Orchid pollen, clover and salinity and Arabidopsis REM – This Week in Annals of Botany

Lots of exciting new plant science in Annals of Botany this week.

Dactylorhiza maculata Desiccation tolerance, longevity and seed-siring ability of entomophilous pollen from UK native orchid species
Pollinator-limited seed-set in some terrestrial orchids is compensated for by the presence of long-lived flowers. This study tests the hypothesis that pollen from these insect-pollinated orchids should be desiccation tolerant and relatively long lived using four closely related UK terrestrial species; Anacamptis morio, Dactylorhiza fuchsii, D. maculata and Orchis mascula.


Heritability and quantitative genetic divergence of serotiny, a fire-persistence plant trait
Although it is well known that fire acts as a selective pressure shaping plant phenotypes, there are no quantitative estimates of the heritability of any trait related to plant persistence under recurrent fires, such as serotiny. In this study, the heritability of serotiny in Pinus halepensis is calculated, and an evaluation is made as to whether fire has left a selection signature on the level of serotiny among populations by comparing the genetic divergence of serotiny with the expected divergence of neutral molecular markers.


Leaf hydraulic vulnerability to drought is linked to site water availability across a broad range of species and climates
Vulnerability of the leaf hydraulic pathway to water-stress-induced dysfunction is a key component of drought tolerance in plants and may be important in defining species’ climatic range. However, the generality of the association between leaf hydraulic vulnerability and climate across species and sites remains to be tested.


Salinity-mediated cyanogenesis in white clover (Trifolium repens) affects trophic interactions
Increasing soil salinity poses a major plant stress in agro-ecosystems worldwide. Surprisingly little is known about the quantitative effect of elevated salinity on secondary metabolism in many agricultural crops. Such salt-mediated changes in defence-associated compounds may significantly alter the quality of food and forage plants as well as their resistance against pests. In this study, the effects of soil salinity on cyanogenesis in white clover (Trifolium repens), a forage crop of international importance, are analysed.


Analysis of the arabidopsis REM gene family predicts functions during flower development
The REM (Reproductive Meristem) gene family of Arabidopsis thaliana is part of the B3 DNA-binding domain superfamily. Despite the fact that several groups have worked on the REM genes for many years, little is known about the function of this transcription factor family. This study aims to identify a set of REM genes involved in flower development and to characterize their function.



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