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Yihui Cui, Peng Zhao, Hongqiang An, Nan Lv, Zifeng Zhang, Wei Pei, and Wanjun Wang

To find the characteristics of somatic embryogenesis of orchids and elucidate the mechanism, we had previously established an efficient plant regeneration system via somatic embryogenesis in Dendrobium candidum Wall ex Lindl. In this study, a detailed cytological investigation was carried out on the initiation and developmental process of somatic embryogenesis. Based on our observations, the somatic embryogenesis in D. candidum originated from the transition of an embryonic callus cell to the initial somatic embryo cell, and the somatic embryos initiated from those cells. During the transition process, condensation and devacuolation successively occurred in the cytoplasm of the embryonic callus cells, giving rise to the formation of a typical initial somatic embryo cell with dense cytoplasm and a clear nucleus. One of the two pathways in somatic embryogenesis is the single-cell-derived somatic embryo which is generated from an inner initial somatic embryo cell in embryonic callus and develops into a globular somatic embryo in a way similar to zygotic embryogenesis and then keeps developing into a protocorm-like body (PLB). The other is a multiple-cell-derived somatic embryo which is generated from peripheral grouped initial somatic cells in embryonic calli and directly forms globular embryo or multicellular somatic proembryo, lacking the typical early stages of embryogenesis. Both pathways were observed in the somatic embryogenesis system, indicating that the culture system in D. candidum can be a useful tool for investigating the mechanisms underlying orchid embryogenesis.

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Wei Zhou, Xiaoming Wang, Jianhua Chen, Liangming Chen, Zhongquan Qiao, and Huijie Zeng

Lagerstroemia indica (crape myrtle) is a popular Chinese landscape plant with a long flowering period that contributes to its gorgeous flowers and high ornamental value, which motivate L. indica breeding. We found a wild acarpous individual of L. indica that did not bear seeds after flowering and had a significantly longer flowering period than fructiferous L. indica. This study identified differences in floral organ morphology, and stamen and pistil structure between fructiferous and acarpous L. indica through observation, paraffin sectioning, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The flowering time of each acarpous L. indica inflorescence lasts as long as 18 to 25 days. When a single flower withers, it falls from the pedicel without any fruit. The abortion in the floral organ of acarpous L. indica is characterized by sterile and undehisced anthers, pollen abortion, and deformed and irregularly arranged filament cells. Acarpous L. indica features short and loosely arranged papilla cells in the stigma, a flat style and narrow stylar canal, loosely arranged epidermal cells, and no obvious nuclei. No embryo sac cavity is found in acarpous L. indica ovules. In some nucelli, the egg apparatus structure can be observed indistinctly but without cell contour. In others, the egg apparatus structure is completely absent, and only flocculent tissue is observed. This study may provide a theoretical foundation for future studies on the molecular mechanisms of the mutations in acarpous L. indica.

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Yan Cheng, Qian Wang, Qingyu Ban, Jianfeng Geng, Xiao Wei Zhang, Ying Yi, and Xilin Hou

Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) identified so far in Brassica were mainly generated in the final stage of plant development, which did not apply to the exploitation of genetic effects that were expressed during a specific developmental stage. Thus, the objective of this study was to simultaneously identify unconditional and conditional QTL associated with plant height at various stages of nonheading Chinese cabbage. One hundred twelve doubled haploid (DH) lines developed from the cross between nonheading Chinese cabbage lines ‘SW-13’ and ‘SU-124’ were used for QTL analysis of plant height by the composite interval mapping method combined with mixed genetic model. The map we used for QTL analysis was an updated version of the first genetic map of nonheading Chinese cabbage with 48 additional markers to the same DH population. With data from 2 years, a total of 11 unconditional QTLs in six linkage groups and 23 conditional QTLs in eight linkage groups were identified for plant height. The results indicated that the number and type of QTLs and their genetic effects for plant height were different in a series of measuring stages. Each QTL can explain 7.92% to 28.25% of the total phenotypic variation. Two QTLs (ph8-4 and ph8-5) were identified to be associated with plant height using both unconditional and conditional mapping methods simultaneously in 2 years. These results demonstrated that it is highly effective for mapping QTL of developmental traits using the unconditional and conditional analysis methodology.

Open access

En-chao Liu, Li-fang Niu, Yang Yi, Li-mei Wang, You-wei Ai, Yun Zhao, Hong-xun Wang, and Ting Min

Ethylene response factor (ERF) genes have been characterized in numerous plants, where they are associated with responses to biotic and abiotic stress. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is an effective treatment to prevent lotus root browning. However, the possible relationship between ERF transcription factors and lotus root browning under MAP remains unexplored. In this study, the effects of phenol, phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), and peroxidase (POD) enzyme activities; and PPO, PAL, POD, and ERF gene expression on fresh-cut lotus root browning were studied with MAP. The expression pattern of ERF2/5 correlated highly with the degree of browning. It is suggested that NnERF2/5 can be used as an important candidate gene for the regulation of fresh-cut lotus root browning under MAP, and the correlation of each gene should be studied further.

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Li Ma, Chang Wei Hou, Xin Zhong Zhang, Hong Li Li, De Guo Han, Yi Wang, and Zhen Hai Han

Understanding of root growth patterns and architecture of apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) trees is very important for commercial apple production. Most commercial apple trees are usually a grafted complex consisting of the scion and the rootstock, each of which is a different genotype. Recently, rootstocks of dwarf tree species have been used extensively to meet the convenience in management; however, this practice appears to negatively impact root development. Using minirhizotrons, we investigated root dynamics, root spatial distribution, and shoot growth in ‘Red Fuji’ scion grown: 1) directly on dwarf and vigorous root stocks and 2) on a dwarf root stock placed in between the non-dwarf scion and non-dwarf rootstock (hereinafter referred to as an interstem). The results showed that: 1) one or two peaks in total root length density (TRLD) were observed in each scion/rootstock combinations every year; 2) the greatest TRLD peaks were always observed in between May and December. The peaks of shoot growth were always asynchronous with that of white root length density; 3) compared with scion/vigorous rootstock combinations, inserting a dwarfing interstem between the scion and vigorous seedling rootstock reduced the TRLD; 4) scion/vigorous rootstock combinations had a relatively deep, widespread and large root system. Scion/dwarfing rootstock combinations had a root system distributed in a small region; and the root systems of scion/dwarfing interstem/vigorous rootstock combinations tended to be intermediate between those of scion/vigorous rootstock and scion/dwarfing rootstock. This implies that the insertion of interstems altered the root architecture by not only the quantity of roots, but also the spatial distribution.

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Wei-Ling Yuan, Shang-yong Yuan, Xiao-hui Deng, Cai-xia Gan, Lei Cui, and Qing-fang Wang

Efficient nitrogen (N) fertilizer management is crucial for ensuring the maximum economic yield and reducing the risk of environmental pollution. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of N fertilizer management on root yield and N uptake of radish in southern China by using 15N isotope tracing. A 2-year field experiment was conducted with three N rates (0, 60, and 120 kg N/ha) and two different application proportions, viz, A [50% at basal, 20% at 15 days after seeding (DAS), 30% at 30 DAS] and B (30% at basal, 20% at 15 DAS, 50% at 30 DAS) for each N rate, which were expressed as N0, N60A, N60B, N120A, and N120B, respectively. The results showed that root yields were significantly increased with N rates increasing from 0 to 120 kg N/ha. The root yields for N120A and N120B were 67.60 t·ha−1 and 72.50 t·ha−1 at harvest, 64.07% and 66.67% higher than those for the treatments of N60A and N60B, respectively. Mean radish recovery of N fertilizer ranged from 25.90% at N120A to 32.60% at N60B, and N fertilizer residual rate in the soil ranged from 11.50% at N120A to 14.90% at N60B. About 17.50% to 35.70% of total uptake of 15N derived from basal fertilizer was absorbed at seeding stage. However, 61.87% to 80.18% of total uptake of 15N derived from topdressing fertilizer absorbed at root expanding stage. Therefore, appropriate nitrogen application with increasing topdressing nitrogen amount could increase root yield of radish and the nitrogen recovery efficiency. Nitrogen fertilizer application recommended was 120 kg N/ha with 30% for basal, 20% for 15 DAS and 50% for 30 DAS in this study.

Open access

Qing Shen, Hua Bian, Hai-yan Wei, Li Liao, Zhi-yong Wang, Xiao-yan Luo, Xi-peng Ding, Zhenbang Chen, and Paul Raymer

Seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) is an important warm-season turfgrass distributed in tropical and coastal areas. It has excellent resistance to abiotic stresses, such as salinity, drought, and low temperature. However, the research on genetic diversity of local P. vaginatum collections from China is limited. In this study, the genetic diversity among 58 P. vaginatum accessions from four different provinces in China and four cultivars were assessed using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The results indicated that a total of 45 alleles were detected by 19 polymorphic markers, with a range of 2 to 4 and an average of 2.4 alleles per marker. The genetic similarity coefficients between each pair of the 58 P. vaginatum accessions and four cultivars ranged from 0.51 to 1.00, with an average of 0.77. The range of variation of Shannon diversity index of each SSR marker was 0.047 to 1.075, with an average of 0.486. The polymorphic information content of each SSR marker varies from 0.016 to 0.577, with an average of 0.249. The results of cluster analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) showed that 58 P. vaginatum accessions and four cultivars were divided into four groups. These results provide the theoretical basis for the genetic diversity assessments and molecular marker–assisted breeding of P. vaginatum species.

Open access

Derek W. Barchenger, Sopana Yule, Nakarin Jeeatid, Shih-wen Lin, Yen-wei Wang, Tsung-han Lin, Yuan-li Chan, and Lawrence Kenyon

Chile pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is an increasingly important vegetable and spice crop. Among the most devastating chile pepper–infecting viruses, especially in tropical and subtropical regions, are members of the whitefly transmitted Begomovirus, which cause pepper yellow leaf curl (PYLC). An effective PYLC management strategy is the development of resistant cultivars. However, genetic recombination, acquisition of extra DNA components, and synergistic interactions among different begomoviruses have resulted in the rapid emergence of new viruses that can infect new hosts, cause new disease symptoms, and overcome host resistance. In this project, 98 Capsicum entries comprising breeding lines, open pollinated varieties, genebank accessions, and wild species were screened for resistance to strains of Pepper yellow leaf curl Thailand virus (PepYLCThV). We used a randomized complete block design with three replications and 10 plants per replication in field net-houses at two locations (Khon Kaen and Kamphaeng Saen, Thailand) using augmented inoculation by viruliferous whiteflies. Scoring was done at ≈60, 90, and 120 days after inoculation using a standardized 6-point scale (1 = no symptoms to 6 = very severe symptoms), and the average of the scores of 10 plants within each replication was used for analysis. Although no entry was immune to the disease, the breeding line 9852-123 was highly resistant. Several accessions and lines were moderately resistant at both locations, although a high level of variability within these entries was observed. Overall, the disease severity at the Khon Kaen location was greater compared with Kamphaeng Saen, highlighting the importance of multilocation testing for disease resistance. The resistant entry identified here can be used to study gene action and to move resistance genes into well-adapted germplasm.

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Xiao-Juan Wei, Jinlin Ma, Kun Wang, Xiao-Jing Liang, Jin-Xuan Lan, Yue-Juan Li, Kai-Xiang Li, and Haiying Liang

Camellia chrysantha flowers are in great market demand as a result of their high ornamental and medicinal values. To induce early flowering in 4-year-old juvenile C. chrysantha seedlings, three levels of paclobutrazol (PBZ) concentration (100, 200, and 300 ppm) were applied to the roots. PBZ is a triazole-type cytochrome P450 inhibitor that was found successful in inducing flowering in juvenile C. chrysantha grafted plants in a prior report. The current study shows that all three PBZ concentrations were equally effective in induction of floral buds, resulting in an average of 20 floral buds per treated plant. In comparison, none of the untreated plants flowered. Although the induced flowers were smaller than the ones from mature trees, PBZ treatment did not affect C. chrysantha flowers’ medical values, because there was no significant change in the content of pharmacologically active compounds (polysaccharide, polyphenols, flavonoids, and saponins). None of the PBZ treatments had a negative effect on the current year’s growth in height and basal diameter, photosynthesis, and levels of water-soluble sugars and nutrients [phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and carbon (C)]. It is concluded that PBZ is an effective flowering inducer for juvenile C. chrysantha plants. It was also found that PBZ-treated plants experienced defoliation, and there existed a strong correlation between severity of defoliation and PBZ concentration. This might be attributed by the stress induced by PBZ, as demonstrated by the increased activities of some of the stress-related enzymes [ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and peroxidase (POD)], and the level of malondialdehyde (MAD). Considering that severe defoliation can cause stunted or malformed plants and reduce aesthetic value, 100 ppm is the optimal PBZ concentration for flowering induction in C. chrysantha seedlings.

Open access

Derek W. Barchenger, Khin Thandar, Thain Gi Myint, Tran Ngoc Hung, Nguyen Quoc Hung, Shih-wen Lin, Yen-wei Wang, and Tsung-han Lin

Chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) is an increasingly important crop worldwide, and Vietnam and Myanmar are major producing countries. The chile pepper markets in Myanmar and Vietnam are different, with production primarily for domestic consumption in Myanmar and for the export market in Vietnam. However, there is an overall lack of domestically developed cultivars in both countries. The objective of this study was to identify high-performing chile pepper entries, adapted to local conditions, for use in domestic breeding programs or direct release. Fruit length, width, weight, and yield were measured during two seasons (2016–17 and 2018–19), and the same entries were evaluated in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. However, different entries were tested in each season. During the 2016–17 season, AVPP1324 grown in Hanoi had the overall highest yield (15.3 t·ha–1), followed by AVPP1330 (15.0 t·ha–1 in Hanoi) and AVPP1111 (14.4 and 14.9 t·ha–1 in Hanoi and Nay Pyi Taw, respectively). AVPP0303 had the greatest fruit length, fruit width, and fruit weight in both Hanoi and Nay Pyi Taw during the 2016–17 season. During the 2018–19 season, AVPP1345 (24.8 t·ha–1) followed by AVPP9905 (22.5 t·ha–1) in Nay Pyi Taw, and AVPP1245 (17.4 t·ha–1) in Hanoi had the highest yield. AVPP9905 had the greatest fruit weight and width in both locations. AVPP1345 and AVPP9905 had the greatest fruit length during the 2018–19 season. There is an obvious need for domestically produced cultivars in Myanmar and Vietnam that meet local farmer and consumer preferences and that are adapted to the pests, diseases, and stress in each country. Several high-performing lines were identified that can be used as direct release or incorporated in local breeding programs for the development of inbred or F1 hybrid cultivars. This research also provides a basis for future studies on stability of yield and yield components in Southeast Asia.