Publications by authors named "Saddam Hussain"

96 Publications

Seed Priming with Sorghum Water Extract Improves the Performance of Camelina ( (L.) Crantz.) under Salt Stress.

Plants (Basel) 2021 Apr 12;10(4). Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Agronomic Research Institute, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan.

Seed priming with sorghum water extract (SWE) enhances crop tolerance to salinity stress; however, the application of SWE under salinity for camelina crop has not been documented so far. This study evaluated the potential role of seed priming with SWE in improving salt stress tolerance in camelina. Primed (with 5% SWE and distilled water-hydropriming) and nonprimed seeds were sown under control (no salt) and salt stress (10 dS m) conditions. Salinity reduced camelina's emergence and growth, while seed priming with SWE improved growth under control and stress conditions. Under salt stress, seed priming with SWE enhanced emergence percentage (96.98%), increased root length (82%), shoot length (32%), root dry weight (75%), shoot dry weight (33%), α-amylase activity (66.43%), chlorophyll content (60-92%), antioxidant enzymes activity (38-171%) and shoot K ion (60%) compared with nontreated plants. Similarly, under stress conditions, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and shoot Na ion were reduced by 60, 31, and 40% by seed priming with SWE, respectively, over the nonprimed seeds. Therefore, seed priming with SWE may be used to enhance the tolerance against salt stress in camelina.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10040749DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069245PMC
April 2021

Boron-toxicity induced changes in cell wall components, boron forms, and antioxidant defense system in rice seedlings.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Apr 7;216:112192. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, Root Biology Center, College of Natural Resources and Environment, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642 Guangdong, PR China. Electronic address:

Boron (B) is an indispensable micronutrient that ensures the optimal growth and productivity of the plant. However, excessive use of B fertilizers results in B toxicity which is relatively difficult to correct as compared to B deficiency. Moreover, underlying mechanisms of B toxicity induced changes in cell wall components and the association of B forms in the appearance of toxicity symptoms in rice seedlings are lacking. Therefore, the present investigation was carried out on rice seedlings by employing different concentrations of B (CK, B1; 100 µM, B2; 300 µM, and B3; 400 µM). The results showed that a high concentration of B caused inhibition of root and shoot growth with noticeable signs of stress on leaves in terms of chlorophyll contents. In addition, B toxicity caused oxidative stress and lipid oxidation of membranes. The higher concentrations of B were accumulated in the leaves than roots. In the roots and leaves, more than 80% B was adsorbed on the cell wall. In the treatment of B3, the free form of B was higher than the bound-B. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) results showed that higher concentrations led to variation in functional groups of cell walls of leaves. The results of this investigation showed that B stress-induced inhibition of growth might be linked with higher B uptake in the upper parts, oxidative damages, and forms of B may play important role in the chlorosis. The findings of the study may help to understand the mechanisms of B stress-induced growth inhibition in rice seedlings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112192DOI Listing
April 2021

Knockout of the entire family of AITR genes in Arabidopsis leads to enhanced drought and salinity tolerance without fitness costs.

BMC Plant Biol 2021 Mar 16;21(1):137. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics & Crop Gene Editing, School of Life Sciences, Linyi University, 276000, Linyi, China.

Backgorund: Environmental stresses including abiotic stresses and biotic stresses limit yield of plants. Stress-tolerant breeding is an efficient way to improve plant yield under stress conditions. Genome editing by CRISPR/Cas9 can be used in molecular breeding to improve agronomic traits in crops, but in most cases, with fitness costs. The plant hormone ABA regulates plant responses to abiotic stresses via signaling transduction. We previously identified AITRs as a family of novel transcription factors that play a role in regulating plant responses to ABA and abiotic stresses. We found that abiotic stress tolerance was increased in the single, double and triple aitr mutants. However, it is unclear if the increased abiotic stress tolerance in the mutants may have fitness costs.

Results: We report here the characterization of AITRs as suitable candidate genes for CRISPR/Cas9 editing to improve plant stress tolerance. By using CRISPR/Cas9 to target AITR3 and AITR4 simultaneously in the aitr256 triple and aitr1256 quadruple mutants respectively, we generated Cas9-free aitr23456 quintuple and aitr123456 sextuple mutants. We found that reduced sensitivities to ABA and enhanced tolerance to drought and salt were observed in these mutants. Most importantly, plant growth and development was not affected even in the aitr123456 sextuple mutants, in whom the entire AITR family genes have been knocked out, and the aitr123456 sextuple mutants also showed a wild type response to the pathogen infection.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that knockout of the AITR family genes in Arabidopsis enhanced abiotic stress tolerance without fitness costs. Considering that knock-out a few AITRs will lead to enhanced abiotic stress tolerance, that AITRs are widely distributed in angiosperms with multiple encoding genes, AITRs may be targeted for molecular breeding to improve abiotic stress tolerance in plants including crops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-021-02907-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967987PMC
March 2021

Effects of salicylic acid, zinc and glycine betaine on morpho-physiological growth and yield of maize under drought stress.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 4;11(1):3195. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing, 400715, China.

Drought is one of the major environmental stresses that negatively affect the maize (Zea mays L.) growth and production throughout the world. Foliar applications of plant growth regulators, micronutrients or osmoprotectants for stimulating drought-tolerance in plants have been intensively reported. A controlled pot experiment was conducted to study the relative efficacy of salicylic acid (SA), zinc (Zn), and glycine betaine (GB) foliar applications on morphology, chlorophyll contents, relative water content (RWC), gas-exchange attributes, activities of antioxidant enzymes, accumulations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and osmolytes, and yield attributes of maize plants exposed to two soil water conditions (85% field capacity: well-watered, 50% field capacity: drought stress) during critical growth stages. Drought stress significantly reduced the morphological parameters, yield and its components, RWC, chlorophyll contents, and gas-exchange parameters except for intercellular CO concentration, compared with well water conditions. However, the foliar applications considerably enhanced all the above parameters under drought. Drought stress significantly (p < 0.05) increased the hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion contents, and enhanced the lipid peroxidation rate measured in terms of malonaldehyde (MDA) content. However, ROS and MDA contents were substantially decreased by foliar applications under drought stress. Antioxidant enzymes activity, proline content, and the soluble sugar were increased by foliar treatments under both well-watered and drought-stressed conditions. Overall, the application of GB was the most effective among all compounds to enhance the drought tolerance in maize through reduced levels of ROS, increased activities of antioxidant enzymes and higher accumulation of osmolytes contents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82264-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7862227PMC
February 2021

Recent progress in understanding salinity tolerance in plants: Story of Na/K balance and beyond.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Mar 23;160:239-256. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.

High salt concentrations in the growing medium can severely affect the growth and development of plants. It is imperative to understand the different components of salt-tolerant network in plants in order to produce the salt-tolerant cultivars. High-affinity potassium transporter- and myelocytomatosis proteins have been shown to play a critical role for salinity tolerance through exclusion of sodium (Na) ions from sensitive shoot tissues in plants. Numerous genes, that limit the uptake of salts from soil and their transport throughout the plant body, adjust the ionic and osmotic balance of cells in roots and shoots. In the present review, we have tried to provide a comprehensive report of major research advances on different mechanisms regulating plant tolerance to salinity stress at proteomics, metabolomics, genomics and transcriptomics levels. Along with the role of ionic homeostasis, a major focus was given on other salinity tolerance mechanisms in plants including osmoregulation and osmo-protection, cell wall remodeling and integrity, and plant antioxidative defense. Major proteins and genes expressed under salt-stressed conditions and their role in enhancing salinity tolerance in plants are discussed as well. Moreover, this manuscript identifies and highlights the key questions on plant salinity tolerance that remain to be discussed in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.01.029DOI Listing
March 2021

Molecular identification of genus from Punjab, Pakistan.

Mitochondrial DNA B Resour 2020 Aug 26;5(3):3218-3220. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Department of Wildlife and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.

The Indus valley toad and common Asian toad are widely distributed toads in Pakistan. There is doubt in the taxonomic position of species within the genus in Pakistan as most of the species identified on morphology. Previously, identified on morphology but during the present study, it is confirmed as based COI sequences (MK941836). The interspecific divergence between and was 16%. The intraspecific divergence of (MK947909.1) was ranging from 0% to 1% while the intraspecific divergence of (MK941836) was high ranging from 10% to 11%. Overall, genetic variation between the species of genus based on p-distance was 14%. In our recommendation, a large-scale molecular identification of amphibians should take into consideration for exact species identification to report any new species from Pakistan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2020.1810143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782984PMC
August 2020

Molybdenum improves 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, grain quality traits and yield attributes in fragrant rice through efficient nitrogen assimilation under cadmium toxicity.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Mar 13;211:111911. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, PR China; Scientific Observing and Experimental Station of Crop Cultivation in South China, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Guangzhou 510642, PR China; Guangzhou Key Laboratory for Science and Technology of Fragrant Rice, Guangzhou 510642, PR China. Electronic address:

Cadmium (Cd) toxicity causes severe perturbations in nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation, and thereby interrupts normal plant growth. Molybdenum (Mo), a necessary trace element, plays important roles in N metabolism through regulating N assimilatory enzymes activities and expressions in higher plants. Taking this into account, a pot experiment was performed to explore the role of Mo in alleviating Cd-induced inhibitory effects on physio-biochemical processes, N metabolism, yield attributes and grain quality characters of two fragrant rice cultivars; Guixiangzhan and Meixiangzhan-2. Both the fragrant rice cultivars were treated with two levels of each Cd concentrations (0 and 100 mg/kg) and Mo treatments (0 and 0.15 mg/kg). The results revealed that Cd toxicity significantly reduced (p < 0.05) plant dry biomass, gaseous exchange attributes, chlorophyll contents, N utilizing and assimilatory enzymes activities, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP) contents and grain yield in both cultivars; however, more severe inhibitions were observed in Meixiangzhan-2 than Guixiangzhan. Nevertheless, Mo application alleviated Cd stress and enhanced 2AP content and grain yield by 75.05% and 67.94% in Guixiangzhan and 87.71% and 83.51% in Meixiangzhan-2, respectively compared with no Mo application. Moreover, Mo application improved photosynthesis, chloroplast configuration, soluble protein and proline contents and also strengthened the N assimilatory pathway through efficient NO utilization, higher nitrate reductase, nitrite reductase, glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase activities and transcript levels under Cd stress. Collectively, our results imply that Mo-induced enhancement in N utilization and assimilation improved yield and grain quality characters of fragrant rice cultivars under Cd stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.111911DOI Listing
March 2021

AITRL, an evolutionarily conserved plant specific transcription repressor regulates ABA response in Arabidopsis.

Sci Rep 2021 Jan 12;11(1):721. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics and Crop Gene Editing, School of Life Sciences, Linyi University, Linyi, China.

Expression of stress response genes can be regulated by abscisic acid (ABA) dependent and ABA independent pathways. Osmotic stresses promote ABA accumulation, therefore inducing the expression of stress response genes via ABA signaling. Whereas cold and heat stresses induce the expression of stress response genes via ABA independent pathway. ABA induced transcription repressors (AITRs) are a family of novel transcription factors that play a role in ABA signaling, and Drought response gene (DRG) has previously been shown to play a role in regulating plant response to drought and freezing stresses. We report here the identification of DRG as a novel transcription factor and a regulator of ABA response in Arabidopsis. We found that the expression of DRG was induced by ABA treatment. Homologs searching identified AITR5 as the most closely related Arabidopsis protein to DRG, and homologs of DRG, including the AITR-like (AITRL) proteins in bryophytes and gymnosperms, are specifically presented in embryophytes. Therefore we renamed DRG as AITRL. Protoplast transfection assays show that AITRL functioned as a transcription repressor. In seed germination and seedling greening assays, the aitrl mutants showed an increased sensitivity to ABA. By using qRT-PCR, we show that ABA responses of some ABA signaling component genes including some PYR1-likes (PYLs), PROTEIN PHOSPHATASE 2Cs (PP2Cs) and SUCROSE NONFERMENTING 1 (SNF1)-RELATED PROTEIN KINASES 2s (SnRK2s) were reduced in the aitrl mutants. Taken together, our results suggest that AITRLs are a family of novel transcription repressors evolutionally conserved in embryophytes, and AITRL regulates ABA response in Arabidopsis by affecting ABA response of some ABA signaling component genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-80695-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7804847PMC
January 2021

Alkaline lipase production by novel meso-tolerant psychrophilic Exiguobacterium sp. strain (AMBL-20) isolated from glacier of northeastern Pakistan.

Arch Microbiol 2021 May 15;203(4):1309-1320. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Biological Sciences, International Islamic University Islamabad, Islamabad, 44000, Pakistan.

Lipase is an important commercial enzyme with unique and versatile biotechnological applications. This study was conducted to biosynthesize and characterizes alkaliphilic lipase by Exiguobacterium sp. strain AMBL-20 isolated from the glacial water samples of the northeastern (Gilgit-Baltistan) region of Pakistan. The isolated bacterium was identified as Exiguobaterium sp. strain AMBL-20 on the basis of morphological, biochemical, and phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA sequences with GenBank accession number MW229267. The bacterial strain was further screened for its lipolytic activity, biosynthesis, and characterization by different parameters with the aim of maximizing lipase activity. Results showed that 2% Olive oil, 0.2% peptone at 25 °C, pH 8, and 24 h of incubation time found optimal for maximum lipase production. The lipase enzyme was partially purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation and its activity was standardized at pH 8 under 30 °C temperature. The enzyme showed functional stability over a range of temperature and pH. Hence, extracellular alkaliphilic lipase from Exiguobacterium sp. is a potential candidate with extraordinary industrial applications, particularly in bio-detergent formulations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00203-020-02133-1DOI Listing
May 2021

Sweat-Based Noninvasive Skin-Patchable Urea Biosensors with Photonic Interpenetrating Polymer Network Films Integrated into PDMS Chips.

ACS Sens 2020 12 1;5(12):3988-3998. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

School of Applied Chemical Engineering, Polymeric Nano Materials Laboratory, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Republic of Korea.

A wearable noninvasive biosensor for in situ urea detection and quantification was developed using a urease-immobilized photonic interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) film. The photonic IPN film was intertwined with solid-state cholesteric liquid crystals (CLC) and a poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) network on a flexible poly(ethylene terephthalate) substrate adhered to a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) chip that was fabricated using an aluminum mold. The presence of urea in the chemical matrix of human sweat red-shifted the reflected color of the photonic IPN film, and quantification was achieved by observing the wavelength at the photonic band gap (λ) with a limit of detection of 0.4 mM and a linear range of 0.9-50 mM. The color changes observed in the photonic IPN film were digitalized using the CIE 1931 coordinates on a cell phone image, thereby enabling fast, direct diagnosis via a downloadable app. This novel PDMS chip can be expanded for use with other biosensors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssensors.0c01757DOI Listing
December 2020

Molybdenum Supply Alleviates the Cadmium Toxicity in Fragrant Rice by Modulating Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Gene Expression.

Biomolecules 2020 11 21;10(11). Epub 2020 Nov 21.

State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources, College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.

Increasing evidence shows that cadmium (Cd) toxicity causes severe perturbations on growth performance, physio-biochemical and molecular processes in crop plants. Molybdenum (Mo), an essential trace element, plays key roles in oxidative stress tolerance of higher plants. Hence, the present study has been conducted to investigate the possible role of Mo in alleviating Cd-induced inhibitions in two fragrant rice cultivars namely Guixiangzhan (GXZ) and Meixiangzhan-2 (MXZ-2). The results revealed that Mo application enhanced the plant dry biomass by 73.24% in GXZ and 58.09% in MXZ-2 under Cd stress conditions, suggesting that Mo supplementation alleviated Cd-induced toxicity effects in fragrant rice. The enhanced Cd-tolerance in fragrant rice plants prompted by Mo application could be ascribed to its ability to regulate Cd uptake and reduce Cd-induced oxidative stress as evident by lower hydrogen peroxide levels, electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde contents in Cd-stressed plants. The ameliorative role of Mo against Cd-toxicity also reflected through its protection to the photosynthetic pigments, proline and soluble protein. Mo also induced antioxidant defense systems via maintaining higher contents of glutathione and ascorbate as well as enhancing the ROS-detoxifying enzymes such as catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase activities and up-regulating transcript abundance in both fragrant rice cultivars under Cd stress. Conclusively, Mo-mediated modulation of Cd toxicity in fragrant rice was through restricting Cd uptake, maintaining photosynthetic performance and alleviating oxidative damages via the strong anti-oxidative defense systems; however, GXZ cultivar is comparatively more Cd tolerant and Mo-efficient as evident from the less growth inhibition and biomass reduction as well as enhanced Mo-induced Cd stress tolerance and less oxidative damage than MXZ-2 fragrant rice cultivar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom10111582DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7700372PMC
November 2020

Seed Priming Improved Antioxidant Defense System and Alleviated Ni-Induced Adversities in Rice Seedlings Under N, P, or K Deprivation.

Front Plant Sci 2020 3;11:565647. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Microelement Research Center, College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

Excess nickel (Ni) concentration in the growing medium severely hampers the plant growth by disturbing oxidative metabolism and nutrient status. The present study was carried out to investigate the individual and interactive effects of Ni toxicity (0.25 mM NiSO4.6H2O) and nutrient deprivation (no-N, no-P, or no-K) on growth, oxidative metabolism, and nutrient uptake in primed and non-primed rice seedlings. Rice seed was primed with distilled water (hydropriming), selenium (5 mg L), or salicylic acid (100 mg L). The Ni toxicity and deprivation of N, P, or K posed negative effects on the establishment of rice seedlings. The shoot length and fresh biomass were severely reduced by Ni toxicity and nutrient stresses; the minimum shoot growth was recorded for rice seedlings grown under Ni toxicity and no-N stress. The Ni toxicity reduced the root fresh biomass but did not significantly affect the root length of N-deprived seedlings. The rice seedlings with no-P or no-K recorded similar root fresh biomass compared with those grown with sufficient nutrient supply. The Ni toxicity alone or in combination with nutrient stresses triggered the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and caused lipid peroxidation in rice seedlings. Among antioxidants, only glutathione reductase and vitamin E were significantly increased by Ni toxicity under different nutrient stress treatments. The Ni toxicity also reduced the concentrations of N particularly in shoot of rice seedlings. The N-deprived (no-N) seedlings recorded maximum Ni concentration in shoot, while K-deprived (no-K) seedlings showed higher Ni concentrations in root. Seed priming with selenium or salicylic acid was effective to alleviate the detrimental effects of Ni toxicity and/or nutrient stresses on rice seedlings. The better growth and greater stress tolerance of primed seedlings was coordinately attributed to lower ROS production, higher membrane stability, strong antioxidative defense system, and maintenance of mineral nutrient status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.565647DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7509405PMC
September 2020

Combined application of Bacillus sp. MN-54 and phosphorus improved growth and reduced lead uptake by maize in the lead-contaminated soil.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Dec 8;27(35):44528-44539. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Lead (Pb) is considered an important environmental contaminant due to its considerable toxicity to living organisms. It can enter and accumulate in plant tissues and become part of the food chain. In the present study, individual and combined effects of Bacillus sp. MN-54 and phosphorus (P) on maize growth and physiology were evaluated in Pb-contaminated soil. A pristine soil was artificially contaminated with two levels of Pb (i.e., 250 and 500 mg kg dry soil) and was transferred to plastic pots. Bacillus sp. MN-54 treated and untreated maize (DK-6714) seeds were planted in pots. Recommended doses of nutrients (N and K) were applied in each pot while P was applied in selective pots. Results showed that Pb stress hampered the maize growth and physiological attributes in a concentration-dependent manner, and significant reductions in seedling emergence, shoot and root lengths, fresh and dry biomasses, leaf area, chlorophyll content, rate of photosynthesis, and stomatal conductance were recorded compared with control. Application of Bacillus sp. MN-54 or P particularly in combination significantly reduced the toxic effects of Pb on maize. At higher Pb level (500 mg kg), the combined application effectively reduced Pb uptake up to 42.4% and 50% by shoots, 30.8% and 33.9% by roots, and 18.4% and 26.2% in available Pb content in soil after 45 days and 90 days, respectively compared with that of control. Moreover, the use of Bacillus sp. MN-54 significantly improved the P uptake by maize plants by 44.4% as compared with that of control. Our findings suggest that the combined use of Bacillus sp. MN-54 and P could be effective and helpful in improving plant growth and Pb immobilization in Pb-contaminated soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-10372-4DOI Listing
December 2020

SMARCAL1, the annealing helicase and the transcriptional co-regulator.

IUBMB Life 2020 10 5;72(10):2080-2096. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Chromatin Remodeling Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

The ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling proteins play an important role in DNA repair. The energy released by ATP hydrolysis is used for myriad functions ranging from nucleosome repositioning and nucleosome eviction to histone variant exchange. In addition, the distant member of the family, SMARCAL1, uses the energy to reanneal stalled replication forks in response to DNA damage. Biophysical studies have shown that this protein has the unique ability to recognize and bind specifically to DNA structures possessing double-strand to single-strand transition regions. Mutations in SMARCAL1 have been linked to Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia, an autosomal recessive disorder that exhibits variable penetrance and expressivity. It has long been hypothesized that the variable expressivity and pleiotropic phenotypes observed in the patients might be due to the ability of SMARCAL1 to co-regulate the expression of a subset of genes within the genome. Recently, the role of SMARCAL1 in regulating transcription has been delineated. In this review, we discuss the biophysical and functional properties of the protein that help it to transcriptionally co-regulate DNA damage response as well as to bind to the stalled replication fork and stabilize it, thus ensuring genomic stability. We also discuss the role of SMARCAL1 in cancer and the possibility of using this protein as a chemotherapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/iub.2354DOI Listing
October 2020

SlEAD1, an EAR motif-containing ABA down-regulated novel transcription repressor regulates ABA response in tomato.

GM Crops Food 2020 Oct;11(4):275-289

Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics & Crop Gene Editing, School of Life Sciences, Linyi University , Linyi, China.

EAR motif-containing proteins are able to repress gene expression, therefore play important roles in regulating plants growth and development, plant response to environmental stimuli, as well as plant hormone signal transduction. ABA is a plant hormone that regulates abiotic stress tolerance in plants via signal transduction. ABA signaling via the PYR1/PYLs/RCARs receptors, the PP2Cs phosphatases, and SnRK2s protein kinases activates the ABF/AREB/ABI5-type bZIP transcription factors, resulting in the activation/repression of ABA response genes. However, functions of many ABA response genes remained largely unknown. We report here the identification of the ABA-responsive gene () as a novel EAR motif-containing transcription repressor gene in tomato. We found that the expression of was down-regulated by ABA treatment, and SlEAD1 repressed reporter gene expression in transfected protoplasts. By using CRISPR gene editing, we generated transgene-free mutants and found that the mutants produced short roots. By using seed germination and root elongation assays, we examined ABA response of the mutants and found that ABA sensitivity in the mutants was increased. By using qRT-PCR, we further show that the expression of some of the ABA biosynthesis and signaling component genes were increased in the mutants. Taken together, our results suggest that is an ABA response gene, that SlEAD1 is a novel EAR motif-containing transcription repressor, and that SlEAD1 negatively regulates ABA responses in tomato possibly by repressing the expression of some ABA biosynthesis and signaling genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645698.2020.1790287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7518750PMC
October 2020

Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate enhances the growth and morpho-physiological characteristics of rice cultivars by mitigating the ethylene accumulation under salinity stress.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2020 Sep 3;154:782-795. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou, 310006, Zhejiang, China. Electronic address:

Salinity-induced ethylene accumulation caused by high production of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) hinders rice plant growth and development. Nevertheless, ACC deaminase may alleviate salt stress and high ethylene production in rice cultivars under salinity stress. Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), an ACC deaminase co-factor, could be a useful ACC inhibitor in plants; however, it has not been studied before. In the present study, the effects of PLP on the growth and morphophysiological characteristics of rice cultivars (Jinyuan 85 (JY85) and Nipponbare (NPBA) were investigated under salinity stress (control (CK), low salinity (LS), and high salinity (HS) in hydroponic conditions. The experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design (CRD) under factorial arrangement of treatments. The results showed that, compared with no PLP, exogenous application of PLP significantly inhibited ACC and ethylene production in the roots, leaves and panicles of both cultivars under salinity, and PLP was more effective at improving the physiological characteristics of both cultivars under salinity stress. Further, root morphophysiological traits and pollen viability were triggered in the PLP treatment compared to the no-PLP treatment under various salinity levels. ACC production inhibited by PLP was useful for improving the 1000-grain weight, grain yield per plant, and total plant biomass under the CK, LS and HS treatments in both rice cultivars. These results revealed that PLP, as an ACC deaminase cofactor, is a key tool for mitigating ethylene-induced effects under salinity stress and for enhancing the agronomic and morphophysiological traits of rice under saline conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.05.035DOI Listing
September 2020

Dye degradation, antimicrobial and larvicidal activity of silver nanoparticles biosynthesized from .

Saudi J Biol Sci 2020 Jul 11;27(7):1753-1759. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, PO Box 2455, Riyadj 11451, Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia.

The present study aimed in green synthesis and characterization of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using the leaves of . The NPs showed various absorption peaks between 3402 cm and 1063 cm. FTIR spectrum revealed the presence of OH group, alkene, aromatic hydrocarbon, aliphatic fluro compound and aliphatic chloro compounds. Scanning electron microscopic analysis revealed the particle size ranged from 30 to 50 nm. The biosynthesized NPs have potent activity against , and and the zone of inhibition was 21 ± 1, 20 ± 2, 16 ± 2 mm, respectively. Toxicity of the synthesized NPs was tested on green gram () seed at various concentrations (20-100%) and germination was induced by NPs treated seeds. Shoot length and root length was higher in NPs treated plant than control plant (p < 0.01). Elevated level of catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and about 13% CAT and 7% SOD activity registered than control. Superoxide dismutase activity of root and shoot varied based on the dosage of AgNPs (p < 0.01). Also, the NPs (1%) showed significant larvicidal activity on and 100% mortality was achieved after 24 h treatment. The green synthesized NPs reduced methylene blue and 4-nitrophenol significantly (p < 0.01). The colouration of methylene blue and 4-nitrophenol were considerably reduced after 60 min showed the potential of dye degrading ability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2020.05.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7296484PMC
July 2020

A New Extended- Family of Distributions: Properties and Applications.

Comput Math Methods Med 2020 26;2020:4650520. Epub 2020 May 26.

Department of Statistics, Islamia College Peshawar, KP, Pakistan.

During the past couple of years, statistical distributions have been widely used in applied areas such as reliability engineering, medical, and financial sciences. In this context, we come across a diverse range of statistical distributions for modeling heavy tailed data sets. Well-known distributions are log-normal, log-, various versions of Pareto, log-logistic, Weibull, gamma, exponential, Rayleigh and its variants, and generalized beta of the second kind distributions, among others. In this paper, we try to supplement the distribution theory literature by incorporating a new model, called a new extended Weibull distribution. The proposed distribution is very flexible and exhibits desirable properties. Maximum likelihood estimators of the model parameters are obtained, and a Monte Carlo simulation study is conducted to assess the behavior of these estimators. Finally, we provide a comparative study of the newly proposed and some other existing methods via analyzing three real data sets from different disciplines such as reliability engineering, medical, and financial sciences. It has been observed that the proposed method outclasses well-known distributions on the basis of model selection criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/4650520DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7270997PMC
April 2021

The effects of regional climatic condition on the spread of COVID-19 at global scale.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Oct 9;739:140101. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.

The pandemic outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic disease (COVID-19) is spreading like a diffusion-reaction in the world and almost 208 countries and territories are being affected around the globe. It became a sever health and socio-economic problem, while the world has no vaccine to combat this virus. This research aims to analyze the connection between the fast spread of COVID-19 and regional climate parameters over a global scale. In this research, we collected the data of COVID-19 cases from the time of 1st reported case to the 5th June 2020 in different affected countries and regional climatic parameters data from January 2020 to 5th June 2020. It was found that most of the countries located in the relatively lower temperature region show a rapid increase in the COVID-19 cases than the countries locating in the warmer climatic regions despite their better socio-economic conditions. A correlation between metrological parameters and COVID-19 cases was observed. Average daylight hours are correlated to total the COVID-19 cases with a coefficient of determination of 0.42, while average high-temperature shows a correlation of 0.59 and 0.42 with total COVID-19 cases and death cases respectively. The finding of the study will help international health organizations and local administrations to combat and well manage the spread of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280824PMC
October 2020

Maize Tolerance against Drought and Chilling Stresses Varied with Root Morphology and Antioxidative Defense System.

Plants (Basel) 2020 Jun 6;9(6). Epub 2020 Jun 6.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University/Engineering Research Center of South Upland Agriculture, Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400716, China.

Maize belongs to a tropical environment and is extremely sensitive to drought and chilling stress, particularly at early developmental stages. The present study investigated the individual and combined effects of drought (15% PEG-Solution) and chilling stress (15/12 °C) on morpho-physiological growth, osmolyte accumulation, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and activities/levels of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in two maize hybrids (i.e., "XD889" and "XD319") and two inbred cultivars (i.e., "Yu13" and "Yu37"). Results revealed that individual and combined exposure of drought and chilling stresses hampered the morpho-physiological growth and oxidative status of maize cultivars, nevertheless, the interactive damage caused by drought + chilling was found to be more severe for all the studied traits. Between two individual stress factors, chilling-induced reductions in seedling length and biomass of maize cultivars were more compared with drought stress alone. Greater decrease in root length and biomass under chilling stress ultimately decreased the volume and surface area of the root system, and restricted the shoot growth. All the stress treatments, particularly chilling and drought + chilling, triggered the oxidative stress by higher accumulation of superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl ion, and malondialdehyde contents compared with the control. Variations in response of maize cultivars were also apparent against different stress treatments, and XD889 performed comparatively better than the rest of the cultivars. The better growth and greater stress tolerance of this cultivar was attributed to the vigorous root system architecture, as indicated by higher root biomass, root surface area, and root volume under drought and chilling stresses. Moreover, efficient antioxidant defense system in terms of higher total antioxidant capability, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, catalase, and glutathione reductase activities also contributed in greater stress tolerance of XD889 over other cultivars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9060720DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7356637PMC
June 2020

Monitoring Bioaccumulation (in Gills and Muscle Tissues), Hematology, and Genotoxic Alteration in Exposed to Selected Heavy Metals.

Biomed Res Int 2020 13;2020:6185231. Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Health and environmental problems arising from metals present in the aquatic ecosystem are very well known. The present study investigated toxicological effects of LC of metals such as copper, chromium, and lead for 24, 48, 72, and 96 h on hematological indices, RBC nucleus and cell morphology, and gill and muscle tissues of grass carp (). Experimental dose concentrations of copper were 1.5, 1.4, 1.2, and 1 mgL. Similarly, dose concentrations of chromium were 25.5, 22.5, 20, and 18 mgL while those of lead were 250, 235, 225, and 216 mgL, respectively. Maximum decrease in the concentration of Hb, RBCs, and monocytes was observed against chromium, while maximum increase in the concentration of lymphocytes was reported against lead. Abnormalities such as single and double micronuclei, deformed nucleus, nuclear shift, irregular nucleus, deformed cells, microcyte cells, and vacuolated and swollen cells were observed. Gill tissues absorbed maximum concentration of lead followed by chromium and copper. Muscle tissues also absorbed maximum concentration of lead followed by chromium and copper, respectively. Histological alterations such as epithelial lifting, interlamellar spaces, club gill filaments, gill bridging, curling filaments, swelling and fusion of cells, irregular cells, destruction of epithelial cells, cellular necrosis, and inflammatory cells were observed in gill tissues while inflammation and necrosis of muscle fibers, degeneration of muscle fibers, edema of muscle bundles, zig-zag of muscle fibers, and lesions were observed in muscle tissues of fish exposed with different doses of these heavy metals, indicating the toxicity of metals to aquatic fauna as well as to human being via food chain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/6185231DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7180433PMC
February 2021

Flax L.): A Potential Candidate for Phytoremediation? Biological and Economical Points of View.

Plants (Basel) 2020 Apr 13;9(4). Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Flax ( L.) is an important oil seed crop that is mostly cultivated in temperate climates. In addition to many commercial applications, flax is also used as a fibrous species or for livestock feed (animal fodder). For the last 40 years, flax has been used as a phytoremediation tool for the remediation of different heavy metals, particularly for phytoextraction when cultivated on metal contaminated soils. Among different fibrous crops (hemp, jute, ramie, and kenaf), flax represents the most economically important species and the majority of studies on metal contaminated soil for the phytoextraction of heavy metals have been conducted using flax. Therefore, a comprehensive review is needed for a better understanding of the phytoremediation potential of flax when grown in metal contaminated soil. This review describes the existing studies related to the phytoremediation potential of flax in different mediums such as soil and water. After phytoremediation, flax has the potential to be used for additional purposes such as linseed oil, fiber, and important livestock feed. This review also describes the phytoremediation potential of flax when grown in metal contaminated soil. Furthermore, techniques and methods to increase plant growth and biomass are also discussed in this work. However, future research is needed for a better understanding of the physiology, biochemistry, anatomy, and molecular biology of flax for increasing its pollutant removal efficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9040496DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238412PMC
April 2020

Cell wall/vacuolar inhibitor of fructosidase 1 regulates ABA response and salt tolerance in Arabidopsis.

Plant Signal Behav 2020 04 26;15(4):1744293. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of MOE, Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China.

ABA regulates abiotic stress tolerance in plants via activating/repressing gene expression. However, the functions of many ABA response genes remained unknown. C/VIFs are proteinaceous inhibitors of the CWI and VI invertases. We report here the involvement of C/VIF1 in regulating ABA response and salt tolerance in Arabidopsis. We found that the expression level of was increased in response to ABA treatment. By using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, we generated transgene-free mutants. We also generated overexpression plants by expressing under the control of the promoter. We examined ABA response of the transgenic plants and the mutants by using seed germination and seedling greening assays, and found that the transgenic plants showed an enhanced sensitivity to ABA treatment in both assays. On the other hand, the mutants showed slight enhanced tolerance to ABA only at the early stage of germination. We also found that salt tolerance was reduced in the transgenic plants in seed germination assays, but slightly increased in the mutants. Taken together, our results suggest that is an ABA response gene, and C/VIF1 is involved in the regulation of ABA response and salt tolerance in Arabidopsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15592324.2020.1744293DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7194370PMC
April 2020

Lead (Pb) distribution and accumulation in different plant parts and its associations with grain Pb contents in fragrant rice.

Chemosphere 2020 Jun 25;248:126003. Epub 2020 Jan 25.

Department of Crop Science and Technology, College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, PR China. Electronic address:

Lead (Pb) affects the growth and productivity of rice negatively through soil-Pb-plant interactions. A pot experiment was conducted to assess the Pb uptake and its distributive pattern in different fragrant rice cultivars i.e., Meixiangzhan-2 (MXZ-2), Xiangyaxiangzhan (XYXZ), Guixiangzhan (GXZ), Basmati-385 (B-385), and Nongxiang-18 (NX-18) and relationship of Pb uptake with grain Pb-contents and rice yield and related traits i.e., productive tillers hill, spikelets panicle, filled grain percentage, and 1000-grain weight. Lead as Pb(NO) was applied at 0 (control), 400 (Pb1), 800 (Pb2) and 1200 mg kg (Pb3) of soil in solution form. Results showed that all rice cultivars accumulated different concentration of Pb, with the highest in roots and the lowest in grains. The translocation factors (TF) from stems to leaves were higher than root to stems and leaves to ears/grains. The grain Pb contents have significant positive associations with ear Pb contents and TF of Pb from leaves to ear at reproductive stage. Moreover, relative changes (RC) in grain yields have significant correlations with the RC in some yield attributes i.e., productive tillers per hill, spikelets per panicle, and filled grain percentage under Pb toxicity. Overall, grain Pb contents are affected mainly by the transference of leaves Pb contents to ears/grains (an index to determine final grain Pb contents) whereas RC in rice yields suggested its relationships with some agronomic attributes of fragrant rice under Pb stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126003DOI Listing
June 2020

Deep placement of controlled-release urea effectively enhanced nitrogen use efficiency and fresh ear yield of sweet corn in fluvo-aquic soil.

Sci Rep 2019 12 30;9(1):20307. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

Key Laboratory of Fertilization from Agricultural Wastes, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs/Institute of Plant Protection and Soil Fertilizer, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Science, Wuhan, 430064, China.

Application of controlled-release urea (CRU) improves crop yield and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) compared with conventional urea. However, the effectiveness of CRU differs with fertilization placement. A two site-year field experiment was carried out in fluvo-aquic soil in central China to study the effects of two N sources (CRU and urea) and three fertilization placements (band application between two corn rows at 0, 5, and 15 cm soil depths) on fresh ear yield and NUE of sweet corn. The soil inorganic N (NO-N and NH-N) concentrations at the soil layers of 0-20 cm and 20-40 cm, root morphology characteristics and leaf physiological functions were also measured during the sweet corn growth period. Results showed that the deep placement of CRU at 15 cm soil depth significantly increased the sweet corn fresh ear yield, total N uptake, and NUE by 6.3%-13.4%, 27.9%-39.5%, and 82.9%-140.1%, respectively compared with CRU application at 0 cm depth. Deep placement of CRU at 15 cm also increased the root morphology traits, gas exchange attributes, and soil NO-N and NH-N concentrations in 0-20 cm and 20-40 cm layer, especially during later crop growth stages. However, the different N placements exerted non-significant effects on NUE and fresh ear yield when urea was applied as the N source. In crux, deep CRU placement instead of urea at 15 cm depth can effectively improve fresh ear yield and NUE of sweet corn in fluvo-aquic soil because of higher root growth, better leaf physiological functions and increased availability of soil NO-N and NH-N.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56912-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6937262PMC
December 2019

Cross-Category Tea Polyphenols Evaluation Model Based on Feature Fusion of Electronic Nose and Hyperspectral Imagery.

Sensors (Basel) 2019 Dec 20;20(1). Epub 2019 Dec 20.

State Key Laboratory of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China.

Tea polyphenols are important ingredients for evaluating tea quality. The rapid development of sensors provides an efficient method for nondestructive detection of tea polyphenols. Previous studies have shown that features obtained from single or multiple sensors yield better results in detecting interior tea quality. However, due to their lack of external features, it is difficult to meet the general evaluation model for the quality of the interior and exterior of tea. In addition, some features do not fully reflect the sensor signals of tea for several categories. Therefore, a feature fusion method based on time and frequency domains from electronic nose (E-nose) and hyperspectral imagery (HSI) is proposed to estimate the polyphenol content of tea for cross-category evaluation. The random forest and the gradient boosting decision tree (GBDT) are used to evaluate the feature importance to obtain the optimized features. Three models based on different features for cross-category tea (black tea, green tea, and yellow tea) were compared, including grid support vector regression (Grid-SVR), random forest (RF), and extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost). The results show that the accuracy of fusion features based on the time and frequency domain from the electronic nose and hyperspectral image system is higher than that of the features from single sensor. Whether based on all original features or optimized features, the performance of XGBoost is the best among the three regression algorithms ( = 0.998, RMSE = 0.434). Results indicate that the proposed method in this study can improve the estimation accuracy of tea polyphenol content for cross-category evaluation, which provides a technical basis for predicting other components of tea.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s20010050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6983139PMC
December 2019

Genetic study of Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa resident Pakistani families presenting primary microcephaly with intellectual disability.

J Pak Med Assoc 2019 Dec;69(12):1812-1816

Gomal Centre of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Gomal University, D.I. Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Objective: To investigate the genetic factor responsible for causing microcephaly and determine allelic heterogeneity of Abnormal spindle microtubule gene.

Methods: The genetic study was conducted at the Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat, and Gomal University, D.I.Khan, Pakistan, during 2017-18, and comprised 5 consanguineous families from South Waziristan, Kurram Agency, Karak, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan regions of the country's Khyber Pakhtukhwa province. Blood samples from all available and cooperative family members (including normal and affected) were obtained, and molecular analysis was carried out through whole genome single nucleotide polymorphisms genotyping, exome sequencing and Sanger sequencing.

Results: Of the 15 patients, 9(60%) were males and 6(40%) were females. Genetic mapping revealed linkage to the MCPH5 locus which harbours the microcephaly-associated abnormal spindle-like microcephaly gene. Mutation analysis of the gene identified missense mutation c.3978G>A (p.Trp1326*) in families A, B and C, a deletion mutation c.7782_7783delGA (p.(Lys2595Serfs*6)) in family D, and a splice site defect c.2936+5G>A in family E.

Conclusions: There was suggestion of strong founder effect of mutation c.3978G>A (p.Trp1326*).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/JPMA.300681DOI Listing
December 2019

Silicon Priming Regulates Morpho-Physiological Growth and Oxidative Metabolism in Maize under Drought Stress.

Plants (Basel) 2019 Oct 20;8(10). Epub 2019 Oct 20.

Institute of Plant Protection and Soil Fertilizer, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Science, Wuhan 430064, China.

Seed priming with silicon (Si) is an efficient and easy method to regulate plant tolerance against different abiotic stresses. A pot experiment was conducted to examine the Si-mediated changes in oxidative defense and some vital physio-biochemical parameters of maize under a limited water supply. For this purpose, two maize varieties (Pearl and Malka) with different Si priming treatments (0, 4 mM, 6 mM) were grown under a control and 60% field capacity for three weeks. At 60% field capacity, significant reductions in plant growth attributes and chlorophyll contents were recorded compared with the control. The negative effects of drought stress were more severe for Malka compared with Pearl. Drought stress increased the malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (HO) contents, altered the activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT)), and triggered the accumulation of soluble sugars, glycine betaine, proline, and phenolics contents. Nevertheless, seed priming with silicon at 4 or 6 mM was effective in alleviating the detrimental effects of drought stress in both cultivars. Si priming particularly at 6 mM significantly enhanced the shoot and root lengths as well as their biomass and improved the levels of photosynthetic pigments. Moreover, Si treatments enhanced the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, POD, and CAT) while it reduced the MDA and HO contents in both cultivars under stress conditions. In crux, the present investigation suggests that Si priming mitigates the harmful effects of drought stress and contributes to the recovery of maize growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants8100431DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6843370PMC
October 2019

Integration of a FT expression cassette into CRISPR/Cas9 construct enables fast generation and easy identification of transgene-free mutants in Arabidopsis.

PLoS One 2019 23;14(9):e0218583. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of MOE, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin, China.

The CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technique has been widely used to generate transgene-free mutants in different plant species. Several different methods including fluorescence marker-assisted visual screen of transgene-free mutants and programmed self-elimination of CRISPR/Cas9 construct have been used to increase the efficiency of genome edited transgene-free mutant isolation, but the overall time length required to obtain transgene-free mutants has remained unchanged in these methods. We report here a method for fast generation and easy identification of transgene-free mutants in Arabidopsis. By generating and using a single FT expression cassette-containing CRISPR/Cas9 construct, we targeted two sites of the AITR1 gene. We obtained many early bolting plants in T1 generation, and found that about two thirds of these plants have detectable mutations. We then analyzed T2 generations of two representative lines of genome edited early bolting T1 plants, and identified plants without early bolting phenotype, i.e., transgene-free plants, for both lines. Further more, aitr1 homozygous mutants were successful obtained for both lines from these transgene-free plants. Taken together, these results suggest that the method described here enables fast generation, and at the mean time, easy identification of transgene-free mutants in plants.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0218583PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756540PMC
March 2020

Lead toxicity in plants: Impacts and remediation.

J Environ Manage 2019 Nov 26;250:109557. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Department of Forestry and Range Management, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, 38040, Pakistan.

Lead (Pb) is the second most toxic heavy metal after arsenic (As), which has no role in biological systems. Pb toxicity causes a range of damages to plants from germination to yield formation; however, its toxicity is both time and concentration dependent. Its exposure at higher rates disturbs the plant water and nutritional relations and causes oxidative damages to plants. Reduced rate of seed germination and plant growth under stress is mainly due to Pb interference with enzymatic activities, membrane damage and stomatal closure because of induction of absicic acid and negative correlation of Pb with potassium in plants. Pb induced structural changes in photosynthetic apparatus and reduced biosynthesis of chlorophyll pigments cause retardation of carbon metabolism. In this review, the noxious effects of Pb on germination, stand establishment, growth, water relations, nutrient uptake and assimilation, ultra-structural and oxidative damages, carbon metabolism and enzymatic activities in plants are reported. The Pb dynamics in soil rhizosphere and role of remediation strategies i.e. physical, chemical and biological to decontaminate the Pb polluted soils has also been described. Among them, biological strategies, including phytoremediation, microbe-assisted remediation and remediation by organic amendments, are cost effective and environmentally sound remedies for cleaning Pb contaminated soils. Use of organic manures and some agricultural practices have the potential to harvest better crops yield of good quality form Pb contaminated soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109557DOI Listing
November 2019