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Concept: Vegetative reproduction


The production of tuberous roots is usually reduced by vigorous vegetative growth because of the competition for resource between the vegetative parts and reproductive organs. In this study, we conducted root pruning to examine the vigorous vegetative growth by regulating root growth, subsequently limiting vegetative growth and improving tuber yield. Compared with the control, stem, tuber, and root biomasses were all improved, whereas both flower and leaf biomasses were increased. Tuber biomass was improved by 23.48% to 50.32%, with the largest tuber biomass obtained at root cutting radius 4/5 R. With delayed root cutting time, tuber and root biomasses increased first and then decreased. The largest tuber biomass was obtained at 65 seedling stage. With a delay in root cutting time, the trend line of aboveground, underground, and total biomasses changed gradually. However, whereas underground and total biomasses showed a gradually increasing, aboveground biomass showed a decreasing. The values of stem-leaf and shoot-root ratios under different root cutting were higher than those of the control. With a delay in root cutting time, stem-leaf ratio showed an initial increase and then decreased with largest value being obtained at 80 seedling stage, whereas the largest shoot-root ratio was obtained at 115 seedling stage.

Concepts: Root, Plant morphology, Plant stem, Asexual reproduction, Tuber, Plant reproduction, Rhizome, Vegetative reproduction


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


Asparagus officinalis is most extensively studied species within the genus Asparagus, which is well known as garden asparagus. This species is dioecious with unisexual flowers, which means that generative propagation gives roughly equal number of male and female plants. Male plants are high yielders and preferred commercially over female plants. Tissue culture techniques could efficiently promote vegetative propagation of male plants and pave the way for efficient plant breeding.This chapter describes an efficient micropropagation protocol for developing rapid growing in vitro Asparagus shoot cultures. The source of explants, inoculation, and shoot proliferation, followed by shoot propagation, rooting, and acclimatization is described. The optimal medium for Asparagus micropropagation described in this chapter is composed of MS macro- and microelements and a combination of auxins and cytokinins. Plant growth regulators NAA, kinetin, and BA were used in various concentrations. Three different media representing the whole micropropagation protocol of Asparagus are described; medium for shoot initiation, medium for shoot multiplication, and medium for root formation. By in vitro propagation of Asparagus, root initiation is difficult, but can be promoted by adding growth retardant ancymidol which also greatly promotes shoot development and suppresses callus formation.

Concepts: Plant, Root, Seed, Plant sexuality, Plant reproduction, Vegetative reproduction, Perennial plant, Asparagus


Asexual and sexual reproduction occur jointly in many angiosperms. Stolons (elongated stems) are used for asexual reproduction in the crop species potato (Solanum tuberosum) and strawberry (Fragaria spp.), where they produce tubers and clonal plants, respectively. In strawberry, stolon production is essential for vegetative propagation at the expense of fruit yield, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. Here, we show that the stolon-deficiency trait of the runnerless ® natural mutant in woodland diploid strawberry (Fragaria vesca) is due to a deletion in the active site of a gibberellin (GA) 20-oxidase (GA20ox) gene, which is expressed primarily in the axillary meristem dome and primordia and in developing stolons. This mutation, which is found in all r mutants, goes back more than three centuries. When FveGA20ox4 is mutated, axillary meristems remain dormant or produce secondary shoots terminated by inflorescences, thus increasing the number of inflorescences in the plant. The application of bioactive GA restored the runnering phenotype in the r mutant, indicating that GA biosynthesis in the axillary meristem is essential for inducing stolon differentiation. The possibility of regulating the runnering-flowering decision in strawberry via FveGA20ox4 provides a path for improving productivity in strawberry by controlling the trade-off between sexual reproduction and vegetative propagation.

Concepts: Plant, Seed, Plant stem, Asexual reproduction, Plant reproduction, Rhizome, Vegetative reproduction, Stolon


Clostridium sporogenes forms highly heat resistant endospores, enabling this bacterium to survive adverse conditions. Subsequently, spores may germinate, giving rise to vegetative cells that multiply and lead to food spoilage. Electron microscopy was used to visualise changes in spore structures during germination, emergence and outgrowth. C. sporogenes spores were surrounded by an exosporium that was oval in shape and typically 3 μm in length. An aperture of 0.3-0.4 μm was observed at one end of the exosporium. The rupture of the spore coats occurs adjacent to the opening in the exosporium. The germinated cell emerges through this hole in the spore coat and then through the pre-existing aperture in the exosporium, before eventually being released, leaving behind a largely intact exosporium with an enlarged aperture (0.7-1.0 μm) and coat shell. The formation of this aperture, its function and its alignment with the spore coat is discussed.

Concepts: Embryo, Microscope, Seed, Germination, Asexual reproduction, Endospore, Plant reproduction, Vegetative reproduction


Vegetative dormancy, that is the temporary absence of aboveground growth for ≥ 1 year, is paradoxical, because plants cannot photosynthesise or flower during dormant periods. We test ecological and evolutionary hypotheses for its widespread persistence. We show that dormancy has evolved numerous times. Most species displaying dormancy exhibit life-history costs of sprouting, and of dormancy. Short-lived and mycoheterotrophic species have higher proportions of dormant plants than long-lived species and species with other nutritional modes. Foliage loss is associated with higher future dormancy levels, suggesting that carbon limitation promotes dormancy. Maximum dormancy duration is shorter under higher precipitation and at higher latitudes, the latter suggesting an important role for competition or herbivory. Study length affects estimates of some demographic parameters. Our results identify life historical and environmental drivers of dormancy. We also highlight the evolutionary importance of the little understood costs of sprouting and growth, latitudinal stress gradients and mixed nutritional modes.

Concepts: Evolution, Life, Species, Plant, Annual plant, Vegetative reproduction, Perennial plant, Herbaceous plant


Evolved herbicide resistance (EHR) is an important agronomic problem and consequently a food security problem, as it jeopardizes herbicide effectiveness and increases the difficulty and cost of weed management. EHR in weeds was first reported in 1970 and the number of cases has accelerated dramatically over the last two decades. Despite 40 years of research on EHR, why some weeds evolve resistance and others do not is poorly understood. Here we ask whether weed species that have EHR are different from weeds in general. Comparing taxonomic and life history traits of weeds with EHR to a control group (“the world’s worst weeds”), we found weeds with EHR significantly over-represented in certain plant families and having certain life history biases. In particular, resistance is overrepresented in Amaranthaceae, Brassicaceae and Poaceae relative to all weeds, and annuality is ca. 1.5 times as frequent in weeds with EHR as in the control group. Also, for perennial EHR weeds, vegetative reproduction is only 60% as frequent as in the control group. We found the same trends for subsets of weeds with EHR to acetolactate synthase (ALS), photosystem II (PSII), and 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase-inhibitor herbicides and with multiple resistance. As herbicide resistant crops (transgenic or not) are increasingly deployed in developing countries, the problems of EHR could increase in those countries as it has in the USA if the selecting herbicides are heavily applied and appropriate management strategies are not employed. Given our analysis, we make some predictions about additional species that might evolve resistance.

Concepts: Scientific method, Agriculture, Plant, Antibiotic resistance, Weed, Vegetative reproduction, Perennial plant, Herbicide


The breeding and large-scale adoption of hybrid seeds is an important achievement in agriculture. Rice hybrid seed production uses cytoplasmic male sterile lines or photoperiod/thermo-sensitive genic male sterile lines (PTGMS) as female parent. Cytoplasmic male sterile lines are propagated via cross-pollination by corresponding maintainer lines, whereas PTGMS lines are propagated via self-pollination under environmental conditions restoring male fertility. Despite huge successes, both systems have their intrinsic drawbacks. Here, we constructed a rice male sterility system using a nuclear gene named Oryza sativa No Pollen 1 (OsNP1). OsNP1 encodes a putative glucose-methanol-choline oxidoreductase regulating tapetum degeneration and pollen exine formation; it is specifically expressed in the tapetum and miscrospores. The osnp1 mutant plant displays normal vegetative growth but complete male sterility insensitive to environmental conditions. OsNP1 was coupled with an α-amylase gene to devitalize transgenic pollen and the red fluorescence protein (DsRed) gene to mark transgenic seed and transformed into the osnp1 mutant. Self-pollination of the transgenic plant carrying a single hemizygous transgene produced nontransgenic male sterile and transgenic fertile seeds in 1:1 ratio that can be sorted out based on the red fluorescence coded by DsRed Cross-pollination of the fertile transgenic plants to the nontransgenic male sterile plants propagated the male sterile seeds of high purity. The male sterile line was crossed with ∼1,200 individual rice germplasms available. Approximately 85% of the F1s outperformed their parents in per plant yield, and 10% out-yielded the best local cultivars, indicating that the technology is promising in hybrid rice breeding and production.

Concepts: Plant, Pollination, Seed, Flower, Pinophyta, Genetically modified organism, Vegetative reproduction, Transgenic plant


The switch from vegetative growth to reproductive growth, i.e. flowering, is the critical event in a plant’s life. Flowering is regulated either autonomously or by environmental factors; photoperiodic flowering, which is regulated by the duration of the day and night periods, and vernalization, which is regulated by low temperature, have been well studied. Additionally, it has become clear that stress also regulates flowering. Diverse stress factors can induce or accelerate flowering, or inhibit or delay it, in a wide range of plant species. This article focuses on the positive regulation of flowering via stress, i.e. the induction or acceleration of flowering in response to stress that is known as stress-induced flowering - a new category of flowering response. This review aims to clarify the concept of stress-induced flowering and to summarize the full range of characteristics of stress-induced flowering from a predominately physiological perspective.

Concepts: Organism, Life, Regulation, Classical mechanics, Acceleration, Seed, Vegetative reproduction, Critical mass


The phytase purple acid phosphatase (HvPAPhy_a) expressed during barley seed development was evaluated as transgene for overexpression in barley. The phytase was expressed constitutively driven by the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S-promoter and the phytase activity was measured in the mature grains, the green leaves and in the dry mature vegetative plant parts left after harvest of the grains. The T2-generation of HvPAPhy_a transformed barley showed phytase activity increases up to 19 fold (29000 phytase units (FTU) per kg in mature grains. Moreover, also in green leaves and mature dry straw phytase activities were increased significantly by 110 fold (52000 FTU/kg) and 57 fold (51000 FTU/kg), respectively. The HvPAPhy_a transformed barley plants with high phytase activities possess triple potential utilities for the improvement of phosphate bioavailability. First of all, the utilization of the mature grains as feed to increase the release of bio-available phosphate and minerals bound to the phytate of the grains, secondly, utilization of the powdered straw either directly or phytase extracted hereof as a supplement to high phytate feed or food and finally the use of the stubble to be plowed into the soil for mobilizing phytate-bound phosphate for plant growth. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Plant, Activity, Seed, All rights reserved, Barley, Copyright, Vegetative reproduction, Perennial plant