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Fan Zhang, Zi Wei, Peter Jeranyama, Carolyn DeMoranville, and Harvey J.M. Hou

Numerous observations of yellow vine syndrome of cranberry have been reported from commercial cranberry growers. The molecular mechanism resulting in yellow vine syndrome is unknown. We have previously reported on the shading effect as an approach to explore the mechanisms of yellow vine formation and proposed photoinhibition as a possible cause. To compare the photosynthetic performance of yellow vine-affected and normal cranberry leaves, we conducted chlorophyll fluorescence analyses over 1 period of 1 day and 3 weeks, respectively. Both experimental data sets indicated that the maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II, the size of the quinone pool, the numbers of reaction centers (RCs) per chlorophyll absorption, and the photosynthesis performance index of the yellow vine samples are substantially lower than those of normal cranberry leaves. These results are in line with the data of yellow vine leaves, having 26% to 28% less in chlorophyll than the normal leaves as measured by spectrometric and high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. We concluded that yellow vine syndrome is associated with poor photosynthetic activity and is likely becoming a threat for the long-term growth and crop production of cranberries.

Free access

Zi Wei, Peter Jeranyama, Fan Zhang, Carolyn DeMoranville, and Harvey J.M. Hou

Yellow vine symptoms are often observed in cranberry bogs. To explore the mechanisms of the formation of yellow vine syndrome in cranberry leaves, the shade effect on the chlorophyll (Chl) content and photosynthetic activities in cranberry bogs were investigated by spectrometric, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and in vivo Chl fluorescence kinetics. Spectrometric and HPLC analyses revealed that the yellow vine leaves were associated with a 11% ± 5% and 14% ± 5% increase in Chl a/Chl b ratio after shading, respectively. The Chl a/Chl b ratio was the same in both types of leaves, suggesting the photosystem (PS) II organization remains invariant. The rise in chlorophyll content suggested that the number of reaction sites on PS II is increased in the shaded yellow vine leaves. The results of in vivo chlorophyll fluorescence analysis also indicated that the electron transport chain in the PS II is enhanced and that the size of the quinone pool is increased. In addition, the overall photosynthesis index is drastically improved by shading. These three lines of evidence imply that the shading of cranberry plants appeared to reduce the syndrome by improving the photosynthetic activity and increasing the chlorophyll content. The techniques presented here may be valuable for characterizing variations of plants by stress or disease.

Open access

Zhibin Fan, Kai Zhang, Fengyun Wang, Xiaodan Zhao, Ruiqin Bai, and Boling Liu

Salvia miltiorrhiza, known as danshen, is one of most valued medicinal plants in China. Although it has been cultivated since ancient times, an optimal culture system needs to be standardized for this important species. Here, we explored the phytochemical properties of S. miltiorrhiza with the treatments of rare earth elements (REEs) to develop an optimal tissue culture system. Four-week-old in vitro-grown S. miltiorrhiza plantlets were used as explants. The experiment was conducted in a randomized block design on a Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 0.2 mg·L−1 naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) to induce rooting at four different concentrations (50, 100, 200, and 300 μM) of REEs such as cerium (Ce), lanthanum (La), or praseodymium (Pr), respectively. Compared with all REEs at different concentrations, 100 μM Pr induced greater root length than Ce or La at any concentrations. Concomitantly, 0.38 μg tanshinone IIA/mg dry weight (DW) was observed, which was 54.84% higher than in the control. Similarly, chlorophyll content, antioxidant enzyme activity, and secondary metabolite were enhanced in rooting medium supplemented with 100 μM Pr. Therefore, this study showed that 100 μM Pr is an adequate concentration in the optimal culture system for promoting plant growth as well as enhancing secondary metabolite content in S. miltiorrhiza.

Free access

Xiu Cai Fan, Hai Sheng Sun, Ying Zhang, Jian Fu Jiang, Min Li, and Chong Huai Liu

In this study, simple sequence repeat (SSR) and sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers were used to analyze the genetic diversity of 48 wild Vitis davidii accessions. A total of 78 distinct alleles were amplified by 11 SSR primers, and the average allele number was 8.8. The average observed heterozygosity (Ho) and expected heterozygosity (He) values were 0.785 and 0.814, respectively. The effective allele numbers ranged from 3.92 to 9.61. The average polymorphism information content (PIC) was 0.798. Twelve of 169 SRAP primer combinations were selected for SRAP analysis. A total of 188 bands were produced, and the average was 15.7 bands per primer combination; the average percentage of polymorphic bands was 84.0%. The average PIC was 0.76. The results of the clustering analysis based on SSR markers showed that the 48 wild V. davidii accessions could be classified into five main clusters and had a genetic similarity coefficient level of 0.68. The dendrogram obtained from the SRAP data showed that 48 wild V. davidii accessions could be classified into five main clusters and had a genetic similarity coefficient of 0.72. SSR and SRAP markers differentiated all accessions studied including those with a similar pedigree. We speculated on the origin of Ciputao 0941♀, Ciputao 0940♂, and Fu’an-ci-01 using SSR markers and used both SSR and SRAP markers to resolve homonymy. The result will be valuable for further management and protection of V. davidii germplasm resources.

Full access

Jianjun Zhang, Wei Zhu, Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Yongming Fan, and Xiaonan Yu

The analysis of herbaceous peony (Paeonia lactiflora Pall.) floral bud initiation and differentiation from autumn to early spring is important because flower formation is strictly correlated with flowering in late spring. A clear understanding of peony flower development would allow management practices to be optimized for stable annual production and supply of cut flowers. The aim of this research was to study the time-sensitive characteristics underlying flower development in peony cultivar ‘Dafugui’. Flower bud differentiation was assessed by paraffin and hand-made slices, as well as stereomicroscopy. Both methods have strengths and weaknesses. Our observations are not entirely consistent with those of previous studies. Flower bud differentiation in ‘Dafugui’, which starts from late September to mid-April of the following year, is divided into differentiation of the lower parts (separate differentiation periods for the bracts, sepals, petals, stamens, and pistillodes) and upper parts (separate differentiation periods for the petals, stamens, and pistil), and is closely related to annual changes in ambient temperature. Differentiation of lower flower buds takes place before winter dormancy, whereas that of upper parts starts early in the following spring, and finally forms a double-flowered type. The three methods used in this article can be used to study P. lactiflora flower bud differentiation and can contribute to an understanding of this process in the future.

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Pengpeng Duan, Ying Sun, Yuling Zhang, Qingfeng Fan, Na Yu, Xiuli Dang, and Hongtao Zou

A greenhouse field experiment involving tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) was performed using different nitrogen (N) management regimes: sole application of differing rates of chemical N fertilizer (SC) (SC treatments: N0, N1, N2, and N3) and combined application of manure and chemical N fertilizer (MC) (MC treatments: MN0, MN1, MN2, and MN3). These were used to understand the relationship between comprehensive fruit composition, yield, and N fractions (soil mineral N; soil soluble organic N; soil microbial biomass N, and soil fixed ammonium) under greenhouse conditions. The results showed that the MC treatments significantly increased vitamin C and soluble sugar content compared with SC treatments. In addition, the MN2 treatment produced a high yield and had a positive effect on fruit composition. The N3 (563 kg N/ha) and MN3 (796 kg N/ha) treatments resulted in a high loss of N below the root zone (0–30 cm), consequently reducing N use efficiency. Soil mineral N, soil soluble organic N, and soil fixed ammonium tended to be higher during the first fruiting period, whereas soil microbial biomass N tended to be higher during the second fruiting period. MC treatments significantly increased the N fraction in the 0- to 30-cm soil layer; N fractions tended to be higher with the MN2 treatment. According to an optimum regression equation, soil fixed ammonium during the first fruiting period and soil microbial biomass N during the second fruiting period had a more significant influence on tomato yield and fruit composition. Overall, application MC at an appropriate rate (MN2: 608 kg N/ha) is a promising approach to achieving high yields and optimum taste, and it offers a more sustainable fertilizer management strategy compared with chemical N fertilization.

Full access

Min Fan, Yike Gao, Yaohui Gao, Zhiping Wu, Hua Liu, and Qixiang Zhang

Simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers are valuable for genetic and breeding applications, but SSR resources for the ornamental genus chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum ×morifolium Ramat.) are still limited. Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) are sources of SSRs that represent an opportunity to develop SSRs to accelerate molecular breeding in chrysanthemum. In total, 4661 SSR loci were identified from 3823 SSR-containing unigenes in the chrysanthemum transcriptome with an average of one SSR per 6.98 kb. Of these SSR sequences, trinucleotide repeats (30.0%) predominated, followed by dinucleotide repeats (17.9%). In total, 1584 primer pairs were subsequently synthesized. By screening the parents and six individuals of the F1 progeny, 831 (52.5%) valid EST-SSR markers were identified, of which 361 (43.4%) were polymorphic. The annotation of unigenes containing polymorphic SSRs indicated that 330 (93.5%) demonstrated significant homology to other plant protein sequences. Twenty-five polymorphic EST-SSR markers were further selected for transferability analysis and exhibited 93% amplification in six Ajania species and six other Chrysanthemum species. Based on genotyping of the 59 samples, neighbor-joining analysis revealed six phylogenetic groupings, which was confirmed by population structure analysis and principal component analysis (PCA). Phylogenetic relationships among the 59 samples revealed by SSRs were highly consistent with the traditional taxonomic classification of Chrysanthemum and Ajania. The polymorphism information content (PIC) values ranged from 0.29 to 0.86, with a mean of 0.67, indicating high levels of informativeness. This research reveals the SSR distribution characteristics of chrysanthemum and provides a large number of new EST-SSR markers for further genetic diversity studies, genetic mapping, and molecular marker-assisted selection breeding for chrysanthemum.

Full access

Zhuping Fan, Yike Gao, Ling Guo, Ying Cao, Rong Liu, and Qixiang Zhang

Bearded iris (Iris ×hybrida Hort.) is a large horticultural hybrid complex in the Iris genus, and the lack of understanding about its inheritance laws has seriously hindered the breeding process. From parental bearded iris ‘Indian Chief’ and ‘Sugar Blues’, four hybrid populations—including F1, F2, BC1P1, and BC1P2—were generated through hybridization. Fifteen key phenotypic traits, including plant height (PH), scape height (SH), length of fall (LF), width of fall (WF), length of standard (LS), width of standard (WS), and so on, were measured, and several genetic parameters (e.g., trait variation, heritability, trait correlation, distribution of flower color) were analyzed. The variation of phenotypic traits indicated that the F1 generation could produce larger flowers and a greater number of blooming stems than other generations, whereas backcrossing was beneficial at producing more flowers on one scape in the offspring of ‘Indian Chief’ and ‘Sugar Blues’. WF had the greatest broad-sense heritability (73.91%) among the 15 phenotypic traits, whereas the broad-sense heritability of SH was the lowest (2.06%). The correlation between a vegetative trait (PH) and a reproductive trait (WS) provided a path to early selection of germplasm. Furthermore, four important floral traits (LF, WF, LS, and WS) also correlated significantly to each other, thus simplifying the selection of larger flowers. Genes regulating fuchsia flower color were dominant over those for bluish purple flowers. Genetic effects of flower color in recurrent parents could be reinforced by backcrossing, thereby providing a potential way to modify flower color through hybridization.

Open access

Wenwen Li, Liqiang Liu, Weiquan Zhou, Yanan Wang, Xiang Ding, Guoquan Fan, Shikui Zhang, and Kang Liao

The present study aims to reveal the karyotypic characteristics and genetic relationships of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) accessions from different ecological groups. Fourteen, 9, and 30 accessions from the Central Asian ecological group, North China ecological group, and Dzhungar-Ili ecological group, respectively, were analyzed according to the conventional pressing plate method. The results showed that all the apricot accessions from the different ecological groups were diploid (2n = 2x = 16). The total haploid length of the chromosome set of the selected accessions ranged from 8.11 to 12.75 μm, which was a small chromosome, and no satellite chromosomes were detected. All accessions had different numbers of median-centromere chromosomes or sub-median-centromere chromosomes. The karyotypes of the selected accessions were classified as 1A or 2A. Principal component analysis revealed that the long-arm/short-arm ratio (0.968) and the karyotype symmetry index (−0.979) were the most valuable parameters, and cluster analysis revealed that the accessions from the Central Asian ecological group and Dzhungar-Ili ecological group clustered together. In terms of karyotypic characteristics, the accessions from the Dzhungar-Ili ecological group and Central Asian ecological group were closely related.

Full access

Ninghang Wang, Chao Zhang, Sainan Bian, Pengjie Chang, Lingjuan Xuan, Lijie Fan, Qin Yu, Zhigao Liu, Cuihua Gu, Shouzhou Zhang, Yaling Wang, and Yamei Shen

Magnolia (Magnoliaceae) is widely cultivated for its beauty; however, despite this, the components of the different flower colors in Magnolia have not been elucidated. In this study, the color parameters of 10 Magnolia petals with different colors were measured by the Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart (RHSCC) and a color reader CR-10. The composition and content of the flavonoids in the petals were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detection (HPLC-DAD) as well as HPLC with electrospray ionization and mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS2). All results showed that the 10 petals were divided into four color groups. Regarding the flavonoid composition, four types of anthocyanins, including Cyanidin-glucosyl-rhamnoside (Cy-GR), Cyanidin-glucosyl-rhamnosyl-glucoside (Cy-GRG), Peonidin-glucosyl-rhamnoside (Pn-GR), and Peonidin-glucosyl-rhamnosyl-glucoside (Pn-GRG), were identified, as well as 10 types of flavonols. The flavonols included isorhamnetin, quercetin, kaempferol, and their glycosides, which included rutinoside, rhamnose, and glucoside. Cyanidin and peonidin make Magnolia petals appear red-purple and purple, respectively, and the flavonols perform as evident auxiliary pigments, particularly quercetin. The Magnolia cultivar flower phenotypes sampled in this study differed by changes in their existing flavonoid content rather than by the appearance of new flavonoids. Consequently, this study provides a reference for further revealing the basis of Magnolia flower color and provides clues for color breeding.