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.
Chroesthes is a small genus that includes three species from Peninsular Malaysia: Chroesthes faizaltahiriana Siti-Munirah sp. nov., C. lanceolata (T. Anderson) B.Hansen and C. longifolia (Wight) B.Hansen. Chroesthes faizaltahiriana, recently discovered in the State of Kelantan, is described and illustrated. This species is similar to the common species C. longifolia, but is distinguished mainly by its inflorescence type, calyx shape and its flowers being bright orange instead of dark purple internally. Chroesthes lanceolata is a new record for Peninsular Malaysia and has only been collected once. Following the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, these three species are assessed (national scale assessment) as Critically Endangered (C. faizaltahiriana and C. lanceolata) and Least Concern (C. longifolia).
The zeylanica group is one of the six species groups of the anthophilic genus Colocasiomyia de Meijere in the family Drosophilidae. In addition to two known species, five morphospecies have been recognized as members of this species group but left undescribed formally. In this study, species delimitation of these putatively new species was determined by barcoding of the mitochondrial COI (cytochrome c oxydase subunit I) gene and morphological comparison. Phylogenetic relationships within the genus Colocasiomyia were inferred by a cladistic analysis of 89 morphological characters. Based on the results of these analyses, we redefined the zeylanica species group and established two subgroups within it: the zeylanica subgroup comprised of C. zeylanica, C. nepalensis, C. pinangae sp. nov., C. besaris sp. nov. and C. luciphila sp. nov., and the oligochaeta subgroup of C. oligochaeta sp. nov. and C. grimaldii sp. nov. In addition, we briefly address the anthophilic habits of drosophilid flies using palm (Arecaceae) inflorescences, especially of the zeylanica group, compiling scattered collection records from the Oriental and Papuan regions.
Crop duration of a rice plant, essentially dictated by flowering response, is an important selection criterion. It is determined by the interaction of genotype and environment. A field experiment was conducted with 40 rice genotypes to assess the fluctuation and/or stability of crop duration in a series of 16 environmental conditions. The effects of genotype, environment and all the components of G x E interaction were highly significant. Among the genotypes Benaful and Gandho kasturi were most sensitive to environmental changes, and indicating lower adaptability over the environments. Crop durations of 17 genotypes were comparatively stable against environmental changes. Four genotypes viz. Basmati PNR346, BR28, Neimat and Sarwati showed only nonlinear sensitivity and thus unpredictable fluctuation. Seventeen genotypes indicated average stability over the environments. The AMMI analysis identified Badshabhog, Basmati Tapl-90, Bhog ganjia, BR38, Elai, Jata katari and Radhuni pagal as most stable genotypes over the environment series. It also advocated three comparatively stable environments for all the genotypes.
KEY MESSAGE: Morphological and transcriptomic evidences provide us strong support for the function of ANAC019 in reproductive development under drought stress. Plants are sensitive to drought conditions, particularly at the reproductive stage. Several studies have reported drought effects on crop reproductive development, but the molecular mechanism underlying drought response during reproduction is still unclear. A recent study showed that drought induces in Arabidopsis inflorescence increased expression of many genes, including ANAC019. However, the function of ANAC019 in drought response during reproductive development has not been characterized. Here, we report an investigation of the ANAC019 function in the response to drought during reproduction. ANAC019 is preferentially expressed in the inflorescence compared with the leaf, suggesting possible roles in regulating both stress response and flower development. The anac019 mutant was more sensitive to drought than WT plant, and exhibited a delay in recovery of floral organ development under prolonged drought stress. Moreover, many fewer genes were differentially expressed in the anac019 inflorescence under drought than that of WT, suggesting that the mutant was impaired in drought-induced gene expression. The genes affected by ANAC019 were associated with stress and hormone responses as well as floral development. In particular, the expression levels of several key drought-induced genes, DREB2A, DREB2B, ARF2, MYB21 and MYB24, were dramatically reduced in the absence of ANAC019, suggesting that ANAC019 is an upstream regulator these genes for drought response and flower development. These results provide strong support for the potential function of ANAC019 in reproductive development under drought stress.
A study was conducted to investigate the duration of growth stages and flowering behaviour of a landscape tree,
Xanthostemon chrysanthus (F. Muell.) Benth. This species is known as golden penda and locally known as jambu kuning.
It is widely planted for urban beautification due to its distinctive coloured flowers. Under local climate condition, this
species flowers throughout the year. However, the flowering of this species has not been studied extensively. In the present
study, the growth of selected trees aged approximately six years after planting was monitored for a year. The growth
duration was determined using the extended Biologishe Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt and Chemical Industry (BBCH)
scale. Percentages of flower and fruit and new leaf abundances were expressed as estimated percentage of each stage as
compared to total surface area of the tree crown. The vegetative and reproductive stages of the species required 198 and
176 days, respectively. The flowering period took about 40 days from inflorescence bud swelling to drying and senescence
of stamens and petals. Unsynchronized flowering was observed among the trees. The occurrence of flowers was also
influenced by the development of new leaves or fruits. The information on the duration of each growth stage and the
flowering behaviour of the species may enhance a more detailed study related to flowering of urban trees in Malaysia.
The technique of mRNA fingerprinting was used to isolate flower-specific cDNAs in the oil palm. Differences in the RNA populations between vegetative tissue (leaf) and inflorescences at various stages of flower development were examined using 18 primer combinations. A total of 16 flower-specific cDNAs were identified, of which 15 were successfully re-amplified. Reverse Northern analysis confirmed that 8 of the 15 cDNAs appeared to truly represent differentially expressed mRNAs in flowering tissues. Northern blot analysis subsequently showed that 5 of the clones are preferentially or exclusively expressed in the flowering tissues of oil palm.
Pink Antigonon leptopushave potential to be commercialized as cut flowers for flower arrangement. In order to determine cut inflorescences' vase life, vase solution treatments containing Artificial Tap Water as control, salicyclic acid (SA) at 100, 200, 300 mg/L and combination of 100, 200, 300 mg/L SA with 2% sucrose were conducted. Parameters observed were vase life, relative fresh weight (RFW), vase solution uptake (VSU), flower drop (FD), flower colour, relative water content (RWC) and pH. The results showed that cut inflorescences in vase treatment containing 200 mg/L SA + 2% sucrose and 300 mg/L + 2% sucrose had 1.6 fold longer vase life than the control, showing higher water uptake and reduced flower drop by 28%.
Shoot and inflorescence are central physiological and developmental tissues of plants. Flowering is one of the most important agronomic traits for improvement of crop yield. To analyze the vegetative to reproductive tissue transition in Jatropha curcas, gene expression profiles were generated from shoot and inflorescence tissues. RNA isolated from both tissues was sequenced using the Ilumina HiSeq 2500 platform. Differential gene expression analysis identified key biological processes associated with vegetative to reproductive tissue transition. The present data for J. curcas may inform the design of breeding strategies particularly with respect to reproductive tissue transition. The raw data of this study has been deposited in the NCBI's Sequence Read Archive (SRA) database with the accession number SRP090662.
Torch ginger (Etlingera elatior) is a herbaceous clumping plant. It is a multifunctional crop that has been used for culinary, medicinal, antibacterial agent, ornamental and floral arrangement purpose. However, from the literature, no work has been carried out to study its growth and development morphological characteristics. It is important to understand the developmental morphology of the torch ginger plant for research purpose, commercial usage and apply proper production practices by growers for higher yields and profits. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the time course of morphological changes during the growth and development of torch ginger. Results showed that it took 155 days from leafy shoot emerging from rhizome until senescence of inflorescence. The growth and development of torch ginger plant were divided into vegetative and reproductive phases. The vegetative phase mainly involved the growth activities of leafy shoot. The transition of vegetative to reproductive phase happened when the inflorescence shoot emerged from the rhizome. In the reproductive phase, the growth and development of the inflorescence were categorized into four phenological stages which were peduncle elongation, inflorescence emergence, flowering and senescence. The growth pattern of the leafy shoot and inflorescence demonstrated a monocarpic plant growth habit with the remobilization of photoassimilates from senescing plant parts to developing true flowers that caused whole-plant senescence. Further research is needed to study the mechanisms that regulate flowering and senescence in torch ginger plant.
Phenotypic selection of individuals is the first step in a selective breeding program for elite hybrid seed production. In
this study, a total of 295 Jatropha curcas individuals raised from cuttings representing 21 accessions, collected from eight
different countries were evaluated for growth performance. The evaluation was done at the Biodiesel Research Station
of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Pilah from December 2012 to December 2013. Individual plants from each
accession were observed on several agronomic and yield related traits and all the data were recorded periodically.
Performance of each accession was analyzed using Statistical Analysis System (SAS) 9.4. Four traits which were plant
height (PH), number of flowers per inflorescence (NFI), number of female flowers per inflorescence (NFFPI) and hundred
seed weight (HSW) showed significant differences among the accessions after one year of planting. Maximum values for
each trait were 115.5 cm for PH, 6 for number of branches per plant (BPP), 9 for number of inflorescences per plant
(NIPP), 25 for number of fruits per plant (NFPP), 5 for number of fruits per inflorescence (NFPI), 191 for NFI, 10 for
NFFPI, 81.0 g for HSW and 70 for number of seeds per plant (NSPP). Accession number 1 from Thailand showed the best
performance for most traits. A highly significant and positive correlation was found between NFPP and NSPP. Based on
superior trait values for NIPP, NFPP, NFPI, NFI, NFFPI and HSW, five plants from accession UKMJC 01, 04, 05, 13 and 14
have been selected for generating elite intraspecific hybrids.
Boron (B) is a mineral considered essential for improving sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) resistance to drought. B supplements (0, 15-, 30- and 45 mg L-1) under well-watered and variable water deficit levels (64 and 53 mm irrigation depths) were evaluated for their effects on growth, oil quality and water use efficiency (WUE) in a field study for two consecutive years (i.e. 2011 and 2012). The duration of 50% inflorescence emergence, 50% flowering and 50% maturity stages were reduced with increasing moisture stress. All B application rates improved sunflower growth compared to no B control treatment. The moisture deficit treatments of 64 and 53 mm irrigation depths significantly (p<0.05) reduced the yield-related components. Achenes/head, achenes weight and achene yield under water stress conditions were considerably improved by foliar application of B at 30 mg L-1. An increase in protein contents and a decrease in oil contents were observed with B foliar application under moisture deficit treatments. Foliar application of B (30 mg L-1) on water stressed plants also resulted in increased WUE. The highest net benefits were achieved with B concentration of 30 mg L-1 under well-watered and mild deficit water level of 64 mm irrigation depth. The highest application rate of B (45 mg L-1) gave the best results at the most severe water deficit level. In conclusion, the B rates of 30 and 41 mg L-1 performed best for improving drought tolerance in terms of higher sunflower productivity under mild and higher water deficit conditions
The development of intelligent packaging based on natural and biodegradable resources is getting more attention by researchers in recent years. The aim of this study was to develop and characterize a pH-sensitive films based on sago starch and incorporated with anthocyanin from torch ginger. The pH-sensitive films were fabricated by casting method with incorporation of different torch ginger extract (TGE) concentration. The surface morphology, physicochemical, barrier, and mechanical properties as well as the pH-sensitivity of films were investigated. The film with the highest concentration of TGE showed the lowest tensile strength (4.26 N/m2), toughness (2.54 MJ/m3), Young's modulus (73.96 MPa) and water vapour permeability (2.6 × 10-4 g·m/day·kPa·m2). However, its elongation at break (85.14%), moisture content (0.27%) and water solubility (37.92%) were the highest compared to other films. pH sensitivity analysis showed that the films containing TGE extract, changes in colour by changing the pH. The colour of films changed from pink to slightly green as the pH increased from pH 4 to 9. Thus, the developed pH-sensitive film with torch ginger extract has potential as intelligent packaging for detection of food freshness or spoilage to ensure their quality and safe consumption.
KEY MESSAGE: Transcriptomes generated by laser capture microdissected abnormal staminodes revealed adoption of carpel programming during organ initiation with decreased expression of numerousHSPs,EgDEF1, EgGLO1but increasedLEAFYexpression. The abnormal mantled phenotype in oil palm involves a feminization of the male staminodes into pseudocarpels in pistillate inflorescences. Previous studies on oil palm flowering utilized entire inflorescences or spikelets, which comprised not only the male and female floral organs, but the surrounding tissues as well. Laser capture microdissection coupled with RNA sequencing was conducted to investigate the specific transcriptomes of male and female floral organs from normal and mantled female inflorescences. A higher number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in abnormal versus normal male organs compared with abnormal versus normal female organs. In addition, the abnormal male organ transcriptome closely mimics the transcriptome of abnormal female organ. While the transcriptome of abnormal female organ was relatively similar to the normal female organ, a substantial amount of female DEGs encode HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN genes (HSPs). A similar high amount (20%) of male DEGs encode HSPs as well. As these genes exhibited decreased expression in abnormal floral organs, mantled floral organ development may be associated with lower stress indicators. Stamen identity genes EgDEF1 and EgGLO1 were the main floral regulatory genes with decreased expression in abnormal male organs or pseudocarpel initials. Expression of several floral transcription factors was elevated in pseudocarpel initials, notably LEAFY, FIL and DL orthologs, substantiating the carpel specification programming of abnormal staminodes. Specific transcriptomes thus obtained through this approach revealed a host of differentially regulated genes in pseudocarpel initials compared to normal male staminodes.
Banana (Musaceae) is one of the world's most important fruit crops that is widely cultivated in tropical countries for its valuable applications in food industry. Its enormous by-products are an excellent source of highly valuable raw materials for other industries by recycling agricultural waste. This prevents an ultimate loss of huge amount of untapped biomass and environmental issues. This review discusses extensively the breakthrough in the utilization of banana by-products such as peels, leaves, pseudostem, stalk and inflorescence in various food and non-food applications serving as thickening agent, coloring and flavor, alternative source for macro and micronutrients, nutraceuticals, livestock feed, natural fibers, and sources of natural bioactive compounds and bio-fertilizers. Future prospects and challenges are the important key factors discussed in association to the sustainability and feasibility of utilizing these by-products. It is important that all available by-products be turned into highly commercial outputs in order to sustain this renewable resource and provide additional income to small scale farming industries without compromising its quality and safety in competing with other commercial products.
A previously undescribed pollination system involving a monoecious tree species, Artocarpus integer (Moraceae), pollinator gall midges, and fungi is reported from a mixed dipterocarp forest in Sarawak, Borneo. The fungus Choanephora sp. (Choanephoraceae, Mucorales, Zygomycetes) infects male inflorescences of A. integer, and gall midges (Contarinia spp., Cecidomyiinae, Diptera) feed on the fungal mycelia and oviposit on the inflorescence. Their larvae also feed on the mycelia and pupate in the inflorescence. The gall midges are also attracted by female inflorescences lacking mycelia, probably due to a floral fragrance similar to that of male inflorescences. Because of the sticky pollen, dominance of Contarinia spp. in flower visitors, and pollen load observed on Contarinia spp. collected on both male and female inflorescences, Artocarpus integer is thought to be pollinated by the gall midges. Although several pathogenic fungi have been reported to have interactions with pollinators, this is the first report on a pollination mutualism in which a fungus plays an indispensable role. The pollination system described here suggests that we should be more aware of the roles fungi can play in pollinations.
Cashew nut trees are consistently ant-visited throughout the year, with the ants attracted to a large number of extrafloral nectaries on the leaves, inflorescences, flowers, and developing nuts. The commercial production of cashew nut, for example, in India, Brazil, and east Africa, consistently applies pesticides, especially insecticides, in large monoculture plantings. Each year prophylactic spraying begins with the first flush of new leaves, continues through flowering, ending at about mid-nut development. We surveyed for ant diversity in sprayed and unsprayed cashew monocultures of various sizes and ages in Sri Lanka, India, and Malaysia to document the ant-cashew relationship and to explore the potential of ants replacing chemical pesticides in insect control. Using for-profit, commercial-size plantations as examples, we present information that cashew has a strong potential for arthropod-dependent protection from pests and suggest important habitat considerations for encouraging ants within cashew plantings.
Chitinase is an enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of chitin, commonly induced upon the attack of pathogens and other stresses. A cDNA (MsChi1) was isolated from Metroxylon sagu and expressed predominantly in the inflorescence tissue of M. sagu, suggesting its role in developmental processes. The chitinase cDNA was detected and isolated via differential display and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). Primers specific to M. saguchitinase were used as probes to amplify the 3'-end and 5'-end regions of chitinase cDNA. Transcript analysis showed that chitinase is expressed in inflorescence and meristem tissues but was not detected in the leaf tissue. Sequence analysis of amplified cDNA fragments of 3'-end and 5'-end regions indicated that the chitinase cDNA was successfully amplified. The M. saguchitinase cDNA isolated was approximately 1,143 bp long and corresponds to 312 predicted amino acids. Alignments of nucleotide and amino acid have grouped this chitinase to family 19 class I chitinase.
Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is widely cultivated in Malaysia and commonly used for culinary purposes. In March 2019, necrotic lesions were observed on the inflorescences of Thai basil plants with a disease incidence of 60% in Organic Edible Garden Unit, Faculty of Agriculture in the Serdang district (2°59'05.5"N 101°43'59.5"E) of Selangor province, Malaysia. Symptoms appeared as sudden, extensive brown spotting on the inflorescences of Thai basil that coalesced and rapidly expanded to cover the entire inflorescences. Diseased tissues (4×4 mm) were cut from the infected lesions, surface disinfected with 0.5% NaOCl for 1 min, rinsed three times with sterile distilled water, placed onto potato dextrose agar (PDA) plates and incubated at 25°C under 12-h photoperiod for 5 days. A total of 8 single-spore isolates were obtained from all sampled inflorescence tissues. The fungal colonies appeared white, turned grayish black with age and pale yellow on the reverse side. Conidia were one-celled, hyaline, subcylindrical with rounded end and 3 to 4 μm (width) and 13 to 15 μm (length) in size. For fungal identification to species level, genomic DNA of representative isolate (isolate C) was extracted using DNeasy Plant Mini Kit (Qiagen, USA). Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, calmodulin (CAL), actin (ACT), and chitin synthase-1 (CHS-1) were amplified using ITS5/ITS4 (White et al. 1990), CL1C/CL2C (Weir et al. 2012), ACT-512F/783R, and CHS-79F/CHS-345R primer sets (Carbone and Kohn 1999), respectively. A BLAST nucleotide search of ITS, CHS-1, CAL and ACT sequences showed 100% similarity to Colletotrichum siamense ex-type cultures strain C1315.2 (GenBank accession nos. ITS: JX010171 and CHS-1: JX009865) and isolate BPDI2 (CAL: FJ917505, ACT: FJ907423). The ITS, CHS-1, CAL and ACT sequences were deposited in GenBank as accession numbers MT571330, MW192791, MW192792 and MW140016. Pathogenicity was confirmed by spraying a spore suspension (1×106 spores/ml) of 7-day-old culture of isolate C onto 10 healthy inflorescences on five healthy Thai basil plants. Ten infloresences from an additional five control plants were only sprayed with sterile distilled water and the inoculated plants were covered with plastic bags for 2 days and maintained in a greenhouse at 28 ± 1°C, 98% relative humidity with a photoperiod of 12-h. Blossom blight symptoms resembling those observed in the field developed after 7 days on all inoculated inflorescences, while inflorescences on control plants remained asymptomatic. The experiment was repeated twice. C. siamense was successfully re-isolated from the infected inflorescences fulfilling Koch's postulates. C. siamense has been reported causing blossom blight of Uraria in India (Srivastava et al. 2017), anthracnose on dragon fruit in India and fruits of Acca sellowiana in Brazil (Abirami et al. 2019; Fantinel et al. 2017). This pathogen can cause a serious threat to cultivation of Thai basil and there is currently no effective disease management strategy to control this disease. To our knowledge, this is the first report of blossom blight caused by C. siamense on Thai basil in Malaysia.
Chemical preservatives have been used in the food industry for many years. However, with increased health concerns, consumers prefer additive-free products or food preservatives based on natural products. This study evaluated antimicrobial activities of extracts from Emilia sonchifolia L. (Common name: lilac tassel flower), Tridax procumbens L. (Common name: tridax daisy) and Vernonia cinerea L. (Common name: Sahadevi), belonging to the Asteracea family, to explore their potential for use against general food spoilage and human pathogens so that new food preservatives may be developed. Three methanol extracts of these plants were tested in vitro against 20 bacterial species, 3 yeast species, and 12 filamentous fungi by the agar diffusion and broth dilution methods. The V. cinerea extract was found to be most effective against all of the tested organisms and the methanol fraction showed the most significant (p < 0.05) antimicrobial
activity among all the soluble fractions tested. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of extracts determined by the broth dilution method ranged from 1.56 to 100.00mg/mL. The MIC of methanol fraction was the lowest in comparison to the other four extracts. The study findings indicate that bioactive natural products from these plants may be isolated for further testing as leads in the development of new pharmaceuticals in food preservation as well as natural plant-based medicine.