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    Overexpression of PbrGA2ox1 enhances pear drought tolerance through regulation of GA3-inhibited reactive oxygen species detoxification and abscisic acid signaling
    Guoling Guo, Haiyan Zhang, Weiyu Dong, Bo Xu, Youyu Wang, Qingchen Zhao, Lun Liu, Xiaomei Tang, Li Liu, Zhenfeng Ye, Wei Heng, Liwu Zhu, Bing Jia
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.012 Online: 02 February 2024
    Abstract57)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Drought stress represents a devastating natural disaster driven by the continuing intensification of global warming, which seriously threats the productivity and quality of several horticultural crops, including pear. Gibberellins (GAs) play crucial roles in plant growth, development, and responses to drought stress. Previous studies have shown significant reductions of GA levels in plants under drought stress; however, understanding of the intrinsic regulation mechanisms of GA-mediated drought stress in pear remains very limited. Here, we show that drought stress could impair the accumulation of bioactive GAs (BGAs), and subsequently identified PbrGA2ox1 as a chloroplast-localized GA deactivation gene, which was significantly induced by drought stress and abscisic acid (ABA) treatment, but was suppressed by GA3 treatment. PbrGA2ox1-overexpressing transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) plants exhibited enhanced tolerance to dehydration and drought stresses, whereas knock-down of PbrGA2ox1 in pear (Pyrus betulaefolia) by virus-induced gene silencing lead to elevated drought sensitivity. Transgenic plants were hypersensitive to ABA, and had a lower BGAs content, enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging ability, and augmented ABA accumulation and signaling under drought stress compared to wild-type plants. However, the opposite effects were observed with PbrGA2ox1 silencing in pear. Moreover, exogenous GA3 treatment aggravated the ROS toxification effect and restrained ABA synthesis and signaling, resulting in the compromised drought tolerance of pear. In summary, our results shed light on the mechanism by which BGAs are eliminated in pear leaves under drought stress, providing a further insight into the mechanism regulating the effects of the GA on the drought tolerance of plants.
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    N-myristoyltransferase1 regulates biomass accumulation in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)
    Xin Liu, Shuai Wang, Kang Zeng, Wenjing Li, Shenhao Wang, Sanwen Huang Huasen Wang, Xueyong Yang
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.013 Online: 02 February 2024
    Abstract13)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Plant biomass is an important agronomic trait subjected to intense human selection for yield improvement. The underlying mechanism regulating biomass formation is currently gaining increasing attention, but still remains unexplored. In this study, we isolated a cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) minicuke mutant with remarkably reduced biomass. The causative gene CsNMT1, a homologous to the Arabidopsis thaliana N-myristoyltransferase1, was identified. Our clustered regularly interspaced shot palindromic repeat-based genome editing confirmed the key role of CsNMT1 in biomass regulation. Multi-omics analyses integrating with metabolomic and transcriptomic analyses revealed the suppression of a very early step of lignin biosynthesis and the corresponding down-regulation of genes involved in the lignin biosynthesis in the minicikue mutant, suggesting an unexpected pathway to regulate biomass accumulation through lignin sink strength. Our findings demonstrate the function of NMT1 in regulating plant biomass and its potential application value for biomass improvement in cucurbits.
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    Identification of S-RNase genotype and analysis of the origin and evolution of S-RNase in Malus plants
    LIU Zhao, GAO Yuan, WANG Kun, FENG Jian-rong, SUN Si-miao, LU Xiang, WANG Lin, TIAN Wen, WANG Guang-yi, LI Zi-chen, LI Qing-shan, LI Lian-wen, WANG Da-jiang
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.014 Online: 02 February 2024
    Abstract13)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Identification of the S genotype of Malus plants will greatly promote the discovery of new genes, the cultivation and production of apple, the breeding of new varieties, and the origin and evolution of self-incompatibility in Malus plants. In this experiment, 88 Malus germplasm resources, such as Aihuahong, Xishuhaitang, and Reguanzi, were used as materials. Seven gene-specific primer combinations were used in the genotype identification. PCR amplification using leaf DNA produced a single S-RNase gene fragment in all materials. The results revealed that 70 of the identified materials obtained a complete S-RNase genotype, while only one S-RNase gene was found in 18 of them. Through homology comparison and analysis, 13 S-RNase genotypes were obtained : S1S2 (Aihuahong, etc.), S1S28 (Xixianhaitang, etc.), S1S51 (Hebeipingdinghaitang), S1S3 (Xiangyangcundaguo, etc.), S2S3 (Zhaiyehaitang, etc.), S3S51 (Xishanyihao), S3S28 (Huangselihaerde, etc.), S2S28 (Honghaitang, etc.), S4S28 (Bo 11), S7S28 (Jiuquanshaguo), S10Se (Dongchengguanshisanhao), S10S21 (Dongxiangjiao) and SeS51 (Xiongyuehaitang). Simultaneously, the frequency of the S gene in the tested materials was analyzed. The findings revealed that different S genes had varying frequencies in Malus resources, as well as varying frequencies between intraspecific and interspecific. S3 had the highest frequency of 68.18%, followed by S1 (42.04%). In addition, the phylogenetic tree and origin evolution analysis revealed that the S gene differentiation was completed prior to the formation of various apple species, that cultivated species also evolved new S genes, and that the S50 gene is the oldest S allele in Malus plants. The S1, S29, and S33 genes in apple-cultivated species, on the other hand, may have originated in Malus sieversii, Malus hupehensis, and Malus kansuensis, respectively. In addition to Malus sieversii, Malus kansuensis and Malus sikkimensis may have also played a role in the origin and evolution of some Chinese apples.
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    Improving model performance in mapping cropland soil organic matter using time-series remote sensing data
    Xianglin Zhang, Jie Xue, Songchao Chen, Zhiqing Zhuo, Zheng Wang, Xueyao Chen, Yi Xiao, Zhou Shi
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.015 Online: 02 February 2024
    Abstract8)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Faced with increasing global soil degradation, spatially explicit data on cropland soil organic matter (SOM) provides crucial data for soil carbon pool accounting, cropland quality assessment and the formulation of effective management policies. As a spatial information prediction technique, digital soil mapping (DSM) has been widely used to spatially map soil information at different scales. However, the accuracy of digital SOM maps for cropland is typically lower than for other land cover types due to the inherent difficulty in precisely quantifying human disturbance. To overcome this limitation, this study systematically assessed a framework of “information extraction-feature selection-model averaging” for improving model performance in mapping cropland SOM using 462 cropland soil samples collected in Guangzhou, China in 2021. The results showed that using the framework of dynamic information extraction, feature selection and model averaging could efficiently improve the accuracy of the final predictions (R2: 0.48 to 0.53) without having obviously negative impacts on uncertainty. Quantifying the dynamic information of the environment was an efficient way to generate covariates that are linearly and nonlinearly related to SOM, which improved the R2 of random forest from 0.44 to 0.48 and the R2 of extreme gradient boosting from 0.37 to 0.43. FRFS is recommended when there are relatively few environmental covariates (<200), whereas Boruta is recommended when there are many environmental covariates (>500). The granger-ramanathan model averaging approach could improve the prediction accuracy and average uncertainty. When the structures of initial prediction models are similar, increasing in the number of averaging models did not have significantly positive effects on the final predictions. Given the advantages of these selected strategies over information extraction, feature selection and model averaging have great potential for high-accuracy soil mapping at any scales, so this approach can provide more reliable references for soil conservation policy-making.
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    Development of Gossypium hirsutum-Gossypium raimondii introgression lines and its usages in QTL mapping of agricultural traits
    Liang Wang, Nijiang Ai, Zechang Zhang, Chenhui Zhou, Guoli Feng, Sheng Cai, Ningshan Wang, Liuchun Feng, Yu Chen, Min Xu, Yingying Wang, Haoran Yue, Mengfei Chen, Liangshuai Xing, Baoliang Zhou
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.016 Online: 02 February 2024
    Abstract7)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Gossypium raimondii (2n=2x=26, D5), an untapped wild species, is the putative progenitor of the D-subgenome of G. hirsutum (2n=4x=52, AD1), an extensively cultivated species.  Here, we developed a G. hirsutum (recipient)-G. raimondii (donor) introgression population to exploit favorable QTLs/genes and mapped potential quantitative trait loci (QTLs) from wild cotton species.  The introgression population consists of 256 lines with an introgression rate of 52.33% of the genome G. raimondii.  The range of introgression segment length was 0.03-19.12 Mb, with an average of 1.22 Mb.  The coverage of total introgression fragments was 386.98 Mb from G. raimondii. Further genome-wide association analysis (Q+K+MLM) and QTL mapping (RSTEP-LRT) identified 59 common QTLs, including 14 stable QTLs and 6 common QTL (co-QTL) clusters, and one hotspot of MIC.  The common QTLs for seed index showed all positive additive effects, while the common QTLs for boll weight were all negative additive effects, indicating that the linkage between seed index and boll weight could be broken.  QTLs for lint percentage showed positive effect and could be beneficial for improving cotton yield.  Most QTLs for fiber quality had negative additive effects, implying these QTLs were domesticated/improved in G. hirsutum.  A few fiber quality QTLs showed positive additive effects, which could be used to improve cotton fiber quality.  These introgression lines developed would be useful for molecular marker-assisted breeding and facilitate us to map QTLs precisely for mining desirable genes from the wild species G. raimondii to improve cultivated cotton in future via a design-breeding approach.
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    GWAS analysis reveals candidate genes associated with dense tolerance (ear leaf structure) in maize (Zea mays L.)
    Chunxiang Li, Yongfeng Song, Yong Zhu, Mengna Cao, Xiao Han, Jinsheng Fan, Zhichao Lv, Yan Xu, Yu Zhou, Xing Zeng, Lin Zhang, Ling Dong, Dequan Sun, Zhenhua Wang, Hong Di
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.023 Online: 02 February 2024
    Abstract13)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Planting density is a major limiting factor for maize yield, and breeding for density tolerance breeding has become an urgent issue.  The leaf structure of the maize ear leaf is the main factor that restricts planting density and yield composition.  In this study, a natural population of 201 maize inbred lines was used for genome-wide association analysis, which identified nine SNPs on chromosomes 2, 5, 8, 9, and 10 that were significantly associated with ear leaf type structure.  Further verification through qRT-PCR confirmed the association of five candidate genes with these SNPs, with the Zm00001d008651 gene showing significant differential expression in compact and flat maize inbred lines.  Enrichment analysis using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and Gene Ontology (GO) suggested that this gene is involved in the glycolysis process.  The analysis of the basic properties of this gene revealed that it encodes a stable, basic protein consisting of 593 amino acids with some hydrophobic ability.  The promoter region contains stress and hormone (ABA) related elements.  The mutant of this gene increased the uppermost ear leaf angle (eLA) and the first leaf below the uppermost ear (bLA) by 4.96° and 0.97° compared with normal inbred lines.  Overall, this research sheds light on the regulatory mechanism of ear and leaf structure that influence density tolerance and provides solid foundational work for the development of new varieties.
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    Induced CTL-S15 gene expression by Bacillus thuringiensis declines susceptibility in Spodoptera exigua
    Jianqiang Bao, Yuxuan Chen, Suwan Jiang, Rui Liu, Xi Zhang, Fangzheng Zhang, Zhiwei Chen, Chen Luo, Hailong Kong
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.024 Online: 02 February 2024
    Abstract10)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    It has been reported that C-type lectins (CTLs), which are pattern recognition receptors of the insect innate immunity response, may compete with Cry toxin for the receptor alkaline phosphatase to decrease its toxicity in insects. However, to date, which CTLs affect larval susceptibility to Bt in Spodoptera exigua is not clear. In this study, thirty-three CTL genes were identified from Sexigua. Based on the number of carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRDs) and the domain architectures, they were classified into three groups: (1) nineteen CTL-S (single-CRD), (2) eight immulectin (dual-CRD) and (3) six CTL-X (CRD with other domains). RT-qPCR analysis revealed that expression levels of SeCTL-S15IML-4 and CTL-X6 were upregulated after challenge with Bt and Cry1Ab. Tissue and developmental stage expression analysis showed that only SeCTL-S15was mainly expressed in the midgut and larva, respectively. Knockdown of SeCTL-S15 significantly increased Bt susceptibility, as indicated by reduced survival and larval weight. These results suggest that CTL-S15 might play a vital role in the low susceptibility of larvae to Bt in Sexigua. Our results provide new insights into CTL function in insects.
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    A missense mutation in the Sin3 subunit of Rpd3 histone deacetylase complex bypasses the requirement for FNG1 in wheat scab fungus
    Xu Huai-jian, Jiang Ruo-xuan, Fu Xian-hui, Wang Qin-hu, Shi Yu-tong, Zhao Xiao-fei, Jiang Cong, Jiang Hang
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.006 Online: 01 February 2024
    Abstract10)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    The Rpd3 histone deacetylase complex is a multiple-subunit complex that mediates the regulation of chromatin accessibility and gene expression. Sin3, the largest subunit of Rpd3 complex, is conserved in a broad range of eukaryotes. Despite being a molecular scaffold for complex assembly, the functional sites and mechanism of action of Sin3 remain unexplored. In this study, we functionally characterized a glutamate residue (E810) in FgSin3, the ortholog of yeast Sin3 in Fusarium graminearum (known as wheat scab fungus). Our findings indicate that E810 was important for the functions of FgSin3 in regulating vegetative growth, sexual reproduction, wheat infection, and DON biosynthesis. Furthermore, the E810K missense mutation restored the reduced H4 acetylation caused by the deletion of FNG1, the ortholog of the human inhibitor of growth (ING1) gene in F. graminearum. Correspondingly, the defects of the fng1 mutant were also partially rescued by the E810K mutation in FgSin3. Sequence alignment and evolutionary analysis revealed that E810 residue is well-conserved in fungi, animals, and plants. Based on Alphafold2 structure modeling, E810 localized on the FgRpd3-FgSin3 interface for the formation of a hydrogen bond with FgRpd3. Mutation of E810 disrupts the hydrogen bond and likely affects the FgRpd3-FgSin3 interaction. Taken together, E810 of FgSin3 is functionally associated with Fng1 in the regulation of H4 acetylation and related biological processes, probably by affecting the assembly of the Rpd3 complex.
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    Dynamic changes in weed abundance and biodiversity following different green manure establishment
    YAN He, CHEN Shuang, ZHAO Jing-kun, ZHANG Zhi-bing, CHEN Lun-lun, HUANG Ren-mei, LIU Yong-min, SHI Xiao-jun, ZHANG Yu-ting
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.007 Online: 01 February 2024
    Abstract11)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Weeds have a negative impact on agricultural production by competing with cultivated crops for resources and fostering conditions conducive to disease and insect pest dissemination. Hence, optimal weed management is of paramount importance for sustainable agricultural. In this study, the ability of four distinct green manure species to suppress weeds was determined in a field experiment conducted in Chongqing, Southwest China. After cultivating the green manure species, the weed density and diversity were monitored over the following year. The findings highlight a notable trend in the suppressive ability of green manures, with increased suppression observed from November to March, an optimal level observed from March to May, and a gradual decline observed thereafter. Poaceae (Lolium perenne L.) demonstrated the highest efficacy in suppressing weeds. The meta-analysis underscore the exceptional suppressive effects of poaceous green manures on weed as well and prove sustained planting for three or more consecutive years yielded superior weed suppression outcomes. Green manure had the most prominent inhibitory effect on poaceae weeds, followed by Polygonaceae and Caryophyllaceae. The field experiment also investigated the effect of green manures on weed community composition, they increased in the proportion of perennial weeds within these communities. This study offers valuable insights that can guide policymakers, agricultural experts, and farmers in devising effective weed management strategies. By highlighting the potential benefits of green manures and unraveling their nuanced impact, this study contributes to the arsenal of sustainable agricultural practices.
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    Plastic mulch increases dryland wheat yield and water-use productivity, while straw mulch increases soil water storage
    Hubing Zhao, Guanfei Liu, Yingxia Dou Huimin Yang, Tao Wang, Zhaohui Wang Sukhdev Malhi, Adnan Anwar Khan
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.008 Online: 01 February 2024
    Abstract10)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Amplifying drought stress and high precipitation variability impair dryland wheat production. These problems can potentially be minimized by using plastic mulch (PM) or straw mulch (SM). Therefore, wheat grain yield, soil water storage, soil temperature and water-use productivity (WUP) of PM and SM treatments were compared with no mulch (CK) treatment on dryland wheat over a period of eight seasons. Compared to the CK treatment, PM and SM treatments on average significantly increased grain yield by 12.6 and 10.5%, respectively. Compared to the CK treatment, SM treatment significantly decreased soil daily temperature by 0.57, 0.60 and 0.48°C for the whole seasons, growing periods and summer fallow periods, respectively. In contrast, compared to the CK treatment, PM treatment increased soil daily temperature by 0.44, 0.51 and 0.27°C for the whole seasons, growing periods and summer fallow periods, respectively. Lower soil temperature under SM allowed greater  soil water storage than under PM. Pre-seeding soil water storage was 17% greater under the SM than under the PM treatment. Soil water storage post-harvest was similar for the PM and SM treatments, but evapotranspiration (ET) was 4.5% higher in the SM than in the PM treatment. Consequently, WUP was 6.6% greater under PM than under the SM treatment. Therefore, PM treatment increased dryland wheat yield and water-use productivity, while straw mulch increased soil water storage.
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    Autophagy-related protein PlAtg3 participates in vegetative growth, sporangial cleavage, autophagy and pathogenicity of Peronophythora litchii
    YANG Cheng-dong, LUO Man-fei, ZHANG Xue, YE Lin-lin, YU Ge, LV Yi, CHEN Yi, CHEN Tai-xu, WANG Xue-jian, FENG Wan-zhen, CHEN Qing-he
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.009 Online: 01 February 2024
    Abstract22)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Litchi downy blight, caused by the plant pathogenic oomycete Peronophythora litchii, is one of the most devastating diseases on litchi and resulted in huge economic losses.

    Autophagy plays an essential role in the development and pathogenicity of the filamentous fungi. However, the function of autophagy in oomycetes remain elusive. Here, an autophagy-related protein Atg3 homolog PlAtg3 was identified and characterized in P. litchii. The absence of PlATG3 through the CRISPR/Cas9 gene replacement strategy compromised vegetative growth and sexual/asexual development. Cytological analyses revealed that the deletion of PlATG3 impaired autophagosome formation with monodansylcadaverine (MDC) staining and significantly disrupted zoospore release due to defects of sporangial cleavage with FM4-64 staining. Atg8 is considered to be an autophagy marker protein in various species. Western blot analysis indicated that PlAtg3 is involved in degradation of PlAtg8-PE. Interestingly, PlAtg3 was unable to interact with PlAtg8 in yeast two hybrid (Y2H) assays, possibly due to the absence of the Atg8 family interacting motif (AIM) in PlAtg3. Furthermore, pathogenicity assays revealed that the deletion of PlATG3 considerably reduced the virulence of P. litchii. Taken together, our data reveal that PlAtg3 plays an important role in radial growth, asexual/sexual development, sporangial cleavage and zoospore release, autophagosome formation, and pathogenicity in P. litchii. This study contributes to a better understanding of the pathogenicity mechanisms of P. litchii and provides insights for the development of more effective strategies to control oomycete diseases.

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    The DNA damage repair complex MoMMS21-MoSMC5 is required for infection-related development and pathogenicity of Magnaporthe oryzae
    Yue Jiang, Rong Wang, Lili Du, Xueyu Wang, Xi Zhang, Pengfei Qi, Qianfei Wu, Baoyi Peng, Zonghua Wang, Mo Wang, Ya Li
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.010 Online: 01 February 2024
    Abstract13)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    The conserved DNA damage repair complex, MMS21-SMC5/6 (Methyl methane sulfonate 21 - Structural maintenance of chromosomes 5/6), has been extensively studied in yeast, animals, and plants. However, its role in phytopathogenic fungi, particularly in the highly destructive rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, remains unknown. In this study, we functionally characterized the homologues of this complex, MoMMS21 and MoSMC5, in M. oryzae. We first demonstrated the importance of DNA damage repair in M. oryzae by showing that the DNA damage inducer phleomycin inhibited vegetative growth, infection-related development and pathogenicity in this fungus. Additionally, we discovered that MoMMS21 and MoSMC5 interacted in the nuclei, suggesting that they also function as a complex in M. oryzae. Gene deletion experiments revealed that both MoMMS21 and MoSMC5 are required for infection-related development and pathogenicity in M. oryzae, while only MoMMS21 deletion affected growth and sensitivity to phleomycin, indicating its specific involvement in DNA damage repair. Overall, our results provide insights into the roles of MoMMS21 and MoSMC5 in M. oryzae, highlighting their functions beyond DNA damage repair.
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    Genome-wide identification of CONSTANS-LIKE (COL) family and mechanism of PpCOL8 regulating fruit senescence in sand pear (Pyrus pyrifolia)
    Yue Xu, Shurui Song, Huiying Wang, Xilong Cao, Xinran Zhao, Wenli Wang, Liyue Huo, Yawei Li, Misganaw Wassie, Bin Lu, Liang Chen, Haiyan Shi
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.011 Online: 01 February 2024
    Abstract9)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai. ‘Whangkeumbae’ belongs to sand pear fruit with excellent nutritional quality and taste. However, the industrial development of pear fruit is significantly limited by its short shelf life. Salicylic acid (SA), a well-known phytohormone, can delay fruit senescence and improve shelf life. Meanwhile, how SA regulates CONSTANS-LIKE genes (COLs) during fruit senescence and the role of COL genes in mediating fruit senescence in sand pear are poorly understood. In this study, 22 COL genes were identified in sand pear, including 4 COLs (PpCOL8, PpCOL9a, PpCOL9b, and PpCOL14) identified via transcriptome and 18 COLs through genome-wide analysis. These COL genes were divided into three subgroups according to the structural domains of COL protein. PpCOL8, with two B-box motifs and one CCT domain, belonged to the first subgroup. In contrast, the other three PpCOLs, PpCOL9a, PpCOL9b, and PpCOL14, with similar conserved protein domains and gene structures, were assigned to the third subgroup. The four COLs showed different expression patterns in pear tissues and were preferentially expressed at the early stage of fruit development. Moreover, the expression of PpCOL8 was inhibited by exogenous SA treatment, while SA up-regulated the expressions of PpCOL9a and PpCOL9b. Interestingly, PpCOL8 interacts with PpMADS, a MADS-box protein preferentially expressed in fruit, and SA up-regulated its expression. Additionally, the production of ethylene and the content of malondialdehyde (MDA) were increased in PpCOL8-overexression sand pear fruit; Meanwhile, the antioxidant enzyme (POD and SOD) activity and the expression of PpPOD1 and PpSOD1 in the sand pear fruits were down-regulated, which showed that PpCOL8 promoted sand pear fruit senescence. In contrast, the corresponding changes were opposite in PpMADS-overexpression sand pear fruits, which suggested that PpMADS delayed sand pear fruit senescence. The co-transformation of PpCOL8 and PpMADS also delayed the sand pear fruit senescence. This study revealed that PpCOL8 could play a key role in pear fruit senescence by interacting with PpMADS through the SA signaling pathway.
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    Identification and characterization of FpRco1 in regulating vegetative growth and pathogenicity based on T-DNA insertion in Fusarium pseudograminearum
    LI Hai-yang, ZHANG Yuan, QIN Can-can, WANG Zhi-fang HAO Ling-jun, ZHANG Pan-pan, YUAN Yong-qiang, DING Chao-pu, WANG Meng-xuan, ZAN Fei-fei, MENG Jia-xing, ZHUANG Xun-yu, LIU Zhe-ran, WANG Li-min ZHOU Hai-feng, CHEN Lin-lin , WANG Min, XING Xiao-ping, YUAN Hong-xia, LI Hong-lian, DING Sheng-li
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.001 Online: 25 January 2024
    Abstract35)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Fusarium pseudograminearum is a devastating pathogen that causes Fusarium crown rot (FCR) in wheat and poses a significant threat to wheat production in terms of grain yield and quality. However, the mechanism by which F. pseudograminearum infects wheat remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to elucidate these mechanisms by constructing a T-DNA insertion mutant library for the highly virulent strain WZ-8A of F. pseudograminearum. By screening this mutant library, we identified nine independent mutants that displayed impaired pathogenesis in barley leaves. Among these mutants, one possessed a disruption in the gene FpRCO1 that is an ortholog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae RCO1 and an essential component of the Rpd3S histone deacetylase complex in F. pseudograminearum. To further investigate the role of FpRCO1 in F. pseudograminearum, we employed a split-marker approach to knock out FpRCO1 in F. pseudograminearum WZ-8A. FpRCO1 deletion mutants exhibit reduced vegetative growth, conidium production, and virulence in wheat coleoptiles and barley leaves, whereas the complementary strain restores these phenotypes. Moreover, under stress conditions, the FpRCO1 deletion mutants exhibited increased sensitivity to NaCl, sorbitol, and SDS, but possessed reduced sensitivity to H2O2 compared to these characteristics in the wild-type strain. RNA-seq analysis revealed that deletion of FpRCO1 affected gene expression (particularly the downregulation of TRI gene expression), thus resulting in significantly reduced deoxynivalenol (DON) production. In summary, our findings highlight the pivotal role of FpRCO1 in regulating vegetative growth and development, asexual reproduction, DON production, and pathogenicity of F. pseudograminearum. This study provides valuable insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying F. pseudograminearum infection in wheat and may pave the way for the development of novel strategies to combat this devastating disease.
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    Acidic environment favors the development and pathogenicity of the grape white rot fungus Coniella vitis
    YUAN Li-fang, JIANG Hang, LIU Qi-bao, JIANG Xi-long, WEI Yan-feng, YIN Xiang-tian, LI Ting-gang
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.002 Online: 25 January 2024
    Abstract14)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Grape white rot caused by Coniella vitis is a global concern in the grape industry. pH regulation is essential for cell growth, reproductive processes and pathogenicity in phytopathogenic fungi. In this study, we observed that the growth rate, spore production and virulence of C. vitis significantly declined in alkaline pH, as well as the suppressive effect on secretion of hydrolytic enzymes. Transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses were used to investigate the responses of C. vitis to acidic (pH=5), neutral (pH=7) and alkaline environments (pH=9). We identified 728, 1780 and 3386 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) at pH 5, pH 7 and pH 9, when compared with the host pH (pH=3), and 2122 differently expressed metabolites (DEMs) in negative and positive ion mode. Most DEGs were involved in carbohydrate metabolic process, transmembrane transport, tricarboxylic acid cycle, peptide metabolic process, amide biosynthetic process, and organic acid metabolic process. In addition, metabolomic analysis revealed ABC transporters, indole alkaloid biosynthesis, diterpenoid biosynthesis, and carotenoid biosynthesis pathways in response to the pH change. Furthermore, we found that the aspartate synthesis metabolic route associated with the TCA cycle is a key limiting factor for the growth and development of C. vitis in alkaline environments, and aspartate supplementation enables C. vitis to grow in alkaline environments. Plant cell wall-degrading enzymes (PCWDEs) could contribute to the pathogenicity, when C. vitis infected at pH 3. Importantly, aflatrem biosynthesis in acidic environment might contribute to the virulence of C. vitis and has a risk of causing human health problems due to its acute neurotoxic effects.
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    Activity of fungicide cyclobutrifluram against Fusarium fujikuroi and mechanism of the pathogen resistance associated with point mutations in FfSdhB, FfSdhC2 and FfSdhD
    Yang Sun, Yu Liu, Li Zhou, Xinyan Liu, Kun Wang, Xing Chen, Chuanqing Zhang, Yu Chen
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.004 Online: 25 January 2024
    Abstract8)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Rice bakanae disease (RBD) is a devastating plant disease caused by Fusarium fujikuroi. This study aimed to evaluate the potential of cyclobutrifluram, a novel succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI), to control RBD, and determine the risk and mechanism of resistance to cyclobutrifluram in F. fujikuroi. In vitro experiments showed that cyclobutrifluram significantly inhibited mycelial growth and spore germination, and altered the morphology of mycelia and conidia. Treatment with cyclobutrifluram significantly decreased mycotoxin production and increased cell membrane permeability in F. fujikuroi. The baseline sensitivity of 72 F. fujikuroi isolates to cyclobutrifluram was determined using mycelial growth and spore germination inhibition assays, which revealed EC50 values of 0.0114 – 0.1304 μg mL-1 and 0.0012 – 0.016 μg mL-1, with mean EC50 values of 0.0410 ± 0.0470 μg mL-1 and 0.0038 ± 0.0015 μg mL-1, respectively. Pot experiments demonstrated that the protective effect of cyclobutrifluram against F. fujikuroi was more significant than that of phenamacril and azoxystrobin, indicating that cyclobutrifluram is a promising antifungal agent for the control of RBD. Six cyclobutrifluram-resistant mutants of F. fujikuroi were obtained via fungicide adaptation. Moreover, these mutants exhibited weaker fitness than their parental isolate and positive cross-resistance with other SDHI fungicides, including pydiflumetofen and penflufen; however, no cross-resistance was detected with other classes of fungicides, including phenamacril, fludioxonil, prochloraz, or azoxystrobin. These results indicated that the resistance risk of F. fujikuroi to cyclobutrifluram might be moderate. Sequencing analysis revealed that mutations, including H248D in FfSdhB, A83V in FfSdhC2, and S106F and E166K in FfSdhD, contributed to resistance, which was confirmed by molecular docking and homologous replacement experiments. The results suggest a high potential for cyclobutrifluram to control RBD and a moderate resistance risk of F. fujikuroi to cyclobutrifluram, which are meaningful findings for the scientific application of cyclobutrifluram.
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    Regulatory potential of soil available carbon, nitrogen, and functional genes on N2O emissions in two upland plantation systems
    Peng Xu, Mengdie Jiang, Imran KHAN, Muhammad Shaaban, Hongtao Wu, Barthelemy Harerimana, Ronggui Hu
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2024.01.005 Online: 25 January 2024
    Abstract8)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Dynamic nitrification and denitrification processes are affected by changes in soil redox conditions, and they play a vital role in regulating soil N2O emissions in rice-based cultivation. It is imperative to understand the influences of different upland crop planting systems on soil N2O emissions. In this study, we focused on two representative rotation systems in central China: rapeseed-rice (RR) and wheat-rice (WR). We examined the biotic and abiotic processes underlying the impacts of these upland plantings on soil N2O emissions. The results revealed that during the rapeseed-cultivated seasons in the RR rotation system, the average N2O emissions were 1.24±0.20 and 0.81±0.11 kg N ha-1 for the first and second seasons, respectively. These values were comparable to the N2O emissions observed during the first and second wheat-cultivated seasons in the WR rotation system (0.98±0.25 and 0.70±0.04 kg N ha-1, respectively). This suggests that upland cultivation has minimal impacts on soil N2O emissions in the two rotation systems. Strong positive correlations were found between N2O fluxes and soil ammonium (NH4+), nitrate (NO3-), microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN), and the ratio of soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to NO3- in both RR and WR rotation systems. Moreover, the presence of the AOA-amoA and nirK genes were positively associated with soil N2O fluxes in the RR and WR systems, respectively. This implies that these genes may have different potential roles in facilitating microbial N2O production in various upland plantation models. By using a structural equation model (SEM), we found that soil moisture, mineral N, MBN, and the AOA-amoA gene accounted for over 50% of the effects on N2O emissions in the RR rotation system. In the WR rotation system, soil moisture, mineral N, MBN, and the AOA-amoA and nirK genes had a combined impact of over 70% on N2O emissions. These findings demonstrate the interactive effects of functional genes and soil factors, including soil physical characteristics, available carbon and nitrogen, and their ratio, on soil N2O emissions during upland cultivation seasons under rice-upland rotations.
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    The coupled effects of various irrigation scheduling and split nitrogen fertilization modes on post-anthesis grain weight variation, yield, and grain quality of drip-irrigated winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in the North China Plain
    Abdoul Kader Mounkaila Hamani, Sunusi Amin Abubakar, Yuanyuan Fu, Djifa Fidele Kpalari, Guangshuai Wang, Aiwang Duan, Yang Gao, Xiaotang Ju
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2023.12.037 Online: 19 January 2024
    Abstract12)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Irrigation methods and nitrogen (N) fertilization modes have a complicated impact on wheat physiology, growth, and development, leading to the regulation of wheat grain yield and quality.  However, the optional water-N combination for drip-irrigated winter wheat remains unclear.  A two-year fieldwork was conducted to evaluate the influences of various N-fertigation and water regimes on wheat post-anthesis grain weight variation, yield, grain NPK content, and grain quality.  The two irrigation quotas were I45 (Irrigation when ETa-P reaches 45 mm) and I30 (Irrigation when ETa-P reaches 30 mm) and the six N application rates were N0-100 (100% at jointing/booting), N25-75 (25% at sowing and 75% at jointing/booting), N50-50 (50% at sowing and 50% at jointing/booting), N75-25 (75% at sowing and 25% at jointing/booting), N100-0 (100% at sowing), and SRF100 (100% of slow release fertilizer at sowing).  The experimental findings showed that post-anthesis grain weight variation, grain yield, grain NPK content, and grain quality were markedly influenced by the various irrigation scheduling and N-fertilization modes.  The N50-50 treatment was more beneficial for winter wheat post-anthesis grain weight variation than the N100-0 and N0-100 treatments under the two irrigation quotas and during the two seasons.  The highest grain yield of 9.72 and 9.94 (t ha−1) were obtained with the I45N50-50 treatment in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, respectively.  The grain crude protein was higher in the I45SRF100 treatment during the two seasons.  The I45N100-0 significantly (P<0.05) enhanced the content of grain total starch by 7.30 and 8.23% compared with the I45N0-100 and I30N0-100 treatments, respectively during the 2021-2021 season.  The I45N100-0 significantly (P<0.05) enhanced the content of grain total starch concentration by 7.77%, 7.62 and 7.88% in comparison with the I45N0-100, I30N0-100, and I30N25-75 treatments, respectively in the 2021-2022 season. Considering the principal component analysis (PCL), the N50-50 split N-fertigation mode could be an optional choice for farmers during winter wheat production via drip irrigation.
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    Identification and characterization of a plasmid co-harboring blaCTX-M-55 and blaTEM-141 in Escherichia albertii from broiler in China
    Weiqi Guo, Di Wang, Xinyu Wang, Zhiyang Wang, Hong Zhu, Jiangang Hu, Beibei Zhang, Jingjing Qi, Mingxing Tian, Yanqing Bao, Na Li, Wanjiang Zhang, Shao-hui Wang
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2023.12.038 Online: 19 January 2024
    Abstract4)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    The inappropriate use of cephalosporins lead to the occurrence and global spread of bacteria resistant to these antimicrobials. In this study, we isolated four Escherichia albertii (E. albertii) strains from broilers in Eastern China. The antimicrobial susceptibility and genomic characterization of these E. albertii isolates were determined. Our results revealed that these four E. albertii isolates exhibited resistance to tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, β-lactams, aminoglycosides, polymyxin B, sulfonamides, quinolones, and other antimicrobials. Among them, EA04 isolate was multidrug resistant and harbored extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) genes blaCTX-M and blaTEM. Whole genome sequencing and core-genome Multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) based on all ST4638 E. albertii for EA04 inferred highly probable epidemiological links between selected human isolates. Additionally, the ESBL genes blaTEM-141 and blaCTX-M-55 were coexistent in an approximately 75 kb IncFII plasmid pEA04.2 in EA04. Comparative analysis indicated that genes blaTEM-141 and blaCTX-M-55 were located in IS15-blaCTX-M-55-wbuC-blaTEM-141-IS26 region, which similar structures were identified in various bacteria. Furthermore, the plasmid pEA04.2 could be transferable to Escherichia coli EC600 and lead to the resistance to third-generation cephalosporins. These results suggested that chicken potentially serve as a reservoir for multidrug resistant E. albertii, which increases the risk of horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance between humans, animals and environment.
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    Genome wide linkage mapping for black point resistance in a recombinant inbred line population of Zhongmai 578 and Jimai 22
    Tiantian Chen, Lei Li, Dan Liu, Yubing Tian, Lingli Li, Jianqi Zeng, Awais Rasheed, Shuanghe Cao, Xianchun Xia, Zhonghu He, Jindong Liu, Yong Zhang
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2023.12.039 Online: 19 January 2024
    Abstract12)      PDF in ScienceDirect      
    Black point, a black discoloration of the grain embryo, downgrades the grain quality and commodity grade.  Identification of the underlying genetic loci can facilitate the improvement of black point resistance in wheat.  Here, 262 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from the cross of Zhongmai 578/Jimai 22 were evaluated for black point reaction in five environments.  A high-density genetic linkage map of the RIL population was constructed with the wheat 50K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array.  Six stable QTLs for black point resistance, QBp.caas-2A, QBp.caas-2B1, QBp.caas-2B2QBp.caas-2D, QBp.caas-3A and QBp.caas-5B were detected, explaining 2.1-28.8% of the phenotypic variances.  The resistance alleles of QBp.caas-2B1 and QBp.caas-2B2 were contributed by Zhongmai 578 while the others were from Jimai 22.  QBp.caas-2B2, QBp.caas-2D and QBp.caas-3A are overlapped with previously reported loci, whereas QBp.caas-2AQBp.caas-2B1 and QBp.caas-5B are likely to be new.  Five KASP markers, Kasp_2A_BP, Kasp_2B1_BP, Kasp_2B2_BP, Kasp_3A_BP and Kasp_5B_BP were validated in a natural population of 165 cultivars.  The findings provide useful QTL and molecular markers for improvement of black point in wheat resistance in marker-assisted breeding.
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