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Over half of global food waste occurs in retail and households, highlighting the importance of improving shelf life. Many factors affect shelf life, including storage temperature, harvest time, processing method, and packaging. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), such as nitrogen (N2), has been used to improve the shelf life of produce. This study aimed to determine the effect of nitrogen-enriched packaging on the shelf life of greenhouse- and garden-grown kale in raised beds outdoors. Five kale cultivars (Black Magic, Darkibor, Lacinato, Red Russian, and Westlander) were grown in the greenhouse, and four cultivars (Curly Roja, Dwarf Green Curled, Meadowlark, and Vates) outdoors in raised beds, harvested and stored in nitrogen-enriched or nonenriched bags for 6 days. Leaf water content, water activity, color, visual score, and texture were measured for each replicate. Nitrogen-enriched packaging did not affect the kale shelf life. Garden-grown kale exhibited significantly lower water activity (0.979 vs. 0.999) and noticeably lower water content (88.6 vs. 90.6%) than greenhouse-grown kale. The cultivars were significant for all factors tested except for texture on day 4 and change in light to dark (Δ L*) and blue to yellow (Δ b*) color ratios. At the end of the study, cultivars Darkibor and Curly Roja had the highest visual score (4.4) and texture (305 g), respectively. The high performance of ‘Darkibor’ and ‘Curly Roja’ in visual score and texture may be due to decreased (Δ L*) and (Δ b*) values and decreased water content and water activity values. Future breeding efforts focused on the shelf life of kale should use the top-performing cultivars identified in this study and a diverse genetic population tested in a range of environments to develop cultivars with a longer shelf life.

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Four cultivars of English walnut (Juglans regia) were evaluated by a trained taste panel after 6 and 12 months of storage. English walnuts were stored at 5, 15, or 25 °C, and at 40%, 60%, or 80% relative humidity within each temperature. Principal component analysis was used to compare taste, texture, and aroma attributes evaluated by the taste panel to objective indicators of English walnut quality including water activity, moisture content, free fatty acids, peroxide value, hexanal content, and kernel color. Temperature was found to significantly impact English walnut oxidation and perceived rancidity, whereas storage at high relative humidity affected English walnut texture and accelerated quality loss. Water activity was more strongly correlated to textural changes than moisture content. The effect of relative humidity was more pronounced at lower temperatures, leading to increased hydrolytic rancidity and free fatty acids. Peroxide value had higher and more significant correlation to sensory attributes related to rancidity than hexanal. Free fatty acids were not correlated to the rancid sensory attribute, but were significantly correlated to bitter. English walnuts stored at 5 °C with 40% or 60% relative humidity were associated with the sweet sensory attribute and L* value (light color). Kernel darkening was associated with bitter and rancid, but a causal relationship is unknown. Sensory quality of English walnuts is complex and requires further study to establish thresholds for chemical indices of English walnut quality loss based on organoleptic perception.

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Methods of in vitro regeneration protocols were developed for three elite rose cultivars, Chewnicebell (Oso Easy Italian Ice®), Bucbi (Carefree Beauty™), and Cheweyesup (Ringo All-Star™). We evaluated the effects of different types and concentrations of auxins [dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T)], carbohydrates [sucrose, glucose, and fructose], and cytokinins [thidiazuron (TDZ) and 6-bezylaminopurine (BAP)] on callus induction and regeneration from leaf explants. The greatest amount of regenerative callus was obtained on media containing 10 µM 2,4-D and 30 g·L−1 sucrose for Italian Ice® (40%), 10 µM 2,4-D and 60 g·L−1 glucose for Carefree Beauty™ (24%), and 5 µM 2,4,5-T and 30 g·L−1 sucrose for Ringo All-Star™ (32%). The greatest regeneration occurred when callus was transferred to media consisting of 1/2 MS media supplemented with 2.9 µM GA3 and 5 µM TDZ for Italian Ice® and Ringo All-Star™, and with 2.9 µM GA3 and 20 µM TDZ for Carefree Beauty™. Plantlets regenerated from callus were cultured on maintenance media and successfully transferred ex vitro. This study highlights the genotype-specific responses among rose cultivars and provides the first reports of in vitro regeneration for Italian Ice® and Ringo All-Star™.

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Amorphophallus species are one of the main economic crops in the mountainous areas of southwest China. However, soft rot disease (Pectobacterium carotovorum ssp. carotovorum) is devastating for this crop. This study explored the Amorphophallus resistance mechanism against soft rot disease by analyzing transcriptome data using a weighted gene coexpression network analysis. The RNA sequencing of plants infected for 0, 12, 24, and 48 hours produced a total of 52.25 Gb of clean reads. A total of 29,096 genes were divided into 34 modules. Six modules of interest with the highest correlation with the target traits were selected to elucidate the resistance genes and pathways. The selected modules were enriched in the α-linolenic acid metabolism, phenylpropane biosynthesis, plant hormone signal transduction, and plant pathogen interaction pathways. Ultimately, AmBGLU, AmCAML, AmCDPK, AmLOX, and AmRBOHD were identified as genes of interest in the four significantly related metabolic pathways for real-time fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction verification. The determination of salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) in Amorphophallus muelleri and Amorphophallus konjac that suffered from soft rot disease showed that SA and JA were involved in the A. muelleri and A. konjac defense response against soft rot disease. Methyl jasmonate treatment delayed the onset of A. konjac soft rot disease. This study provides a reference for the interaction between Amorphophallus species and soft rot disease and the breeding of broad-spectrum and specific Amorphophallus cultivars that are resistant to soft rot disease.

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East African banana (Musa sp.) breeding efforts have focused mainly on enhancing ‘Matooke’ productivity through the development of high-yielding, pathogen-resistant cultivars with adequate stability to contribute to regional food security. Before a breeding program can recommend promising cultivars for release, they must pass the sensory screens; be evaluated in the target population environments; and the data analyzed for yield, adaptability, and stability. Twenty-four primary and secondary triploid hybrids [NARITA (N)] derived from ‘Matooke’ bananas, six triploid local ‘Matooke’ cultivars, and one exotic cultivar were evaluated for their yield, adaptability, and stability across the East African region at three highland sites in Uganda’s western and central regions, as well as at three sites in Tanzania’s northeastern and southern highlands regions, from 2016–19. A randomized complete block design with four replicates was used for multisite trials. The mixed-model restricted maximum likelihood/best linear unbiased prediction approach, along with additive main effect multiplicative interaction model biplots, were used to dissect and visualize genotype-by-environment patterns. Following the likelihood ratio test, both genotype and interaction effects were highly significant, confirming the influence of genotype and site heterogeneity for selecting specific and broadly adapted cultivars. N23 had the greatest yield across all sites associated with adaptability and stability, outperforming the overall mean yield of all genotypes by 34.2%. In Tanzania, N27 (second), N7 (third), N18 (fourth), N4 (fifth), N12 (sixth), and N13 (seventh); and in Uganda, N17 (second), N18 (third), N2 (fourth), N8 (fifth), N13 (sixth), N12 (seventh), N4 (eighth), and N24 (ninth) demonstrated good adaptability and stability, as well as high yield. Furthermore, the fungal pathogen Pseudocercospora fijiensis had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on yield, stability, and adaptability of the hybrids. As a result, they can be introduced into areas where black leaf streak constrains banana production significantly and threatens farmers’ livelihoods. The average site yield potential ranged from 9.7 to 24.3 t⋅ha–1 per year. The best discriminating sites for testing breeding clones were Lyamungo in Tanzania and Sendusu in Uganda. Hence, these testing sites are recommended as ideal examples of locations for selecting superior genotypes.

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Zinc finger–homeodomain (ZF-HD) proteins, a family of plant-specific transcription factors, play an important role in regulating plant growth and development, as well as responses to stress. Although ZF-HDs have been investigated in several model plants, no systematic studies have been reported in apple (Malus ×domestica). In this study, 14 putative ZF-HD genes were identified in the apple genome and characterized using bioinformatics tools. All members harbored complete canonical structures of the ZF-HD motif. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that ZF-HD genes in the genome of apple could be classified into four subfamilies, with high intragroup similarities. Gene-structure analysis revealed that although 11 MdZHDs had only one exon, MdZHD6 and MdZHD13 had two exons and MdZHD8 had six exons, suggesting limited variation among the apple ZHD genes. The expression profiles of MdZHD genes revealed their involvement in the growth and development of different tissues. Numerous binding sites for transcription factors, such as MYB, bZIP, and AP2, were found in the promoter region of the putative MdZHD genes. Nearly all putative MdZHDs were predicted to localize in the nucleus. Finally, the expression levels of the MdZHD genes under abiotic stress were examined in apple rootstock Malus hupehensis and the results showed that the expression of 10 MdZHD genes was induced in response to three abiotic stress factors. Exceptionally, the expression of MdZHD11 was not induced in response to any of the abiotic stress treatments, MdZHD12 was only induced in response to salt stress, and MdZHD7 and MdZHD9 were induced in response to both drought and salt stress. The present results provide valuable insights into the putative physiological and biochemical functions of MdZHDs in apple.

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This supplement contains the Abstracts of Presentations from American Society of Horticultural Science 2022 Annual Conference

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An experiment was conducted to quantify luminescence of white cut flower carnations after exposure to blue glow-in-the-dark powder. Powder was applied to the flowers as either dip (3, 6, or 9 g) or spray (3, 6, or 9 g) solutions in 240 mL of water for 4 seconds plus a control. Stem fresh weight, relative stem fresh weight, flower diameter, and overall solution absorption were greatest on day 4. Only the 6-g dip or spray had greater average flower quality ratings than the control, indicating reduced vase life, but there was no difference among powder treatments. Phosphorescence is possible with fluorescent light, but ultraviolet light increased the flower mean brightness an average of 75% across all treatments. No treatment differences were observed for the flower mean brightness with ultraviolet light, except on day 9; however, greater powder rates without ultraviolet light in general resulted in greater brightness.

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