Publications

NIBIOs employees contribute to several hundred scientific articles and research reports every year. You can browse or search in our collection which contains references and links to these publications as well as other research and dissemination activities. The collection is continously updated with new and historical material.

2020

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNA, miR) are short non-protein coding RNA molecules that are involved in both the nuclear and the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression. miRNAs are endogenous mediators of RNA-interference forming part of the epigenetic machinery and influence gene expression post-transcriptionally without affecting the DNA sequence. In Norway spruce, epigenetic memory is established in response to the temperature conditions during embryogenesis and it affects the timing of bud burst and bud set, vitally important adaptive traits for long-lived forest species. Somatic embryogenesis at different epitype inducing (EpI) temperatures closely mimics the natural processes of epigenetic memory formation in seeds, giving rise to epigenetically different clonal plants in a reproducible and predictable manner, with respect to altered bud phenology. Developing Norway spruce embryos possesses a more complex small non-coding RNA (sRNA) structure than that reported for other somatic tissues. A variety of the predicted miRNAs showed distinct EpI temperature-dependent expression patterns. These putative EpI miRNAs target spruce genes with a wide range of functions, including genes known to be involved in epigenetic regulation, which in turn could provide a feedback process leading to the placement of epigenetic marks. Major features of miRNAs are related to their pleiotropic and synergistic actions, whereby a single miRNA can have several potential mRNA targets, and a single mRNA usually also has multiple miRNA binding sites. Moreover, miRNAs binding to a single mRNA often acts in a synergistic fashion. Fine-tuning of the miRNA production likely participates in both developmental regulation and epigenetic memory formation. Further functional and expression studies are necessary in order to elucidate the common miRNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms that underlie memory formation in plants. The use of artificial miRNAs, as well as overexpression and knockout/down of both miRNAs and their targets, will be the best techniques for determining the specific roles of individual miRNAs in memorizing the response to environmental stresses. In the present minireview, we illustrate the current knowledge regarding the epigenetics–miRNA regulatory networks aiming to provide biological insights into epigenetic memory formation in plants with a particular emphasis in spruce.

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Abstract

Plants can form an immunological memory known as defense priming, whereby exposure to a priming stimulus enables quicker or stronger response to subsequent attack by pests and pathogens. Such priming of inducible defenses provides increased protection and reduces allocation costs of defense. Defense priming has been widely studied for short‐lived model plants such as Arabidopsis, but little is known about this phenomenon in long‐lived plants like spruce. We compared the effects of pretreatment with sublethal fungal inoculations or application of the phytohormone methyl jasmonate (MeJA) on the resistance of 48‐year‐old Norway spruce (Picea abies) trees to mass attack by a tree‐killing bark beetle beginning 35 days later. Bark beetles heavily infested and killed untreated trees but largely avoided fungus‐inoculated trees and MeJA‐treated trees. Quantification of defensive terpenes at the time of bark beetle attack showed fungal inoculation induced 91‐fold higher terpene concentrations compared with untreated trees, whereas application of MeJA did not significantly increase terpenes. These results indicate that resistance in fungus‐inoculated trees is a result of direct induction of defenses, whereas resistance in MeJA‐treated trees is due to defense priming. This work extends our knowledge of defense priming from model plants to an ecologically important tree species.

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Abstract

The extraction of Rhodiola rosea rhizomes using natural deep eutectic solvent (NADES) consisting of lactic acid, glucose, fructose, and water was investigated. A two-level Plackett–Burman design with five variables, followed by the steepest ascent method, was undertaken to determine the optimal extraction conditions. Among the five parameters tested, particle size, extraction modulus, and water content were found to have the highest impact on the extrability of phenyletanes and phenylpropanoids. The concentration of active compounds was analyzed by HPLC. The predicted results showed that the extraction yield of the total phenyletanes and phenylpropanoids (25.62 mg/g) could be obtained under the following conditions: extraction time of 154 min, extraction temperature of 22 °C, extraction modulus of 40, molar water content of 5:1:11 (L-lactic acid:fructose:water, mol/mol), and a particle size of rhizomes of 0.5–1 mm. These predicted values were further verified by validation experiments in predicted conditions. The experimental yields of salidroside, tyrosol, rosavin, rosin, cinnamyl alcohol and total markers (sum of phenyletanes and phenylpropanoids in mg/g) were 11.90 ± 0.02, 0.36 ± 0.02, 12.23 ± 0.21, 1.41 ± 0.01, 0.20 ± 0.01, and 26.10 ± 0.27 mg/g, respectively, which corresponded well with the predicted values from the models.

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Abstract

Microdochium majus and Microdochium nivale cause serious disease problems in grasses and cereal crops in the temperate regions. Both fungi can infect the plants during winter (causing pink snow mould) as well as under cool humid conditions during spring and fall. We conducted a pathogenicity test of 15 M. nivale isolates and two M. majus isolates from Norway at low temperature on four different grass cultivars of Lolium perenne and Festulolium hybrids. Significant differences between M. nivale isolates in the ability to cause pink snow mould were detected. The M. nivale strains originally isolated from grasses were more pathogenic than isolates from cereals. The genetic diversity of M. nivale and M. majus isolates was studied by sequencing four genetic regions; Elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1α), β-tubulin, RNA polymerase II (RPB2) and the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS). Phylogenetic trees based on the sequences of these four genetic regions resolved M. nivale and M. majus isolates into separate clades. Higher genetic diversity was found among M. nivale isolates than among M. majus isolates. M. nivale isolates revealed genetic differences related to different host plants (grasses vs. cereals) and different geographic regions (Norway and UK vs. North America). Sequence results from the RPB2 and β-tubulin genes were more informative than those from ITS and EF-1α. The genetic and phenotypic differences detected between Norwegian M. nivale isolates from cereals and grasses support the assumption that host specialization exist within M. nivale isolates.

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Abstract

Shallot (Allium cepa var. aggregatum), a small bulb onion, is widely grown in the world. We previously reported a droplet-vitrification for cryopreservation of in vitro-grown shoot tips of shallot genotype ‘10603’. The present study further evaluated rooting, vegetative growth, bulb production and contents of biochemical compounds, as well as genetic stability in cryo-derived plants. The results showed no significant differences in rooting, vegetative growth, bulb production and contents of soluble sugars and flavonols between the cryo- and in vitro-derived plants. Analyses of ISSR and AFLP markers did not detect any polymorphic bands in the cryo-derived plants. These results indicate rooting and vegetative growth ability, biochemical compounds and genetic stability were maintained in cryo-derived plants. The present study provides experimental evidences that support the use of cryopreservation method for long-term preservation of genetic resources of shallots and other Allium species.