Frontiers in Plant Science

The Research Publications track research that is published across national and international peer-reviewed journals. The most recent articles are available ahead of print and searchable by Journal Title, Subject, USDA Grant Funding Agencies or FDA Grant Funding Agencies. The research publications are tracked across five subject areas: Bacterial Pathogens, Chemical Contaminants, Natural Toxins, Parasites, and Viruses.

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 16:00
The nitrogen fixing ability of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in association with rhizobia is often characterized as poor compared to other legumes, and nitrogen fertilizers are commonly used in bean production to achieve high yields, which in general inhibits nitrogen fixation. In addition, plants cannot take up all the nitrogen applied to the soil as a fertilizer leading to runoff and...
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:00
Bisphenol A (BPA), an intermediate chemical used for synthesizing polycarbonate plastics, has now become a wide spread organic pollutant. It percolates from a variety of sources, and plants are among the first organisms to encounter, absorb, and metabolize it, while its toxic effects are not yet fully known. Therefore, we experimentally studied the effects of aqueous BPA solutions (50 and 100 mg...
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:00
Oryza sativa L. is a worldwide food-crop frequently growing in cadmium (Cd)/arsenic (As) polluted soils, with its root-system as the first target of the pollutants. Root-system development involves the establishment of optimal indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) levels, also requiring the conversion of the IAA natural precursor indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) into IAA, causing nitric oxide (NO) formation....
Thu, 07/30/2020 - 16:00
Fusarium graminearum, the major causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat (Triticum aestivum) in the U.S., can produce mycotoxins, such as deoxynivalenol (DON), during infection. Contamination of wheat grain with DON is a major concern for wheat producers and millers, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set advisory levels for DON in finished wheat products for human and...
Tue, 07/21/2020 - 16:00
Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient for human health. Deficiency and suboptimality of Se in human populations are a potential health risk. The reduction of such health risk by biofortification of crops, particularly in wheat has drawn much attention, especially for color-grained wheat as it is rich in anthocyanins and can be used as a major source of antioxidants in diet. Herein, a two-...
Fri, 07/17/2020 - 16:00
Toxic heavy metals and metalloids in agricultural ecosystems are crucial factors that limit global crop productivity and food safety. Industrial toxic heavy metals and metalloids such as cadmium, lead, and arsenic have contaminated large areas of arable land in the world and their accumulation in the edible parts of crops is causing serious health risks to humans and animals. Plants have co-...
Fri, 07/17/2020 - 16:00
Wheat productivity has been significantly improved worldwide through the incorporation of novel genes from various gene pools, not least from wild relatives of wheat, into the commonly cultivated bread and durum wheat. Here, we present and summarize results obtained from a diverse set of wheat-alien introgression lines with mainly introgressions of rye, but also of Leymus spp. and Thinopyrum...
Fri, 07/17/2020 - 16:00
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the major staple food crops of the world. The productivity of rice is considerably affected by the root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne graminicola. Modern nematode management strategies targeting the physiological processes have established the potency of use of neuromotor genes for their management. Here, we explored the utility of two FMRFamide like peptide coding...
Thu, 07/16/2020 - 16:00
As an important nitrogen source, nitrate (NO3−) absorbed by plants is carried throughout the plant via short-distance distribution (cytoplasm to vacuole) and long-distance transportation (root to shoot), the two pathways that jointly regulate the content of NO3− in plants. NO3− accumulation within the vacuole depends on the activities of both tonoplast proton pumps and chloride channel (CLC)...
Thu, 07/16/2020 - 16:00
Among the biotic constraints to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production, fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium graminearum, leaf rust (LR), caused by Puccinia triticina, and stripe rust (SR) caused by Puccinia striiformis are problematic fungal diseases worldwide. Each can significantly reduce grain yield while FHB causes additional food and feed safety concerns due to mycotoxin...
Wed, 07/15/2020 - 16:00
Although most point sources of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are at lower latitudes, the Arctic region is contaminated. In particular, PAHs now dominate the POP body burden of the region’s marine biota at the lower trophic levels. Greenlandic Inuits have the most elevated levels of POPs in their blood compared to any other population, due...
Thu, 07/09/2020 - 16:00
In the present work, we used a double cell screening approach based on phenanthrene (phe) epifluorescence histochemical localization and oxygen radical detection to generate new data about how some specialized cells are involved in tolerance to organic xenobiotics. Thereby, we bring new insights about phe [a common Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH)] cell specific detoxification, in two...
Tue, 07/07/2020 - 16:00
Excessive cadmium (Cd) damages plants by causing cell death. The present study discusses the function of natural resistance-associated macrophage protein (NRAMP) on cell death caused by Cd in Malus hupehensis. MhNRAMP1 was isolated from M. hupehensis roots, and its protein was located in the cell membrane as a transmembrane protein characterized by hydrophobicity. MhNRAMP1 expression in the roots...
Tue, 07/07/2020 - 16:00
Trace metal contaminations in natural waters, wetlands, and wastewaters pose serious threats to aquatic ecosystems—mainly via targeting microalgae. In this work, we investigated the effects of toxic amounts of chromium and cadmium ions on the structure and function of the photosynthetic machinery of Chlorella variabilis cells. To halt the propagation of cells, we used high concentrations of Cd...
Fri, 07/03/2020 - 16:00
Bacterial microorganisms which are latent in in vitro cultures can limit the efficiency of in vitro methods for the conservation of genetic resources. In this study we screened 2,373 accessions from the in vitro sweetpotato germplasm collection of the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru for bacteria associated with plantlets in tissue culture through a combination of morphological methods...
Fri, 06/26/2020 - 16:00
The high background value of cadmium (Cd) in the Panax notoginseng planting soil is the main reason for the Cd content in P. notoginseng exceeding the limit standards. The main goal of this study was to reveal the mechanism by which potassium (K) reduces Cd accumulation in P. notoginseng from the perspective of the influences of soil microbial communities on soil pH, total organic matter (TOM)...
Thu, 06/25/2020 - 16:00
In the present study, we conducted field surveys to detect the population density of the most important invasive weed species and their associated virus vectoring aphids in crops grown under high input field (HIF) vs. low-input field (LIF) conditions, with and without fertilizers and pesticides. The most frequent invasive weed species were annual fleabane, Erigeron annua (L.), Canadian horseweed...
Thu, 06/25/2020 - 16:00
Meiotic recombination ensures accurate homologous chromosome segregation during meiosis and generates novel allelic combinations among gametes. During meiosis, DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are generated to facilitate recombination. To maintain genome integrity, meiotic DSBs must be repaired using appropriate DNA templates. Although the DNA damage response protein kinase Ataxia-telangiectasia...
Wed, 06/24/2020 - 16:00
The use of RNA interference (RNAi) enables the silencing of target genes in plants or plant-dwelling organisms, through the production of double stranded RNA (dsRNA) resulting in altered plant characteristics. Expression of properly synthesized dsRNAs in plants can lead to improved crop quality characteristics or exploit new mechanisms with activity against plant pests and pathogens. Genetically...
Fri, 06/19/2020 - 16:00
Progressive pollution due to toxic metals significantly undermines global environmental sustainability efforts. Chromium (Cr) is one of the most dangerous to human health. The use of plants to rid the environment of such pollutants “phytoremediation” proves to be a promising alternative to the current remediation methods. In the present study, inductively coupled plasma optical emission...
Tue, 06/16/2020 - 16:00
The Wheat Initiative (WI) and the WI Expert Working Group (EWG) for Agronomy (www.wheatinitiative.org) were formed with a collective goal to “coordinate global wheat research efforts to increase wheat production, quality, and sustainability to advance food security and safety under changing climate conditions.” The Agronomy EWG is responsive to the WI’s research need, “A knowledge exchange...
Fri, 06/12/2020 - 16:00
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is one of the most economically important fruits of the Cucurbitaceae family, therefore consideration of potential pesticide residues in the fruit in the context of cucumber breeding and production programs is important. Propamocarb (a pesticide commonly used to prevent downy mildew) is widely used in cucumber cultivation, but the molecular mechanism underlying the...
Fri, 06/12/2020 - 16:00
Almond is a desirable and high-quality food source where the presence of nut allergens and a vulnerability to aflatoxin and Salmonella contamination represent threats to consumer safety. In 2019, over 1 billion kg. of almonds, representing over 80% of the world total, were produced in California from a relatively few varieties with a very narrow genetic base. To address emerging needs mandated by...
Fri, 06/12/2020 - 16:00
Increasing food demand under climate change constraints may challenge and strain agricultural systems. The use of crop models to assess genotypes performance across diverse target environments and management practices, i.e., the genetic × environment × management interaction (GEMI), can help understand suitability of genotype and agronomic practices, and possibly accelerate turnaround in plant...
Wed, 06/03/2020 - 03:23
A number of metal hyperaccumulator plants, including nickel (Ni) hyperaccumulators, have been identified in the genus Noccaea. The ability to accumulate Ni in shoots varies widely among species and ecotypes in this genus; however, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this intra- and inter-specific variation. Here, in hydroponic culture, we compared Ni accumulation patterns...
Wed, 06/03/2020 - 03:23
Cadmium (Cd) is a widespread pollutant that is toxic to living organisms. Previous studies have identified certain WRKY transcription factors, which confer Cd tolerance in different plant species. In the present study, we have identified 29 Cd-responsive WRKY genes in Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], and confirmed that 26 of those GmWRKY genes were up-regulated, while 3 were down-regulated. We...
Wed, 05/27/2020 - 03:21
Vacuolar processing enzymes (VPEs) play an important role in stress resistance and development of plants. Despite their diverse roles, little information is available in apple (Malus × domestic). This study firstly presents the genome-wide identification of VPE family genes in apple, resulting in 20 family members those are unevenly distributed across six out of the 17 chromosomes. Phylogenetic...
Tue, 05/26/2020 - 03:25
The EDEN ISS greenhouse is a space-analog test facility near the German Neumayer III station in Antarctica. The facility is part of the project of the same name and was designed and built starting from March 2015 and eventually deployed in Antarctica in January 2018. The nominal operation of the greenhouse started on February 7th and continued until the 20th of November. The purpose of the...
Tue, 05/26/2020 - 03:25
Cadmium (Cd) is highly toxic to the environment and humans. Plants are capable of absorbing Cd from the soil and of transporting part of this Cd to their shoot tissues. In Arabidopsis, the plasma membrane Heavy Metal ATPase 4 (HMA4) transporter mediates Cd xylem loading for export to shoots, in addition to zinc (Zn). A recent study showed that di-Cys motifs present in the HMA4 C-terminal...
Thu, 05/14/2020 - 03:21
Cadmium (Cd) is a toxic metal element and the mechanism(s) underlying Cd tolerance in plants are still unclear. Increasingly more studies have been conducted on Cd binding to plant cell walls (CW) but most of them have focused on Cd fixation by CW pectin, and few studies have examined Cd binding to cellulose and hemicellulose. Here we found that Cd binding to CW pectin, cellulose, and...
Wed, 05/13/2020 - 03:22
Soil radio-cesium (Cs) contamination caused by nuclear accidents is a major public concern. In this review, we presented the behavior of radio-Cs in soils, the relationship between Cs+ and potassium (K) ion uptake from soils, and the Cs+ uptake model proposed previously. Finally, we introduced the newly elucidated mechanism of Cs+ uptake in rice plants and compared it with the previously proposed...
Sat, 05/09/2020 - 03:20
Perhaps the main factor determining success of space travel will be the ability to control effects of ionizing radiation for humans, but also for other living organisms. Manned space travel will require the cultivation of food plants under conditions of prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation. Although there is a significant literature concerning the effects of acute high dose rate exposures on...
Thu, 04/30/2020 - 03:22
Heavy metal accumulation in soil has been rapidly increased due to various natural processes and anthropogenic (industrial) activities. As heavy metals are non-biodegradable, they persist in the environment, have potential to enter the food chain through crop plants, and eventually may accumulate in the human body through biomagnification. Owing to their toxic nature, heavy metal contamination...
Thu, 04/23/2020 - 03:19
The potential of double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) for use as topical biopesticides in agriculture was recently discussed during an OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Conference on RNA interference (RNAi)-based pesticides. Several topics were presented and these covered different aspects of RNAi technology, its application, and its potential effects on target and non-target...
Wed, 04/22/2020 - 03:19
Genetically modified plants (GMPs) intended for market release can be designed to induce “gene silencing” through RNA interference (RNAi). The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and other international risk assessment bodies/regulatory agencies have taken several actions to determine whether the existing risk assessment approaches for GMPs are appropriate for the risk assessment of RNAi-based...
Thu, 04/16/2020 - 03:16
Heavy metals-based changes in the plants and their alleviation through eco-friendly agents including reduced glutathione (GSH) have been widely studied. In the present experiment, we tested the alleviatory role of reduced glutathione (GSH) in seedlings of upland cotton cultivar, TM-1 under lead (Pb) toxicity. Plants were grown in the Hoagland solution containing Pb (0 μM), Pb (500 μM), GSH (50 μM...
Thu, 04/16/2020 - 03:16
An increasing global population demands a continuous supply of nutritious and safe food. Edible products can be contaminated with biological (e.g., bacteria, virus, protozoa), chemical (e.g., heavy metals, mycotoxins), and physical hazards during production, storage, transport, processing, and/or meal preparation. The substantial impact of foodborne disease outbreaks on public health and the...
Wed, 04/08/2020 - 03:19
The recent Regulation (EU) 2019/1381, published on the 6th September 2019, aims to improve the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain by amending the General Food Law Regulation (EC 178/2002) and a number of other regulations related to the food sector. This Regulation is introduced as a response to the Fitness Check of the General Food Law Regulation as well...
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 03:14
Cadmium (Cd) exposure causes an oxidative challenge and inhibits cell cycle progression, ultimately impacting plant growth. Stress-induced effects on the cell cycle are often a consequence of activation of the DNA damage response (DDR). The main aim of this study was to investigate the role of the transcription factor SUPPRESSOR OF GAMMA RESPONSE 1 (SOG1) and three downstream cyclin-dependent...
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 03:14
Endophytic fungi are great resources for the identification of useful natural products such as antimicrobial agents. In this study, we performed the antifungal screening of various plant endophytic fungi against the dollar spot pathogen Sclerotinia homoeocarpa and finally selected Humicola sp. JS-0112 as a potential biocontrol agent. The bioactive compound produced by the strain JS-0112 was...
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 03:15
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.) is a Mediterranean crop, member of the Asteraceae family, characterized by high production of biomass and secondary metabolites and by a good adaptation to climate change, usable in green chemistry, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical sectors. Recent studies demonstrated the ability of cardoon to grow up in a stressful environment, which is associated with enhanced...
Fri, 03/06/2020 - 03:25
The ability to grow safe, fresh food to supplement packaged foods of astronauts in space has been an important goal for NASA. Food crops grown in space experience different environmental conditions than plants grown on Earth (e.g., reduced gravity, elevated radiation levels). To study the effects of space conditions, red romaine lettuce, Lactuca sativa cv ‘Outredgeous,’ plants were grown in...
Wed, 03/04/2020 - 03:24
Advances in plant synthetic biology promise to introduce novel agricultural products in the near future. ‘Molecular farms’ will include crops engineered to produce medications, vaccines, biofuels, industrial enzymes, and other high value compounds. These crops have the potential to reduce costs while dramatically increasing scales of synthesis and provide new economic opportunities to farmers....
Sat, 02/29/2020 - 03:16
Apple replant disease (ARD) is a soil-borne disease, which is of particular importance for fruit tree nurseries and fruit growers. The disease manifests by a poor vegetative development, stunted growth, and reduced yield in terms of quantity and quality, if apple plants (usually rootstocks) are replanted several times at the same site. Genotype-specific differences in the reaction of apple plants...
Fri, 02/28/2020 - 03:15
The heat shock transcription factor (Hsf) family, an important member in plant stress response, affects cadmium (Cd) tolerance in plants. In this study, we identified and functionally characterized a transcript of the Hsf A4 subgroup from Sedum alfredii. Designated as SaHsfA4c, the open reading frame was 1,302 bp long and encoded a putative protein of 433 amino acids containing a complete DNA-...
Thu, 02/27/2020 - 03:25
Accumulation and detoxification of cadmium in rice shoots are of great importance for adaptation to grow in cadmium contaminated soils and for limiting the transport of Cd to grains. However, the molecular mechanisms behind the processes involved in this regulation remain largely unknown. Defensin proteins play important roles in heavy metal tolerance and accumulation in plants. In rice, the cell...
Fri, 02/21/2020 - 03:27
Groundnut is an important global food and oil crop that underpins agriculture-dependent livelihood strategies meeting food, nutrition, and income security. Aflatoxins, pose a major challenge to increased competitiveness of groundnut limiting access to lucrative markets and affecting populations that consume it. Other drivers of low competitiveness include allergens and limited shelf life...
Sat, 02/15/2020 - 03:14
Disease stresses caused by pathogenic microorganisms are increasing, probably because of global warming. Conventional technologies for plant disease control have often revealed their limitations in efficiency, environmental safety, and economic costs. There is high demand for improvements in efficiency and safety. Non-thermal atmospheric-pressure plasma has demonstrated its potential as an...
Thu, 02/13/2020 - 03:22
The terms genome engineering, genome editing, and gene editing, refer to modifications (insertions, deletions, substitutions) in the genome of a living organism. The most widely used approach to genome editing nowadays is based on Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and associated protein 9 (CRISPR-Cas9). In prokaryotes, CRISPR-Cas9 is an adaptive immune system that...
Thu, 01/30/2020 - 03:14
Fresh produce contaminated with human pathogens may result in foodborne disease outbreaks that cause a significant number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and death episodes affecting both public health and the agribusiness every year. The ability of these pathogens to survive throughout the food production chain is remarkable. Using a genetic approach, we observed that leaf colonization by...

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