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Open access

Bao-Zhong Yuan, Zhi-Long Bie, and Jie Sun

Muskmelon is a warm season cucurbit species that belongs to family Cucurbitaceae. We analyzed 2955 papers of global research on muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) based on Web of Science from 1924 to 2021. Papers were mainly written in English (2766, 93.604%), from 7883 authors, 83 countries or regions, 1697 organizations, and published in 585 journals and book series. The top five journals were HortScience (334, 11.303%), Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science (Proceedings of the American Society for Horticultural Science) (117, 3.959%), Scientia Horticulturae (109, 3.689%), Plant Disease (88, 2.978%), and Phytopathology (84, 2.843%), each of which published more than 84 papers. The top five countries or regions were the United States, PR China, Spain, Brazil, and Japan, which each published more than 168 papers. The top six organizations were U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Agricultural Research Organization, Texas A&M University, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, University of California–Davis and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, each of which published more than 64 papers. The top five authors are G.D. Lester, J.D. McCreight, J. Garcia-Mas, K.M. Crosby, and T.J. Ng, who each published more than 26 papers. On the basis of the analysis of a network map of VOSviewer, there were cooperation among authors, organizations, and countries or regions. All keywords of muskmelon research were separated into eight clusters for different research topics. Visualizations offer exploratory information on the current state and indicate possible developments in the future. This work is also useful for students identifying graduate schools and researchers selecting journals.

Open access

Joanne A. Labate

A diversity panel of 190 National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) accessions was genotyped using genotyping by sequencing. These originated from 31 countries and included fresh market, ornamental, processing, breeders’ lines, landraces, and home gardening types, as well as six different accessions of the economically valuable cultivar San Marzano. Most of the 34,531 discovered single nucleotide polymorphisms were rare and therefore excluded from downstream analyses. A total of 3713 high-quality, mapped single nucleotide polymorphisms that were present in at least two accessions were used to estimate genetic distances and population structure. Results showed that these phenotypically and geographically diverse NPGS tomato accessions were closely related to each other. However, a subset of divergent genotypes was identified that included landraces from primary centers of diversity (South America), secondary centers of diversity (Italy, Taiwan, and France), and genotypes that originated from wild species through 20th century breeding for disease resistance (e.g., ‘VFNT Cherry’). Extreme variant accessions produce cultivated fruit traits in a background that contains many wild or primitive genes. These accessions are promising sources of novel genes for continued crop improvement.

Open access

Mitchell E. Armour, Margaret Worthington, John R. Clark, Renee T. Threlfall, and Luke Howard

Red drupelet reversion (RDR) is a postharvest disorder of blackberries (Rubus L. subgenus Rubus Watson) in which fully black drupelets revert to red after harvest. This disorder can negatively impact consumer perception of fresh-market blackberries. The cause of RDR is hypothesized to be related to intracellular damage sustained because of mechanical and environmental stress during and after harvest. Cultivars differ in susceptibility to this disorder; and cultural factors, including nitrogen rate, harvest and shipping practices, and climate during harvest, influence RDR severity. In this 2-year study, seven genotypes (cultivars and advanced selections) developed in the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (UA) blackberry breeding program, with a range of fruit textures, were evaluated to determine whether firmness was correlated with RDR. In addition, fruit was harvested at four different times (7:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 4:00 pm) to investigate whether harvest time influences RDR. All seven genotypes were harvested at the four times on two harvest dates per year and evaluated for RDR and firmness after 1 week of cold storage (5 °C). Fruit harvested early in the day had less RDR, with 7:00 am harvests having the least RDR in both years. Significant genotypic differences in RDR and fruit firmness were found in each year. Firmness was negatively correlated with RDR in 2018 and 2019. These results indicate that growers may be able to reduce the prevalence of RDR by choosing cultivars with firm fruit texture and harvesting early in the day.

Open access

Jia Tian, Yue Wen, Feng Zhang, Jingyi Sai, Yan Zhang, and Wensheng Li

Large-fruit bud mutations are important factors in fruit tree breeding. However, little is known about the differences between varieties and bud mutations. The ploidy identification of Korla fragrant pear (Pyrus sinkiangensis Yu) and its large bud mutation Zaomeixiang pear showed that the large-fruit characteristic was not caused by chromosome doubling. By counting mesocarp cells at different stages, we found that the number of cells increased continuously after pollination, and the difference was the greatest at 28 days after full bloom (DAFB), and was about 9.4 × 106. After 28 days, the difference in cell volume became bigger and bigger, so both the cell volume and cell number caused the difference in fruit size between Korla fragrant pear and Zaomeixiang pear. To obtain more insights into the differences in fruit size driven by cell division, we analyzed the endogenous hormones [indole ascetic acid (IAA), zeatin riboside (ZR), gibberellic acid (GA), and abscisic acid (ABA)], and the main sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose, and sorbitol). The ZR content of Zaomeixiang pear was always greater than that of Korla fragrant pear at all stages. The ABA content was the opposite except for at 7 DAFB during cell division; the greatest difference was 30.87 ng/g, which appeared at 28 DAFB. ABA and ZR correlated negatively with cell number. After 7 DAFB, the ratio of IAA/ABA, ZR/ABA, and GA/ABA in Zaomeixiang pear was always greater than that for Korla fragrant pear at 28 DAFB. The difference in glucose content at 21 DAFB was the greatest, at 4.80 ng/g. Large amounts of sorbitol accumulated during whole-cell division. Glucose and sorbitol correlated positively with cell numbers. In summary, the data suggest that the different contents of glucose, sorbitol, ZR, and ABA, and the ratio of endogenous hormones might be related to cell division in Korla fragrant pear and Zaomeixiang pear. The result provides a theoretical basis for the large-size fruit’s high-quality production and genetic breeding of Korla fragrant pear and its bud mutation.

Open access

Seon-Ok Kim, Su-Been Pyun, and Sin-Ae Park

The aim of this study was to compare the physiological and psychological effects in the elderly during horticultural and nonhorticultural activities as leisure activities. A total of 58 participants aged 65 or older (29 men and 29 women; average age, 74.0 ± 4.7) whose cognitive function was within the normal range were included in this study. Participants performed four horticultural and four nonhorticultural activities for 2 min, respectively. The study had a cross-over experimental design. Electroencephalography was performed during all the activities. Subjective evaluation of emotions was performed using the Profile of Mood States immediately after each activity. The collected statistical data were analyzed using Duncan’s test as a post-analysis of variance test to verify the differences in the results of electroencephalography and the Profile of Mood States according to the different activities. In the results of the electroencephalography, the relative beta, gamma, low-beta, and ratio of sensorimotor rhythm to theta indices indicate that the degree of brain activity in the prefrontal lobe was high during activities such as washing leaves, transplanting plants, and reading news. The results of the Profile of Mood States showed that during activities such as arranging flowers, transplanting, and washing leaves, the total mood disorder score was lowered, indicating a positive effect on the mood of the participants. This study shows that activities such as washing leaves, transplanting, and reading news have a positive effect on the cognitive function of elderly people by increasing brain activity.

Open access

Nianwei Qiu, Li Tian, Xifeng Yan, Haoyu Dong, Mengyu Zhang, Guoliang Han, and Feng Zhou

The structure and chemical properties of strontium and calcium are similar. To study the interplay between calcium and strontium in plants, different concentrations of SrCl2 (0, 1, 4, and 10 mmol·L−1) were added to the Hoagland nutrient solution with 4 mmol·L−1 Ca2+ (normal level Ca2+) or 0.4 mmol·L−1 Ca2+ (low-level Ca2+), which were used to cultivate Chinese cabbage seedlings. Under the low-level calcium condition, strontium not only did not promote the growth of Chinese cabbage but showed more severe toxicity compared with that under the normal calcium condition. Under normal calcium condition, although the growth of Chinese cabbage was significantly inhibited by 4 mmol·L−1 strontium, strontium did not show significant toxicity. However, under the low-level calcium condition, 1 mmol·L−1 strontium caused a significant decline of plant biomass and photosynthetic activity. Sr2+ showed a competitive inhibitory effect on the absorption of Ca2+, and strontium was more easily absorbed by Chinese cabbage. Under the low-level calcium condition, strontium aggravated the inhibition of calcium absorption. The inhibitory effect of strontium on plant growth was significantly related to the calcium content in Chinese cabbage. Strontium cannot replace the function of calcium in plants under calcium-deficient conditions.

Open access

Amanda J. Davis and Bernadine C. Strik

In long-lived organic blueberry production systems, nutrient imbalances caused by some fertilization and mulching practices can reduce plant growth and yield. The ability to balance nutrient levels and thus improve productivity over time was evaluated in a mature planting of ‘Duke’ and ‘Liberty’ that had been used to study different mulching practices [sawdust (9-cm deep), yard-debris compost (4-cm) topped with sawdust (5-cm), and weed mat] and various rates and sources of N fertilizer (feather meal or fish solubles, each applied initially at “low” or “high” rates of 29 and 57 kg·ha−1 N in 2007–08 and then increased incrementally as the planting matured to 73 and 140 kg·ha−1 N in 2013–16). In Winter 2016–17, existing weed mat was removed and replaced where it was present, and new weed mat was installed on top of any existing organic mulches, thus changing the mulch treatments to weed mat (over bare soil), weed mat over sawdust, and weed mat over compost + sawdust from 2017 to 2020. A hydrolyzed soy-protein–based fertilizer containing essentially only N was applied at a moderate rate (106 kg·ha−1 N) relative to prior treatments. Plants grown on flat and raised beds were evaluated separately. From 2016 to 2020, yield of ‘Duke’ and ‘Liberty’ increased by an average of 19% and 56%, respectively, on flat beds and 8% and 42%, respectively, on raised beds. On flat or raised beds, plants that had weed mat placed over the existing sawdust or compost + sawdust mulch had a greater increase in yield (averaging 41%) than those with weed mat alone (over bare soil; averaging 12%). Soil under weed mat alone continued to have the lowest organic matter content (averaging 3%) throughout the study. Prior fertilization source and rate had no impact on the increase in yield of ‘Duke’, whereas ‘Liberty’ plants previously fertilized with feather meal had a larger increase in yield through 2020 than those fertilized with fish solubles. Fertilizing with an intermediate rate of N from 2017 to 2020 increased yield regardless of whether plants received the low or high N rate from 2007 to 2016, confirming our previous conclusion that the low rate provided sufficient N. Soil K and leaf %K declined after discontinuing fertilization with fish solubles and use of yard-debris compost, likely a factor in yield improvement. However, there were still negative correlations between yield and leaf %K in multiple years. This study illustrated that changing mulch and fertility practices in established organic blueberry to mitigate prior applications of high K can improve plant performance, nutrient imbalances, and yield within a relatively short period of time.

Open access

Melike Cirak and James R. Myers

The persistent color (pc) trait in snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a member of the stay-green gene family and falls into the cosmetic subclass. Cosmetic stay-green variants remain green but lose photosynthetic competence during senescence. It is an economically useful trait in snap bean as a result of its effects on pod quality. The trait produces a dark-green, uniform appearance of fresh pods, but has other pleiotropic effects, including a light-green seed color, bleached-white cotyledons on emergence, and foliage and pods that remain green even while senescing. One additional pleiotropic effect is reduced field germination and emergence compared with white- and colored-seeded genotypes. Nevertheless, with the aid of seed-applied fungicides, pc types occupy ≈40% of commercial snap bean acreage in the United States. This research project was aimed at understanding why and how germination and emergence is affected in pc beans. The effect is thought to be related to soil-borne pathogens because fungicide treatment of pc seeds increases germination and emergence rates to levels comparable to treated white- and colored-seeded genotypes. For our experiments, we increased seeds of 45 experimental lines and commercial cultivars (25 of which were pc) under uniform growing conditions. Initial experiments documented that, in the laboratory, all seeds analyzed in a tetrazolium test had high viability. Furthermore, untreated seeds of pc and non-pc types germinated in the laboratory showed no difference in germinability, whereas in the field, germination of pc types was reduced significantly. In addition, pc types showed substantially greater infection rates of seeds and seedlings, with the main pathogen being Fusarium oxysporum Schl. f. sp. phaseoli Kendrick & Snyder. Water uptake by green pc seeds was significantly more rapid than white and colored seeds. Measurements of electrical conductivity revealed that pc types had greater solute leakage than other seed types. When seed anatomic structure was examined, pc types had a significantly thinner testa, especially the osteosclereid layer. The reduction in germination and emergence appears to begin with a thinner, more fragile testa showing increased cracking that may happen during seed harvest and conditioning (but certainly does happen during imbibition), allowing more rapid water uptake during germination that leads to testa rupture. Increased and rapid solute diffusion into the surrounding spermosphere stimulates and attracts pathogens to colonize the seeds before seedlings can become established. Seed handling and conditioning processes before planting could be modified to improve field emergence and stand establishment. Selection for thicker testa may also mitigate some of the damage observed during germination of pc cultivars.

Open access

Xingsui Wang, Yuting Huang, Ji Tian, Jie Zhang, Yanfen Lu, Xiaoxiao Qin, Yujing Hu, and Yuncong Yao

Open access

Mark H. Brand and Bryan A. Connolly