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Seed germination is a new beginning for the crop life cycle, which is closely related to seed sprouting and subsequent plant growth and development, and ultimately affects grain yield and quality. Salt stress is one of the most important abiotic stress factors that restrict crop production. Therefore, it is highly important to improve crop salt tolerance and sufficient utilization of saline-alkali land. In this study, we identified the phosphorylated proteins involved in salt stress response by combining SEM, 2-DE, Pro-Q Diamond staining and tandem mass spectrometry. The results showed that salt stress significantly inhibited seed germination and starch degradation. In total, 14 phosphorylated protein spots (11 unique proteins) in the embryo and 6 phosphorylated protein spots (4 unique proteins) in the endosperm were identified, which mainly involved in stress/defense, protein metabolism and energy metabolism. The phosphorylation of some proteins such as cold regulated proteins, 27K protein, EF-1β and superoxide dismutase could play important roles in salt stress tolerance.

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Eight cultivars of dry-land wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) historically planted in Shaanxi Province, China, were grown in plots with irrigation and drought treatments during the growing seasons of 2011–2014, so as to characterize the differences in the rate and duration of the grain-filling stage among cultivars. The experimental results showed no obvious change among cultivars with respect to the duration of the grain-filling stage and no significant correlation between duration and grain weight. The filling rates of all three phases (lag, linear, and mature periods) showed significant differences among cultivars and had a greater effect on the grain weight than the duration of the filling stage, even though drought decreased the filling rate in the linear and mature periods. A lower filling rate led to a lighter grain weight in inferior grains than in superior grains. For the superior and inferior grains in the central spikelets, modern cultivars possess faster filling rates, especially in the lag and linear periods, whereas for the whole spike, no significant trend with cultivar replacement was observed. Faster filling rates with stable filling durations will be beneficial in obtaining additional yield increases.

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Garlic is widely used as food flavouring, and China is the world's largest garlic producer and exporter. To develop a convenient technique for evaluation of garlic cultivars would be worthwhile, and it would have wide application in such a huge market. In this research, 3D front-face fluorescence data of 8 garlic cultivars were recorded, and independent component analysis was used to decompose the overall fluorescence spectra into six independent components. The first, second, and fourth independent components showed a big difference among the cultivars, and the chemical fluorophores behind these three components were specified as protein, vitamin B6, and ATP, respectively, as fluorescent markers for evaluation. The result showed that all 8 cultivars cluster separately. The cultivar “YNQJ” have the highest quality in terms of protein and vitamin B6, “NXYC” and “SDHB” have the highest content of ATP, while “SXXA” is the poorest in terms of protein and ATP, and “HNJZ” has the lowest content of vitamin B6. Therefore, rapid evaluation of garlic cultivars can be accomplished successfully by using only the proportion values of three properly selected fluorescent markers.

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Some wild species of the genus Oryza such as O. rufipogon and O. longistaminata show a high level of resistance to pests and diseases including rice blast (caused by Magnaporthe grisea). To transfer blast resistance from wild species into cultivatedvarieties (O. sativa), interspecific hybrids were produced and anther culture was used toaccelerate the procedure of resistance breeding. Anther culture efficiency depended onboth the medium and the genotype of the cultivated varieties and the wild species. Afterinoculation with a mixture of six strains with wide spectrum virulence, all the F1 hybridswere resistant to blast; the F2 plants segregated, from high resistance to susceptibility, anda similar result was obtained for the H1 and H2 plants. At the H3 stage, blast resistancetended to be stable and almost 100% of inoculated H5 plants were highly resistant to riceblast. For agronomic characteristics, the F2 and H1 showed segregation, but no significantdifferences were seen between the cultivated parents and the H2 to H5 generations. Theresults demonstrate that blast resistance genes can be transferred from wild rice speciesinto cultivated varieties through crossing and anther culture, and the H5 can be used asstable lines in future breeding programmes.

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In this paper, 633 species (involving 10 classes, 48 families, 205 genera) collected from the alpine meadow on the eastern Qinghai-Tibet plateau were studied. We tested potential factors affecting variation in mean germination time (MGT), i.e., plant traits (adult longevity, dispersal mode and seed size) or phylogeny, to evaluate if these factors were independent or they had interaction. Nested ANOVA showed that taxonomic membership accounted for the majority of MGT variation (70%), and in the generalized linear model, family membership could explain independently the largest proportion of MGT variation (29%). The strong taxonomic effect suggests that MGT variation within taxonomic membership is constrained. The other plant traits could also explain MGT variation independently (1% by adult longevity and dispersal mode, respectively, and 2% by seed size). Thus, the phylogeny was an important constraint to maintain the stability of species, and we could simplify the question if we regarded the phylogeny as an individual factor, but we could not negate the adaptive significance of the relationship between other plant traits and seed MGT. In addition, a large percentage of the variance remained unexplained by our model, thus important selective factors or parameters may have been left out of this analysis. We suggest that other possible correlates may exist between seed germination time and additional ecological factors (for example, altitude, habitat and post-dispersal predation) or phylogenetic related morphological and physiological seed attributes (e.g., endosperm mass) that were not evaluated in this study.

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Abstract

Soil moisture is a major driving force of plant community succession in restored meadows. Existing studies mainly focus on diversity-productivity relationships. However, studies which determine the effects of soil moisture on the plant community properties in restored meadows are lacking. In this study, we conducted a chronosequence analysis of the interactions between soil water content variation and plant community properties in meadows following passive restoration (3-, 5-, 9-, 14-, 17-, 21-year restoration) of abandoned farmlands on the Sanjiang Plain, China. Results showed that the plant community was characterized by ruderal plants in the initial year of succession, and then by perennial plants such as Calamagrostis angustifolia and Carex spp. in older restored meadows. Similarity of restored community to target site increased across succession time whereas species diversity gradually decreased. Plant height, coverage and biomass increased with restoration time, with plant density being the exception. The community height, coverage and root/shoot ratio were positively related to the water content in the surface soil layer (0–10 cm). Conversely, plant density was significantly and negatively related with soil moisture at 0–10 cm soil depth. Plant diversity (Shannon index, Richness index and evenness) was closely correlated to soil water content at the soil depth of 0–10 cm. Our findings indicate that vegetation of cultivated meadows could be effectively restored by passive restoration. Change of plant species diversity is an especially important response to hydrological recovery in restored meadows on the Sanjiang Plain.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: X. Zhang, Y. Chen, Y. Wei, W. Lu, H. Liao, Y. Liu, X. Yang, X. Li, L. Yang, L. Li, and R. Li

Partial abortion of gametes possessing S-5 j in S-5 i / S-5 j genotype at locus S-5 is responsible for hybrid sterility between indica and japonica subspecies in rice ( Oryza sativa L.), while a single wide compatibility (WC) allele S-5 n can restore normal hybrid fertility between the two groups. In this study, Pei’ai 64S, one of the most popular WC line widely used for subspecific hybrid rice breeding program in South China was studied for location of its S-5 locus. Twenty SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers derived from Cornell SSR linkage map and 9 developed using sequences from GenBank database were employed to perform bulked segregant analysis of the mapping population derived from a three-way cross (Pei’ai 64S/T8//Akihikari) to tag fine location of the hybrid sterility locus, S-5 . This S-5 locus was mapped on chromosome 6 approximately 0.2 cM from GXR6 and RM276 SSR markers. This tight linkage of the markers and the S-5 locus would be very useful for efficient marker-assisted selection for WC varieties and for map-based cloning of the gene.

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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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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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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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