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Open access

Hsuan Chen, Jason D. Lattier, Kelly Vining and Ryan N. Contreras

Lilacs (Syringa sp.) have been used as ornamental plants since the mid-16th century and remain important in modern gardens due to their attractive and fragrant flowers. However, a short flowering season is a critical drawback for their ornamental value. Breeders have identified remontancy (reblooming) in dwarf lilac (Syringa pubescens), and have tried to introgress this trait into related species by interspecific hybridization. Molecular tools for lilac breeding are limited because of the shortage of genome sequence knowledge and currently no molecular markers are available to use in breeding for remontancy. In this study, an F1 population from crossing Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’ × S. pubescens ‘Penda’ Bloomerang® Purple was created and subjected to genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) analysis and phenotyped for remontancy. Plants were categorized as remontant, semi-remontant, and nonremontant based on the relative quantity of inflorescences during the second flush of flowers. A total of 20,730 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers from GBS were used in marker-trait association to find remontant-specific marker(s) without marker position information. Two SNP markers, TP70580 (A locus) and TP82604 (B locus), were correlated with remontancy. The two loci showed a partial epistasis and additive interaction effects on the level of remontancy. Accumulation of recessive alleles at the two loci was positively correlated with increased reblooming. For example, 87% of aabb plants were remontant, and only 9% were nonremontant. In contrast, 100% of AaBB plants were nonremontant. These two SNP markers associated with remontancy will be useful in developing markers for future breeding and demonstrate the feasibility of developing markers for breeding woody ornamental taxa that lack a reference genome or extensive DNA sequence information.

Open access

Qingwu Meng, Jennifer Boldt and Erik S. Runkle

Adding green [G (500–600 nm)] radiation to blue [B (400–500 nm)] and red [R (600–700 nm)] radiation creates white radiation and improves crop inspection at indoor farms. Although G radiation can drive photosynthesis and elicit the shade-avoidance response, its effects on plant growth and morphology have been inconsistent. We postulated G radiation would counter the suppression of crop growth and promotion of secondary metabolism by B radiation depending on the B photon flux density (PFD). Lettuce (Lactuca sativa ‘Rouxai’) was grown in a growth room under nine sole-source light-emitting diode (LED) treatments with a 20-hour photoperiod or in a greenhouse. At the same photosynthetic photon flux density [PPFD (400–700 nm)] of 180 μmol·m−2·s−1, plants were grown under warm-white LEDs or increasing B PFDs at 0, 20, 60, and 100 μmol·m−2·s−1 with or without substituting the remaining R radiation with 60 μmol·m−2·s−1 of G radiation. Biomass and leaf expansion were negatively correlated with the B PFD with or without G radiation. For example, increasing the B PFD decreased fresh and dry mass by up to 63% and 54%, respectively. The inclusion of G radiation did not affect shoot dry mass at 0 or 20 μmol·m−2·s−1 of B radiation, but it decreased it at 60 or 100 μmol·m−2·s−1 of B radiation. Results suggest that the shade-avoidance response is strongly elicited by low B radiation and repressed by high B radiation, rendering G radiation ineffective at controlling morphology. Moreover, substituting R radiation with G radiation likely reduced the quantum yield. Otherwise, G radiation barely influenced morphology, foliage coloration, essential nutrients, or sensory attributes regardless of the B PFD. Increasing the B PFD increased red foliage coloration and the concentrations of several macronutrients (e.g., nitrogen and magnesium) and micronutrients (e.g., zinc and copper). Consumers preferred plants grown under sole-source lighting over those grown in the greenhouse, which were more bitter and less acceptable, flavorful, and sweet. We concluded that lettuce phenotypes are primarily controlled by B radiation and that G radiation maintains or suppresses lettuce growth depending on the B PFD.

Open access

Ruining Li, Jiahuan Long, Yongzhe Yan, Jiaming Luo, Zhigang Xu and Xiaoying Liu

Monochromatic light and wide-band white light both affect plant growth and development. However, the different effects between monochromatic light and addition white light to monochromatic light on the formation, growth, and dormancy of microtubers have not been fully explored. Therefore, we evaluated these effects using in vitro potatoes grown under pure blue and red lights and a combination of blue light and red light supplemented with white light, respectively. Current results suggested that light spectra influenced microtuber formation, growth, and dormancy by regulating potato plantlet morphogenesis, affecting the synthesis and transportation of photosynthetic metabolites, and altering the accumulation and distribution of biomass in various plant tissues. Monochromatic lights and the combined spectra had differing effects. For instance, monochromatic red light induced the growth of more microtubers, whereas addition white light to red light decreased number but increased weight of microtubers. Meanwhile, monochromatic blue light facilitated tuber growth, whereas addition white light to blue light decreased microtubers weight but increased microtuber number. In addition, composite lights of addition white light to monochromatic red and blue lights both extended the dormancy period, and monochromatic blue light shortened the dormancy period of microtubers >300 mg. Therefore, in microtuber agricultural production, specific light conditions may be applied at different growth stages of in vitro potatoes to increase the number of effective microtubers (>50 mg) and to satisfy storing requirement of seed microtubers.

Open access

Eduardo D. Munaiz, Russell L. Groves and Michael J. Havey

Onion thrips (Thrips tabaci) is the main insect pest of onion (Allium cepa), and feeding damage routinely causes serious yield losses. Lower amounts of epicuticular waxes on onion leaves have been associated with fewer onion thrips and less feeding damage, and research is needed to assess the relationships between amounts and composition of epicuticular waxes and feeding damage by onion thrips. This study used gas chromatography mass spectroscopy to determine amounts and types of epicuticular waxes on the foliage of onion accessions that had been field-selected for lower damage from onion thrips. Hentriacontanone-16 (H16), octaconasol-1, and triacontanol-1 were the most prevalent waxes on the foliage of these selections. Amounts of H16 were significantly lower on selections visually classified as having glossy or semiglossy foliage. Semiglossy selections were identified with similar amounts of total epicuticular wax as waxy phenotypes, due primarily to lower amounts of H16 and higher amounts of other waxes. These semiglossy selections suffered significantly less feeding damage from onion thrips in a field evaluation, supporting the identification of unique wax profiles toward the development of thrips-resistant onion.

Open access

Luis J. Belmonte-Ureña, Jose A. Garrido-Cardenas and Francisco Camacho-Ferre

The research on grafting in horticultural plants has increased in recent years due to the benefits of grafting on disease control, productivity, and fruit quality. This study analyzes the scientific production on grafting in horticultural plants, using bibliometric techniques with the objective of obtaining a vision of the characteristics of the work carried out in the world on this subject. The worldwide evolution of research in this field was analyzed from 1979 to 2018 using a bibliometric analysis of 1376 articles. The analysis provided evidence of scientific production of authors, institutions, and countries. The results showed a growing interest on grafting in horticultural plants, mainly in the past decade when 73% of the total analyzed articles were published. The most productive subject area was Agricultural and Biological. The most productive journal was Scientia Horticulturae, and the one that obtained highest number of citations was Plant Physiology. The most cited authors per article were Colla, Roupahel, and Cardarelli. The most prolific institution was Agricultural Research Organization of Israel. China, United States, and Spain were the countries that published the most articles. The countries with the highest percentage of international collaboration were Germany and United Kingdom.

Open access

Wen-hui Li, Jian-rong Feng, Shi-kui Zhang and Zhang-hu Tang

‘Korla’ fragrant pear (Pyrus sinkiangensis T.T. Yu) variety has shown severe coarse skin in recent years. The intrinsic quality of its coarse fruit shows an increase in the number of stone cells and poor taste. In this study, stone cells and the cell wall of coarse pear (CP) and normal pear (NP) during various development stages were compared using paraffin-sectioning and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the relationships between lignin-related genes and stone cell formation and cell wall thickening were also analyzed. Our results show that giant stone cells are formed and distributed in the core of pear, whereas many of these crack 60 days after flowering (DAF). The period of stone cell fragmentation occurs later in CP fruits than in NP fruits. Parenchyma cell wall development in CP and NP fruits varies from 120 DAF to maturity. The parenchyma cell wall of CP fruits thickens, whereas that of NP fruits is thinner during the same period. The expression pattern of five genes (Pp4CL1-l, PpHCT-l, Pp4CL2-l, PpPOD4, and PpPOD25) coincides with changes in stone cell content in the pulp. Correlation analysis demonstrates a significant correlation between stone cell content and the expression level of the five genes (ρ < 0.05). In addition, the expression of those five genes and PpCCR1 genes in CP fruits significantly increases during maturation and is highly correlated with the thickness of the parenchyma cell wall. The aim of this work is to provide insights into the mechanism of stone cell and parenchyma cell wall development in pear fruits and identify important candidate genes to regulate the quality of fruit texture using bioengineering methods.

Open access

Furn-Wei Lin, Kuan-Hung Lin, Chun-Wei Wu, Yu-Sen Chang, Kuan-Hung Lin and Chun-Wei Wu

Plant biostimulants have received increasing attention in recent years because of their positive effects on crop performance and contribution to agro-ecological sustainability. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of betaine and chitin treatments, alone and in combination, on lettuce plants by changes in the morphology and physiology of plants exposed to regulated deficit irrigation (RDI). Plants were subjected to full irrigation (FI; no water deficiency treatment, field capacity >70%) and RDI (field capacity <50%) conditions until the end of each experiment. We recorded plant yield–related traits, net photosynthesis, and water use efficiency (WUE) values weekly for 4 weeks and carried out three individual experiments to assess the efficacy of biostimulant and irrigation treatments. Betaine (0, 50, and 100 mm/plant) was foliar-treated every 2 weeks during Expt. 1, whereas chitin (0, 2, and 4 g/kg) was applied to the soil at the beginning of Expt. 2. We then applied the optimal concentration of each chemical alone or in combination to the plants as Expt. 3. Compared with negative control, the application of 50 mm betaine and 2 g/kg chitin significantly increased leaf area (LA) per plant by 48.5% and 25.6%, respectively. Furthermore, 50 mm betaine and 2 g/kg chitin treatment showed a clearly protective effect in RDI plants, enhancing their total fresh weights by 26.10% and 75.0%, respectively, in comparison with control. Comparing WUEyield and WUEbiomass, chemical-treated plants had higher values than control. Betaine (50 mm) or chitin (2 g/kg) treatments alone significantly elevated LA, fresh shoot weight, total fresh and dry weights, net photosynthesis, and WUE values, and boosted the water stress tolerance of lettuce under RDI compared with controls. However, a combined treatment of 50 mm betaine and 2 g/kg chitin did not increase the levels of all yield traits under RDI compared with individual chemical treatment. Most leaves appeared healthy, green, and had visually less leaf chlorosis when treated with chitin or betaine under RDI compared with untreated plants subjected to RDI. Our study indicates that applying betaine and chitin improves plant performance against water supply limitations and highlights their potential for the sustainable production of lettuce.

Open access

Guoting Liang, Junhui Liu, Jingmin Zhang and Jing Guo

Drought has become an important factor limiting crop yields in China. As an important greenhouse horticultural crop in China, the research of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Jinpeng No.10) is of great theoretical and practical significance. In the study, four different relative soil moisture contents (74% to 80%, 55% to 61%, 47% to 52%, and 25% to 30%) were used to induce drought stress. We investigated changes in photosynthetic gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, and other related physiological parameters in response to different relative soil moisture contents. Drought inhibited the photosynthesis of tomato significantly, as shown by a clear decline in the net photosynthetic rate. Our results indicated stomatal limitation and nonstomatal limitation were responsible for the photosynthesis reduction.

Open access

Alexander G. Litvin, Christopher J. Currey and Lester A. Wilson

Broad-spectrum high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps are the standard for greenhouse supplemental lighting. However, narrow-spectra light-emitting diodes (LEDs) offer potential benefits for enhancing growth, photosynthesis (P n), and secondary metabolites in culinary herbs. Our objective was to quantify the effect of supplemental light source and spectra on growth, gas exchange, aroma, and flavor of culinary herbs. Basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Nufar’), dill (Anethum graveolens ‘Fernleaf’), and parsley (Petroselinum crispum ‘Giant of Italy’) were transplanted into hydroponic systems in a glass-glazed greenhouse. Plants were provided with a supplemental photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) density of 100 μmol·m−2·s–1 from an HPS lamp or LEDs with a low blue (B) to red (R) light ratio of 7:93 [low blue (LB)] or high B:R at 30:70 [high blue (HB)]. Compared with plants grown under HPS lamps, basil grown under LB and HB LED lighting was shorter, while only HB-grown parsley was shorter; height of dill was unaffected by light source. Basil and parsley shoot fresh weight was lower for HB-treated plants compared with HPS, though dill was unaffected by supplemental light source. Shoot dry mass of basil, dill, and parsley was unaffected by light source. Both LED treatments increased P n for basil and parsley compared with HPS-grown plants. Stomatal conductance (g S) was higher under LB and HB for basil compared with HPS in the morning and evening, but only HB-treated parsley was higher than HPS lighting in morning. Basil grown under LB, and parsley under both LEDs had lower chlorophyll fluorescence than those under HPS by the evening, but all three species had more chlorophyll b under LB light than HPS. Essential oil and phenolic accumulation were influenced by supplemental light treatment and responses varied among species. Lighting from LEDs resulted in a 2-fold increase in orientin and myristicin for basil and dill, respectively, while HB increased dillapiole concentration by 89% compared with HPS-grown dill. Notably, quercetin concentration was 2.8 times higher in dill grown under HB compared with HPS. Myrcene increased in all three species under either one (basil HB; dill LB) or both (parsley) LED lights compared with HPS. The increased content of aromatic and flavor compounds demonstrates the potential of supplemental lighting systems using specific wavelengths to add value; but the use of supplemental lighting requires an understanding of the additional stress on the photosynthetic mechanisms and the subsequent effect on biomass accumulation.

Open access

Ting Min, Li-Fang Niu, Jun Xie, Yang Yi, Li-mei Wang, You-wei Ai and Hong-xun Wang

NAC transcription factors have been characterized in numerous plants, and the NAC gene has been shown to be involved not only in plant growth and development, but also in plant responses to abiotic and biological stresses, such as drought, high salinity, low temperature, and anaerobic/hypoxic stress. Creating an environment of anaerobic/hypoxic stress has been shown to be one of the effective storage methods for delaying the browning of fresh-cut lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) root. However, whether NAC is associated with lotus root browning under anaerobic stress has not been studied. In this study, vacuum packaging (VP; anaerobic/hypoxic stress) effectively delayed the browning of fresh-cut lotus root. The changes in the expressions of NnPAL1, NnPPOA, and NnPOD2/3 were consistent with phenylalanine aminolase, polyphenol oxidase (PPO), and peroxidase (POD) enzyme activity changes and lotus root browning. Using RNA sequencing, five NnNAC genes were isolated and studied. Transcriptional analysis indicates that the NnNAC genes showed different responses to VP. The expressions of NnNAC1/4 were inhibited by VP, which was consistent with the observed change in the degree of fresh-cut lotus root browning. However, NnNAC2 messenger RNA (mRNA) levels were upregulated, and the expressions of NnNAC3/5 showed no clear differences under different packaging scenarios. Thus, NnNAC1/4 were identified as promising candidates for further transcriptional regulation analysis in lotus root to understand more fully the molecular mechanism of browning under anaerobic/anoxic stress.