Journal of Botany The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Micromorphological Studies of the Loranthaceae, Phragmanthera capitata (Sprengel) Balle Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:26:08 +0000 Phragmanthera capitata (Sprengel) Balle is a mistletoe of the Loranthaceae family that has been explored for its therapeutic properties in folklore for ages. However, there had been an alarming increase in misidentification of species in this family. This may be due in part to the lack of species taxonomic information. Hence, this study wishes to highlight the range of micromorphological features which could complement the information database of this species. Scanning electron, light, and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) microscopies were used for this study. The result revealed a paracytic type of stomata with mean abaxial and adaxial density of  mm2 and  mm2, respectively, and mean guard cell length of  μm. Oval-shaped lenticels with a mean length of  μm were observed. They were arranged in parallel on the epidermal cells of the abaxial midrib. Densely packed stellate trichomes were revealed on the abaxial epidermis with a density of  mm2. Tracheary elements, which are tightly packed with granules believed to be proteins, were observed in the cross sections of the twig. Deposits chiefly composed of silicon, aluminium, potassium, and iron were recorded in the EDX analysis. This study revealed detailed descriptive micromorphological structures which could serve as a source of information and reference for the taxonomic description of P. capitata. Franklin Uangbaoje Ohikhena, Olubunmi Abosede Wintola, and Anthony Jide Afolayan Copyright © 2017 Franklin Uangbaoje Ohikhena et al. All rights reserved. Demucilaging Freshly Stored Seeds of Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) Improves Seedling Emergence and Growth Sun, 22 Jan 2017 09:44:49 +0000 Fresh seeds of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) are covered by a large amount of mucilage, which plays important ecological roles. However, for stored seeds, mucilage can adversely affect germination. This study investigated the effect of mucilage removal (demucilaging) and seed storage of freshly extracted cocoa seeds on seedling emergence and growth. The study showed that demucilaging cocoa seeds confers several advantages over mucilage intact seeds provided the seeds have been stored for at least three days before sowing. Demucilaging increased germination rate (T50) and percentage germination and presence of mucilage increased days to seedling emergence and cessation of germination when seeds were stored for over two days. For up to 21 days of seed storage, there was generally no difference in many traits for demucilaged seeds. Demucilaged seeds had 80–100% germination after 21 days of storage, and rate of germination increased with increasing duration of seed storage. Intact mucilage seeds maintained 80–100% germination for only 2 days after seed extraction and rate of germination decreased with increasing seed storage duration. We conclude that (i) if seeds are sown on the day of extraction demucilaging before sowing would be superfluous and (ii) demucilaging and storage can provide advantages to smallholder farmers when environmental or socioeconomic conditions preclude immediate sowing. Michael O. Adu, Thomas Cobbinah, Paul A. Asare, David O. Yawson, and Kingsley J. Taah Copyright © 2017 Michael O. Adu et al. All rights reserved. Tetrastigma diepenhorstii (Miq.) Latiff (Vitaceae), a New Host of Rafflesia tuan-mudae Becc. (Rafflesiaceae) in Borneo Thu, 20 Oct 2016 16:07:40 +0000 Rafflesia tuan-mudae Becc. (Rafflesiaceae) is endemic to Borneo and was recorded from Sarawak and probably Kalimantan. Previous records showed that Tetrastigma rafflesiae (Miq.) Planch. (Vitaceae) is the only host plant for R. tuan-mudae. In this study the host plants were collected each time R. tuan-mudae was observed or collected. Out of 20 Tetrastigma specimens collected infected by R. tuan-mudae, 14 were identified as T. diepenhorstii (Miq.) Latiff while 6 belonged to T. rafflesiae. Therefore, a new host for R. tuan-mudae is recorded and descriptions for each host are presented. Wan Nuur Fatiha Wan Zakaria, Aida Shafreena Ahmad Puad, Connie Geri, Ramlah Zainudin, and Abdul Latiff Copyright © 2016 Wan Nuur Fatiha Wan Zakaria et al. All rights reserved. Species Specific Responses to Age on Nodule Formation, Seedling Growth, and Biomass Production of Acacia auriculiformis at Nursery Stage Tue, 16 Aug 2016 07:37:00 +0000 Nodulation responses of leguminous trees are very important for intercropping to reduce reliance on artificial nitrogen input through nitrogen fixation in agroforestry system. This study was carried out to evaluate the status of nodulation (i.e., the number of nodules and their shape and size) in root and biomass production of plant growth parameters (i.e., number of leaves, shoot height, root biomass, and shoot biomass) of A. auriculiformis seedlings. The assessment was conducted 60 days after seed germination. The study revealed significant differences in nodule number per seedling, leaf number per seedling, shoot height, and biomass accumulation (both green and oven dry weight) with seedling age (). The study also revealed significant correlation among the variables of nodulation responses and biomass production. The results obtained using principal component analysis (PCA) justified correlation matrix of nodulation responses and biomass production of this species. The PCA showed that root biomass per seedling, leaf number per seedling, nodule number per seedling, shoot height, age of seedling, and shoot biomass per seedling were clustered with PC1 (with an eigenvalue of 5.59) and root shoot ratios were clustered with PC2 (with an eigenvalue of 1.82). Our study justified that shoot height may be an important determinant of nodule formation of A. auriculiformis. Md. Salim Azad and Md. Mehedi Hasan Sumon Copyright © 2016 Md. Salim Azad and Md. Mehedi Hasan Sumon. All rights reserved. Plant-Based Vaccines: Production and Challenges Wed, 13 Apr 2016 08:48:27 +0000 Plant-based vaccine technologies involve the integration of the desired genes encoding the antigen protein for specific disease into the genome of plant tissues by various methods. Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer and transformation via genetically modified plant virus are the common methods that have been used to produce effective vaccines. Nevertheless, with the advancement of science and technology, new approaches have been developed to increase the efficiency of former methods such as biolistic, electroporation, agroinfiltration, sonication, and polyethylene glycol treatment. Even though plant-based vaccines provide many benefits to the vaccine industry, there are still challenges that limit the rate of successful production of these third-generation vaccines. Even with all the limitations, continuous efforts are still ongoing in order to produce efficient vaccine for many human and animals related diseases owing to its great potentials. This paper reviews the existing conventional methods as well as the development efforts by researchers in order to improve the production of plant-based vaccines. Several challenges encountered during and after the production process were also discussed. Erna Laere, Anna Pick Kiong Ling, Ying Pei Wong, Rhun Yian Koh, Mohd Azmi Mohd Lila, and Sobri Hussein Copyright © 2016 Erna Laere et al. All rights reserved. A Comprehensive Approach to Antioxidant Activity in the Seeds of Wild Legume Species of Tribe Fabeae Thu, 07 Apr 2016 07:13:15 +0000 The benefits of polyphenols have been widely demonstrated in recent decades. In order to find new species with a high biological functionality, the antioxidant activity of the polyphenol extracts from seeds of 50 taxa of tribe Fabeae (Lathyrus, Lens, Pisum, and Vicia) from Spain has been studied. Considering the average concentration obtained from the data in the four genera of the Fabeae tribe, Pisum and Lathyrus show the highest average polyphenol concentration. The highest specific antioxidant activity as well as the antioxidant activity coefficient was observed in Pisum and Vicia. However, with respect to the total antioxidant activity, the highest average value was observed in Lathyrus and Pisum. The results obtained reveal that many of the wild taxa examined could be potential source of antioxidants. Elena Pastor-Cavada, Rocío Juan, Julio E. Pastor, Manuel Alaiz, and Javier Vioque Copyright © 2016 Elena Pastor-Cavada et al. All rights reserved. Physiological and Biochemical Changes in Moth Bean (Vigna aconitifolia L.) under Cadmium Stress Wed, 30 Mar 2016 09:15:26 +0000 Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia L.), a drought resistant legume, possesses high nutritional value. Cadmium (Cd) is a nonessential and the most toxic heavy metal in plants. The present study was to test the hypothesis of whether moth bean being a drought resistant legume can withstand the cadmium stress. Ten-day-old moth bean seedlings were subjected to cadmium stress and investigated for a period of 15 days every 3-day intervals. Cadmium quantification in moth bean tissues suggests root accumulation and translocation to aerial parts in a concentration dependent manner. Results of physiological and biochemical studies revealed that cadmium has affected the growth parameters like shoot and root lengths and tissue dry weights. Significant alternations in relative water content and cell membrane stability were observed in stressed seedlings. Similarly superoxide radical, lipoxygenase activity, membrane lipid peroxidation products, protein carbonyls, and reduced glutathione and nonprotein thiols were found increased in stressed seedlings compared to controls. However, hydrogen peroxide and ascorbic acid levels were not altered significantly in both stressed and control seedlings. Cadmium translocation ability from roots to aerial parts and elevated levels of nonenzymatic antioxidants in stressed seedlings suggest the cadmium stress withstanding ability of moth bean. Poornima D. Vijendra, Kavitha M. Huchappa, Roopa Lingappa, Giridhara Basappa, Sathisha G. Jayanna, and Vadlapudi Kumar Copyright © 2016 Poornima D. Vijendra et al. All rights reserved. Are Sacred Groves of Kathmandu Valley Efficient in Sequestering Carbon? Tue, 29 Mar 2016 12:40:36 +0000 Ability of plant to fix atmospheric carbon dioxide and store it in biomass is contributing to global carbon cycle. Sacred groves, one of the regimes for forest management, play role in regulating climate by acting as sinks for carbon. Aiming to assess sequestrated carbon in tree the study was conducted in two sacred groves of Kathmandu valley, Nepal. Concentric circular plots of 20 m radius were used for data collection. Allometric equation having height, diameter, and specific gravity of tree was used to determine biomass. The calculated biomass of tree was converted to the carbon stock by using carbon fraction. Tree species of both sacred groves sequestered 15.08 metric tons of carbon. The carbon stock was high in Quercus-Myrsine forest and low in Schima-Pyrus forest. L. J. Shrestha, M. P. Devkota, and B. K. Sharma Copyright © 2016 L. J. Shrestha et al. All rights reserved. Inconclusive Predictions and Contradictions: A Lack of Consensus on Seed Germination Response to Climate Change at High Altitude and High Latitude Sun, 27 Mar 2016 13:48:11 +0000 Climate change directly affects arctic-alpine plants and acute responses to increased temperatures may be seen in their reproductive fitness and germination ability. However, uncertainties prevail in predicting whether a future warmer climate favors or hampers seed germination in high latitude and high altitude soils and seed germination research in such systems has not been able to provide generalizable patterns of response. The available literature on this subject has been conducted at various locations contributing to difficulties in predicting the response of arctic-alpine seeds to climate change. Here, we show that discrepancies in seed collection, dormancy breaking treatments, and germination conditions found in the published literature are possible reasons for our inability to draw large scale conclusions. We explore how these factors influence the results and highlight the fact that many of the previous investigations have reported the effects of warmer temperature, rather than a warmer climate and all the associated complex environmental interactions, on seed germination. We recommend that long-term monitoring of seed response to treatments that mimic the present and future alpine climate is likely to produce more ecologically meaningful insights and suggest several practical steps that researchers can take that would facilitate greater coherence between studies. Ganesh K. Jaganathan and Sarah E. Dalrymple Copyright © 2016 Ganesh K. Jaganathan and Sarah E. Dalrymple. All rights reserved. On the Occurrence of Four Diatom Taxa from Eastern India with a Taxonomic Note Thu, 03 Mar 2016 06:30:22 +0000 Diatoms were collected from the Kotulpur area of West Bengal. Four diatom taxa, namely, Eunotia minor (Kützing) Grunow, Achnanthidium minutissimum (Kützing) Czarnecki, Lemnicola hungarica (Grunow) Round and Basson, and Navicula radiosa Kützing were observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and identified in light of modern diatom taxonomic trends. Except Eunotia minor, all these taxa are new records to Eastern India. A note on the taxonomy of Achnanthes pseudobiasolletiana as described by Gandhi and Eunotia serrata var. diadema (Ehr.) R. M. Patrick as reported by Dwivedi and Misra has been added. Jai Prakash Keshri, Amit K. Ghosh, and Surajit Roy Copyright © 2016 Jai Prakash Keshri et al. All rights reserved. Preliminary Comparative Analysis of Phenological Varieties of Quercus robur by ISSR-Markers Mon, 22 Feb 2016 12:50:48 +0000 Quercus robur L. is a valuable wood species having long ontogeny and promising to create long-living artificial plantings of recreational and ameliorative purposes in the steppes zone of Russia and other countries. In this work we have performed the genotyping of varieties of Quercus robur L. obtained from collection of Botanical Garden of Southern Federal University using intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) molecular markers. The most polymorphic ISSR-marker (GA) 8YC was found in the collection. The polymorphic DNA markers identified in the present study can be used for the future breeding works to obtain valuable genotypes of Quercus genus. In addition we have performed DNA fingerprinting of the prospective sample of the variety Q. robur var. tardiflora Czern. Vasiliy Chokheli, Boris Kozlovsky, Mikhail Sereda, Vladimir Lysenko, Igor Fesenko, Tatiana Varduny, Olga Kapralova, and Elena Bondarenko Copyright © 2016 Vasiliy Chokheli et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Climate and Land Use on Herbaceous Species Richness and Vegetation Composition in West African Savanna Ecosystems Sun, 21 Feb 2016 12:20:31 +0000 West African Savanna ecosystems are undergoing severe changes in their vegetation composition due to the impact of human land use and changes in climatic conditions. This study aims to examine the effect of climate, land use, and their interaction on species richness and composition of West African herbaceous vegetation. Plot based vegetation sampling was done in Burkina Faso. Specific richness and diversity indices were used to determine the effect of land use, climate, and their interaction. An importance value was computed to determine herbaceous species dominating the communities. Frequency of species is used to examine their distribution pattern. The results showed that climate significantly influenced herbaceous specific richness more than land use. However, land use had a significant effect on herbaceous vegetation composition. Herbaceous species diversity changed with environmental conditions. The floristic composition of dominant species is driven by both climate and land use. The frequency of distribution demonstrated that herbaceous species occurrences were more influenced by the mixed effect of climate and land use than their separate effects. Occasional and rare species are the most important part of herbaceous vegetation. Thus heterogeneity of Savanna ecosystem and vulnerability of herbaceous species are high. Issouf Zerbo, Markus Bernhardt-Römermann, Oumarou Ouédraogo, Karen Hahn, and Adjima Thiombiano Copyright © 2016 Issouf Zerbo et al. All rights reserved. Bridging the Yield Gap in Rice Production by Using Leaf Color Chart for Nitrogen Management Thu, 18 Feb 2016 10:51:23 +0000 An experiment was conducted to optimize nitrogen fertilizer application for rice genotypes with the help of leaf color chart practice under agroclimatic conditions of Malakand division. The experiment was designed in RCB having split plot arrangement. Main plots consisted of rice genotypes, while subplots consisted of various doses of nitrogen. All the recorded parameters were significantly affected by the various N doses. In all treatments N application according to LCC management practice produced maximum tillers/hill, plant height, straw, and paddy yield as compared to N application according to recommended dose and farmer’s practice. This adequate supply of N fertilizer according to LCC management practice resulted in positive response of N fertilizer on the crop and also provided best fertilizer management techniques. Moreover, the interaction between rice genotypes and LCC management practice was the best for all the recorded parameters. The outcome results of the experiment provided an economic package to the farmers in application of N fertilizer on the basis of leaf color chart management practice. Naeem Ahmad, Ahmad Zada, Muhammad Junaid, and Akhtar Ali Copyright © 2016 Naeem Ahmad et al. All rights reserved. HPTLC Fingerprints of Various Secondary Metabolites in the Traditional Medicinal Herb Hypochaeris radicata L. Sun, 14 Feb 2016 14:01:07 +0000 The aim of this work was to elucidate the various secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, and terpenoids in the methanolic leaf and root extracts of Hypochaeris radicata, a most important traditional medicinal plant species in Nilgiris, the Western Ghats, India, using high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC). This study was carried out using CAMAG HPTLC system equipped with LINOMAT 5 applicator, TLC scanner 3, Reprostar 3, and winCATS 1.3.4 software. A comprehensive assortment of phytoconstituents in methanolic extracts through HPTLC fingerprinting profiles displayed the existence of alkaloids (3 in leaf and 1 in root extract), flavonoids (4 in leaf extract and 5 in root extract), glycosides (1 in leaf extract and 3 in root extract), saponins (1 in root extract), and terpenoids (1 in leaf and root extracts, resp.). The current study overlays boulevard for H. radicata to provide a direction for further exploration in precluding communicable and noncommunicable ailments. Jamuna Senguttuvan and Paulsamy Subramaniam Copyright © 2016 Jamuna Senguttuvan and Paulsamy Subramaniam. All rights reserved. The Protective Effect of Marigold Hydroalcoholic Extract in STZ-Induced Diabetic Rats: Evaluation of Cardiac and Pancreatic Biomarkers in the Serum Mon, 11 Jan 2016 07:18:06 +0000 Diabetes mellitus is the most common endocrine disorder worldwide and it is usually along with complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of diabetes is increasing and its treatment has created concerns in society. The use of herbal medicine can be helpful in the management of diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effect of marigold hydroalcoholic extract under diabetes condition. A total of 36 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: normal control group, diabetic control group, and groups treated with 250 or 500 mg/kg hydroalcoholic extract of marigold flower during four weeks. At the end of the study, the rats were anesthetized with ketamine/xylazine, and sampling was performed through cardiac puncture. The results showed that treatment with marigold improved body weight. In addition, we determined that marigold normalized the level of CK-MB, total CK, amylase, and lipase in a dose-dependent manner. Probably these effects resulted from antioxidant property of marigold; thus we suggest that marigold flower can be useful for reduction of diabetes complication. Esmaeel Ebrahimi, Saeed Shirali, and Rahman Talaei Copyright © 2016 Esmaeel Ebrahimi et al. All rights reserved. Spatial and Temporal Variation of Carotenoids in Four Species of Trentepohlia (Trentepohliales, Chlorophyta) Sun, 27 Dec 2015 12:50:43 +0000 Trentepohlia Martius, a dominant green subaerial alga, grows abundantly in Shillong and imparts the yellow, red, and orange colours to most of the tree barks, walls, rocks, and electric poles because of high accumulation of carotenoids in their filaments. This study emphasised the seasonal changes in carotenoid content amongst four different species of Trentepohlia, that is, T. diffracta, T. arborum, T. umbrina, and T. abietina, collected from four different substrata, that is, wall, rock, electric pole, and three types of tree bark (smooth, fissured, and rough). Quantitative estimation of different carotenoids, namely, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and β-carotene, from HPLC chromatogram peak showed a significant seasonal variation in all of the four species and β-carotene was threefold more in winter compared to summer. Amongst the selected species, T. diffracta collected from wall contained the highest amount of β-carotene both in summer and in winter, followed by T. arborum from rock and T. abietina from bark, and least amount was in T. umbrina collected from electric pole. Comparing the carotenoid content in Trentepohlia abietina growing in different types of barks, sample from smooth bark had the highest amount of carotenoids both in summer and in winter, followed by the sample from rough bark, and lowest amount was noted in fissured bark. Diana Kharkongor and Papiya Ramanujam Copyright © 2015 Diana Kharkongor and Papiya Ramanujam. All rights reserved. Lack of Correlation between Ammonium Accumulation and Survival of Transgenic Birch Plants with Pine Cytosolic Glutamine Synthetase Gene after “Basta” Herbicide Treatment Thu, 24 Dec 2015 13:31:31 +0000 Transformation of plants with genes encoding a glutamine synthetase (GS), a key nitrogen metabolism enzyme, is usually used to increase productivity. However, overexpression of these genes may increase resistance to phosphinothricin (PPT) that irreversibly inhibits GS causing ammonium accumulation in plant tissues. Transgenic plants of two birch (Betula pubescens) genotypes expressing a pine cytosolic GS gene were used for studying the PPT effect on trees. Two control and 8 transgenic lines were treated with herbicide “Basta” at dose equivalent to 2.5 and 5 Lha−1. Necrosis and abscission of leaves occurred irrespective of a transgenic status or the treatment dose. Ammonium content in leaf tissue in 3 days after the 5 Lha−1 treatment was substantially increased in all plants, 3.2–16.0 times depending on line. After the 2.5 Lha−1 treatment, ammonium content in three transgenic lines was not different from that in control variant sprayed with water. The herbicide treatment caused more prominent desiccation in the bp3f1 genotype nontransgenic plants as compared to transgenic plants, but not in the bp4a genotype. Lack of correlation between ammonium levels and survival of transgenic plants suggests that ammonium toxicity is not a main reason for the birch plant death after the PPT treatment. Vadim Lebedev, Vyacheslav Faskhiev, and Konstantin Shestibratov Copyright © 2015 Vadim Lebedev et al. All rights reserved. The Fate of Integrated Ri T-DNA rol Genes during Regeneration via Somatic Embryogenesis in Tylophora indica Tue, 08 Dec 2015 13:23:35 +0000 The fate of integrated Ri T-DNA rol genes during regeneration via indirect somatic embryogenesis and stability of its effect on morphology and tylophorine content of Ri-transformed plants have been studied in Tylophora indica. Integration and expression of Ri T-DNA genes in transformed embryogenic callus lines derived from transformed root lines, 300 Ri-transformed somatic embryos, and 23 Ri-transformed plant lines were analysed. Fifty root lines studied showed integration and expression of four rol genes of TL-DNA. Spontaneous regeneration via indirect somatic embryogenesis was obtained from root lines that were TL+/TR−. Stable integration and expression of rol genes were observed in root lines, embryogenic callus lines, and the spontaneously induced somatic embryos. Nineteen out of the 23 Ri-transformed plant lines and their clones showed phenotypic and genetic stability over the period of 3 years. Four Ri-transformed plants were morphologically similar to nontransformed plants but showed variation with the integration and expression of the rolA gene and absence of other rol genes. Variant Ri-transformed plant line A428#1-V showed highest tylophorine content ( mg gDW−1) among plant lines studied. The effects of T-DNA genes on growth, morphology, and tylophorine content of the Ri-transformed plants were stable in the long term culture. Dipasree Roychowdhury, Binay Chaubey, and Sumita Jha Copyright © 2015 Dipasree Roychowdhury et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Indole-3-Butyric Acid on Clonal Propagation of Swietenia macrophylla through Branch Cutting Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:21:54 +0000 The study discloses the scopes of clonal propagation Swietenia macrophylla through branch cutting treated with IBA. A total of four hundred cuttings were used with four replications to assess the rooting ability. The study exposed significant () difference of rooted cuttings among the treatments. The highest (62.51%) rooting percent was observed in cutting with 0.4% IBA treatment. In addition, root number and its length per cutting were increased with increasing IBA concentration (). The experiment showed significant () difference of sprouting among the treatments. The highest (67.27%) percent of sprouting was observed in cuttings with 0.4% solution, which showed a similar fashion of percent of rooting. The study also showed significant () difference of shoot number per cutting, the length of the longest shoot, and number of leaves per cutting among the treatments. The overall survival of rooted cuttings after transfer to polybag significantly () differed among the cuttings treated with different IBA solution. The highest survival percentage (69.67%) was observed in the cuttings rooted with 0.4% IBA treatment and the lowest (55.6%) survival was found in cuttings treated with control. The use of 0.4% IBA treatment is suggested for rooting of juvenile leafy branch cutting of S. macrophylla. Md. Salim Azad and Md. Abdul Matin Copyright © 2015 Md. Salim Azad and Md. Abdul Matin. All rights reserved. Impact of Drought, Heat, and Their Combination on Chlorophyll Fluorescence and Yield of Wild Barley (Hordeum spontaneum) Thu, 05 Nov 2015 12:03:08 +0000 The impact of (long-term) drought acclimation and (short-term) heat stress and their combination on fast chlorophyll fluorescence induction curves (OJIP) and grain yield was tested using pot-grown plants of wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum) originating from Northern Egypt. Concerning agronomic traits, the main effect of drought was decreased biomass accumulation and grain yield, while heat specifically affected floral development. The treatments caused specific inhibitions of photosystem II (PSII) functionality. While heat stressed plants showed a reduction of maximum quantum efficiency of PSII (), an indication of effects on oxygen evolving complex (OEC) functionality, and the connectivity of PSII units, these features were entirely missing in drought acclimated plants. Drought caused a reduction of the Performance Index () and of the relative amplitude of the IP-phase of the OJIP induction curve (). Individuals suffering from a combination of drought and heat showed a better ability to recover photosynthetic electron transport after the relief of stress in comparison to heat stressed plants. However, this improved capacity to recover was not accompanied by an increased grain yield. Thus, we conclude that chlorophyll fluorescence measurements provide valuable physiological data; however, their use in agronomic studies for the prediction of agronomic traits should be done with some precaution. Christoph Jedmowski, Ahmed Ashoub, Osama Momtaz, and Wolfgang Brüggemann Copyright © 2015 Christoph Jedmowski et al. All rights reserved. Inhibitory Effect of Heracleum persicum and Ziziphus jujuba on Activity of Alpha-Amylase Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:04:15 +0000 Postprandial hyperglycemia plays an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Inhibition of alpha-amylase was led to a delay in breaks down of starch and glycogen and prevented a rapid rise in blood sugar. Alpha-amylase was isolated by gel filtration chromatography Sephadex G-75 from bovine pancreas. Then, total methanolic extracts of plants were prepared and IC50 values of extracts on alpha-amylase were obtained and compared with acarbose IC50. The polyphenolic content of extracts and antioxidant capacity were determined by Folin-Ciocalteu test and DPPH test, respectively. The specific activity of alpha-amylase was 48.2 U/mg. For inhibition of alpha-amylase, IC50 values of H. persicum, Z. jujuba, and acarbose were 307, 827, and 113 μg/ml, respectively. For inhibition of DPPH radical, IC50 values of extracts were 235 and 701 μg/ml. Total phenolic contents of methanol extracts were and  μg tannic acid equivalent/mg extract. Acarbose causes gastrointestinal symptoms and liver toxicity, but H. persicum and Z. jujuba decrease these side effects and prevent gastrointestinal disorders. Due to the high polyphenolic content and antioxidant capacity of these plants and significant inhibitory effect of the plants on alpha-amylase, these plants can be proposed for treatment of diabetic patients. Reza Afrisham, Mohammad Aberomand, Mohammad Ali Ghaffari, Amir Siahpoosh, and Mostafa Jamalan Copyright © 2015 Reza Afrisham et al. All rights reserved. Floristic Composition, Vegetation Structure, and Regeneration Status of Woody Plant Species of Oda Forest of Humbo Carbon Project, Wolaita, Ethiopia Sun, 27 Sep 2015 13:54:19 +0000 Our current study was conducted in Oda forest to explore floristic composition, vegetation structure, and regeneration of woody species in a newly established Humbo Carbon Project. In the project, the above information for sufficient conservation and management of the forest is not well documented. Data were collected in October and December 2014. Thirty-two quadrats (20 m × 20 m) lying 100 m far apart were used for shrub and tree data. In each major plot, subplots (1 m2) were established at the center and corner for seedlings and saplings data. Altitude, slope, and aspect were measured using GPS and clinometers. DBH, basal area, and IVI were used for vegetation structure. Among 62 species confined in 32 families and 54 genera, Dodonaea angustifolia and Combretum molle were the densest and the most dominant and frequent species with higher IVI. Altitude and slope had significant effect () on basal area and dominance. Bell and inverted J shaped patterns of selected woody species were identified. The seedling, sapling, and matured tree had 2.3%, 23.7%, and 74% density ha−1 of individuals, respectively. Generally, the study confirmed that very few species had dominance and abundance, influence of altitude and slope on species distribution, and fair regeneration of the forest. Markos Kuma and Simon Shibru Copyright © 2015 Markos Kuma and Simon Shibru. All rights reserved. Manner of Apical Meristem Destruction Affects Growth, Reproduction, and Survival of Sea Oxeye Daisy Sun, 20 Sep 2015 09:24:08 +0000 Although herbivory may result in plant death, the mode and timing of damage may produce variable wounding responses in the attacked plant. In this study, effects of different types of apical meristem damage on growth and performance of sea oxeye daisy Borrichia frutescens (L.) DC were compared. Damage involved either clipping or galling of the apical meristem by the gall midge Asphondylia borrichiae Rossi and Strong. Apical dominance was relatively weak before flowering and stronger in short ramets that were shaded by taller neighbors later in the season. Clipped ramets delayed sprouting new stems, and galled ramets sprouted new stems quickly compared to intact ramets, but final stem counts were similar across treatments. Clipping significantly delayed flowering, reduced seed head ripening time, and resulted in fewer seed heads and seeds. Galling did not significantly impact reproduction compared to intact ramets. Nitrogen supplementation significantly increased stem count and seed count and lengthened seed ripening time. Borrichia frutescens responds differently to clipping versus galling by A. borrichiae and better tolerates galling in terms of nonreproductive performance and survival. Galling from A. borrichiae likely prevents Borrichia frutescens from flowering, which suggests resource regulation of meristems by the midge. Lisa S. Spirko and Anthony M. Rossi Copyright © 2015 Lisa S. Spirko and Anthony M. Rossi. All rights reserved. Vegetative Propagation Trial of Prosopis africana (Guill. et Perr.) Taub. by Air Layering under Sudano-Sahelian Climate in the South-Central Niger Thu, 17 Sep 2015 09:52:11 +0000 Prosopis africana is a species of great socioeconomic importance but threatened with extinction in Niger because of overuse and regeneration problem. This study, conducted in the Maradi (Niger) area, precisely at El Gueza in the south of Gazaoua department, aims to evaluate the vegetative propagation capacity of P. africana by air layering under the Sudano-Sahelian climate of the south-central Niger. A ring of bark was taken on each selected branch and the wound was covered with a black plastic filled with a damp mixture of soil and wood debris. The chosen parameters are the diameter class and the position on the branch. In all, 60 branches were treated and followed for 130 days: 28.33% produced shoots and there was no significant difference between the diameter classes and between the positions. These results show that propagating trees of the species by air layering is possible and this technique can be used to multiply and keep this species, which will reduce the regeneration problem linked to a low seed germination rate. Laouali Abdou, Saley Karim, Rabiou Habou, and Ali Mahamane Copyright © 2015 Laouali Abdou et al. All rights reserved. Morphophysiological Behavior and Cambial Activity in Seedlings of Two Amazonian Tree Species under Shade Mon, 03 Aug 2015 14:27:58 +0000 Variations in light intensity can lead to important anatomical and morphophysiological changes in plants. Aiming to increase knowledge about the Amazonian tree species, this study examines the influence of shade on the cambial activity and development of Parkia gigantocarpa Ducke and Schizolobium parahyba var. amazonicum (Huber ex Ducke) Barneby seedlings. Seedlings of the two species were grown in a nursery under four shade intensities (treatments): full sun, low, moderate, and high shade (resp., 0%, 23%, 67%, and 73% of shade, or 2000, 1540, 660, and 540 µmol·m−2·s−1) obtained with polyethylene screens. We measured plant height, stem diameter, biomass production, stomatal conductance (), transpiration (E), photosynthesis (A), and cambial activity (CA) (xylem, cambium, and phloem). Also, we calculated the Dickson Quality Index (DQI). The highest values of biomass production, ,  E, A, and DQI, were found under full sun, in P. gigantocarpa, and under low shade intensity in S. parahyba. In both species high shade intensity reduced CA. We concluded that the CA and the physiological and morphological attributes work together, explaining the radial growth and increasing seedlings quality, which optimized efficient seedling production under full sun, in P. gigantocarpa, and under low shade intensity in S. parahyba. Monyck Jeane dos Santos Lopes, Moacyr Bernardino Dias-Filho, Marco Antônio Menezes Neto, and Eniel David Cruz Copyright © 2015 Monyck Jeane dos Santos Lopes et al. All rights reserved. Purpose of Introduction as a Predictor of Invasiveness among Introduced Shrubs in Rwanda Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:58:43 +0000 The introduced shrub flora in Rwanda was analyzed and the risk of invasion was assessed based on the species’ purposes of introduction. The results showed that more than half of invasive alien shrubs in Rwanda were introduced as ornamentals. They include Agave americana L., Bryophyllum proliferum Bowie ex Hook., Caesalpinia decapetala (Roth) Alston, Lantana camara L., and Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsley) A. Gray. However, these represented only 3.16% of the total number of introduced ornamental shrubs. At the time when the study was conducted, no introduced food crop had become invasive. Species introduced for purposes other than food or culinary use showed higher likelihood of becoming invasive. Jean Leonard Seburanga Copyright © 2015 Jean Leonard Seburanga. All rights reserved. Production and Metabolism of Indole Acetic Acid in Root Nodules and Symbiont (Rhizobium undicola) Isolated from Root Nodule of Aquatic Medicinal Legume Neptunia oleracea Lour. Sun, 18 Jan 2015 06:20:59 +0000 Indole acetic acid is a phytohormone which plays a vital role in plant growth and development. The purpose of this study was to shed some light on the production of IAA in roots, nodules, and symbionts of an aquatic legume Neptunia oleracea and its possible role in nodular symbiosis. The symbiont (N37) was isolated from nodules of this plant and identified as Rhizobium undicola based on biochemical characteristics, 16S rDNA sequence homology, and DNA-DNA hybridization results. The root nodules were found to contain more IAA and tryptophan than root; however, no detectable amount of IAA was found in root. The IAA metabolizing enzymes IAA oxidase, IAA peroxidase (E.C., and polyphenol oxidase (E.C. were higher in root than nodule but total phenol and IAA content were reversed. The strain N37 was found to produce copious amount of IAA in YEM broth medium with tryptophan and reached its stationary phase at 20 h. An enrichment of the medium with mannitol, ammonium sulphate, B12, and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde was found to promote the IAA production. The presence of IAA metabolizing enzymes and IAA production with PGPR traits including ACC deaminase activity of the symbionts was essential for plant microbe interaction and nodule function. Pallab Kumar Ghosh, Tarun Kumar De, and Tushar Kanti Maiti Copyright © 2015 Pallab Kumar Ghosh et al. All rights reserved. Ex Vitro Seedling Development from In Vitro Rhizome-Like Bodies in Eulophia promensis Lindl.: A New Technique for Orchid Propagation Wed, 14 Jan 2015 06:58:47 +0000 This communication describes in vitro seed germination, embryo differentiation, and ex vitro seedling production from in vitro rhizome-like bodies of a terrestrial orchid, Eulophia promensis Lindl. Effects of two nutrient media, namely, Murashige and Skoog (MS) and Phytotechnology Orchid Seed Sowing medium (P723) supplemented with 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP; 0.5–1.0 mgL−1) and/or α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA; 0.5–1.0 mgL−1) and activated charcoal (2.0 gL−1), were studied on seed germination and subsequent development of embryos. Maximum seed germination (100%) was recorded in P723 medium fortified with 1.0 mgL−1 BAP + 2.0 gL−1 activated charcoal. The different developmental stages of protocorm morphogenesis were traced out. In subsequent subcultures, the protocorms proliferated profusely and developed rhizome-like bodies (RLBs) with numerous hair-like structures. These RLBs were transferred to pots containing potting mixture composed of humus + coir dust + saw dust (1 : 1 : 1) where ∼80% of RLBs survived and produced 1–3 seedlings per RLB. This is the first time report for in vitro germination of seeds and ex vitro seedling production from in vitro raised RLBs in Eulophia promensis. This is a time saving and cost effective protocol that could be extended to other economically important, rare, and endangered orchids for propagation and conservation. Mohammad Musharof Hossain Copyright © 2015 Mohammad Musharof Hossain. All rights reserved. Effects of pH, Photoperiod, and Nutrient on Germination and Growth of Calymperes erosum C. Muell. Gemmaling Wed, 31 Dec 2014 14:01:36 +0000 Effects of pH, photoperiod, and substrate nutrient concentration on the rate of germination of the gemmae and primary protonema growth of Calymperes erosum C. Muell. were studied. There was a statistically significant difference in germination of C. erosum gemmae and protonema growth among the different substrate pH levels, photoperiod treatments, and substrate nutrient conditions, respectively (). Gemmae germination and protonemal growth peaked at pH 4 and 5. Protonemal growth was retarded at pH 2, 3, 6, and 7. No germination was observed in continuous darkness. Germination and protonema growth increased significantly () within the first 3 and 6 hours of daylight but not again until after 9 and 12 hours of exposure, respectively. No statistical () increase in germination and protonemal growth was observed when the nutrient concentration was increased from 25% to 200%. Results indicate the moss is adapted to low nutrients and that it may germinate well at substrate pH as low as 2 howbeit the probability of establishment will remain limited until pH levels improve to 4 or 5. Furthermore, the moss is able to achieve net photosynthetic carbon gain during morning hours. Recovery from photoinhibition is likely by evening. Anthony Zinno Ogbimi, Yetunde Biodun Owoeye, Victor Oluwaseyi Ibiyemi, and Akpos Valentino Bofede Copyright © 2014 Anthony Zinno Ogbimi et al. All rights reserved. Investigating the Phytochemicals and Antimicrobial Activities of Shoot and Root of Pycreus smithianus (Ridl.) C. B. Clarke (Family Cyperaceae) Wed, 31 Dec 2014 06:30:22 +0000 Pycreus smithianus tubers have been reported to have insecticidal properties. To gain further insight into its medicinal values, phytochemical and antimicrobial studies were carried out on its shoot and root. The phytochemical screening indicated the presence of reducing sugars, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, cardiac glycosides, and saponins in varying quantities as well as absence of steroids and alkaloids. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts (shoot and root) were tested against two fungi—Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans—and two bacteria—Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi. Antimicrobial activity evaluation was carried out at 50 and 100 mg/mL concentrations by Agar Well Diffusion method. From the antimicrobial evaluation, the root ethanolic extract at 100% concentration was the most effective against S. aureus and C. albicans while the shoot ethanolic extract was effective against S. typhi. No extract was active against A. niger. Ethanolic extracts were more active than the aqueous extracts and showed higher inhibitory activity against the bacteria than the fungi. This is most likely due to the abundance of reducing sugars in the ethanolic extracts. From these findings, ethanolic extracts of the root of P. smithianus exhibited a good potential source of new drug for treating infections caused by these pathogens and particularly drug resistant C. albicans. P. A. Adeonipekun, T. A. Adeniyi, and S. O. Aminu Copyright © 2014 P. A. Adeonipekun et al. All rights reserved.