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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2015, Vol.10(8), p.e0136579
    Description: The present study with young poplar trees aimed at characterizing the effect of O2 shortage in the soil on net uptake of NO3- and NH4+ and the spatial distribution of the N taken up. Moreover, we assessed biomass increment as well as N status of the trees affected by O2 deficiency. For this purpose, an experiment was conducted in which hydroponically grown young poplar trees were exposed to hypoxic and normoxic (control) conditions for 14 days. 15N-labelled NO3- and NH4+ were used to elucidate N uptake and distribution of currently absorbed N and N allocation rates in the plants. Whereas shoot biomass was not affected by soil O2 deficiency, it significantly reduced root biomass and, consequently, the root-to-shoot ratio. Uptake of NO3- but not of NH4+ by the roots of the trees was severely impaired by hypoxia. As a consequence of reduced N uptake, the N content of all poplar tissues was significantly diminished. Under normoxic control conditions, the spatial distribution of currently absorbed N and N allocation rates differed depending on the N source. Whereas NO3- derived N was mainly transported to the younger parts of the shoot, particularly to the developing and young mature leaves, N derived from NH4+ was preferentially allocated to older parts of the shoot, mainly to wood and bark. Soil O2 deficiency enhanced this differential allocation pattern. From these results we assume that NO3- was assimilated in developing tissues and preferentially used to maintain growth and ensure plant survival under hypoxia, whereas NH4+ based N was used for biosynthesis of storage proteins in bark and wood of the trees. Still, further studies are needed to understand the mechanistic basis as well as the eco-physiological advantages of such differential allocation patterns.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 2
    In: Journal Of Experimental Botany, 2014, Vol. 65(20), pp.5711-5724
    Description: Metabolite flux analyses support our understanding of physiological processes. An integrating approach is required combining metabolite fluxes at different levels of complexity from cells via tissues and organs to the whole plant. Understanding the dynamics of physiological process in the systems biology era requires approaches at the genome, transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome levels. In this context, metabolite flux experiments have been used in mapping metabolite pathways and analysing metabolic control. In the present review, sulphur metabolism was taken to illustrate current challenges of metabolic flux analyses. At the cellular level, restrictions in metabolite flux analyses originate from incomplete knowledge of the compartmentation network of metabolic pathways. Transport of metabolites through membranes is usually not considered in flux experiments but may be involved in controlling the whole pathway. Hence, steady-state and snapshot readings need to be expanded to time-course studies in combination with compartment-specific metabolite analyses. Because of species-specific differences, differences between tissues, and stress-related responses, the quantitative significance of different sulphur sinks has to be elucidated; this requires the development of methods for whole-sulphur metabolome approaches. Different cell types can contribute to metabolite fluxes to different extents at the tissue and organ level. Cell type-specific analyses are needed to characterize these contributions. Based on such approaches, metabolite flux analyses can be expanded to the whole-plant level by considering long-distance transport and, thus, the interaction of roots and the shoot in metabolite fluxes. However, whole-plant studies need detailed empirical and mathematical modelling that have to be validated by experimental analyses.
    Keywords: Compartmentation ; Membrane Transport ; Metabolite Flux Analyses ; Modelling ; Sulphur Flux ; Sulphur Reduction And Assimilation.
    ISSN: 0022-0957
    E-ISSN: 1460-2431
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  • 3
    In: Journal of Experimental Botany, 2010, 2009, Vol. 61(4), pp.1065-1074
    Description: Glutathione (GSH) and ascorbate (ASC) are important antioxidants that are involved in stress defence and cell proliferation of meristematic root cells. In principle, synthesis of ASC and GSH in the roots as well as ASC and GSH transport from the shoot to the roots by phloem mass flow is possible. However, it is not yet known whether the ASC and/or the GSH level in roots depends on the supply from the shoot. This was analysed by feeding mature leaves with [ 14 C]ASC or [ 35 S]GSH and subsequent detection of the radiolabel in different root fractions. Quantitative dependency of root ASC and GSH on shoot-derived ASC and GSH was investigated with poplar ( Populus tremula × P. alba ) trees interrupted in phloem transport. [ 35 S]GSH is transported from mature leaves to the root tips, but is withdrawn from the phloem along the entire transport path. When phloem transport was interrupted, the GSH content in root tips halved within 3 d. [ 14 C]ASC is also transported from mature leaves to the root tips but, in contrast to GSH, ASC is not removed from the phloem along the transport path. Accordingly, ASC accumulates in root tips. Interruption of phloem transport disturbed the level and the ASC redox state within the entire root system. Diminished total ASC levels were attributed mainly to a decline of dehydroascorbate (DHA). As the redox state of ASC is of particular significance for root growth and development, it is concluded that phloem transport of ASC may constitute a shoot to root signal to coordinate growth and development at the whole plant level.
    Keywords: Ascorbate ; Glutathione ; Phloem Transport ; Poplar ; Redox State ; Root Growth
    ISSN: 0022-0957
    E-ISSN: 1460-2431
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2011, Vol.6(4), p.e19045
    Description: Modern agriculture is based on the notion that nitrate is the main source of nitrogen (N) for crops, but nitrate is also the most mobile form of N and easily lost from soil. Efficient acquisition of nitrate by crops is therefore a prerequisite for avoiding off-site N pollution. Sugarcane is considered the most suitable tropical crop for biofuel production, but surprisingly high N fertilizer applications in main producer countries raise doubt about the sustainability of production and are at odds with a carbon-based crop. Examining reasons for the inefficient use of N fertilizer, we hypothesized that sugarcane resembles other giant tropical grasses which inhibit the production of nitrate in soil and differ from related grain crops with a confirmed ability to use nitrate. The results of our study support the hypothesis that N-replete sugarcane and ancestral species in the Andropogoneae supertribe strongly prefer ammonium over nitrate. Sugarcane differs from grain crops, sorghum and maize, which acquired both N sources equally well, while giant grass, Erianthus, displayed an intermediate ability to use nitrate. We conclude that discrimination against nitrate and a low capacity to store nitrate in shoots prevents commercial sugarcane varieties from taking advantage of the high nitrate concentrations in fertilized soils in the first three months of the growing season, leaving nitrate vulnerable to loss. Our study addresses a major caveat of sugarcane production and affords a strong basis for improvement through breeding cultivars with enhanced capacity to use nitrate as well as through agronomic measures that reduce nitrification in soil.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Chemistry ; Chemistry ; Plant Biology ; Biotechnology ; Ecology ; Developmental Biology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Pollution, September 2016, Vol.216, pp.773-785
    Description: Growth and development of plants largely depends on their adaptation ability in a changing climate. This is particularly true on heavy metal contaminated soils, but the interaction of heavy metal stress and climate on plant performance has not been intensively investigated. The aim of the present study was to elucidate if transgenic poplars ( . ) with enhanced glutathione content possess an enhanced tolerance to drought and lead (Pb) exposure (single and in combination) and if they are good candidates for phytoremediation of Pb contaminated soil. Lead exposure reduced growth and biomass accumulation only in above-ground tissue of wild type poplar, although most of lead accumulated in the roots. Drought caused a decline of the water content rather than reduced biomass production, while Pb counteracted this decline in the combined exposure. Apparently, metals such as Pb possess a protective function against drought, because they interact with abscisic acid dependent stomatal closure. Lead exposure decreased while drought increased glutathione content in leaves of both plant types. Lead accumulation was higher in the roots of transgenic plants, presumably as a result of chelation by glutathione. Water deprivation enhanced Pb accumulation in the roots, but Pb was subject to leakage out of the roots after re-watering. Transgenic plants showed better adaptation under mild drought plus Pb exposure partially due to improved glutathione synthesis. However, the transgenic plants cannot be considered as a good candidate for phytoremediation of Pb, due to its small translocation to the shoots and its leakage out of the roots upon re-watering. The present study improves our understanding of the combined effects of lead and drought stress on plant growth and contributes to a better selection of plants for phytoremediation.
    Keywords: Water Deprivation ; Ros ; Re-Watering ; Glutathione ; Phytoremediation ; Engineering ; Environmental Sciences ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0269-7491
    E-ISSN: 1873-6424
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  • 6
    In: New Phytologist, January 2015, Vol.205(1), pp.240-254
    Description: Overexpression of bacterial γ‐glutamylcysteine synthetase in the cytosol of Populus tremula × P. alba produces higher glutathione (GSH) concentrations in leaves, thereby indicating the potential for cadmium (Cd) phytoremediation. However, the net Cd2+ influx in association with H+/Ca2+, Cd tolerance, and the underlying molecular and physiological mechanisms are uncharacterized in these poplars. We assessed net Cd2+ influx, Cd tolerance and the transcriptional regulation of several genes involved in Cd2+ transport and detoxification in wild‐type and transgenic poplars. Poplars exhibited highest net Cd2+ influxes into roots at pH 5.5 and 0.1 mM Ca2+. Transgenics had higher Cd2+ uptake rates and elevated transcript levels of several genes involved in Cd2+ transport and detoxification compared with wild‐type poplars. Transgenics exhibited greater Cd accumulation in the aerial parts than wild‐type plants in response to Cd2+ exposure. Moreover, transgenic poplars had lower concentrations of O2˙− and H2O2; higher concentrations of total thiols, GSH and oxidized GSH in roots and/or leaves; and stimulated foliar GSH reductase activity compared with wild‐type plants. These results indicate that transgenics are more tolerant of 100 μM Cd2+ than wild‐type plants, probably due to the GSH‐mediated induction of the transcription of genes involved in Cd2+ transport and detoxification.
    Keywords: Antioxidant ; Cadmium C D ; Glutathione ; Ion Flux ; Oxidative Stress ; Phytoremediation ; Plasma Membrane H + ‐ Atp Ase ; P Opulus
    ISSN: 0028-646X
    E-ISSN: 1469-8137
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  • 7
    In: Journal of Experimental Botany, 2012, Vol. 63(5), pp.1873-1893
    Description: The influence of sulphur (S) depletion on the expression of genes related to S metabolism, and on metabolite and plant hormone contents was analysed in young and mature leaves, fine roots, xylem sap, and phloem exudates of poplar ( Populus tremula×Populus alba ) with special focus on early consequences. S depletion was applied by a gradual decrease of sulphate availability. The observed changes were correlated with sulphate contents. Based on the decrease in sulphate contents, two phases of S depletion could be distinguished that were denominated as ‘S limitation’ and ‘early S deficiency’. S limitation was characterized by improved sulphate uptake (enhanced root-specific sulphate transporter Pta SULTR1;2 expression) and reduction capacities (enhanced adenosine 5′-phosphosulphate (APS) reductase expression) and by enhanced remobilization of sulphate from the vacuole (enhanced putative vacuolar sulphate transporter Pta SULTR4;2 expression). During early S deficiency, whole plant distribution of S was impacted, as indicated by increasing expression of the phloem-localized sulphate transporter Pta SULTR1;1 and by decreasing glutathione contents in fine roots, young leaves, mature leaves, and phloem exudates. Furthermore, at ‘early S deficiency’, expression of microRNA395 (miR395), which targets transcripts of Pta ATPS3/4 (ATP sulphurylase) for cleavage, increased. Changes in plant hormone contents were observed at ‘early S deficiency’ only. Thus, S depletion affects S and plant hormone metabolism of poplar during ‘S limitation’ and ‘early S deficiency’ in a time series of events. Despite these consequences, the impact of S depletion on growth of poplar plants appears to be less severe than in Brassicaceae such as Arabidopsis thaliana or Brassica sp.
    Keywords: Aps Reductase ; Atp Sulphurylase ; Mir395 ; Plant Hormones ; Poplar ; Sulphate Transporter (Sultr) ; Sulphur Deficiency
    ISSN: 0022-0957
    E-ISSN: 1460-2431
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Applied and environmental microbiology, 01 September 2015, Vol.81(17), pp.5957-67
    Description: Beech (Fagus sylvatica), a dominant forest species in Central Europe, competes for nitrogen with soil microbes and suffers from N limitation under dry conditions. We hypothesized that ectomycorrhizal communities and the free-living rhizosphere microbes from beech trees from sites with two contrasting climatic conditions exhibit differences in N acquisition that contribute to differences in host N uptake and are related to differences in host belowground carbon allocation. To test these hypotheses, young trees from the natural regeneration of two genetically similar populations, one from dryer conditions (located in an area with a southwest exposure [SW trees]) and the other from a cooler, moist climate (located in an area with a northeast exposure [NE trees]), were transplanted into a homogeneous substrate in the same environment and labeled with (13)CO2 and (15)NH4 (+). Free-living rhizosphere microbes were characterized by marker genes for the N cycle, but no differences between the rhizospheres of SW or NE trees were found. Lower (15)N enrichment was found in the ectomycorrhizal communities of the NE tree communities than the SW tree communities, whereas no significant differences in (15)N enrichment were observed for nonmycorrhizal root tips of SW and NE trees. Neither the ectomycorrhizal communities nor the nonmycorrhizal root tips originating from NE and SW trees showed differences in (13)C signatures. Because the level of (15)N accumulation in fine roots and the amount transferred to leaves were lower in NE trees than SW trees, our data support the suggestion that the ectomycorrhizal community influences N transfer to its host and demonstrate that the fungal community from the dry condition was more efficient in N acquisition when environmental constraints were relieved. These findings highlight the importance of adapted ectomycorrhizal communities for forest nutrition in a changing climate.
    Keywords: Fagus -- Microbiology ; Fungi -- Metabolism ; Mycorrhizae -- Metabolism ; Nitrogen -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00992240
    E-ISSN: 1098-5336
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  • 9
    In: Tree Physiology, 2011, Vol. 31(2), pp.196-207
    Description: Beech seedlings originating from 11 German provenances with different climatic conditions were grown in pots and cultivated in a greenhouse. The composition of macro- and microelements in roots, axes and leaves was measured after half of the seedlings were subjected to a simulated summer drought. The recently described sensitivity of these provenances to drought was compared with drought-mediated changes in the elemental and ionic composition in organs of the seedlings; in addition, partitioning between roots and shoots was evaluated. A number of element concentrations were decreased in roots due to drought (K 94% of control, Mg 94%, Mn 75% and Zn 85%). However, chloride concentration increased in all organs (115–125%) and was the only element affected in leaves. Some changes in ionome can be related to sensitivity of provenances, but it is difficult to decide whether these changes are a result of, or a reason for, drought tolerance or sensitivity. Observed increases in chloride concentration in all plant parts of drought-treated beech seedlings can be explained by its function in charge balance, in particular since the level of phosphate was reduced. As a result of chloride accumulation, the sum of added charges of anions (and cations) in water extracts of leaf and root material was similar between drought and control plants. Since only the partitioning of Ca and Al (both only in axis) as well as Mn was affected and other elements (together with previously observed effects on C, N, S and P) remained unaffected by drought in all provenances, it can be concluded that direct effects by means of mass flow inhibition in xylem and phloem are unlikely. Secondary effects, for example on the pH of transport sap and the apoplastic space, cannot be excluded from the present study. These effects may affect partitioning between the apoplast and symplast and therefore may be significant for drought sensitivity.
    Keywords: Anions ; Beech ; Cations ; Plant Nutrition ; Water Stress
    ISSN: 0829-318X
    E-ISSN: 1758-4469
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Pollution, November 2018, Vol.242, pp.905-913
    Description: Vegetation in the Arabian Peninsula is facing high and steadily rising tropospheric ozone pollution. However, little is known about the impacts of elevated ozone on date palms, one of the most important indigenous economic species. To elucidate the physiological responses of date palm to peak levels of acute ozone exposure, seedlings were fumigated with 200 ppb ozone for 8 h. Net CO assimilation rate, stomatal conduction, total carbon, its isotope signature and total sugar contents in leaves and roots were not significantly affected by the treatment and visible symptoms of foliar damage were not induced. Ozone exposure did not affect hydrogen peroxide and thiol contents but diminished the activities of glutathione reductase and dehydroascorbate reductase, stimulated the oxidation of ascorbate, and resulted in elevated total ascorbate contents. Total nitrogen, soluble protein and lignin contents remained unchanged upon ozone exposure, but the abundance of low molecular weight nitrogen (LMWN) compounds such as amino acids and nitrate as well as other anions were strongly diminished in leaves and roots. Other nitrogen pools did not benefit from the decline of LMWN, indicating reduced uptake and/or enhanced release of these compounds into the soil as a systemic response to aboveground ozone exposure. Several phenolic compounds, concurrent with fatty acids and stearyl alcohol, accumulated in leaves, but declined in roots, whereas total phenol contents significantly increased in the roots. Together these results indicate that local and systemic changes in both, primary and secondary metabolism contribute to the high tolerance of date palms to short-term acute ozone exposure. Date palms can grow and develop in an environment with high acute atmospheric ozone levels due to its tolerance to this air pollutant mediated by adaptations of both, primary and secondary metabolisms, as well as whole plant shoot-root interactions.
    Keywords: Sugars ; Reactive Oxygen Species ; Glutathione ; Ascorbate ; Nitrate ; Nitrogen Partitioning ; Anti-Oxidative System ; Secondary Metabolites ; Engineering ; Environmental Sciences ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0269-7491
    E-ISSN: 1873-6424
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