Scholarly Work - Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology

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    An Overview of the Impact of Tillage and Cropping Systems on Soil Health in Agricultural Practices
    (Hindawi Limited, 2023-05) Bishnu Angon, Prodipto; Anjum, Nafisa; Masuma Akter, Mst.; KC, Shreejana; Parvin Suma, Rucksana; Jannat, Sadia
    There is currently a demand to grow more crops in less area as a result of urbanization’s reduction of agricultural land. As a result, soil fertility is gradually declining. To maintain soil fertility, various management methods are used in modern times. The conventional tillage method is a traditional tillage method that damages soil structure, but zero tillage can improve soil quality. By maintaining soil structure with no-tillage, biological processes are frequently improved and microbial biodiversity is increased. This review helps to understand the role of tillage as well as cropping systems in increasing crop production by maintaining soil fertility. For agricultural production and environmental protection to be sustained for future generations, soil quality must be maintained and improved in continuous cropping systems. The nodulation, nitrogen fixation, and microbial community are all impacted by different cropping systems and tillage methods. They also alter soil properties including structure, aeration, and water utilization. The impact of tillage and cropping system practices such as zero and conventional tillage systems, crop rotation, intercropping, cover cropping, cultivator combinations, and prairie strip techniques on soil fertility is carefully summarized in this review. The result highlights that conservational tillage is much better than conventional tillage for soil quality and different aspects of different tillage and their interaction. On the other hand, intercropping, crop rotation, cover cropping, etc., increase the crop yield more than monocropping. Different types of cropping systems are highlighted along with their advantages and disadvantages. Using zero tillage can increase crop production as well as maintain soil fertility which is highlighted in this review. In terms of cropping systems and tillage management, our main goal is to improve crop yield while minimizing harm to the soil’s health.
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    A Comprehensive Assessment of Verticillium Wilt of Potato: Present Status and Future Prospective
    (EScience Press, 2023-06) KC, Shreejana; Poudel, Amrit; Oli, Dipiza; Ghimire, Shirish; Angon Bishnu, Prodipto; Shafiul Islam, MD
    The fungal disease Verticillium wilt is a soil-borne pathogen that is caused by Verticillium dahliae. This disease affects a wide range of crops and can cause significant yield losses. Recent findings suggest that Verticillium wilt has been affecting potato crops in abundant domains around the global world, including in North America, parts of Europe, and Asia. In some cases, the disease has been observed in fields where it has not been previously reported, indicating that it has been spreading. Farmers and researchers are working to manage the disease through a variety of measures, including rotation of crops, the use of resistant varieties of potato developed from resistant strains, and the application of fungicides. However, the potency of these measures can vary depending on the ferocity of the disease and the local growing circumstances. Overall, the recent findings of Verticillium wilt in potato underscore the importance of continued monitoring and research to better understand the disease and develop effective management strategies. This review has highlighted the up-to-date information on Verticillium wilt and management strategies. The study also helps the scientific community understand this devastating plant disease by offering a thorough review of the situation.
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    Interplay of plant pathogens and host defenses: Unveiling the mechanisms and strategies for crop protection
    (Agriculture and Environmental Science Academy, 2024-03) Poudel, Amrit; KC, Shreejana
    Plant pathogens, encompassing a diverse array of microbes including fungi, nematodes, protozoa, bacteria, and viruses, represent a significant threat to agricultural stability by compromising plant health. These microorganisms engage in a complex battle against plant immune systems, leading to diseases that can drastically diminish crop yields, degrade product quality, and in extreme cases, cause total crop failure. A comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms underlying plant infection, the specific pathogens involved, and the strategy for effective prevention is crucial for agricultural sustainability. This review paper provides a detailed examination of the multifaceted interactions between plant pathogens and their hosts, focusing on the entry mechanisms, symptom development, and prevention strategies against plant diseases. Major findings reveal the intricate ways pathogens interact with plant immune responses, the critical role of environmental factors in disease outbreaks, and the effectiveness of integrated disease management approaches. The paper concludes with a novel perspective, emphasizing the urgent need for sustainable, science-based strategies to enhance plant resistance, safeguard food security, and mitigate the economic consequences of plant pathogenic diseases. This synthesis not only advances our understanding of plant pathology but also sets a framework for future research directions in plant disease management.
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    Sources, effects and present perspectives of heavy metals contamination: Soil, plants and human food chain
    (Elsevier BV, 2024-04) Bishnu Agnon, Prodipto; Shafiul Islam, M.D.; KC, Shreejana; Das, Arpan; Anjum, Nafisa; Poudel, Amrit; Akter Suchi, Shaharia
    Heavy metal (HM) poisoning of agricultural soils poses a serious risk to plant life, human health, and global food supply. When HM levels in agricultural soils get to dangerous levels, it harms crop health and yield. Chromium (Cr), arsenic (As), nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) are the main heavy metals. The environment contains these metals in varying degrees, such as in soil, food, water, and even the air. These substances damage plants and alter soil characteristics, which lowers crop yield. Crop types, growing circumstances, elemental toxicity, developmental stage, soil physical and chemical properties, and the presence and bioavailability of heavy metals (HMs) in the soil solution are some of the factors affecting the amount of HM toxicity in crops. By interfering with the normal structure and function of cellular components, HMs can impede various metabolic and developmental processes. Humans are exposed to numerous serious diseases by consuming these affected plant products. Exposure to certain metals can harm the kidneys, brain, intestines, lungs, liver, and other organs of the human body. This review assesses (1) contamination of heavy metals in soils through different sources, like anthropogenic and natural; (2) the effect on microorganisms and the chemical and physical properties of soil; (3) the effect on plants as well as crop production; and (4) entering the food chain and associated hazards to human health. Lastly, we identified certain research gaps and suggested further study. If people want to feel safe in their surroundings, there needs to be stringent regulation of the release of heavy metals into the environment.
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    Novel alleles of MFT-A and MFT-B1 appear to impact wheat preharvest sprouting in Triticum aestivum and Triticum turgidum ssp. durum
    (Wiley, 2024-05) Tillett, Brandon J.; Vetch, Justin M.; Martin, John M.; Giroux, Michael J.
    Background and Objectives. Preharvest sprouting (PHS) is the premature germination of seeds, which is often caused by late-season rains after seeds reach physiological maturity. PHS negatively impacts grain yield and end-use quality. Previous studies in spring bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and durum wheat (Triticum turgidum) have identified that some mutations in the mother of FT and TFL1 gene (MFT) coding sequence decrease seed dormancy and increase wheat PHS. Findings. Here, we report two novel alleles for the MFT-A and two novel alleles for the MFT-B1 homologs in spring bread wheat and durum wheat. Conclusions. A haplotype analysis suggests that TaMFT-3A1b (OQ729929), TaMFT-3B1b (OQ729932) and TdMFT-3B1b (OQ729937) increase PHS susceptibility. It is expected that functional copies of MFT promote seed dormancy. Variant analysis of the novel MFT-A and MFT-B1 alleles in both spring and durum wheat suggest impairment of protein function, therefore a negative impact on seed dormancy. Significance and Novelty: Previously unassessed durum wheat varieties were examined for PHS susceptibility. The information in this study can serve as a resource for spring and durum wheat breeders to make selections for alleles of MFT that impact susceptibility to PHS.
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    Canopeo app as image-based phenotyping tool in controlled environment utilizing Arabidopsis mutants
    (Public Library of Science, 2024-03) Hale, Gabriella; Yuan, Ning; Mendu, Lavanya; Ritchie, Glen; Mendu, Venugopal
    Canopeo app was developed as a simple, accurate, rapid, and free tool to analyze ground cover fraction (GCF) from red-green-blue (RGB) images and videos captured in the field. With increasing interest in tools for plant phenotyping in controlled environments, the usefulness of Canopeo to identify differences in growth among Arabidopsis thaliana mutants in a controlled environment were explored. A simple imaging system was used to compare Arabidopsis mutants based on the FLAVIN-BINDING, KELCH REPEAT, F-BOX-1 (FKF1) mutation, which has been identified with increased biomass accumulation. Two FKF1 lines such as null expression (fkf1-t) and overexpression (FKF1-OE) lines were used along with wild type (Col-0). Canopeo was used to phenotype plants, based on biomass estimations. Under long-day photoperiod, fkf1-t had increased cellulose biosynthesis, and therefore biomass. Resource partitioning favored seedling vigor and delayed onset of senescence. In contrast, FKF1-OE illustrated a determinative growth habit where plant resources are primarily allocated for seed production. This study demonstrates the use of Canopeo for model plants and highlights its potential for phenotyping broadleaved crops in controlled environments. The value of adapting Canopeo for lab use is those with limited experience and resources have access to phenotyping methodology that is simple, accessible, accurate, and cost-efficient in a controlled environment setting.
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    Adoption of unoccupied aerial systems in agricultural research
    (Wiley, 2024-03) Lachowiec, Jennifer; Feldman, Max J.; Inacio Matias, Filipe; LeBauer, David; Gregory, Alexander
    A comprehensive survey and subject-expert interviews conducted among agricultural researchers investigated perceived value and barriers to the adoption of unoccupied aerial systems (UASs) in agricultural research. These systems are often referred to colloquially as drones and are composed of unoccupied/uncrewed/unmanned vehicles and incorporated sensors. This study of UASs involved 154 respondents from 21 countries representing various agricultural sectors. The survey identified three key applications considered most promising for UASs in agriculture: precision agriculture, crop phenotyping/plant breeding, and crop modeling. Over 80% of respondents rated UASs for phenotyping as valuable, with 47.6% considering them very valuable. Among the participants, 41% were already using UAS technology in their research, while 49% expressed interest in future adoption. Current users highly valued UASs for phenotyping, with 63.9% considering them very valuable, compared to 39.4% of potential future users. The study also explored barriers to UAS adoption. The most commonly reported barriers were the “High cost of instruments/devices or software” (46.0%) and the “Lack of knowledge or trained personnel to analyze data” (40.9%). These barriers persisted as top concerns for both current and potential future users. Respondents expressed a desire for detailed step-by-step protocols for drone data processing pipelines (34.7%) and in-person training for personnel (16.5%) as valuable resources for UAS adoption. The research sheds light on the prevailing perceptions and challenges associated with UAS usage in agricultural research, emphasizing the potential of UASs in specific applications and identifying crucial barriers to address for wider adoption in the agricultural sector.
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    Proanthocyanidins: Key for Resistance to Globisporangium (Formerly Pythium) Seed Rot of Pea
    (American Society for Horticultural Science, 2024-01) Ewing, Elmer E.; Weeden, Norman F.; Simko, Ivan
    Pea (Pisum sativum) dominant for the fundamental color gene A showed a high level of resistance to Globisporangium ultimum (formerly Pythium ultimum) seed rot. Reciprocal crosses demonstrated that, with our materials, such resistance was associated with the testa (seedcoat) phenotype but not the embryo phenotype. Dominance of A over a was complete for this trait. Neither wrinkled seed form (r) nor green cotyledons (i) diminished resistance when A was dominant, although both recessive alleles diminished resistance when seeds were borne on white-flowering (a) plants. The product of the A gene functions in the pathway leading to flavonoids, including proanthocyanidins (PAs) and anthocyanidins. We found that resistance to G. ultimum seed rot was closely associated with not only dominant A but also testa PAs and testa sclerenchyma. Even A testas that lacked anthocyanins but contained PAs and sclerenchyma showed a high level of seed rot resistance. Moreover, a mutation removing PAs and sclerenchyma in a narrow zone from the hilum to the radicle markedly increased susceptibility. The PAs in pea testas were predominantly prodelphinidins in seeds from purple-flowered plants (A B) and procyanidins from pink-flowered plants (A b). Compared with procyanidins, prodelphinidins have higher antioxidant activity but are more likely to sequester iron, a particular concern with dry pea. Although A B testas were more resistant than A b to seed rot, the difference seemed too slight to militate against growing pink-flowered pea. We stressed the need for more histological comparisons of A B and A b testas, and we indicated that genes and their phenotypic effects examined during the current study could be useful for modeling biosynthesis of PAs and related cell walls.
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    A “solid” solution for wheat stem sawfly (Hymenoptera: Cephidae) resistance: Genetics, breeding and development of solid stem wheat
    (Wiley, 2023-06) Bathini, Akshara; Mendu, Lavanya; Pratap Singh, Nagendra; Cook, Jason; Weaver, David; Sherman, Jamie; Hager, Megan; Mondal, Suchismita; Mendu, Venugopal
    Wheat (Triticum spp. L) production needs to be improved to meet the needs of a global population of >9 billion people by 2050. Increasing the productivity of the crop under conditions of abiotic and biotic stress to achieve food security continues to be a challenging proposition. Wheat stem sawfly (WSS) (Cephus cinctus Norton) has been considered as a serious pest of wheat since the late 19th century, causing devastating losses of wheat productivity in the Northern Great Plains of United States and regions of Canada. Developing resistant varieties of wheat that show consistent agronomic performances in varying environments is an effective strategy to manage WSS infestations. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to understand the underlying mechanisms of WSS infestation, damage, subsequent response of the host plant, and resulting yield losses. The review focuses on genetics, breeding, and development of solid stem (SS)-mediated WSS resistance in wheat since it has been the most effective method of genetic resistance in reducing wheat yield losses. Furthermore, the knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to develop an effective resistant cultivar against WSS are also discussed.
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    Dosage response to reduced height‐1 (Rht‐1) loss‐of‐function mutations and characterization of slender phenotype in hexaploid wheat
    (Wiley, 2023-10) Ugrin, Josey M.; Hogg, Andrew C.; Tracy, Emma M.; Tillet, Brandon J.; Cook, Jason P.; Martin, John M.; Giroux, Michael J.
    The reduced height (Rht-1) genes in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) are integral in controlling plant height. Previous studies in other plant species have demonstrated that loss-of-function mutations in their orthologous Rht-1 genes results in plants with a slender phenotype illustrated by increased plant heights, sterility, and a constitutive gibberellic acid (GA3) response; however, this phenotype has not been described in wheat. In this study, nonsense alleles occurring in the GRAS domain of Rht-A1, B1, and D1 were combined to create single, double, and triple Rht-1 mutants. Homozygous lines possessing none, one, two, or three Rht-1 stop mutations were grown in replicated field trials in three environments to assess agronomic traits. Germination tests to measure GA3 responsiveness and gene expression analysis via RNA-seq were also performed. Rht-1 triple mutants exhibited a slender phenotype characterized by rapid growth, elongated coleoptiles and internodes, elongated spikes, decreased tiller and spikelet number, and sterile heads. The presence of a single functional Rht-1 gene resulted in a normal phenotype. Differences in plant height among the Rht-1 double mutants, Rht-1 single mutants, and Rht-1 all wild-type dosages trended toward increased plant height with increased Rht-1 stop mutation dosage. Differences in Rht-1 homeolog gene expression did not equate to differences in plant height between the different Rht-1 stop mutations.
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    A polyyne toxin produced by an antagonistic bacterium blinds and lyses a Chlamydomonad alga
    (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021-08) Hotter, Vivien; Zopf, David; Kim, Hak Joong; Silge, Anja; Schmitt, Michael; Aiyar, Prasad; Fleck, Johanna; Matthäus, Christian; Hniopek, Julian; Yan, Qing; Loper, Joyce; Sasso, Severin; Hertweck, Christian; Popp, Jürgen; Mittag, Maria
    Algae are key contributors to global carbon fixation and form the basis of many food webs. In nature, their growth is often supported or suppressed by microorganisms. The bacterium Pseudomonas protegens Pf-5 arrests the growth of the green unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, deflagellates the alga by the cyclic lipopeptide orfamide A, and alters its morphology [P. Aiyar et al., Nat. Commun. 8, 1756 (2017)]. Using a combination of Raman microspectroscopy, genome mining, and mutational analysis, we discovered a polyyne toxin, protegencin, which is secreted by P. protegens, penetrates the algal cells, and causes destruction of the carotenoids of their primitive visual system, the eyespot. Together with secreted orfamide A, protegencin thus prevents the phototactic behavior of C. reinhardtii. A mutant of P. protegens deficient in protegencin production does not affect growth or eyespot carotenoids of C. reinhardtii. Protegencin acts in a direct and destructive way by lysing and killing the algal cells. The toxic effect of protegencin is also observed in an eyeless mutant and with the colony-forming Chlorophyte alga Gonium pectorale. These data reveal a two-pronged molecular strategy involving a cyclic lipopeptide and a conjugated tetrayne used by bacteria to attack select Chlamydomonad algae. In conjunction with the bloom-forming activity of several chlorophytes and the presence of the protegencin gene cluster in over 50 different Pseudomonas genomes [A. J. Mullins et al., bioRxiv [Preprint] (2021). (Accessed 17 April 2021)], these data are highly relevant to ecological interactions between Chlorophyte algae and Pseudomonadales bacteria.
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    A DeoR-Type Transcription Regulator Is Required for Sugar-Induced Expression of Type III Secretion-Encoding Genes in Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000
    (Scientific Societies, 2020-03) Turner, Sydney E.; Pang, Yin-Yuin; O’Malley, Megan R.; Weisberg, Alexandra J.; Fraser, Valerie N.; Yan, Qing; Chang, Jeff H.; Anderson, Anderson
    The type III secretion system (T3SS) of plant-pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae is essential for virulence. Genes encoding the T3SS are not constitutively expressed and must be induced upon infection. Plant-derived metabolites, including sugars such as fructose and sucrose, are inducers of T3SS-encoding genes, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying perception of these host signals by P. syringae are unknown. Here, we report that sugar-induced expression of type III secretion A (setA), predicted to encode a DeoR-type transcription factor, is required for maximal sugar-induced expression of T3SS-associated genes in P. syringae DC3000. From a Tn5 transposon mutagenesis screen, we identified two independent mutants with insertions in setA. When both setA::Tn5 mutants were cultured in minimal medium containing fructose, genes encoding the T3SS master regulator HrpL and effector AvrRpm1 were expressed at lower levels relative to that of a wild-type strain. Decreased hrpL and avrRpm1 expression also occurred in a setA::Tn5 mutant in response to glucose, sucrose, galactose, and mannitol, demonstrating that setA is genetically required for T3SS induction by many different sugars. Expression of upstream regulators hrpR/S and rpoN was not altered in setA::Tn5, indicating that SetA positively regulates hrpL expression independently of increased transcription of these genes. In addition to decreased response to defined sugar signals, a setA::Tn5 mutant had decreased T3SS deployment during infection and was compromised in its ability to grow in planta and cause disease. These data suggest that SetA is necessary for P. syringae to effectively respond to T3SS-inducing sugar signals encountered during infection.
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    First Report of Powdery Mildew Caused by Erysiphe cruciferarum on Camelina sativa in Montana
    (Scientific Societies, 2022-07) Fu, Benzhong; Yan, Qing
    Camelina sativa, also known as false flax, is an annual flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae that originated in Europe and Asia. In recent years, it has been cultivated as an important biofuel crop in Europe, Canada, and the northwest United States. In June 2021, severe powdery mildew disease was observed on C. sativa ‘Suneson’ plants under greenhouse conditions (temperature 18.3*C/22.2*C, night/day) in Bozeman, Montana (45*409 N, 111*29 W).
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    Effect of the Monothiol Glutaredoxin GrxD on 2,4-Diacetylphloroglucinol Biosynthesis and Biocontrol Activity of Pseudomonas fluorescens 2P24
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2022-07) Dong, Qiuling; Yan, Qing; Zhang, Bo; Zhang, Li-qun; Wu, Xiaogang
    Pseudomonas fluorescens 2P24 is a plant root-associated bacterium that suppresses several soilborne plant diseases due to its production of the antibiotic 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (2,4-DAPG). The biosynthesis of 2,4-DAPG is controlled by many regulatory elements, including the global regulator of the Gac/Rsm regulon and the pathway-specific repressor PhlF. In this work, a novel genetic element grxD, which encodes the monothiol glutaredoxin GrxD, was identified and characterized in the production of 2,4-DAPG in P. fluorescens 2P24. Our data showed that the mutation of grxD remarkably decreased 2,4-DAPG production. GrxD lost its ability to alter the production of 2,4-DAPG when the active-site CGFS motif of GrxD was mutated by site-directed mutagenesis. Further studies showed that the RsmA and RsmE proteins were essential for the GrxD-mediated regulation of 2,4-DAPG and exoprotease production. In addition, our data revealed that the deletion of grxD increased the expression of phlF, which negatively regulated the production of 2,4-DAPG. In addition, the grxD mutant was severely impaired in the biocontrol effect against the bacterial wilt of tomato. Overall, our results indicated that the monothiol glutaredoxin GrxD is involved in the production of 2,4-DAPG of P. fluorescens by influencing the Gac/Rsm global signaling pathway and transcriptional regulator PhlF and is essential for the biocontrol properties.
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    Identification and Characterization of Bacteria-Derived Antibiotics for the Biological Control of Pea Aphanomyces Root Rot
    (MDPI AG, 2022-08) Lai, Xiao; Niroula, Dhirendra; Burrows, Mary; Wu, Xiaogang; Yan, Qing
    Antibiosis has been proposed to contribute to the beneficial bacteria-mediated biocontrol against pea Aphanomyces root rot caused by the oomycete pathogen Aphanomyces euteiches. However, the antibiotics required for disease suppression remain unknown. In this study, we found that the wild type strains of Pseudomonas protegens Pf-5 and Pseudomonas fluorescens 2P24, but not their mutants that lack 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, strongly inhibited A. euteiches on culture plates. Purified 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol compound caused extensive hyphal branching and stunted hyphal growth of A. euteiches. Using a GFP-based transcriptional reporter assay, we found that expression of the 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol biosynthesis gene phlAPf-5 is activated by germinating pea seeds. The 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol producing Pf-5 derivative, but not its 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol non-producing mutant, reduced disease severity caused by A. euteiches on pea plants in greenhouse conditions. This is the first report that 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol produced by strains of Pseudomonas species plays an important role in the biocontrol of pea Aphanomyces root rot.
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    Citrate Synthase GltA Modulates the 2,4-Diacetylphloroglucinol Biosynthesis of Pseudomonas fluorescens 2P24 and is Essential for the Biocontrol Capacity
    (American Chemical Society, 2023-07) Yang, Qingqing; Yan, Qing; Zhang, Bo; Zhang, Li-qun; Wu, Xiaogang
    Carbon metabolism is critical for microbial physiology and remarkably affects the outcome of secondary metabolite production. The production of 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (2,4-DAPG), a bacterial secondary metabolite with a broad spectrum of antibiotic activity, is a major mechanism used by the soil bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens 2P24 to inhibit the growth of plant pathogens and control disease occurrence. Strain 2P24 has evolved a complex signaling cascade to regulate the production of 2,4-DAPG. However, the role of the central carbon metabolism in modulating 2,4-DAPG production has not been fully determined. In this study, we report that the gltA gene, which encodes citrate synthase, affects the expression of the 2,4-DAPG biosynthesis gene and is essential for the biocontrol capacity of strain 2P24. Our data showed that the mutation of gltA remarkably decreased the biosynthesis of 2,4-DAPG. Consistent with this result, the addition of citrate in strain 2P24 resulted in increased 2,4-DAPG production and decreased levels of RsmA and RsmE. In comparison with the wild-type strain, the gltA mutant was severely impaired in terms of biocontrol activity against the bacterial wilt disease of tomato plants caused by Ralstonia solanacearum. Moreover, the gltA mutant exhibited increased antioxidant activity, and the expression of oxidative, stress-associated genes, including ahpB, katB, and oxyR, was significantly upregulated in the gltA mutant compared to the wild-type strain. Overall, our data indicate that the citrate synthase GltA plays an important role in the production of 2,4-DAPG and oxidative stress and is required for biocontrol capacity.
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    Exopolysaccharide is required for motility, stress tolerance, and plant colonization by the endophytic bacterium Paraburkholderia phytofirmans PsJN
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2023-08) Fu, Benzhong; Yan, Qing
    Paraburkholderia phytofirmans PsJN is an endophytic bacterium and has been shown to promote the growth and health of many different plants. Exopolysaccharide (EPS) plays important roles in plant-bacteria interaction and tolerance to environmental stresses. However, the function of EPS in PsJN and its interaction with plants remain largely unknown. In this study, a deletion mutation of bceQ gene, encoding a putative flippase for the EPS biosynthesis, was introduced in the genome of PsJN. The ΔbceQ mutant produced a significantly lower level of EPS than the wild type strain in culture media. Compared to the wild type PsJN, the ΔbceQ mutant was more sensitive to desiccation, UV damage, salt (NaCl) and iron (FeCl3) stresses, and bacteriophage infection. More importantly, the mutation of bceQ decreased the endophytic colonization of PsJN in camelina (Camelina sativa) and pea (Camelina sativa) under plant drought stress conditions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that EPS production is required for the maximal colonization of an endophytic bacterium in the plant tissues under stress conditions.
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    Reconstitution of some tribes and genera of Lagriinae (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae)
    (Pensoft Publishers, 2023-07) Aalbu, Rolf L.; Kanda, Kojun; Merkl, Ottó; Ivie, Michael A.; Andrew Johnston, M.
    The tribes Goniaderini Lacordaire, 1859 and Lupropini Lesne, 1926 within the tenebrionid subfamily Lagriinae Latreille, 1825 have previously been shown to be non-monophyletic by molecular phylogenetic analyses. The tribes and constituent genera are here reviewed and redefined morphologically. As part of tribal redefinitions, we establish PrateiniNew Tribe with type genus Prateus LeConte, 1862. We reestablish the subtribe Phobeliina Ardoin, 1961 Revised Status, which is transferred from Goniaderini and placed as a subtribe of Lagriini Latreille, 1825 where it is comprised of Phobelius Blanchard, 1842, and Rhosaces Champion, 1889 (previously in Lagriini: Statirina Blanchard, 1845). The fossil tribe Archaeolupropini Nabozhenko, Perkovsky, & Nazarenko, 2023 is transferred from Lagriinae to Tetratomidae: Tetratominae Billberg, 1820. Keys to extant tribes and subtribes of Lagriinae and genera of Goniaderini, Lupropini, and Prateini are provided. Generic and species-level changes from this work are as follows: Prateini is comprised of the following 15 genera: Antennoluprops Schawaller, 2007, Ardoiniellus Schawaller, 2013, Bolitrium Gebien, 1914, Enicmosoma Gebien, 1922, Indenicmosoma Ardoin, 1964, Iscanus Fauvel, 1904, Kuschelus Kaszab, 1982, Lorelopsis Champion, 1896, Mesotretis Bates, 1872, Microcalcar Pic, 1925, Micropedinus Lewis, 1894, Paratenetus Spinola, 1845, Prateus, Terametus Motschulsky, 1869, and Tithassa Pascoe, 1860. Lorelus Sharp, 1876 is Returned to Synonymy with Prateus, resulting in the following 49 New Combinations: Prateus angulatus (Doyen & Poinar, 1994), P. angustulus (Champion, 1913), P. armatus (Montrouzier, 1860), P. biroi (Kaszab, 1956), P. blairi (Kaszab, 1955), P. brevicornis (Champion, 1896), P. breviusculus (Champion, 1913), P. caledonicus (Kaszab, 1982), P. carolinensis (Blair, 1940), P. chinensis (Kaszab, 1940), P. clarkei (Kulzer, 1957), P. crassicornis (Broun, 1880), P. crassepunctatus (Kaszab, 1982), P. cribricollis (Kaszab, 1940), P. curvipes (Champion, 1913), P. dybasi (Kulzer, 1957), P. fijianus (Kaszab, 1982), P. fumatus (Lea, 1929), P. glabriventris (Kaszab, 1982), P. greensladei (Kaszab, 1982), P. guadeloupensis (Kaszab, 1940), P. hirtus (Kaszab, 1982), P. ivoirensis (Ardoin, 1969), P. kanak (Kaszab, 1986), P. kaszabi (Watt, 1992), P. laticornis (Watt, 1992), P. latulus (Broun, 1910), P. longicornis (Kaszab, 1982), P. mareensis (Kaszab, 1982), P. marginalis (Broun, 1910), P. niger (Kaszab, 1982), P. norfolkianus (Kaszab, 1982), P. obtusus (Watt, 1992), P. ocularis (Fauvel, 1904), P. opacus (Watt, 1992), P. palauensis (Kulzer, 1957), P. politus (Watt, 1992), P. priscus (Sharp, 1876), P. prosternalis (Kaszab, 1982), P. pubescens (Broun, 1880), P. pubipennis (Lea, 1929), P. punctatus (Watt, 1992), P. quadricollis (Broun, 1886), P. queenslandicus (Kaszab, 1986), P. rugifrons (Champion, 1913), P. solomonis (Kaszab, 1982), P. tarsalis (Broun, 1910), P. unicornis (Kaszab, 1982), and P. watti (Kaszab, 1982). Microlyprops Kaszab, 1939 is placed as a New Synonym of Micropedinus resulting in the following New Combinations: Micropedinus ceylonicus (Kaszab, 1939) and M. maderi (Kaszab, 1940). LorelopsisRevised Status is revalidated as a genus and eight species formerly in Lorelus are transferred to it resulting in the following six New Combinations: Lorelopsis bicolor (Doyen, 1993), L. glabrata (Doyen, 1993), L. exilis (Champion, 1913), L. foraminosa (Doyen & Poinar, 1994), L. minutulis (Doyen & Poinar, 1994), L. trapezidera (Champion, 1913), and L. wolcotti (Doyen, 1993). Lorelopsis pilosa Champion, 1896 becomes a Restored Combination. In Goniaderini, Aemymone Bates, 1868 Revised Status and Opatresthes Gebien, 1928 Revised Status, which were recently considered as subgenera of Goniadera Perty, 1832, are restored as valid genera based on new character analysis resulting in the following New Combinations: Aemymone hansfranzi (Ferrer & Delatour, 2007), A. simplex (Fairmaire, 1889), A. striatipennis (Pic, 1934) and Restored Combinations: Aemymone cariosa (Bates, 1868), A. crenata Champion, 1893, and A. semirufa Pic, 1917. Gamaxus Bates, 1868 is Returned to Synonymy with Phymatestes Pascoe, 1866, and the type species Gamaxus hauxwelli Bates, 1868 is placed as a New Synonym of Phymatestes brevicornis (Lacordaire, 1859). The following seven genera are placed as New Synonyms of Anaedus Blanchard, 1842: Microanaedus Pic, 1923, Pengaleganus Pic, 1917, Pseudanaedus Gebien, 1921, Pseudolyprops Fairmaire, 1882, Spinolyprops Pic, 1917, Spinadaenus Pic, 1921, and Sphingocorse Gebien, 1921. Fourteen species described by Pic in Aspisoma Duponchel & Chevrolat, 1841 (not Aspisoma Laporte, 1833) are returned to Tenebrionidae as valid species of Anaedus. These synonymies necessitate the following 51 New Combinations: Anaedus albipes (Gebien, 1921), A. amboinensis (Kaszab, 1964), A. amplicollis (Fairmaire, 1896), A. anaedoides (Gebien, 1921), A. angulicollis (Gebien, 1921), A. angustatus (Pic, 1921), A. australiae (Carter, 1930), A. bartolozzii (Ferrer, 2002), A. beloni Fairmaire, 1888), A. biangulatus (Gebien, 1921), A. borneensis (Pic, 1917), A. carinicollis (Gebien, 1921), A. conradti (Gebien, 1921), A. cribricollis (Schawaller, 2012), A. gabonicus (Pic, 1917), A. himalayicus (Kaszab, 1965), A. inaequalis (Pic, 1917), A. jacobsoni (Gebien, 1927), A. lateralis (Pic, 1917), A. latus (Pic, 1917), A. longeplicatus (Gebien, 1921) , A. maculipennis (Schawaller, 2011), A. major (Pic, 1917), A. nepalicus (Kaszab, 1975), A. nigrita (Gebien, 1927), A. notatus (Pic, 1923), A. pakistanicus (Schawaller, 1996), A. pinguis (Gebien, 1927), A. punctatus (Carter, 1914), A. raffrayi (Pic, 1917), A. rufithorax (Pic, 1917), A. rufus (Pic, 1917), A. serrimargo (Gebien, 1914), A. sumatrensis (Pic, 1917), A. terminatus (Gebien, 1921), A. testaceicornis (Pic, 1921), A. testaceipes (Pic, 1917), A. thailandicus (Schawaller, 2012), A. trautneri (Schawaller, 1994); and 13 restored combinations: Anaedus boliviensis (Pic, 1934), A. claveri (Pic, 1917), A. diversicollis (Pic, 1917), A. elongatus (Pic, 1934), A. guyanensis (Pic, 1917), A. holtzi (Pic, 1934), A. inangulatus (Pic, 1934), A. inhumeralis (Pic, 1917), A. mendesensis (Pic, 1917), A. minutus (Pic, 1917), A. rufimembris (Pic, 1932), A. rufipennis (Pic, 1917), A. subelongatus (Pic, 1932). The new synonymies with Anaedus necessitate the following six New Replacement NamesAnaedus maculipennis (for Spinolyprops maculatus Kulzer, 1954), A. grimmi (for Aspisoma forticornis Pic, 1917), A. minimus (for Anaedus minutus Pic, 1938), A. merkli (for Anaedus diversicollis Pic, 1938), A. ottomerkli (for Anaedus lateralis Pic, 1923), A. schawalleri (for Anaedus nepalicus Schawaller, 1994). Capeluprops Schawaller, 2011 is removed from Lupropini and provisionally placed in Laenini Seidlitz, 1895. Plastica Waterhouse, 1903 is transferred from Apocryphini Lacordaire, 1859 to Laenini. Paralorelopsis Marcuzzi, 1994 is removed from Lupropini and provisionally placed in Lagriinae incertae sedis. Pseudesarcus Champion, 1913 is transferred from Lagriinae incertae sedis to Diaperinae incertae sedis. Falsotithassa Pic, 1934 is transferred from Lupropini to Leiochrinini Lewis, 1894 (Diaperinae). Mimocellus Wasmann, 1904 is transferred from Lupropini to Tenebrionidae incertae sedis, and likely belongs in either Diaperinae or Stenochiinae.
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    The Toothpick Project: commercialization of a virulence-selected fungal bioherbicide for Striga hermonthica (witchweed) biocontrol in Kenya
    (Wiley, 2023-09) Baker, Claire S.; Sands, David C.; Nzioki, Henry Sila
    The high-level view of global food systems identifies three all-encompassing barriers to the adoption of food systems solutions: knowledge, policy, and finance. These barriers, and the siloed characteristics of each of these, have hindered the development and adoption of microbial herbicides. How knowledge, policy, and finance are related to the Toothpick Project's path of commercializing a new bioherbicide, early in the scope of the industry, is discussed here. The Toothpick Project's innovation, developed over four decades and commercialized in 2021, uses strains of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. strigae selected for overproduction and excretion of specific amino acids, killing the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica (Striga or witchweed), Africa's worst pest threat to food security. Historically, bioherbicides have not been a sufficient alternative to the dominant use of synthetic chemical herbicides. To be used safely as bioherbicides, plant pathogens need to be host specific, non-toxic, and yet sufficiently virulent to control a specific weed. For commercialization, bioherbicides must be affordable and require a sufficient shelf life for distribution. Given the current triple storm encountered by the chemical herbicide industry (herbicide-resistant weeds, lawsuits, and consumer pushback), there exists an opportunity to use certain plant pathogens as bioherbicides by enhancing their virulence. By discussing barriers in the scope of knowledge, policy, and finance in the development of the Toothpick Project's new microbial bioherbicide, we hope to help others to anticipate the challenges and provide change-leaders, particularly in policy and finance, a ground level perspective of bioherbicide development. © 2023 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.
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    Genetic dissection of endosperm hydration in malting barley (Hordeum vulgare)
    (Wiley, 2023-08) Jensen, Joseph; Turner, Hannah; Lachowiec, Jennifer; Lutgen, Greg; Yin, Xiang S.; Sherman, Jamie
    Hydration of the endosperm is a critical part of the malting process that ensures proper modification of the grain. However, little is known about the genetic controls of endosperm hydration and its relationship to agronomic and malt quality traits. The extent of endosperm hydration is estimated through hydration index (HYI). We measured HYI, agronomic, and malt quality traits on a 169-line subset of the NSGC Barley Core Panel, which includes global malt lines, some dating from the inception of European breeding programmes. Utilizing GWAS, 61 QTLs were identified for HYI, dormancy, agronomic, and malt quality traits. Of these, six were found to be related to HYI and were located on 1H, 2H, 3H, 6H, and 7H. We found HYI QTLs cosegregating with kernel size and hardness (1H and 3H), malting quality (2H and 6H), and dormancy (2H and 6H). These results indicate that endosperm hydration after steeping can be improved by selecting high HYI alleles on 2H, 6H, and 7H, positively impacting malting quality without negatively impacting kernel size or dormancy.
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