Clarifying the genetic background of the drought-tolerance trait is a crucial task that may help to improve plant performance under stress by a genetic engineering approach. Dehydration-responsive element-binding protein (DREB) is a transcription factor family which modulates many stress-responsive genes. In this study, we isolated a DREB homolog gene named ZmDREBtv from Zea mays var. Tevang-1. Using bioinformatic tools, a number of InDels and SNPs in ZmDREBtv sequence different from the reference accession were identified. In addition, based on deduced protein sequence similarity, ZmDREBtv was assigned to transcription factor DREB2 class as featured by a conserved DNA binding domain - AP2. The ZmDREBtv construct under thecontrol of the rd29A promoter was transformed into a drought-sensitive maize plant, K7 line. The transgenic plants were assessed with reference to molecular and phenotypic characteristics related to the drought-tolenrance trait. The results proved that the maize plants carrying ZmDREBtv gene showed enhanced tolerance and better performance to the water-deficit environment at different stages, compared to the wild-type plants.
The experiment on Zea mays L. cv. Landmark (F1) plants was performed in a greenhouse with UV-B (305–315 nm). The pots with plants were divided into four groups: the first and the second groups were grown, respectively, at low (1.0 kJ m-2 d-1) and high (3.0 kJ m-2 d-1) biological effective dose of UV-B radiation. Half of the pots of each group were sprayed with 0.1% solution of Asahi SL (the third and fourth groups). The intensity of photosynthesis and transpiration, chlorophyll fluorescence, the content of UV-absorbing compounds and radical scavenging activity were measured using DPPH after four and six weeks of UV-B radiation. After six weeks of irradiation with a higher UV-B dose both flavonoid content and antioxidant activity increased by 112% and by 44%, respectively, compared to the plants grown at the lower dose. The plants treated with Asahi SL and exposed to the high dose of UV-B had the content of flavonoids 80% higher than the control ones. Asahi SL decreased scavenging activity in both groups of plants by 17% and 32%, respectively, in comparison with the untreated plants. The intensity of net photosynthesis, the transpiration rate and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters (Fv/Fo, ETR, Rfd) did not differ in most of variants.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of different zinc and iron concentrations in culture medium on growth and development of maize and wheat seedlings in terms of their inoculation with bacteria of Azospirillum genus. Maize and wheat in vitro cultures were inoculated, respectively, by strains of Azospirillum lipoferum and Azospirillum brasilense strains. The experimental factor was the supplementation of the culture medium with zinc (25, 200 and 600 mg·kg-1 of the medium) and iron (25, 200 and 600 mg·kg-1 of the medium). Counts of bacteria from the Azospirillum genus were analysed and plant seedling growth and development as well as the content of chlorophyll in plant leaf blades were monitored. Zinc turned out to reduce strongly numbers of bacteria of the Azospirillum genus. Azospirillum brasilense turned out to be particularly sensitive to elevated levels of this chemical element in the environment. The negative influence of increased quantities of zinc on cereal seedlings became apparent only after the application of the highest concentrations of this metal in the medium (600 mg·kg-1), while quantities which did not exceed 200 mg·kg-1 exerted a stimulation effect on the mass of maize and wheat seedlings. Iron added to the culture medium in quantities which did not exceed 200 mg·kg-1 did not reduce numbers of bacteria of the Azospirillum genus; on the contrary, they stimulated their growth. However, at higher concentrations, this metal turned out to exert a strong negative impact on the chlorophyll content in leaf blades as well as on the mass of maize and wheat seedlings. The inoculation with bacteria of the Azospirillum genus exerted a positive influence on the mass increase of maize and wheat seedlings and increased chlorophyll concentrations in leaf blades. At the same time, it contributed significantly to limiting or even levelling out the toxic impact of zinc and iron during the initial phases of plant growth and development.
The paper addresses the effect of a compost prepared from tobacco wastes with an admixture of bark and straw on the enzymatic activity and certain chemical properties of a grey-brown podzolic soil amended with that compost. The study was conducted under the conditions of a pot experiment in which the soil material was collected from the surface horizon of the grey-brown podzolic soil. The effect of the application of the compost was compared with soil without such amendment. The test plant was maize cv. Kosmo 230. Fertilisation of the light soil with the compost studied caused changes in the enzymatic activity of the soil that were related both to the dose of the compost and to the kind of enzyme studied. With increase in the dose of the compost there was an increase in dehydrogenase activity (highest dose) and a signiﬁcant decrease in the activity of acid phosphatase. Moreover, it was observed that tobacco compost was a signiﬁcant source that enriched the light soil in organic matter, total nitrogen, and available forms of phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, which was evident in increased yields of maize grown as the test plant. Signiﬁcant correlations were also demonstrated between a majority of the biochemical and chemical parameters, which indicates that those parameters characterise well the biological properties of a grey-brown podzolic soil amended with tobacco compost.
This paper presents the results of fractionation of particulate and soluble organic matter in a mixture of maize silage and cattle manure (49:51% volatile solids) that was used as a feedstock for anaerobic digestion. The extended Weender’s analysis was adapted to measure raw protein, raw lipids, fraction of carbohydrates (including starch, cellulose, hemicelluloses) and lignin. The content of individual fractions in composite, Xc (as kg COD kg-1 COD) was: 0.111 proteins, 0.048 lipids, 0.500 carbohydrates and 0.341 inerts. The biodegradability of Xc was 68%. Based on material balance, the carbon concentration in Xc was 0.0326 kmol C kg-1 COD, whereas nitrogen concentration 0.0018 kmol N kg-1 COD. The estimated pH of the feedstock based on acid-base equilibrium corresponded to the actual value (pH 7.14).
The aim of this study was to implement ADM1xp model to simulate behavior of anaerobic co-digestion of maize silage and cattle manure. The accuracy of ADM1xp has been assessed against experimental data of anaerobic digestion, performed at OLR = 2.1 gVS dm-3·d-1 and HRT = 45d. Due to the high number of parameters in ADM1xp, it was necessary to develop a customized procedure limiting the range of parameters to be estimated. The best fitting of experimental to simulated data was obtained after verification of 9 among 105 stoichiometric and kinetic parameters. The values of objective function (Jc) ranged between 0.003 (for valerate) and 211 (for biogas production).
Plant viruses create many changes in the morphology of the plant cell once the infection process has begun. This paper describes and compares the ultrastructural changes induced in maize cells by two isolates of Maize dwarfmosaic virus (MDMV), Spanish (MDMV-Sp) and Polish (MDMV-P), and one isolate of Sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) at 10 and 42 days post-inoculation: the concentration and arrangement of virus particles, inclusion bodies associated with infection, and other cytological alterations. The most important difference between maize cells infected with MDMV isolates and with SCMV-P1 was in the form of cytoplasmic cylindrical inclusions. In cells infected with MDMV only typical inclusions such as pinwheels and scrolls were observed, but laminar aggregates were also present in SCMV-infected cells. No virus particles were found in plant cell organelles. Specific virion arrangements occurred in cells infected with MDMV-Sp and SCMV. The most interesting new finding was of specific amorphous inclusions in the cytoplasm of MDMV-Sp-infected cells, which clearly differentiated the two MDMV isolates studied.
Biological control of plant diseases is strongly emerging as an effective alternative to the use of chemical pesticides and fungicides. Stress tolerance is an important attribute in the selection of bacteria for the development of microbial inoculants. Fourteen salt-tolerant bacteria showing different morphological features isolated from the rhizosphere of maize were evaluated for different plant growth-promoting activities. All isolates showed auxin production ranging from 5 to 24 μg ⋅ ml–1 after 48 h incubation in tryptophan supplemented media. Phosphate solubilization ranged from 15 to 419 μg ⋅ ml–1. 1-aminocycloproprane- 1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase activity was shown by 6 isolates, ammonia production by 9 isolates, siderophore production by 8 isolates while HCN production by 4 isolates. Four bacterial isolates with all plant growth-promoting properties also showed strong antagonistic activities against Fusarium oxysporum, F. verticillioides, Curvularia lunata and Alternaria alternata and abiotic stress tolerance against salinity, temperature, pH and calcium salts. Two selected bacterial isolates significantly enhanced the growth of pea and maize test plants under greenhouse conditions. The bacterial isolate M1B2, which showed the highest growth promotion of test plants, was identified as Bacillus sp. based on phenotypic and 16S rDNA gene sequencing. The results indicated that Bacillus sp. M1B2 is a potential candidate for the development of microbial inoculants in stressful environments.
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of residual glycerine (5 and 10% w/w) from the biodiesel industry, used as a co-substrate, on biogas production from maize silage. The experiments were conducted in a laboratory-scale, single-stage anaerobic digester at 39ºC and hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 60 d. Addition of 5% residual glycerine caused organic load rate (OLR) to increase to 1.82 compared with 1.31 g organic dry matter (ODM) L-1d-1 for maize silage alone. The specific biogas production rate and biogas yield were 1.34 L L-1d-1 and 0.71 L g ODM-1 respectively, i.e. 86% and 30% higher than for maize alone. Increasing the residual glycerine content to 10% increased OLR (2.01 g ODM L-1d-1), but clearly decreased the specific biogas production rate and biogas yield to 0.50 L L-1d-1 and 0.13 L g ODM-1 respectively. This suggested that 10% glycerine content inhibited methanogenic bacteria and organics conversion into biogas. As a result, there was accumulation of propionic and valeric acids throughout the experiment.
We measured the total chlorophyll (Chl a+b) content in seedling leaves of fifteen maize cultivars infested by two studied aphid species (oligophagous Rhopalosiphum padi L., monophagous Sitobion avenae F.) 7 and 14 days after the beginning of infestation, using a SPAD-502 chlorophyll meter. Chlorophyll loss was more severe in R. padi-infested than in S. avenae-infested plants. Chlorophyll depletion was greater after long-term (14 days) than after short-term aphid infestation in the investigated host systems. Seedlings of Złota Karłowa and Tasty Sweet were more damaged by aphid feeding; Ambrozja and Płomyk plants were less damaged by aphid feeding.
Application of 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) or 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxilic acid (ACC) to maize roots growing in hydroponic solution inhibited root elongation, and increased radial growth, but the responses to those treatments differed in degree. Auxin was more effective than ACC as an elongation inhibitor and root swelling promoter. Whereas NAA fully inhibited elongation and maintained swelling over 48 h, ACC inhibited elongation partially (50%) and only promoted swelling for 24 h. It is well-known that auxin, like ACC, promotes ethylene production, but similar levels of ethylene production reached by means of NAA or ACC treatments did not elicit the same response, the response being always stronger to NAA than to ACC. These results suggest that the effect of auxin on root growth is not mediated by ethylene. Elongation and swelling of roots appear to be inversely related: usually a reduction in elongation was accompanied by corresponding swelling. However, these two processes showed different sensitivities to growth regulators. After 24 h treatment with 0.5 μM NAA or 5 μM ACC, root elongation was inhibited by 90% and 53% respectively, but the same treatments promoted swelling by 187% and 140% respectively. Furthermore, 1 μM ACC was shown to promote inhibition of root elongation without affecting swelling. The ethylene antagonist STS (silver thiosulfate) did not affect elongation in control or NAAtreated roots, but increased ethylene production and swelling. These results indicate that longitudinal and radial expansion could be independently controlled.
The future of food security in Africa is being severely threatened due to an exponential increase in population, which is almost three times the increase of food production. Maize production is constrained by stem borers which cause significant yield losses. Yield losses can be further compounded by higher temperatures due to climate changes, which are expected to increase the population of maize stem borers. While several methods have been employed in stem borer management, there is still significant damage caused by maize stem borers. This necessitates better control methods including the adoption of recent biotechnological advancement in RNA interference (RNAi) technology. This review highlights evidence of an increase in the stem borer population as well as the foreseen decline in maize production worldwide due to the effects of climatic changes. Furthermore, we have drawn attention to improved methods that have been used to control stem borers in maize production as well as a reluctant acceptance of traditional biotechnology in Africa. Finally, we suggest the application of alternative RNA interference techniques to breed maize for efficient pest control in order to achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable maize production.
We examined whether allelochemical stress leads to increased lipoxygenase activity in roots of sweet maize (Zea mays L. ssp. saccharata), pea (Pisum sativum L.) and radish (Raphanus sativum L. var. radicula). The lipoxygenase activity of soluble and membrane-bound fractions was assessed in roots after exposure to ferulic and p-coumaric acids. Lipid peroxidation and membrane injury were determined as indicators of stress. Increased lipoxygenase activity of both studied fractions was followed by lipid peroxidation and plasma membrane injury. The results suggest the key role of lipoxygenase in plasma membrane injury during allelochemical stress caused by administration of hydroxycinnamic acids.