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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of endophytic fungi from tartary buckwheat on the host sprout growth and functional metabolite production. Without obvious changes in the appearance of the sprouts, the exogenous fungal mycelia elicitors notably stimulated the sprout growth and rutin accumulation, and the stimulation effect was mainly depended on the mycelia elicitor species along with its treatment dose. Three endophytic fungi Fat6 (Bionectria pityrodes), Fat9 (Fusarium oxysporum) and Fat15 (Alternaria sp.) were screened to be the most effective candidates for promoting F. tataricum sprout growth and rutin production. With application of polysaccharide (PS, 150 mg/l) of endophyte Fat6, PS (200 mg/l) of endophyte Fat9, and PS (150 mg/l) of endophyte Fat15, the rutin yield was effectively increased to 47.89 mg/(100 sprouts), 45.85 mg/(100 sprouts) and 46.83 mg/(100 sprouts), respectively. That was about 1.5- to 1.6-fold compared to the control culture of 29.37 mg/(100 sprouts). Furthermore, the present study revealed that the biosynthesis of the functional flavonoid resulted from the stimulation of the phenylpropanoid pathway by mycelia polysaccharide treatments. Application of specific fungal elicitors could be an efficient strategy for improving the nutritional and functional quality of tartary buckwheat sprouts.

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This study was to examine the effects of four fungal polysaccharides, namely exo-polysaccharide (EPS), water-extracted mycelia polysaccharide (WPS), sodium hydroxideextracted mycelia polysaccharide (SPS), and hydrochloric-extracted mycelia polysaccharide (APS) obtained from the endophytic fungus Bionectra pityrodes Fat6, on the sprout growth and flavonoids production of Fagopyrum tataricum. Without obvious changes in the appearance of the sprouts, the exogenous polysaccharide elicitors notably stimulated the sprout growth and functional metabolites accumulation, and the stimulation effect was mainly depended on the polysaccharide species along with its treatment dose. With application of 150 mg/l of EPS, 150 mg/l of WPS and 200 mg/l of SPS, the total rutin and quercetin yield of buckwheat sprouts was effectively increased to 49.18 mg/(100 sprouts), 50.54 mg/(100 sprouts), and 52.27 mg/(100 sprouts), respectively. That was about 1.57- to 1.66-fold in comparison with the control culture of 31.40 mg/(100 sprouts). Moreover, the present study revealed the accumulation of bioactive flavonoids resulted from the stimulation of the phenylpropanoid pathway by fungal polysaccharide treatments. It could be an efficient strategy for improving the nutritional and functional quality of tartary buckwheat sprouts applied with specific fungal elicitors.

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Barley yellow dwarf virus-GAV (BYDV-GAV) is one of the most serious viruses on wheat in China. In this study, five BYDV-GAV isolates collected from five regions in Northwestern China were sequenced. The complete genome sequences generated in this study along with nine genome sequences of BYDV-GAV isolates available in GeneBank were compared and analyzed. The comparative analysis indicated that the complete genomes of BYDV-GAV showed a low level of genetic diversity with nucleotide sequence identities ranging between 97.0% and 99.7%, and the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene (ORF1 + ORF2) was the most variable within the complete genome. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the BYDV-GAV isolates in Northwestern China could be divided into two groups. In addition, two potential recombination events were detected among the 14 BYDV-GAV isolates. This study provided a detailed description of molecular characterization of BYDV-GAV in Northwestern China based on the complete genome sequences, which increased the understanding of genetic diversity of barley yellow dwarf viruses.

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Lipopolysaccharide and b-1,3-glucan binding protein (LGBP) is a pattern recognition receptor that can recognize and bind LPS and b-1,3-glucan. LGBP has crucial roles in innate immune defense against Gram-negative bacteria and fungi. In this study, LGBP functions in Portunus trituberculatus innate immunity were analyzed. First, the mRNA expression of PtLGBP in hemocytes, hepatopancreas, and muscle toward three typical pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) stimulations were examined using real-time PCR. Results show that the overall trend of relative expressions of the LGBP gene in three tissues is consistent, showing up-down trend. In each group, the highest expression of the LGBP gene was at 3 and 12 h post-injection. The LGBP gene is also expressed significantly higher in the hemocytes and hepatopancreas than in the muscle. The highest level of LGBP was in the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and glucan-injected group, whereas the lowest level was in the PGN-injected group. Furthermore, bacterial agglutination assay with polyclonal antibody specifically for PtLGBP proved that the recombinant PtLGBP (designated as rPtLGBP) could exhibit obvious agglutination activity toward Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and V. alginolyticus; Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis; and fungi Saccharomyces cerevisiae. LGBP in Portunus trituberculatus possibly served as a multi-functional PRR. In addition, LGBP is not only involved in the immune response against Gram-negative and fungi, as manifested in other invertebrates, but also has a significant role in anti-Gram-positive bacteria infection.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: W. Xue, A. Gianinetti, Y. Jiang, Z. Zhan, L. Kuang, G. Zhao, J. Yan, and J. Cheng

The cereal endosperm provides nutrients for seedling growth. The effects of seed components in seedling establishments under salt stress are, however, not yet fully explored. In this study, 60 barley recombinant inbred lines derived from Lewis × Karl cross were grown in four different environments, and the seed contents of starch, total soluble protein, phytate, total phenolics, total flavonoids and total inorganic phosphorus were determined in the harvested grains. Seeds of each line from the four environments were also assayed for seedling growth under saline treatments from 0 to 400 mM NaCl. Root and shoot lengths after 7 days decreased with increasing salt concentration. Correlations between seed components and either root or shoot length were established across the four seed sources. ANOVA showed a significant environment/source effect for both seed components and seedling growth, although the latter was less affected by the seed-production environment. Modeling seedling length across multiple salinities for each seed source showed that the environment with the most saline-tolerant root-growth curve was that associated the highest seed phosphorus content. Correlations between seed components and seedling growth traits highlighted phytate and total inorganic phosphorus as key components for seedling growth under moderate salinities. Seed phytate contents benefited seedling growth, even at high salinities, suggesting an additional role for this seed component under stressful growth conditions, possibly linked to its potential function as an osmolyte source.

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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: H.Q. Zhao, L. Wang, J. Hong, X.Y. Zhao, X.H. Yu, L. Sheng, C.Z. Hang, Y. Zhao, A.A. Lin, W.H. Si, and F.S. Hong

Salt stress impaired Mn imbalance and resulted in accumulation of ROS, and caused oxidative stress to plants. However, very little is known about the oxidative damage of maize roots caused by exposure to a combination of both salt stress and Mn deprivation. Thus the main aim of this study was to determine the effects of a combination of salt stress and Mn deprivation on antioxidative defense system in maize roots. Maize plants were cultivated in Hoagland’s media. They were subjected to 80 mM NaCl administered in the Mn-present Hoagland’s or Mn-deficient Hoagland’s media for 14 days. The findings indicated that the growth and root activity of maize seedlings cultivated in a combination of both salt stress and Mn deprivation were significantly inhibited; the compatible solute accumulation, malondialdehyde, carbonyl, 8-OHdG, and ROS were higher than those of the individual salt stress or Mn deprivation as expected. Nevertheless, the antioxidative enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase and antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, glutathione and thiol were lower than those of the individual salt stress or Mn deprivation. In view of the fact that salt stress impaired Mn nutrition of maize seedlings, the findings suggested that Mn deprivation at the cellular level may be a contributory factor to salt-induced oxidative stress and related oxidative damage of maize roots.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: H.Y. Li, Z.L. Li, X.X. Zeng, L.B. Zhao, G. Chen, C.L. Kou, S.Z. Ning, Z.W. Yuan, Y.L. Zheng, D.C. Liu, and L.Q. Zhang

High-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GSs) are important seed storage proteins associated with bread-making quality in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L., 2n = 6x = 42, AABBDD). Variation in the Glu-A1x locus in common wheat is scare. Diploid Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum (2n = 2x = 14, AmAm) is the first cultivated wheat. In the present study, allelic variations at the Glu-A1 m x locus were systematically investigated in 197 T. monococcum ssp. monococcum accessions. Out of the 8 detected Glu-A1 m x alleles, 5 were novel, including Glu-A1 m-b, Glu-A1 m-c, Glu-A1 m-d, Glu-A1 m-g, and Glu-A1 m-h. This diversity is higher than that of common wheat. Compared with 1Ax1 and 1Ax2*, which are present in common wheat, these alleles contained three deletions/insertions as well as some single nucleotide polymorphism variations that might affect the elastic properties of wheat flour. New variations in T. monococcum probably occurred after the divergence between A and Am and are excluded in common wheat populations. These allelic variations could be used as novel resources to further improve wheat quality.

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Physiological male sterility induced by the chemical hybridizing agent (CHA) overcomes problems of maintenance of sterile lines and restorers. However, the mechanism of sterility is unclear. The process of tapetum of CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’ at uninucleate, binucleate and trinucleate were compared with control to determine if tapetum varying differently during developmental stages. Tapetal degradation in CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’ began at late uninucleate stage, somewhat earlier than control plants. Cytological observations indicated that the gradual degradation of the tapetum in CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’ was initiated and terminated earlier than in the control. These findings implied that CHA-induced male sterility was related to abnormally early tapetal degradation. In order to indicate the role of the SKP1 gene in fertility/sterility in wheat, its expression was assessed in anthers at uninucleate, binucleate and trinucleate stages. SKP1 expression was reduced in the later developmental stages, and there was an obvious decrease from the uninucleate to trinucleate stages. Higher expression of the SKP1 gene occurred in ‘Xi’nong 2611’ compared to CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’. This implied that SKP1 gene expression was inhibited during the fertility transformation process and was related to transformation from fertility to sterility. Moreover, the results from this study suggest that SKP1 plays an essential role of conducting fertility in physiological male sterility.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: N. Zhang, R.Q. Pan, J.J. Liu, X.L. Zhang, Q.N. Su, F. Cui, C.H. Zhao, L.Q. Song, J. Ji, and J.M. Li

Plants with deficiency in Gibberellins (GAs) biosynthesis pathway are sensitive to exogenous GA3, while those with deficiency in GAs signaling pathway are insensitive to exogenous GA3. Thus, exogenous GA3 test is often used to verify whether the reduced height (Rht) gene is involved in GAs biosynthesis or signaling pathway. In the present study, we identified the genetic factors responsive to exogenous GA3 at the seedling stage of common wheat and analyzed the response of the plant height related quantitative trait loci (QTL) to GA3 to understand the GAs pathways the Rht participated in. Recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between KN9204 and J411 with different response to exogenous GA3 were used to screen QTL for the sensitivity of coleoptile length (SCL) and the sensitivity of seedling plant height (SSPH) to exogenous GA3. Two additive QTL and two pairs of epistatic QTL for SCL were identified, meanwhile, two additive QTL and three pairs of epistatic QTL for SSPH were detected. For the adult plant height (PH) investigated in two environments, six additive QTL were identified. Three QTL qScl-4B, qSsph-4B and qPh-4B were mapped in one cluster near the functional marker Rht-B1b. When PH were conditional on SSPH, the absolute additive effect value of qPh-4B and qPh-6B were reduced, suggesting that the Rhts in both two QTL were insensitive to exogenous GA3, while the additive effect values of qPh-2B, qPh-3A, qPh-3D and qPh-5A were not significantly changed, indicating that the Rhts in these QTL were sensitive to exogenous GA3, or they were not expressed at the seedling stage.

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