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Open access

Binjie Xu, Yongxia Chen, Wangxiang Zhang, and Donglin Zhang

Open access

Killian Melsen, Mark van de Wouw, and Ryan Contreras

The promising possibilities of mutation breeding in ornamental plants have led to a great interest in effective mutagenic treatment protocols for various species. This review discusses mutagenic treatments of a large number of ornamental genera, the advantages and disadvantages of various techniques, and the possibilities of improving the associated protocols. A number of nontargeted mutagenesis methods are available, ranging from chemical treatment with alkylating agents to irradiation with X-rays, gamma rays, and neutron or heavy ion beams at various doses. These are all relatively inexpensive and have been proven to be effective mutagens in a large number of diverse species. Genetic engineering, however, remains mostly impractical for many ornamental breeding operations because of the high cost and lack of knowledge necessary to successfully transform and regenerate ornamental crops. Of the available nontargeted mutagens, irradiation with gamma rays is still the most popular. It provides high consistency compared with chemical mutagens, albeit at a seemingly lower mutagenic efficiency. Changes in the radiation dose rate may increase the efficiency, although chronic irradiation over a longer period causes fewer deleterious mutations than the commonly used acute irradiation protocols. Heavy ion beam irradiation may also provide highly consistent mutation induction at higher efficiencies because of the high particle energy associated with these treatments. There are also opportunities to improve chemical mutagenesis. Although the required knowledge of specific gene functions in many ornamentals is still lacking, combination mutagenesis with ethyl methanesulfontate with genetic screening in a process known as TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes) may lead to a powerful mutation breeding tool in the future. Mutation breeding is still very useful, and many opportunities are available to improve the existing methods.

Open access

Eduardo Esteves, Gabriel Maltais-Landry, Flavia Zambon, Rhuanito Soranz Ferrarezi, and Davie M. Kadyampakeni

The bacterial disease Huanglongbing (HLB) has drastically reduced citrus production in Florida. Nutrients play an important role in plant defense mechanisms and new approaches to manage the disease with balanced nutrition are emerging. Nutrients like nitrogen (N), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) could extend the productive life of affected trees, although interactions among these nutrients in HLB-affected citrus trees are still unclear. A 2-year study was established in Florida to determine the response of HLB-affected trees to applications of N, Ca, and Mg. The study was conducted with ‘Valencia’ trees (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) on Swingle citrumelo (Citrus paradisi Macf. × Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf.) rootstock on a Candler sand. Applications of N at 168, 224 (recommended rate), and 280 kg⋅ha−1 N were used as the main plots. Split-plots consisted of a grower standard treatment receiving only basal Ca (51 kg⋅ha−1) and Mg (56 kg⋅ha−1); supplemental Ca (total Ca inputs: 96 kg⋅ha−1) only; supplemental Mg (total Mg inputs: 101 kg⋅ha−1) only; and supplemental Ca (total Ca inputs: 73.5 kg⋅ha−1) and Mg (total Mg inputs: 78.5 kg⋅ha−1). The following variables were measured: tree size, fruit yield, and juice quality. Although some differences in tree growth among treatments were statistically significant (e.g., greater canopy volume with Mg fertilization at 168 kg⋅ha−1 N), there was no clear and consistent effect of plant nutrition on these variables. Fruit yield was higher with Ca and Mg relative to the grower standard at the lowest N rate in 2020, and there were no other statistically significant differences among treatments. Juice acidity was significantly higher with Mg fertilization relative to other treatments in 2019. As N rates had no significant effect in this study, unlike secondary macronutrients, N rates could potentially be reduced to 168 kg N⋅ha−1 in HLB-affected citrus without affecting vegetative growth, fruit yield, and juice quality. However, this will require optimizing the supply of secondary macronutrients and all other nutrients to develop a balanced nutritional program. Ultimately, the effects of N, Ca, and Mg obtained in this 2-year study should be confirmed with longer-term studies conducted at multiple sites.

Open access

Claire Adkison, Kelly Richmond, Nico Lingga, Veronique Bikoba, and Elizabeth Mitcham

With increasing walnut production in California, walnuts are stored for longer times. It is increasingly important to optimize storage conditions, wherever possible, to reduce quality degradation. We examined the effects of temperature (5, 15, and 25 °C) and relative humidity (20%, 40%, and 60% in year 1 and 40%, 60%, and 80% in year 2) on the rate of quality degradation of four walnut varieties. The relationship between water activity and moisture content was investigated for each variety. In addition, the effects of harvest timing (early vs. late) and storage as shelled or in-shell product were investigated. Later harvested walnuts had darker kernel color (P < 0.001), and walnuts stored as kernels (shelled) had higher rates of peroxide formation and free fatty acid development than walnuts stored in-shell. Temperature had a significant effect on quality with faster degradation at higher temperatures. There was a significant interaction between temperature and relative humidity effects on quality. The effects of relative humidity were often not significant at storage temperatures of 5 °C but were apparent at 15 °C and at 25 °C. Managing relative humidity during walnut storage is difficult under typical commercial storage conditions; however, when low temperature storage is used, quality is preserved even when relative humidity is not controlled, although storage at 80% relative humidity should be avoided. To reduce the rate of color darkening and rancidity development during commercial storage, operators should emphasize storage at lower temperatures, at least below 15 °C.

Open access

Weibing Zhuang, Xiaochun Shu, Xinya Lu, Tao Wang, Fengjiao Zhang, Ning Wang, and Zhong Wang

Open access

Xiaojuan Wei, Siyu Wu, Xiaojing Liang, Kun Wang, Yuejuan Li, Baocai Li, Jinlin Ma, and Haiying Liang

Golden camellia flowers are treasured for their unique yellow color and bioactive chemical compounds. Because of its high market demand, there is strong interest in inducing early flowering in golden camellias for earlier harvest. Previously, we have successfully induced flowering in Camelia chrysantha (Hu) Tuyama juvenile grafted plants and seedlings with paclobutrazol (PBZ). During this study, we investigated the efficacy of PBZ on C. tamdaoensis juvenile rooted cuttings. C. tamdaoensis is a yellow-flowering camellia species that is native to Vietnam and valued by the local population. It was found that applications of 100 and 200 ppm PBZ generated an average of 13 and 30 flowers per 5-year-old plant, respectively. None of the control plants flowered. The average flower diameter was 17.2 cm for 100-ppm-induced flowers and 26.0 cm for 200-ppm-induced flowers. The dynamics of various phytohormones (indoleacetic acid, abscisic acid, salicylic acid, and jasmonic acid) were altered by PBZ treatment. It is suggested that low indoleacetic acid, high abscisic acid, and jasmonic acid and a gradual increase in salicylic acid benefit floral initiation of golden camellias. The study provided the first insight regarding the action mechanism of PBZ for the initiation of camellia flowering.

Open access

Orville C. Baldos, Aleta Corpuz, and Lindsey Watanabe

Open access

Alexandra Boini, Enrico Muzzi, Aude Tixier, Maciej Zwieniecki, Luigi Manfrini, and Luca Corelli Grappadelli

Photoselective nets were used to examine apple shoot physiology during dormancy and budbreak. Two trials were conducted: one in the field and one in controlled conditions. In the first, three colored nets (red, blue, and white, shading 20%) covered sections of single trees, leaving an empty portion as control, from December to April. The white net increased canopy air temperature compared with the blue one. Differences were found in carbohydrate seasonal patterns; however, it appeared that soil temperature had higher impacts on sugar movement in the trees. No differences were found in bud phenology. In the second trial, cuttings were placed in boxes constructed with the same-colored nets and monitored from the end of February to April. Results showed differences in phenology and carbohydrate translocation. The white box hastened bloom and its cuttings had higher amounts of carbohydrates at the end of the trial. On the contrary, the blue box delayed bloom while resources were still being consumed and its cuttings had the lowest amounts of reserves at the end of the trial. These results add new insights on apple physiology under different light spectra and commercial applications should not be excluded for improving crop management.

Open access

Phil Sheridan, Winnie W. Ho, Yann Rodenas, and Donald G. Ruch

Anthocyanin pigmentation is a significant horticultural feature in plants and can be a crucial mediator of plant–insect interactions. In carnivorous plants, the modified leaves that capture prey can be visually striking and are traditionally considered prey attractants. Nevertheless, the question of whether bold color and venation patterns function as lures for insect prey remains ambiguous, and appears to vary across taxa. Furthermore, vegetative pigments can have alternate functions as protectants against thermal and oxidative damage. Our dual-year study compares the wild-type pitcher phenotype with a true-breeding anthocyanin-free mutant of the white-topped pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla Raf.). We bred full-sibling crosses of S. leucophylla carrying either the wild-type anthocyanin gene or the anthocyanin-free variant. In both experimental years, growth points were established in outdoor plots and pitchers were allowed to capture prey before harvest at the end of each growing season. Dry weight of prey biomass was measured from pitchers of both pigment morphs, along with nectary counts, pitcher size, and internal temperature. The presence of anthocyanins in trapping leaves did not affect the biomass of insects captured. Nor did wild-type or anthocyanin-free pitcher morphs differ in size, temperature, or nectary counts. Instead, pitcher height, and, nominally, mouth diameter were better predictors of prey biomass. Despite striking visual differences in pitcher color, wild-type and anthocyanin-free plants did not catch significantly different quantities of prey. Our study provides empirical data that anthocyanin pigmentation in S. leucophylla does not affect the capture of prey biomass, and supports a growing body of literature showing that pigmentation traits serve in multiple contexts.