The relationship between photosystem II efficiency and quantum yield for CO(2) assimilation is not affected by nitrogen content in apple leaves.
Bench-grafted Fuji/M.26 apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees were fertigated with different concentrations of nitrogen by using a modified Hoagland's solution for 45 d. CO(2) assimilation and photosystem II (PSII) quantum efficiency in response to incident photon flux density (PFD) were measured simultaneously in recent fully expanded leaves under low O(2) (2%) and saturated CO(2) (1300 micromol mol(-1)) conditions. A single curvilinear relationship was found between true quantum yield for CO(2) assimilation and PSII quantum efficiency for leaves with a wide range of leaf N content. The relationship was linear up to a quantum yield of approximately 0.05 mol CO(2) mol(-1) quanta. It then became curvilinear with a further rise in quantum yield in response to decreasing PFD. This relationship was subsequently used as a calibration curve to assess the rate of non-cyclic electron transport associated with Rubisco and the partitioning of electron flow between CO(2) assimilation and photorespiration in different N leaves in response to intercellular CO(2) concentration (C(i)) under normal O(2) conditions. Both the rate of non-cyclic electron flow and the rate of electron flow to CO(2) or O(2) increased with increasing leaf N at any given C(i). The percentage of non-cyclic electron flow to CO(2) assimilation, however, remained the same regardless of leaf N content. As C(i) increased, the percentage of non-cyclic electron flow to CO(2) assimilation increased. In conclusion, the relationship between PSII quantum efficiency and quantum yield for CO(2) assimilation and the partitioning of electron flow between CO(2) assimilation and photorespiration are not affected by N content in apple leaves. (+info)
Local modulation of host pH by Colletotrichum species as a mechanism to increase virulence.
The phytopathogenic fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides produces one pectate lyase (PL) that is a key virulence factor in disease development. During growth of C. gloeosporioides, Colletotrichum acutatum, and Colletotrichum coccodes in acidified yeast extract medium, the fungus secreted ammonia and increased the medium pH. Ammonia accumulation and the consequent pH change increased as a function of initial pH and buffer capacity of the medium. PL secretion by C. gloeosporioides correspondingly increased as the pH of the medium increased. The C. gloeosporioides pelB gene-disrupted mutant was able to increase ammonia accumulation and pH of the media similarly to the wild-type isolate. C. gloeosporioides in avocado, C. coccodes in tomato, and C. acutatum in apple showed ammonia accumulation in the infected area where pH increased to 7.5 to 8 and PL activity is optima. In nonhost interactions where C. gloeosporioides was inoculated in apples, the addition of ammonia-releasing compounds significantly enhanced pathogenicity to levels similar to those caused by the compatible C. acutatum-apple interaction. The results therefore suggest the importance of ammonia secretion as a virulence factor, enhancing environmental pH and pathogenicity of the Colletotrichum species. (+info)
Abscisic acid-specific binding sites in the flesh of developing apple fruit.
Abscisic acid (ABA) specific-binding sites localized in the cytosol were identified and characterized in the flesh of developing apple (Malus pumila L. cv. Starkrimon) fruit. ABA binding activity was scarcely detectable in the microsomes but high ABA binding activity in the cytosolic fraction was detected. The ABA-binding sites possessed a protein nature with both active serine residues and thiol-groups of cysteine residues in their functional binding sites. ABA binding was shown to be saturable, reversible and of high affinity. A Scatchard plot provided evidence for two different ABA binding proteins, one with higher affinity (K(d)=2.3 nM) and the other with lower affinity (K(d)=58.8 nM). Phaseic acid, trans-ABA and (-)-ABA had essentially no affinity for the binding proteins, indicating their stereo-specificity to bind physiologically active cis-(+)-ABA. The time-course, pH- and temperature-dependence of the ABA-binding proteins were determined. It is hypothesized that the detected ABA-binding proteins may be putative ABA-receptors that mediate ABA signals during fruit development. (+info)
Inoculation onto solid surfaces protects Salmonella spp. during acid challenge: a model study using polyethersulfone membranes.
Salmonellae are the most frequently reported cause of outbreaks of food-borne gastroenteritis in the United States. In clinical trials, the oral infective dose (ID) for healthy volunteers was estimated to be approximately 1 million cells. However, in reports from various outbreaks, the ID of Salmonella species associated with solid foods was estimated to be as few as 100 cells. We found that fresh-cut produce surfaces not only provided suitable solid support for pathogen attachment but also played a critical role in increasing the acid tolerance of the pathogen. However the acidic nature of certain produce played no role in making salmonellae resistant to stomach acidity. Inoculation onto fresh-cut produce surfaces, as well as onto inert surfaces, such as polyethersulfone membranes and tissue paper, increased the survival of salmonellae during acid challenge (50 mM Na-citrate, pH 3.0; 37 degrees C; 2 h) by 4 to 5 log units. Acid challenge experiments using cells inoculated onto polyethersulfone membranes provided a model system suitable for studying the underlying fundamentals of the protection that occurs when Salmonella strains are associated with solid foods. The surface-associated acid protection, which was observed in several Salmonella strains, required de novo protein synthesis and was independent of stationary-phase sigma transcription factor. (+info)
Polyphenols from alcoholic apple cider are absorbed, metabolized and excreted by humans.
We determined the uptake and excretion of low doses of polyphenols in six subjects who each consumed 1.1 L of an alcoholic cider beverage. Over a 24-h period, no phloretin was detected in plasma (detection limit = 0.036 micromol/L), but 21 +/- 5% of the dose (4.8 mg) was excreted in the urine. In contrast, from a low dose of 1.6-mg quercetin equivalents, no quercetin was found in urine or plasma, but 3'-methyl quercetin was detected in plasma [C(max) (maximum concentration) = 0.14 +/- 0.19 micromol/L; range: 0 to 0.44 micromol/L]. No flavanol monomers (dose of free (+)-catechin and (-)-epicatechin = 3.5 mg) were detected in urine or plasma (detection limit: 0.01 micromol/L). Caffeic acid (total dose including esters = 11 mg) was detected only in plasma within 2 h, with C(max) = 0.43 +/- 0.3 micromol/L (range: 0.18 to 0.84 micromol/L). An almost 3-fold increase in hippuric acid was detected in 24-h urine (74 +/- 29 micromol/L; range: 38-116 micromol/L), compared with a prestudy value of 19 +/- 9 micromol/L. These data show that polyphenols are taken up from cider, that phloretin is excreted in the urine and suggest that low doses of quercetin are extensively methylated in humans. (+info)
Cloning and characterization of four apple MADS box genes isolated from vegetative tissue.
With the aim of finding genes involved in the floral transition of woody species four MADS box genes containing cDNAs from apple (Malus domestica) have been isolated. Three genes were isolated from vegetative tissue of apple, but were homologues of known genes that specify floral organ identity. MdMADS13 is an AP3-like B class MADS box gene, and was mainly expressed in petals and stamens as demonstrated by Northern blot analysis. MdMADS14 and -15 are AGAMOUS-like genes. They differed slightly in expression patterns on Northern blots, with MdMADS15 mRNA levels equally high in stamens and carpels, but MdMADS14 preferably expressed in carpels. MdMADS14 is likely to be the apple orthologue of one of the Arabidopsis thaliana SHATTERPROOF genes, and MdMADS15 closely resembled the Arabidopsis AGAMOUS gene. It has been shown with RT-PCR that the three floral apple MADS box genes are expressed in vegetative tissues of adult as well as juvenile trees, albeit at low levels. MdMADS12 is an AP1-like gene that is expressed at similar levels in leaves, vegetative shoots, and floral tissues, and that may be involved in the transition from the juvenile to the adult stage. (+info)
Overexpression of polygalacturonase in transgenic apple trees leads to a range of novel phenotypes involving changes in cell adhesion.
Polygalacturonases (PGs) cleave runs of unesterified GalUA that form homogalacturonan regions along the backbone of pectin. Homogalacturonan-rich pectin is commonly found in the middle lamella region of the wall where two adjacent cells abut and its integrity is important for cell adhesion. Transgenic apple (Malus domestica Borkh. cv Royal Gala) trees were produced that contained additional copies of a fruit-specific apple PG gene under a constitutive promoter. In contrast to previous studies in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) where PG overexpression had no effect on the plant (K.W. Osteryoung, K. Toenjes, B. Hall, V. Winkler, A.B. Bennett  Plant Cell 2: 1239-1248), PG overexpression in transgenic apple led to a range of novel phenotypes. These phenotypes included silvery colored leaves and premature leaf shedding due to reduced cell adhesion in leaf abscission zones. Mature leaves had malformed and malfunctioning stomata that perturbed water relations and contributed to a brittle leaf phenotype. Chemical and ultrastructural analyses were used to relate the phenotypic changes to pectin changes in the leaf cell walls. The modification of apple trees by a single PG gene has offered a new and unexpected perspective on the role of pectin and cell wall adhesion in leaf morphology and stomatal development. (+info)
Lyophilized apple counteracts the development of hypercholesterolemia, oxidative stress, and renal dysfunction in obese Zucker rats.
Apples may have selective effects on abnormalities associated with the plurimetabolic syndrome. Therefore, the effects of 20% lyophilized apple supplementation on plasma and tissue lipids and on protection against susceptibility to oxidative stress and renal dysfunction were investigated in Zucker lean (Fa/-) or obese (fa/fa) rats. The experimental diets were equilibrated for sugar supply, contained 0.25 g/100 g cholesterol and provided only one third of the vitamin E requirement. Obese Zucker rats were hypercholesterolemic with cholesterol accumulation in LDL and HDL fractions. The apple diet lowered plasma and LDL cholesterol (-22 and -70%, respectively, P < 0.01) in obese Zucker rats and, in parallel, reduced triglyceride accumulation in heart and liver. Zucker rats fed the apple diet also had a larger intestinal pool and greater fecal excretion of bile acids. The heart concentration and urinary excretion of malondialdehyde were reduced by apple consumption in obese Zucker rats, suggesting better protection against peroxidation. Glucosuria and proteinuria in obese Zucker rats were also suppressed by the apple diet. In conclusion, despite their moderate fiber content, apples improve substantially the lipid status and peroxidative parameters in obese Zucker rats, suggesting that other plant constituents such as polyphenols are involved in these effects. (+info)