3,180 research outputs found

    Genetic control of photoprotection and photosystem II operating efficiency in plants

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    • Photoprotection against excess light via nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) is indispensable for plant survival. However, slow NPQ relaxation under low light conditions can decrease yield of field-grown crops up to 40%. • Using semi-high-throughput assay, we quantified the kinetics of NPQ and photosystem II operating efficiency (ΦPSII) in a replicated field trial of more than 700 maize (Zea mays) genotypes across 2 yr. Parametrized kinetics data were used to conduct genome-wide association studies. • For six candidate genes involved in NPQ and ΦPSII kinetics in maize the loss of function alleles of orthologous genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) were characterized: two thioredoxin genes, and genes encoding a transporter in the chloroplast envelope, an initiator of chloroplast movement, a putative regulator of cell elongation and stomatal patterning, and a protein involved in plant energy homeostasis. • Since maize and Arabidopsis are distantly related, we propose that genes involved in photoprotection and PSII function are conserved across vascular plants. The genes and naturally occurring functional alleles identified here considerably expand the toolbox to achieving a sustainable increase in crop productivity

    Optimal parameters of monolithic high-contrast grating mirrors

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    In this Letter a fully vectorial numerical model is used to search for the construction parameters of monolithic high-contrast grating (MHCG) mirrors providing maximal power reflectance. We determine the design parameters of highly reflecting MHCG mirrors where the etching depth of the stripes is less than two wavelengths in free space. We analyze MHCGs in a broad range of real refractive index values corresponding to most of the common optoelectronic materials in use today. Our results comprise a complete image of possible highly reflecting MHCG mirror constructions for potential use in optoelectronic devices and systems. We support the numerical analysis by experimental verification of the high reflectance via a GaAs MHCG designed for a wavelength of 980 nm

    Neuronal differentiation influences progenitor arrangement in the vertebrate neuroepithelium

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    Cell division, movement and differentiation contribute to pattern formation in developing tissues. This is the case in the vertebrate neural tube, in which neurons differentiate in a characteristic pattern from a highly dynamic proliferating pseudostratified epithelium. To investigate how progenitor proliferation and differentiation affect cell arrangement and growth of the neural tube, we used experimental measurements to develop a mechanical model of the apical surface of the neuroepithelium that incorporates the effect of interkinetic nuclear movement and spatially varying rates of neuronal differentiation. Simulations predict that tissue growth and the shape of lineage-related clones of cells differ with the rate of differentiation. Growth is isotropic in regions of high differentiation, but dorsoventrally biased in regions of low differentiation. This is consistent with experimental observations. The absence of directional signalling in the simulations indicates that global mechanical constraints are sufficient to explain the observed differences in anisotropy. This provides insight into how the tissue growth rate affects cell dynamics and growth anisotropy and opens up possibilities to study the coupling between mechanics, pattern formation and growth in the neural tube
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