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  • Author or Editor: Chen Wang x
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Anthocyanins are important molecules that are responsible for fruit color formation and are also beneficial to human health. To date, numerous structural and regulatory genes associated with anthocyanin biosynthesis in peach (Prunus persica) have been reported based on linkage analysis. In this study, we sought to identify further genes associated with anthocyanin content in peach by conducting a genome-wide association analysis of 129 peach accessions to detect markers associated with the trait. Significant association signals were detected when anthocyanin content was considered a qualitative character but not when it was considered a quantitative trait. We detected an association region located between 11.7 and 13.1 Mb in chromosome 1, a region in which only 133 of 146 genes have previously been functionally annotated. Gene ontology annotation of the genes in this region showed that membrane-associated genes (including one gene encoding a chloride channel protein and 17 sugar transport/carrier-associated genes) were significantly enriched, and we focused on these in subsequent analyses. Based on in vitro induction of anthocyanins in fruit flesh using different exogenously applied sugars and subsequent culture, we found that the expression level of 3 of the 18 membrane-associated genes, Prupe.1G156300, Prupe.1G156900, and Prupe.1G157000, increased during induction treatment. Furthermore, during the fruit development period of a white-fleshed and a red-fleshed peach cultivar, the expression of one gene encoding a transmembrane sugar transport protein was observed to be positively correlated with anthocyanin biosynthesis. These results will facilitate understanding of the molecular mechanism of anthocyanin biosynthesis in peach.

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Potassium (K) is a critical plant nutrient that determines quality in a myriad of crops and increases production yields. However, excessive application of various types of K fertilizers can decrease both the food quality and yields, which translates as economic losses and food safety issues. The objectives of this study were to 1) elucidate the impacts of different application rates of various K fertilizers on garlic, with the aim to identify the optimal and most economical K fertilizer dosage and 2) compare the effects of applying two common K fertilizers (KCl and K2SO4) on garlic, to determine the optimal combination. From 2018 to 2020, we utilized two distinct K-fertilized fields to conduct our experiments. The results revealed optimal KCl fertilization increased the biomass and vegetation index in garlic, and promoted the transfer of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium nutrients from the stem and leaf to bulb, thereby increasing bulb production. The application of KCl fertilizer increased the number of cloves, the diameters of the cloves and bulbs, and reduced variations in bulb size. In addition, the application of KCl fertilizer improved the nutritional quality (Vitamin C, soluble sugar, soluble protein, and allicin) of the garlic and reduced the accumulation of nitrate. However, excessive KCl fertilizer cause decreased yields, appearance traits, and nutritional quality. Applying the same rate of K fertilizer in the form of K2SO4 in isolation increased the garlic yield by only 0.1% to 22.5% when compared with KCl fertilizer. However, the results were not always significant. In this study, the highest yields, appearance traits, and nutritional quality were achieved with the ratio of K2SO4: KCl = 3:1. Consequently, to ensure the highest economic value (considering the market prices of K fertilizer, garlic sprouts, and bulbs), the authors recommend a K fertilizer rate of 252.5 kg·ha−1 K2O, with K2SO4 accounting for 61.6% for garlic production in field.

Open Access

The NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2) family is a group of plant-specific transcription factors that have vital roles in the growth and development of plants, and especially in fruit and kernel development. This study aimed to identify members of the NAC gene (PsNACs) family and investigate their functions in siberian apricot (Prunus sibirica). A total of 102 predicted PsNAC proteins (PsNACs) were divided into 14 clades and the genes were mapped to the eight chromosomes in siberian apricot. The PsNACs of the same clade had similar structures. A synteny analysis showed that the PsNACs had close relationships with the NAC genes of japanese apricot (Prunus mume). An expression pattern analysis of the PsNACs revealed many differences in various tissues and at different stages of fruit and kernel development. All eight PsNACs in clade XI have crucial roles in fruit and kernel development. Seven PsNACs (PsNACs 18, 64, 23, 33, 9, 4, and 50) in clades I, III, VI, VII, and XIII are related to fruit development. Eight PsNACs (PsNACs 6, 13, 46, 51, 41, 67, 37, and 59) in clades I, II, V, VIII, and XIII are involved in fruit ripening. Five PsNACs (PsNACs 6, 94, 41, 32, and 17) in clades I, IV, V, VII, and XI regulated the rapid growth of the kernel. Four PsNACs (PsNACs 50, 4, 67, and 84) in clades I, III, V, and XIII affected the hardening of the kernel. Four PsNACs (PsNACs 17, 82, 13, and 51) in clades II, XI, and IX acted on kernel maturation. We have characterized the NAC genes in siberian apricot during this study. Our results will provide resources for future research of the biological roles of PsNACs in fruit and kernel development in siberian apricot.

Open Access

Many reports indicate that an abundance of really interesting new gene (RING) play key roles in regulating defense responses against abiotic and biotic stresses in plants. In this study, the cloning and functional characterization of a RING gene, MaRING2, in banana (Musa acuminata) fruit are reported. MaRING2 belongs to the NEP1-interacting protein (NIP) RING-H2 finger protein family. Gene expression profiles revealed that MaRING2 was cold responsive and induced by abscisic acid (ABA) treatment during cold storage. In this study, the MaRING2 under control of the Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S (CaMV 35S) promoter was transformed to tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) using agrobacterium (Agrobacterium tumefaciens)-mediated transformation. The resultant MaRING2-overexpressing transgenic plants (35S:MaRING2) exhibited significantly increased tolerance to low temperatures and were hypersensitive to exogenous ABA in terms of germination and early seedling growth. In addition, overexpression of MaRING2 enhanced the expression of stress-responsive genes under normal (before cold stress) or cold conditions. These results demonstrate the biological role of MaRING2 in conferring cold tolerance. Taken together, these results suggest that MaRING2, a C3H2C3-type RING protein, is a positive regulator of the ABA-dependent stress response.

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A protocol was developed for efficient plant regeneration of Iris germanica L. `Skating Party' from suspension cultures. Suspension cultures were maintained in Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium (pH 5.9) supplemented with 290 mg·L–1 proline, 50 g·L–1 sucrose, 5.0 μm 2,4-D, and 0.5 μm Kin. Suspension-cultured cells were transferred to a shoot induction medium (MS basal medium supplemented with 10 mg·L–1 pantothenic acid, 4.5 mg·L–1 nicotinic acid, 1.9 mg·L–1 thiamine, 250 mg·L–1 casein hydrolysate, 250 mg·L–1 proline, 50 g·L–1 sucrose, 2.0 g·L–1 Phytagel, 0.5 μm NAA, and 12.5 μm Kin). Cell clusters that proliferated on this medium differentiated and developed shoots and plantlets in about 5 weeks. Regeneration apparently occurred via both somatic embryogenesis and shoot organogenesis. A series of experiments was conducted to optimize conditions during suspension culture to maximize subsequent plant regeneration. Parameters included 2,4-D and Kin concentrations, the subculture interval, and the size of cell clusters. The highest regeneration rate was achieved with cell clusters ≤280 μm in diameter, derived from suspension cultures grown for 6 weeks without subculturing in liquid medium containing 5 μm 2,4-D and 0.5 μm Kin. Up to 4000 plantlets with normal vegetative growth and morphology could be generated from 1 g of suspension-cultured cells in about 3–4 months. Chemical names used: 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); kinetin (Kin); 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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To improve the efficiency of iris plant regeneration, we tested the influence of several combinations of Kin and NAA in culture media on the induction of morphogenesis and the subsequent development of plantlets. The highest rates of regeneration (67%) were consistently observed in induction media containing 0.5 μm NAA and either 2.5 or 12.5 μm Kin. Developing medium containing 1.25 μm BA was optimal for high regeneration rates and a high percentage of plantlets simultaneously developing shoots and roots. Rooted plantlets were easily acclimatized and transplanted to various soil mixtures, then grown in the greenhouse. Under optimal conditions as many as 8000 plantlets could be regenerated from 1 g of cells in ≈4 months. Chemical names used: kinetin (Kin); 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA); N6-benzyladenine (BA).

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Solenostemon scutellarioides (coleus) were grown in drainage lysimeters in concurrent experiments to evaluate effects of irrigation quantity and frequency on growth responses, leaf gas exchange, and nitrate leaching. Lysimeters in Expt. 1 were irrigated either with 13 mm daily or 13 mm every other day. Daily irrigation increased mean leachate and doubled nitrate leached compared with every other day (22.9 kg·ha−1 N versus 10.8 kg·ha−1 N, respectively). In Expt. 2, lysimeters were irrigated every 2 days with 13 mm or every 3 days with 18 mm such that total depth applied was equivalent. Irrigation frequency had no effect on irrigation quantity or nitrate leached. In these experiments, assimilation rates, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rates were influenced by day since irrigation with values lower on days without irrigation. However, neither irrigation quantity nor frequency affected final shoot dry weight, root dry weight, height or growth indices (P > 0.05).

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