Plant and Food Research Mt Albert

Auckland, New Zealand

Plant and Food Research Mt Albert

Auckland, New Zealand
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Judd M.J.,Plant and Food Research Te Puke | Meyer D.H.,Swinburne University of Technology | Meekings J.S.,Plant and Food Research Ruakura | Richardson A.C.,Plant and Food Research Kerikeri | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2010

Background: Many deciduous, perennial fruit crops require winter chilling for adequate budbreak and flowering. Recent research has shown that changes in sugar and amino acid profiles are associated with the release of buds from dormancy. This paper uses FTIR spectrometry to provide an alternative mechanism for tracking metabolic changes in themeristems of kiwifruit buds during winter dormancy. The results suggest that the application of multivariate analysis to FTIR spectra has the potential to be a reliable and fast method for detecting structural and compositional changes in fruit crops. Results: Ten wave numbers of the FTIR spectra are used to calculate a bud development function. This function has been validated using data from two seasons and four orchards, and by monitoring the effects of hydrogen cyanamide application, sugar concentrations and soil temperatures on this function. These wave numbers appear to be associated with carbohydrate, pectin and cellulose levels in the meristems. Conclusion: It is expected that this FTIR signature can be used to advance our understanding of the influence of the various environmental and physiological factors on the breaking of bud dormancy and shoot outgrowth, including the optimum timing and concentrations of applications of budbreak regulators, such as hydrogen cyanamide. © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.


Radcliff F.J.,University of Auckland | Loh J.M.S.,University of Auckland | Ha B.,University of Auckland | Ha B.,Plant And Food Research Mt Albert | And 5 more authors.
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2012

Streptococcal mitogenic exotoxin Z-2 (SMEZ-2) is a streptococcal superantigen that primarily stimulates human T cells bearing Vβ8 and mouse T cells bearing Vβ11. Mutagenesis of T cell receptor (TCR)-binding residues (W75L, K182Q, D42C) produced a mutant called M1 that was >10 5-fold less active toward human peripheral blood lymphocytes and splenocytes from transgenic mice that express human CD4 and either human HLA-DR3-DQ2 or HLA-DR4-DQ8. Similarly, cytokine production in response to M1 in lymphocyte culture was rendered undetectable, and no change in the frequency of Vβ11-bearing T cells in mice receiving M1 was observed. M1 toxoid was tested as a potential vaccine conjugate. Vaccination with 1 to 10 μg M1 conjugated to ovalbumin (M1-ovalbumin) resulted in more rapid and quantitatively higher levels of anti-ovalbumin IgG, with endpoint titers being 1,000- to 10,000-fold greater than those in animals immunized with unconjugated ovalbumin. Substantially higher levels of anti-ovalbumin IgG were observed in mice transgenic for human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II. Substitution of M1 with an MHC class II binding mutant (DM) eliminated enhanced immunity, suggesting that M1 enhanced the delivery of antigen via MHC class II-positive antigen-presenting cells that predominate within lymphoid tissue. Immunization of animals with a conjugate consisting of M1 and ovalbumin peptide from positions 323 to 339 generated levels of anti-peptide IgG 100-fold higher than those in animals immunized with peptide alone. Coupling of a TCR-defective superantigen toxoid presents a new strategy for conjugate vaccines with the additional benefit of targeted delivery to MHC class II-bearing cells. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Walton E.F.,Plant and Food Research Mt Albert | Boldingh H.L.,Plant and Food Research Ruakura | McLaren G.F.,Plant and Food Research Clyde | Williams M.H.,Plant and Food Research Mt Albert | Jackman R.,Plant and Food Research Mt Albert
Postharvest Biology and Technology | Year: 2010

The carbohydrate dynamics of cut peony (Paeonia lactiflora Pall. 'Sarah Bernhardt') stems were examined during vase life of fresh-cut stems, while in storage at 0°C and during their vase life after storage. During flower opening of fresh-cut stems, the rate of starch hydrolysis in the flower buds was more rapid than in those still attached to the plant, and once the flowers had opened, the total sugar concentrations of the flowers, leaves and stems were lower than in those still attached to the plant. Quantification of the sugar content of fresh-cut stems during flower opening and those still attached to the plant, suggests that an additional 3.2. g of sugars are translocated into attached stems during flower opening, which equates to nearly 42% of an open flower. However, reserves in fresh stems were still sufficient to provide a total vase life of 14. d, only 2. d less than stems still attached to the plant. During the first 4 weeks of cool-storage, starch reserves in the flower buds were almost completely hydrolysed, contributing to similar hexose concentrations but much higher sucrose concentrations than in fresh-cut stems. Flower opening was more rapid but the subsequent vase life was only 9. d, shorter than that for fresh-cut stems. Much of that difference could be attributed to the faster opening of buds (2. d cf. 5. d), which is likely to have been the result of the starch having already been hydrolysed during storage. Together, these results indicate that cut peony stems have sufficient carbohydrate reserves to drive flower opening and still have an acceptable vase life even after 8 weeks of storage. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Benkwitz F.,University of Auckland | Tominaga T.,University of Bordeaux Segalen | Kilmartin P.A.,University of Auckland | Lund C.,Horizon Milling | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Enology and Viticulture | Year: 2012

A comprehensive set of aroma compounds was quantified in 79 Sauvignon blanc wines from different international producers. Emphasis was given to understanding the chemical differences that can explain the unique character of Marlborough Sauvignon blanc. Quantification revealed the potential importance of several volatile compounds in addition to the polyfunctional mercaptans and methoxypyrazines already known to be important to the aroma of Sauvignon blanc wines. Multivariate statistical approaches, including canonical variate analysis, classification tree and partial least square analysis, established correlations between the chemical and the sensory profiles of the wines. A significant role of 3-mercaptohexyl acetate and 3-mercaptohexanol in the unique tropical, fruity character of Marlborough Sauvignon blanc wines was demonstrated, together with important variations in their concentrations, pointing to different styles even within the Marlborough wines. © 2012 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. All rights reserved.


Benkwitz F.,University of Auckland | Nicolau L.,University of Auckland | Lund C.,Plant and Food Research Mt Albert | Beresford M.,Plant and Food Research Mt Albert | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2012

In this study three different approaches were employed to identify key odorants in Sauvignon blanc wines. First, the concentrations of the odorants were compared to their respective aroma detection thresholds. The resulting odor activity values (OAV) were transformed into a normalized and weighted measure that allows the aroma profiles of different wines to be compared and the contribution of a single aroma in a complex mixture to be evaluated. Based on their OAV, 3-mercaptohexanol and 3-mercaptohexyl acetate were the two most important aroma compounds in many Marlborough Sauvignon blanc wines. Due to limitations with the OAV approach, the study was extended to include aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA), which revealed that β-damascenone, together with the varietal thiols, esters, and higher alcohols, are key odorants in Sauvignon blanc wines. The final approach undertaken was aroma reconstitution and omission tests using a deodorized wine base and the creation of a model Marlborough Sauvignon blanc. Single compounds and groups of compounds were omitted from the model to study their impact on the sensory properties of the model wine. Reconstitution and omission confirmed that varietal thiols, esters, terpenes, and β-damascenone are all important contributors to Sauvignon blanc aroma. The methoxypyrazines showed an important but relatively low impact in all three of the approaches undertaken in this study. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Liu Y.,Gansu Agricultural University | Lin-Wang K.,Plant and Food Research Mt Albert | Espley R.V.,Plant and Food Research Mt Albert | Wang L.,Gansu Agricultural University | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2016

In potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), R2R3 MYBs are involved in the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis. We examined sequences of these MYBs in cultivated potatoes, which are more complex than diploid potato due to ploidy and heterozygosity. We found amino acid variants in the C-terminus of the MYB StAN1, termed R0, R1, and R3, due to the presence of a repeated 10-amino acid motif. These variant MYBs showed some expression in both white and pigmented tubers. We found several new alleles or gene family members of R2R3 MYBs, StMYBA1 and StMYB113, which were also expressed in white potato tubers. From functional analysis in tobacco, we showed that the presence of a C-terminal 10-amino acid motif is optimal for activating anthocyanin accumulation. Engineering a motif back into a MYB lacking this sequence enhanced its activating ability. Versions of StMYBA1 and StMYB113 can also activate anthocyanin accumulation in tobacco leaves, with the exception of StMYB113-3, which has a partial R2R3 domain. We isolated five family members of potato StbHLH1, and one StJAF13, to test their ability to interact with MYB variants. The results showed that two alleles of StbHLH1 from white skin and red skin are non-functional, while three other StbHLH1s have different co-regulating abilities, and need to be activated by StJAF13. Combined with expression analysis in potato tuber, results suggest that StbHLH1 and StJAF13 are key co-regulators of anthocyanin biosynthesis, while the transcripts of MYB variants StAN1, StMYBA1, and StMYB113 are well expressed, even in the absence of pigmentation. © 2016 The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

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