Project description:Monotropa hypopitys (pinesap) is a non-photosynthetic obligately mycoheterotrophic plant of the family Ericaceae. It obtains the carbon and other nutrients from the roots of surrounding autotrophic trees through the associated mycorrhizal fungi. In order to understand the evolutionary changes in the plant genome associated with transition to a heterotrophic lifestyle, we performed de novo transcriptomic analysis of M. hypopitys using next-generation sequencing. We obtained the RNA-Seq data from flowers, flower bracts and roots with haustoria using Illumina HiSeq2500 platform. The raw data obtained in this study can be available in NCBI SRA database with accession number of SRP069226. A total of 10.3 GB raw sequence data were obtained, corresponding to 103,357,809 raw reads. A total of 103,025,683 reads were filtered after removing low-quality reads and trimming the adapter sequences. The Trinity program was used to de novo assemble 98,349 unigens with an N50 of 1342 bp. Using the TransDecoder program, we predicted 43,505 putative proteins. 38,416 unigenes were annotated in the Swiss-Prot protein sequence database using BLASTX. The obtained transcriptomic data will be useful for further studies of the evolution of plant genomes upon transition to a non-photosynthetic lifestyle and the loss of photosynthesis-related functions.
Project description:Oroxylum indicum (L.) Benth. ex Kurz or Pheka, is a plant in the Bignoniaceae family with various traditional uses. The mature fruits promote anti-helminthic and stomachic effects, while the seeds have been used as a purgative and for the relief of tonsil pain. The young fruits are popularly consumed as vegetables, while the seeds are one of the components in traditional drink formulations. To develop new plant raw material sources, a plant tissue culture technique was used to generate plant tissue cultured samples from the seeds of O. indicum. Plant tissue cultured samples were collected from three different growth stages; 4 days, then at 3 and 9 weeks, and prepared as crude extracts by maceration with ethanol, along with the seed raw material sample. A high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method was used for quantitative analysis of the contents of the three major flavones; baicalin, baicalein, and chrysin in the extracts from the seeds and plant tissue cultured samples of this plant. Baicalin was found in the highest amount among these three flavones in all extracts. The seed extract contained the highest baicalin content (24.24% w/w in the extract), followed by the shoot extract from tissue-cultured plant at week 3 (14.78% w/w of the extract). The amounts of chrysin in all O. indicum showed the same trend as the contents of baicalin, but the amounts were lower, while baicalein was accumulated at the lowest amount among three flavonoids and the amounts were quite stable in all O. indicum extracts. From the results, O. indicum seed and plant tissue cultured extracts have potential as sources of flavones, which could be further developed as health products in the future.
Project description:Bamboos, regarded as therapeutic agents in ethnomedicine, have been used to inhibit inflammation and enhance natural immunity for a long time in Asia, and there are many bamboo associated fungi with medical and edible value. In the present study, a total of 350 fungal strains were isolated from the uncommon moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) seeds for the first time. The molecular diversity of these endophytic fungi was investigated and bioactive compound producers were screened for the first time. All the fungal endophytes were categorized into 69 morphotypes according to culturable characteristics and their internal transcriber spacer (ITS) regions were analyzed by BLAST search with the NCBI database. The fungal isolates showed high diversity and were divided in Ascomycota (98.0%) and Basidiomycota (2.0%), including at least 19 genera in nine orders. Four particular genera were considered to be newly recorded bambusicolous fungi, including Leptosphaerulina, Simplicillium, Sebacina and an unknown genus in Basidiomycetes. Furthermore, inhibitory effects against clinical pathogens and phytopathogens were screened preliminarily and strains B09 (Cladosporium sp.), B34 (Curvularia sp.), B35 (undefined genus 1), B38 (Penicillium sp.) and zzz816 (Shiraia sp.) displayed broad-spectrum activity against clinical bacteria and yeasts by the agar diffusion method. The crude extracts of isolates B09, B34, B35, B38 and zzz816 under submerged fermentation, also demonstrated various levels of bioactivities against bambusicolous pathogenic fungi. This study is the first report on the antimicrobial activity of endophytic fungi associated with moso bamboo seeds, and the results show that they could be exploited as a potential source of bioactive compounds and plant defense activators. In addition, it is the first time that strains of Shiraia sp. have been isolated and cultured from moso bamboo seeds, and one of them (zzz816) could produce hypocrellin A at high yield, which is significantly different from the other strains published.
Project description:Broomrapes (Orobanche and Phelipanche spp) are parasitic plants responsible for important crop losses, and efficient procedures to control these pests are scarce. Biological control is one of the possible strategies to tackle these pests. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are widespread soil microorganisms that live symbiotically with the roots of most plant species, and they have already been tested on sorghum for their ability to reduce infestation by witchweeds, another kind of parasitic plants. In this work AM fungi were evaluated as potential biocontrol agents against Orobanche cumana, a broomrape species that specifically attacks sunflower. When inoculated simultaneously with O. cumana seeds, AM fungi could offer a moderate level of protection against the broomrape. Interestingly, this protection did not only rely on a reduced production of parasitic seed germination stimulants, as was proposed in previous studies. Rather, mycorrhizal root exudates had a negative impact on the germination of O. cumana induced by germination stimulants. A similar effect could be obtained with AM spore exudates, establishing the fungal origin of at least part of the active compounds. Together, our results demonstrate that AM fungi themselves can lead to a reduced rate of parasitic seed germination, in addition to possible effects mediated by the mycorrhizal plant. Combined with the other benefits of AM symbiosis, these effects make AM fungi an attractive option for biological control of O. cumana.
Project description:: Seed-borne fungi in 69 sunflower cultivars were evaluated which comprised 52 confectionery and 17 oilseed types. Seed coats were placed on both NP-10 (Nonylphenol Ethoxylate based surfacant -10) and potato dextrose agar (PDA) media to culture fungi. The rate of contamination among the different varieties was calculated by counting seed coats with fungal colonies. The rate of contamination in the confectionary group (88%) was significantly (p ? 0.05) higher than in the oilseed group (71%). Of the 52 confectionery varieties, the dominant fungi recovered were Verticillium dahliae along with Alternaria spp., Fusarium spp., and Rhizopus spp., whereas the oilseed type varieties were contaminated with only V. dahliae. Molecular identification of fungal species via BLAST (Basic Alignment Search Tool) was performed on fungal sequences obtained from PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) analysis. The results included five Alternaria spp. that included Alternaria tenuissima, Alternaria alternata, Alternaria helianthiinficiens, Alternaria longipes, and Alternaria tamaricis, three Fusarium spp. such as Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium incarnatum, and Fusarium proliferatum, and V. dahliae and Cladosporium cladosporioides. These were identified from pure fungal cultures recovered from seed coats. To efficiently control seed-borne fungi, four broad spectrum fungicides (carbendazim, triadimefon, caprio F-500, and flusilazole) were screened against V. dahliae isolate Gn3, which was isolated from a diseased LD 5009 sunflower plant. Flusilazole was selected based on its low half-maximal effective concentration value (EC50), 78.7 µg/mL. Seeds of diseased LD 5009 plants obtained from two different locations treated with formulated flusilazole fungicide at optimum parameters showed a significant (p ? 0.05) increase in seed germination and a decrease in contamination rate from 98% to less than 10%. The results affirmed that confectionery cultivars are much more susceptible to fungal contamination than oilseeds, and also that seed pretreatment is a suitable way to prevent the spread of soil- and seed-borne fungi in sunflower production.
Project description:In the current study, a total of 70 fungi were isolated from the rhizosphere soil of chilli collected from six different districts of south Karnataka, India. All the rhizospheric fungi were evaluated for its antagonistic nature against Colletotrichum capsici-the causal agent of anthracnose disease-and eight isolates were found positive. The antagonistic fungi were further characterized for the production of plant growth-promoting traits wherein five isolates were recorded positive for all the traits tested and were also positive for root colonization. All five plant growth-promoting fungi (PGPF) were subjected to molecular characterization for identification up to the species level and the accession numbers were obtained from NCBI. The five isolates, namely NBP-08, NBP-45, NBP-61, NBP-66 and NBP-67, were further experimented with on susceptible seeds to evaluate its efficacy on seed and plant growth parameters along with induction of resistance against the anthracnose disease. The evaluated PGPF offered significant enhancement in seed and plant growth parameters with maximum improvement observed in seeds treated with NBP-61. Among the PGPF isolates, NBP-61 showed the maximum protection of 78.75%, while all the other isolates also showed significant protection against anthracnose disease compared to untreated plants. The higher accumulation of lignin and callose deposition along with enhanced defense enzyme activities in the PGPF-treated challenge-inoculated seedlings authenticated the protection offered by PGPF. The study evidenced the immense ability of PGPF in eliciting disease protection and enhancement of plant growth in chilli, which may act as a possible substitute for harmful chemicals.
Project description:The high cost of synthetic polymers has been a key impediment limiting the widespread adoption of polymer drag reduction techniques in large-scale engineering applications, such as marine drag reduction. To address consumable cost constraints, we investigate the use of high molar mass biopolysaccharides, present in the mucilaginous epidermis of plant seeds, as inexpensive drag reducers in large Reynolds number turbulent flows. Specifically, we study the aqueous mucilage extracted from flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) and compare its drag reduction efficacy to that of poly(ethylene oxide) or PEO, a common synthetic polymer widely used as a drag reducing agent in aqueous flows. Macromolecular and rheological characterisation confirm the presence of high molar mass (?2 MDa) polysaccharides in the extracted mucilage, with an acidic fraction comprising negatively charged chains. Frictional drag measurements, performed inside a bespoke Taylor-Couette apparatus, show that the as-extracted mucilage has comparable drag reduction performance under turbulent flow conditions as aqueous PEO solutions, while concurrently offering advantages in terms of raw material cost, availability, and bio-compatibility. Our results indicate that plant-sourced mucilage can potentially serve as a cost-effective and eco-friendly substitute for synthetic drag reducing polymers in large scale turbulent flow applications.
Project description:Climate change is accelerating the spread of plants and their associated species to new ranges. The differences in range shift capacity of the various types of species may disrupt long-term co-evolved relationships especially those belowground, however, this may be less so for seed-borne endophytic microbes. We collected seeds and soil of the range-expanding Centaurea stoebe and the congeneric Centaurea jacea from three populations growing in Slovenia (native range of both Centaurea species) and the Netherlands (expanded range of C. stoebe, native range of C. jacea). We isolated and identified endophytic fungi directly from seeds, as well as from roots of the plants grown in Slovenian, Dutch or sterilized soil to compare fungal endophyte composition. Furthermore, we investigated whether C. stoebe hosts a reduced community composition of endophytes in the expanded range due to release from plant-species specific fungi while endophyte communities in C. jacea in both ranges are similar. We cultivated 46 unique and phylogenetically diverse endophytes. A majority of the seed endophytes resembled potential pathogens, while most root endophytes were not likely to be pathogenic. Only one endophyte was found in both roots and seeds, but was isolated from different plant species. Unexpectedly, seed endophyte diversity of southern C. stoebe populations was lower than of populations from the north, while the seed endophyte community composition of northern C. stoebe populations was significantly different southern C. stoebe as well as northern and southern C. jacea populations. Root endophyte diversity was considerably lower in C. stoebe than in C. jacea independent of plant and soil origin, but this difference disappeared when plants were grown in sterile soils. We conclude that the community composition of fungal endophytes not only differs between related plant species but also between populations of plants that expand their range compared to their native habitat. Our results suggest that fungal endophytes of two Centaurea species are not able to systemically infect plants. We highlight that endophytes remain poorly studied and further work should investigate the functional importance of endophytes.