This study presents a novel way of enhancing plant growth through the use of a non-petroleum based product. We report here that exposing either roots or seeds of multicellular plants to extremely low concentrations of dissolved hydrogen sulfide at any stage of life causes statistically significant increases in biomass including higher fruit yield. Individual cells in treated plants were smaller (∼13%) than those of controls. Germination success and seedling size increased in, bean, corn, wheat, and pea seeds while time to germination decreases. These findings indicated an important role of H2S as a signaling molecule that can increase the growth rate of all species yet tested. The increased crop yields reported here has the potential to effect the world’s agricultural output.
The anticancer effects of legumes have been explored extensively, but evidence from epidemiologic studies on colorectal adenoma is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to assess these issues.
In complex and ever-changing environments, resources such as food are often scarce and unevenly distributed in space and time. Therefore, utilizing external cues to locate and remember high-quality sources allows more efficient foraging, thus increasing chances for survival. Associations between environmental cues and food are readily formed because of the tangible benefits they confer. While examples of the key role they play in shaping foraging behaviours are widespread in the animal world, the possibility that plants are also able to acquire learned associations to guide their foraging behaviour has never been demonstrated. Here we show that this type of learning occurs in the garden pea, Pisum sativum. By using a Y-maze task, we show that the position of a neutral cue, predicting the location of a light source, affected the direction of plant growth. This learned behaviour prevailed over innate phototropism. Notably, learning was successful only when it occurred during the subjective day, suggesting that behavioural performance is regulated by metabolic demands. Our results show that associative learning is an essential component of plant behaviour. We conclude that associative learning represents a universal adaptive mechanism shared by both animals and plants.
There is increasing interest in the use of beneficial microorganisms as alternatives to chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilisers in agricultural production. Application of beneficial microorganisms to seeds is an efficient mechanism for placement of microbial inocula into soil where they will be well positioned to colonise seedling roots and protect against soil-borne diseases and pests. However, despite the long history of inoculation of legume seeds with Rhizobia spp. and clear laboratory demonstration of the ability of a wide range of other beneficial microorganisms to improve crop performance, there are still very few commercially available microbial seed inoculants. Seed inoculation techniques used for research purposes are often not feasible at a commercial scale and there are significant technical challenges in maintaining viable microbial inocula on seed throughout commercial seed treatment processes and storage. Further research is needed before the benefits of a wide range of environmentally sensitive potential seed inoculants can be captured for use in agriculture, ecosystem restoration and bioremediation. There is no single solution to the challenge of improving the ability of seed inoculants to establish and function consistently in the field. Development of novel formulations that maintain the viability of both inoculant and seed during storage will result from multidisciplinary research in microbial and seed physiology and adjuvant chemistry.
Plants respond to diurnal and seasonal changes in temperature by reprogramming vital developmental pathways. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that define environmental modulation of plant growth and reproduction is critical in the context of climate change that threatens crop yield worldwide. Here, we report that elevated temperature accelerates fruit dehiscence in members of the Brassicaceae family including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and important crop species. Arabidopsis fruit development is controlled by a network of interacting regulatory genes. Among them, the INDEHISCENT (IND) gene is a key regulator of the valve-margin tissue that mediates fruit opening, hence facilitating fruit dehiscence. We demonstrated that the valve-margin development is accelerated at higher temperature and that IND is targeted for thermosensory control. Our results reveal that IND upregulation is facilitated via temperature-induced chromatin dynamics leading to accelerated valve-margin specification and dispersal of the seed. Specifically, we show that temperature-induced changes in IND expression are associated with thermosensory H2A.Z nucleosome dynamics. These findings establish a molecular framework connecting tissue identity with thermal sensing and set out directions for the production of temperature-resilient crops.
Legumes are the third largest family of angiosperms and the second most important crop class. Legume genomes have been shaped by extensive large-scale gene duplications, including an approximately 58 million year old whole genome duplication shared by most crop legumes.
Kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), are common legumes, consumed worldwide. The delicacy of kidney beans is highly appreciable but, at the same time, their toxicity has raised an alarming concern. Kidney bean toxicity may be divided into two subcategories: toxicity caused by its lectins, saponins, phytates, and protease inhibitors or allergenicity induced by its allergenic proteins. The purpose of this review is to unravel the facts behind the different aspects of toxicity and allergenicity induced by kidney beans and try to fill the gaps that exist currently.
Consumption of pulse crops, including field pea, is considered effective for a healthy diet. Hulls (seed coats) play an important role for protection of the cotyledon and embryo, but also as mediating positive effects on health outcomes. The biochemical attributes of field pea hulls were thus assessed to determine the occurrence of specific phytochemicals and their genotypic variability.
Mucuna pruriens Linn. (M. pruriens) is a leguminous plant that has been recognized as an herbal medicine for improving fertility and related disorders in the Indian traditional system of medicine, however without proper scientific validations.
BACKGROUND: Yellow lupin (Lupinus luteus L.) is a minor legume crop characterized by its high seed protein content. Although grown in several temperate countries, its orphan condition has limited the generation of genomic tools to aid breeding efforts to improve yield and nutritional quality. In this study, we report the construction of 454-expresed sequence tag (EST) libraries, carried out comparative studies between L. luteus and model legume species, developed a comprehensive set of EST-simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, and validated their utility on diversity studies and transferability to related species. RESULTS: Two runs of 454 pyrosequencing yielded 205 Mb and 530 Mb of sequence data for L1 (young leaves, buds and flowers) and L2 (immature seeds) EST- libraries. A combined assembly (L1L2) yielded 71,655 contigs with an average contig length of 632 nucleotides. L1L2 contigs were clustered into 55,309 isotigs. 38,200 isotigs translated into proteins and 8,741 of them were full length. Around 57% of L. luteus sequences had significant similarity with at least one sequence of Medicago, Lotus, Arabidopsis, or Glycine, and 40.17% showed positive matches with all of these species. L. luteus isotigs were also screened for the presence of SSR sequences. A total of 2,572 isotigs contained at least one EST-SSR, with a frequency of one SSR per 17.75kbp. Empirical evaluation of the EST-SSR candidate markers resulted in 222 polymorphic EST-SSRs. Two hundred and fifty four (65.7%) and 113 (30%) SSR primer pairs were able to amplify fragments from L. hispanicus and L. mutabilis DNA, respectively. Fifty polymorphic EST-SSRs were used to genotype a sample of 64 L. luteus accessions. Neighbor-joining distance analysis detected the existence of several clusters among L. luteus accessions, strongly suggesting the existence of population subdivisions. However, no clear clustering patterns followed the accession’s origin. CONCLUSION: L. luteus deep transcriptome sequencing will facilitate the further development of genomic tools and lupin germplasm. Massive sequencing of cDNA libraries will continue to produce raw materials for gene discovery, identification of polymorphisms (SNPs, EST-SSRs, INDELs, etc.) for marker development, anchoring sequences for genome comparisons and putative gene candidates for QTL detection.