Nasrallah, A. K., M. A. M. Atia, R. M. Abd El-Maksoud, M. A. Kord, and A. S. Fouad, "Salt Priming as a Smart Approach to Mitigate Salt Stress in Faba Bean (Vicia faba L.)", Plants, vol. 11, no. 12, 2022. AbstractWebsite

The present investigation aims to highlight the role of salt priming in mitigating salt stress on faba bean. In the absence of priming, the results reflected an increase in H2O2 generation and lipid peroxidation in plants subjected to 200 mM salt shock for one week, accompanied by a decline in growth, photosynthetic pigments, and yield. As a defense, the shocked plants showed enhancements in ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), peroxidase (POX), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities. Additionally, the salt shock plants revealed a significant increase in phenolics and proline content, as well as an increase in the expression levels of glutathione (GSH) metabolism-related genes (the L-ascorbate peroxidase (L-APX) gene, the spermidine synthase (SPS) gene, the leucyl aminopeptidase (LAP) gene, the aminopeptidase N (AP-N) gene, and the ribonucleo-side-diphosphate reductase subunit M1 (RDS-M) gene). On the other hand, priming with increasing concentrations of NaCl (50–150 mM) exhibited little significant reduction in some growth- and yield-related traits. However, it maintained a permanent alert of plant defense that enhanced the expression of GSH-related genes, proline accumulation, and antioxidant enzymes, establishing a solid defensive front line ameliorating osmotic and oxidative consequences of salt shock and its injurious effect on growth and yield.

Ahmed, H. S. I., A. Badr, H. H. El-Shazly, L. Watson, A. S. Fouad, and F. Y. Ellmouni, "Molecular Phylogeny of Trifolium L. Section Trifolium with Reference to Chromosome Number and Subsections Delimitation", Plants, vol. 10, no. 10, 2021. AbstractWebsite

The genus Trifolium is one of the largest genera of the legume family Fabaceae with ca. 255 species. The genus is divided into eight sections; the section Trifolium is a major section of the genus, comprising 73 species mainly distributed in the Mediterranean region. We used nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and morphological variation to reconsider the delimitation and phylogenetic relationships of species in the section Trifolium with reference to chromosomal variations. Bayesian analysis of ITS data delimited the species as three clades based on the analysis of ITS sequence and informative indels in combination with morphological variation. The phylogeny of the species by different analyses methods does not support their current delimitation in 17 subsections. The basic chromosome number x = 8 is the number for the genus Trifolium, from which x = 7, 6 and 5 were derived through successive aneuploidy events. With reference to the distribution of these numbers in the species of the section Trifolium, species in clade III and clade II are more evolved than species in clade I.

Emam, M. A., A. M. Abd EL-Mageed, G. Niedbała, S. A. Sabrey, A. S. Fouad, T. Kapiel, M. Piekutowska, and S. A. Mahmoud, "Genetic Characterization and Agronomic Evaluation of Drought Tolerance in Ten Egyptian Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Cultivars", Agronomy, vol. 12, no. 5, 2022. AbstractWebsite

This investigation was carried out for genetic characterization and determination of drought tolerance of ten Egyptian cultivars of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), namely Misr 1, Misr 2, Gemmiza 9, Gemmiza 10, Gemmiza 11, Gemmiza 12, Shandawel 1, Giza 168, Giza 171, and Sids 14. These cultivars were grown in two winter seasons: 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 at the experimental farm Fac. of Agric., Suez Canal Univ., Ismailia, Egypt, under two watering regimes: normal (100%) and stress (50% FC) conditions. Six agronomic traits and five tolerance indices, namely stress tolerance (TOL), mean productivity (MP), geometric mean productivity (GMP), yield stability index (YSI), and drought susceptibility index (DSI), were used to evaluate the impact of drought stress. The results reflected Giza 171, Misr 2, and Giza 168 as precious germplasm for breeding of high-yielding drought-tolerant wheat. A highly significant positive correlation was recorded between yield under normal and stress conditions on the one hand and each of MP and GMP on the other hand. In addition, YSI appeared engaged in a highly significant positive correlation with yield under drought conditions only. TOL and DSI appeared insignificantly correlated with yield. Therefore, MP and GMP were reflected as the first runners among indices suitable to distinguish the high-yielding cultivars under drought conditions. At the molecular level, five primers of Start Codon Targeted (SCoT) markers were able to resolve and characterize the studied cultivars, which reflected SCoT as a potent gene-targeting molecular marker, able to characterize and resolve genetic diversity in wheat at the cultivar level using few primers. Therefore, SCoT is a time-efficient molecular marker, and it can efficiently replace indices in characterization of drought-tolerant genotypes with a high confidence level and reasonable cost.

Adly, W. M. R. M., Y. S. A. Mazrou, M. E. EL-Denary, M. A. Mohamed, E. - S. T. Abd El-Salam, and A. S. Fouad, "Boosting Polyamines to Enhance Shoot Regeneration in Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Using AgNO3", Horticulturae, vol. 8, no. 2, 2022. AbstractWebsite

Advancements in shoot regeneration systems support biotechnology-based tools used in the genetic improvement of plant crops. This study aims to enhance shoot regeneration in potatoes by boosting polyamine content by adding AgNO3 to the shoot regeneration medium (MS medium supplemented with 30 g L−1 sucrose, 100 mg L−1 myoinositol, and 2.25 BA mg L−1). Five concentrations of AgNO3 (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 mg L−1) were used in addition to a control. The effect of AgNO3 on regeneration assumed a more or less concentration-dependent bell-shaped curve peaking at 4 mg L−1. Enhancements in shoot regeneration were attributed to the known role of AgNO3 as an ethylene action blocker in addition to improvements in polyamine accumulation without an increase in H2O2 content, lipid peroxidation, or DNA damage. The uncoupling of shoot regeneration and polyamine content recorded at high AgNO3 concentrations can be attributed to the consumption of polyamines to counteract the synchronized oxidative stress manifested by increases in H2O2 content, lipid peroxidation, and DNA damage.

Nasrallah, A. K., A. A. Kheder, M. A. Kord, A. S. Fouad, M. M. El-Mogy, and M. A. M. Atia, "Mitigation of Salinity Stress Effects on Broad Bean Productivity Using Calcium Phosphate Nanoparticles Application", Horticulturae, vol. 8, no. 1, 2022. AbstractWebsite

Water salinity is one of the major abiotic stresses, and the use of saline water for the agricultural sector will incur greater demand in the coming decades. Recently, nanoparticles (NPs) have been used for developing numerous plant fertilizers as a smart and powerful form of material with dual action that can alleviate the adverse effects of salinity and provide the plant with more efficient nutrient forms. This study evaluated the influence of calcium phosphate NPs (CaP-NPs) as a soil fertilizer application on the production and bioactive compounds of broad bean plants under salinity stress. Results showed that salinity had deleterious effects on plant yield with 55.9% reduction compared to control. On the other hand, CaP-NPs dramatically improved plant yield by 30% compared to conventional fertilizer under salinity stress. This improvement could be attributed to significantly higher enhancement in total soluble sugars, antioxidant enzymes, proline content, and total phenolics recorded use of nano-fertilizer compared to conventional use under salt stress. Additionally, nano-fertilizer reflected better mitigatory effects on plant growth parameters, photosynthetic pigments, and oxidative stress indicators (MDA and H2O2). Therefore, our results support the replacement of traditional fertilizers comprising Ca2+ or P with CaP-nano-fertilizers for higher plant productivity and sustainability under salt stress.

El-Mogy, M. M., M. A. M. Atia, F. Dhawi, A. S. Fouad, E. S. A. Bendary, E. Khojah, B. N. Samra, K. F. Abdelgawad, M. F. M. Ibrahim, and E. A. Abdeldaym, "Towards Better Grafting: SCoT and CDDP Analyses for Prediction of the Tomato Rootstocks Performance under Drought Stress", Agronomy, vol. 12, no. 1, 2022. AbstractWebsite

This study aims to predict the behavior of different tomato rootstocks under drought stress conditions. SCoT and CDDP analyses were employed to characterize the genetic relatedness among a commercial drought-sensitive tomato hybrid (cv. Bark) and four wild tomato accessions (LA2711, LA1995, LA3845, and LA4285) known for their tolerance to adverse conditions. The Bark plants were grafted onto the aforementioned wild accessions and self-grafted as control, and then the behavior of all graft unions was followed under normal and drought stress conditions. Our results showed a general genotype-dependent better growth and yield of heterografts than autografts under all growth conditions. Furthermore, clustering analysis based on growth, yield quantity and quality traits, and the leaf content of minerals, ABA, GA3, and proline, in addition to the activity of APX, POD, and DHAR reflected the same grouping pattern of the studied rootstocks exhibited by SCoT and CDDP. The identical grouping pattern supports the utilization of SCoT and CDDP as a robust screening tool helpful to predict the physiological and agronomical behavior of grafting on different tomato rootstocks. Furthermore, grafting could be a cost-efficient alternative method to improve drought tolerance in sensitive tomato genotypes.

Fouad, A., A. E. HEGAZY, E. Azab, E. Khojah, and T. Kapiel, "Boosting of Antioxidants and Alkaloids in Catharanthus roseus Suspension Cultures Using Silver Nanoparticles with Expression of CrMPK3 and STR Genes", Plants, vol. 10, no. 10, 2021. AbstractWebsite

Global agricultural systems are under unprecedented pressures due to climate change. Advanced nano-engineering can help increase crop yields while ensuring sustainability. Nanotechnology improves agricultural productivity by boosting input efficiency and reducing waste. Alkaloids as one of the numerous secondary metabolites that serve variety of cellular functions essential for physiological processes. This study tests the competence of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in boosting alkaloids accumulation in Catharanthus roseus suspension cultures in relation to the expression of C. roseus Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase 3 (CrMPK3) and Strictosidine Synthase (STR) genes. Five concentrations (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 mg·L−1) of AgNPs were utilized in addition to deionized water as control. Results reflected binary positive correlations among AgNPs concentration, oxidative stress indicated with increase in hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde contents, activities of ascorbate peroxidase and superoxide dismutase, expression of the regulatory gene CrMPK3 and the alkaloid biosynthetic gene STR as well as alkaloids accumulation. These correlations add to the growing evidence that AgNPs can trigger the accumulation of alkaloids in plant cells through a signaling pathway that involves hydrogen peroxide and MAPKs, leading to up-regulation of the biosynthetic genes, including STR gene.

Fouad, A. S., A. B. Hamed, W. M. Amer, and R. M. Hafez, "Barcoding of Some Plant Species Using the rbcL Gene in the Mediterranean Oolitic Sand Dunes West of Alexandria, Egypt", Egyptian Journal of Botany, vol. 62, issue 1: National Information and Documentation Center (NIDOC), Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT), pp. 159-168, 2022. AbstractWebsite

IN the Mediterranean Basin, oolitic sand dunes extend along the northeastern coast of Africa between the Gulf of Gabes (Tunisia) and the Nile Delta (Egypt), attenuating coastal vulnerability to storms and saltwater intrusion and protecting inland infrastructure. Psammophytes are typical and distinctive plants for dune habitats; they are the primary drivers for dune growth and stabilization by trapping sand particles in their shoot and root systems. The Anthropocene fingerprint may create an environment favorable for nonpsammophyte invasion and subsequent alteration in sand dune habitat structure and functions. The authentication of sand dune-inhabiting species should be a priority for conservation or restoration measures concerning sand dune habitats. This study is the first rbcL-based DNA barcoding documentation of 20 plant species inhabiting the vulnerable Egyptian oolitic sand dune habitats in Burg El Arab area, west of Alexandria. Results highlighted the applicability of the rbcL locus sequence for species authentication and recognition of the examined plant taxa sharing the same habitat. The phylogenetic analysis of rbcL barcode polymorphism revealed current taxonomic relationships among the assigned species. Results added valuable information to the authentication of sand dune plants, providing the first rbcL barcodes for species growing in oolitic sand dune habitats in Egypt, six of which were submitted for the first time to GenBank.

Fouad, A. S., and R. M. Hafez, "Effects of cobalt ions and cobalt nanoparticles on transient expression of gus gene in catharanthus roseus suspension cultures", Journal of Radiation Research and Applied Sciences , vol. 13, issue 1, pp. 765-775, 2020.