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Zayneb, C.; Bassem, K.; Zeineb, K.; Grubb, C. D.; Noureddine, D.; Hafedh, M.; Amine, E.; Physiological responses of fenugreek seedlings and plants treated with cadmium Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 22, 10679-10689, (2015) DOI: 10.1007/s11356-015-4270-8

The bioaccumulation efficiency of cadmium (Cd) by fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) was examined using different concentrations of CdCl2. The germination rate was similar to control except at 10 mM Cd. However, early seedling growth was quite sensitive to the metal from the lowest Cd level. Accordingly, amylase activity was reduced substantially on treatment of seeds with 0.5, 1, and 10 mM Cd. Cadmium also affected various other plant growth parameters. Its accumulation was markedly lower in shoots as compared to roots, reducing root biomass by almost 50 %. Plants treated with 1 and 5 mM Cd presented chlorosis due to a significant reduction in chlorophyll b especially. Furthermore, at Cd concentrations greater than 0.1 mM, plants showed several signs of oxidative stress; an enhancement in root hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) level and in shoot malondialdehyde (MDA) content was observed. Conversely, antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and catalase (CAT)) increased in various plant parts. Likewise, total phenolic and flavonoid contents reached their highest values in the 0.5 mM Cd treatment, consistent with their roles in quenching low concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Consequently, maintaining oxidant and antioxidant balance may permit fenugreek to hyperaccumulate Cd and allow it to be employed in extremely Cd polluted soils for detoxification purposes.

Zayneb, C.; Lamia, K.; Olfa, E.; Naïma, J.; Grubb, C. D.; Bassem, K.; Hafedh, M.; Amine, E.; Morphological, Physiological and Biochemical Impact of Ink Industry Effluent on Germination of Maize (Zea mays), Barley (Hordeum vulgare) and Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 95, 687-693, (2015) DOI: 10.1007/s00128-015-1600-y

The present study focuses on effects of untreated and treated ink industry wastewater on germination of maize, barley and sorghum. Wastewater had a high chemical oxygen demand (COD) and metal content compared to treated effluent. Germination decreased with increasing COD concentration. Speed of germination also followed the same trend, except for maize seeds exposed to untreated effluent (E), which germinated slightly faster than controls. These alterations of seedling development were mirrored by changes in soluble protein content. E exerted a positive effect on soluble protein content and maximum levels occurred after 10 days with treated effluent using coagulation/flocculation (TEc/f) process and treated effluent using combined process (coagulation/flocculation/biosorption) (TEc/f/b). Likewise, activity of α-amylase was influenced by effluent composition. Its expression depended on the species, exposure time and applied treatment. Nevertheless, current results indicated TEc/f/b had no observable toxic effects on germination and could be a beneficial alternative resource to irrigation water.

Raschke, A.; Ibañez, C.; Ullrich, K. K.; Anwer, M. U.; Becker, S.; Glöckner, A.; Trenner, J.; Denk, K.; Saal, B.; Sun, X.; Ni, M.; Davis, S. J.; Delker, C.; Quint, M.; Natural variants of ELF3 affect thermomorphogenesis by transcriptionally modulating PIF4-dependent auxin response genes BMC Plant Biol. 15, 197, (2015) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-015-0566-6

BackgroundPerception and transduction of temperature changes result in altered growth enabling plants to adapt to increased ambient temperature. While PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR4 (PIF4) has been identified as a major ambient temperature signaling hub, its upstream regulation seems complex and is poorly understood. Here, we exploited natural variation for thermo-responsive growth in Arabidopsis thaliana using quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis.ResultsWe identified GIRAFFE2.1, a major QTL explaining ~18 % of the phenotypic variation for temperature-induced hypocotyl elongation in the Bay-0 x Sha recombinant inbred line population. Transgenic complementation demonstrated that allelic variation in the circadian clock regulator EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3) is underlying this QTL. The source of variation could be allocated to a single nucleotide polymorphism in the ELF3 coding region, resulting in differential expression of PIF4 and its target genes, likely causing the observed natural variation in thermo-responsive growth.ConclusionsIn combination with other recent studies, this work establishes the role of ELF3 in the ambient temperature signaling network. Natural variation of ELF3-mediated gating of PIF4 expression during nightly growing periods seems to be affected by a coding sequence quantitative trait nucleotide that confers a selective advantage in certain environments. In addition, natural ELF3 alleles seem to differentially integrate temperature and photoperiod information to induce architectural changes. Thus, ELF3 emerges as an essential coordinator of growth and development in response to diverse environmental cues and implicates ELF3 as an important target of adaptation.

Hamdi, I.; Elleuch, A.; Bessaies, N.; Grubb, C. D.; Fakhfakh, H.; First report of Citrus viroid V in North Africa J. Gen. Plant Pathol. 81, 87-91, (2015) DOI: 10.1007/s10327-014-0556-9

We tested citrus samples from Tunisia using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and for the first time, Citrus viroid V (CVd-V) was reported in North Africa. Fourteen of 38 tested citrus trees were infected by CVd-V including the majority of varieties grown in Tunisia. Some RT-PCR results were also supported by biological indexing. After sequencing the RT-PCR products, three new CVd-V variants were identified, showing 80–91 % nucleotide sequence identity with those reported previously. Based on phylogenetic analysis using all CVd-V sequences in GenBank, two main CVd-V groups were identified. Furthermore, construction of a genetic network of the detected haplotypes using the same sequences shows a clear geographical structuring of Tunisian CVd-V variants.
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