Tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) is a C4 annual cereal, common in Ethiopia, where it was presumably domesticated. Worldwide interest in tef cultivation and consumption has considerably increased in the last few decades because it is a gluten-free grain with high nutritional value. Here we report on the genetic diversity and heritability in a tef germplasm collection characterized in Israel. A total of 408 accessions of tef held in the Israel Gene Bank were grown in 2015 under common garden (screen-house) conditions for propagation and initial phenotyping. A diversity panel, consisting of 273 accessions representing the entire collection's range of phenotypic diversity, was assembled and evaluated in small field plots in 2016. Further evaluation was conducted in 2017, in single-plant field plots (to eliminate admixtures). A representative plant (plot) was selected from each accession grown in 2017 and its single seed descent progenies where grown in 2018 in single-plant plots. The collection exhibited a wide diversity for each of the measured phenotypic traits, across all four environments. High grain yield was associated in most cases with early flowering time, whereas higher biomass was associated with late flowering. Heritability estimates, calculated based on the 2017, 2018 data, varied between 0.11 for plant biomass and 0.75 for 1000 grain weight. This study shows that tef can successfully grow and produce under irrigated Mediterranean conditions. The wide diversity available in our germplasm collection can provide the foundations for breeding new tef cultivars that are better adapted to these conditions.
The recently domesticated species, Cephalaria joppensis (CJ), emerges as a new alternative forage crop in Israel. It has high biomass potential and nutritional values that are comparable to forage wheat. Still, much of the agronomic information regarding CJ is based mainly on a single variety, cv. Rishon, and the genetic variability of this species has not been evaluated. In the last 3 years, CJ seeds have been collected from more than 200 natural populations in Israel. In this work, we characterized 42 of these populations in a replicated field trial, using cv. Rishon as a control. In addition, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was calibrated to predict nutritional attributes. NIRS was found to be instrumental in producing excellent predictions of ash, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, in-vitro digestibility and rumen degradability, but it did not predict lignin or nitrate. Large variation was found among the accessions with respect to growth rate, flowering time and yield, with several accessions scoring significantly higher than cv. Rishon. Almost no variation was found in nutritional quality-related traits. Early flowering populations were somewhat less fibers and higher digestibility than late flowering populations. The natural variation in agronomic traits will facilitate the development of new breeding germplasm for CJ in the near future.
The desert plant, Calortopis procera, known also as the apple of Sodom, is an important but less known medicinal plant. This plant has many ethnic medicinal uses especially for skin-related symptoms in the countries of its origin: India, Africa, Saudi, Yemen, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Sudan, Iran, and Afghanistan. The plant is also known and used in traditional medicine in South and tropical America, due to its introduction and cultivation in that part of the world. Skin problems treated by the plant include: wounds, scabies, sores, external infections, swellings, rheumatic pains, leprosy, toothaches, eczema and even the treatment of paralyzed limbs. Other traditional uses include: asthma, cough, diarrhea, malaria, cancer, dysentery jaundice and many more. An insight into the scientific activity of C. procera derived extracts and compounds suggest that these extracts have antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities. Moreover, a compound with high activity against cancer cell was developed from cardenolides present in C. procera root bark, presenting a significant prospect in the use of this plant for modern medicine. The purpose of this communication is to review the full extent of the ethnobotanical uses of the apple of Sodom, and to shed a light on this high-potential lesser-known desert medicinal plant.
An investigation was undertaken to analyze the effect of four different metal nanoparticles (ZnO, SiO2, Fe2O3 and MgO) on the growth of mung bean (Vigna radiata L.) plants. Agar overlay method using seedling nutrient medium containing 50 and 100 mg l−1 of each of the nanoparticles (NPs) was used for the study undertaken for 28 days. A concentration-dependent increase in fresh weight and carotenoid concentration was recorded in MgO NPs. ZnO NPs showed the highest enhancement in leaf peroxidase activity over control. Heavy metal analysis by ICP-MS of seedlings at both concentrations of NPs for 28 days showed a twofold increase at the higher concentrations with ZnO and Fe2O3 NPs. Visual and SEM observations of the MgO NP-treated roots revealed an increase in density and fibrosity, with unique globular structures on the surface of the roots. MgO nanoparticles–mung bean interaction can be a model system for investigating beneficial interactions of nanoparticles with plants.
Visual leaf damage symptoms affect plant and flower development. A variety of physiological leaf symptoms are induced by environmental and growing conditions, including light intensity during cultivation and the nutrition status of the leaves. In the present study, we studied effects of leaf age, leaf ionome, and shade factor during cultivation (20% and 47% shade – under shade nets), on the development of leaf disorders in two cultivars of Phlox paniculata. The leaf ionome of both cultivars changed with leaf age, and varied between cultivars. The percentage of shade applied during cultivation by shade nets, had a minor effect on the leaf ionome, and it did not affect the type and severity of the leaf disorders that developed on the plants, nor the stage of development of their appearance. The ionome of young leaves and mature leaves that were affected by a purple spotting disorder was similar to that of ‘healthy’-looking leaves, demonstrating that this disorder is not related to the nutritional status of the tissue. Our results further excluded leaf age, plant age, plant trimming and shade factor during cultivation (by shade nets) as inducers of the purple spots disorder. This study is first to explore the ionome of Phlox paniculata and in relation to leaf age, physiological leaf disorders and shade factor during cultivation.
Our study developed a HPTLC fingerprint profile of alkaloids and glycosides obtained from the methanol extracts of four different plant parts of Terminalia arjuna, T. bellerica and T. chebula, trees with cardio-protective values. The multiple qualitative phytochemical analyses of water, acetone, petroleum ether and methanol extracts from all the plant parts of Terminalia spp. detected the presence of alkaloids and glycosides, wherein the methanol extracts exhibited the presence of maximum alkaloids and glycosides. The chromatographic analysis of methanol extracts was carried out on silica gel 60F254HPTLC aluminium sheets with CAMAG Linomat 5 applicator. The plates were developed using ethyl acetate:toluene:formic acid (10:10:1; v/v/v) mobile phase. Alkaloids and glycosides were detected at 254 nm, 366 nm and 540 nm (after derivatization). These developed fingerprints would eventually be of great benefit in identifying or differentiating the alkaloids and glycosides in the form of marker compounds in the three Terminalia spp. mentioned.
Since the Industrial Revolution, increasing atmospheric CO2 has been causing a rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide dissolved in seawater. This process results in seawater acidification, which has a major impact on the physical and chemical parameters of the oceans, consequently affecting the numerous calcifying organisms in the marine environment. Calcifying organisms secrete calcium carbonate in their inner or outer skeleton and include plankton (e.g. coccolithophores and foraminifera), corals, mussels and some of the macroalgae. Calcifying macroalgae make a critical contribution to the structure and function of marine ecosystems in several coastal biotas, providing food and shelter to diverse organisms. The present review summarizes the current information about the brown alga Padina sp. and its ecophysiology, focusing on the environmental control of the calcification process; suggests possible benefits that seaweeds may derive from their calcium carbonate cover, and discuss different future Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenarios of ocean acidification and their likely impact on calcifying algae and on the ecosystems in which they are a key component.
Endophytic bacteria isolated from nodules of Vigna radiata were screened for indole acetic acid (IAA) production. Three isolates MBN3, MJHN1 and MJHN10, molecularly identified as Bacillus aryabhattai (MF693121.1), B. megaterium (MF693120.1) and B. cereus (MF693119.1) were producing significantly high amount of IAA. Production parameters viz. L-tryptophan concentration, incubation time, carbon and nitrogen sources were optimized. The study revealed the presence of trp-dependent pathway for IAA production in the isolates. All of them gave maximum production with yeast extract as nitrogen source but variation in preference for carbon sources was observed. The invitro application of bacterial isolates on plant roots resulted in increase in root length as well as number of lateral roots. These results confirm the occurrence of Bacillus as predominant non-rhizobial endophytic genera in summer season crop and its potential as plant root growth promoter.
Ca deficiencies induce a range of physiological disorders in plants. The disorders typically appear in young growing tissues that are characterized by high demand for Ca and restricted Ca supply due to low transpiration. In this study, we examined the effect of supplementing Ca by foliar spray and through the irrigation solution to Anemone coronaria plants, in order to evaluate if flower abortions and leaf damages that appear in the production fields are related to Ca deficiencies. With the goal to develop a preventive nutritional regime, four Ca treatments were evaluated. The supplemented Ca was applied with the fertigation solution in the concentrations of 60 or 110 ppm Ca; with the 60 ppm application an additional application of Ca by foliar application was tested in concentrations of 3 g/l Ca or 6 g/l Ca, as Ca(NO3)2. The plants were cultivated in a net-house, in soilless culture (Tuff) beds. Application of 110 ppm Ca compared to 60 ppm with the fertilizing solution increased the concentration of Ca in the leaf tissue, resulting in an increase in the quantity and quality of the flowers. Calcium supply by foliar spray, at both 3 g/l or 6 g/l Ca(NO3)2 caused leaf necrosis and did not improve yield production. Application of 110 ppm Ca reduced the concentrations of Mn, Cl and Na in the leaves. Application of Ca in the irrigation solution, or by foliar spray, did not reduce the percentage of non-marketable flowers. The identified lower concentrations of Ca in damaged compared to non-damaged leaves on the flower stem suggests that the damages to the flowers and the leaves is related to local deficiencies of Ca.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most important food crops. Various conventional and modern techniques have been employed for improvement in rice. RNA interference (RNAi) is one of the popular reverse genetic strategies being practiced among plant scientists due to its efficiency and specificity. Nowadays, new age-targeted genome editing tools such as transcription activator-like effectors nucleases (TALEN) and clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR/Cas) are becoming popular due to their ability of precise modification of genome sequence and regulation of gene expression patterns in a site-specific manner. Here, we reviewed the utility of RNAi, TALEN and CRISPR/Cas in various aspects of rice improvement such as plant architecture, plant development, biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and qualitative improvement. A comparison of RNAi and targeted genome editing methods will provide some insights for researchers working on improvement of rice.