as an important signaling molecule that mediates many physiological responses. However, the details of how H2O2 signaling regulates K+ uptake in the root under salt stress remain elusive. In this study, salt-sensitive cucumber and salt-tolerant pumpkin which belong to the same family, Cucurbitaceae, were used to answer the above question. We show that higher salt tolerance in pumpkin was related to its superior ability for K+ uptake and higher H2O2 accumulation in the root apex. Transcriptome analysis showed that salinity induced 5816 (3005 up- and 2811 down-) and 4679 (3965 up- and 714 down-) differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in cucumber and pumpkin, respectively. DEGs encoding NADPH oxidase (respiratory burst oxidase homolog D; RBOHD), 14-3-3 protein (GRF12), plasma membrane H+-ATPase (AHA1), and potassium transporter (HAK5) showed higher expression in pumpkin than in cucumber under salinity stress. Treatment with the NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenylene iodonium resulted in lower RBOHD, GRF12, AHA1, and HAK5 expression, reduced plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity, and lower K+ uptake, leading to a loss of the salinity tolerance trait in pumpkin. The opposite results were obtained when the plants were pre-treated with exogenous H2O2. Knocking out of RBOHD in pumpkin by CRISPR/Cas9 [clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9] editing of coding sequences resulted in lower root apex H2O2 and K+ content and GRF12, AHA1, and HAK5 expression, ultimately resulting in a salt-sensitive phenotype. However, ectopic expression of pumpkin RBOHD in Arabidopsis led to the opposite effect. Taken together, this study shows that RBOHD-dependent H2O2 signaling in the root apex is important for pumpkin salt tolerance and suggests a novel mechanism that confers this trait, namely RBOHD-mediated transcriptional and post-translational activation of plasma membrane H+-ATPase operating upstream of HAK5 K+ uptake transporters.
31 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404292

AbstractThe recently reported ‘alarm photosynthesis’ acts as a biochemical process that assimilates CO2 derived from the decomposition of calcium oxalate crystals. This study examined whether CaCO3 cystoliths could also serve as CO2 pools, fulfilling a similar role. Shoots of Parietaria judaica were subjected to carbon starvation, abscisic acid (ABA), or bicarbonate treatments, and the volume of cystoliths and the photochemical parameters of photosystem II (PSII) were determined. The size of cystoliths was reduced under carbon starvation or ABA treatments, whereas it was restored by xylem-provided bicarbonate. Under carbon starvation, ABA, or bicarbonate treatments, the photochemical efficiency of PSII was higher, while non-photochemical quenching, representing the safe dissipation of excess PSII energy due to lack of electron sinks, was lower in treated samples compared with controls. This observation suggests the involvement of ABA or other carbon starvation cues in the release of subsidiary CO2 for photosynthesis, inevitably from an internal source, which could be the cystoliths. Carbon remobilized from cystoliths can be photosynthetically assimilated, thus acting as a safety valve under stress. Together with alarm photosynthesis, these results show a tight link between leaf carbon deposits and photosynthesis.
32 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404293

AbstractThis study aimed to understand the physiological basis of rice photosynthetic response to C source–sink imbalances, focusing on the dynamics of the photosynthetic parameter triose phosphate utilization (TPU). Here, rice (Oriza sativa L.) indica cultivar IR64 were grown in controlled environment chambers under current ambient CO2 concentration until heading, and thereafter two CO2 treatments (400 and 800 μmol mol−1) were compared in the presence and absence of a panicle-pruning treatment modifying the C sink. At 2 weeks after heading, photosynthetic parameters derived from CO2 response curves, and non-structural carbohydrate content of flag leaf and internodes were measured three to four times of day. Spikelet number per panicle and flag leaf area on the main culm were recorded. Net C assimilation and TPU decreased progressively after midday in panicle-pruned plants, especially under 800 μmol mol−1 CO2. This TPU reduction was explained by sucrose accumulation in the flag leaf resulting from the sink limitation. Taking together, our findings suggest that TPU is involved in the regulation of photosynthesis in rice under elevated CO2 conditions, and that sink limitation effects should be considered in crop models.
33 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404294

AbstractSaplings in the shade of the tropical understorey face the challenge of acquiring sufficient carbon for growth as well as defence against intense pest pressure. A minor increase in light availability via canopy thinning may allow for increased investment in chemical defence against pests, but it may also necessitate additional biochemical investment to prevent light-induced oxidative stress. The shifts in secondary metabolite composition that increased sun exposure may precipitate in such tree species present an ideal milieu for evaluating the potential of a single suite of phenolic secondary metabolites to be used in mitigating both abiotic and biotic stressors. To conduct such an evaluation, we exposed saplings of two unrelated species to a range of light environments and compared changes in their foliar secondary metabolome alongside corresponding changes in the abiotic and biotic activity of their secondary metabolite suites. Among the numerous classes of secondary metabolites found in both species, phenolics accounted for the majority of increases in antioxidant and UV-absorbing properties as well as activity against an invertebrate herbivore and a fungal pathogen. Our results support the hypothesis that phenolics contribute to the capacity of plants to resist co-occurring abiotic and biotic stressors in resource-limited conditions.
34 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404295

AbstractbZIP transcription factors regulate diverse processes in eukaryotic cells. Arabidopsis bZIP members of the C and S1 groups form heterodimers and synergistically control metabolic reprogramming during stress responses. However, their functional characterization is complicated due to an overlapping heterodimerization network and high redundancy. In this study, we develop a simple but powerful approach for generating dominant negative mutants of bZIP factors with high specificity. By applying in vitro DNA-binding, reporter gene and protoplast two-hybrid assays, and plant mutant analysis, we show that phosphorylation-mimicking substitution of conserved serines in the DNA-binding domain of bZIP monomeric subunits suffices for the disruption of the interaction of both bZIP homo- and heterodimers with cognate DNA. This results in the transcriptional inactivation of target genes. The dominant-negative effect is achieved by the unaltered function of the intrinsic nuclear localization signal and dimerization properties of the mutated bZIP protein. Our findings not only reveal an additional regulatory mechanism of bZIP10 intracellular localization, but also provide evidence of the involvement of bZIP53 in the diurnal adjustments of amino acid metabolism. Our data demonstrate the advantages and the suitability of this new approach for the artificial inactivation of bZIP transcription factors in plants, and it may also be of use for other organisms.
35 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404296

AbstractRice yield is influenced by inflorescence size and architecture, and inflorescences from domesticated rice accessions produce more branches and grains. Neither the molecular control of branching nor the developmental differences between wild and domesticated rice accessions are fully understood. We surveyed phenotypes related to branching, size, and grain yield across 91 wild and domesticated African and Asian accessions. Characteristics related to axillary meristem identity were the main phenotypic differences between inflorescences from wild and domesticated accessions. We used whole transcriptome sequencing in developing inflorescences to measure gene expression before and after the transition from branching axillary meristems to determinate spikelet meristems. We identified a core set of genes associated with axillary meristem identity in Asian and African rice, and another set associated with phenotypic variability between wild and domesticated accessions. AP2/EREBP-like genes were enriched in both sets, suggesting that they are key factors in inflorescence branching and rice domestication. Our work has identified new candidates in the molecular control of inflorescence development and grain yield, and provides a detailed description of the effects of domestication on phenotype and gene expression.
36 show abstract
0022-0957 * 1460-2431 * 32404297

AbstractCassava (Manihot esculenta) is one of the most important staple food crops worldwide. Its starchy tuberous roots supply over 800 million people with carbohydrates. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the processes involved in filling of those vital storage organs. A better understanding of cassava carbohydrate allocation and starch storage is key to improving storage root yield. Here, we studied cassava morphology and phloem sap flow from source to sink using transgenic pAtSUC2::GFP plants, the phloem tracers esculin and 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate, as well as several staining techniques. We show that cassava performs apoplasmic phloem loading in source leaves and symplasmic unloading into phloem parenchyma cells of tuberous roots. We demonstrate that vascular rays play an important role in radial transport from the phloem to xylem parenchyma cells in tuberous roots. Furthermore, enzymatic and proteomic measurements of storage root tissues confirmed high abundance and activity of enzymes involved in the sucrose synthase-mediated pathway and indicated that starch is stored most efficiently in the outer xylem layers of tuberous roots. Our findings form the basis for biotechnological approaches aimed at improved phloem loading and enhanced carbohydrate allocation and storage in order to increase tuberous root yield of cassava.

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Cited by WUR staff: 1699 times. (2016-2018)

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