Publications by authors named "Mohammed Nasser Alyemeni"

89 Publications

Silicon elevated cadmium tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) by endorsing nutrients uptake and antioxidative defense mechanisms in the leaves.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 May 31;166:148-159. Epub 2021 May 31.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Numerous abiotic stressors including heavy metal stresses, specifically cadmium (Cd) stress in agricultural bio-system hinder the plant adequate growth. The present study was aimed to reveal the protective role of silicon (Si) application with two levels and to recognize the optimum level of Si for wheat plants grown hydroponically under three different levels of Cd toxicities. In methodology, we used nine treatments with three levels of Si (0, 1, and 3 mmol L; NaSiO) against three levels of Cd (0, 50, 200 μmol L; CdCl) with three biological replicates. The results of our study demonstrated that Si incorporation with the advantage of 3 mmol L in cultured media with Cd50 and Cd200 demolished the toxic effects of Cd on the leaves of wheat plants by increasing plant dry biomass by 88% and 262%, leaf area by 48% and 57%, total chlorophyll contents by 120% and 74%, catalase (CAT) activity by 92% and 110%, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity by 62% and 78%, peroxidase (POD) activity by 66% and 40%, ascorbic acid (AsA) contents by 33% and 34%, glutathione (GHS) contents by 39% and 30% and reduced MDA contents by 56% and 50%, HO contents by 61% and 66%, and EL contents by 56% and 47% as parallel to Cd corresponding levels. In addition, Si incorporation with the advantage of 3 mmol L significantly increased relative water contents (RWC) to maintain the cell turgor pressure and protect the plant from wilting and cells flaccid and enhanced membrane stability index (MSI) to protect the plant from logging under damaging effects of Cd toxicities. Based on the present findings, Si can be considered a quasi-essential element that enhanced wheat tolerance against Cd toxicity by limiting uptake, accumulation, and translocation of Cd and through regulating antioxidative defense mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.05.038DOI Listing
May 2021

Influence of ecological and edaphic factors on biodiversity of soil nematodes.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 May 24;28(5):3049-3059. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Nematode Biodiversity & Genomics Research Lab. BGSB University, Rajouri 185234, India.

Nematodes are the most diverse and highly significant group of soil-inhabiting microorganisms that play a vital role in organic material decomposition and nutrient recycling. Diverse geographical locations and environmental gradients show a significant impact on the diversity of nematodes. Present study aims to assess the effects of ecological (altitude, temperature, moisture) and edaphic (soil pH, nutrients, soil patches) factors on the soil nematode diversity and structure at five different landscape patches (forests, apple orchards, rice fields, pastures, and alpine zone) from ten different sites of Kashmir valley (India). Differences in the altitudinal gradients results in the shift of generic nematode population. Among the soil patches, highest nematode diversity was observed in forest soil and least in alpine soil; however, bacteriovorous nematodes dominated all the soil patches. The temperature and moisture have a significant effect on nematode diversity, the highest nematode trophic levels were observed above 21°C temperature, and 30% moisture. Nematode abundance decreased from alkaline to acidic pH of the soil. Soil nutrients such as, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) have shown a detrimental effect in nematode richness at each site, where nematode diversity and richness of genera were higher at abundant soil N and P but decreased at low soil nutrients. Ecological indices like diversity index (DI), Shannon-Wiener Index (H'), enrichment index (EI), and maturity Index (MI) values demonstrated forest soil more favourable for nematodes and high soil health status than other soil patches. This study suggested that these indices may be helpful as soil monitoring tools and assessing ecosystem sustainability and biodiversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.02.046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8117023PMC
May 2021

Anatomical adaptations and ionic homeostasis in aquatic halophyte L. Under high salinities.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 May 13;28(5):2655-2666. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Salinity is extremely hazardous to agriculture worldwide and its expanding constantly. Soil of almost 100 countries facing salinity problem including Pakistan. also act as salinity indicator species is a naturally adapted halophyte dispersed in subtropical regions of world. Six populations of were collected from different saline habitats to evaluate adaptations regarding anatomical and physiological characteristics. is perfectly adapted to harsh environmental conditions like dry barren soils, saline lakes, hyper-saline wetlands and salt marshes. Ecological success of this species is due to plasticity in physiological and anatomical characteristics to adapt variable environmental conditions. is a halophyte, exhibited increased biomass production in moderately saline habitat. Higher uptake of K occurs to compensate the uptake of Na ion contents, a striking feature of salt-tolerant and halophytic species. Accumulation of osmoprotectants like proline, free amino acids, soluble sugar and protein contribute significantly to osmotic adjustment. Stem thickness enhanced as salinity level of habitat increased to store water in parenchymatous tissues under physiological drought. Intensive sclerification in root cortex provide mechanical strength to plant as well as prevent the radial leakage of water. Well-developed aerenchyma, increased vascular bundle area, broader vessels, small and dense stomata are critical to cope with environmental hazards. Population of Jahlar lake showing maximum biomass production indicate that this species grows better in moderate salinities. Therefore, this species will prove very useful for revegetation of salt affected rangeland and prairies by direct growth of such halophytic ecotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.03.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8117036PMC
May 2021

Foliar application of fungicide-opera alleviates negative impact of water stress in soybean plants.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 May 6;28(5):2626-2633. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The modulatory effect of opera was investigated on the physiological and morphological aspects in soybean thriving in water stress environment. The data procured from current investigation indicated that water stress significantly declined the plant growth, leaf area in addition to photosynthetic efficiency, nitrate reductase activity and crop yield at various stages of growth such as vegetative (VS), flowering (FS) and pod filling stage (PFS). However, foliar application of opera (0.15%) was effective to enhance the the leaf area (42%), rate of photosynthesis (194%), and nitrate reductase activity (68%) at FS stage while the maximum enhancement in biomass accumulation (92%) and yield (119%) was observed at PFS stage as compared to their control plants. The opera is applied as foliar spray in field experiments to augment the assimilation of nitrogen and carbon in soybean which contributes to increased crop development and productivity under water stress conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.02.079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8117022PMC
May 2021

Exogenously applied spermidine confers protection against cinnamic acid-mediated oxidative stress in .

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 May 20;28(5):2619-2625. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

This study investigated the stress responses of cinnamic acid (CA) in pea plants and explored the protective role of spermidine (SPD) against CA-induced adverse effects. Pea seedlings exposed to CA had reduced length, biomass, moisture, chlorophyll, sugar, and protein contents and reduced nitrate reductase activity. These parameters increased when SPD was applied alone and in combination with CA. Electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde content were high in seedlings treated with CA but decreased when the SPD + CA treatment was applied. Foliar exposure to SPD partially mitigated CA-induced stress effects by strengthening the antioxidant defense system, which helped preserve the integrity of biochemical processes. These results indicate that SPD (1 mM) could mitigate the adverse effects of CA and enhance plant defense system. Hence, SPD can be used as a growth regulator for the maintenance of physiological functions in pea plants in response to the pernicious consequences of CA stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.02.052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8117030PMC
May 2021

Ecological analysis and environmental niche modelling of (D. Don) Soo: A conservation approach for critically endangered medicinal orchid.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Apr 1;28(4):2109-2122. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Department of Botany, School of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri 185234, J&K, India.

The natural populations of have been greatly affected due to incessant exploitation. As such, studies on its population attributes together with habitat suitability and environmental factors affecting its distribution are needed to be undertaken for its conservation in nature. Present study aimed at accessing an impact of anthropogenic pressure on population structure and locate suitable habitats for the conservation of this critically endangered orchid. Considerable changes in the phytosociological attributes were observed on account of the changing magnitude and extent of anthropogenic threat in their natural abode. The distribution pattern of species indicated that more than 90% of the populations exhibit substantially aggregated spatial distribution. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) distribution modelling algorithm was used to predict suitable habitat and potential area for its cultivation and reintroduction. Twenty-seven occurrence records, nineteen bioclimatic variables, altitude, and slope were used. MaxEnt map output gave the habitat suitability for this species and predicted its distribution in the North-Western Himalayas of India for approximately 616 km. Jackknifing indicated that maximum temperature of warmest month, annual mean temperature, mean temperature of the driest quarter, and mean temperature of the wettest quarter were the governing factors for its distribution and hence, presented a higher gain with respect to other variables. According to permutation importance, precipitation seasonality and mean temperature of wettest quarter shows the prominent impact on the habitat distribution. Results of AUC (area under curve) were statistically significant (0.940) and the line of predicted omission falls very close to an omission on training samples, validating a better run of the model. Response curves revealed a probable increase in the occurrence of with an increase in mean temperature of the wettest quarter and maximum temperature of the warmest month contributed more than 50% to predicted habitat suitability. Direct field observations concurrent with predicted habitat suitability and google-earth images represent greater model thresholds for successful inception of the species. Together, the study proposes that the species can be conserved in or near its present-day natural habitats and is equally effective in determining the possible habitats for its cultivation and reintroduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.01.054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8071888PMC
April 2021

Synthesis and Characterization of Na-Zeolites from Textile Waste Ash and Its Application for Removal of Lead (Pb) from Wastewater.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 24;18(7). Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Massive production of carcinogenic fly ash waste poses severe threats to water bodies due to its disposal into drains and landfills. Fly ash can be a source of raw materials for the synthesis of adsorbents. Rag fly ash as a new class of raw materials could be a cheap source of Al and Si for the synthesis of Na-zeolites. In this work, NaOH activation, via a prefusion- and postfusion-based hydrothermal strategy, was practiced for the modification of rag fly ash into Na-zeolite. Morphology, surface porosity, chemical composition, functionality, mineral phases, and crystallinity, in conjunction with ion exchangeability of the tailored materials, were evaluated by SEM, ICP-OES, XRF, FTIR, XRD, and cation exchange capacity (CEC) techniques. Rag fly ash and the synthesized Na-zeolites were applied for the removal of Pb (II) from synthetic wastewater by varying the reaction conditions, such as initial metal ion concentration, mass of adsorbent, sorption time, and pH of the reaction medium. It was observed that Na-zeolite materials (1 g/100 mL) effectively removed up to 90-98% of Pb (II) ions from 100 mg/L synthetic solution within 30 min at pH ≈ 8. Freundlich adsorption isotherm favors the multilayer heterogeneous adsorption mechanism for the removal of Pb (II). It is reasonable to conclude that recycling of textile rag fly ash waste into value-added Na-zeolites for the treatment of industrial wastewater could be an emergent move toward achieving sustainable and green remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073373DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8037912PMC
March 2021

Exogenous 24-Epibrassinolide stimulates root protection, and leaf antioxidant enzymes in lead stressed rice plants: Central roles to minimize Pb content and oxidative stress.

Environ Pollut 2021 Jul 21;280:116992. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Núcleo de Pesquisa Vegetal Básica e Aplicada, Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia Paragominas, Pará, Brazil. Electronic address:

Lead (Pb) is an environmental pollutant that negatively affects rice plants, causing damage to the root system and chloroplast structures, as well as reducing growth. 24-Epibrasnolide (EBR) is a plant growth regulator with a high capacity to modulate antioxidant metabolism. The objective of this research was to investigate whether exogenous EBR application can mitigate oxidative damage in Pb-stressed rice plants, measure anatomical structures and evaluate physiological and biochemical responses connected with redox metabolism. The experiment was randomized with four treatments, including two lead treatments (0 and 200 μM PbCl, described as - Pb and + Pb, respectively) and two treatments with brassinosteroid (0 and 100 nM EBR, described as - EBR and + EBR, respectively). The results revealed that plants exposed to Pb suffered significant disturbances, but the EBR alleviated the negative interferences, as confirmed by the improvements in the root structures and antioxidant system. This steroid stimulated the root structures, increasing the epidermis thickness (26%) and aerenchyma area (50%), resulting in higher protection of this tissue against Pb ions. Additionally, EBR promoted significant increases in superoxide dismutase (26%), catalase (24%), ascorbate peroxidase (54%) and peroxidase (63%) enzymes, reducing oxidative stress on the photosynthetic machinery in Pb-stressed plants. This research proved that EBR mitigates the toxic effects generated by Pb in rice plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116992DOI Listing
July 2021

Multi-element uptake and growth responses of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) to TiO nanoparticles applied in different textured soils.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jun 25;215:112149. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, 11451 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The aim of present work was to evaluate the effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO NPs) on rice's growth (Oryza sativa L.) and nutrient availability under different soil textures. Greenhouse experiment was carried out with three soil textures (sandy loam, silt loam and silty clay loam) and two concentrations of TiO NPs (500, 750 mg kg). Control (without TiO NPs) was also maintained for the comparison. Growth parameters including chlorophyll content, root/shoot length, fresh/dry biomass and nutrients' uptake including calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), phosphorous (P), potassium (K) and zinc (Zn) were determined. The results revealed that application of 500 mg kg TiO NPs in silty clay loam soil increased the chlorophyll content (3.3-folds), root length (49%), shoot length (31%), root and shoot biomass (41% & 39%, respectively) as compared to other soil textures. The maximum plant growth was observed in silty clay loam > silt loam > sandy loam. Concentration of Cu, Fe, P and Zn in shoot was increased by 8 - , 2.3 - , 0.4 - , 0.05 -folds in silty clay loam upon 500 mg kg TiO NPs application as compared to the control. Backward selection method to model the parameters (nutrients in soil) for the response variables (root/shoot length and biomass) showed that Ca, Fe, P are the main nutrients responsible for the increase in plant length and biomass. Overall, the growth of rice was better in silty clay loam at 500 mg kg of TiO NPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112149DOI Listing
June 2021

Metagenomic analysis exploring taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial communities of a Himalayan urban fresh water lake.

PLoS One 2021 25;16(3):e0248116. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Freshwater lakes present an ecological border between humans and a variety of host organisms. The present study was designed to evaluate the microbiota composition and distribution in Dal Lake at Srinagar, India. The non-chimeric sequence reads were classified taxonomically into 49 phyla, 114 classes, 185 orders, 244 families and 384 genera. Proteobacteria was found to be the most abundant bacterial phylum in all the four samples. The highest number of observed species was found to be 3097 in sample taken from least populated area during summer (LPS) whereas the summer sample from highly populated area (HPS) was found most diverse among all as indicated by taxonomic diversity analysis. The QIIME output files were used for PICRUSt analysis to assign functional attributes. The samples exhibited a significant difference in their microbial community composition and structure. Comparative analysis of functional pathways indicated that the anthropogenic activities in populated areas and higher summer temperature, both decrease functional potential of the Lake microbiota. This is probably the first study to demonstrate the comparative taxonomic diversity and functional composition of an urban freshwater lake amid its highly populated and least populated areas during two extreme seasons (winter and summer).
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248116PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7993826PMC
March 2021

Combined use of different nanoparticles effectively decreased cadmium (Cd) concentration in grains of wheat grown in a field contaminated with Cd.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jun 21;215:112139. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Cadmium (Cd) accumulation in arable lands has become a serious matter for food security. Among various approaches, the application of nanoparticles (NPs) for remediation of contaminated water and soils is attaining more popularity worldwide. The current field experiment was executed to explore the impacts of single and combined use of ZnO NPs, Fe NPs and Si NPs on wheat growth and Cd intake by plants in a Cd-contaminated field. Wheat was sown in a field which was contaminated with Cd and was irrigated with the raw-city-effluent while NPs were applied as foliar spray alone and in all possible combinations. The data revealed that straw and grain yields were enhanced in the presence of NPs over control. Chlorophyll, carotenoids contents and antioxidants activities were enhanced while electrolyte leakage was reduced with all NPs over control. In comparison with control, Cd uptake in wheat straw was reduced by 84% and Cd uptake in grain was reduced by 99% in T8 where all three NPs were foliar-applied simultaneously. Zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) contents were increased in those plants where ZnO and Fe NPs were exogenously applied which revealed that ZnO and Fe NPs enhanced the bio-fortification of Zn and Fe in wheat grains. Overall, foliar application of different NPs is beneficial for better wheat growth, yield, nutrients uptake and to lessen the Cd intake by plants grown in Cd-contaminated soil under real field conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112139DOI Listing
June 2021

Effect of green and chemically synthesized titanium dioxide nanoparticles on cadmium accumulation in wheat grains and potential dietary health risk: A field investigation.

J Hazard Mater 2021 08 8;415:125585. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

A field study was designed to explore the impacts of foliar-applied chemically and green synthesized titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO NPs) on cadmium (Cd) uptake in wheat plants. The wheat was grown in field which was contaminated with Cd and plants were subjected to foliar episodes of TiO NPs during plant growth period. Leaf extracts of two plant species (Trianthema portulacastrum, Chenopodium quinoa) were used for green synthesis while sol-gel method was used for chemical preparation of TiO NPs. Results showed that TiO NPs significantly enhanced the plant height, length of spikes photosynthesis, and straw and grain yield compared to control. TiO NPs minimized the oxidative burst in leaves and improved the enzyme activities than control. Cadmium concentrations of straw, roots and grains decreased after TiO NPs treatments than control. The grain Cd contents were below recommended threshold (0.2 mg Cd /kg grain DW) for cereals upon NPs exposure. The health risk index by the dietary use of grains for adults was below threshold upon NPs exposure. Overall, foliar use of TiO NPs prepared from plant extracts was appropriate in minimizing Cd contents in wheat grains, thereby reducing risk of Cd to human health via food chain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125585DOI Listing
August 2021

Arbuscular mycorrhiza in combating abiotic stresses in vegetables: An eco-friendly approach.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Feb 9;28(2):1465-1476. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Vegetable production is hampered by several abiotic stresses which are very common in this era of climate change. There is a huge pressure on the plants to survive and yield better results even in the prevalence of various environmental stresses such as cold stress, drought, heat stress, salinity etc. This necessitates the need of robust plant growth which is possible with mycorrhizal association. Mycorrhiza improves plants tolerance to several abiotic stresses by various physiological, functional and biochemical changes in plants. The application of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) as vegetable biofertilizers doesn't only influence the plant health, but moreover discursively it lowers the demand for harmful chemical fertilizers. Overall, it may be concluded that inoculation of vegetables with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi can be used, as it easily guards plants against undesirable abiotic stresses. In this work, information is provided based on several examples from the literature based on the application of AM to combat harmful abiotic stresses in vegetable crops. This paper reviews the impacts of AM fungi on the plant parameters, its functional activities and molecular mechanisms which makes it more adaptable and underline the future prospects of using AM fungi as a biofertilizer in the stress condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2020.12.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7878692PMC
February 2021

Deciphering genetic diversity analysis of saffron ( L.) using RAPD and ISSR markers.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Feb 24;28(2):1308-1317. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The existence of genetic diversity in has globally remained a mystery till date. The study investigated PCR based DNA amplification profile of saffron using ISSR and RAPD based primers. A total of 38 amplicons were generated by ISSR primers in the range from 7 to 12 with an average of 9.50 bands per primer. 20 bands were found to be polymorphic and 18 were monomorphic with an average percentage of polymorphism as 52.48%. RAPD based amplification revealed a total 161 amplicons, 107 as polymorphic and 54 as monomorphic with an average percentage of polymorphism as 66.44%. Cumulative results of RAPD and ISSR demonstrated that Nei-Li's similarity index ranged between 0.70 and 0.97. The results of AMOVA has revealed 9% of variance among populations and 91% of variance within populations, Φ PT was found as 0.089, which indicates existence of genetic differences though limited. In conclusion, the results indicate that saffron accessions are minimally genetically differentiated, which could be capitalized in future breeding programmes to ameliorate this precious crop.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2020.11.063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7878693PMC
February 2021

The impact of different weed management strategies on weed flora of wheat-based cropping systems.

PLoS One 2021 18;16(2):e0247137. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The world population will rise in future, which would demand more wheat production to fulfil dietary needs of wheat-dependent population of the world. Food security in wheat-dependent regions will greatly rely on wheat productivity. Weed infestation is a major constraint reducing wheat productivity globally. Nonetheless, cropping systems and weed management strategies strongly influence weed infestation in modern agriculture. Herbicides are the key weed management tool in conventional agriculture. However, frequent use of herbicides have resulted in the evolution of herbicide-resistance weeds, which made weed management a challenging task. Sustainable and eco-friendly weed management strategies shift weed-crop competition in the favour of crop plants. Limited studies have evaluated the interactive effect of cropping systems and weed management strategies on weed flora of wheat-based cropping systems (WBCSs). This two-year study evaluated the impact of different weed management strategies (WMSs) on weed flora of WBCSs, i.e., fallow-wheat (FW), rice-wheat (RW), cotton-wheat (CW), mungbean-wheat (MW) and sorghum-wheat (SW). The WMSs included in the study were, false seedbed, allelopathic water extracts and herbicide application, while weed-free and weedy-check were maintained as control treatments. Data relating to diversity and density of individual and total broadleaved and narrow-leaved weeds were recorded. The WBCSs, WMSs and their interaction significantly altered diversity and density of individual, total, broadleaved and narrow-leaved weeds. Weed-free and weedy-check treatments recorded the lowest and the highest values of diversity and density of individual, total, broadleaved and narrow-leaved weeds. Herbicide application effectively reduced density and diversity of weeds. Allelopathic water extracts and false seedbed proved less effective than herbicides. On the other hand, SW cropping system not only reduced weed density but also limited the weed flora. It is concluded that false seedbed and SW cropping system can be efficiently used to manage weeds in WBCSs. However, long-term studies are needed to infer the impact of SW cropping system and false seedbed on soil properties, soil microbes and productivity of wheat crop.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247137PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7891686PMC
February 2021

Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) induce salt tolerance by improving the antioxidant system and photosynthetic machinery in tomato.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Apr 5;161:122-130. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Collaborative Innovation Centre of Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Forest Science, Nanjing Forestry University, 159 Longpan Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210037, China. Electronic address:

Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) has been demonstrated to positively regulate plant tolerance to multiple environmental stresses. However, till date little information has been gained regarding the role of ZnO-NPs in the salt stress regulation in plants. Hence, the objective of our study was to investigate the role of ZnO-NPs in the regulation of salt tolerance in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). In this regard, the tomato plants were subjected to salt stress by using NaCl (150 mM) at the time of transplantation [15 days after sowing (DAS)]. Foliar application of ZnO-NPs at different levels viz., 10, 50 and 100 mg/L in the presence/absence of NaCl (150 mM) was carried out at 25 DAS and sampling was done at 35 DAS. Results of our study revealed that foliar spray of ZnO-NPs significantly increased shoot length (SL) and root length (RL), biomass, leaf area, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic attributes of tomato plants in the presence/absence of salt stress. Besides, the application of ZnO-NPs mitigates the negative impacts of salt stress on tomato growth, and enhanced protein content and antioxidative enzyme activity such as peroxidase (POX), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) under salt stress. In conclusion, the ZnO-NPs plays an important role in the alleviation of NaCl toxicity in tomato plants. Hence, the ZnO-NPs can be used to boost the growth performance and mitigate the adverse effects caused by NaCl in tomato.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.02.002DOI Listing
April 2021

Exogenous hemin improves Cd tolerance and remediation potential in Vigna radiata by intensifying the HO-1 mediated antioxidant defence system.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 2;11(1):2811. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.

The present study evaluated the effects of exogenous hemin on cadmium toxicity in terms of metal accretion and stress resilience in Vigna radiata L. (Wilczek). One-week-old seedlings were treated with CdCl (50 μM) alone and in combination with hemin (0.5 mM) in half-strength Hoagland medium for 96 h. The optimum concentrations of Cd and hemin were determined on the basis of haem oxygenase-1 activity. The results demonstrated that under Cd stress, plants accumulated a considerable amount of metal in their tissues, and the accumulation was higher in roots than in leaves, which significantly reduced the plant biomass and chlorophyll content by increasing the oxidative stress (MDA and HO content). However, hemin supplementation under Cd,-stress improved plant growth by enhancing the harvestable biomass and photosynthetic pigments, increasing antioxidant activities (SOD, APX, POD, HO-1 and proline), lowering oxidative damage and increasing Cd tolerance in plants. Furthermore, the application of hemin enhances the removal efficiency of Cd in V. radiata by increasing the uptake of Cd via roots and its translocation from roots to foliar tissues. Thus, the study suggests that hemin has the potential to improve the stress tolerance and phytoremediation ability of heavy metal-tolerant plants so that they can be used instead of hyperaccumulators for remediation of Cd-contaminated environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82391-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7854669PMC
February 2021

Effects of biochar, farm manure, and pressmud on mineral nutrients and cadmium availability to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in Cd-contaminated soil.

Physiol Plant 2021 Jan 27. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

The contamination of agricultural soils with cadmium (Cd) is one of the serious worldwide concerns for food security. Biochar and organic manures have been known for enhancing plant growth and minimizing toxic trace element stress in plants. However, less is known about the effect of different organic amendments on Cd and uptake of essential nutrients by wheat. Thus, the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB), maize stalk biochar (MSB), farmyard manure (FYM), and pressmud (PRM) at a rate of 1% w/w were tested for Cd immobilization in soil and mineral nutrient availability to wheat crop grown in Cd-spiked soil (6.0 mg kg ). The amendments were added in Cd-spiked soil before 12 days of seed sowing and wheat plants were harvested after maturity (115 days after sowing). The findings revealed that the use of amendments improved the number of grains per spike, straw and grain yield of wheat relative to control treatment. The treatments minimized the Cd and enhanced the contents of zinc (Zn), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the leaves and grain of the wheat plants. Cadmium concentrations decreased by 35, 38, 68, and 63% in wheat grain, and grain yield increased by 19, 31, 68, and 58% with the application of FYM, PRM, MSB, and RSB, respectively. Overall, the application of MSB was more efficient in decreasing Cd concentrations in leaf and grains of wheat as compared to other conventional organic amendments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.13348DOI Listing
January 2021

Interactive role of zinc and iron lysine on L. growth, photosynthesis and antioxidant capacity irrigated with tannery wastewater.

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2020 Dec 2;26(12):2435-2452. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451 Saudi Arabia.

Abstract: Untreated wastewater contains toxic amounts of heavy metals such as chromium (Cr), which poses a serious threat to the growth and physiology of plants when used in irrigation. Though, Cr is among the most widespread toxic trace elements found in agricultural soils due to various anthropogenic activities. To explore the interactive effects of micronutrients with amino acid chelators [iron-lysine (Fe-lys) and zinc-lysine (Zn-lys)], pot experiments were conducted in a controlled environment, using spinach ( L.) plant irrigated with tannery wastewater. . was treated without Fe and Zn-lys (0 mg/L Zn-lys and 0 mg/L Fe-lys) and also treated with various combinations of (interactive application) Fe and Zn-lys (10 mg/L Zn-lys and 5 mg/L Fe-lys), when cultivated at different levels [0 (control) 33, 66 and 100%) of tannery wastewater in the soil having a toxic level of Cr in it. According to the results, we have found that, high concentration of Cr in the soil significantly ( < 0.05) reduced plant height, fresh biomass of roots and leaves, dry biomass of roots and leaves, root length, number of leaves, leaf area, total chlorophyll contents, carotenoid contents, transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (gs), net photosynthesis (PN), and water use efficiency (WUE) and the contents of Zn and Fe in the plant organs without foliar application of Zn and Fe-lys. Moreover, phytotoxicity of Cr increased malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in the plant organs (roots and leaves), which induced oxidative damage in . manifested by the contents of hydrogen peroxide (HO) and membrane leakage. The negative effects of Cr toxicity could be overturned by Zn and Fe-lys application, which significantly ( < 0.05) increase plant growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, and gaseous exchange attributes by reducing oxidative stress (HO, MDA, EL) and increasing the activities of various antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Furthermore, the supplementation of Zn and Fe-lys increased the contents of essential nutrients (Fe and Zn) and decreased the content of Cr in all plant parts compared to the plants cultivated in tannery wastewater without application of Fe-lys. Taken together, foliar supplementation of Zn and Fe-lys alleviates Cr toxicity in . by increased morpho-physiological attributes of the plants, decreased Cr contents and increased micronutrients uptake by the soil, and can be an effective in heavy metal toxicity remedial approach for other crops.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-020-00912-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772129PMC
December 2020

Biochar as a tool for effective management of drought and heavy metal toxicity.

Chemosphere 2021 May 28;271:129458. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia; Department of Botany, S.P. College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Electronic address:

Drought and heavy metal stress undesirably disturb soil fertility and plant growth. Heavy metals pose severe biological toxic effects. Biochar, a carbon rich source application ameliorates this stress by increasing the plant growth, biomass, nutrient uptake and improves gaseous exchange in drought stress. Application of biochar reduces drought stress by increasing water holding capacity of soil through modification of soil physio-chemical properties that in turn increases water availability to plants and also enhances mineral uptake and regulation of stomatal conductance. Biochar mediates the retention of moisture, nutrients, inhibits harmful bacteria, absorbs heavy metals, pesticides, prevents soil erosion, increases soil pH, improves cationic exchange and boosts soil fertility. Drought and heavy metal stress often lead to production of reactive oxygen species. However, biochar significantly modifies the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) scavenging enzymes and provides an efficient electron transferring mechanism to tackle the toxic effects of ROS in plants. Biochar is regarded as a tool for the effective management of agricultural productivity and various environmental issues. This review provides insights on the potential role of biochar in ameliorating drought and heavy metal stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.129458DOI Listing
May 2021

Drought-tolerant Bacillus megaterium isolated from semi-arid conditions induces systemic tolerance of wheat under drought conditions.

Plant Cell Rep 2021 Jan 7. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Key Message: A detailed study of the response of wheat plants, inoculated with drought-tolerant PGPR is studied which would be beneficial to achieve genetic improvement of wheat for drought tolerance. Drought stress, a major challenge under current climatic conditions, adversely affects wheat productivity. In the current study, we observed the response of wheat plants, inoculated with drought-tolerant plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) Bacillus megaterium (MU2) and Bacillus licheniformis (MU8) under induced drought stress. In vitro study of 90 rhizobacteria exhibited 38 isolates showed one or more plant growth-promoting properties, such as solubilization of phosphorus, potassium, and exopolysaccharide production. Four strains revealing the best activities were tested for their drought-tolerance ability by growing them on varying water potentials (- 0.05 to - 0.73 MPa). Among them, two bacterial strains Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus licheniformis showed the best drought-tolerance potential, ACC deaminase activities, IAA production, and antagonistic activities against plant pathogens. Additionally, these strains when exposed to drought stress (- 0.73 MPa) revealed the induction of three new polypeptides (18 kDa, 35 kDa, 30 kDa) in Bacillus megaterium. We determined that 10 cells/mL of Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus licheniformis were enough to induce drought tolerance in wheat under drought stress. These drought-tolerant strains increased the germination index (11-46%), promptness index (16-50%), seedling vigor index (11-151%), fresh weight (35-192%), and dry weight (58-226%) of wheat under irrigated and drought stress. Moreover, these strains efficiently colonized the wheat roots and increased plant biomass, relative water content, photosynthetic pigments, and osmolytes. Upon exposure to drought stress, Bacillus megaterium inoculated wheat plants exhibited improved tolerance by enhancing 59% relative water content, 260, 174 and 70% chlorophyll a, b and carotenoid, 136% protein content, 117% proline content and 57% decline in MDA content. Further, activities of defense-related antioxidant enzymes were also upregulated. Our results revealed that drought tolerance was more evident in Bacillus megaterium as compared to Bacillus licheniformis. These strains could be effective bioenhancer and biofertilizer for wheat cultivation in arid and semi-arid regions. However, a detailed study at the molecular level to deduce the mechanism by which these strains alleviate drought stress in wheat plants needs to be explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00299-020-02640-xDOI Listing
January 2021

Foliar exposure of zinc oxide nanoparticles improved the growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and decreased cadmium concentration in grains under simultaneous Cd and water deficient stress.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jan 24;208:111627. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, 38000 Faisalabad, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

A pot study was conducted to explore the effectiveness of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) foliar exposure on growth and development of wheat, zinc (Zn) and cadmium (Cd) uptake in Cd-contaminated soil under various moisture conditions. Four different levels (0, 25, 50, 100 mg/L) of these NPs were foliar-applied at different time periods during the growth of wheat. Two soil moisture regimes (70% and 35% of water holding capacity) were maintained from 6 weeks of germination till plant harvesting. The results revealed that the growth of wheat increased with ZnO NPs treatments. The best results were found in 100 mg/L ZnO NPs under normal moisture level. The lowest Cd and highest Zn concentrations were also examined when 100 mg/L NPs were applied without water deficit stress. In grain, Cd concentrations decreased by 26%, 81% and 87% in normal moisture while in water deficit conditions, the Cd concentrations decreased by 35%, 66% and 81% compared to control treatment when ZnO NPs were used at 25, 50 and 100 mg/L. The foliar exposure of ZnO NPs boosted up the leaf chlorophyll contents and also decreased the oxidative stress and enhanced the leaf superoxide dismutase and peroxidase activities than the control. It can be suggested that foliar use of ZnO NPs might be an efficient way for increasing wheat growth and yield with maximum Zn and minimum Cd contents under drought stress while decreasing the chances of NPs movement to other environmental compartment which may be possible in soil applied NPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111627DOI Listing
January 2021

Nitric oxide donor, sodium nitroprusside, mitigates mercury toxicity in different cultivars of soybean.

J Hazard Mater 2021 04 14;408:124852. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

University of Wuppertal, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institute of Foundation Engineering, Water, and Waste-Management, Laboratory of Soil, and Groundwater-Management, Pauluskirchstraße 7, 42285 Wuppertal, Germany; Department of Environment, Energy, and Geoinformatics, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea.

The present study reveals the effect of mercury (Hg) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) on plant growth and metabolism in soybean cultivars (Pusa-24, Pusa-37and Pusa-40). Mercury stress decreased growth and biomass yield, and gas exchange attributes in all soybean cultivars. External supplementation of SNP mitigated Hg toxicity by improving growth and gas exchange parameters. Electrolyte leakage (EL) increased accompanied with elevated levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and HO under Hg stress, however, they were found to be reduced in all cultivars upon the exogenous application of SNP. The activities of anti-oxidative enzymes, superoxide dismutase and catalase (SOD and CAT) and those enzymes involved in the ascorbate-glutathione pathway were impaired by Hg stress, but they were regulated by the application of SNP. Accumulation of Hg and NO in the shoots and roots were also regulated by the application of NO. Although, all three cultivars were affected by Hg stress, Pusa-37 was relatively less affected. Mercury stress affected the growth and development of different soybean cultivars, but Pusa-37 being tolerant was less affected. Pusa-37 was found to be more responsive to SNP than Pusa-24, Pusa-40 under Hg toxicity. The external supplementation of SNP could be a sustainable approach to economically utilize Hg affected soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124852DOI Listing
April 2021

Mechanisms Underlying Graft Union Formation and Rootstock Scion Interaction in Horticultural Plants.

Front Plant Sci 2020 10;11:590847. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyad, Saudi Arabia.

Grafting is a common practice for vegetative propagation and trait improvement in horticultural plants. A general prerequisite for successful grafting and long term survival of grafted plants is taxonomic proximity between the root stock and scion. For the success of a grafting operation, rootstock and scion should essentially be closely related. Interaction between the rootstock and scion involves complex physiological-biochemical and molecular mechanisms. Successful graft union formation involves a series of steps viz., lining up of vascular cambium, generation of a wound healing response, callus bridge formation, followed by vascular cambium formation and subsequent formation of the secondary xylem and phloem. For grafted trees compatibility between the rootstock/scion is the most essential factor for their better performance and longevity. Graft incompatibility occurs on account of a number of factors including of unfavorable physiological responses across the graft union, transmission of virus or phytoplasma and anatomical deformities of vascular tissue at the graft junction. In order to avoid the incompatibility problems, it is important to predict the same at an early stage. Phytohormones, especially auxins regulate key events in graft union formation between the rootstock and scion, while others function to facilitate the signaling pathways. Transport of macro as well as micro molecules across long distances results in phenotypic variation shown by grafted plants, therefore grafting can be used to determine the pattern and rate of recurrence of this transport. A better understanding of rootstock scion interactions, endogenous growth substances, soil or climatic factors needs to be studied, which would facilitate efficient selection and use of rootstocks in the future. Protein, hormones, mRNA and small RNA transport across the junction is currently emerging as an important mechanism which controls the stock/scion communication and simultaneously may play a crucial role in understanding the physiology of grafting more precisely. This review provides an understanding of the physiological, biochemical and molecular basis underlying grafting with special reference to horticultural plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.590847DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758432PMC
December 2020

Peptone-Induced Physio-Biochemical Modulations Reduce Cadmium Toxicity and Accumulation in Spinach ( L.).

Plants (Basel) 2020 Dec 19;9(12). Epub 2020 Dec 19.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh l1451, Saudi Arabia.

The accumulation of cadmium (Cd) in edible plant parts and fertile lands is a worldwide problem. It negatively influences the growth and productivity of leafy vegetables (e.g., spinach, L.), which have a high tendency to radially accumulate Cd. The present study investigated the influences of peptone application on the growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, gas exchange parameters, antioxidant enzymes activity, and Cd content of spinach plants grown under Cd stress. Cd toxicity negatively affected spinach growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, and gas exchange attributes. However, it increased malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (HO), electrolyte leakage (EL), proline accumulation, ascorbic acid content, Cd content, and activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) in spinach plants. The exogenous foliar application of peptone increased the growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, proline accumulation, and gas exchange attributes of spinach plants. Furthermore, the application of peptone decreased Cd uptake and levels of MDA, HO, and EL in spinach by increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes. This enhancement in plant growth and photosynthesis might be due to the lower level of Cd accumulation, which in turn decreased the negative impacts of oxidative stress in plant tissues. Taken together, the findings of the study revealed that peptone is a promising plant growth regulator that represents an efficient approach for the phytoremediation of Cd-polluted soils and enhancement of spinach growth, yield, and tolerance under a Cd-dominant environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9121806DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7765890PMC
December 2020

Volatile organic compounds produced by Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes alleviated drought stress by modulating defense system in maize (Zea mays L.).

Physiol Plant 2021 Jun 5;172(2):896-911. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Microbiology Botany Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Research on plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPR) revealed an effective role of bacterial volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in stress alleviation. Out of 15 PGPR strains, infection with VOCs from Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes' resulted in maximum germination, growth promotion, and drought tolerance in maize plants. The VOCs of P. pseudoalcaligenes caused induced systemic tolerance in maize plants during 7 days of drought stress. The VOCs exposed plants displayed resistance to drought stress by reducing electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde content and increasing the synthesis of photosynthetic pigments, proline, and phytohormones contents. Maize plants revealed enhanced resistance by showing higher activities of antioxidant defense enzymes both in shoots and roots under drought stress. Activities of antioxidant enzymes were more pronounced in shoots than roots. Gas chromatography and mass spectrophotometric (GC-MS) analysis comparing VOCs produced by the most efficient P. pseudoalcaligenes strain and inefficient strains of Pseudomonas sp. grown in culture media revealed nine compounds that they had in common. However, dimethyl disulfide, 2,3-butanediol, and 2-pentylfuran were detected only in P. pseudoalcaligenes, indicating these compounds are potential candidates for drought stress induction. Further studies are needed to unravel the molecular mechanisms of VOCs-mediated systemic drought tolerance in plants related to each identified VOC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.13304DOI Listing
June 2021

Plant-growth-promoting Bacillus and Paenibacillus species improve the nutritional status of Triticum aestivum L.

PLoS One 2020 1;15(12):e0241130. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Wheat is one of the best-domesticated cereal crops and one of the vital sources of nutrition for humans. An investigation was undertaken to reveal the potential of novel bio-inoculants enriching micronutrients in shoot and grains of wheat crop to eliminate the hazards of malnutrition. Sole as well as consortia inoculation of bio-inoculants significantly enhanced mineral nutrients including zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) concentrations in shoot and grains of wheat. Various treatments of bio-inoculants increase Zn and Fe content up to 1-15% and 3-13%, respectively. Sole inoculation of Bacillus aryabhattai (S10) impressively improves the nutritious of wheat. However, the maximum increase in minerals contents of wheat was recorded by consortia inoculation of Paenibacillus polymyxa ZM27, Bacillus subtilis ZM63 and Bacillus aryabhattai S10. This treatment also showed a maximum bacterial population (18 × 104 cfu mL-1) in the rhizosphere. The consortium application of these strains showed up to a 17% increase in yield. It is evident from the results that the consortium application was more effective than sole and co-inoculation. A healthy positive correlation was found between growth, yield, and the accessibility of micronutrients to wheat crops at the harvesting stage. The present investigations revealed the significance of novel bacterial strains in improving the nutritional status of wheat crops. These strains could be used as bio-inoculants for the biofortification of wheat to combat hidden hunger in developing countries.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241130PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7707572PMC
January 2021

Foliar fertigation of ascorbic acid and zinc improves growth, antioxidant enzyme activity and harvest index in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) grown under salt stress.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Jan 7;158:244-254. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Department of Botany, S.P. College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Electronic address:

Crop productivity is limited by several environmental constraints. Among these, salt stress plays a key role in limiting the growth and yield production of economically important agricultural crops. However, the exogenous fertigation of vitamins and minerals could serve as a "shot-gun" approach for offsetting the deleterious effects of salts present in the rhizosphere. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to quantify the efficacy of foliar fertigation of ascorbic acid (vitamin-C) and zinc (Zn) on the physio-biochemical attributes of barley (Hordeum vulgare L. Genotype B-14011) grown in a saline environment. The salt stress resulted in a reduced biological yield associated with a decrease in chlorophyll pigment, while a significant enhancement in Na and Zn was observed under salinity stress. Similarly, the contents of total soluble proteins, total free amino acids, lipid peroxidation, and HO and the activities of antioxidative enzymes (SOD, POD, CAT, APX and proline) were significantly enhanced under salinity stress. Moreover, salinity negatively affected the yield attributes and ion uptake of plants. However, foliar fertigation with AsA +0.03% Zn enhanced vegetative growth, photosynthetic pigments, synchronized ion uptake, the synthesis of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, and the harvest index. It is inferred from this study that among all treatments, the effect of foliar fertigation with the AsA+0.03% Zn combination not only improved the salt stress tolerance but also improved the yield attributes, which will aid in the improvement in barley seed yield and is a step to solve the problem of malnutrition through biofortification of vitamin-C and zinc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.11.007DOI Listing
January 2021

Impact of bovine serum albumin - A protein corona on toxicity of ZnO NPs in environmental model systems of plant, bacteria, algae and crustaceans.

Chemosphere 2021 May 20;270:128629. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, Sathyamangalam, Tamil Nadu, India. Electronic address:

Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are widely applied in industrial, household and medical areas that lead to its discharge and accumulation in ecosystem. Here, the toxic effect of ZnO NPs in presence and absence of bovine serum albumin (BSA) was analyzed. The difference in toxicity of bare ZnO and BSA interacted ZnO was studied with different environmental models. P. aeruginosa and S. aureus were used as model bacterial systems. Toxicity against bacteria was determined by employing plate count method. C. pyrenoidsa was used as algal system for evaluating toxicity and it was determined by chlorophyll estimation assay. Daphnia sp. was chosen as crustacean system model. A. cepa root cells were chosen as plant model. ZnO NPs increased the ROS formation, lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress and it reduced in the presence of BSA. The cytotoxicity, chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei (MN) index of A. cepa were increased after ZnO NPs treatment. Same time the toxic effect was decreased in case of BSA coated ZnO NPs. The NPs toxic potential on the organisms decreased in the order of P. aeruginosa (LC-0.092 mg/L) > S. aureus (LC-0.33 mg/L) > Daphnia sp (LC-0.35 mg/L) > C. pyrenoidosa (LC-8.17 mg/L). LC in presence of BSA was determined to be 18.45, 26.24, 17.27 and 53.97 mg/L for P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, Daphnia sp and C. pyrenoidosa respectively. Therefore, the report suggests that BSA stabilized ZnO NPs could be more amenable towards applications in biotechnology and bioengineering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128629DOI Listing
May 2021

Elucidating silicon-mediated distinct morpho-physio-biochemical attributes and organic acid exudation patterns of cadmium stressed Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi L.).

Plant Physiol Biochem 2020 Dec 10;157:23-37. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, 11451, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Soil contamination with toxic heavy metals [such as cadmium (Cd)] is becoming a serious global problem due to rapid development of social economy. Silicon (Si), being an important fertilizer element, has been found effective in enhancing plant tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses. The present study investigated the extent to which different levels of Si modulated the Cd tolerance of Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi L.) seedlings when maintained in artificially Cd spiked regimes. A pot experiment was conducted under controlled conditions for four weeks, by using sand, mixed with different levels of Cd i.e., 0, 1.5 and 3 mM together with the application of Si at 0, 1.5 and 3 mM levels to monitor different growth, gaseous exchange, oxidative stress, antioxidative responses, minerals accumulation, organic acid exudation patterns of T. ammi seedlings. Our results depicted that Cd addition to growth medium significantly decreased plant growth and biomass, gaseous exchange attributes and minerals uptake by T. ammi seedlings as compared to the plants grown without addition of Cd. However, Cd toxicity boosted the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by increasing the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA), which is the indication of oxidative stress in T. ammi seedlings and was also manifested by hydrogen peroxide (HO) contents and electrolyte leakage to the membrane bounded organelles. Although, activities of various antioxidative enzymes like superoxidase dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) initially increased up to a Cd level of 1.5 mM but were significantly diminished at the highest Cd level of 3 mM. Results revealed that the anthocyanin and soluble proteins contents were decreased in seedlings grown under elevating Cd levels but increased the Cd accumulation of T. ammi roots and shoots. The negative impacts of Cd injury were reduced by the application of Si which increased plant growth and biomass, improved photosynthetic apparatus, antioxidant enzymes, minerals uptake together with diminished exudation of organic acids as well as oxidative stress indicators in roots and shoots of T. ammi by decreasing Cd retention in different plant parts. Research findings, therefore, suggested that Si application can ameliorate Cd toxicity in T. ammi seedlings and resulted in improved plant growth and composition under metal stress as depicted by balanced exudation of organic acids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.10.010DOI Listing
December 2020