Rothamsted Repository

    The nature of soil-nitrogen complexes

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    Microbial metabolism of 4-chloroaniline

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    Dry liberation of fungus spores by raindrops

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    DELLA activity is required for successful pollen development in the Columbia ecotype of Arabidopsis

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    Excessive gibberellin (GA) signalling, mediated through the DELLA proteins, has a negative impact on plant fertility. Loss of DELLA activity in the monocot rice (Oryza sativa) causes complete male sterility, but not in the dicot model Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ecotype Landsberg erecta (Ler), in which DELLA function has been studied most extensively, leading to the assumption that DELLA activity is not essential for Arabidopsis pollen development. A novel DELLA fertility phenotype was identified in the Columbia (Col-0) ecotype that necessitates re-evaluation of the general conclusions drawn from Ler. Fertility phenotypes were compared between the Col-0 and Ler ecotypes under conditions of chemical and genetic GA overdose, including mutants in both ecotypes lacking the DELLA paralogues REPRESSOR OF ga1-3 (RGA) and GA INSENSITIVE (GAI). Ler displays a less severe fertility phenotype than Col-0 under GA treatment. Col-0 rga gai mutants, in contrast with the equivalent Ler phenotype, were entirely male sterile, caused by post-meiotic defects in pollen development, which were rescued by the reintroduction of DELLA into either the tapetum or developing pollen. We conclude that DELLA activity is essential for Arabidopsis pollen development. Differences between the fertility responses of Col-0 and Ler might be caused by differences in downstream signalling pathways or altered DELLA expression

    Floral climatic and soil pH controls on leaf ash content in China's terrestrial plants

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    Aim To investigate broad-scale patterns of plant leaf ash content and their possible causes in China. Location Mainland China and Hainan island, with the geographic ranges for the data used from 18.7 degrees N to 49.2 degrees N and 76.0 degrees E to 128.3 degrees E. Methods By analysing a data set of 2022 leaf samples, involving 704 species of terrestrial plants. Results Leaf ash content increases with increasing latitude at an average rate of 2.7 mg ash g(-1) dry weight per degree latitude from south to north of China. Plant functional group shows a more powerful influence on the spatial variation in leaf ash than soil pH and climate. Fast-growing species or those with leaves with a short life span have higher leaf ash than slow-growing species or those with a long leaf life span. Plants from alkaline soils have higher leaf ash than those from acid soils (39.5 mg g(-1) increase in leaf ash content per unit increase of pH). Increasing precipitation significantly reduces leaf ash (with a mean rate of 4.8 mg g(-1) for every 100 mm rainfall), whereas the effect of temperature appears to be nonlinear. Main conclusions This study shows a significant latitudinal trend in leaf ash content in China. This geographic pattern is possibly shaped by the floral, edaphic and climatic factors that control the biogeochemical cycling of plant minerals. The results suggest that leaf ash content is a useful biogeographic indicator that can be used to explore the complex interactions between plants and the environment
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