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  • Author or Editor: C.H. Zhang x
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Protein and starch are important in wheat quality and yield. To understand the genetic relationship between protein and starch at the quantitative trait locus (QTL)/gene level, 168 doubled haploid (DH) lines were used at three locations over 2 years. The QTLs for proteinfraction contents and starch content were analyzed by unconditional and conditional QTL mapping. We detected 17 unconditional additive QTLs (four albumin QTLs, three globulin QTLs, six gliadin QTLs, four glutenin QTLs) controlling protein-fraction contents. We detected 19 conditional QTLs (five albumin QTLs, three globulin QTLs, five gliadin QTLs, six glutenin QTLs) based on starch content. Of these QTLs, QAlu1B, QGlo6A, QGli1B, QGli7A, QGlu1B and QGlu1D increased the protein-fraction contents independent of the starch content. These QTLs could regulate the usual inverse relationship between protein and starch in wheat seeds. The results could possibly be used in the simultaneous improvement of grain protein and starch content in wheat breeding.

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The aphid Sitobion avenae F. is one of the most harmful pests of wheat growth in the world. A primary field screening test was carried out to evaluate the S. avenae resistance of 527 wheat landraces from Shaanxi. The results indicated that 25 accessions (4.74%) were resistant to S. avenae in the three consecutive seasons, of which accession S849 was highly resistant, and seven accessions were moderately resistant. The majority of S. avenae resistant accessions come from Qinling Mountains. Then, the genetic variability of a set of 33 accessions (25 S. avenae resistant and 8 S. avenae susceptible) originating from Qinling Mountains have been assessed by 20 morphological traits and 99 simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs). Morphological traits and SSRs displayed a high level of genetic diversity within 33 accessions. The clustering of the accessions based on morphological traits and SSR markers showed significant discrepancy according to the geographical distribution, resistance to S. avenae and species of accessions. The highly and moderately resistant landrace accessions were collected from the middle and the east part of Qinling Mountains with similar morphology characters, for example slender leaves with wax, lower leaf area, and high ear density. These S. avenae resistant landraces can be used in wheat aphid resistance breeding as valuable resources.

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Nitrogen (N) is an important nutrient for plant growth and yield production, and rice grown in paddy soil mainly uses ammonium (NH4 +) as its N source. Previous studies have shown that N status is tightly connected to plant defense; however, the roles of NH4 + uptake and assimilation in rice sheath blight disease response have not been studied previously. Here, we analyzed the effects of different N sources on plant defense against Rhizoctonia solani. The results indicated that rice plants grown in N-free conditions had higher resistance to sheath blight than those grown under N conditions. In greater detail, rice plants cultured with glutamine as the sole N source were more susceptible to sheath blight disease compared to the groups using NH4 + and nitrate (NO3 ) as sole N sources. N deficiency severely inhibited plant growth; therefore, ammonium transporter 1;2 overexpressors (AMT1;2 OXs) were generated to test their growth and defense ability under low N conditions. AMT1;2 OXs increased N use efficiency and exhibited less susceptible symptoms to R. solani and highly induced the expression of PBZ1 compared to the wild-type controls upon infection of R. solani. Furthermore, the glutamine synthetase 1;1 (GS1;1) mutant (gs1;1) was more susceptible to R. solani infection than the wild-type control, and the genetic combination of AMT1;2 OX and gs1;1 revealed that AMT1;2 OX was less susceptible to R. solani and required GS1;1 activity. In addition, cellular NH4 + content was higher in AMT1;2 OX and gs1;1 plants, indicating that NH4 + was not directly controlling plant defense. In conclusion, the present study showed that the activation of NH4 + uptake and assimilation were required for rice resistance against sheath blight disease.

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Grains of 12 accessions of Triticum timopheevii (Zhuk.) Zhuk. ssp. timopheevii (AAGG, 2n = 4x = 28) and one bread wheat cultivar Chinese Spring (CS) and one durum wheat cultivar Langdon (LDN) grown across two years were analyzed for grain iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) concentrations. All the 12 tested T. timopheevii ssp. timopheevii genotypes showed significantly higher concentration of grain Fe and Zn than CS and LDN. Aboundant genetic variability of both the Fe and Zn concentrations was observed among the T. timopheevii ssp. timopheevii accessions, averagely varied from 47.06 to 90.26 mg kg−1 and from 30.05 to 65.91 mg kg−1, respectively. Their grain Fe and Zn concentrations between years exhibited a significantly positive correlation with the correlation coefficients r = 0.895 and r = 0.891, respectively, indicating the highly genetic stability. Flag leaf possessed twice or three times higher concentrations for both Fe and Zn than grain, and a significantly high positive correlation appeared between the two organs with r = 0.648 for Fe and r = 0.957 for Zn concentrations, respectively, suggesting flag leaves might be indirectly used for evaluating grain Zn and Fe contents. Significant correlations occurred between grain Fe and Zn concentrations, and between grain Zn concentration and the two agronomic traits of plant height and number of spikelets per spike. Both the concentrations were not related to seed size or weight as well as NAM-G1 gene, implying the higher grain Fe and Zn concentrations of T. timopheevii ssp. timopheevii species are not ascribed to concentration effects of seed and the genetic control of NAM-G1 gene. There might be some other biological factors impacting the grain’s Zn and Fe concentrations. These results indicated T. timopheevii ssp. timopheevii species might be a promising genetic resource with high Fe and Zn concentrations for the biofortification of current wheat cultivars.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: Z.L. Li, H.Y. Li, G. Chen, X.J. Liu, C.L. Kou, S.Z. Ning, Z.W. Yuan, M. Hao, D.C. Liu, and L.Q. Zhang

Seven Glu-A1 m allelic variants of the Glu-A1 m x genes in Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum, designated as 1Ax2.1 a, 1Ax2.1 b, 1Ax2.1 c, 1Ax2.1 d, 1Ax2.1 e, 1Ax2.1 f, and 1Ax2.1 g were characterized. Their authenticity was confirmed by successful expression of the coding regions in E. coli, and except for the 1Ax2.1 a with the presence of internal stop codons at position of 313 aa, all correspond to the subunit in seeds. However, all the active six genes had a same DNA size although their encoding subunits showed different molecular weight. Our study indicated that amino acid residue substitutions rather than previously frequently reported insertions/deletions played an important role on the subunit evolution of these Glu-A1 m x alleles. Since variation in the Glu-A1x locus in common wheat is rare, these novel genes at the Glu-A1 m x can be used as candidate genes for further wheat quality improvement.

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Starch is a product of photosynthetic activities in leaves. Wheat yields largely depend on photosynthetic carbon fixation and carbohydrate metabolism in flag leaves. The mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with flag leaf starch content (FLSC) in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was completed using unconditional and conditional QTL analyses. The FLSC of this population during the early grain-filling stage was measured at six stages in six environments. Combining unconditional and conditional QTL mapping methods, eight unconditional QTLs and nine conditional QTLs were detected, with five QTLs identified as unconditional and conditional QTLs. Four unconditional QTLs (i.e. qFLS-1B, qFLS-1D-1, qFLS-4A, and qFLS-7D-1) and one conditional QTL (i.e. qFLS-3A-1) were identified in two of six environments. Two QTLs (qFLS-1D-2 and qFLS-7D-1), which significantly affected the FLSC, were identified using the unconditional QTL mapping method, while three QTLs (i.e. qFLS-1A, qFLS-3A-1, and qFLS-7D-1) were detected using the conditional QTL mapping method. Our findings provide new insights into the genetic mechanism and regulatory network underlying the diurnal FLSC in wheat.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: Z. L. Li, D. D. Wu, H. Y. Li, G. Chen, W. G. Cao, S. Z. Ning, D. C. Liu, and L. Q. Zhang

Gliadin is a main component of gluten proteins that affect functional properties of bread making and contributes to the viscous nature of doughs. In this study, thirteen novel ω-gliadin genes were identified in several Triticum species, which encode the ARH-, ATDand ATN-type proteins. Two novel types of ω-gliadins: ATD- and ATN- have not yet been reported. The lengths of 13 sequences were ranged from 927 to 1269 bp and the deduced mature proteins were varied from 309 to 414 residues. All 13 genes were pseudogenes because of the presence of internal stop codons. The primary structure of these ω-gliadin genes included a signal peptide, a conserved N-terminal domain, a repetitive domain and a conserved C-terminus. In this paper, we first characterize ω-gliadin genes from T. timopheevi ssp. timopheevi and T. timopheevi ssp. araraticum. The ω-gliadin gene variation and the evolutionary relationship of ω-gliadin family genes were also discussed.

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Aegiolops kotschyi cytoplasmic male sterile system often results in part of haploid plants in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). To elucidate the origin of haploid, 235 wheat microsatellite (SSR) primers were randomly selected and screened for polymorphism between haploid (2n = 3x = 21 ABD) and its parents, male-sterile line YM21 (2n = 6x = 42 AABBDD) and male fertile restorer YM2 (2n = 6x = 42 AABBDD). About 200 SSR markers yielded clear bands from denatured PAGE, of which 180 markers have identifiable amplification patterns, and 20 markers (around 8%) resulted in different amplification products between the haploid and the restorer, YM2. There were no SSR markers that were found to be distinguishable between the haploid and the male sterile line YM21. In addition, different distribution of HMW-GS between endosperm and seedlings from the same seeds further confirmed that the haploid genomes were inherited from the maternal parent. After haploidization, 1.7% and 0.91% of total sites were up- and down-regulated exceeding twofold in the shoot and the root of haploid, respectively, and most of the differentially expressed loci were up/down-regulated about twofold. Out of the sensitive loci in haploid, 94 loci in the shoot, 72 loci in the root can be classified into three functional subdivisions: biological process, cellular component and molecular function, respectively.

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Abstract

Aim

Limited investigations on metabolic responses to exercise training in female adolescent volleyball athletes exist. The aim of this study was to obtain serum and urine metabolite markers in female adolescent volleyball athletes within 2-week strength-endurance training using a metabolomics approach coupled with biochemical analysis, which would be potential biomarkers for evaluating the physiological state of athletes.

Methods

Twelve female adolescent volleyball athletes were recruited for 2-week strength-endurance training. Differential serum and urine metabolic profiles between the pre- and post-training group were obtained on gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and data subsequently underwent orthogonal partial least-squares analysis (OPLS).

Results

Strength-endurance training exerted a significant influence on the athletes' serum and urine metabolic profiles. The changed metabolites were primarily involved in energy metabolism, lipid metabolism and amino acids metabolism. Results support the hypothesis that female athletes displayed an increased propensity to oxidize lipids as the major energy source. Exposure to strength-endurance training also led to a significant increase in cortisol, but a decrease in testosterone, indicating disordered hormone adjustment. Exercise-induced oxidative stress occurred, as was evidenced by the decrease in reduced glutathione, and increases in blood malondialdehyde and oxidized glutathione. Since the muscle damage markers creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase did not show significant changes, the training might not cause cell membrane damage and the athletes did not cross the adaptive injury level.

Conclusion

By measurement of endogenous metabolites, the metabolomics study has the potential to reveal the global physiological changes in response to exercise training.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: F. Xu, L. Sun, J. Zhang, Y. Qi, L. Yang, H. Ru, C. Wang, X. Meng, X. Lan, Q. Jiao, and F. Huang

Abstract  

Heat capacities of the carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with different sizes have been measured by modulated temperature differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) and reported for the first time. The results indicated the values of C p increased with shortening length of CNTs when the diameters of CNTs were between 60 and 100 nm. However, the values of C p of CNTs were not affected by their diameter when the lengths of CNTs were 1–2 um, or not affected by the length of CNTs when their diameters were below 10 nm. The thermal stabilities of the CNTs have been studied by TG-DTG-DSC. The results of TG-DTG showed that thermal stabilities of CNTs were enhanced with their diameters increase. With lengths increase, the thermal stabilities of CNTs increased when their diameters were between 60 and 100 nm, but there is a slight decrease when their diameters were less than 60 nm. The further DSC analyses showed both released heat and T onset increased with the increase of CNTs diameters, which confirms the consistency of the results from both TG-DTG and DSC on CNTs thermal stability.

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