September 2012 

September 2012 [6(9) 2012]

Table of Contents

Southern Cross Publishing Group©2012

Australian Journal of Crop Science (AJCS)
Screening of pea (Pisum sativum L.) genotypes for salt tolerance based on early growth stage attributes and leaf inorganic osmolytes 

M. A. Shahid, M. A. Pervez, R. M. Balal, T. Abbas, C. M. Ayyub, N. S. Mattson, A. Riaz, Z. Iqbal

Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, (40100) Punjab, Pakistan
Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (38040) Punjab, Pakistan
Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
Department of Plant Pathalogy, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, (40100) Punjab, Pakistan


In order to investigate the screening attributes that can be used to determine early growth stage sensitivity of pea plants to salt stress, 30 pea genotypes (Pisum sativum) were grown in trays containing fine sand as growth medium and subjected to five different salinity levels, i.e. 0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10 dS m-1 NaCl.  The Hoaglands solution was applied as the base nutrient solution. The germination (%) and emergence (%) was investigated in Petri dishes and plastic trays, respectively. Salt stress significantly reduced the germination (%), emergence (%), root and shoot fresh weight, root and shoot dry weight, root and shoot length and leaf inorganic osmolytes (K+ and Ca2+). While the leaf Na+ content increased in all the genotypes, tolerant genotypes exhibited the lowest leaf Na+ content under saline conditions. High leaf Na+ accumulation indicated genotypes which are particularly sensitive to salt damage while high leaf K+/Na+ and Ca2+/Na+ ratio indicated genotypes with lower leaf injury. Compared with control, all added salinity levels induced an injurious effect on the above mentioned attributes but high salt stress (7.5 and 10 dS m-1) resulted in considerable variation in tested genotype. A significant correlation was found between the root/shoot dry weight and leaf K+/Na+ and Ca2+/Na+ ratios. Based on the percent increase or decrease over control for the measured attributes, the tested pea genotypes were categorized into less salt tolerant, intermediate and high salt tolerant groups at seedling stage.

Pages 1324-1331 | Full Text PDF | Supplementary data
A new method for estimating surface area of cylindrical fruits (zucchini) using digital image processing

Omid Omidi Arjenaki, Asad Moddares Motlagh, Parviz Ahmadi Moghaddam

Department of Agricultural Machinery Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University, Urmia, P.O. Box: 165, Iran


Estimation of surface area and volume of agricultural products are considered as important factors in optimization of storage conditions, packaging, transportation, water adsorption/desorption, heat, pesticides and also their breathing. The objective of this study was to establish a method to obtain non-destructive measurement of surface area of cylindrical fruit like zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) using image processing technique. In this approach, measuring surface area was performed by a scanner set. Before peeling the fruit off, the external surface area of zucchini was imaged by rolling it on the scanners screen. Then, the external surface area was calculated using image processing technique. In order to evaluate the accuracy of method, the results were compared with the usual measured skin surface area after peeling (actual value) in the same condition. The results showed that the precision of this new method is significantly high (R2= 94.43). The mean and standard deviation of the surface area differences between the two methods were 5.81 cm2 and 0.13 cm2, respectively. The Bland-Altman approach was also considered to be satisfactory. The results showed that image processing method was suitable for surface area estimation of almost all zucchini sizes. Furthermore, all the process (photography and image processing) was performed in less than 6 seconds. The area of cylindrical fruits can be measured nondestructively, quickly, and precisely using the applied image processing technique, providing a hardware to scan external surface area of crop.

Pages 1332-1336 | Full Text PDF
Salinity tolerance in plants: Breeding and genetic engineering

Satpal Turan, Katrina Cornish and Shashi Kumar

Synthetic Biology and Biofuel Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi-110067, India
Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Ohio State University, 1680 Madison Avenue Wooster, OH 44691-4096, USA


Salinity stress limits crop yield affecting plant growth and restricting the use of land. As world population is increasing at alarming rate, agricultural land is shrinking due to industrialization and/or habitat use. Hence, there is a need to utilize salt affected land to meet the food requirement. Although some success has been achieved through conventional breeding but its use is limited due to reproductive barrier and scarcity of genetic variations among major crops. The genetic engineering has proven a revolutionary technique to generate salt tolerant plants as one can transfer desired gene from any genetic resource and/or alter the expression of existing gene(s). There are examples of improved salinity tolerance in various crop plants through the use of genetic engineering. However, there is a further need of improvement for successful release of salt tolerant cultivars at field level. In this review, we have given a detailed update on production of salt-tolerant plants through genetic engineering. Future prospects and concerns, along with the importance of novel techniques, as well as plant breeding are also discussed.

Pages 1337-1348 | Full Text PDF | Supplementary data
Elicitor effect of chitosan and pectin on the biosynthesis of anthraquinones, phenolics and flavonoids in adventitious root suspension cultures of Morinda citrifolia (L.)

Md. Abdullahil Baque, Md. Humayun Kabir Shiragi, Eun-Jung Lee, Kee-Yoeup Paek

Research Center for the Development of Advanced Horticultural Technology, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Republic of Korea
Department of Agronomy, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh
Central Laboratory, Soil Resources Development Institute (SRDI), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Government of Bangladesh, Krishi Khamar Sarak, Farm Gate, Dhaka-1215, Bangladesh
CBN PLANTECH Co. Ltd., Industry Academic Cooperation Foundation Agribusiness Incubator Center 206, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 361-763, Republic of Korea


In this study, the effect of chitosan and pectin on the accumulation of anthraquinones (AQ), phenolics and flavonoids was investigated by adventitious root suspension cultures of Morinda citrifolia in shake flasks. Adventitious root cultures elicitor treated with various combinations of chitosan and pectin or chitosan alone resulted in enhanced biosynthesis of secondary metabolite but inhibited root growth. The strong inhibition of root growth might be due to the lethal effect of elicitor as evidenced by 36-79% cell death was measured. The optimum concentration of elicitor for enhancing metabolite biosynthesis was found at the concentration of 0.2 mg ml-1 chitosan, in which 103.16, 48.57 and 75.32 mg g-1 dry weight (DW) of AQ, phenolics and flavonoids, respectively were achieved. To elucidate the optimum contact period and reduction of inhibitory effect of chitosan on root growth, a two-stage culture system was adopted.  The optimum contact period of root to elicitor was observed when adventitious culture was elicitor treated with 0.2 mg ml-1 chitosan on day 28 and harvest after 2 days of elicitation. Although, root growth slightly decreased by this treatment, the yield of AQ, phenolics and flavonoids was enhanced by 45%, 8% and 12%, respectively compared to without elicitor treated culture. 

Pages 1349-1355 | Full Text PDF
Morphological and molecular identification of Fusarium head blight isolates from wheat in North of Iran

Mostafa Abedi-Tizaki and Seyed Kazem Sabbagh

Department of Plant Protection and Institute of Plant Biotechnology (Biocenter), University of Zabol, Iran


Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most economically important and destructive fungal diseases of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Golestan province, one of the most important zones of wheat cultivation in Iran, is also known for its high rate of digestive tract cancer, which has been attributed to many biotic factors such as fungal toxins. In order to investigate the distribution of toxicogenic Fusarium spp. in wheat in this region, 344 Fusarium isolates were collected from 7 sub-regions in Golestan province during 2010-2011. Single-spore cultures were established using routine plant pathology methods and the isolates were identified using chemotyping analysis based on morphological criteria and species-specific PCR assays. The following Fusarium isolates were identified: F. graminearum, F. culmorum, F. equiseti, F. croockwellens, F. acuminatum, F. poae, F. lateritium, F. proliferatum and F. subglutinans. F. graminearum was the most dominant species, representing 48.2% of the isolates. PCR analysis using the species-specific primers Fg161 1/2 and OPT 1/2 confirmed 96.3% isolates as F. graminearum and 86.4% as F. culmorum. Isolates morphologically identified as F. subglutinans or F. proliferatum did not show any positive reaction in species-specific PCR. The present study revealed a high occurrence of FHB in Golestan province, especially in Gonbad-Kavoos sub-regions.

Pages 1356-1361 | Full Text PDF
Differential expression of fructan 1-exohydrolase genes involved in inulin biodegradation in chicory (Cichorium intybus) cultivars 

Asad Maroufi, Erik Van Bockstaele and Marc De Loose

Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran
Department of Plant Production, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Gent University,Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Plant Sciences Unit, Caritasstraat 21, 9090 Melle, Belgium
Department of Plant Biotechnology and Genetics, Faculty of Sciences, Gent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Burg Van Gansberghelaan 115 bus 1, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium


Fructan 1-exohydrolase (1-FEH; FEH) enzymes are involved in inulin degradation in the roots of chicory.
Higher FEH expression in cold temperatures can decrease the quality and the quantity of the inulin. This is the case at the end of the growing season and during cold storage. Little is known at molecular level whether the expression levels of fructan 1-exohydrolase genes vary among chicory cultivars, especially during cold storage of roots. Real-time RT-PCR is the most sensitive method for the detection of low abundance mRNAs. Quantitative real time PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis of the FEH mRNAs (including FEHI and FEHII) in cold stored roots of three chicory cultivars was studied. RT-qPCR results showed variable levels of FEHII and FEHI expression in different phenotypes of the chicory cultivars studied. Moreover, longer cold storage of roots significantly induced expression levels of FEHII in some chicory phenotypes. These results could be used in breeding programmes to increase inulin content in root chicory by selecting genotypes based on their FEH expression profiles.

Pages 1362-1368 | Full Text PDF
Assessment of genetic diversity in medicinal rices using microsatellite markers

L. Behera, B.C. Patra, R.K. Sahu, A.  Nanda, S.C. Sahu, A. Patnaik, G.J.N. Rao, O.N. Singh

Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack-753 006, Orissa, India


A set of 36 microsatellite markers distributed over 12 chromosomes of rice were used to assess genetic diversity in 33 medicinal rice genotypes. A total of 169 alleles were amplified, of which 166 were polymorphic. The number of alleles detected per locus ranged from 2 to 9 with an average of 4.69 alleles per locus. The polymorphism information content (PIC) ranged between 0.24 and 0.956 with an average of 0.811 per locus, indicating the suitability of the microsatellite markers for detecting genetic diversity among these rice genotypes.  All the rice genotypes showed the presence of multiple alleles. Genetic similarities among genotypes varied from 0.239 to 0.827 with an average of 0.5. The cluster analysis grouped all the genotypes into two major clusters at 0.43 level of genetic similarity. The first three principal coordinates explained more than 0.63 of total genetic variation. All the genotypes included in the study could be uniquely distinguished from each other. The data provides basic information on medicinal rice genotypes of India which will be useful for future reference and to protect these unique rices under Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime.

Pages 1369-1376 | Full Text PDF | Supplementary data
Research advances on nitrate nitrogen reutilization by proton pump of tonoplast and its relation to nitrogen use efficiency

Zhen-hua Zhang, Hai-Tao Huang, Hai-xing Song, Qiang Liu, Xiang-min Rong, Jian-wei Peng, Gui-xian Xie, Yu-ping Zhang, and Chun-yun Guan

College of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, 410128 P.R. China
Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Nutrition in Common University, Changsha, 410128, P.R. China
Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Farmland Pollution Control and Agricultural Resources Use, Changsha, 410128, P.R. China
National Engineering Laboratory of High Utilization Efficiency of Soil Fertilizer Resource, Changsha, 410128, P.R. China
National Center of Oilseed Crops Improvement
,Hunan Branch, Changsha, 410128, P.R. China


Large amount of N03--N are accumulated in vacuole, and cannot be timeously reducted, reutilized and transported into cytoplasm. It is the main reason for great N03--N accumulation in vacuole and nitrogen (N) use efficiency cannot be further improved. Transport mechanism of N03--N across tonoplast is explained in this paper, there are two proton (H+-ATPase and H+-PPase) on tonoplast with absolutely different biology functions and physical characteristic. MgATP and MgPPi are the specific substrates of H+-ATPase and H+-PPase respectively, hydrolysis H+ is pumped into vacuole, and contribution to build electrochemical proton gradient between cytoplasm and vacuole. N03--N transport from vacuole to cytoplasm greatly depends on electrochemical proton gradient, N03--N transport from cytoplasm to vacuole is mainly achieved by vacuole H+/N03- antiport system, while symport system (vacuole N03--N combined with anion) is of benefit for vacuole N03--N transporting into cytoplasm. N03--N transported by proton pump of tonoplast is influenced by NR activity in cytoplasm, N03--N can be continuing assimilation and reduction by NR in cytoplasm, and accelerating vacuole N03--N transported into cytoplasm. These results will supply references and research forecast for further study on efficiency and practicable methods of N utilization, and improving reuse efficiency of N03--N in plant tissues.

Pages 1377-1382 | Full Text PDF
Effect of nitrogen fertilizer on hydrolytic enzyme production, root colonisation, N metabolism, leaf physiology and growth of rice inoculated with Bacillus sp. (Sb42)

Asilah Abdul MUTALIB, Othman RADZIAH, Yunus SHUKOR, Umme Aminun NAHER

Institute of Tropical Agriculture, University of Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Gazipur, Bangladesh


A study was conducted at Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia, glasshouse to determine the inoculation effect of Sb42 (locally isolated diazotroph) with different doses of nitrogen fertiliser (0, 30 and 60kg N ha-1) on hydrolytic enzyme production and the growth of rice variety MR219. Using 16S rRNA partial gene sequencing, Sb42 was identified as Bacillus sp. Plants were harvested at 45 days after transplanting, and specific enzyme activities of endoglucanase (EG) and endopolymethylgalacturonase (EPMG) were determined. Results showed that the growth of rice and hydrolytic enzymes production were significantly (P<0.05) affected by bacterial inoculation and N application. The application of N at concentrations of 30 and 60kg ha-1 to inoculated plants reduced plant growth and specific enzyme activities. Inoculated plants without N application showed significantly higher (P<0.05) specific hydrolytic enzyme activity (88.9% EG and 20.1% EPMG), plant biomass (72.46%), rate of photosynthesis (9.38
molCO2m2s-1), leaf N content (3.16%) and N uptake (74.59mg plant-1) compared to non-inoculated treatments. Root colonisation was observed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), which proved that Sb42 is able to colonise at the surface and interior of roots. The ability of Sb42 to produce hydrolytic enzymes and biological nitrogen fixation was affected by the application of N fertiliser.

Pages 1383-1389 | Full Text PDF
Distribution of low-molecular-weight glutenin subunit Glu-B3 alleles in mini core collections of Chinese wheat germplasms

Hongqi Si, Ya Gao, Fangfang Liu, Zhixia Li, Chuanxi Ma

School of Agronomy, Anhui Agricultural University; Key Laboratory of wheat Biology and Genetic Breeding in Southern Huanghuai Wheat Region, Ministry of Agriculture; Anhui Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Hefei 230036, China
School of Agronomy, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China


Low-molecular-weight glutenin subunit (LMW-GS) Glu-B3 plays an important role in the processing quality of the wheat used to make bread and noodles. A total of 214 accessions of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) comprising both landraces and improved cultivars collected from all the three growing zones in China were tested for ten alleles using 10 allele-speci?c PCR markers at the Glu-B3 locus. The frequency of the i allele (20.6%) was greater than those of the other alleles. The i allele was found in 18.7% of landraces and 23.8% of improved cultivars. The alleles, from most to least common, were i>a>d>g>f>b>e>c>j>h. In the spring wheat zone, the Glu-B3 alleles were mainly g and i, but in the winter wheat zone, they were mainly a and i. The h allele was only found in the spring wheat zone, but the a and c alleles were found in small proportions in the spring wheat and spring-winter wheat zones. The frequency of the i allele was more than twice that of the b allele (9.3%). Because the
b allele has a more pronounced effect on gluten strength, varieties with the b allele can be considered suitable for the breeding of new, high-quality cultivars.

Pages 1390-1394 | Full Text PDF | Supplementary data
Transcriptome analysis in response to UV-B stress in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]

Jun-Cheol Moon, Won Cheol Yim, Jae-Eun Lee, Young-Up Kwon, Kitae Song and Byung-Moo Lee

Plant Molecular Genetic Lab., Department of Plant Biotechnology, Dongguk University-Seoul, Seoul, 100-715 Korea
Agriculture and Life Science Research Institute, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, 200-701 Korea
National Institute of Crop Science, RDA, Suwon 441-857, Korea


In order to identify the genes specifically or predominantly expressed in UV-B illuminated soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] leaves, this study compared the differential expression levels of the mRNA fragments of untreated leaves and UV-B treated leaves using differential banding patterns in agarose gels. In the UV-B illuminated soybean leaves, the differentially expressed band patterns were determined to be 207 up-regulated bands and 214 down-regulated bands. A total of 356 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the UV-B illuminated soybean leaves were sequenced. Using BLASTx, the putative functions of the expressed sequence tags were identified. Most of the identified UV-B-responsive genes related to other biotic and abiotic stresses. The characterized ESTs will provide useful data in developing our understanding of the molecular bases and transcript profiles of UV-B responses.

Pages 1395-1400 | Full Text PDF | Supplementary data