Petal color change in morning glory Ipomoea tricolor cv. Heavenly Blue, from red to blue, during the flower-opening period is due to an unusual increase in vacuolar pH (pHv) from 6.6 to 7.7 in colored epidermal cells. We clarified that this pHv increase is involved in tonoplast-localized Na+/H+ exchanger (NHX). However, the mechanism of pHv increase and the physiological role of NHX1 in petal cells have remained obscure. In this study, synchrony of petal-color change from red to blue, pHv increase, K+ accumulation, and cell expansion growth during flower-opening period were examined with special reference to ItNHX1. We concluded that ItNHX1 exchanges K+, but not Na+, with H+ to accumulate an ionic osmoticum in the vacuole, which is then followed by cell expansion growth. This function may lead to full opening of petals with a characteristic blue color.
Heterosubspecific mating experiments were carried out between two subspecies of cabbage butterflies, British Pieris rapae rapae and Japanese P. rapae crucivora, to examine how accurately males recognize the mates. The two subspecies are different in that the wings of female P. rapae rapae reflect little UV light, whereas those of female P. rapae crucivora are strongly UV-reflective. The wing colouration of P. rapae crucivora involving UV is believed to be critical in mate recognition. The results showed that males of both subspecies displayed mating behaviours, to and copulated with, females of both subspecies. Furthermore, P. rapae crucivora males exhibited mating behaviours and attempted to copulate with females of Pieris melete with low UV reflectance which are critically different from P. rapae crucivora females with high UV reflectance. Based on these findings, we propose the “pioneer male” hypothesis, which argues that such inaccurate mate recognition may sometimes be selectively beneficial for males and thus an adaptive mating strategy. The “pioneer male” was discussed in terms of its possible role in the evolution.
Analysis of anomericity is one of the most important issues in the structure elucidation of carbohydrates. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based methods are of particular interest and important to address the issue related to resolving anomericity of monosaccharide units in a glycan. However, direct analysis of hemiacetals has not been possible by MS because of the nonavailability of information regarding the gas-phase behavior of such ion species. We addressed this issue by using stage-discriminated energy-resolved mass spectrometry (ERMS) at the stages of MSn and MSn+1 and showed that such analysis can be made. This was achieved by proving that individual anomers can be identified and that the equilibrium of sodium adducted ion species of α- and β-anomers can be negated in the gas phase under collision-induced dissociation (CID) conditions. On the basis of these results, we could 1) observe the mutarotation of lactose and 2) speculate the hydrolysis mechanism of endo-glycosylceramidase by using mass spectrometry.