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Concept: Grafting


BACKGROUND: Plant grafting techniques have deepened our understanding of the signals facilitating communication between the root and shoot, as well as between shoot and reproductive organs. Transmissible signalling molecules can include hormones, peptides, proteins and metabolites: some of which travel long distances to communicate stress, nutrient status, disease and developmental events. While hypocotyl micrografting techniques have been successfully established for Arabidopsis to explore root to shoot communications, inflorescence grafting in Arabidopsis has not been exploited to the same extent. Two different strategies (horizontal and wedge-style inflorescence grafting) have been developed to explore long distance signalling between the shoot and reproductive organs. We developed a robust wedge-cleft grafting method, with success rates greater than 87%, by developing better tissue contact between the stems from the inflorescence scion and rootstock. We describe how to perform a successful inflorescence stem graft that allows for reproducible translocation experiments into the physiological, developmental and molecular aspects of long distance signalling events that promote reproduction. RESULTS: Wedge grafts of the Arabidopsis inflorescence stem were supported with silicone tubing and further sealed with parafilm to maintain the vascular flow of nutrients to the shoot and reproductive tissues. Nearly all (87%) grafted plants formed a strong union between the scion and rootstock. The success of grafting was scored using an inflorescence growth assay based upon the growth of primary stem. Repeated pruning produced new cauline tissues, healthy flowers and reproductive siliques, which indicates a healthy flow of nutrients from the rootstock. Removal of the silicone tubing showed a tightly fused wedge graft junction with callus proliferation. Histological staining of sections through the graft junction demonstrated the differentiation of newly formed vascular connections, parenchyma tissue and lignin accumulation, supporting the presumed success of the graft union between two sections of the primary inflorescence stem. CONCLUSIONS: We describe a simple and reliable method for grafting sections of an Arabidopsis inflorescence stem. This step-by-step protocol facilitates laboratories without grafting experience to further explore the molecular and chemical signalling which coordinates communications between the shoot and reproductive tissues.

Concepts: Reproductive system, Grafting, Plant stem, Plant reproduction, Rose, Rootstock, Tree shaping, Tomato grafting


Vitis vinifera scions are commonly grafted onto rootstocks of other grape species to influence scion vigour and provide resistance to soil-borne pests and abiotic stress; however, the mechanisms by which rootstocks affect scion physiology remain unknown. This study characterized the hydraulic physiology of Vitis rootstocks that vary in vigour classification by investigating aquaporin (VvPIP) gene expression, fine-root hydraulic conductivity (Lp®), % aquaporin contribution to Lp®, scion transpiration, and the size of root systems. Expression of several VvPIP genes was consistently greater in higher-vigour rootstocks under favourable growing conditions in a variety of media and in root tips compared to mature fine roots. Similar to VvPIP expression patterns, fine-root Lp® and % aquaporin contribution to Lp® determined under both osmotic (Lp®(Osm)) and hydrostatic (Lp®(Hyd)) pressure gradients were consistently greater in high-vigour rootstocks. Interestingly, the % aquaporin contribution was nearly identical for Lp®(Osm) and Lp®(Hyd) even though a hydrostatic gradient would induce a predominant flow across the apoplastic pathway. In common scion greenhouse experiments, leaf area-specific transpiration (E) and total leaf area increased with rootstock vigour and were positively correlated with fine-root Lp®. These results suggest that increased canopy water demands for scion grafted onto high-vigour rootstocks are matched by adjustments in root-system hydraulic conductivity through the combination of fine-root Lp® and increased root surface area.

Concepts: Gene, Grafting, Root, Plant reproduction, Grape, Viticulture, Phylloxera, Rootstock


Flowering time of the short-day plant Chrysanthemum morifolium is largely dependent upon daylength, but it is also distinctly influenced by other environmental factors. Flowering is delayed by summer heat. Here, the underlying basis for this phenomenon was investigated. Heat-induced flowering retardation occurred similarly in C. morifolium and C. seticuspe, a wild-type diploid chrysanthemum. In both plants, this flowering retardation occurred mainly because of inhibition of capitulum development. Concurrently, expression of flowering-related genes in the shoot tip was delayed under high temperature conditions. In chrysanthemums, FLOWERING LOCUS T-like 3 (FTL3) has been identified as a floral inducer produced in the leaves after short-day stimuli and transported to the shoot tip. In C. seticuspe, heat-induced flowering retardation was accompanied by a reduction in FTL3 expression in the leaves. Two C. morifolium cultivars with flowering times that are differently affected by growth temperature were also examined. High temperature-induced FTL3 repression was observed in the leaves of both cultivars, although the degree of repression was greater in the heat-sensitive cultivar than in the heat-tolerant cultivar. When a scion of the heat-sensitive cultivar was grafted onto the stock of the heat-tolerant cultivar, flowering in the shoot tip was less sensitive to heat. Conversely, a scion of the heat-tolerant cultivar grafted onto the heat-sensitive cultivar showed increased heat sensitivity. Thus, several lines of evidence suggest that the reduction of FTL3 signalling from the leaves to the shoot tip at high temperatures is involved in flowering retardation in chrysanthemums.

Concepts: Gene, Temperature, Thermodynamics, Grafting, Flower, Chrysanthemum, Asteraceae, Cultivar


This study investigated the shape of bone grafts and associations with upper limb function over the long term after free vascularized fibular head graft (FVFHG) for reconstruction of the proximal humerus after wide resection for bone sarcoma.

Concepts: Time, Grafting, Term, Upper limb, Long-Term Capital Management


We grafted human spinal cord-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) into sites of cervical spinal cord injury in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Under three-drug immunosuppression, grafts survived at least 9 months postinjury and expressed both neuronal and glial markers. Monkey axons regenerated into grafts and formed synapses. Hundreds of thousands of human axons extended out from grafts through monkey white matter and synapsed in distal gray matter. Grafts gradually matured over 9 months and improved forelimb function beginning several months after grafting. These findings in a ‘preclinical trial’ support translation of NPC graft therapy to humans with the objective of reconstituting both a neuronal and glial milieu in the site of spinal cord injury.

Concepts: Central nervous system, Neuron, Spinal cord, Synapse, Primate, Grafting, Rhesus Macaque, Monkeys in space


BACKGROUND:Medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction is a routine procedure for patellar instability. The majority of the techniques require hardware fixation or a bony procedure at the patella. However, most of the complications described in the literature can be attributed to patellar fixation. The “superficial quad technique” uses the superficial slip of the quadriceps tendon as the graft material, which provides a better anatomic match to the native MPFL. HYPOTHESIS:The superficial quad technique provides anatomic patellar fixation without a bony procedure and without patellar complications. STUDY DESIGN:Case series; Level of evidence, 4. METHODS:The study included 32 patients (10 male, 22 female; mean age, 25 years) who underwent MPFL reconstruction using the superficial quad technique and who were followed for a mean duration of 38 months. Objective assessment was performed and Kujala scores were obtained preoperatively and at the time of final follow-up. RESULTS:There were no patellar complications, including redislocation, in the present study. The mean Kujala score improved to 91.25 (range, 73-100) from a preoperative score of 49.31 (range, 23-62). CONCLUSION:The results were comparable with those of other studies in the literature that used hamstring grafts, but without associated patellar complications. The superficial quad technique uses graft material that is a better anatomic match to the native MPFL. It provides anatomic patellar fixation without a bony procedure.

Concepts: Better, Bone, Knee, Arithmetic mean, Grafting, Ligament, Patella, Patellar ligament


Elements of micropropagation include establishment of shoot tip cultures, proliferation, rooting, and acclimatization of the resulting plantlets. The wide genetic variation in Pyrus makes micropropagation challenging for many genotypes. Initiation of shoots is most successful from forced dormant shoots or from scions grafted onto seedling rootstocks to impose juvenility. Clean shoots are recovered after testing for contaminants at the initiation stage on ½ strength Murashige and Skoog 1962 medium (MS), at pH 6.9 for 1 week or by streaking on nutrient agar. Although pear species and cultivars are cultured on several well-known media, MS is the most commonly used. Our studies showed that multiplication and growth of shoots are best on Pear Medium with higher concentrations of calcium chloride, potassium phosphate, and magnesium sulfate than MS medium and 4.4 μM N(6) benzyladenine. Pear shoots are often recalcitrant to rooting; however, a 5 s dip in 10 mM indole-3-butyric acid or naphthalene acetic acid before planting on basal medium without plant growth regulators is effective for many genotypes. Pear shoots store well at 1-4°C, and can hold for as long as 4 years without reculture. Cryopreservation protocols are available for long-term storage of pear shoot tips. Acclimation of in vitro-rooted or micrografted shoots in a mist bed follows standard procedures.

Concepts: Grafting, Agar, Plant hormone, Salt, Plant reproduction, Shoot, Rootstock, Plant propagation


Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis (Link) Schn.) is a nontraditional crop in arid and semi-arid areas. Vegetative propagation can be achieved by layering, grafting, or rooting semi-hardwood cuttings, but the highest number of possible propagules is limited by the size of the plants and time of the year. Micropropagation is highly recommended strategy for obtaining jojoba elite clones. For culture initiation, single-node explants are cultivated on Murashige and Skoog medium (MS) supplemented with Gamborg’s vitamins (B5), 11.1 μM BA (N(6)-benzyl-adenine), 0.5 μM IBA (indole-3-butyric acid), and 1.4 μM GA(3) (gibberellic acid). Internodal and apical cuttings proliferate on MS medium containing B5 vitamins and 4.4 μM BA. Rooting is achieved on MS medium (half strength mineral salt) amended with B5 vitamins and 14.7 μM IBA during 7 days and transferred to develop in auxin-free rooting medium. Plantlets are acclimatized using a graduated humidity regime on soil: peat: perlite (5:1:1) substrate. This micropagation protocol produces large numbers of uniform plants from selected genotypes of jojoba.

Concepts: Grafting, Seed, Plant reproduction, Vegetative reproduction, Jojoba, Plant propagation, Horticulture and gardening, Perlite


Olive (Olea europaea L.), long-living, ever-green fruit tree of the Old World, has been part of a traditional landscape in the Mediterranean area for centuries. Both the fruits consumed after processing and the oil extracted from the fruits are among the main components of the Mediterranean diet, widely used for salads and cooking, as well as for preserving other food. Documentations show that the ancient use of this beautiful tree also includes lamp fuel production, wool treatment, soap production, medicine, and cosmetics. However, unlike the majority of the fruit species, olive propagation is still a laborious practice. As regards traditional propagation, rooting of cuttings and grafting stem segments onto rootstocks are possible, former being achieved only when the cuttings are collected in specific periods (spring or beginning of autumn), and latter only when skilled grafters are available. In both the cases, performance of the cultivars varies considerably. The regeneration of whole plants from ovules, on the other hand, is used only occasionally. Micropropagation of olive is not easy mainly due to explant oxidation, difficulties in explant disinfection, and labor-oriented establishment of in vitro shoot cultures. However today, the progress in micropropagation technology has made available the complete protocols for several Mediterranean cultivars. This chapter describes a micropropagation protocol based on the segmentation of nodal segments obtained from elongated shoots.

Concepts: Grafting, Fruit, Olive, Olive oil, Greece, Mediterranean diet, Mediterranean Basin, Plant propagation


Persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) is a temperate fruit tree species diffused in all continents. The traditional propagation method adopted by the nursery industry is based on budding/grafting scion cultivars on seedlings from D. kaki, Diospyros lotus, and Diospyros virginiana, the most important species used as rootstock, reproduced by seeds since they are not easy to root. Furthermore, most of nonastringent cultivars of persimmon are not compatible with D. lotus, a rootstock largely utilized because of its hardiness and frost resistance. The main in vitro tissue culture techniques, developed for persimmon, deal with direct regeneration (from dormant buds and root tips), and indirect regeneration through callus from dormant buds, apexes, and leaves. The bottlenecks of micropropagation are (1) the recalcitrance of many cultivars to in vitro establishment, (2) the low multiplication ratio of D. kaki compared to other fruit tree species, (3) the very low rooting ability of ex novo microcuttings both from direct and indirect regeneration, (4) the high sensitivity to transplant from in vitro to in vivo conditions. The development of reliable in vitro regeneration procedures is likely to play a key role for production of both clonal rootstocks and self-rooted cultivars. The general protocol for micropropagation of persimmon reported here is based on the establishment of winter dormant buds in vitro, shoot development, multiplication and elongation, and shoot rooting, using cytokinins (BA or zeatin) in a MS media along with an auxinic pretreatment for rooting induction.

Concepts: In vivo, In vitro, Grafting, Persimmon, Plant morphology, Plant reproduction, Horticulture and gardening, Tissue culture