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Open access

Cyrus A. Smith, James L. Walworth, Mary J. Comeau, Richard J. Heerema, Joshua D. Sherman, and Randall Norton

A field study was conducted to evaluate tolerance of pecan rootstocks to soil salinity and sodicity. Seven cultivars—Elliott, Giles, Ideal, Peruque, Riverside, ‘Shoshoni, and VC1-68—were selected from a range of geographic regions of origin. The soil of the experimental plot was a poorly drained, saline–sodic Pima silty clay variant. The irrigation water was a moderately saline mix of Gila River and local groundwater with an electrical conductivity of 2.8 dS⋅m–1, containing primarily ions of Na and Cl. Eighty seeds of each cultivar were planted in a greenhouse in late Feb. 2016; 48 seedlings of each cultivar were transplanted into field plots in Feb. 2017. Half the trees received a soil-based application of Zn–ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) at planting. The trees were observed and rated for both vigor and resistance to salt injury on seven separate occasions. Trunk diameter was measured each dormant season. Leaf samples were collected on 9 Oct. 2019 and 6 Oct. 2020, and were analyzed for nutrient content. Zn-EDTA was not found to have a significant effect on growth, vigor, or resistance to salt injury. ‘Elliott’ seedlings exhibited greater tolerance for the alkaline, saline–sodic soil conditions than other cultivars. ‘Giles’ and ‘Peruque’ were most severely affected. Resistance to salt injury (ranging from marginal leaf burn to necrosis of entire leaf), vigor, and growth correlated more strongly with foliar concentrations of Na than Cl or K during 2019. Vigor and growth were not significantly correlated with foliar Na, Cl, or K concentrations in 2020. The foliar K:Na ratio had a nearly equal correlation with resistance to salt injury and a greater correlation with growth than that of Na alone in 2019. However, although the correlation of the K:Na ratio with vigor was stronger than that of Cl or K, Na had the strongest correlation with vigor in 2019. In 2020, the only significant correlation of growth and vigor was with the K:Na ratio. The strongest correlation with resistance to salt injury in 2020 was with foliar Na concentration.

Open access

Carolina Font i Forcada, Gemma Reig, Christian Fontich, Ignasi Batlle, Simó Alegre, Celia M. Cantín, Iban Eduardo, Joaquim Carbó, Arsène Maillard, Laurence Maillard, and Joan Bonany

Open access

Michael J. Havey and Sunggil Kim

Hybrid-onion (Allium cepa) seed is produced using systems of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) and two different CMS systems have been genetically characterized. S cytoplasm was the first source of onion CMS identified in the 1920s, followed by T cytoplasm that was described in the 1960s. Numerous studies have documented polymorphisms in the organellar DNAs differentiating S and T cytoplasms from the normal male-fertile cytoplasm of onion. There may be additional source(s) of onion CMS that have been described as “T-like” and appear to be more similar to N and T cytoplasms than S cytoplasm. In this study, onion breeding lines from commercial entities were evaluated for molecular markers distinguishing sources of onion CMS. Our results reveal that bona fide T cytoplasm is rarely used commercially to produce hybrid-onion seed, and both S cytoplasm and “T-like” cytoplasm are widely used. We propose that this “T-like” cytoplasm be labeled as “R” cytoplasm because it may have originated from population(s) of ‘Rijnsburger’ onion in the Netherlands. The results of this study also help to clarify inconsistent reports regarding nuclear male-fertility restoration for different sources of onion CMS.

Open access

Minghao Lin, Pengqi Liu, Li Jun, Wenjun Zhou, and Jun Yuan

Low mobility and solubility reduce the availability of traditional phosphorus (P) fertilizer in red acidic soil. Hydroxyapatite (HAP), especially nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HAP), may be more efficient than P fertilizer because of its nanoparticle characteristics. Camellia oleifera (C. oleifera) is an edible oil tree whose productivity is greatly affected by P fertilizer. During this study, we investigated the migration of different particle sizes of HAP (20 nm, 200 nm, and 80 μm) and their effects on the seedling growth of C. oleifera cultivar Huashuo (HS) cuttings. A column experiment showed that the efflux ratio was negatively correlated with particle size in red acidic soil. The leaching results revealed that the contents of total P and available P in the 20-nm treatment were significantly higher than those in the 200-nm and 80-μm treatments in the deep soil (10–15 cm or 15–20 cm), whereas the application of 20-nm n-HAP caused 13.43% wastage of available P. During the container experiments, 200-nm and 20-nm HAP significantly promoted the growth of the seedlings in terms of seedling height, stem diameter, and biomass. The available P contents in the rhizosphere and nonrhizosphere soils were negatively correlated with the HAP particle sizes. In conclusion, the migration of HAP is inversely correlated with particle size, and HAP improves the P bioavailability in red acidic soil. In summary, 200-nm HAP was the best P fertilizer for the seedlings of HS among the three particle sizes. This study offers preliminary results indicating that 200-nm HAP might be a better P fertilizer compared with other two HAP particle sizes for use in future C. oleifera orchards.

Open access

Daniel Oscar Pereira Soares, Karla Gabrielle Dutra Pinto, Laís Alves da Gama, Carla Coelho Ferreira, Prasanta C. Bhowmik, and Sônia Maria Figueiredo Albertino

Cassava production in Amazonas state deserves to be highlighted due to its great historical, social, and economic importance. Weed competition severely constrains cassava production in Amazonas. The use of cover crops is safe and very efficient at eliminating weeds while keeping the soil covered. The objective of this study was to evaluate physical properties of soil and glyphosate residues in storage roots as a function of the weed management in cassava. The experiment was carried out in a randomized complete block design with five treatments and five repetitions. The treatments were biological control with two species of cover plants (Brachiaria ruziziensis and Mucuna pruriens), chemical control, mechanical control, and treatment with no weed control. The cover crops characteristics evaluated were dry weight, the percentage of cover, and rate of decomposition of plant residues. In the soil, the bulk density and total porosity were determined. The contamination of the storage roots was evaluated based on the analysis of glyphosate residue. Brachiaria ruziziensis presented more dry weight and higher percentage of cover compared with M. pruriens, and both cover crops showed very similar decomposition rates. The physical properties of soil were unaffected by any treatment evaluated. There was no detection of glyphosate and its metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), in any treatment evaluated. Chemical control with glyphosate is not able to contaminate cassava storage roots.

Open access

Li Xiang, Lei Zhao, Mei Wang, Junxia Huang, Xuesen Chen, Chengmiao Yin, and Zhiquan Mao

Apple replant disease (ARD) causes enormous economic loss and threatens the survival of apple industry worldwide. Fusarium solani is one of the pathogens that has been proven to cause ARD. Samples were collected at different time periods to investigate the mechanism of defense responses of apple to F. solani infection by monitoring the biomass, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and antioxidant enzyme activities of the apple rootstock ‘M.9T337’. In addition, the abundance of transcription of four pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins involved in antifungal defense was monitored. The results showed that the apple root system was normal and had small brown areas. However, there is a rapid burst of ROS during the early infection stage, and the activities of antioxidant enzymes and transcription of PRs increased during this period. With the extension in infection time, the infected root tissues displayed dark brown necrosis, and the activities of antioxidant enzymes and abundance of transcription of PRs decreased gradually after reaching their peak. Eventually, the plant biomass decreased, and the plant died. In conclusion, the levels of ROS and activities of antioxidant enzymes played an active role during the early stage of resistance of ‘M.9T337’ apples to infection by F. solani. Infection by F. solani can destroy the ROS scavenging system, causing oxidative damage and inhibiting the growth of apple rootstocks.

Open access

Nan Tang, Wuhua Zhang, Liwen Chen, Yan Wang, and Daocheng Tang

Marigold (Tagetes erecta) is an important commercial plant because of its ornamental, industrial, and medicinal values. Male-sterile two-type lines are important for heterosis utilization and breeding of marigold. Mining of fertility-related genes may help to elucidate the mechanisms underlying male sterility. Quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) is a popular and useful tool for analyzing the expression level of a specific gene. Notably, identifying a suitable reference gene is important for data normalization because it affects the accuracy of quantitative analysis. However, at present, no reference genes are available for marigold. During the current study, 10 candidate reference genes were selected and their expression levels in different samples were analyzed by qRT-PCR. The expression level of each gene was analyzed across different developmental stages of male-sterile and male-fertile flower buds by four software programs (geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder). The results showed that different reference genes are required for male-sterile and male-fertile samples, even if they belong to the same line. For male-sterile samples, the ribosomal protein S5/18S ribosomal RNA (RPS5/18S) gene pair was the best reference for qRT-PCR normalization, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) could be used as an alternative. For male-fertile samples, elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1α) and RPS5 were the most suitable reference genes, and Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (UBC) could be used as an alternative. Beta-actin (ACTB), tubulin beta (TUB), and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) should not be used as reference genes because they were the most unstable genes in flower buds of marigold. The results of the current study may facilitate the selection of reference genes for analyzing the expression patterns of genes involved in flower development related to male sterility in marigold.