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  • Author or Editor: M.-Y. Liu x
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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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Prorocentrum donghaiense caused large-scale red tides off Chinese coast in recent years. Expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis was carried out for this dinoflagellate in order to identify the genes involved in its proliferation and death. A cDNA library was constructed for P. donghaiense at late exponential growth phase, and 308 groups of EST were generated, which include 36 contigs and 272 singletons. Among 22 groups showed homologies with known genes, 2 matched significantly with caspase and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Caspase and proliferating cell nuclear antigen are 2 key proteins involved in programmed cell death. Their identification evidenced preliminarily the induction of PCD in aging P. donghaiense. The identified included also calmodulin and protein phosphatase, two proteins involved in diverse cell processes including PCD by binding to or modifying others.

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Aegilops sharonensis (Sharon goatgrass) is a valuable source of novel high molecular weight glutenin subunits, resistance to wheat rust, powdery mildew, and insect pests. In this study, we successfully hybridized Ae. sharonensis as the pollen parent to common wheat and obtained backcross derivatives. F1 intergeneric hybrids were verified using morphological observation and cytological and molecular analyses. The phenotypes of the hybrid plants were intermediate between Ae. sharonensis and common wheat. Observations of mitosis in root tip cells and meiosis in pollen mother cells revealed that the F1 hybrids possessed 28 chromosomes. Chromosome pairing at metaphase I of the pollen mother cells in the F1 hybrid plants was low, and the meiotic configuration was 25.94 I + 1.03 II (rod). Two pairs of primers were screened out from 150 simple sequence repeat markers, and primer WMC634 was used to identified the presence of the genome of Ae. sharonensis. Sequencing results showed that the F1 hybrids contained the Ssh genome of Ae. sharonensis. The sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis profile showed that the alien high molecular weight glutenin subunits of Ae. sharonensis were transferred into the F1 and backcross derivatives. The new wheat-Ae. sharonensis derivatives that we have produced will be valuable for increasing resistance to various diseases of wheat and for improving the quality of bread wheat.

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In this study, we employed electron microscopy to investigate the cytogenetic and embryologic mechanisms of parthenogenesis induced in the 1BL/1RS male sterile lines of wheat. Analysis of the root tips and acid polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicated that all of the male sterile lines and their maintainer lines were 1BL/1RS translocation lines, whereas the restorer lines were non-1BL/1RS translocation lines. Furthermore, the chromosomes of 1BL/1RS wheat lines with T. aestivum cytoplasm and Aegilops cytoplasm (include Ae. kotschyi, Ae. ventricosa, Ae. variabilis) paired abnormally at different rates during meiotic metaphase I (MMI). The translocated segment size of the 1RS chromosome and the specific nuclear–alloplasm interaction impaired the pairing of homologous chromosome in the background of the specific Aegilops cytoplasm at MMI. In addition, the frequency of abnormal chromosomal pairing was directly affected by the frequency of haploid production induced by parthenogenesis. The results of this study provide significant insights into the mechanism of parthenogenesis, which is probably due to the abnormal fertilization of synergid cells in alloplasmic 1BL/1RS wheat.

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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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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: X. Gong, C. Liu, Y. Wang, X. Zhao, M. Zhou, M. Hong, S. Wang, N. Li, and F. Hong

The mechanism of the fact that Mn deficiency damages the photosynthesis of plants is not yet fully understood. The main aim of the study was to determine Mn deficiency effects in photophosphorylation and key enzymes of CO 2 assimilation of maize. Maize plants were cultivated in Hoagland’s solution. They were subjected to Mn deficiency and to Mn administered in the Mn-deficient Hoagland’s media. The results showed that Mn deficiency was found to cause extensive declines in plant weight and chlorophyll a content, electron transport and oxygen-evolving rate, photophosphorylation rate, activities of Mg 2+ -ATPase, Ca 2+ -ATPase, Rubisco and Rubisco activase, and mRNA expressions of Rubisco and Rubisco activase of maize, but it only slightly affected chlorophyll b and carotenoid formation. However, Mn addition decreased the inhibition of the photosynthesis in maize caused by Mn deficiency.

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

Premature termination codons (PTCs) are an important reason for the silence of highmolecular- weight glutenin subunits in Triticum species. Although the Glu-A1y gene is generally silent in common wheat, we here isolated an expressed Glu-A1y gene containing a PTC, named 1Ay8.3, from Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum (AmAm, 2n = 2x = 14). Despite the presence of a PTC (TAG) at base pair positions 1879–1881 in the C-terminal coding region, this did not obviously affect 1Ay8.3 expression in seeds. This was demonstrated by the fact that when the PTC TAG of 1Ay8.3 was mutated to the CAG codon, the mutant in Escherichia coli bacterial cells expressed the same subunit as in the seeds. However, in E. coli, 1Ay8.3 containing the PTC expressed a truncated protein with faster electrophoretic mobility than that in seeds, suggesting that PTC translation termination suppression probably occurs in vivo (seeds) but not in vitro (E. coli). This may represent one of only a few reports on the PTC termination suppression phenomenon in genes.

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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of maternal lead exposure on the learning and memory ability and expression of tau protein phosphorylation (P-tau) and beta amyloid protein (Aβ) in hippocampus of mice offspring. Pb exposure initiated from beginning of gestation to weaning. Pb acetate administered in drinking solutions was dissolved in distilled deionized water at the concentrations of 0.1%, 0.5% and 1% groups. On the 21 th of postnatal day, the learning and memory ability of the mouse pups was tested by Water Maze test and the Pb levels in blood and hippocampus of the offspring were also determined. The expression of P-tau and Aβ in hippocampus was measured by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. The Pb levels in blood and hippocampus of all exposure groups were significantly higher than that of the control group ( P < 0.05). In Water Maze test, the performances of 0.5% and 1% groups were worse than that of the control group ( P < 0.05). The expression of P-tau and Aβ was increased in Pb exposed groups than that of the control group ( P < 0.05). Tau hyper-phosphorylation and Aβ increase in the hippocampus of pups may contribute to the impairment of learning and memory associated with maternal Pb exposure.

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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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Waxy wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is grown throughout the world for its specific quality. Fertilization and planting density are two crucial factors that affect waxy wheat yield and photosynthetic capacity. The objectives of the research were to determine the effects of fertilization and planting density on photosynthetic characteristics, yield, and yield components of waxy wheat, including Yield, SSR, TGW, GNPP, GWPP, PH, HI, Pn, Gs, Ci, E and WUE using the method of field experiment, in which there were three levels (150, 300, and 450 kg ha−1) of fertilizer application rate and three levels (1.35, 1.8, and 2.25 × 106 plants ha−1) of planting density. The results suggested that photosynthetic characteristics, yield, and yield components had close relationship with fertilization levels and planting density. Under the same plant density, with the increase of fertilization, Yield, SSR, TGW, GNPP, GWPP, HI, Pn, Gs, E and WUE increased and then decreased, PH increased, but Ci decreased. Under the same fertilization, with the increase of plant density, Yield, SSR, TGW, GNPP, GWPP, HI increased and then decreased, PH, Pn, Gs and E increased, PH and WUE declined. The results also showed that F2 (300 kg ha−1) and D2 (1.8 × 106 plants ha−1) was a better match in this experiment, which could obtain a higher grain yield 4961.61 kg ha−1. Consequently, this combination of fertilizer application rate and plant densities are useful to get high yield of waxy wheat.

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