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  1. Low SL, Wong SY, Ooi IH, Hesse M, Städler Y, Schönenberger J, et al.
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2016 Jan;18(1):84-97.
    PMID: 25688576 DOI: 10.1111/plb.12320
    Homoplastic evolution of 'unique' morphological characteristics in the Schismatoglottideae - many previously used to define genera - prompted this study to compare morphology and function in connection with pollination biology for Aridarum nicolsonii, Phymatarum borneense and Schottarum sarikeense. Aridarum nicolsonii and P. borneense extrude pollen through a pair of horned thecae while S. sarikeense sheds pollen through a pair of pores on the thecae. Floral traits of spathe constriction, presence and movement of sterile structures on the spadix, the comparable role of horned thecae and thecae pores, the presence of stamen-associated calcium oxalate packages, and the timing of odour emission are discussed in the context of their roles in pollinator management. Pollinators for all investigated species were determined to be species of Colocasiomyia (Diptera: Drosophilidae).
  2. Leonardía AA, Tan BC, Kumar PP
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2013 Mar;15(2):384-94.
    PMID: 22882300 DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2012.00640.x
    Mosses and other bryophytes are vital components of forests, because they sustain a tremendous diversity of invertebrates and influence significant ecological functions. There have been few studies on moss population diversity in Southeast Asia, despite the escalating deforestation in this region of rich biodiversity. The genetic diversity of the tropical moss Acanthorrhynchium papillatum (Harv.) Fleisch., collected from forested areas in Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia, was elucidated using eight microsatellite markers developed for this species. Significant levels of allelic and haplotypic diversity were observed among clumps of the moss. Differences in allelic richness and genotypic diversity among the populations were higher in less disturbed forests compared to the more disturbed areas, suggesting that genetic diversity is affected by habitat quality. Genetic diversity levels within the clumps studied were low, indicating that vegetative reproduction was more important within clumps than sexual reproduction. However, multilocus genotypes of samples within the clumps studied were not all alike, providing evidence of microsatellite mutation or of occasional sexuality. Despite the isolation of populations, A. papillatum can introduce genetic variability by mutation among vegetatively propagated individuals. This study provides baseline information on the genetic diversity of A. papillatum tropical rain forests.
  3. Takano KT, Repin R, Mohamed MB, Toda MJ
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2012 Jul;14(4):555-64.
    PMID: 22289145 DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2011.00541.x
    Two taxonomically undescribed Colocasiomyia species were discovered from inflorescences of Alocasia macrorrhizos in Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia. The aims of this study were to investigate the reproductive ecology of the flies and the plant, ascertain the importance of the flies as pollinators and examine the intimate association between flowering events and life history of the flies. We conducted sampling, observations and field pollination experiments. The flies were attracted by the odour of female-phase inflorescences in the early morning on the first day of anthesis. They fed, mated and oviposited in the inflorescences for 1 day. On the second day, the flies, covered with pollen grains, left the male-phase inflorescences for the next female-phase inflorescences. The immature forms of both fly species hatched, developed and pupated within the infructescences without damaging the fruits, and developed adults emerged when the mature infructescences dehisced. The flowering events and fly behaviours were well synchronized. In field pollination experiments, inflorescences bagged with a fine mesh (insect exclusion) produced almost no fruits, whereas those bagged with a coarse mesh (bee exclusion) produced as many fruits as the open-pollinated controls. These results indicate that these flies are the most efficient and specialised pollinators for their host, A. macrorrhizos. These flies, in return, depend on A. macrorrhizos for food and habitat through most of their life cycle. This study provides a deeper insight into the less recognised, highly intimate pollination mutualism between Araceae plants and Colocasiomyia flies.
  4. Cristancho RJ, Hanafi MM, Omar SR, Rafii MY
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2011 Mar;13(2):333-42.
    PMID: 21309980 DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2010.00378.x
    Aluminium (Al) phytotoxicity is an important soil constraint that limits crop yield. The objectives of this study were to investigate how growth, physiology, nutrient content and organic acid concentration is affected by Al, and to assess the degree of Al tolerance in different oil palm progeny (OPP). Four OPPs ['A' (Angola dura × Angola dura), 'B' (Nigerian dura × Nigerian dura), 'C' (Deli dura × AVROS pisifera) and 'D' (Deli dura × Dumpy AVROS pisifera)] were grown in different Al concentrations (0, 100 and 200 μm) in aerated Hoagland solution, pH 4.4, for 80 days. We observed a severe reduction (57.5%) in shoot dry weight, and root tips were reduced by 46.5% in 200 μm Al. In 'B' and 'C', the majority of macro- and micronutrients in plants were reduced significantly by 200 μm Al, with Mg being lowered by more than 50% in roots and shoots. The 200 μm Al treatment resulted in a 56.50% reduction in total leaf area, a 20% reduction in net photosynthesis and a 17% reduction in SPAD chlorophyll value in the third leaf. Root tips (0-5 mm) showed a significant increase in oxalic acid content with increasing Al concentration (∼ 5.86-fold); progeny 'A' had the highest concentration of oxalic acid. There was a significant interaction between Al concentration × OPP on total leaf number, root volume, lateral root length, Mg and K in root and shoot tissues, and Ca and N in shoots. The OPPs could be ranked in their tolerance to Al as: 'A' > 'D' > 'B' > 'C'.
  5. Kessler M, Jonas R, Cicuzza D, Kluge J, Piatek K, Naks P, et al.
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2010 Sep 1;12(5):788-93.
    PMID: 20701702 DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2009.00270.x
    The colonisation of land by plants may not have been possible without mycorrhizae, which supply the majority of land plants with nutrients, water and other benefits. In this sense, the mycorrhization of basal groups of land plants such as ferns and lycophytes is of particular interest, yet only about 9% of fern and lycophyte species have been sampled for their mycorrhization status, and no community-level analyses exist for tropical fern communities. In the present study, we screened 170 specimens of ferns and lycophytes from Malaysia and Sulawesi (Indonesia), representing 126 species, and report the mycorrhization status for 109 species and 19 genera for the first time. Mycorrhizal colonisations were detected in 96 (56.5%) of the specimens, 85 of which corresponded to arbuscular mycorrhizae (AMF), three to dark-septate endophytes (DSE) and four to mixed colonisations (AMF + DSE). DSE colonisations were lower than in comparable samples of ferns from the Andes, suggesting a geographical or taxonomic pattern in this type of colonisation. Epiphytes had significantly lower levels of colonisation (26.1%) than terrestrial plants (70.7%), probably due to the difficulty of establishment of mycorrhizal fungi in the canopy habitat.
  6. Goh HH, Khairudin K, Sukiran NA, Normah MN, Baharum SN
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2016 Jan;18 Suppl 1:130-9.
    PMID: 26417881 DOI: 10.1111/plb.12403
    Temperature is one of the key factors in limiting the distribution of plants and controlling major metabolic processes. A series of simulated reciprocal transplant experiments were performed to investigate the effect of temperature on plant chemical composition. Polygonum minus of different lowland and highland origin were grown under a controlled environment with different temperature regimes to study the effects on secondary metabolites. We applied gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry to identify the chemical compounds. A total of 37 volatile organic compounds and 85 flavonoids were detected, with the largest response observed in the compositional changes of aldehydes and terpenes in highland plants under higher temperature treatment. Significantly less anthocyanidin compounds and larger amounts of flavonols were detected under higher temperature treatment. We also studied natural variation in the different plant populations growing under the same environment and identified compounds unique to each population through metabolite fingerprinting. This study shows that the origin of different plant populations influences the effects of temperature on chemical composition.
  7. Hoe YC, Gibernau M, Maia AC, Wong SY
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2016 Jul;18(4):563-76.
    PMID: 26780890 DOI: 10.1111/plb.12431
    In this study, the flowering mechanisms and pollination strategies of seven species of the highly diverse genus Homalomena (Araceae) were investigated in native populations of West Sarawak, Borneo. The floral scent compositions were also recorded for six of these species. The selected taxa belong to three out of four complexes of the section Cyrtocladon (Hanneae, Giamensis and Borneensis). The species belonging to the Hanneae complex exhibited longer anthesis (53-62 h) than those of the Giamensis and Borneensis complexes (ca. 30 h). Species belonging to the Hanneae complex underwent two floral scent emission events in consecutive days, during the pistillate and staminate phases of anthesis. In species belonging to the Giamensis and Borneensis complexes, floral scent emission was only evident to the human nose during the pistillate phase. A total of 33 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in floral scent analyses of species belonging to the Hanneae complex, whereas 26 VOCs were found in samples of those belonging to the Giamensis complex. The floral scent blends contained uncommon compounds in high concentration, which could ensure pollinator discrimination. Our observations indicate that scarab beetles (Parastasia gestroi and P. nigripennis; Scarabaeidae, Rutelinae) are the pollinators of the investigated species of Homalomena, with Chaloenus schawalleri (Chrysomelidae, Galeuricinae) acting as a secondary pollinator. The pollinators utilise the inflorescence for food, mating opportunities and safe mating arena as rewards. Flower-breeding flies (Colocasiomyia nigricauda and C. aff. heterodonta; Diptera, Drosophilidae) and terrestrial hydrophilid beetles (Cycreon sp.; Coleoptera, Hydrophilidae) were also frequently recovered from inflorescences belonging to all studied species (except H. velutipedunculata), but they probably do not act as efficient pollinators. Future studies should investigate the post-mating isolating barriers among syntopically co-flowering Homalomena sharing the same visiting insects.
  8. Golestan Hashemi FS, Rafii MY, Razi Ismail M, Mohamed MT, Rahim HA, Latif MA, et al.
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2015 Sep;17(5):953-61.
    PMID: 25865409 DOI: 10.1111/plb.12335
    Developing fragrant rice through marker-assisted/aided selection (MAS) is an economical and profitable approach worldwide for the enrichment of an elite genetic background with a pleasant aroma. The PCR-based DNA markers that distinguish the alleles of major fragrance genes in rice have been synthesised to develop rice scent biofortification through MAS. Thus, the present study examined the aroma biofortification potential of these co-dominant markers in a germplasm panel of 189 F2 progeny developed from crosses between a non-aromatic variety (MR84) and a highly aromatic but low-yielding variety (MRQ74) to determine the most influential diagnostic markers for fragrance biofortification. The SSRs and functional DNA markers RM5633 (on chromosome 4), RM515, RM223, L06, NKSbad2, FMbadh2-E7, BADEX7-5, Aro7 and SCU015RM (on chromosome 8) were highly associated with the 2AP (2-acetyl-1-pyrroline) content across the population. The alleles traced via these markers were also in high linkage disequilibrium (R(2) > 0.70) and explained approximately 12.1, 27.05, 27.05, 27.05, 25.42, 25.42, 20.53, 20.43 and 20.18% of the total phenotypic variation observed for these biomarkers, respectively. F2 plants harbouring the favourable alleles of these effective markers produced higher levels of fragrance. Hence, these rice plants can be used as donor parents to increase the development of fragrance-biofortified tropical rice varieties adapted to growing conditions and consumer preferences, thus contributing to the global rice market.
  9. Hoe YC, Gibernau M, Wong SY
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2018 May;20(3):563-578.
    PMID: 29316090 DOI: 10.1111/plb.12687
    Field studies integrating pollination investigations with an assessment of floral scent composition and thermogenesis in tropical aroids are rather few. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the pollination biology of nine species belonging to Schismatoglottis Calyptrata Complex Clade. The flowering mechanism, visiting insect activities, reproductive system, thermogenesis and floral scent composition were examined. Anthesis for all species started at dawn and lasted 25-29 h. Colocasiomyia (Diptera, Drosophilidae) are considered the main pollinators for all the investigated species. Cycreon (Coleoptera, Hydrophilidae) are considered secondary pollinators as they are only present in seven of the nine host plants, despite the fact that they are the most effective pollen carrier, carrying up to 15 times more pollen grains than Colocasiomyia flies. However, the number of Colocasiomyia individuals was six times higher than Cycreon beetles. Chaloenus (Chrysomelidae, Galeuricinae) appeared to be an inadvertent pollinator. Atheta (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) is considered a floral visitor in most investigated species of the Calyptrata Complex Clade in Sarawak, but a possible pollinator in S. muluensis. Chironomidae midges and pteromalid wasps are considered visitors in S. calyptrata. Thermogenesis in a biphasic pattern was observed in inflorescences of S. adducta, S. calyptrata, S. giamensis, S. pseudoniahensis and S. roh. The first peak occurred during pistillate anthesis; the second peak during staminate anthesis. Inflorescences of all investigated species of Calyptrata Complex Clade emitted four types of ester compound, with methyl ester-3-methyl-3-butenoic acid as a single major VOC (volatile organic compound). The appendix, pistillate zone, staminate zone and spathe emitted all these compounds. A mixed fly-beetle pollination system is considered an ancestral trait in the Calyptrata Complex Clade, persisting in Sarawak taxa, whereas the marked reduction of interpistillar staminodes in taxa from Peninsular Malaysia and especially, Ambon, Indonesia, is probably linked to a shift in these taxa to a fly-pollinated system.
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