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  • Open access
  • 11 Reads
Rapid Assessment of Protein Structural Changes from Frost Damage: A Proof-of-Concept Study Using Pittosporum spinescens (Apiales)

Frost damage remains an important driver of floral ecological dynamics in certain areas of the Australian landscape. However, responses of native Australian species to frost damage remain largely understudied. Here, attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, conducted on intact leaves, was used to monitor changes in the protein secondary structures of Pittosporum spinescens upon exposure to below-zero temperatures. The dominant secondary structures present in fresh leaves were the inter-molecular aggregates (40 %), α-helices (20 %), β-sheets (15 %) and random coil structures (14 %). During simulated severe frost (-18 °C), a reduction in α-helices and increase in the amount of inter-molecular structures were observed, followed by transmutation of the latter into anti-parallel β-sheets or another form of inter-molecular structures. After 6 hours, the dominant protein secondary structures were anti-parallel β-sheets and inter-molecular aggregates (ca. 64 % and 17 %, respectively), with only small amounts of α-helices (4 %), β-sheets (9 %) and random coil structures (5 %) present. Overall, this indicates a reduction in the organisation level of protein secondary structures, resulting in a probable loss of function and considerable damage to the functional activity of any proteins in the leaves. The technique of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy should be considered by future researchers interested in investigating responses to frost damage in other species, particularly at an ecological level. Portable FTIR instrumentation would greatly expand the potential range of applications.

  • Open access
  • 21 Reads
Sulfur Application Amends Detoxification Processes in Eggplant in Response to Excessive Doses of Thiacloprid

Sulfur is considered an essential macronutrient during plant growth and is found to play critical roles in xenobiotics detoxifying processes in plants. In the present study, the effects of exogenous sulfur treatment as additional fertilization on detoxifying enzymes activities and plant health indicators were investigated in eggplant (Solanum melongena) seedlings exposed to excessive doses of thiacloprid. Eggplant seedlings (cultivar Hansel F1) were irrigated with ammonium sulfate (140 mg L-1) at 14 days after sowing in combination with the spraying of a 4-fold recommended dose of thiacloprid. In another treatment, seedlings received ammonium sulfate (70 mg L-1) as a minimum sulfur need in their growth in combination with a mentioned dose of thiacloprid. After 14 days of treatment, leaves were collected to determine their physiological parameters. Based on results, plant health indicators including malondialdehyde, hydrogen peroxide, and electrolyte leakage index were significantly lower in treatments that were received additional amounts of sulfur than other ones. While, the activities of glutathione S-transferase, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, thioredoxin reductase, and cytochrome P450 monooxygenase were higher in them. Our findings suggest that the sulfur can decrease membrane permeability and increase cell viability as well as magnify their detoxification capacity which consequently leads to the reduction of oxidative damage in plants. It can be concluded that the sulfur supply in eggplant farms that thiacloprid is intensively used against sap feeder insects should be considered because it can lead to reducing potential risk to the environment by decreasing pesticide damage to host plants as non-target organisms

  • Open access
  • 44 Reads
Phytochemical and Antioxidant Properties of Athamanta turbith (L.) Brot Collected from Serbia

Đetinja Canyon is located in the western Serbia, in the vicinity of Tara Mountain and it represents habitat of the numerous endemic species. Among them is Athamanta turbith (L.) Brot., the flowering plant from the Apiaceae family. The aim of this study was to determine content of selected plant bioactive compounds presented in three plant parts – rhizome, vegetative shoot and inflorescence. Extraction was performed in 80% methanol as solvent with two different approaches: powdered plant material was extracted with solvent for 3 h in ratio 1:10 without (classical solvent extraction,SE,) and with application of ultrasound (ultrasound-assisted extraction, UAE). Analysis of total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC) and total hydroxycinnamic acid derivative content (HCA) was performed via spectrophotometric methods. The inflorescence had the highest TPC in UAE obtained-extract (2.73±0.13 mg GAE/g), as well as the highest TFC (1.56±0.02 mg/g QE) and HCA (1.45±0.11 mg/g CGAE) in SE-prepared extract where GAE, QE and CGAE are gallic acid equivalents, quercetin equivalents and chlorogenic acid equivalents respectively. The lowest amount of TPC, TFC and HCA was detected in the rhizome regardless extraction methods. Additionally, antioxidant properties of extracts were determined with five assays: ABTS·+, DPPH·, ferric reducing power (FRP), in vitro phosphomolybdenum total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and cupric reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC). The inflorescence had the highest antioxidant activity in both quenchers assays (at γ= 0.1 g/mL) with 92.1% of inhibition for ABTS·+ (UAE extract,) and 77.7% inhibition of DPPH· (for both extracts). In addition, it exhibited the highest FRP (18.4 mg/g AAE, SE extract and CUPRAC (~40 mg/g AAE for both extracts) values where AAE stands for ascorbic acid equivalents. On the contrary, the rhizome had the lowest values for all antioxidant assays concerning both SE and UEA. In conclusion, exhibited antioxidant properties are mostly in line with determined content of selected bioactive compounds. Further statistical analysis will be applied to confirm/oppose this.

  • Open access
  • 24 Reads
Identification and Characterization of PHT1 Transporters Family and Differential Expression Patterns in Control and Blindness Broccoli Plants

Phosphorus is predominantly taken up by the plant from the soil as its inorganic form (Pi). This is energy-consuming process carried out by a family of high-affinity Pi transporters (PHT). The PHT gene family play an important role on plant homeostasis and are essential for proper plant development and water uptake by aquaporins. The objective of the present study was the identification and characterisation of the PHT1 Pi transporters family in Brassica oleracea var. italica, broccoli plants. A total of 31 putative PHT1 gene sequences were identified in broccoli plants. PHT1 gene family were divided into nine subfamilies (PHT1,1 – PHT1;9) when compared with Arabidopsis thaliana, Brassica napus and Brassica oleracea var. oleracea according to phylogenetic analyses. Chromosomal distribution and duplication events were also studied. PHT1 protein gene products were also characterised, including subcellular location prediction, mostly of PHT1 proteins were predicted to be located in plasma membrane. On the other hand, structural estimations showed an overall common 3D structure. Furthermore, RNA sequencing expression of control and blinded broccoli plants (little plants aborting meristematic tissue) were carried out with different tissues in order to understand the implication of these transporters, PHT1, in broccoli blindness. Our results contribute to a better understanding of Pi transports within the broccoli plants and its possible implication on blindness disease.

  • Open access
  • 64 Reads
Elucidation of the Radio-Sensitivity Level of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson Embryogenic Callus Induced by Gamma Ray Irradiation

The tuber of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Araceae) has potential to be developed as an alternative food source. However, the tuber contains oxalate compounds which reduce the utilization of this species as a food material. Inducing genetic mutations by exposure of plant tissue to gamma-ray followed by selection process is one plant breeding method that can be used to increase genetic diversity and produce genetically improved cultivars of A. paeoniifolius. To achieve an effective gamma-ray induction, the threshold of the sensitivity level of particular plant tissue is necessary to be elucidated in advance. Hence, the objective of the current study was to determine the level of radio-sensitivity of in vitro-cultured A. paeoniifolius embryogenic callus to gamma rays. The main treatment factor in this experiment was different doses of gamma irradiation, namely 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 Gy. A completely randomized design with five replications was used. Plant growth parameters including the number of roots, shoots, and leaflets, also height of plantlets arising from the callus were declined by applying gamma irradiation. Importantly, applying irradiation doses greater than 15 Gy significantly decreased the proportion of surviving embryogenic callus. The lethal doses 20, 30, and 50 (LD20, LD30, and, LD50) of calluse were 1.75, 5.44, and 12.84 Gy gamma irradiation, respectively. Since the high frequency of mutation was previously often found in around LD20 – LD50 irradiated callus in other herbaceous species, this present study suggested that the effective gamma irradiation of A. paeoniifolius embryogenic callus was between 1.75 Gy until 12.84 Gy.

  • Open access
  • 18 Reads
Mineral Quantification of Triticum aestivum L. Enriched in Zinc—Correlation between Minerals in Soils and Whole Wheat Flours

Triticum aestivum L. is one of the most produced staple crops worldwide in which its zinc biofortification is of the utmost importance to diminish malnutrition. In addition, the pronounced increase of human population demands a higher food production within quality standards. Zinc plays an important role not only in promoting the maintenance of human health, but it is also linked with plant growth. Under this framework, a zinc agronomic biofortification of Triticum aestivum L. was implemented in an experimental field with two varieties (Paiva and Roxo) in Beja, Portugal. This itinerary comprised two ZnSO4 foliar spraying along the plant cycle with three different concentrations (control – 0; 8.1 and 18.2 kg ha-1). Soil analyses (moisture, organic matter, pH, electrochemical conductivity and mineral quantification) and atomic absorption with the mineral quantification (Ca, K, Mg, P, Fe, Cu and Zn) of whole wheat flours were carried out. Zinc foliar spraying enhanced Zinc content in both varieties in the flours in which was not observed significant differences between ZnSO4 treatments. P and K presented higher values in the flours contrasting with Ca and Mg. In general, there was no significant differences between the soil samples in the respective analyses. It was concluded that wheat flour biofortified in zinc can be a product to help overcome malnutrition.

  • Open access
  • 42 Reads
A Case Study on Minerals Interaction in the Soil and Se Enrichment in Rice (Oryza sativa L.)

Selenium plays a important role in regulating soil-plant ecosystem functions. Is an essential element with antioxidative activity however its presence in plants is scarce. In this context, a technical itinerary was implemented in the rice variety (Ariete) through foliar pulverization with two selenium concentrations (50 and 75g Se.ha-1) of sodium selenate (Na2SeO4) and sodium selenite (Na2SeO3). Regarding the interaction of Se with other nutrients namely Zn the contents were analyzed in paddy and refined flours. It was found that in the refined flours there was an antagonistic relationship with the element Zn: an increase of Se in the grain, 29.9 to 77.9 g Se.ha-1., and a decrease of Zn content from 16.6 to 9.01 g Se.ha-1.

  • Open access
  • 17 Reads
Physicochemical Characterization and Effect of Additives of Membrane Vesicles from Brassica oleracea L. to Be Used in Nanofertilization

Traditional fertilizers and their intensive use cause different environmental problems and new strategies are necessary to deal with these aspects. In these sense, foliar nanofertilization is a new technology postulate as one of the most promising to use in the near future. This type of fertilization has many environmental advantages but there are different factors that its necessary to solve, as they need to be compatible with other additives. Membrane vesicles derived from plant material have been showed in preliminary studies by their great potential as nanocarriers of different micronutrients such as iron (Fe) or boron (B). A complete optimization of fertilizer system based on nanocarriers to encapsulate different elements from different approach is key to obtaining a suitable and profitable from an economic point of view. In this work, different physicochemical parameters such as size, potential Z or osmotic water permeability were measured in membrane vesicles obtained from Brassica oleracea L. to check the integrity of vesicles for further biotechnological application. Besides, different additives (polyether-modified-polysiloxane [PMP], Tween 20 and polyethylene glycol [PEG]) were added to vesicles at concentration of application to determine an effect in the integrity and functionality of the membranes. The results show that functionality of membrane vesicles was only reduced with polyether-modified-polysiloxane [PMP], but not altered by the rest of the additives. These analyses serve to support subsequent research to advance the implementation of this nanotechnology.

  • Open access
  • 37 Reads
Nutrient and Antinutrient Composition of Pleurotus ostreatus Grown on Different Substrates

The effect of the COVID-19 on meat supply chain has increased the need for alternative sources of high-quality, protein-rich foods to combat rising food insecurity and malnutrition. First cultivated for food in Germany during World War I, Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster mushroom) is reported for its numerous nutritional and health-benefits. This study compared the nutrient and anti-nutrient composition of mushrooms grown on different substrates. A mixture of the substrates (rice bran + saw dust (Ms/r) (1:2) or ground banana leaves (Mb)) with water containing CaCO3 were first sterilized for 15 minutes at 121oC and 15 psi in heat-resistant, transparent polythene bags before aseptically inoculating with the stock culture (spawn). The bags were then transferred into the growth room (relative humidity 75-85%) 20 days post-inoculation after total colonization with fungi hyphae. Ms/r had significantly higher yield (1250g) as well as carbohydrate (14.16%), Na (79.35mg/100g), and Cl (121.86mg/100g) contents compared to Mb (250g, CHO (8.01%), Na (70.15mg/100g), and Cl (108.28mg/100g) respectively). On the other hand, protein (8.43%), K (574.48 mg/100g), vit B1 (0.1480mg/100g), and vit D (134.83IU) contents of Mb were significantly higher when compared to Ms/r (protein (2.75%), vit B1 (0.0750 mg/100g), and vit D (104.07IU)). The anti-nutrient analysis of the mushrooms revealed higher oxalate (78.93 mg/100g) and significantly lower phytate (42.41 mg/100g) contents in Ms/r when compared to oxalate (42.5) and phytate (59.88 mg/100g) contents of Mb. The result indicated that banana leaves may be a good substrate for nutritionally beneficial mushrooms.

  • Open access
  • 59 Reads
Dissecting Protein-Protein Interaction Networks of Arabidopsis thaliana and Arabidopsis halleri to Get Insights into Heavy Metal Tolerance Strategies

Phytoremediation is one of the auspicious strategies to manage heavy-metal polluted soils. Several plants act differently to accommodate this issue rather by uptake (phytoextraction), breakdown/transform (phytodegradation), emit in the atmosphere (phytovolatilization), or stabilize heavy metals in the root system (phytostabilization). Among these different processes, phytostabilization is of particular interest to be a low-cost and effective strategy. Moreover, this process is a characteristic of a wide range of plants which include also commercial species and model organisms such as Arabidopsis thaliana. On the other hand, some plants developed a rare adaptation to extract heavy metals from the soil and hyperaccumulate them into the shoot, such as Arabidopsis halleri. Thus, to gain insight into these two different strategies for managing heavy metals in a phystabilizing and hyperaccumulating Arabidopsis species, it is mandatory to comprehend protein-protein interactions (PPIs) as they play a crucial role underlying a specific response. To accomplish this aim, we conducted a weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) from RNA-seq data of A. halleri root and shoot to identify and describe protein-protein interactions, for the first time, and to group genes with respect to their similar expression patterns. Moreover, taking advantage of protein-protein interactions already available for A. thaliana, we performed a comparison among specific organs of two species and highlighted pathways and functions, critical for phytostabilization and/or hyperaccumulation. This study will provide a clear preview of biological processes responsible for the different metal tolerance strategies and the biological processes peculiar to different organs of A. thaliana and helleri.