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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: Y.P. Jing, D.T. Liu, X.R. Yu, F. Xiong, D.L. Li, Y.K. Zheng, Y.F. Hao, Y.J. Gu and Z. Wang

The objective of the present study was to understand the developmental regularity of wheat endosperm cells at different Days After Pollination (DAP) using microscopic and histochemical methods. Resin semi-thin sections of the endosperm and the enzymatically dissociated Starchy Endosperm Cells (SECs) were observed under a light microscope. The results showed that: (1) SECs were irregular-shaped and had two types of starch granules: large oval-shaped A-type starch granules and small spherical B-type starch granules. (2) The growth shape of SECs was referred to as S-curve and the fastest cell growth period was at 16–24 DAP. (3) The largest increase and growth of A-type starch granules were mainly at 4–16 DAP. B-type starch granules increased rapidly after 16 DAP and made up over 90% of the total starch granules in SEC during the late stage of endosperm development. (4) The nuclei of SEC deformed and degenerated during the middle and late stages of endosperm development and eventually disappeared. However, starch granules still increased and grew after the cell nuclei had degenerated. The investigations showed the development regularity of starch endosperm cells and starch granules, thereby improving the understanding of wheat endosperm development.

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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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This study was conducted to compare structural development and biochemical accumulation of waxy and non-waxy wheat (NW) caryopses. The caryopses’ microstructure of the waxy wheat (WW) and NW cultivars at different developmental stages were observed under light, fluorescence, and scanning electron microscope. The results were as follows: Compared with NW,WWhad a shorter maturation duration, which was reflected in several following characteristics. Programmed cell death of the pericarp began earlier, and the chlorophyll-containing layer in the pericarp was smaller. Vacuoles in chalazal cells accumulated more tannins at different developmental stages. Starch granules and protein bodies in the endosperm showed a higher accumulation level in developing caryopses, and aleurone cells were larger in size with larger numbers of aleurone grains. An analysis of the element content indicated that the mineral elements Mg, P, K, and Ca exhibited a higher content, while the heavy elements Cr, Cd, and Pb exhibited a lower content in the aleurone layer.

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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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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: B.L. Béres, N.Z. Lupwayi, F.J. Larney, B. Ellert, E.G. Smith, T.K. Turkington, D. Pageau, K. Semagn and Z. Wang

Research indicates that not all crops respond similarly to cropping diversity and the response of triticale (× Triticosecale ssp.) has not been documented. We investigated the effects of rotational diversity on cereals in cropping sequences with canola (Brassica napus L.), field pea (Pisum sativum L.), or an intercrop (triticale:field pea). Six crop rotations were established consisting of two, 2-yr low diversity rotations (LDR) (continuous triticale (T-T_LDR) and triticale-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) (T-W_LDR)); three, 2-yr moderate diversity rotations (MDR) (triticale-field pea (T-P_MDR), triticale-canola (T-C_MDR), and a triticale: field pea intercrop (T- in P_MDR)); and one, 3-yr high diversity rotation (HDR) (canola-triticale-field pea (C-T-P_HDR)). The study was established in Lethbridge, Alberta (irrigated and rainfed); Swift Current (rainfed) and Canora (rainfed), Saskatchewan, Canada; and carried out from 2008 to 2014. Triticale grain yield for the 3-yr HDR was superior over the LDR rotations and the MDR triticale-field pea system; however, results were similar for triticale-canola, and removal of canola from the system caused a yield drag in triticale. Triticale biomass was superior for the 3-yr HDR. Moreover, along with improved triticale grain yield, the 3-yr HDR provided greater yield stability across environments. High rotational diversity (C-T-P_HDR) resulted in the highest soil microbial community and soil carbon concentration, whereas continuous triticale provided the lowest. Net economic returns were also superior for C-T-P_HDR ($670 ha–1) and the lowest for T-W_LDR ($458 ha–1). Overall, triticale responded positively to increased rotational diversity and displayed greater stability with the inclusion of field pea, leading to improved profitability and sustainability of the system.

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It is well demonstrated that wheat-rye 1BL/1RS translocated chromosome leads to some valuable novel traits such as disease resistance, high yield and functional stay-green after anthesis. To understand the physiological mechanism of 1BL/1RS translocation responsible for osmotic stress, two wheat cultivars, CN12 and CN17, carrying the translocated chromosome and MY11 without the translocated chromosome were employed in the study. During 5-day osmotic stress, fresh weight inhibition, chlorophyll content, soluble protein content, MDA concentration, antioxidant enzymes activity and free polyamines content were examined. CN12 and CN17, especially cultivar CN17, registered greater biomass and minor oxidative damage compared with their wheat parent. Meanwhile, the concentration of Spd and Spm in CN17 was significantly higher than the others. In addition, we found a positive correlation of fresh weight inhibition (FWI) and Put concentration, and a negative one with the parameters (Spd + Spm): Put ratio, indicating the importance of higher polyamine (Spd and Spm) accumulation on the adaptation to osmotic stress. Therefore, we proposed that the accumulation of higher polyamines (Spd and Spm) should play an important role on the adaptation of 1BL/1RS translocation lines to osmotic stress and might be important factors for the origin of novel traits introduced by 1BL/1RS.

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Red coleoptile is an easily observed agronomic trait of wheat and has been extensively studied. However, the molecular mechanism of this trait has not yet been revealed. In this study, the MYB gene TaMYB-D1 was isolated from the wheat cultivar ‘Gy115’, which possesses red coleoptiles. This gene resided at the short arm of the homoelogous group 7 chromosomes. TaMYB-D1 was the only gene expressed in the coleoptiles of ‘Gy115’ and was not expressed in ‘Opata’ and ‘CS’, which have uncoloured coleoptiles. Phylogenetic analysis placed TaMYB-D1 very close to ZmC1 and other MYB proteins regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis. The encoded protein of TaMYB-D1 had an integrated DNA binding domain of 102 amino acids and a transcription domain with 42 amino acids, similar to the structure of ZmC1. Transient expression analysis in onion epidermal cells showed that TaMYB-D1 was located at the plant nucleus, which suggested its role as a transcription factor. The expression of TaMYB-D1 was accompanied with the expression of TaDFR and anthocyanin biosynthesis in the development of the coleoptile of ‘Gy115’. Transient expression analysis showed that only TaMYB-D1 induced a few ‘Opata’ coleoptile cells to synthesize anthocyanin in light, and the gene also induced a colour change to red in many cells with the help of ZmR. All of these results suggested TaMYB-D1 as the candidate gene for the red coleoptile trait of ‘Gy115’.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: J. Yao, F. Wang, L. Tian, Y. Zhou, H. Chen, K. Chen, N. Gai, R. Zhuang, T. Maskow, B. Ceccanti and G. Zaray

Abstract  

Using TAM III multi-channel calorimetry combined with direct microorganism counting (bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi) under laboratory conditions, we determined the microbial population count, resistance and activity toward cadmium (Cd(II)) and hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) toxicity in soil. The thermokinetic parameters, which can represent soil microbial activity, were calculated from power-time curves of soil microbial activity obtained by microcalorimetric measurement. Simultaneous application of the two methods showed that growth rate constant (k), peak-heat output power (P max) and the number of living microorganisms decreased with increasing concentration of Cd and Cr. The accumulation of Cr on E. coli was conducted by HPLC-ICP-MS. Cr6+ accumulation by Escherichia coli was increased steadily with increasing Cr6+ concentration. The results revealed that the change in some thermo-kinetic parameters could have good corresponding relationship with metal accumulation. Our work also suggests that microcalorimetry is a fast, simple, more sensitive, on-line and in vitro method that can be easily performed to study the toxicity of different species of heavy metals on microorganism compared to other biological methods, and can combine with other analytic methods to study the interaction mechanism between environmental toxicants and microbes.

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Abstract

Although the use of aspirin has substantially reduced the risks of cardiovascular events and death, its potential mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. In a previous study, we found that aspirin triggers cellular autophagy. In the present study, we aimed to determine the protective effects of aspirin on human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) and explore its underlying mechanisms. HCAECs were treated with oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL), angiotensin II (Ang-II), or high glucose (HG) with or without aspirin stimulation. The expression levels of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS), p-eNOS, LC3, p62, phosphor-nuclear factor kappa B (p-NF-κB), p-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p-p38 MAPK), and Beclin-1 were detected via immunoblotting analysis. Concentrations of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) were measured via ELISA. NO levels were determined using the Griess reagent. Autophagic flux was tracked by tandem mRFP-GFP-tagged LC3. Results showed that aspirin increased eNOS level and reduced injury to the endothelial cells (ECs) caused by ox-LDL, Ang-II, and HG treatment in a dose-dependent manner. Aspirin also increased the LC3II/LC3I ratio, decreased p62 expression, and enhanced autophagic flux (autophagosome and autolysosome puncta) in the HCAECs. p-NF-κB and p-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibition, sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 secretion, and eNOS activity promotion by aspirin treatment were found to be dependent on Beclin-1. These results suggested that aspirin can protect ECs from ox-LDL-, Ang-II-, and HG-induced injury by activating autophagy in a Beclin-1-dependent manner.

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