Maria Sibylla Merian’s Caterpillar Book
Author: Kay Etheridge
The Flowering of Ecology presents an English translation of Maria Sibylla Merian’s 1679 ‘caterpillar’ book, Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandelung und sonderbare Blumen–Nahrung. Her processes in making the book and an analysis of its scientific content are presented in a historical context. Merian raised insects for five decades, recording the food plants, behavior and ecology of roughly 300 species. Her most influential invention was an 'ecological' composition in which the metamorphic cycles of insects (usually moths and butterflies) were arrayed around plants that served as food for the caterpillars. Kay Etheridge analyzes the 1679 caterpillar book from the viewpoint of a biologist, arguing that Merian’s study of insect interactions with plants, the first of its kind, was a formative contribution to natural history.

ABSTRACT

Rice is used as a staple food in many countries due to its pleasant aroma and texture. Rice aroma is recognized as the single most important quality trait influencing consumer’s acceptance. In rice quality, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2-AP) is one of the most highly unstable and key aroma characteristic compounds among more than 500 identified compounds that have contributed and attributed for popcorn- or pandan-like valuable aroma. 2-AP has the lowest odor threshold value compared to other identified rice aroma compounds. Therefore, this compound has received a lot of attention among scientists and researchers. This review highlights on Molecular biology and biotechnological progress of 2-AP in rice. Chemistry, formation, and synthesis, as well as factors influencing 2-AP content in rice, have also been reviewed.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Shoot tip necrosis (STN) is a physiological abnormality whereby the apical shoot initially becomes necrotic and subsequently dies leading to considerable loss of shoots and hampering any commercial application of carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) micropropagation. The objective of the present study is the optimization of a method to alleviate STN during in vitro multiplication of carob dealing with a range of culture media compounds. Obtained results showed that macroelement strength of the culture medium as well as cytokinin and calcium concentrations were the most important factors in controlling STN incidence in carob. In fact, Zimmerman macroelements are most efficient in terms of STN reduction (only 5% STN observed) and shoot multiplication (28.75 shoots with 26.8 leaves and 4.73 cm length). Moreover, shoots cultured on Zimmerman or Ca enriched ½MS showed higher mineral nutrient contents than those cultured on low Ca media. On the other hand, most shoots recovered from STN have produced roots in presence of 1 mg.L-1 IAA (70%) and 83% survived after transfer to ex vitro conditions. The performance of Zimmerman macroelements is most likely due to its high Ca concentration (7.3 mM) compared to the other media. This is confirmed by the steep reduction of STN intensity obtained on ½MS enriched with Ca.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

ABSTRACT

A two-year field experiment was conducted to determine the effect of water stress, including Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI), on seed, protein and oil yields, for two hybrids of drip-irrigated soybean in Central Greece. The experiment was set up as a split plot design with four replicates, five main plots (irrigation treatments) and two sub-plots (soybean hybrids, ‘PR91M10’ and ‘PR92B63’). Irrigation was applied to provide 100, 75, 50 and 25% of the crop evapotranspiration needs and 0% non-irrigated. Biomass weight, seed yield, oil and protein concentration were measured after harvest. To compute CWSI, lower and upper baselines were developed based on the canopy temperature measurements of I100 and I0 treatments, respectively. Deficit irrigation had a significant effect on biomass, seed, protein and oil yields. Hybrid PR92B63 was more responsive to irrigation and showed higher biomass, seed protein and oil yields, while the more sensitive hybrid PR91M10 had the ability to maintain productivity with increasing degrees of water stress. The rain-fed treatments significantly reduced biomass production and seed yield compared with the fully-irrigated ones. The highest and the lowest protein and oil yields were obtained in the I100 and I0 treatments respectively in both years and cultivars. Statistically significant exponential relationships were determined between CWSI and biomass, seed, protein and oil yields. Generally, CWSI could be used to measure crop water status and to improve irrigation scheduling of the crop and 0.10 for PR92B63 and 0.19 for PR91M10 could be offered as threshold values under the climatic conditions of the region.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Under stress environment of oily sludge, plants develop oxidative stress which effect nutrients uptake, activity of oxidative defence enzymes, cause ion imbalance and toxicity in plants. The present study was designed to develop a combination of bacterial consortium alone and with fertilizers that can help to improve alfalfa growth and plant defence system under stress environment of oily sludge contamination soils. For this study consortium was prepared from Bacillus cereus (Acc KR232400), Bacillus altitudinis (Acc KF859970), Comamonas (Acc KF859971) and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (Acc KF859973) and was inoculated with fertilizer to oily sludge contaminated soils. A pot experiment was conducted using complete randomized design with three replicates. The plants were harvested at 21 d for estimation of protein, proline and antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD). The protein, SOD and POD contents in alfalfa were higher in oily sludge than soil without consortium, ammonium nitrate and diamamoiun phosphate. Consortium suppressed the oxidative stress of sludge treated plants. The inoculation of bacterial consortium enhanced the uptake of Ca, Mg, K and Na. The uptake of Ca, Mg, K, Fe, Cu and Zn increased significantly with consortium+fertilizer the availability of nutrients in soil with 30% and 60% of oily. Cd content was greater in root than leaves of alfalfa. The bacterial consortium helped to enhance plant growth and plant anti-oxidant enzymes system. The consortium with fertilizer is the best suitable combination for alfalfa that can improve the oxidative enzyme system of alfalfa and increases its growth and development.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Low Zn in staple food grains like rice is closely related to large scale Zn malnutrition in many countries of the World. Zinc biofortification of rice grains by some cost effective agronomic method is important for low income farmers. To explore the possibility of enhancing the bioavailability of Zn in rice grains besides higher yields of two cultivars, the combinations of varying Zn fertilizer doses with or without inoculation of rhizobacteria consortium under split plot design set up were evaluated in two years field trials. Microbial inoculation + 5 kg Zn ha-1 to I year rice crop resulted in the highest number of effective tillers, grain yields, Zn concentration and uptake in grains and straw and total Zn uptake in both years. Grain yield of rice during two years increased by 19.7-27.9 and 17.1-20.4 percent over control under treatments receiving microbial inoculation + 5 kg Zn ha-1 to I year rice and 5 kg Zn ha-1 alone to I year rice crop, respectively. The highest concentration of Zn (10.9-19.1 mg kg-1) and the lowest concentration of phytic acid (18.5-25.3 g kg-1) in dehulled rice grains were recorded with soil application of 5 kg Zn ha-1; however, the values were at par with those observed under microbial inoculation + 5 kg Zn ha-1 (12.0-17.0 mg Zn kg-1 and 19.2-26.9 g phytic acid kg-1). The percent utilization of soil applied Zn increased with microbial inoculation in both the years and it was relatively higher in NDR 359 as compared to PD 16.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Abstract

Effect of Meloidogyne incognita, Pectobacterium betavasculorum and Rhizoctonia solani alone, pre, post and simultaneous inoculations to find out role of each pathogen on growth, chlorophyll and carotenoid, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), glutathione reductase (GR) activities and proline, H2O2 and malondialdehyde (MDA) of beetroot (Beta vulgaris L). Inoculation of plants with M. incognita / P. betavasculorum or R. solani reduced plant growth (root dry weight) (42.0%), chlorophyll (24.2%) and carotenoid (47.7%) while inoculation of pathogens under study resulted in increased activities of antioxidant enzymes, proline, H2O2 and MDA. Combined inoculation of pathogens under study resulted in greater reduction of plant growth (74.9%), chlorophyll (55.3%) and carotenoid (83.7%) than individual pathogen. Greatest reduction in plant growth, chlorophyll and carotenoid and maximum activities of antioxidant enzymes, proline, H2O2 and MDA were observed when M. incognita was inoculated 20 days prior to P. betavasculorum plus R. solani. P. betavasculorum and R. solani reduced galling and nematode multiplication but maximum reduction in galling (82.8%) and nematode multiplication (82.7%) was observed when P. betavasculorum plus R. solani were inoculated prior to nematodes. Necrosis soft rot and root rot indices by P. betavasculorum and R. solani were 3 respectively. Disease indices were 5 when two or more pathogens were inoculated together. Prior inoculation of M. incognita predisposed beetroots to P. betavasculorum and R. solani and aggravates the disease.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Oldenlandia herbacea (L.) Roxb. is an important medicinal plant of Indian, Malayan, and Chinese traditional systems of medicines. In vitro flowering system serves as a model system to study flowering physiology, and role of combination of photoperiodic conditions and ethylene inhibitors. Ethylene is responsible for delayed flowering response in plants; hence, it is interesting to explore the role of ethylene inhibitors and photoperiod on flowering mechanism. The present study, for the first time, reports the influence of silver thiosulfate (STS), silver nitrate, and photoperiod (PP) to induce high-frequency in vitro flowering in O. herbacea. The flowers were induced from the in vitro shoots (2.0 floral buds per shoot) on MS medium containing 4 μM 6-benzylaminopurine + 2 μM indole-3-acetic acid + 5 μM STS at 14-h PP. This study could be the foundation to understand the role of PP and silver ions on flowering physiology at molecular level.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Although treatments of smoke-water (SW) have been successfully used for promoting seed germination as well as plant growth, less reports have been documented on the influence of SW on the production of secondary metabolites in endophytes isolated from medicinal plants. The study investigated the effects of SW and its active compound butenolide (KAR1) on the accumulation of lipophilic tanshinones in endophyte Trichoderma atroviride D16 isolated from Salvia miltiorrhiza. Results showed that the mycelia of T. atroviride D16 treated with SW and KAR1 displayed a significant increase (P < 0.05) in the content of tanshinone I, which was evaluated with 2.26-fold (SW) and 1.86-fold (KAR1) of the control on 20 d after treatment. Comparing with the control, the treatment of SW and KAR1 resulted in a significant increase in the content of tanshinone IIA, and the highest levels were observed to be 31.87% (SW 1:2000, v/v) and 17.77% (KAR1 at 10-9 M) on 20 d after treatment. These findings imply the possibility of using SW and KAR1 for enhancing the biosynthesis of tanshinones in T. atroviride D16, and enrich the application of smoke water in the medicinal plant field.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

ABSTRACT

The pods, seeds and leaves of the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua L.) are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, and especially in the food industry. In this study, the mineral content was investigated in carob pods and leaves in twelve Croatian carob populations. Macro and microelement contents, as highly important nutrients, were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Total ash content, determined by the gravimetric method, ranged from 2.30 to 2.97% in pods and from 4.95 to 7.90% in leaves. Among the macroelements, K content was highest in pods (9,020.09–11,208.97 mg/kg), while Ca was highest in leaves (11,059.67–22,756.81 mg/kg). Microelement contents ranged from 0.00 mg/kg (Cr) to 136.70 mg/kg (Na) in pods, and from 0.02 mg/kg (Cr) to 243.55 mg/kg (Na) in leaves. The results of the macro and microelement analyses were evaluated using multivariate analysis (PCA and UPGMA).

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences