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Open access

Alexandre Furtado Silveira Mello, Giovani Olegário da Silva, Juscimar da Silva, Tarcísio Samborski, José Carlos Ferreira, José Luiz Viana de Carvalho, Marília Regini Nuti, Ana Carolina Silva Siquieroli, Marcos Brandão Braga, Federico Celedonio Diaz Trujilo, and Wolfgang Grüneberg

Open access

Hamidou F. Sakhanokho, Nurul Islam-Faridi, and Barbara J. Smith

Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. is a widespread shrub or tree of the Sahel region, where it grows wild and is used for various purposes, including nutrition, medicine, and firewood. Current domestication programs focus on using the local species as rootstock for the improved imported Asian cultivars to provide tolerance to pests and diseases. The plant plays an increasing economic role in the livelihoods of local Sahelian populations, but despite this there is little genetic information about it. The purpose of our study was to determine the genome size estimate and chromosome numbers of Z. mauritiana germplasm collected from eastern Senegal, West Africa. Genome size estimates were determined using flow cytometry, and chromosome count was achieved using chromosome spreads of actively growing root tips. The mean, median, minimum, and maximum genome size estimates (1Cx-DNA) of Z. mauritiana were 418.74 Mb, 417.45 Mb, 410.72 Mb, and 432.12 Mb, respectively. Plants of the germplasm investigated were found to be octoploid with a chromosome number of 2n = 8x = 96. The genetic information gathered in this study can be useful for phylogenetic studies, sequencing projects, and domestication programs that focus on controlled pollination for the development of improved Z. Mauritania cultivars in the Sahel region.

Open access

Sukhdeep Singh, Taylor Livingston, Lisa Tang, and Tripti Vashisth

Fruit production of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) in Florida has been declining with the presence of Huanglongbing [HLB; Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas)] disease. Through disruption of the balance of endogenous hormone levels, the disease has negative impacts on fruit development, mature fruit retention, and overall tree health. Thus, the goal of this research was to determine whether plant growth regulator gibberellic acid (GA3) can be used to improve the production issues caused by HLB. For ‘Valencia’ sweet orange, although foliar applied GA3 from September to January (33 mg·L−1 for five applications) resulted in 50% decrease in bloom the following spring (results presented in ), this treatment did not cause reduction in yield of current and subsequent crops. Moreover, a 30% average increase in yield in GA3-treated trees was observed over a period of 4 years. The size of mature fruit was also increased (by 4% to 5%) with reduced fruit drop rate near harvest in GA3-treated trees compared with nontreated control trees. Furthermore, the canopy density, an indicator of HLB severity, was maintained in trees applied with GA3 (from 90.8% light interception to 90.4%). In contrast, there was a substantial decrease in canopy density for control trees (from 91.6% to 84.0%). Gene expression analysis of abscission zone and leaves indicated that GA3-treated trees had enhanced oxidative stress mitigation mechanism and plant defense response. Given that there is no cure for HLB, these results presented a possible remedy of using GA3 in sustaining tree health for field-grown sweet orange affected by HLB.

Open access

Wenqian Zhang, Xiaoling Jin, Donglin Zhang, Minhuan Zhang, and Wen Xing

Open access

Ian K. Atkins and Jennifer K. Boldt

Supplemental lighting, temperature control, and CO2 enrichment can improve the productivity of greenhouse crops, but operating costs for greenhouse control systems to maintain environmental parameters at desired setpoints can be expensive. To balance operating costs with productivity, growers need to be able to predict how a crop will perform as a function of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), CO2 concentration, and temperature. The objective of this study was to explore the response of net photosynthetic rate (Pn) to PPFD and CO2 concentration, for plants acclimated to different growth environment temperatures or light intensities. We measured Pn at all combinations of 14 irradiances and four CO2 concentrations of calibrachoa (Calibrachoa ×hybrida ‘Superbells Lemon Slice’), petunia (Petunia ×hybrida ‘Supertunia Mini Strawberry Pink Veined’), and verbena (Verbena ×hybrida ‘Superbena Royale Whitecap’) grown at three light intensities, and of geranium (Pelargonium ×hortorum ‘Maverick Red’), pepper (Capsicum annuum ‘California Wonder’), and sunflower (Helianthus annuus ‘Pacino Gold’) grown at three different temperatures. Sunflower, pepper, and geranium were fit to a model representing Pn as a function of PPFD, CO2 concentration, and leaf temperature. Photosynthetic light response curves, at each CO2 concentration, were fit for each species and growth environment using a nonrectangular hyperbola. These models can be used to identify multiple combinations of PPFD, CO2 concentration, and leaf temperature that would result in equivalent rates of photosynthesis, allowing the most cost-effective combination to be chosen.

Open access

Zanzan Li, Jinyu Hu, Hang Tang, Liping Cao, Yuhang Chen, Qiaosheng Guo, and Changlin Wang

The spicas of Prunella vulgaris are widely used in the medical, beverage, and ornamental fields. Temperature and photoperiod are the two main ecological factors that determine the transformation of many plants from vegetative growth to reproductive growth. To explore the response of P. vulgaris flowering to temperature and photoperiod induction, we adopted vernalization long-day, vernalization short-day, nonvernalization long-day, and nonvernalization short-day treatments. The results showed that the morphology (total number of leaves, number of branches, number of leaves per branch, and branch length) of the vernalization treatment groups was significantly different from that of other nonvernalization groups, and the photosynthetic pigments, net photosynthetic rate, water use efficiency, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2 concentration, and transpiration rate increased in the vernalization treatment group. However, the gibberellin 3 (GA3), indole-3-acetic acid and zeatin riboside (ZR) contents were significantly increased under the short-day treatments groups, and the results were the same for the expression of endogenous hormone synthesis genes, except for abscisic acid (ABA). The flowering-related genes soc1, elf3, svp, ga20ox, and cry1 were highly expressed under the vernalization short-day. Therefore, the induction of vernalization is more conducive to the increase in the photosynthetic rate. Temperature and photoperiod synergistically induced the synthesis and accumulation of starch, sugar, amino acids, and protein and affected the content of endogenous hormones and the expression of genes involved in their synthesis. GA3 and ZR had thresholds for their regulation of the flowering process in P. vulgaris, and high concentrations of ABA promoted flowering. Temperature and photoperiod coordinate the expression of the flowering-related genes soc1, elf3, svp, ga20ox, and cry1, thereby affecting the flowering process in P. vulgaris.

Open access

Samuel Kwakye, Davie M. Kadyampakeni, Edzard van Santen, Tripti Vashisth, and Alan Wright

Improving nutrient uptake and tree health play an important role in managing Huanglongbing (HLB)-affected citrus trees in Florida. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of increasing rates of manganese (Mn) on growth and development of sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] trees at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, FL. Half the trees were graft-inoculated with the HLB pathogen and the remainder were used as the HLB-free (non HLB) control trees. Four rates of Mn (0.0 kg·ha−1 Mn (Control), 5.6 kg·ha−1 Mn (1x—standard rate), 11.2 kg·ha−1 Mn (2x—standard rate), and 22.4 kg·ha−1 Mn (4x—standard rate) were split applied quarterly to both sets of the trees in a completely randomized design. There were seven single tree replicates for each treatment. Response variables measured were trunk diameter, tree height, leaf Mn concentration, plus above- and belowground biomass. The accumulated Mn in leaf tissues significantly increased trunk diameter but did not affect tree height for both HLB-affected and non-HLB trees, the 2x rate had the maximum value for trunk diameter relative to the 4x rate. This study established a positive correlation between soil available Mn with Fe and Cu, but negative correlation with B and Zn. A strong correlation of −0.76, −0.69, and 0.65 was observed between soil Mn and B, Zn, and Cu, respectively, as compared with 0.49 with Mn and Fe. Among HLB-affected trees, the 2x rate gave the most belowground dry matter, which was 3% greater than the control and 5% greater than 4x. Aboveground dry matter had at least 30% more biomass than belowground matter among all treatments within HLB-affected trees. For small and medium roots, Mn accumulation increased with Mn application until 2x rate and decreased thereafter for HLB-affected trees. The results from our study showed an Mn rate of 8.9–11.5 kg·ha−1 Mn, as the optimum Mn level for young ‘Valencia’ HLB-affected trees in Florida.