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Open access

S. Brooks Parrish and Zhanao Deng

Cultivated caladium (Caladium × hortulanum; 2n = 2x = 30) is an important ornamental aroid for the environmental horticulture industry. A better understanding of its genetic diversity is needed for continued improvement of caladium. The caladium germplasm maintained in the University of Florida’s caladium breeding program were surveyed for potential variation in chromosome number and nuclear DNA content to gain a better understanding of caladium genetic diversity at the cytogenetic level. For the first time caladium triploidy was discovered in two breeding lines, UF-15-414 and UF-4407 with 2n = 3x = 45 chromosomes and a nuclear DNA content of 13.86 pg·2C−1. In addition, a new chromosome number (2n = 2x = 34) was found in one cultivar, ‘White Wing’. Compared with their diploid parents or grandparents, the triploids showed a distinct, attractive leaf morphology with rounder and thicker leaves. The pollen stainability of UF-15-414 and UF-4407 was 63% and 73%, respectively, indicating potential male fertility, which was unexpected. Analysis of simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker banding patterns confirmed that UF-15-414 was a direct progeny of UF-4407 through hybridization with the diploid cultivar Aaron, whereas UF-4407 might result from fusion of an unreduced (female or male) gamete with a reduced gamete. Chromosome counting and SSR marker analysis of ‘White Wing’ and its progeny cultivars ‘White Wonder’ and ‘White Delight’ suggested that ‘White Wing’ possibly transmitted its 34 chromosomes to progeny during sexual reproduction. The discovery and characterization of these triploids revealed the occurrence of natural sexual polyploidization in caladium and indicated good potential for creating and selecting new triploids for future caladium breeding. The observed new chromosome number in ‘White Wing’ and its progeny cultivars implies that other chromosome variations may be present among cultivated caladiums. In summary, these results revealed two male-fertile triploid caladiums and a new chromosome number that can enrich the cytogenetic diversity in future caladium cultivar development.

Open access

Masaru Homma, Takafumi Watabe, Dong-Hyuk Ahn, and Tadahisa Higashide

We investigated the relationships among the fruit set, dry matter production, and source-to-sink ratio of sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum) plants grown in a greenhouse. We quantified daily fruit sink strength per stem (st) at m days after transplanting (SSTm_st) by modeling the fruit growth curve. The daily total dry matter production (TDMm_st) was calculated and defined as the source strength. During an experiment lasting ≈250 days, the fruit set ratio [number of fruit harvested/number of flowers (FSRm)] decreased significantly with increases in both the weekly average SSTm_st from 9 days before anthesis (DBA) to 13 days after anthesis (DAA) and the weekly average fruit number (FRNm_st) from 9 to 1 DBA. FSRm increased significantly with increases in both the weekly average TDMm_st from 1 to 13 DAA and the weekly average source-to-sink ratio [source strength/fruit sink strength (SSRm_st)] from 5 DBA to 13 DAA. During the whole experimental period, significant positive correlations with FSRm were observed for TDMm_st and SSRm_st, and significant negative correlations with FSRm were observed for SSTm_st and FRNm_st. FSRm increased until approximately the time when the weekly average SSRm_st at 1 to 7 DAA (anthesis to 156°C⋅d−1) ranged from 1.0 to 4.0; then, it showed a saturation curve at SSRm_st values more than 4.0 (R 2 = 0.81). These results suggest that it is possible to moderate the fluctuations in sweet pepper yield by monitoring the SSRm_st and the number of fruit set.

Open access

Xiaokai Lin, Feng Liu, Haizhi Liao, Jingjia Du, Junjie Peng, and Kaibing Zhou

To investigate the characteristics of photosynthetic physiological changes in leaves of Mangifera indica L. cv. Guifei under enhanced ultraviolet (UV)-B radiation, natural light-exposed trees were used as controls and 96 kJ·m−2·d−1 enhanced UV-B radiation was artificially simulated in the field. The changes in fruit maturity and quality, the leaf net photosynthetic rate (Pn), photosynthetic pigment contents, photochemical reactions, the activities of photosynthetic enzymes and related gene expression levels were determined. Compared with the control, the percentage of mature fruits under the treatment significantly increased, and fruit quality improved. The net photosynthetic rate (Pn), photosynthetic pigment content, Hill reaction activity, and photochemical quenching coefficient (qP) of the treated leaves showed significantly higher values than those of the control leaves. The activities of Rubisco and Rubisco activating enzyme (RCA) and the expression levels of the Rubisco large subunit and Rubisco small subunit were significantly increased. Treatment with 96 kJ·m−2·d−1 enhanced ultraviolet-B radiation improved Rubisco activity by increasing the expression of the Rubisco large and small subunit genes, thereby enhancing the CO2-fixing capacity and dark reaction capacity of leaves. Thus, the net photosynthetic rate of leaves increased, which promoted the early maturity of ‘Guifei’ mango by the rapid accumulation of photosynthetic products.

Open access

Chia Ting Han, Yu Sung, and Ming-Tung Hsueh

Seeds of some winged bean varieties have low germination due to the presence of water-impermeable hardseeds. Seeds of ‘Taitung No.1’ winged bean had only 31% germination because the remaining 69% of seeds had a water-impermeable seedcoat. Sandpaper abrasion and sulfuric acid immersion for 15 and 25 min effectively removed hardseededness of the seeds, resulting in more than 89% germination. As seed moisture content (MC) decreased from 14.8% to 7%, the percentage of seeds with a water-impermeable seedcoat increased. Seed lots with 14.8%, 11%, 9%, and 7% MC had 7%, 38%, 56%, and 78% of hardseeds, respectively, on day 7 in the germination test. It was found that the hilum was responsible for water loss from the whole seed, and the seedcoats began to become water-impermeable at 12% MC. The lens and micropylar regions were initial water entry sites in the Vaseline-blocking experiment.

Open access

Samuel Kwakye, Davie M. Kadyampakeni, Kelly Morgan, Tripti Vashisth, and Alan Wright

Essential nutrients for citrus [‘Bingo’ (Citrus reticulata, Blanco)] production are important for different functions, including photosynthesis, resistance to disease, and productivity. During the past 15 to 20 years, citrus production in Florida has significantly declined as a result of the devastating citrus greening disease also called huanglongbing (HLB). Therefore, a greenhouse study was conducted for 2 years, starting in 2018, at the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center in Florida to evaluate the effect of varying rates of iron on the growth and development of 2-year-old HLB-affected ‘Bingo’ (Citrus reticulata, Blanco) trees on Kuharske citrange rootstock. Four treatments were used in a randomized complete block (HLB status) design with seven single tree replicates for each treatment. The treatments applied were 0.0 (control), 5.6 (standard fertilization, lx), 11.2 (2x), and 22.4 (4x) kg⋅ha−1 iron on HLB-affected and healthy (non-HLB) citrus trees. Data including trunk diameter, tree height, and leaf samples were collected, processed, and analyzed at 3-month intervals for 2 years. At the end of the second year, trees were destructively sampled and processed as above-ground and below-ground biomass. Tree heights were different among iron rates of HLB-affected trees (P < 0.001); however, they were similar for non-HLB trees for both years. Higher average trunk diameters (P < 0.001) were observed for HLB-affected trees that received the 2x rate compared with the 1x rate and the control. In 2019, non-HLB trees showed 13% to 40% higher iron concentrations in leaves than HLB-affected trees. However, leaf iron concentrations were comparable for HLB-affected and non-HLB trees in 2020. Above-ground biomass for HLB-affected trees had between 33% and 44% more biomass (P < 0.01) than below-ground biomass for the corresponding iron fertilization. Iron accumulation correlated positively with all studied nutrients in the above-ground parts for both HLB-affected and non-HLB trees. A 95% confidence interval at which total biomass was nearly maximum corresponded to an iron rate of 9.6 to 11.8 kg⋅ha−1, which was close to the 2x rate. Therefore, soil iron application using the aforementioned rates may be appropriate for better growth and development of young HLB-affected trees.

Open access

Nicholas Meier, Mark V. Coggeshall, J. Bryan Webber, Elias Bunting, and Ronald S. Revord

Eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra) is a large tree endemic to the eastern United States and is highly sought after for its timber products and uniquely flavored nuts. The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry in New Franklin, MO, USA, hosts an eastern black walnut cultivar repository. This collection supports an ongoing breeding program to improve economic performance for nut production (kernel weight, nut quality, precocity, and yield). In 1996, 54 cultivars were grafted and planted in a series of experimental orchards for evaluation. From 2001 until 2015, trees were evaluated for 12 phenological and eight nut quality/yield traits. Economically relevant traits including kernel weight, kernel percentage, and precocity (total nuts produced age 6 to 10 years) ranged from 1.1 to 8.6 g, 5.3% to 39.3%, and 16 to 1522 total nuts per tree, respectively. Kernel percentage was positively correlated with kernel weight (r = 0.51) and precocity (r = 0.38). Precocity was negatively correlated with the first (r = −0.39) and last (r = −0.30) female bloom. Principal component analysis and biplot analyses revealed high levels of variation among the cultivars. The first two components explain 43.4% of the total variation. Nut dimensions (nut length and nut thickness), nut and kernel weight, and kernel percentage are the largest drivers of variation in the collection. Eigenvectors for precocity and kernel percentage load together and are orthogonal to kernel weight, suggesting these three important traits can be improved simultaneously. Also, nut length loads with kernel weight, providing a candidate indirect selection parameter to increase kernel weight. These data inform strategies for crossing scheme design, expectations for multitrait genetic gain, complementary hybridization, and identifying unique recombinants.

Open access

Margaret A. Halstead, Andrea R. Garfinkel, Travis C. Marcus, Patrick M. Hayes, and Daniela R. Carrijo

Micropropagation is a valuable production tool for the cultivation of hemp (Cannabis sativa), and development of optimal protocols is ongoing. The goal of this study was to evaluate a novel growing medium combination, consisting of Driver and Kuniyuki Walnut (DKW) medium as the nutrient source and glucose as the carbon source, and to investigate the link between in vitro and in vivo (i.e., greenhouse) plant performance. Among 10 accessions intended to represent a range of heterozygosity levels and various essential oil chemotypes, the DKW–glucose growing medium generally produced the most vigorous plantlets by all parameters evaluated in vitro (height, biomass, canopy area, vegetative growth rate, and regeneration rate). Across four growing media treatments, all of which included meta-topolin as the sole plant growth regulator, poor to no rooting was observed in vitro. Hybrids were more vigorous than nonhybrid selections in vitro, but not in vivo. No correlation was observed between in vitro and in vivo vigor, indicating that, with these media, plant performance in vitro is not predictive of that in vivo.

Open access

Bing Li, Jingjing Zhang, Xiurui Gao, Xiuqing Pan, Rong Zhou, and Yanrong Wu

Thermosensitive genic male sterile (TGMS) lines are the core of two-line hybrid systems. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles in plant growth and development. However, knowledge of regulation of anther development by miRNAs in TGMS eggplant (Solanum melongena) is largely unexplored. To investigate the mechanism underlying miRNA regulation of male sterility, we employed high-throughput small RNA sequencing in anther samples from the reverse TGMS line 05ms and the temperature-insensitive line S63 in eggplant, under high temperature and low temperature conditions. The 05ms line is sterile at low temperature and fertile at high temperature. A total of 166,273,427 raw reads were obtained, 143 known miRNAs from 42 miRNA families and 104 novel miRNAs were detected. Further, six differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) were identified, including three known (miR168b-3p, miR397–5p, and miR408) and three novel miRNAs (Novel_116, Novel_119, and Novel_97), which might be related to anther development. Moreover, the six DEMs were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and 892 target genes of which were predicted. Gene Ontology analysis of target genes revealed significant enrichment in the “copper ion binding,” “oxidation-reduction process,” and “oxidoreductase activity” terms. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis revealed that “plant hormone signal transduction” and “other glycan degradation” were enriched. In addition, we constructed regulatory networks comprising miRNAs, target genes, and important terms/pathways and found the miR397-5p was the most linked miRNA, down-regulated under low temperature. Our findings contribute to understanding of the roles of miRNA during anther development and provide the theoretical foundation for two-line hybrid breeding of eggplant.