To clarify characteristics of carbon (C) allocation in a Bornean tropical rainforest without dry seasons, gross primary production (GPP) and C allocation, i.e., above-ground net primary production (ANPP), aboveground plant respiration (APR), and total below-ground carbon flux (TBCF) for the forest were examined and compared with those from Amazonian tropical rainforests with dry seasons. GPP (30.61 MgC ha(-1) year(-1), eddy covariance measurements; 34.40 MgC ha(-1) year(-1), biometric measurements) was comparable to those for Amazonian rainforests. ANPP (6.76 MgC ha(-1) year(-1)) was comparable to, and APR (8.01 MgC ha(-1) year(-1)) was slightly lower than, their respective values for Amazonian rainforests, even though aboveground biomass was greater at our site. TBCF (19.63 MgC ha(-1) year(-1)) was higher than those for Amazonian forests. The comparable ANPP and higher TBCF were unexpected, since higher water availability would suggest less fine root competition for water, giving higher ANPP and lower TBCF to GPP. Low nutrient availability may explain the comparable ANPP and higher TBCF. These data show that there are variations in C allocation patterns among mature tropical rainforests, and the variations cannot be explained solely by differences in soil water availability.
Developmental biochemical information is a vital base for the elucidation of seed physiology and metabolism. However, no data regarding the biochemical profile of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) seed development has been reported thus far. In this study, the biochemical changes in the developing oil palm seed were investigated to study their developmental pattern. The biochemical composition found in the seed differed significantly among the developmental stages. During early seed development, the water, hexose (glucose and fructose), calcium and manganese contents were present in significantly high levels compared to the late developmental stage. Remarkable changes in the biochemical composition were observed at 10 weeks after anthesis (WAA): the dry weight and sucrose content increased significantly, whereas the water content and hexose content declined. The switch from a high to low hexose/sucrose ratio could be used to identify the onset of the maturation phase. At the late stage, dramatic water loss occurred, whereas the content of storage reserves increased progressively. Lauric acid was the most abundant fatty acid found in oil palm seed starting from 10 WAA.
Vertical variation in leaf gas exchange characteristics of trees grown in a lowland dipterocarp forest in Peninsular Malaysia was investigated. Maximum net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and electron transport rate of leaves at the upper canopy, lower canopy, and forest floor were studied in situ with saturated condition photosynthetic photon flux density. The dark respiration rate of leaves at the various heights was also studied. Relationships among gas exchange characteristics, and also with nitrogen content per unit leaf area and leaf dry matter per area were clearly detected, forming general equations representing the vertical profile of several important parameters related to gas exchange. Numerical analysis revealed that the vertical distribution of gas exchange parameters was well determined showing both larger carbon gain for the whole canopy and at the same time positive carbon gain for the leaves of the lowest layer. For correct estimation of gas exchange at both leaf and canopy scales using multi-layer models, it is essential to consider the vertical distribution of gas exchange parameters with proper scaling coefficients.
We examined relationships between mortality rate, relative growth rate (RGR), and spatial patterns of three growth stages (small, medium, and large trees) for 11 dipterocarp species in the Pasoh 50-ha plot. Mortality rates for these species tended to be positively correlated with RGRs, although the correlation was significant only at the small-tree stage. Seven species with high growth and mortality rates exhibited peaks in spatial aggregation at small distances (<100 m) in small trees, but this aggregation disappeared in medium and large trees. In contrast, the other four species with low growth and mortality rates aggregated at large distances (>200 m) throughout the three growth stages in all but one species. Negative associations between different growth stages were observed only for the high-mortality species, suggesting density-dependent mortality. The high-mortality species showed habitat associations with topography, soil type, and the forest regeneration phase after gap formation, whereas the three low-mortality species only had associations with the forest regeneration phase. A randomization procedure revealed that these habitat associations explained little of their spatial aggregation. Our results suggest that the growth strategy has a large effect on the structuring of the spatial distribution of tree species through mortality processes.
Molecular variations of Spiranthes sinensis Ames var. australis (R.Br.) H. Hara et Kitam. ex Kitam. in Japan were examined to evaluate the validity of the seasonally differentiated groups and a dwarf form of the species, which is endemic to Yakushima Island, Japan. Sequence differences in the plastid trnL-F locus clearly distinguished Japanese S. sinensis var. australis from S. sinensis var. sinensis collected from Ryukyu. In contrast, the trnL-F sequence of S. sinensis var. australis from Sabah, Malaysia, clearly differed from that of Japanese S. sinensis var. australis, suggesting genetic heterogeneity of Spiranthes sinensis var. australis in Asia. Moreover, a molecular analysis based on the sequences of nuclear ITS1 regions indicated that there are two major groups of S. sinensis var. australis in Japan, with a geographic distribution boundary on Kyushu Island. However, the trnL-F and ITS1 sequences did not support the genetic differentiation of the seasonally differentiated groups or the dwarf form from the other Japanese individuals. Based on these molecular data, the systematic treatment of physiological and morphological variations in the Japanese population of S. sinensis. var. australis is discussed.
The daily variations in the in situ CO(2) exchange of the reproductive organs of Durio zibethinus trees, growing in an experimental field at University Putra Malaysia (UPM), were examined at different growth stages. Reproductive organs emerged on the leafless portions of branches inside the crown. The photon flux densities (PFD) in the chambers used for the measurements were less than 100 mumol m(-2) s(-1) and were 40% of the PFD outside of the crown. The daytime net respiration rate and the nighttime dark respiration rate were higher at the time of flower initiation and during the mixed stages, when flower buds, flowers, and fruit coexist, than at the flower bud stage. The net respiration rate was lower than the daytime dark respiration rate at given temperatures, especially at the flower bud and fruit stages. Conversely, the net respiration rate was similar to the daytime dark respiration rate at the mixed stage. Photosynthetic CO(2) refixation reduced the daily respiratory loss by 17, 5, 0.3, and 24% at the flower bud, flower initiation, mixed, and fruit stages, respectively.
This paper covers studies on the molecular and ecological aspects of G. glabra var. glandulifera, G. flavescens ssp. flavescens and G. echinata collected from Hatay (Turkey); with the aim to better understand their genetic variation and ecological requirements for possible conservation programs. The material including total genomic DNA was extracted by the CTAB, and for PCR reaction, a total of 14 SSR primers developed for Medicago truncatula were used. PCR amplifications were performed in a Multigen(®) Thermal Cycler. Soil samples were analysed for their texture, pH, total soluble salts, calcium carbonate, total N content, total phosphorus and organic matter content. In order to see the association between genetic, ecological and geographical data, a similarity matrix was generated. Genetic similarity distances between genotypes were correlated with those of Eucledian distances obtained from ecological and geographical data. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) was performed using GenAlEx 6.5 software to determine variation among and within genetic variations. The genetic analysis showed that the highest expected heterozygosity values were obtained from G. glabra while the lowest were obtained from G. echinata. In general heterozygosity values were low, especially for G. echinata. Therefore, variation appears to be lower within each species than among three species. The physical and chemical analysis of soil and plant samples indicates that mineral accumulation in plants is substantially affected by the soil characteristics. There is a need for identification of better strategies for the improvement of varieties, especially for small farmers managing marginal soils. More studies should be conducted in order to safeguard these taxa, especially G. glabra var. glandulifera which is collected intensively due to its economic value, the same is true for endemic taxon G. flavescens ssp. flavescens.
We monitored the reproductive status of all trees with diameters at breast height (dbh) >30 cm in a 40-ha plot at Pasoh, west Malaysia, and investigated the individual fecundity of 15 Shorea acuminata Dyer (Dipterocarpaceae) trees using seed-trapping methods during two consecutive general flowering periods in 2001 (GF2001) and 2002 (GF2002). The proportion of flowering trees was higher, and not dependent on size, in GF2002 (84.2%), than in GF2001 (54.5%), when flowering mainly occurred in trees with a dbh < or =70 cm. Fecundity parameters of individual trees per event varied widely (221,000-35,200,000 flowers, 0-139,000 mature seeds, and 1.04-177 kg total dry matter mass of fruit (TDM) per tree). Monotonic increases with increasing tree size were observed for flower production and TDM amongst trees up to 90 cm in dbh, but not for mature seed production or for any of these parameters amongst larger trees. The pattern of reproductive investment during the two consecutive reproductive events clearly differed between medium-sized and large trees; the former concentrated their reproductive investment in one of the reproductive events whereas the latter allocated their investment more evenly to both reproductive events. Our results suggest size-related differences in the resource allocation pattern for reproduction.
Pristine tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia have rich species diversity and are important habitats for many plant species. However, the extent of these forests has declined in recent decades and they have become fragmented due to human activities. These developments may reduce the genetic diversity of species within them and, consequently, the species' ability to adapt to environmental changes. Our objective in the study presented here was to clarify the effect of tree density on the genetic diversity and gene flow patterns of Shorea leprosula Miq. populations in Peninsular Malaysia. For this purpose, we related genetic diversity and pollen flow parameters of seedling populations in study plots to the density of mature trees in their vicinity. The results show that gene diversity and allelic richness were not significantly correlated to the mature tree density. However, the number of rare alleles among the seedlings and the selfing rates of the mother trees were negatively correlated with the density of the adult trees. Furthermore, in a population with high mature tree density pollination distances were frequently <200 m, but in populations with low adult tree density the distances were longer. These findings suggest that the density of flowering trees affects selfing rates, gene flow and, thus, the genetic diversity of S. leprosula populations. We also found an individual S. leprosula tree with a unique reproductive system, probably apomictic, mating system.
The vertical structure of a tropical rain forest is complex and multilayered, with strong variation of micro-environment with height up to the canopy. We investigated the relation between morphological traits of leaf surfaces and tree ecological characteristics in a Malaysian tropical rain forest. The shapes and densities of stomata and trichomes on the abaxial leaf surfaces and their relation with leaf characteristics such as leaf area and leaf mass per area (LMA) were studied in 136 tree species in 35 families with different growth forms in the tropical moist forest. Leaf physiological properties were also measured in 50 canopy and emergent species. Most tree species had flat type (40.4 %) or mound type (39.7 %) stomata. In addition, 84 species (61.76 %) in 22 families had trichomes, including those with glandular (17.65 %) and non-glandular trichomes (44.11 %). Most leaf characteristics significantly varied among the growth form types: species in canopy and emergent layers and canopy gap conditions had higher stomatal density, stomatal pore index (SPI), trichome density and LMA than species in understory and subcanopy layers, though the relation of phylogenetically independent contrasts to each characteristic was not statistically significant, except for leaf stomatal density, SPI and LMA. Intrinsic water use efficiency in canopy and emergent tree species with higher trichome densities was greater than in species with lower trichome densities. These results suggest that tree species in tropical rain forests adapt to a spatial difference in their growth forms, which are considerably affected by phylogenetic context, by having different stomatal and trichome shapes and/or densities.
The phylogenetic affinities of the fern genus Aenigmopteris have been the subject of considerable disagreement, but until now, no molecular data were available from the genus. Based on the analysis of three chloroplast DNA regions (rbcL, rps16-matK, and trnL-F) we demonstrate that Aenigmopteris dubia (the type species of the genus) and A. elegans are closely related and deeply imbedded in Tectaria. The other three species of genus are morphologically very similar; we therefore transfer all five known species into Tectaria. Detailed morphological comparison further shows that previously proposed diagnostic characters of Aenigmopteris fall within the range of variation of a broadly circumscribed Tectaria.
The small genome size of rice relative to wheat and barley, together with its salt sensitivity, make it an ideal candidate for studies of salt stress response. Transcriptomics has emerged as a powerful technique to study salinity responses in many crop species. By identifying a large number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) simultaneously after the stress induction, it can provide crucial insight into the immediate responses towards the stressor. In this study, a Malaysian salt-tolerant indigenous rice variety named Bajong and one commercial rice variety named MR219 were investigated for their performance in plant growth and ion accumulation properties after salt stress treatment. Bajong was further investigated for the changes in leaf's transcriptome after 6 h of stress treatment using 100 mM NaCl. Based on the results obtained, Bajong is found to be significantly more salt tolerant than MR219, showing better growth and a lower sodium ion accumulation after the stress treatment. Additionally, Bajong was analysed by transcriptomic sequencing, generating a total of 130 millions reads. The reads were assembled into de novo transcriptome and each transcript was annotated using several pre-existing databases. The transcriptomes of control and salt-stressed samples were then compared, leading to the discovery of 4096 DEGs. Based on the functional annotation results obtained, the enrichment factor of each functional group in DEGs was calculated in relation to the total reads obtained. It was found that the group with the highest gene modulation was involved in the secondary metabolite biosynthesis of plants, with approximately 2.5% increase in relation to the total reads obtained. This suggests an extensive transcriptional reprogramming of the secondary metabolic pathways after stress induction, which could be directly responsible for the salt tolerance capability of Bajong.
Expansin is a non-enzymatic protein which plays a pivotal role in cell wall loosening by inducing stress relaxation and extension in the plant cell wall. Previous studies on Arabidopsis, Petunia × hybrida, and tomato demonstrated that the suppression of expansin gene expression reduced plant growth but expansin overexpression does not necessarily promotes growth. In this study, both expansin gene suppression and overexpression in dark-grown transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings resulted in reduced hypocotyl length at late growth stages with a more pronounced effect for the overexpression. This defect in hypocotyl elongation raises questions about the molecular effect of expansin gene manipulation. RNA-seq analysis of the transcriptomic changes between day 3 and day 5 seedlings for both transgenic lines found numerous differentially expressed genes (DEGs) including transcription factors and hormone-related genes involved in different aspects of cell wall development. These DEGs imply that the observed hypocotyl growth retardation is a consequence of the concerted effect of regulatory factors and multiple cell-wall related genes, which are important for cell wall remodelling during rapid hypocotyl elongation. This is further supported by co-expression analysis through network-centric approach of differential network cluster analysis. This first transcriptome-wide study of expansin manipulation explains why the effect of expansin overexpression is greater than suppression and provides insights into the dynamic nature of molecular regulation during etiolation.
The cell wall determines morphology and the environmental responses of plant cells. The primary cell wall (PCW) is produced during cell division and expansion, determining the cell shape and volume. After cell expansion, specific types of plant cells produce a lignified wall, known as a secondary cell wall (SCW). We functionally analyzed Group IIId Arabidopsis AP2/EREBP genes, namely ERF34, ERF35, ERF38, and ERF39, which are homologs of a rice ERF gene previously proposed to be related to SCW biosynthesis. Expression analysis revealed that these four genes are expressed in regions related to cell division and/or cell differentiation in seedlings (i.e., shoot apical meristems, the primordia of leaves and lateral roots, trichomes, and central cylinder of primary roots) and flowers (i.e., vascular tissues of floral organs and replums and/or valve margins of pistils). Overexpression of ERF genes significantly upregulated PCW-type, but not SCW-type, CESA genes encoding cellulose synthase catalytic subunits in Arabidopsis seedlings. Transient co-expression reporter analysis indicated that ERF35, ERF38, and ERF39 possess transcriptional activator activity, and that ERF34, ERF35, ERF38, and ERF39 upregulated the promoter activity of CESA1, a PCW-type CESA gene, through the DRECRTCOREAT elements, the core cis-acting elements known to be recognized by AP2/ERF proteins. Together, our findings show that Group IIId ERF genes are positive transcriptional regulators of PCW-type CESA genes in Arabidopsis and are possibly involved in modulating cellulose biosynthesis in response to developmental requirements and environmental stimuli.
Papaya is one of the most nutritional fruits, rich in vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids and other antioxidants. Previous studies showed phytonutrient improvement without affecting quality in tomato fruit and rapeseed through the suppression of DE-ETIOLATED-1 (DET1), a negative regulator in photomorphogenesis. This study is conducted to study the effects of DET1 gene suppression in papaya embryogenic callus. Immature zygotic embryos were transformed with constitutive expression of a hairpin DET1 construct (hpDET1). PCR screening of transformed calli and reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) verified that DET1 gene downregulation in two of the positive transformants. High-throughput cDNA 3' ends sequencing on DET1-suppressed and control calli for transcriptomic analysis of global gene expression identified a total of 452 significant (FDR
Areca nuts (seeds of Areca catechu L.) are a traditional and popular masticatory in India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, certain parts of China, and some other countries. Four related pyridine alkaloids (arecoline, arecaidine, guvacoline, and guvacine) are considered being the main functional ingredients in areca nut. Until now, A. catechu is the only known species producing these alkaloids in the Arecaceae family. In the present study, we investigated alkaloid contents in 12 Arecaceae species and found that only Areca triandra Roxb. contained these pyridine alkaloids. We further analyzed in more detail tissue-specific and development-related distribution of these alkaloids in leaves, male and female flowers and fruits in different stages of maturity in A. triandra by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Results revealed that the alkaloids were most abundant in young leaves, the pericarp of ripe fruits and the endosperm of unripe fruits in developmental stage 2. Abundance of the 4 different alkaloids in A. triandra fruits varied during maturation. Pericarps of ripe fruits had the highest arecaidine concentration (4.45 mg g-1) and the lowest guvacoline concentration (0.0175 mg g-1), whereas the endosperm of unripe fruits of developmental stage 2 contained the highest guvacoline concentration (3.39 mg g-1) and the lowest guvacine concentration (0.245 mg g-1). We conclude that A. triandra is useful in future as a further valuable source of Areca alkaloids.
Carnivorous plants capture and digest insects for nutrients, allowing them to survive in soil deprived of nitrogenous nutrients. Plants from the genus Nepenthes produce unique pitchers containing secretory glands, which secrete enzymes into the digestive fluid. We performed RNA-seq analysis on the pitcher tissues and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis on the pitcher fluids of Nepenthes × ventrata to study protein expression in this carnivory organ during early days of pitcher opening. This transcriptome provides a sequence database for pitcher fluid protein identification. A total of 32 proteins of diverse functions were successfully identified in which 19 proteins can be quantified based on label-free quantitative proteomics (SWATH-MS) analysis while 16 proteins were not reported previously. Our findings show that certain proteins in the pitcher fluid were continuously secreted or replenished after pitcher opening, even without any prey or chitin induction. We also discovered a new aspartic proteinase, Nep6, secreted into pitcher fluid. This is the first SWATH-MS analysis of protein expression in Nepenthes pitcher fluid using a species-specific reference transcriptome. Taken together, our study using a gel-free shotgun proteomics informed by transcriptomics (PIT) approach showed the dynamics of endogenous protein secretion in the digestive organ of N. × ventrata and provides insights on protein regulation during early pitcher opening prior to prey capture.