In this paper, we present a new method to recognise the leaf type and identify plant species using phenetic parts of the leaf; lobes, apex and base detection. Most of the research in this area focuses on the popular features such as the shape, colour, vein, and texture, which consumes large amounts of computational processing and are not efficient, especially in the Acer database with a high complexity structure of the leaves. This paper is focused on phenetic parts of the leaf which increases accuracy. Detecting the local maxima and local minima are done based on Centroid Contour Distance for Every Boundary Point, using north and south region to recognise the apex and base. Digital morphology is used to measure the leaf shape and the leaf margin. Centroid Contour Gradient is presented to extract the curvature of leaf apex and base. We analyse 32 leaf images of tropical plants and evaluated with two different datasets, Flavia, and Acer. The best accuracy obtained is 94.76% and 82.6% respectively. Experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed technique without considering the commonly used features with high computational cost.
Rattan is an important climbing palm taxon in Malaysian tropical rain forests. Many rattan species have unique structures directly associated with certain ant species. In this study, four rattan species (Daemonorops lewisiana, Calamus castaneus, Daemonorops geniculata and Korthalsia scortechinii) were inspected and documented in a field survey concerning their relationships with several ant species. We noticed that two rattan species (D. lewisiana and C. castaneus) were more likely to be associated with ants compared to their neighbouring rattan (Plectomia griffithii). However, D. lewisiana and C. castaneus did not directly provide shelters for ant colonies, but possessed unique structures: upward-pointing spines and funnel-shaped leaves, which are equipped to collect more litter than P. griffithii. To test our litter collecting hypothesis, we measured the inclination of spines from the stem. Our results showed the presence of ant colonies in the litter-collecting rattans (D. lewisiana and C. castaneus), which was significantly higher compared to a non-litter-collecting rattan (P. griffithii). We propose a complex and novel type of adaptation (litter-collection and provision of nesting materials) for rattans, which promotes interactions between the rattan and ants through the arrangements of leaves, leaflets, and spines. In return, the rattan may benefit from ants' services, such as protection, nutrient enhancement, and pollination.
This study was conducted to examine the variabilities in the chronology of vegetative and reproductive development of weedy rice (Oryza spp.) in comparison with commercial varieties. Data at different growth stages of 14 weedy rice morphotypes and 4 commercial rice varieties were recorded and analysed. Plant height of all weedy rice morphotypes were observed to be significantly higher compared to the commercial varieties at every growth stages; increase in height was between 10-37 cm for weedy rice morphotype, for every 2 weeks. Initial tillering ability at 14 days after planting (DAP) was higher in weedy morphotypes, however all the commercial rice varieties produced significantly higher number of tillers throughout the rest of the vegetative phases. Correlation between plant height and tiller number detected that taller plants produce fewer tillers than shorter plants. Higher leaf area index (LAI) of all weedy morphotypes except PWR01 at early growth stages indicated the vigorous growth of the morphotypes. Weedy rice morphotypes showed a wide range of anthesis and maturity duration. Accessions from the same weedy rice morphotypes were more heterogeneous in the flowering, anthesis and maturity period than the commercial varieties. These traits enables identification of weedy rice morphotypes at their different growth stages in the field.
Six varieties of Ficus deltoidea Jack (Moraceae) showed leaf morphological variations through quantitative measurement on different plant parts. There were significant differences among six varieties studied by plant parts. The varieties studied include var. deltoidea Corner, var. angustifolia (Miq.) Corner, var. trengganuensis Corner, var. bilobata Corner, var. intermedia Corner, and var. kunstleri (King) Corner. The upper, middle and lower plant parts showed morphological variations in terms of leaf length, leaf width, leaf area and petiole length. Qualitative parameters also showed trends in morphological variations in terms of leaf shape, leaf base, leaf apex and leaf attachment. However, some qualitative parameters were not the recommended parameters to differentiate among varieties. On the other hand, leaf heterophylly has occurred in F. deltoidea because foliage of the young plant was different from the mature plant. Leaf heterophylly was observed in leaf shape and leaf apex parameters, whereby leaves from the lower plant parts were different from the upper and middle parts. The heterophylly in leaf shape was detected in varieties angustifolia, bilobata, intermedia and trengganuensis, whilst six varieties of F. deltoidea showed leaf apex heterophylly
Populations of the Bornean gliding lizard, Draco cornutus, differ markedly in the colour of their gliding membranes. They also differ in local vegetation type (mangrove forest versus lowland rainforest) and consequently, the colour of falling leaves (red and brown/black in mangrove versus green, brown and black in rainforest). We show that the gliding membranes of these lizards closely match the colours of freshly fallen leaves in the local habitat as they appear to the visual system of birds (their probable predators). Furthermore, gliding membranes more closely resembled colours of local fallen leaves than standing foliage or fallen leaves in the other population's habitat. This suggests that the two populations have diverged in gliding membrane coloration to match the colours of their local falling leaves, and that mimicking falling leaves is an adaptation that functions to reduce predation by birds.
Macaranga bancana is considered as a successful pioneer plant species. Usually found in disturbed and open areas, most of the current research focused on its relations with ants. One of the unique feature of the plants is that the seedling leaves are red, resembling and almost matching the background. Using a portable spectrometer, we measured the color reflectance of M. bancana seedlings (less than 20 cm in height). We also measured the leaf litter reflectance, adult M. bancana leaves and also seedlings of several other species found in the vicinity of M. bancana seedlings. The reflectances of M. bancana seedlings are very similar to that of the leaf litter background. We suggest that this cryptic coloration is crucial during the early stages of the plant when it still cannot rely on the protection of ants.
The basidiomycete fungal pathogen Ganoderma boninense is the causative agent for the incurable basal stem rot (BSR) disease in oil palm. This disease causes significant annual crop losses in the oil palm industry. Currently, there is no effective method for disease control and elimination, nor is any molecular marker for early detection of the disease available. An understanding of how BSR affects protein expression in plants may help identify and/or assist in the development of an early detection protocol. Although the mode of infection of BSR disease is primarily via the root system, defense-related genes have been shown to be expressed in both the root and leafs. Thus, to provide an insight into the changes in the global protein expression profile in infected plants, comparative 2DE was performed on leaf tissues sampled from palms with and without artificial inoculation of the Ganoderma fungus. Comparative 2DE revealed that 54 protein spots changed in abundance. A total of 51 protein spots were successfully identified by LC-QTOF MS/MS. The majority of these proteins were those involved in photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism as well as immunity and defense.
Photosynthetic rate, nitrogen concentration and morphological properties of canopy leaves were studied in 18 trees, comprising five dipterocarp species, in a tropical rain forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. Photosynthetic rate at light saturation (Pmax) differed significantly across species, varying from 7 to 18 micro mol m(-2) s(-1). Leaf nitrogen concentration and morphological properties, such as leaf blade and palisade layer thickness, leaf mass per area (LMA) and surface area of mesophyll cells per unit leaf area (Ames/A), also varied significantly across species. Among the relationships with leaf characteristics, Pmax had the strongest correlation with leaf mesophyll parameters, such as palisade cell layer thickness (r2 = 0.76, P < 0.001) and Ames/A (r2 = 0.73, P < 0.001). Leaf nitrogen concentration and Pmax per unit area also had a significant but weaker correlation (r2 = 0.46, P < 0.01), whereas Pmax had no correlation, or only weakly significant correlations, with leaf blade thickness and LMA. Shorea beccariana Burck, which had the highest P(max) of the species studied, also had the thickest palisade layer, with up to five or more layers. We conclude that interspecific variation in photosynthetic capacity in tropical rain forest canopies is influenced more by leaf mesophyll structure than by leaf thickness, LMA or leaf nitrogen concentration.
Amorphophallus bufo is a rarely studied plant in Malaysian tropical rainforests. We measured the spectral reflectance of different developmental stages of A. bufo (seedlings, juveniles and adults), background soil/ debris and leaves from other neighboring plant species. Results show that the leaves of A. bufo seedling have a similar reflectance curve as the background soil and debris. Adults and juveniles of A. bufo are similar to other neighboring plants' leaf colors. We hypothesize that the cryptic coloration of A. bufo seedlings plays an important role in camouflage and that the numerous black spots on the surface of the petioles and rachises, may serve as a defensive mimicry against herbivores.
Oil palm is grown in tropical soils with low bioavailability of Pi. A cDNA clone specifically expressed under phosphate-starvation condition in oil palm roots was identified as a high-affinity phosphate transporter (EgPHT1). The deduced amino acid sequence has 6 transmembrane domains each at the N- and C-termini separated by a hydrophilic linker. Comparison of promoter motifs within 1500 bp upstream of ATG of 10 promoters from high- and low-affinity phosphate transporter from both dicots and monocots including EgPHT1 was performed. The EgPHT1 promoter was fused to β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene and its activity was analysed by histochemical and fluorometric GUS assays in transiently transformed oil palm tissues and T3 homozygous transgenic Arabidopsis plants. In response to Pi-starvation, no GUS activity was detected in oil palm leaves, but a strong inducible activity was observed in the roots (1.4 times higher than the CaMV35S promoter). GUS was specifically expressed in transgenic Arabidopsis roots under Pi deficiency and starvation of the other macronutrients (N and K) did not induce GUS activity. Eight motifs including ABRERATCAL (abscisic-acid responsive), RHERPATEXPA7 (root hair-specific), SURECOREATSULTR11 (sulfur-deficiency response), LTRECOREATCOR15 (temperature-stress response), MYB2CONSENSUSAT and ACGTATERD1 (water-stress response) as well as two novel motifs, 3 (TAAAAAAA) and 26 (TTTTATGT) identified through pattern discovery, occur at significantly higher frequency (p
Anoectochilus sp. and Ludisia discolor are known as Jewel orchids. Both species are terrestrial wild orchids that grow in shaded areas of forests. The Jewel orchids are renowned for the beauty of their leaves, which are dark-green laced with silvery or golden veins. The orchids are used as a cure in various parts of Asia. Overharvesting and anthropogenic disturbances threaten the existence of the Jewel orchids in the wild, necessitating human intervention in their survival. An understanding of the structure and adaptations of a plant may assist in its survival when propagated outside of its habitat. In this study, ex vitro leaves of Anoectochilus sp. and L. discolor were subjected to freehand sectioning, and then inspected through brightfield and fluorescence microscopy. The study indicated that all parts of both plants presented typical monocotyledonous characteristics except the leaves. The leaves displayed dorsiventrality with distinct palisade and spongy mesophyll layers. The spongy mesophyll layer contained cells which fluoresced a bright red when exposed to ultraviolet, blue, and green light wavelengths, hinting at the presence of anthocyanins for photoprotection. Cyanidin was detected in the leaves of L. discolor, as enumerated through high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The observations indicated that Anoectochilus sp. and L. discolor are well-adapted to live under shaded conditions with minimal exposure to light.
Seven new 23-oxo-cholestane derivatives named as grandol A (1), B (2), C (3), D (4), E (5), F (6), and G (7) were isolated from Dysoxylum grande leaves alongside with a new 3,4-secodammar-4(28)-en-3-oic acid derivative (8). The structures of the compounds were elucidated based on the interpretation of spectroscopic data, and their relative configurations were established by NOESY 2D NMR data. All of the isolates were tested for anti-acetylcholinesterase activity using thin layer chromatography (TLC)-bioautography with fast blue B salt. Only grandol A (1) and B (2) showed positive results, with clear discoloration at a concentration of 12.5 ppm. However, the obtained IC(50) values for grandol A and B, when using Ellman's method, were not significant (>200 μg/ml).
Hydrodistillation of the fresh leaves of Alpinia mutica afforded 0.005% colourless essential oil. GC and GC-MS analysis revealed the presence of 33 components accounting for 92.9% of the total oil, dominated by 20 sesquiterpenes (76.7%) and 10 monoterpenes (8.3%). The major constituent was found to be β-sesquiphellandrene which was 29.2% of the total oil. Soxhlet extraction, followed by repeated column chromatography of the dried leaves yielded two phenolic compounds, identified as 5,6-dehydrokawain and aniba dimer A, together with one amide assigned as auranamide. The structures of these compounds were determined by using spectroscopic analysis. Antibacterial screening of the essential oil, the crude and isolated compounds showed weak to moderate inhibitory activity.
Plants have evolved numerous constitutive and inducible defence mechanisms to cope with biotic and abiotic stresses. These stresses induce the expression of various genes to activate defence-related pathways that result in the release of defence chemicals. One of these defence mechanisms is the oxylipin pathway, which produces jasmonates, divinylethers and green leaf volatiles (GLVs) through the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). GLVs have recently emerged as key players in plant defence, plant-plant interactions and plant-insect interactions. Some GLVs inhibit the growth and propagation of plant pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. In certain cases, GLVs released from plants under herbivore attack can serve as aerial messengers to neighbouring plants and to attract parasitic or parasitoid enemies of the herbivores. The plants that perceive these volatile signals are primed and can then adapt in preparation for the upcoming challenges. Due to their 'green note' odour, GLVs impart aromas and flavours to many natural foods, such as vegetables and fruits, and therefore, they can be exploited in industrial biotechnology. The aim of this study was to review the progress and recent developments in research on the oxylipin pathway, with a specific focus on the biosynthesis and biological functions of GLVs and their applications in industrial biotechnology.
Nepenthes pitcher plants produce modified jug-shaped leaves to attract, trap and digest insect prey. We used 16S rDNA cloning and sequencing to compare bacterial communities in pitcher fluids of each of three species, namely Nepenthes ampullaria, Nepenthes gracilis and Nepenthes mirabilis, growing in the wild. In contrast to previous greenhouse-based studies, we found that both opened and unopened pitchers harbored bacterial DNA. Pitchers of N. mirabilis had higher bacterial diversity as compared to other Nepenthes species. The composition of the bacterial communities could be different between pitcher types for N. mirabilis (ANOSIM: R = 0.340, p < 0.05). Other Nepenthes species had similar bacterial composition between pitcher types. SIMPER showed that more than 50 % of the bacterial taxa identified from the open pitchers of N. mirabilis were not found in other groups. Our study suggests that bacteria in N. mirabilis are divided into native and nonnative groups.
Polygonum odoratum Lour. has been reclassified as Persicaria odorata (Lour.) Soják [Wilson, K. L. Polygonum sensu lato (Polygonaceae) in Australia. Telopea 1988, 3, 177-182]; other synonyms currently used are Vietnamese mint or Vietnamese coriander and, in Malaysia, Daun Laksa or Laksa plant. The aerial parts of Laksa plant are highly aromatic, and they contain many organic compounds such as (Z)-3-hexenal, (Z)-3-hexenol, decanal, undecanal, and dodecanal that are typical for green, citrus, orange peel, and coriander odors. In addition to these aldehydes, 3-sulfanyl-hexanal and 3-sulfanyl-hexan-1-ol were discovered for the first time in this herb. The fresh leaves are pungent when they are chewed, although the active compound has never been identified. The pungency of Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Spach (formerly Polygonum hydropiper L., synonym water pepper) is produced by polygodial, a 1,4-dialdehyde derived from drimane terpenoids. We also identified polygodial as the active pungent compound in P. odorata (Lour.) Soják.
Leaves of two plant species eaten by Macaca fascicularis in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore, were collected and colour-tested. Leaves matching those eaten by M. fascicularis were examined by energy-dispersive X-ray micro-analysis. The leaves of Streblus elongatus (Moraceae) and Gluta wallichii (Anacardiaceae), together forming 19.6% of the leaf diet of the macaques, contained silica. In G. wallichii, this in the base of hairs that project from the underside of the leaf, whereas S. elongatus leaves have short sharp siliceous trichomes which are densely packed on the undersurface of leaf veins. We predict from an indentation analysis that chewing on the latter species could cause dental microwear at low occlusal forces. The leaves are reportedly common in the diet of three other primate species in peninsular Malaysia and the finding could have general significance for studies of dental wear.