As a native of the Chihuahuan desert, guayule (Partheniumargentatum Gray) has a history of dealing with low water availability. Agronomic studies have shown that increasing irrigation increases overall rubber yields, but decreases rubber concentration per plant. As water availability is an important factor in agricultural production, this study was conducted to examine how drought affects plant growth and secondary compound distribution throughout the plant. One-year-old guayule plants were subjected to water stress from June through August, in 2003 and 2004. The well-watered treatment was irrigated daily, and the drought-stressed plants were irrigated when the soil water potential reached 6 (0.6) or 3 (0.3) bars (megapascals) in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Plant growth was monitored by measuring height, width, and stem diameter. Fresh weight of shoots and roots was recorded at harvest, and a subset of plants were defoliated and used to determine leaf weight and area. Resin and rubber were extracted from dried and ground plant samples. Growth, leaf weight, and leaf to stem ratio were decreased in the drought-stressed plants compared to the well-watered plants. Rubber concentration, but not resin concentration, was higher in the drought-stressed plants. There were no significant differences in resin and rubber concentration in the leaves and roots of the different treatments; however, they were both higher in the stems of the drought-stressed plants. In guayule, rubber is deposited mainly in the bark parenchyma of the stems. The drought-stressed plants had a greater contribution of stem biomass to overall biomass and a reduced stem diameter with higher bark to wood ratio, which could account for the higher rubber concentration in the drought-stressed plants.
accumulation of several classes of secondary compounds (as reviewed by Memelink et al., 2001 ). Glucosinolates (GSLs) are a class of secondary metabolites present in members of the Brassicaceae family. GSLs are constitutively produced thioglycosidic
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS–PDC) of the Western Pacific has been linked to the consumption of washed Cycas micronesica seed tissue. The search for a causal toxin in the seed tissue has generated decades of research, yet none of the published reports include an adequate description of sampling methods. We set out to design and conduct a study to serve as a model for future research. We used three populations of plants with similar recent plant life history, size, shade, seed load, and co-occurring species to determine intra- and interplant variation of four steryl glucoside variants. Variation was greatest among tissue types within seeds, intermediate among plants, and least among locations within plants. Results demonstrate the need of adhering to appropriate sampling protocols in cycad biochemistry research. Uses of appropriate sampling scheme and sample size are clearly required to avoid artifacts as this important area of research progresses.
Consumption of Cycas micronesica seed tissue has been associated with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS–PDC) of the Western Pacific. However, failures to document vital plant and neighborhood descriptors and pronounced variability in toxin concentrations noted within and among studies obfuscate decades of research on this subject. We discuss the theoretical and experimental constraints of plant tissue sampling in relation to human disease research. Comparisons are made between this approach and methods used throughout the history of ALS–PDC research, most notably very recent reports concerning β-methyl-amino-alanine. Methods for studying possible plant neurotoxins need to be standardized and must follow rigorous criteria to be valid in principle. Our discussions reveal why these criteria are essential and highlight the impact that natural variations have on environmental toxin quantification and interpretation. Past research on cycad toxins is deficient on experimental and theoretical grounds, and interpretation of published data is dominated by ambiguities. This area of study as conventionally conceived and carried out needs transforming. We argue that future empirical studies should honor appropriate plant science standards concomitantly with medical science standards. This dual focus will ensure appropriate sampling scheme, sample size, and reporting of background plant and community factors known to influence phenotypic plasticity.
( PPF ) of 650 μmol·m −2. s −1 . Carvone analysis. Levels of the secondary compound (−)-carvone, the dominant component of spearmint oil, were analyzed in treated spearmint plants. (−)-Carvone concentrations have been previously shown to be
. Bourgaud, F. Adamowicz, S. 2009 The trade-off between synthesis of primary and secondary compounds in young tomato leaves is altered by nitrate nutrition: Experimental evidence and model consistency J. Expt. Bot. 60 4301 4314 Letourneau, K.D. van Bruggen, A
higher than that with RWFr treatment (3.25 ± 0.32 mg·g −1 ) at 105 DAS ( Table 9 ). Light regulation from RW−Fr to RW+Fr can be applied to induce secondary compounds in M. crystallinum along with a growth optimization strategy. The betacyanins did not
Sweet worm wood is a source of the anti-malarial plant secondary compound artemisinin. The effects of water stress, nitrogen rates, plant growth regulators, and harvest timing on vegetative growth and yield of artemisinin were tested in separate experiments. In the harvest timing trial, total biomass, leaf yield, leaf artemisinin content and total artemisinin yield increased during the season. The wettest treatment tested decreased the total plant dry to fresh weight ratio, but had no effect on height, total biomass, leaf yield, leaf artemisinin content and artemisinin yield. Nitrogen fertilization increased plant height, but had no effect on total biomass, leaf yield, leaf artemisinin content and artemisinin yield. The plant growth regulators decreased plant height, increased total biomass, but had no effect on leaf yield, leaf artemisinin content and artemisinin yield. The effects of chemical weed control and post-harvest leaf drying will also be discussed.
Crops that are produced without manufactured fertilizers and protected from plant pests and weeds without manufactured chemicals are gaining in popularity among consumers. Non-chemical methods of plant protection, such as the development of biocides from plants, would be desirable for environmental and economic reasons and because of pesticide tolerance of some plant pathogens and insects. Extracts and their individual ingredients from several plant species have been used experimentally against plant pathogenic bacteria, insects, and weeds. There are problems, however, that make the use of biocides difficult: low concentration of active ingredients in the plants; purification of active ingredients from dozens of secondary compounds; instability of the active ingredients when exposed to light and air; and the mode of action is little understood or unknown. The technological and scientific advances that could allow the use of non-chemical based plant protection systems and the problems with such systems will be considered and discussed.
Apple seedlings (Malus domestica Borkh.) were grown under ambient (370), 700, and 1400 μmol·mol-1 CO2 regimes and artificially damaged by removal of leaf area (0%, 15%, and 30%). Increased CO2 concentration had a highly significant effect on the concentrations of sucrose, sorbitol and phloridzin, however there were no significant interactions between CO2 concentration and leaf damage. As CO2 concentration increased there was an increase in levels of sucrose and phloridzin, whereas sorbitol concentration decreased. These findings are discussed in relation to the carbon nutrient balance hypothesis as well as other hypotheses regarding the production of plant primary and secondary compounds in response to elevated levels of CO2 and mechanical damage and/or herbivory.