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To explore the physiological characteristics of the pepc gene in transgenic wheat (Triticum aestivum) plants, PEPC activities in various organs of T3 plants were analyzed at Feekes 6.0, Feekes 10.3 and Feekes 11.1, and compared to control, untransformed wheat cultivar Zhoumai 19. Net photosynthetic rates (P n) in leaves were also measured at the same stages. At Feekes 11.1, both transgenic and control plants were treated with DCDP. Yield traits were surveyed after harvest. The results indicated that P n and PEPC activity in the flag leaf of transgenic wheat were significantly higher than those of the control at different stages. At Feekes 10.3, P n reached the highest value at 28.2 μmol m−2 s−1 and PEPC activity reached the highest value at 104.6 μmol h−1 mg−1. Both factors significantly increased by 21% compared to the control at Feekes 11.1. PEPC activity in the flag leaf of transgenic plants was significantly higher than that of non-leaf organs. P n of transgenic plants was greatly reduced after DCDP treatment. In the flag leaf of transgenic wheat, P n was significantly correlated to PEPC activities at 0.01 probability level with a correlation coefficient of 0.8957**. The yield traits of transgenic line 1-27-3, such as 1000-grain weight, single spike weight and harvest index were higher than those of the control. Additionally, the spike weight of 1-27-3 showed an increase of approximately 9.5% compared to the control. These results indicated that the expression of maize (Zea mays) pepc gene was different across various organs of transgenic wheat and across every growth stage. Therefore, we conclude that introducing maize pepc gene into wheat plants can increase their P n and improve production.

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As one of the world’s earliest domesticated crops, barley is a model species for the study of evolution and domestication. Domestication is an evolutionary process whereby a population adapts, through selection; to new environments created by human cultivation. We describe the genome-scanning of molecular diversity to assess the evolution of barley in the Tibetan Plateau. We used 667 Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers to genotype 185 barley landraces and wild barley accessions from the Tibetan Plateau. Genetic diversity in wild barley was greater than in landraces at both genome and chromosome levels, except for chromosome 3H. Landraces and wild barley accessions were clearly differentiated genetically, but a limited degree of introgression was still evident. Significant differences in diversity between barley subspecies at the chromosome level were observed for genes known to be related to physiological and phenotypical traits, disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, malting quality and agronomic traits. Selection on the genome of six-rowed naked barley has shown clear multiple targets related to both its specific end-use and the extreme environment in Tibet. Our data provide a platform to identify the genes and genetic mechanisms that underlie phenotypic changes, and provide lists of candidate domestication genes for modified breeding strategies.

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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


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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New high-molecular-weight glutenin (HMW glutenin) sequences isolated from six Psathyrostachys juncea accessions by thermal asymmetric interlaced PCR differ from previous sequences from this species. They showed novel modifications in all of the structural domains, with unique C-terminal residues, and their N-terminal lengths were the longest among the HMW glutenins reported to date. In their repetitive domains, there were three repeatable motif units: 13-residue [GYWH(/I/Y)YT(/Q)S(/T)VTSPQQ], hexapeptide (PGQGQQ), and tetrapeptide (ITVS). The 13-residue repeats were restricted to the current sequences, while the tetrapeptides were only shared by D-hordein and the current sequences. However, these sequences were not expressed as normal HMW glutenin proteins because an in-frame stop codon located in the C-termini interrupted the intact open reading frames. A phylogenetic analysis supported different origins of the P. juncea HMW glutenin sequences than that revealed by a previous study. The current sequences showed a close relationship with D-hordein but appeared to be more primitive.

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Shewanella putrefaciens supernatant was found to increase the virulence factors of Vibrio parahaemolyticus by efficiently degrading its acylhomoserine lactone (AHL). To further reveal the regulation mechanism and its key degrading enzyme, a potential AHL-degrading enzyme acylase (Aac) from S. putrefaciens was cloned, and the influences of temperature, pH, protein modifiers, and metals on Aac were tested. Aac was significantly influenced by temperature and pH, and exhibited the highest AHL-degrading activity at temperatures of 37 °C and pH of 8. Mg2+ and Fe2+ can further increase the AHL-degrading activity. 10 mM EDTA inhibited its activity possibly by chelating the co-factors (metals) required for Aac activity. Tryptophan and arginine were identified as key components for Aac activity that are critical to its AHL-degrading activity. This study provides useful information on Aac and for V. parahaemolyticus control.

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