Ascorbic acid (AsA) is a major antioxidant and redox buffer in plants. Dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR; EC 18.104.22.168) catalyzes the conversion of dehydroascorbate (DHA) to AsA and is crucial for AsA regeneration. In this study, we developed transgenic tomato plants that overexpressed PbDHAR2 to investigate whether PbDHAR2 could limit the deleterious effects of salt and chilling stresses. These transgenic plants contained significantly higher AsA levels than the wild-type (WT) plants. Overexpression of PbDHAR2 increased the expression of the AsA-glutathione (GSH) cycle genes in transgenic lines under salt and chilling stresses. In addition, the transgenic lines subjected to salt and chilling stresses showed higher levels of antioxidant enzyme activity, lower malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, and higher chlorophyll contents than the WT. Thus, our results demonstrate that the regulation of PbDHAR2 during AsA regeneration contributes to enhanced salt and chilling tolerance in tomato.
An Qin, Xiaosan Huang, Huping Zhang, Juyou Wu, Jie Yang, and Shaoling Zhang
Qi Sun, Xingnan Zhao, Lei Wu, Jimin Zhao, Yunfei Yang, and Yanwen Zhang
Different pollinators exhibit different adaptability to plants. Here, we compared the performance in visiting frequency and pollination efficiency among three bee pollinators (Bombus terrestris, Apis cerana, and Apis mellifera) on greenhouse-grown northern highbush ‘Bluecrop’ blueberry plants and evaluate their effects on yield and fruit quality. Our results indicated that the duration of daily flower-visiting of B. terrestris was 24 and 64 minutes longer than that of A. cerana and A. mellifera, respectively, and the visiting time of a single flower for B. terrestris was substantially shorter than the other two bee species, and pollen deposition on the stigma from single visit by B. terrestris was twice and three times that of A. cerana and A. mellifera, respectively. The yield of individual plants pollinated by B. terrestris showed an increase of 11.4% and 20.0% compared with the plants pollinated by A. cerana and A. mellifera, respectively, with the rate of Grade I fruit (>18 mm diameter) reaching 50.8%, compared with 32.9% and 22.5% for A. cerana and A. mellifera groups, respectively. Moreover, the early-to-midseason yield of plants pollinated by B. terrestris was higher, and the ripening time was 3 to 4 days earlier. An artificial pollination experiment demonstrated that seed set of high (≈300), medium (90–110), and low (20–30) pollination amounts were 43.0%, 42.5%, and 10.5%, respectively, and the corresponding mean weights of single fruits (related to the seed number inside) were 2.8, 2.7, and 1.2 g, respectively. The highly efficient pollination of B. terrestris was attributed to its behavior of buzz-pollination. Therefore, it is preferential for pollination of ‘Bluecrop’ blueberry in the greenhouse.
Zhenxu Liang, Mingde Sun, Yang Wu, Jun Liu, Yanyan Zhao, Haiqing Tian, Ruirui Du, and Songzhong Liu
To understand the soil nutrient status of pear orchards in Beijing, we investigated their fertilization situation, including the fertilizer type, amount, and period. Furthermore, soil samples were collected at a depth of 0 to 40 cm to determine the contents of soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The status of nutrient profits and losses was analyzed. The results showed that 50% of the pear orchards received organic fertilizer as a single nutrient source, and 35.7% of the pear orchards received a combined application of organic fertilizer and chemical fertilizer. Most pear orchards received organic fertilizer in autumn, but the application of chemical fertilizer occurred mainly before germination and during fruit expansion. The average nutrient input to the investigated pear orchards was 569.6 kg/ha for N, 855.0 kg/ha for P2O5, and 448.1 kg/ha for K2O, and the corresponding proportion of organic fertilizer was 76.9%, 88.0%, and 85.8%, respectively. However, the pear orchards had surpluses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, with average surplus amounts as high as 445.5, 794.3, and 321.4 kg/ha, respectively. Among all pear orchards surveyed, 93.33% faced environmental risks and 37.04% faced leaching risks. The average content of soil phosphorus was 2.23 times its critical value, and 64.29% of the studied pear orchards exceeded the critical value. Most pear orchards had surplus potassium, with 26.92% exceeding 500 kg/ha. This study provides a basis for soil improvement, high-quality production of fruits, and efficient utilization of pear orchards in Beijing.
Mingtao Zhu, Jun Yu, Sheng Wu, Meijun Wang, and Guoshun Yang
Spine grape (Vitis davidii Foex) is an important wild plant species in South China. To provide economical and environmentally safe ways to promote the precocious maturation of spine grape berries, the effects of riboflavin were investigated. Riboflavin affected the reactive oxygen species metabolism in spine grape berries by increasing superoxide radical production and the hydrogen peroxide content, and it impaired the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase. Riboflavin also induced the upregulated expression of maturation-related genes in advance, and the earlier accumulation of anthocyanin and total soluble solids. Phenological observations revealed that the treated grape berries underwent a color-turning stage 9 days earlier than the control, and the maturation stage occurred 7 days earlier than the control. Thus, riboflavin may significantly promote the precocious maturation of spine grape berries.
Xianzhi Zhou, Yufen Wu, Sheng Chen, Yang Chen, Weiguang Zhang, Xintao Sun, and Yijie Zhao
Oriental melon (Cucumis melo var. makuwa Makino) is a fruit with distinctive characteristics that is grown in Fuzhou, China. Fusarium wilt disease management remains a major challenge in the production of this fruit. Here, we performed seven field trials at four locations in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China, to evaluate the control of fusarium wilt and yield of Oriental melons grafted on two Cucurbita rootstocks [Shengyan Tianzhen (SYTZ) and Nanzhen No. 1 (NZ1)]. During the growing seasons of 2008 to 2011, Oriental melons grafted on SYTZ and NZ1 exhibited dramatically reduced incidences of fusarium wilt disease and increased yields compared with nongrafted Oriental melons. Disease was only recorded in Trial 3 at Hongwei (2009), where plants grafted on SYTZ and NZ1 exhibited 1.05% and 1.1% infection, respectively. In the other six field trials, wilting was not observed at all. In comparison, the incidence of the disease in nongrafted Oriental melons ranged from 45.0% to 100.0%. The use of Cucurbita rootstocks improved the qualitative and quantitative carotenoid profiles, increasing lutein levels (12.7 and 10.8 μg·g−1 of fresh weight, respectively) and ζ-carotene and phytofluene amounts in fruit samples from SYTZ- and NZ1-grafted plants. In particular, the Liyu/NZ1 combination significantly increased β-carotene content ≈4-fold compared with nongrafted samples. In conclusion, Cucurbita rootstocks provided acceptable protection of Oriental melon cv. Liyu against fusarium wilt and improved the productivity and quality of fruits.
Yang Li, Juanqi Li, Guoxiu Wu, Yanman Li, Aimin Shen, Deli Ma, and Shengli Li
In recent years, air circulation has been used in protected cultivation to improve the microenvironment around seedlings, which in turn enhances photosynthesis and seedling growth. However, a practical and precise air circulation device has not yet been reported, especially one for growing seedlings in a greenhouse. Considering the use of a seedbed in seedling cultivation, a blower that can move back and forth on the seedbed and accurately control the air velocity is designed. In this experiment, we take the nonblowing treatment as the control (CK); three air velocities (0.3, 0.6, and 0.9 m/s) were selected to investigate the effect of interval blowing on the microenvironment of the canopy, physiology of seedling growth, stomatal characteristics of leaves, and stem mechanics of tomato seedlings. The three air velocities were found to significantly reduce the canopy temperature by 0.44, 0.78, and 1.48 °C lower than the CK, respectively, and leaf temperature by 0.83, 1.57, and 2.27 °C lower than the CK, respectively, in cultivated seedlings during summer. The relative humidity of the tomato seedling canopy decreased by 2.7% to 7.0%. Compared with the CK, the plant height of tomato seedlings decreased by 13.54% and root dry mass, root-shoot ratio, and seedling quality index (SQI) increased by 34.63%, 21.43%, and 14.29%, respectively, at 0.6 m/s. In addition, mechanical indexes such as hardness and elasticity of the tomato seedling stem were higher under air disturbance than those of the CK. The best effect was seen in the treatment with the air velocity of 0.6 m/s, in which the hardness and elasticity of the stem base and the first node were significantly higher than that of the CK. In conclusion, air disturbance generated by the air blowing device we designed effectively improved the microenvironment around the plants, enhanced the physiological activity of the seedlings, and thereby promoted seedling growth.
Jiwei Ruan, Guoxian Wang, Gongwei Ning, Chunmei Yang, Fan Li, Linmeng Tian, and Lifang Wu
Strawberry ‘Tokun’ (2n = 10x =70) is a unique cultivar with special flavors, but its late maturity hampers its extension. To advance flowering and fruiting of this decaploid strawberry, the effects of short-day combined with extra nitrogen (N) nutrition treatments on strawberry ‘Tokun’ plants were studied. Runner plantlets of strawberry ‘Tokun’ were harvested and rooted in tray plugs in June 2016, 2017, and 2018, and established plants were conditioned with short-day (SD; 10 hours) and extra N nutrition. The conditioned plants were transplanted into a tabletop substrate culture system in a plastic greenhouse on 27 Aug., 3 Sept., and 10 Sept. during the 3 years, respectively, and the plants received full-element nutrient solution through the drip tube during the whole experimental period. The number of runners and lateral buds, flowering and fruiting periods, and fruit yield were investigated. Longer duration (6–7 weeks) of the SD treatment (10 hours) could significantly reduce the number of runners and increase the number of lateral buds of strawberry ‘Tokun’, advance flowering and fruiting, and achieve a fruit yield of ≈200 g/plant from November to December. The positive effect of extra N nutrition on flowering and fruiting of strawberry ‘Tokun’ was not found. This study is of great practical importance and guiding significance for cultivation and extension of the decaploid strawberry ‘Tokun’.
Ji-Lian Zheng, Lan-Ying Hu, Kang-Di Hu, Jun Wu, Feng Yang, and Hua Zhang
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been identified as a multifunctional signaling molecule in plants. Here, we show that H2S delayed postharvest senescence of fresh-cut apples (Malus ×pumila) in a dose-dependent manner. Exogenous H2S application maintained significantly higher levels of ascorbic acid, flavonoids, total phenolics, reducing sugars and soluble proteins, and lower levels of free amino acids in apple slices compared with controls. Further investigations showed that H2S significantly reduced the accumulation of superoxide radicals, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA). Apple fruits fumigated with H2S contained significantly higher activities of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), guaiacol peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and lower activities of lipoxygenase (LOX), phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), and protease relative to controls. H2S also upregulated MdDHAR expression and downregulated the expression of MdLOX2, MdPG1, MdPPO, MdACO1, MdERS1, and MdETR1 in postharvest apple tissue. The present study indicates that H2S was involved in delaying postharvest senescence of apples by acting as an antioxidant and by regulating senescence-related gene expression.
Peter M. Hanson, Ray-yu Yang, Jane Wu, Jen-tzu Chen, Dolores Ledesma, Samson C.S. Tsou, and Tung-Ching Lee
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is among the most widely consumed vegetables worldwide and an important source of certain antioxidants (AO) including lycopene, β-carotene, and vitamin C. Improvement of tomato for content of AO and overall antioxidant activity (AOA) could potentially benefit human health in many countries. We evaluated 50 L. esculentum and three L. pimpinellifolium (L.) Mill. entries for contents of lycopene, β-carotene, ascorbic acid, total phenolics, and two assays for antioxidant activity [anti-radical power (ARP) and inhibition of lipid peroxidation (ILP)] for 2 years during the same period in south Taiwan. We detected high levels of genetic diversity for the AO and AOA measured in this study. Group means of the L. pimpinellifolium entries were significantly higher than L. esculentum group means for ARP, ILP, lycopene, ascorbic acid, phenolics, and soluble solids concentration, suggesting that introgression of alleles from L. pimpinellifolium may have potential to improve cultivated tomato for these traits. Ranking of entries for ILP and ARP were consistent between years, particularly for those entries with the highest means and these assays could be adopted by tomato breeders. Results from ILP and ARP assays were highly correlated (r = 0.82**) and it would be unnecessary to use both assays for tomato. Lycopene, β-carotene, ascorbic acid, soluble solids, and total phenolics were all positively correlated with ARP. Among AO, total phenolics content was most closely associated with ARP (r = 0.90**) and ILP (r = 0.83**); this suggests that phenolics make a major contribution to AOA in tomato fruit. Fruit size was negatively correlated with ARP (r = -0.74**) and ILP (r = -0.71**), indicating that combining large fruit size and high AOA will be challenging.
Pei Xu, Tingting Hu, Yuejian Yang, Xiaohua Wu, Baogen Wang, Yonghua Liu, Dehui Qin, Jeffrey Ehlers, Timothy Close, Zhongfu Lu, and Guojing Li
Colors of flower and seedcoat are interesting traits of asparagus bean, a cultivated subspecies of cowpea grown throughout Asia for its tender, long green pods. Little is known about the inheritance of these traits including their genome location. We report here the genetic analysis and mapping of the genes governing flower and seedcoat color in asparagus bean based on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Analysis of the F1 and F7:8 generation of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) population showed a monogenetic inheritance of both traits. Purple flower and brown seedcoat are dominant over white flower and cream seedcoat, respectively. We further show that genes governing flower color and seedcoat color are tightly linked on LG8, ≈0.4 cM apart. Synteny analysis showed that the gene controlling seedcoat color in our study is syntenic to the soybean T locus. The use of the mapping information in asparagus bean breeding is discussed.