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Wei Zheng, Xiao-Dan Xu, and Long-Qing Chen

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Huifei Shen, Bing Zhao, Jingjing Xu, Xizi Zheng, and Wenmei Huang

Rhododendrons (Rhododendron) are ornamental plants that exhibit poor thermotolerance. Salicylic acid (SA) and Ca2+ regulate the physiological and biochemical mechanisms in plants adapted to adverse environmental conditions. This study investigated the role of SA and CaCl2 in managing heat tolerance of Rhododendron ‘Fen Zhen Zhu’. Plants of the triennial Rhododendron ‘Fen Zhen Zhu’ were pretreated with SA and CaCl2, alone and combined. Following this pretreatment, the plants were subjected to 38/30 °C (day/night) incubation for 6 days, and then allowed to recover for 20 days under 25/17 °C (day/night) in a chamber. Changes in morphology were observed and recorded. Data were collected on plant chlorophyll content, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, H2O2 level, antioxidant enzyme activity, and total soluble protein content. The results revealed that the plant growth was considerably affected by heat stress, the leaves became brown and withered, and the plant defoliated. Under heat stress, chlorophyll content and total soluble protein levels decreased. Peroxidase (POD) activity and superoxide dismutase (SOD) also decreased, whereas the H2O2 and MDA content increased. Individual or combined application of SA and CaCl2 had a positive effect on plant growth, chlorophyll content, total soluble protein levels, and enzymatic antioxidant activity under heat stress. In general, the effect of the combined application of SA and CaCl2 was superior to individual application. In addition, treatment with high CaCl2 concentrations effectively alleviated the decrease in chlorophyll content. However, at low SA and CaCl2 concentrations, SOD and POD activity and total soluble protein accumulation increased whereas MDA and H2O2 levels decreased. These results suggest that SA and CaCl2 may interact to alleviate heat stress.

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Wei Zheng, Xiao-dan Xu, Kai-Ge Zhao, and Longqing Chen

Open access

Xu Zheng, Wenjing Zhao, Jintao Ge, Meihua Miao, and Xingman Liu

Open access

Jing Huang, Ya-liang Xu, Fa-min Duan, Xu Du, Qi-chang Yang, and Yin-jian Zheng

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of alternating red (660 nm) and blue (460 nm) light on the growth and nutritional quality of two-leaf-color pak choi (Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis var. communis). Four light treatments (supplemental alternating red and blue light with intervals of 0, 1, 2, and 4 hours, with a monochromatic light intensity of 100 μmol·m−2·s−1 and a cumulative lighting time of 16 hours per day) were conducted in a greenhouse under identical ambient light conditions (90 to 120 μmol·m−2·s−1 at 12:00 am) for 10 days before green- and red-leaf pak choi were harvested. The results showed that the two-leaf-color pak choi receiving alternating red and blue light exhibited more compact canopies and wider leaves than those under the control treatment, which was attributed to the shade avoidance syndrome of plants. The present study indicated that the biomass of green-leaf pak choi was much higher than that of red-leaf pak choi, but the nutritional quality of green-leaf pak choi was lower than that of red-leaf pak choi, and seemingly indicating that the regulation of metabolism for pak choi was species specific under light exposure. The trends of both biomass and the soluble sugar content were highest under the 1-hour treatment. The contents of chlorophyll a and total chlorophyll in both cultivars (green- and red-leaf pak choi) were significantly increased compared with control, without significant differences among the 1-, 2-, and 4-hour treatments, whereas chlorophyll b exhibited no significant difference in any treatment. Alternating red- and blue-light treatment significantly affected the carotenoid content, but different trends in green- and red-leaf pak choi were observed, with the highest contents being detected under the 1-hour and 4-hour treatments, respectively. With increasing time intervals, the highest soluble protein contents in two-leaf-color pak choi were observed in the 4-hour treatment, whereas nitrate contents were significantly decreased in the 4-hour treatment. Compared with 0 hours, the contents of vitamin C, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and anthocyanins in two-leaf-color pak choi were significantly increased, but no significant differences were observed in vitamin C, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids among the 1-, 2-, and 4-hour treatments, similar to what was found for the anthocyanin content of green-leaf pak choi. However, the content of anthocyanins in red-leaf pak choi gradually increased with increasing time intervals, with the highest content being found in the 4-hour treatment. Supplemental alternating red and blue light slightly increased the antioxidant capacity [1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging rate and antioxidant power], but no significant differences were observed after 1, 2, and 4 hours of treatment. Taken together, treatment with an interval of 1 hour was the most effective for increasing the biomass of pak choi in this study, but treatment with a 4-hour interval should be considered to enhance the accumulation of health-promoting compounds.

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Shuiming Zhang, Zhongshan Gao, Changjie Xu, Kunsong Chen, Guoyun Wang, Jintu Zheng, and Ting Lu

Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) was used to analyze genetic diversity of 100 accessions of Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.), one of the widely cultivated fruit tree crops in southern China. Six E-NN/M-NNN primer combinations were selected and a total of 236 bands were obtained, of which 177 were polymorphic (75.01%). An unweighted pair-group method of the arithmetic averages (UPGMA) was used to analyze the genetic relationships. The Dice's similarity coefficient among the Chinese bayberry accessions ranged from 0.75 to 1.00 and was 0.49 between Chinese bayberry and wax myrtle (M. cerifera L.). The 100 accessions of Chinese bayberry were clustered into two groups and seven subgroups. Subgrouping of Chinese bayberry was not related to the sex of the plant and color or size of the ripe fruit, but to some extent the region where the accession originated. However, the accessions from the same region did not necessarily belong to the same group or subgroup, which suggested the presence of extensive gene flow among different regions. Furthermore, close relationships between some morphologically similar accessions were found.

Open access

Yanjiao Zheng, Zaiqiang Yang, Chao Xu, Lin Wang, Haijing Huang, and Shiqiong Yang

High temperature and high relative humidity (RH) are one of the most serious agricultural meteorological disasters that limit the production capacity of agricultural facilities. However, little information is available on the precise interaction between these factors on tomato growth. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of high temperature under different RH levels on tomato growth and endogenous hormones and to determine the optimal RH for tomato seedling growth under high temperature environment. Two high temperature (38/18 °C, 41/18 °C) and three relative humidity (50 ± 5%, 70 ± 5%, 90 ± 5%) orthogonal experiments were conducted, with 28/18 °C, 50 ± 5% (CK) as control. The results showed that the dry matter accumulation of tomato plants under high temperature environment was significantly lower than that of CK. At 38 °C, the dry matter accumulation with 70% relative humidity was not significantly different from that of CK; at 41 °C, dry matter accumulation with 70% and 90% relative air humidity was significantly greater than that of 50%. The concentrations of soluble sugar and free amino acids in all organs in high temperature-treated plants were significantly higher than that in CK. As relative humidity increased, soluble sugar concentrations of each organ decreased, and the free amino acid concentrations increased. Cytokinin (ZT) and indole acetic acid (IAA) concentrations in tomato buds were significantly lower than in CK under high temperature conditions. The lower the RH, the lower the content of ZT and IAA. The gibberellin (GA3) and abscisic acid (ABA) concentrations were higher than in CK under high temperatures. GA3 concentrations decreased and ABA concentrations were augmented with increased humidity. The differences of tomato seedling growth indices and apical bud endogenous hormone concentrations between RHs under high temperature conditions were significant. Raising RH to 70% or higher under high temperature conditions could be beneficial to the growth of tomato plants. The results contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between microclimate parameters inside a Venlo-type glass greenhouse environment, in a specific climate condition, and their effects on the growth of tomato.

Free access

Ni Jia, Qing-Yan Shu, Dan-Hua Wang, Liang-Sheng Wang, Zheng-An Liu, Hong-Xu Ren, Yan-Jun Xu, Dai-Ke Tian, and Kenneth Michael Tilt

Petal anthocyanins were systematically identified and characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)–electrospray ionization–mass spectrometry (MS) coupled with diode array detection among nine wild herbaceous peony (Paeonia L.) species (15 accessions). Individual anthocyanins were identified according to the HPLC retention time, elution order, MS fragmentation patterns, and by comparison with authentic standards and published data. Six main anthocyanins, including peonidin-3,5-di-O-glucoside, peonidin-3-O-glucoside-5-O-arabinoside (Pn3G5Ara), peonidin-3-O-glucoside, pelargonidin-3,5-di-O-glucoside, cyanidin-3,5-di-O-glucoside, and cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (Cy3G), were detected. In addition to the well-known major anthocyanins, some minor anthocyanins were identified in herbaceous peony species for the first time. Detection of the unique anthocyanins cyanidin-3-O-glucoside-5-O-galactoside and pelargonidin-3-O-glucoside-5-O-galactoside in both Paeonia anomala L. and P. anomala ssp. veitchii (Lynch) D.Y. Hong & K.Y. Pan indicated these two species should belong to the same taxon. Pn3G5Ara was found only in European wild species and subspecies suggesting different metabolic pathways between European and Chinese accessions. Anthocyanins conjugated with galactose and arabinose were observed in the genus Paeonia for the first time. The North American species, Paeonia tenuifolia L., had high Cy3G content in flower petals. This anthocyanin composition is distinct from the anthocyanin composition in Asian and European species and possibly is responsible for the vivid red coloration in flowers.

Free access

Chunxian Chen, Qifa Zheng, Xu Xiang, Jaya R. Soneji, Shu Huang, Young A Choi, Madhugiri Nageswara Rao, and Fred G. Gmitter Jr.

Eight new green fluorescent protein (GFP) binary vectors were developed by inserting gfp reporter gene cassettes into pGreen vectors. We chose one of them, pG52KF, with the nptII selection and gfp reporter gene and one recombinant construct, pG52KFp, for a preliminary evaluation in citrus using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. High-transformation efficiency was observed, whereas green fluorescence greatly facilitated the early in vivo screening and categorizing of the transformants. These pGreen-derived GFP binary vectors, freely available on request, provide more and flexible options for genetic transformation in citrus and other woody plants.

Free access

Young-Hwan Shin, Rui Yang, Yun-Long Shi, Xu-Min Li, Qiu-Yue Fu, Jian-Liang Lu, Jian-Hui Ye, Kai-Rong Wang, Shi-Cheng Ma, Xin-Qiang Zheng, and Yue-Rong Liang

Albino tea plants are mutants that grow albino young leaves owing to lack of chlorophylls under certain environmental conditions. There are two types of albino tea plants grown in production, i.e., light- and temperature-sensitive albino tea cultivars. The former grows albino leaves in yellow color under intensive sunlight conditions and the later grows albino leaves with white mesophyll and greenish vein as the environmental temperature is below 20 °C. Both albino teas attract great attention because of their high levels of amino acids and the “umami” taste. There have been many studies focusing on the temperature-sensitive albino tea plants, whereas little attention has been given to the light-sensitive albino tea cultivars. The characteristics of the albino tea cultivars and the mechanism underlying them were reviewed in the present article based on the published literatures, including chemical compositions, morphological characteristics, and molecular genetic mechanism.