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    First record of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in Chinese mainland
    CHEN Si-qi, ZHAO Yi, LU Yong-yue, RAN Hao, XU Yi-juan
    2022, 21 (6): 1825-1829.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(22)63903-0
    Abstract622)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    In January 2022, we received ant specimens collected from three field colonies from Shantou City, Guangdong Province, China.  They were identified as the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, through morphological and molecular analyses.  Wasmannia auropunctata is listed as one of the 100 most dangerous invasive species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and has spread from its native range in South America to every continent except Antarctica.  DNA analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) in nine specimens of W. auropunctata found that they had a close genetic relationship with specimens from Argentina.  This study represents the first formal record of the establishment of W. auropunctata outdoor in Chinese mainland.  However, the invasion stage and occurrence degree of W. auropunctata in China are not clear to date.  The implementation of quarantine measures, investigation of the occurrence and distribution, and development of monitoring and control strategies are needed to actively respond to the threat posed by this highly invasive ant.
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    Analyses and identifications of quantitative trait loci and candidate genes controlling mesocotyl elongation in rice
    ZHANG Xi-juan, LAI Yong-cai, MENG Ying, TANG Ao, DONG Wen-jun, LIU You-hong, LIU Kai, WANG Li-zhi, YANG Xian-li, WANG Wen-long, DING Guo-hua, JIANG Hui, REN Yang, JIANG Shu-kun
    2023, 22 (2): 325-340.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.080
    Abstract406)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Rice direct seeding has the significant potential to save labor and water, conserve environmental resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions tremendously.  Therefore, rice direct seeding is becoming the major cultivation technology applied to rice production in many countries.  Identifying and utilizing genes controlling mesocotyl elongation is an effective approach to accelerate breeding procedures and meet the requirements for direct-seeded rice (DSR) production.  This study used a permanent mapping population with 144 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and 2 828 bin-markers to detect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with mesocotyl length in 2019 and 2020.  The mesocotyl lengths of the rice RILs and their parents, Lijiangxintuanheigu (LTH) and Shennong 265 (SN265), were measured in a growth chamber at 30°C in a dark environment.  A total of 16 QTLs for mesocotyl length were identified on chromosomes 1(2), 2(4), 3(2), 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11(2), and 12.  Seven of these QTLs, including qML1a, qML1b, qML2d, qML3a, qML3b, qML5, and qML11b, were reproducibly detected in both years via the interval mapping method.  The major QTL, qML3a, was reidentified in two years via the composite interval mapping method.  A total of 10 to 413 annotated genes for each QTL were identified in their smallest genetic intervals of 37.69 kb to 2.78 Mb, respectively.  Thirteen predicted genes within a relatively small genetic interval (88.18 kb) of the major mesocotyl elongation QTL, qML3a, were more thoroughly analyzed.  Finally, the coding DNA sequence variations among SN265, LTH, and Nipponbare indicated that the LOC_Os03g50550 gene was the strongest candidate gene for the qML3a QTL controlling the mesocotyl elongation.  This LOC_Os03g50550 gene encodes a mitogen-activated protein kinase.  Relative gene expression analysis using qRT-RCR further revealed that the expression levels of the LOC_Os03g50550 gene in the mesocotyl of LTH were significantly lower than in the mesocotyl of SN265.  In conclusion, these results further strengthen our knowledge about rice’s genetic mechanisms of mesocotyl elongation.  This investigation’s discoveries will help to accelerate breeding programs for new DSR variety development.

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    Border effects of the main and ratoon crops in rice ratooning system
    ZHENG Chang, WANG Yue-chao, XU Wen-ba, YANG De-sheng, YANG Guo-dong, YANG Chen, HUANG Jian-liang, PENG Shao-bing
    2023, 22 (1): 80-91.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.048
    Abstract333)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    The border effect (BE) is widely observed in crop field experiments, and it has been extensively studied in many crops.  However, only limited attention has been paid to the BE of ratoon rice.  We conducted field experiments on ratoon rice in Qichun County, Hubei Province, Central China in 2018 and 2019 to compare the BE in the main and ratoon crops, and to quantify the contribution of BE in the main crop to that in the ratoon crop.  The BE of two hybrid varieties was measured for the outermost, second outermost, and third outermost rows in each plot of both crops.  To determine the contribution of BE between the two crops, portions of hills in the outermost and second outermost rows were uprooted during the harvest of the main crop so that the second and third outermost rows then became the outermost rows in the ratoon crop.  Overall, the BE on grain yield was greater in the main crop than in the ratoon crop.  In the main crop, the BE on grain yield was 98.3% in the outermost row, which was explained by the BE on panicles m–2, spikelets/panicle, spikelets m–2, and total dry weight.  In the ratoon crop, the BE on grain yield was reduced to 60.9 and 27.6% with and without the contribution of the BE in the main crop, respectively.  Consequently, 55.1% of the BE on grain yield in the ratoon crop was contributed from the main crop.  High stubble dry weight and non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) accumulation at the harvest of the main crop were responsible for the contribution of BE in the main crop to that in the ratoon crop.  Our results suggest that increases in stubble dry weight and NSC accumulation at the harvest of the main crop could be important strategies for developing high-yielding cropping practices in the rice ratooning system.

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    Yield penalty of maize (Zea mays L.) under heat stress in different growth stages: A review
    LI Teng, ZHANG Xue-peng, LIU Qing, LIU Jin, CHEN Yuan-quan, SUI Peng
    2022, 21 (9): 2465-2476.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.07.013
    Abstract325)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Maize (Zea mays L.) can exhibit yield penalties as a result of unfavorable changes to growing conditions.  The main threat to current and future global maize production is heat stress.  Maize may suffer from heat stress in all of the growth stages, either continuously or separately.  In order to manage the impact of climate driven heat stress on the different growth stages of maize, there is an urgent need to understand the similarities and differences in how heat stress affects maize growth and yield in the different growth stages.  For the purposes of this review, the maize growth cycle was divided into seven growth stages, namely the germination and seedling stage, early ear expansion stage, late vegetative growth stage before flowering, flowering stage, lag phase, effective grain-filling stage, and late grain-filling stage.  The main focus of this review is on the yield penalty and the potential physiological changes caused by heat stress in these seven different stages.  The commonalities and differences in heat stress related impacts on various physiological processes in the different growth stages are also compared and discussed.  Finally, a framework is proposed to describe the main influences on yield components in different stages, which can serve as a useful guide for identifying management interventions to mitigate heat stress related declines in maize yield.
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    Indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi play a role in phosphorus depletion in organic manure amended high fertility soil
    HUO Wei-ge, CHAI Xiao-fen, WANG Xi-he, William David BATCHELOR, Arjun KAFLE, FENG Gu
    2022, 21 (10): 3051-3066.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.07.045
    Abstract287)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    The species richness and propagule number of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are high in intensively-managed agricultural soils.  Past research has shown that AMF improve crop phosphorus (P) uptake under low soil P conditions, however it is unclear if AMF play a role in high Olsen-P soils.  In this study, we investigated whether native fungal benefits exist under high P input field conditions in-situ and contribute to P utilization.  We installed in-grow tubes which were sealed with different membrane pore sizes (30 or 0.45 µm) to allow or prevent AMF hyphae access to the hyphal compartment and prevent cotton roots from penetrating the chamber.  We used the depletion of soil available P (Olsen-P) in the hyphae accessed compartment to indicate P uptake by the native AMF community.  Our results showed that the native AMF mediated P depletion and microbial biomass P (MBP) turnover and caused the largest Olsen-P depletion ratio and MBP turnover ratio in the high P treatments (Olsen-P: 78.29 mg kg–1).  The cotton roots in each fertilization regime were colonized by a unique AMF community and Glomus and Paraglomus were the dominant genera, implying the long-term fertilization regimes domesticated the AMF community.  We conclude that native AMF caused the P depletion and P turnover even under high soil Olsen-P conditions.

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    Evidence of silk growth hampering in maize at high planting density using phenotypic and transcriptional analysis
    ZHANG Min, XING Li-juan, REN Xiao-tian, ZOU Jun-jie, SONG Fu-peng, WANG Lei, XU Miao-yun
    2022, 21 (11): 3148-3157.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.083
    Abstract254)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Increasing the planting density is an effective way to increase the yield of maize (Zea mays L.), although it can also aggravate ovary apical abortion-induced bald tips of the ears, which might, in turn, reduce the yield.  While the mechanism underlying the regulation of drought-related abortion in maize is well established, high planting density-related abortion in maize remains poorly understood.  Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the mechanism underlying the ovary apical abortion response to high density.  This was achieved by evaluating the effects of four different plant densities (60 000 plants ha–1 (60 k), 90 k, 120 k, and 150 k) on plant traits related to plant architecture, the plant ear, flowering time, and silk development in two inbred lines (Zheng58 and PH4CV) and two hybrid lines (Zhengdan958 and Xianyu335).  The phenotypes of both inbred and hybrid plants were observed under different planting density treatments, and the high planting density was found to increase the phenotypic performance values of the evaluated traits.  The anthesis–silking interval (ASI) was extended, and the amount of the silk extruded from husks was reduced upon increasing the planting density.  Delayed silk emergence resulted in asynchronous flowering and ear bald tips.  Observations of the silk cells revealed that the silk cells became smaller as planting density increased.  The changes in transcript abundances in the silks involved the genes associated with expansive growth rather than carbon metabolism.  These findings further our understanding of silk growth regulation under high planting density and provide a theoretical basis for further research on improving high planting density breeding in maize.  
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    Maleness-on-the-Y (MoY) orthologue is a key regulator of male sex determination in Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae)

    FAN Zi-zhen, MA Qin, MA Si-ya, CAO Feng-qin, YAN Ri-hui, LIN Xian-wu
    2023, 22 (2): 505-513.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.007
    Abstract239)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    The initiation of sex differentiation in insects is regulated by primary sex determination signals.  In the Medfly Ceratitis capitata and other Tephritids, Maleness-on-the-Y (MoY) is the master gene for male sex determination.  However, the primary signal in Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett), a very destructive Tephritid pest across the world, remains ambiguous.  In this study, we have isolated and characterized the Medfly MoY homolog in Zcucurbitae, ZcMoY.  ZcMOY protein shows high sequence conservation to its homologs in Bactrocera species.  ZcMoY transcription begins and peaks at very early embryonic stages and then becomes undetectable except the testes and heads of day 1 male adults.  Silencing ZcMoY in early embryos by RNAi causes abnormal external genitalia and interior reproductive organs, giving rise to intersexes and feminization of XY individuals.  The expression pattern and knockdown phenotypes of ZcMoY indicate that ZcMoY plays a key role in regulating sex determination of Zcucurbitae males.  Our findings will help the understanding of sex determination in Zcucurbitae and facilitate the development of genetic sexing strains in its biological control.

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    Effects of exogenous paclobutrazol and sampling time on the efficiency of in vitro embryo rescue in the breeding of new seedless grape varieties
    XU Teng-fei, GUO Yu-rui, YUAN Xiao-jian, CHU Yan-nan, WANG Xiao-wei, HAN Yu-lei, WANG Wen-yuan, WANG Yue-jin, SONG Rui, FANG Yu-lin, WANG Lu-jun, XU Yan
    2022, 21 (6): 1633-1644.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63815-7
    Abstract238)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Embryo rescue technology plays an important role in seedless grape breeding.  However, the efficiency of embryo rescue, including the embryo formation, germination, and seedling rates, is closely related to the parental genotypes, degree of abortion, growth medium, and plant growth regulators.  In this study, we investigated the effects of different concentrations of paclobutrazol (PAC), a plant growth regulator, and embryo collection times on the embryo formation, germination, and seedling rates for different hybrid combinations of grape breeding varieties used for their aroma and cold-resistance traits.  The results showed that the different PAC concentrations had varying impacts on the development of ovules and embryos from the different grape varieties.  The embryo formation rates of the ‘Sultanina Rose’בBeibinghong’ and ‘Kunxiang Seedless’בTaishan-2’ crosses were the highest under the 5.1 μmol L–1 PAC treatment.  The 1.0 μmol L–1 PAC treatment was optimal for the germination and seedling development of the ‘Sultanina Rose’בBeibinghong’ embryos, whereas the 0.2 μmol L–1 PAC treatment induced the highest germination rate for the ‘Sultanina Rose’בKunxiang Seedless’ cross.  The optimal sampling times for each cross varied as 39 d after pollination (DAP) for the ‘Flame Seedless’בMuscat Hamburg’ cross, 46 DAP for the ‘Kunxiang Seedless’בBeibinghong’ cross, and 41 DAP for the ‘Ruby Seedless’בBeibinghong’ and ‘Fantasy Seedless’בShuangyou’ crosses.  Moreover, the medium modified with 0.5 g L–1 of indole-3-butyric acid allowed the malformed seedlings to develop into plantlets and achieve larger progenies.  This study provides a useful basis for further studies into grape embryo rescue and could improve breeding efforts for new seedless grape varieties.

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    Protective efficacy of an H5/H7 trivalent inactivated vaccine (H5-Re13, H5-Re14, and H7-Re4 strains) in chickens, ducks, and geese against newly detected H5N1, H5N6, H5N8, and H7N9 viruses
    ZENG Xian-ying, HE Xin-wen, MENG Fei, MA Qi, WANG Yan, BAO Hong-mei, LIU Yan-jing, DENG Guo-hua, SHI Jian-zhong, LI Yan-bing, TIAN Guo-bin, CHEN Hua-lan
    2022, 21 (7): 2086-2094.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(22)63904-2
    Abstract234)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Some H5 viruses isolated in poultry or wild birds between 2020 and 2021 were found to be antigenically different from the vaccine strains (H5-Re11 and H5-Re12) used in China.  In this study, we generated three new recombinant vaccine seed viruses by using reverse genetics and used them for vaccine production.  The vaccine strain H5-Re13 contains the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of an H5N6 virus that bears the clade HA gene, H5-Re14 contains the HA and NA genes of an H5N8 virus that bears the clade HA gene, and H7-Re4 contains the HA and NA genes of H7N9 virus detected in 2021.  We evaluated the protective efficacy of the novel H5/H7 trivalent inactivated vaccine in chickens, ducks, and geese.  The inactivated vaccine was immunogenic and induced substantial antibody responses in the birds tested.  Three weeks after vaccination, chickens were challenged with five different viruses detected in 2020 and 2021: three viruses (an H5N1 virus, an H5N6 virus, and an H5N8 virus) bearing the clade HA gene, an H5N6 virus bearing the clade HA gene, and an H7N9 virus.  All of the control birds shed high titers of virus and died within 4 days post-challenge, whereas the vaccinated chickens were completely protected from these viruses.  Similar protective efficacy against H5 viruses bearing the clade or HA gene was observed in ducks and geese.  Our study indicates that the newly updated H5/H7 vaccine can provide solid protection against the H5 and H7N9 viruses that are currently circulating in nature.  

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    Grain yield, nitrogen use efficiency and physiological performance of indica/japonica hybrid rice in response to various nitrogen rates
    ZHOU Qun, YUAN Rui, ZHANG Wei-yang, GU Jun-fei, LIU Li-jun, ZHANG Hao, WANG Zhi-qin, YANG Jian-chang
    2023, 22 (1): 63-79.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.076
    Abstract226)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Utilizing the heterosis of indica/japonica hybrid rice (IJHR) is an effective way to further increase rice grain yield.  Rational application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer plays a very important role in using the heterosis of IJHR to achieve its great yield potential.  However, the responses of the grain yield and N utilization of IJHR to N application rates and the underlying physiological mechanism remain elusive.  The purpose of this study was to clarify these issues.  Three rice cultivars currently used in rice production, an IJHR cultivar Yongyou 2640 (YY2640), a japonica cultivar Lianjing 7 (LJ-7) and an indica cultivar Yangdao 6 (YD-6), were grown in the field with six N rates (0, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 kg ha–1) in 2018 and 2019.  The results showed that with the increase in N application rates, the grain yield of each test cultivar increased at first and then decreased, and the highest grain yield was at the N rate of 400 kg ha–1 for YY2640, with a grain yield of 13.4 t ha–1, and at 300 kg ha–1 for LJ-7 and YD-6, with grain yields of 9.4–10.6 t ha–1.  The grain yield and N use efficiency (NUE) of YY2640 were higher than those of LJ-7 or YD-6 at the same N rate, especially at the higher N rates.  When compared with LJ-7 or YD-6, YY2640 exhibited better physiological traits, including greater root oxidation activity and leaf photosynthetic rate, higher cytokinin content in the roots and leaves, and more remobilization of assimilates from the stem to the grain during grain filling.  The results suggest that IJHR could attain both higher grain yield and higher NUE than inbred rice at either low or high N application rates.  Improved shoot and root traits of the IJHR contribute to its higher grain yield and NUE, and a higher content of cytokinins in the IJHR plants plays a vital role in their responses to N application rates and also benefits other physiological processes. 

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    Genome-wide characterization and expression analysis of WRKY family genes during development and resistance to Colletotrichum fructicola in cultivated strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa Duch.)
    ZOU Xiao-hua, DONG Chao, LIU Hai-ting, GAO Qing-hua
    2022, 21 (6): 1658-1672.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63816-9
    Abstract222)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Based on the recently published whole-genome sequence of cultivated strawberry ‘Camarosa’, in this study, 222 FaWRKY genes were identified in the ‘Camarosa’ genome.  Phylogenetic analysis showed that the 222 FaWRKY candidate genes were classified into three groups, of which 41 were in group I, 142 were in group II, and 39 were in group III.  The 222 FaWRKY genes were evenly distributed among the seven chromosomes.  The exon–intron structures and motifs of the WRKY genes had evolutionary diversity in different cultivated strawberry genomes.  Regarding differential expression, the expression of FaWRKY133 was relatively high in leaves, while FaWRKY63 was specifically expressed in roots.  FaWRKY207, 59, 46, 182, 156, 58, 39, 62 and 115 were up-regulated during achene development from the green to red fruit transition.  FaWRK181, 166 and 211 were highly expressed in receptacles at the ripe fruit stage.  One interesting finding was that FaWRKY179 and 205 were significantly repressed after Colletotrichum fructicola inoculation in both ‘Benihoppe’ and ‘Sweet Charlie’ compared with Mock.  The data reported here provide a foundation for further comparative genomics and analyses of the distinct expression patterns of FaWRKY genes in various tissues and in response to C. fructicola inoculation.
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    Integrated pest management programme for cereal blast fungus Magnaporthe oryza
    ZHANG Hai-feng, Tofazzal ISLAM, LIU Wen-de
    2022, 21 (12): 3420-3433.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.056
    Abstract215)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Magnaporthe oryzae, the causal agent of blast diseases, is a destructive filamentous fungus that infects many plants including most economically important food crops, rice, wheat, pearl millet and finger millet.  Magnaporthe oryzae has numerous pathotypes because of its high host-specificity in the field.  The Oryza pathotype (MoO) of Moryzae is the most devastating pathogen of rice, causing 10–30% yield loss in the world.  On the other hand, the Triticum pathotype (MoT) causes blast disease in wheat, which is now a serious threat to wheat production in some South American countries, Bangladesh and Zambia.  Because of low fungicide efficacy against the blast diseases and lack of availability of resistant varieties, control of rice and wheat blast diseases is difficult.  Therefore, an integrated management programme should be adopted to control these two diseases in the field.  Here, we introduced and summarized the classification, geographical distribution, host range, disease symptoms, biology and ecology, economic impact, and integrated pest management (IPM) programme of both rice and wheat blast diseases.Magnaporthe oryzae, the causal agent of blast diseases, is a destructive filamentous fungus that infects many plants including most economically important food crops, rice, wheat, pearl millet and finger millet.  Magnaporthe oryzae has numerous pathotypes because of its high host-specificity in the field.  The Oryza pathotype (MoO) of Moryzae is the most devastating pathogen of rice, causing 10–30% yield loss in the world.  On the other hand, the Triticum pathotype (MoT) causes blast disease in wheat, which is now a serious threat to wheat production in some South American countries, Bangladesh and Zambia.  Because of low fungicide efficacy against the blast diseases and lack of availability of resistant varieties, control of rice and wheat blast diseases is difficult.  Therefore, an integrated management programme should be adopted to control these two diseases in the field.  Here, we introduced and summarized the classification, geographical distribution, host range, disease symptoms, biology and ecology, economic impact, and integrated pest management (IPM) programme of both rice and wheat blast diseases.

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    Substituting nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer with optimal amount of crop straw improved rice grain yield, nutrient use efficiency and soil carbon sequestration
    XIE Jun, Blagodatskaya EVGENIA, ZHANG Yu, WAN Yu, HU Qi-juan, ZHANG Cheng-ming, WANG Jie, ZHANG Yue-qiang, SHI Xiao-jun
    2022, 21 (11): 3345-3355.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.059
    Abstract206)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Crop straw return after harvest is considered an important way to achieve both agronomic and environmental benefits.  However, the appropriate amount of straw to substitute for fertilizer remains unclear.  A field experiment was performed from 2016 to 2018 to explore the effect of different amounts of straw to substitute for fertilizer on soil properties, soil organic carbon (SOC) storage, grain yield, yield components, nitrogen (N) use efficiency, phosphorus (P) use efficiency, N surplus, and P surplus after rice harvesting.  Relative to mineral fertilization alone, straw substitution at 5 t ha–1 improved the number of spikelets per panicle, effective panicle, seed setting rate, 1 000-grain weight, and grain yield, and also increased the aboveground N and P uptake in rice.  Straw substitution exceeding 2.5 t ha–1 increased the soil available N, P, and K concentrations as compared with mineral fertilization, and different amounts of straw substitution improved SOC storage compared with mineral fertilization.  Furthermore, straw substitution at 5 t ha–1 decreased the N surplus and P surplus by up to 68.3 and 28.9%, respectively, compared to mineral fertilization.  Rice aboveground N and P uptake and soil properties together contributed 19.3% to the variation in rice grain yield and yield components.  Straw substitution at 5 t ha–1, an optimal fertilization regime, improved soil properties, SOC storage, grain yield, yield components, N use efficiency (NUE), and P use efficiency (PUE) while simultaneously decreasing the risk of environmental contamination.

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    A 314-bp SINE Insertion in the ZNF2 promoter region may act as a repressor related to regulation of fat deposition in pigs
    GU Hao, DU Zhan-yu, Eduard MURANI, Enrico D’ALESSANDRO, CHEN Cai, WANG Xiao-yan, MAO Jiu-de, Klaus WIMMERS, SONG Cheng-yi
    2023, 22 (2): 526-536.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.128
    Abstract192)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Retrotransposons, a type of DNA fragment that can mobilize itself on genome, can generate genetic variations and develop for molecular markers based on the insertion polymorphism.  Zinc finger proteins (ZNFs) are among the most abundant proteins in eukaryotic animals, and their functions are extraordinarily diverse and particularly important in gene regulation.  In the current study, bioinformatic prediction was performed to screen for retrotransposon insertion polymorphisms (RIPs) in six ZNF genes (ZNF2, ZNF3, ZNF7, ZNF8, ZNF10 and ZNF12).  Six RIPs in these ZNFs, including one short interspersed nuclear element (SINE) RIP in intron 1 and one long interspersed nuclear element 1 (L1) RIP in intron 3 of ZNF2, one SINE RIP in 5´ flanking region and one SINE RIP in intron 2 of ZNF3, one SINE RIP in 3´ UTR of ZNF7 and one L1 RIP in intron 2 of ZNF12, were discovered and their presence was confirmed by PCR.  The impact of the SINE RIP in the first intron of ZNF2, which is close to the core promoter of ZNF2, on the gene activity was investigated by dual-luciferase assay in three cell lines.  Our results showed that the SINE insertion in the intron 1 of ZNF2 repressed the core promoter activity extremely significantly (P<0.01) in cervical cancer cells and porcine primary embryonic fibroblasts (HeLa and PEF), thus SINE may act as a repressor.  This SINE RIP also significantly (P<0.05) affected the corrected back fat thickness in Yorkshire pigs.  The corrected back fat thickness of individuals with SINE insertion in the first intron of ZNF2 was significantly (P<0.05) higher than that of individuals without SINE insertion.  In summary, our data suggested that RIPs play important roles in the genetic variations of these ZNF genes and SINE RIP in the intron 1 of ZNF2 may provide a useful molecular marker for the screening of fat deposition in the pig breeding.

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    Roles of mushroom polysaccharides in chronic disease management
    ZHANG Shan, LEI Lin, ZHOU Yun, YE Fa-yin, ZHAO Guo-hua
    2022, 21 (7): 1839-1866.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63871-6
    Abstract189)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Chronic diseases have drawn much attention as the primary cause of death and disability.  In exploring novel side-effect-free agents against chronic diseases, significant efforts have been devoted to mushroom polysaccharides due to their diverse biological activities.  This work reviewed the structural features, biological performances and molecular mechanisms of mushroom polysaccharides in managing cancers, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases.  The potentials of mushroom polysaccharides against chronic diseases highly depend on their structural features, including monosaccharide composition, molecular weight, the type and configuration of glycosidic bonds, degree of branching, the type of substituent pattern and chain conformation.  Regarding their working mechanisms, shared and disease-specific pathways were found.  The three chronic diseases shared the regulation of specific signalling pathways and the adjustment of gut microbiota.  In addition, the roles of transcription factors, receptors, enzymes, hormones and other functional proteins involved in the molecular mechanisms of mushroom polysaccharides against chronic diseases are first elaborated herein.  The present review describes the state of the art of mushroom polysaccharides in treating chronic diseases and addresses the perspectives, and will further promote research on this topic.
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    Effect of group size and regrouping on physiological stress and behavior of dairy calves
    LYU Jing, WANG Chao, ZHAO Xun-wu, MIAO Er-yu, WANG Zhi-peng, XU Yuan, BAI Xiu-juan, BAO Jun
    2023, 22 (3): 844-852.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.073
    Abstract181)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Mixing or regrouping of calves from different pens is a common animal management practice on the farm, which frequently occurs after weaning and has a negative effect on calve welfare.  Social integration before regrouping may relieve stresses, but more evidences are needed to verify this hypothesis.  The present study aimed to investigate acute physiological and behavioral variations of individually- or group-housed calves after being introduced into a mixed group.  A total of 132 postnatal calves were randomly divided into groups of 1, 3, 6 and 12 animals (S, G3, G6, and G12; 6 replicates in each group) until 59 days of age.  At 60 days of age, every two replicates from different groups (S, G3, G6 and G12) were introduced in a larger pen which containing 44 of the aboved experimental calves.  Before and after regrouping, physiological parameters of stress, including heart rate (HR), saliva cortisol (S-CORT), saliva secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA), interleukin-2 (IL-2), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels, and behavioral responses were recorded.  After regrouping, HR and S-CORT increased immediately (P<0.05), and higher (P<0.05) levels of such molecules were found in S calves compared to those in group-housed calves.  Levels of SIgA and IL-2 were decreased (P<0.05), and the lowest (P<0.05) IL-2 values were found in S calves compared to those in group-housed calves.  In addition, the introduced calves displayed a distinct behavior, including altered active and rest time, which was associated with negative emotions triggered by the novel surroundings.  Allogrooming, play, exploration behaviors and lying time were increased significantly (P<0.05) in group-housed calves than those in S calves.  Conversely, self-grooming, aggressive behaviors, standing and walking time were increased (P<0.05) in S calves than those in group-housed calves.  These findings suggest that individually-housed calves may be more susceptible to stressors arising from regrouping than group-housed calves, which consequently negatively affected behavioral and neuroendocrine responses.  Furthermore, moving calves with previous social experience may help mitigate regrouping stress.

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    An integrated pest management program for managing fusarium head blight disease in cereals
    CHEN A-hai, Tofazzal ISLAM, MA Zhong-hua
    2022, 21 (12): 3434-3444.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.053
    Abstract180)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a worldwide devastating disease of small grain cereals and Fusarium graminearum species complex (FGSC) is the major pathogen causing the disease.  The epidemics of FHB lead to the reduction of grain yield and economic losses.  Additionally, mycotoxins produced by the FHB pathogens are hazardous to the health of human and livestock.  In this review, we summarize the epidemiology of FHB, and introduce effects of this disease on economy, environment and food safety.  We focus on the integrated management approaches for controlling FHB including agronomic practices, resistant cultivars, chemical control, and biocontrol.  In addition, we also discuss the potential novel management strategies against FHB and mycotoxin.

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    Potato late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans: From molecular interactions to integrated management strategies
    DONG Suo-meng, ZHOU Shao-qun
    2022, 21 (12): 3456-3466.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.060
    Abstract178)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Over 170 years after the infamous Irish Potato Famine, potato late blight (PLB) caused by Phytophthora infestans remains the single most devastating disease of global potato production, causing up to 10 billion USD in yield loss and management costs.  Through decades of research, growers and agronomists in the field as well as laboratory scientists have made significant progress in understanding the molecular pathogenesis process of this critical pathosystem and effective management strategies to control PLB.  Yet, the need to feed an ever-increasing global population under changing climate demands continued improvement in efficient and sustainable PLB management schemes that can be implemented across a broad economic spectrum.  In this review, we briefly summarize the current understanding of the molecular interaction between P. infestans and its host plants, highlight the current integrated pest management strategy to control PLB on local and continental scales, and discuss the potential of further improvement of sustainable PLB control through genetic enhancement of crop resistance and emerging crop protection technologies.

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    Local nitrogen application increases maize post-silking nitrogen uptake of responsive genotypes via enhanced deep root growth
    CHEN Zhe, REN Wei, YI Xia, LI Qiang, CAI Hong-guang, Farhan ALI, YUAN Li-xing, MI Guo-hua, PAN Qing-chun, CHEN Fan-jun
    2023, 22 (1): 235-250.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.07.003
    Abstract176)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Nitrogen (N) is unevenly distributed throughout the soil and plant roots proliferate in N-rich soil patches.  However, the relationship between the root response to localized N supply and maize N uptake efficiency among different genotypes is unclear.  In this study, four maize varieties were evaluated to explore genotypic differences in the root response to local N application in relation to N uptake.  A split-root system was established for hydroponically-grown plants and two methods of local N application (local banding and local dotting) were examined in the field.  Genotypic differences in the root length response to N were highly correlated between the hydroponic and field conditions (r>0.99).  Genotypes showing high response to N, ZD958, XY335 and XF32D22, showed 50‒63% longer lateral root length and 36‒53% greater root biomass in N-rich regions under hydroponic conditions, while the LY13 genotype did not respond to N.  Under field conditions, the root length of the high-response genotypes was found to increase by 66‒75% at 40‒60 cm soil depth, while LY13 showed smaller changes in root length.  In addition, local N application increased N uptake at the post-silking stage by 16‒88% in the high-response genotypes and increased the grain yield of ZD958 by 10‒12%.  Moreover, yield was positively correlated with root length at 40‒60 cm soil depth (r=0.39).  We conclude that local fertilization should be used for high-response genotypes, which can be rapidly identified at the seedling stage, and selection for “local-N responsive roots” can be a promising trait in maize breeding for high nitrogen uptake efficiency.  

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    Characterization and fine mapping of a semi-rolled leaf mutant srl3 in rice
    YU Xiao-qi, XIE Wei, LIU He, LIU Wei, ZENG Da-li, QIAN Qian, REN De-yong
    2022, 21 (11): 3103-3113.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.07.059
    Abstract175)      PDF in ScienceDirect      

    Moderate leaf rolling can maintain leaf erectness, improve light transmittance in the population, and improve light energy utilization, thereby increasing rice yield.  This study used ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) to treat Yunjing 17 (YJ17) and obtained a semi-rolled leaf mutant that was named semi-rolled leaf 3 (srl3).  We found that the rolled-leaf phenotype was due to the aberrant development of bulliform cells and the loss of sclerenchymatous cells.  In addition, the shoot and root length of srl3 seedlings differed from the wild type.  The srl3 mutant had significantly lower plant height and seed-setting rate but notably greater tiller number, panicle length, and primary branch number per panicle than the wild type.   Genetic analysis showed that a single recessive nuclear gene defined the srl3 mutant, and it was precisely located in a 144-kb region between two insertion-deletion (InDel) markers, M8 and M19, on chromosome 2.  In this region, no leaf-rolling-related genes have been reported previously.  Thus, the study indicated that SRL3 is a novel leaf-rolling-related gene, and the results laid the foundation for the cloning and functional analysis of the SRL3 gene.

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