Nickel Toxicity Induced Changes in Nutrient Dynamics and Antioxidant Profiling in Two Maize (Zea mays L.) Hybrids.
ABSTRACT: Abstract: Nickel (Ni) is among the essential micronutrient heavy metals utilized by plants. However, an elevated level of Ni causes serious concerns for plants' physiology and their survival. This study evaluated the mechanisms influencing the growth, physiology, and nutrient dynamics in two commercial maize hybrids (Syngenta and Pioneer) exposed to Ni treatments in hydroponics nutrient solution (NS). Seedlings were raised in plastic trays with quartz sand, and subsequently transferred to Hoagland's NS at the two leaves stage. After three days of transplantation, Ni levels of 0, 20, and 40 mg L-1 were maintained in the nutrient solution. After 30 days of Ni treatments, seedlings were harvested and different growth, physiological, and nutrient concentrations were determined. The results showed that with increasing Ni concentration, the growth of maize hybrids was significantly reduced, and the maize hybrid, Pioneer, showed significantly higher growth than that of Syngenta at all levels of Ni. Higher growth in Pioneer is ascribed to elevated levels of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, GR, APX, and POX), lower damage to cellular membranes (i.e., higher MSI and lower MDA), and higher tissue nutrient concentrations (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu). Furthermore, the maize hybrids showed a difference in nutrient translocation from root to shoot which could be one of the factors responsible for differential response of these hybrids against Ni treatments.
Project description:A few breeding companies dominate the maize (Zea mays L.) hybrid market in Brazil: Monsanto® (35%), DuPont Pioneer® (30%), Dow Agrosciences® (15%), Syngenta® (10%) and Helix Sementes (4%). Therefore, it is important to monitor the genetic diversity in commercial germplasms as breeding practices, registration and marketing of new cultivars can lead to a significant reduction of the genetic diversity. Reduced genetic variation may lead to crop vulnerabilities, food insecurity and limited genetic gains following selection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the genetic vulnerability risk by examining the relationship between the commercial Brazilian maize germplasms and the Nested Association Mapping (NAM) Parents. For this purpose, we used the commercial hybrids with the largest market share in Brazil and the NAM parents. The hybrids were genotyped for 768 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), using the Illumina Goldengate® platform. The NAM parent genomic data, comprising 1,536 SNPs for each line, were obtained from the Panzea data bank. The population structure, genetic diversity and the correlation between allele frequencies were analyzed. Based on the estimated effective population size and genetic variability, it was found that there is a low risk of genetic vulnerability in the commercial Brazilian maize germplasms. However, the genetic diversity is lower than those found in the NAM parents. Furthermore, the Brazilian germplasms presented no close relations with most NAM parents, except B73. This indicates that B73, or its heterotic group (Iowa Stiff Stalk Synthetic), contributed to the development of the commercial Brazilian germplasms.
Project description:Fusarium graminearum seedling blight is a common disease of maize (Zea mays). Development of genetic resistance to seedling blight in maize germplasm requires efficient and accurate quantitative assessment of disease severity. Through artificial inoculation experiments under controlled growth conditions, we determined that host genotype, pathogen genotype, and infection dose influence the extent to which F. graminearum induces shoot elongation and inhibits root growth in maize seedlings. A comparison of 15 maize inbred lines showed independent variation of these two fungus-induced effects on seedling growth. In a broader survey with nine commercial maize hybrids and three field-collected fungal isolates, there was significant correlation between these seedling growth responses, as well as with later seedling blight severity. Analysis of variance suggested that this variation and the observed correlative relationships were primarily driven by differing pathogenicity of the three fungal isolates. Together, our results indicate that F. graminearum-induced shoot elongation and root reduction in maize seedlings have distinct underlying physiological mechanisms, and that early observations of seedling growth responses can serve as a proxy for investigating natural variation in host resistance and pathogen aggressiveness at later growth stages.
Project description:Among the mineral elements necessary for plant growth, nitrogen (N) is the macronutrient required in larger amounts. Maize genotypic-specific responses to N shortage could provide more information useful to improve NUE. Overall design: Maize (Zea mays L.) seeds of two inbred lines (Lo5 and T250) previously soaked in water for 24 h, were allowed to germinate in the dark at 26°C for 4d. The seedlings were then transferred in pots containing 2.2 L of 0.5 mM CaSO4 aerated solution for 48h in controlled climatic conditions. After this period, seedlings were subsequently grown for other 4d using a nutrient solution (NS) without N. Three biological replicates were obtained repeating three independent times the growth experiment. For each experiment and both for Lo5 and T250 lines root samples were obtained pooling the roots of three seedlings collected after 0, 1 and 4d of growth without N.
Project description:Eucalyptus obliqua, the most widespread timber tree in Tasmania, is a pioneer after fire which can eliminate the organic layer of forest soil, exposing the underlying mineral soil. We compared seedling growth, mycorrhiza formation, and mineral nutrient limitation in organic layer vs. mineral soil. We grew E. obliqua seedlings separately in pots of organic layer and mineral soil in a glasshouse. Additional treatments of organic soil only, involved fully crossed methyl-bromide fumigation and fertilization. Fertilization comprised chelated iron for 121 days after transplant (DAT) followed by soluble phosphorus. At 357 DAT, whole plant dry weight was three times greater in ambient organic than in mineral soil. In organic soil, fumigation halved ectomycorrhiza abundance and reduced seedling growth at 149 DAT, but by 357 DAT when negative effects of fumigation on seedling growth had disappeared, neither fumigation nor fertilization affected mycorrhiza abundance. Iron fertilization diminished seedling growth, but subsequent phosphorus fertilization improved it. E. obliqua seedlings grow much better in organic layer soil than in mineral soil, although phosphorus remains limiting. The prevalent forestry practice of burning to mineral soil after timber harvest exposes a poor growth medium likely only partially compensated by fire-induced mineral soil alterations.
Project description:Hybrid fitness is an important parameter to predict the evolutionary consequences of a hybridization event and to characterize hybrid zones. We studied fitness parameters of F1 and later-generation hybrids between the lowland species Salix purpurea and the alpine S. helvetica that have recently emerged during colonization of an alpine glacier forefield. Fruit production (number of capsules per catkin and fruit set) did not differ between hybrids and parents, but the number of seeds per capsule of F1 hybrids was slightly lower than that of later-generation hybrids and of the parents. Germination rates and seedling growth were tested on three substrates (pH 4.5, 7.0, and 8.0). Germination rates of seeds collected from F1 hybrids were lower on acid and neutral substrates, but equal at pH 8.0 compared to all other groups, while the seeds from later-generation hybrids performed as well as the parents on all three substrates. In seedling growth, the colonizer S. purpurea performed better than all other taxa on all three substrates, while hybrids resembled the subalpine species S. helvetica. Results suggest that endogenous selection acts against F1 hybrids, but favors fitter genotypes in later-generation hybrids. Exogenous selection via soil pH appears to be weak during seedling establishment. The pioneer vegetation on the glacier forefield may offer sufficient niche space for hybrid seedlings. Owing to the relatively high fitness of the hybrids and the scattered distribution of hybrids and parental individuals on the glacier forefield, this hybrid zone can be assigned to a mosaic model, probably facilitating gene flow and introgression between the parental species. As establishment of the hybrid zone appears to be linked to a colonization process, we propose to call it a pioneer mosaic hybrid zone.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Drought is one of the major factors limiting global maize production. Exposure to long-term drought conditions inhibits growth and leads to yield losses. Although several drought-responsive genes have been identified and functionally analyzed, the mechanisms underlying responses to drought and water recovery treatments have not been fully elucidated. To characterize how maize seedling respond to drought stress at the transcriptional level, we analyzed physiological responses and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the inbred line B73 under water deficit and recovery conditions. RESULTS:The data for relative leaf water content, leaf size, and photosynthesis-related parameters indicated that drought stress significantly repressed maize seedling growth. Further RNA sequencing analysis revealed that 6107 DEGs were responsive to drought stress and water recovery, with more down-regulated than up-regulated genes. Among the DEGs, the photosynthesis- and hormone-related genes were enriched in responses to drought stress and re-watering. Additionally, transcription factor genes from 37 families were differentially expressed among the three analyzed time-points. Gene ontology enrichment analyses of the DEGs indicated that 50 GO terms, including those related to photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, oxidoreductase activities, nutrient metabolism and other drought-responsive pathways, were over-represented in the drought-treated seedlings. The content of gibberellin in drought treatment seedlings was decreased compared to that of control seedlings, while abscisic acid showed accumulated in the drought treated plants. The deep analysis of DEGs related to cell wall development indicated that these genes were prone to be down-regulated at drought treatment stage. CONCLUSIONS:Many genes that are differentially expressed in responses to drought stress and water recovery conditions affect photosynthetic systems and hormone biosynthesis. The identified DEGs, especially those encoding transcription factors, represent potential targets for developing drought-tolerant maize lines.
Project description:Maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids varying in drought tolerance were treated with water stress in controlled environments. Experiments were performed during vegetative growth and water was withheld for 19 days beginning 17 days after sowing. Genotypic comparisons used measured changes of leaf water potential or results were expressed by time of treatment. Total dry matter of the drought tolerant hybrid on the final harvest was 53% less than that of the intermediate and susceptible maize hybrids when plants were water sufficient. This showed that maize hybrids selected for extreme drought tolerance possessed a dwarf phenotype that affected soil water contents and leaf water potentials. Changes of shoot and root growth, leaf water potential, net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance in response to the time of water stress treatment were diminished when comparing the drought tolerant to the intermediate or susceptible maize hybrids. Genotypic differences were observed in 26 of 40 total foliar metabolites during water stress treatments. Hierarchical clustering revealed that the tolerant maize hybrid initiated the accumulation of stress related metabolites at higher leaf water potentials than either the susceptible or intermediate hybrids. Opposite results occurred when changes of metabolites in maize leaves were expressed temporally. The above results demonstrated that genotypic differences were readily observed by comparing maize hybrids differing in drought tolerance based on either time of treatment or measured leaf water potential. Current findings provided new and potentially important insights into the mechanisms of drought tolerance in maize.
Project description:Biocontrol agents isolated outside Africa have performed inconsistently under field conditions in Africa. The development of indigenous phytobeneficial microbial strains that suit local environments may help enhance competitiveness with in situ microorganisms and effectiveness at suppressing local pathogen strains. We isolated bacteria from the rhizosphere of maize growing in southwestern Nigeria and assessed them for growth-promoting characteristics. The best isolates were characterized using 16S rRNA genes and were further evaluated in the greenhouse on maize seedlings. Four isolates (EBS8, IGBR11, EPR2, and ADS14) were outstanding in in vitro assays of antagonistic activity against a local strain of Fusarium verticillioides, phosphate solubilization efficiency, chitinase enzyme activity, and indole-3-acetic acid production. Inoculation of maize seeds with these isolates resulted in ?95% maize seed germination and significantly enhanced radicle and plumule length. In the greenhouse, maize seedling height, stem girth, number of leaves, leaf area, shoot mass (dry matter), and nutrient contents were significantly enhanced. The bioprotectant and phytobeneficial effects were strongest and most consistent for isolate EBS8, which was identified as a Bacillus strain by 16S rRNA gene analysis. As a bacterial strain that exhibits multiple growth-promoting characteristics and is adapted to local conditions, EBS8 should be considered for the development of indigenous biological fertilizer treatments.
Project description:Calcareous soils are characterized by low nutrient contents, high bicarbonate (HCO3-) content, and high alkalinity. The effects of HCO3- addition under zinc-sufficient (+Zn) and zinc-deficient (-Zn) conditions on the growth and photosynthetic characteristics of seedlings of two Moraceae species (Broussonetia papyrifera and Morus alba) and two Brassicaceae species (Orychophragmus violaceus and Brassica napus) were investigated. These four species were hydroponically grown in nutrient solution with 0 mM Zn (-Zn) or 0.02 mM Zn (+Zn) and 0 mM or 10 mM HCO3-. The photosynthetic response to HCO3- treatment, Zn deficiency, or both varied according to plant species. Of the four species, Broussonetia papyrifera showed the best adaptability to Zn deficiency for both the 0 mM and 10 mM HCO3- treatments due to its strong growth and minimal inhibition of photosynthesis and photosystem II (PS II). Brassica napus was sensitive to Zn deficiency, HCO3- treatment, or both as evidenced by the considerable inhibition of photosynthesis and high PS II activity. The results indicated different responses of various plant species to Zn deficiency and excess HCO3-. Broussonetia papyrifera was shown to have potential as a pioneer species in karst regions.
Project description:Background:Deterioration of the ecological environment in recent years has led to increasing soil salinization, which severely affects the cultivation of agricultural crops. While research has focused on improving soil environment through the application of pollution-free microbial fertilizers, there are relatively few plant growth-promoting bacteria suitable for saline-alkali environments. Although Klebsiella variicola can adapt to saline-alkali environments to successfully colonize rhizosphere microenvironments, only a few studies have investigated its role in promoting crop growth. Its effect on the crop rhizosphere soil microenvironment is especially unclear. Methods:In this study, the biological function of K. variicola and its colonization in maize seedling rhizosphere soil were studied in detail through selective media and ultraviolet spectrophotometry. The effects of K. variicola on the rhizosphere soil microenvironment and the growth of maize seedlings in saline-alkali and neutral soils were systematically analysed using the colorimetric method, the potassium dichromate volumetric method, and the diffusion absorption method. Results:Our results showed that K. variicola played a role in indole acetic acid, acetoin, ammonia, phosphorus, and potassium production, as well as in nitrogen fixation. A high level of colonization was observed in the rhizosphere soil of maize seedlings. Following the application of K. variicola in neutral and saline-alkali soils, the nutrient composition of rhizosphere soil of maize seedlings increased in varying degrees, more notably in saline-alkali soil. The content of organic matter, alkali-hydrolysable nitrogen, available phosphorus, available potassium, alkaline phosphatase, sucrase, urease, and catalase increased by 64.22%, 117.39%, 175.64%, 28.63%, 146.08%, 76.77%, 86.60%, and 45.29%, respectively, insaline-alkalisoil. Conclusion:K.variicola, therefore, performed a variety of biological functions to promote the growth of maize seedlings and effectively improve the level of soil nutrients and enzymes in the rhizosphere of maize seedlings, undersaline-alkali stress conditions. It played an important role in enhancing the rhizosphere microenvironment of maize seedlings under saline-alkali stress.