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Ting Zhou, Hao Jiang, Wangxiang Zhang, Donglin Zhang, Junjun Fan, Quanquan Zhang, Guibin Wang, and Fuliang Cao

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Hao Jiang, Ting Zhou, Junjun Fan, Donglin Zhang, Long Zhang, Yanyan Sun, and Wangxiang Zhang

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Ting Zhou, Hao Jiang, Donglin Zhang, Junjun Fan, Long Zhang, Guibin Wang, Wangxiang Zhang, and Fuliang Cao

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Dongru Kang, Silan Dai, Kang Gao, Fan Zhang, and Hong Luo

In this study, five cultivars of cut chrysanthemum Chrysanthemum ×morifolium Ramat., ‘Jinba’, ‘Yuuka’, ‘Fenguiren’, ‘Xueshen’, and ‘Huangjin’ were used to explore the functions of 5-azacytidine (5-azaC) on chrysanthemum growth and flower development. The results showed that 5-azaC had different effects on the growth of the five cultivars during in vitro culture. The final statistics showed that low concentrations promoted plant growth, whereas high concentrations inhibited growth; however, each cultivar had different growth curves, demonstrating that 5-azaC had no consistent inhibitory actions on growth. On the basis of the squaring time and flowering time statistics, we found that 5-azaC had a certain effect on the flowering time of all cut chrysanthemums, and all of these cultivars showed extremely early strains. Summer chrysanthemum (‘Yuuka’, ‘Fenguiren’, ‘Xueshen’, and ‘Huangjin’) treatments led to both early and delayed flowering. When the statistics were analyzed for different individuals, we found that the treatments shortened the squaring time in early-flowering plants. In ‘Jinba’, an autumn chrysanthemum, the treatment helped broken juvenile limitations and allowed plants to undergo photoperiod induction in the early stage. Additionally, we also determined the flower diameter differences in these treatments; ray florets from ‘Yuuka’ and ‘Huangjin’ trended to show tubular florets, and the location of tubular and ray florets were changed in ‘Xueshen’ capitulum. In conclusion, on the basis of flowering time in five early varieties of cut chrysanthemum, we propose that 5-azaC may regulate the methylation level of genes that control flower induction and flower development. These results provide phenotypic data and material for exploring the function of DNA methylation in regulating flowering.

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Junhuo Cai, Junjun Fan, Xuying Wei, and Lu Zhang

Lycoris radiata has beautiful bright-red flowers with both medicinal and ornamental value. However, the mechanisms underlying an unusual characteristic of Lycoris radiata, flowering without leaves, remain unclear. In this study, climatic influences, biomass composition, and yearly variations in bulb contents across eight developmental stages of L. radiata were analyzed. Thus, L. radiata summer dormancy was investigated in three dimensions: climate-associated phenology, biomass distribution characteristics, and physiologic bulb changes. The results showed that dormancy was most strongly affected by high ambient temperature, followed by scape development, flowering, leafing out, vigorous leaf growth, flower bud differentiation, flower bud predifferentiation, and leaf maturation. Biomass allocation, bulb contents, oxidoreductase activity, and root activity fluctuated significantly in L. radiata among developmental stages. Relative bulb dry weight was greatest during the dormant period (95.95% of total dry weight) and lowest during vigorous leaf growth (November–December). Root biomass was also significantly greater during dormancy than during flowering, leaf maturation, and flower bud differentiation. Only root biomass during vigorous leaf growth was greater than root biomass during dormancy. However, in dormant bulbs, soluble sugar content, soluble protein content, root activity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and peroxidase (POD) activity decreased. Thus, summer dormancy in L. radiata only constitutes a morphologic dormancy of the aboveground plant; the bulb and root remain physiologically active. The results suggest that L. radiata is sensitive to both ambient temperature and light, and that summer dormancy is triggered by the synergistic stimulation of these two factors. Although temperature controls dormancy, it plays only a limited regulatory role during the L. radiata flowering period. Thus, it is difficult to induce flowering or regulate annual flowering in this species through temperature control alone.

Open access

Beibei Li, Xiucai Fan, Ying Zhang, Chonghuai Liu, and Jianfu Jiang

Chinese wild Vitis is a useful gene source for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, although there is little research on its genetic diversity and structure. In this study, nine simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to assess the genetic diversity and genetic structure among 100 Vitis materials. These materials included 77 indigenous accessions representing 23 of 38 wild Vitis species/cultivars in China, 18 V. vinifera cultivars, and the five North American species V. aestivalis, V. girdiana, V. monticola, V. acerifolia, and V. riparia. The SSR loci used in this study for establishing an international database (Vitis International Variety Catalogue) revealed a total of 186 alleles in 100 Vitis accessions. The mean values for the gene diversity (GD) and polymorphism information content (PIC) per locus were 0.91 and 0.90, respectively, which indicates that the discriminatory power of the markers is high. Based on the genetic distance data, the 100 Vitis accessions were divided into five primary clusters by cluster analysis, and five populations by structure analysis; these results indicate these Chinese wild grapes were more genetically close to European grapes than to North American species. In addition, the clustering patterns of most accessions correlated with the geographic distribution. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that 3.28%, 3.27%, and 93.46% of the variance occurred between populations, between individuals within populations, and between individuals within the entire population, respectively. In addition, we identified three previously undescribed accessions (Wuzhi-1, MZL-5, and MZL-6) by cluster analysis. Our results reveal a high level of genetic diversity and variability in Vitis from China, which will be helpful in the use of genetic resources in future breeding programs. In addition, our study demonstrates that SSR markers are highly suitable for further genetic diversity analyses of Chinese wild grapes.

Free access

Beibei Li, Jianfu Jiang, Xiucai Fan, Ying Zhang, Haisheng Sun, Guohai Zhang, and Chonghuai Liu

In this study, we present the molecular characterization of 61 Chinese grape landraces and 33 foreign cultivars by using nine microsatellite DNA markers. A total of 115 distinct alleles were amplified, and the average allele number was 12.78. The average observed and expected heterozygosity values were 0.797 and 0.839, respectively. The effective allele numbers ranged from 5.011 to 8.575. The average polymorphism information content (PIC) was 0.816. Eighty distinct genotypes were detected, and new synonyms and homonyms were found. The clustering dendrogram indicated that 94 Vitis materials could be divided into five major groups, and the cluster analysis showed that part of the Chinese grape landraces had a close relationship with the foreign cultivars. Assessment of the true cultivar identity, and the identification of synonyms and homonyms will be a contribution to improve the grape germplasm management and protect breeders’ intellectual rights.

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Junjun Fan, Wangxiang Zhang, Donglin Zhang, Ting Zhou, Hao Jiang, Guibin Wang, and Fuliang Cao

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Haiying Zhang, Jianguang Fan, Shaogui Guo, Yi Ren, Guoyi Gong, Jie Zhang, Yiqun Weng, Angela Davis, and Yong Xu

Watermelon belongs to the genus Citrullus. There have been continuing interests in breeding of watermelon for economic benefits, but information on the scope and utilization of genetic variations in Citrullus is still limited. The present study was conducted in 2012–13, to evaluate the genetic diversity and population structure of the 1197 line watermelon collection maintained by the Beijing Vegetable Research Center (BVRC), which belongs to seven Citrullus species including Citrullus naudinianus, Citrullus colocynthis, Citrullus rehmii, Citrullus ecirrhosus, Citrullus amarus, Citrullus mucosospermus, and Cirullus lanatus subsp. vulgaris. Twenty-three highly informative microsatellite markers evenly distributed in the watermelon genome were used to assess genetic diversity in this collection. The markers detected on an average of 6.05 alleles per locus with the average value of polymorphism information content (PIC) at 0.49. A high level of gene diversity [Nei’s gene diversity index (Nei) = 0.56] and a low observed heterozygosity (H o = 0.10) were revealed within the collection. Structure analysis grouped the 1197 accessions into two main populations (Pop I and Pop II) and an admixture group. Pop I contained 450 accessions from C. lanatus subsp. vulgaris (446) and C. mucosospermus (4). Pop II comprised 465 accessions, 379 of which belonged to C. lanatus subsp. vulgaris and 86 to C. naudinianus (3), C. ecirrhosus (2), C. rehmii (2), C. colocynthis (11), C. amarus (58), and C. mucosospermus (10). The remaining 282 accessions were classified as an admixture group. The two main populations were further subdivided into four subgroups. The groupings were consistent with the estimation of F statistics (F st) and Nei’s genetic distances in collections. We confirmed the distinct genetic backgrounds between American and East Asian ecotypes. Subsequently, we defined a core set consisting of 130 accessions including 47 from Pop I, 68 from Pop II, and 15 from the Admixture group. This core set was able to capture all 133 alleles detected by 23 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in 1197 accessions. These results will facilitate efficient use of genetic variations in Citrullus in watermelon breeding and help optimization of accessions in genomewide association studies.

Free access

Yong Zhang, Chunxia Fu, Yujing Yan, Xiaodan Fan, Yan’an Wang, and Ming Li

Application of sugar alcohol zinc (SA-Zn) spray to apple trees at certain developmental stages can improve fruit quality. Increasing the Zn concentration of fruit can improve nutritional content and promote human health. We conducted foliar application of SA-Zn to 13-year-old ‘Fuji’ apple trees at different developmental stages. The effects of SA-Zn application on Zn concentration, reducing sugar content, and carbohydrate metabolism-related enzyme activity in fruit were investigated. The foliar treatment increased Zn and reducing sugar concentrations significantly in mature fruit. Sorbitol dehydrogenase activity was higher in the fruit of trees treated before budbreak and 3 weeks after flowering compared with the control at the early fruit stage and was higher during fruit expansion in plants treated after termination of spring shoot growth. Mature fruit of trees treated during the fruit expansion stage showed higher sorbitol dehydrogenase activity than the control. Foliar SA-Zn treatment did not have a significant effect on sorbitol oxidase activity in apple fruit. Treatment before budbreak and at 3 weeks after flowering led to a significant increase in the activity of sucrose synthase and acid invertase at the early fruit stage. Treatment during the fruit expansion stage significantly increased the activity of acid invertase at maturity but had no effect on the activity of neutral invertase. Our results indicate that foliar SA-Zn application resulted in biofortification of Zn in apples, which led to higher activity of carbohydrate metabolism-related enzymes and accumulation of sugars.