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Beijing, China

At present, plant molecular systematics and DNA barcoding techniques rely heavily on the use of chloroplast gene sequences. Because of the relatively low evolutionary rates of chloroplast genes, there are very few choices suitable for molecular studies on angiosperms at low taxonomic levels, and for DNA barcoding of species. We scanned the entire chloroplast genomes of 12 genera to search for highly variable regions. The sequence data of 9 genera were from GenBank and 3 genera were of our own. We identified nearly 5% of the most variable loci from all variable loci in the chloroplast genomes of each genus, and then selected 23 loci that were present in at least three genera. The 23 loci included 4 coding regions, 2 introns, and 17 intergenic spacers. Of the 23 loci, the most variable (in order from highest variability to lowest) were intergenic regions ycf1-a, trnK, rpl32-trnL, and trnH-psbA, followed by trnS(UGA)-trnG(UCC), petA-psbJ, rps16-trnQ, ndhC-trnV, ycf1-b, ndhF, rpoB-trnC, psbE-petL, and rbcL-accD. Three loci, trnS(UGA)-trnG(UCC), trnT-psbD, and trnW-psaJ, showed very high nucleotide diversity per site (π values) across three genera. Other loci may have strong potential for resolving phylogenetic and species identification problems at the species level. The loci accD-psaI, rbcL-accD, rpl32-trnL, rps16-trnQ, and ycf1 are absent from some genera. To amplify and sequence the highly variable loci identified in this study, we designed primers from their conserved flanking regions. We tested the applicability of the primers to amplify target sequences in eight species representing basal angiosperms, monocots, eudicots, rosids, and asterids, and confirmed that the primers amplified the desired sequences of these species. Chloroplast genome sequences contain regions that are highly variable. Such regions are the first consideration when screening the suitable loci to resolve closely related species or genera in phylogenetic analyses, and for DNA barcoding. Source

Chi F.,CAS Institute of Botany
Proteomics | Year: 2010

Rhizobial endophytes infect and colonize not only leguminous plants, but several non-leguminous species as well. Using green fluorescent protein tagging technique, it has been shown that Rhizobia infect different varieties of rice species and migrate from plant roots to aerial tissues such as leaf sheaths and leaves. The interaction between them was found to promote the growth of rice. The growth promotion is the cumulative result of enhanced photosynthesis and stress resistance. In addition, indole-3-acetic acid also contributes to the promotion. Gel-based comparative proteomic approaches were applied to analyze the protein profiles of three different tissues (root, leaf sheath and leaf) of Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021 inoculated rice in order to get an understanding about the molecular mechanism. Upon the inoculation of rhizobia, proteins involved in nine different functional categories were either up-regulated or down-regulated. Photosynthesis related proteins were up-regulated only in leaf sheath and leaf, while the up-regulated proteins in root were exclusively defense related. The results implied that there might have been an increase in the import and transport of proteins involved in light and dark reactions to the chloroplast as well as more efficient distribution of nutrients, hence enhanced photosynthesis. Although the initiation of defensive reactions mainly occurred in roots, some different defense mechanisms were also evoked in the aerial tissues. Source

Wang B.,CAS Institute of Botany
Annals of botany | Year: 2012

Brassinosteroids (BR) are a class of plant polyhydroxysteroids with diverse functions in plant growth and development. However, there is little information on the role of BRs played in the response to nutrient deficiency. To evaluate the role of BR in the response of plants to iron (Fe) deficiency, the effect of 24-epibrassinolide (EBR) on ferric reductase (FRO) activity, acidification of the rhizosphere and Fe content in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seedlings under Fe-deficient (1 μm FeEDTA) and Fe-sufficient (50 μm FeEDTA) conditions were investigated. There was a significant increase in FRO activity upon exposure of cucumber seedlings to an Fe-deficient medium, and the Fe deficiency-induced increase in FRO activity was substantially suppressed by EBR. In contrast, application of EBR to Fe-sufficient seedlings stimulated FRO activity. Ethylene production evoked by Fe deficiency was suppressed by EBR, while EBR induced ethylene production from Fe-sufficient seedlings. Fe contents in shoots were reduced by treatment with EBR, while Fe contents in roots were markedly increased under both Fe-deficient and Fe-sufficient conditions. The reductions in Fe contents of shoots were independent of chlorophyll (CHL) contents under Fe-sufficient conditions, but they were positively correlated with CHL contents under Fe-deficient conditions. At the transcriptional level, transcripts encoding FRO (CsFRO1) and Fe transporter (CsIRT1) were increased upon exposure to the Fe-deficient medium, and the increases in transcripts were reversed by EBR. The results demonstrate that BRs are likely to play a negative role in regulating Fe-deficiency-induced FRO, expressions of CsFRO1 and CsIRT1, as well as Fe translocation from roots to shoots. Source

Warming, watering and elevated atmospheric CO2-concentration effects have been extensively studied separately; however, their combined impact on plants is not well understood. In the current research, we examined plant growth and physiological responses of three dominant species from the Eurasian Steppe with different functional traits to a combination of elevated CO2, high temperature, and four simulated precipitation patterns. Elevated CO2 stimulated plant growth by 10.8-41.7 % for a C3 leguminous shrub, Caragana microphylla, and by 33.2-52.3 % for a C3 grass, Stipa grandis, across all temperature and watering treatments. Elevated CO2, however, did not affect plant biomass of a C4 grass, Cleistogenes squarrosa, under normal or increased precipitation, whereas a 20.0-69.7 % stimulation of growth occurred with elevated CO2 under drought conditions. Plant growth was enhanced in the C3 shrub and the C4 grass by warming under normal precipitation, but declined drastically with severe drought. The effects of elevated CO2 on leaf traits, biomass allocation and photosynthetic potential were remarkably species-dependent. Suppression of photosynthetic activity, and enhancement of cell peroxidation by a combination of warming and severe drought, were partly alleviated by elevated CO2. The relationships between plant functional traits and physiological activities and their responses to climate change were discussed. The present results suggested that the response to CO2 enrichment may strongly depend on the response of specific species under varying patterns of precipitation, with or without warming, highlighting that individual species and multifactor dependencies must be considered in a projection of terrestrial ecosystem response to climatic change. Source

Yang X.,CAS Institute of Botany
PloS one | Year: 2012

The success of seedling establishment of desert plants is determined by seedling emergence response to an unpredictable precipitation regime. Sand burial is a crucial and frequent environmental stress that impacts seedling establishment on sand dunes. However, little is known about the ecological role of seed mucilage in seedling emergence in arid sandy environments. We hypothesized that seed mucilage enhances seedling emergence in a low precipitation regime and under conditions of sand burial. In a greenhouse experiment, two types of Artemisia sphaerocephala achenes (intact and demucilaged) were exposed to different combinations of burial depth (0, 5, 10, 20, 40 and 60 mm) and irrigation regimes (low, medium and high, which simulated the precipitation amount and frequency in May, June and July in the natural habitat, respectively). Seedling emergence increased with increasing irrigation. It was highest at 5 mm sand burial depth and ceased at burial depths greater than 20 mm in all irrigation regimes. Mucilage significantly enhanced seedling emergence at 0, 5 and 10 mm burial depths in low irrigation, at 0 and 5 mm burial depths in medium irrigation and at 0 and 10 mm burial depths in high irrigation. Seed mucilage also reduced seedling mortality at the shallow sand burial depths. Moreover, mucilage significantly affected seedling emergence time and quiescence and dormancy percentages. Our findings suggest that seed mucilage plays an ecologically important role in successful seedling establishment of A. sphaerocephala by improving seedling emergence and reducing seedling mortality in stressful habitats of the sandy desert environment. Source

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