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  • Author or Editor: Yang Li x
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The stolon is the main asexual reproductive organ of the medicinal plant Tulipa edulis and has special morphology. In the greenhouse experiment presented herein, the dynamic changes in carbohydrates and related enzymes, proteins, and endogenous hormones of stolons during T. edulis stolon formation were investigated. The results showed that the content of total soluble sugar, sucrose, reducing sugar, fructose, and starch were all significantly enhanced in the middle period when stolon emerged and maintained at relatively high levels until the later period of stolon formation, while protein content decreased during stolon formation. The activities of amylase (AMY), sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS), and sucrose synthase (SS) peaked in the initial period and were negatively correlated with soluble sugars. However, adenosine diphosphoglucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) activity increased as stolon formation progressed, and the changes in soluble starch synthase (SSS), granule-bound starch synthase (GBSS) activities presented a single peak, reaching their maximums in the middle period. AGPase, SSS, and GBSS activities were all positively related to starch content. Moreover, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) verified the changes in SS and SSS activities via the expression levels of the SS, SSSI, and SSSII genes. The gibberellin (GA) and zeatin riboside (ZR) content attained their maximum in the initial period of stolon formation. Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA) remained at high levels during the initial and middle period and decreased significantly during the later period of stolon formation, inversely to the ratio of ABA:IAA. Analysis of the physiological changes in T. edulis stolon indicated that the accumulation of soluble sugars and starch via various enzymes, a high level of IAA and a low ABA to IAA ratio mainly contributed to stolon development of T. edulis. This paper explored carbohydrate levels and endogenous hormones profiles during stolon formation, which provided the theory basis for further regulating stolon growth of T. edulis.

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Heat tolerance is considered to be an essential feature for cucumber (Cucumis sativus) production, and it has been suggested that higher antioxidant ability could prevent the oxidative damage in plants caused by high-temperature stress. We aimed to investigate whether the application of exogenous spermidine (Spd) increases antioxidant activities and, therefore, elevates the heat tolerance of cucumber. Cucumber seedlings (cv. Jinchun No. 4) showing moderate heat tolerance were grown in climate chambers to investigate the effects of exogenous Spd (1 mm) foliar spray treatment on the activities and isozyme levels of antioxidative enzymes under both high-temperature stress 42/32 °C (day/night) and normal temperature 28/18 °C (day/night). On high-temperature stress, the activities of superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase were significantly reduced; the catalase activity was initially lower and then increased, whereas the peroxidase activity was initially higher and then decreased. The levels of these isozymes also changed differently. On treatment with exogenous Spd, the activities of these antioxidant enzymes were noticeably enhanced, and the isozyme zymogram expression had some changes. It was concluded that foliar spray with Spd effectively improved the total antioxidant ability of cucumber seedlings and, therefore, enhanced the tolerance of the plants to high-temperature stress.

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The Himalayan yew, Taxus wallichiana Zucc., is an endangered species with a scatted distribution in the Eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. In the present study, 10 microsatellite markers from the genome of T. wallichiana were developed using the protocol of fast isolation by amplified fragment length polymorphism of sequences containing repeats (FIASCO). Polymorphism of each locus was assessed in 28 samples from four wild populations of the Himalayan yew. The allele number of the microsatellites ranged from two to five with an average of 2.9 per allele. The observed and expected heterozygosity varied from 0.00 to 1.00 and from 0.3818 to 0.7552, respectively. Cross-species amplification in another two yew species showed eight of them holding promise for sister species. Two of the 10 loci (TG126 and TC49) significantly deviated from Hardy-Weinberg expectations. No significant linkage disequilibrium was detected between the comparisons of these loci. These polymorphic microsatellite markers would be useful tools for population genetics studies and assessing genetic variations to establish conservation strategy of this endangered species.

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Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were used to evaluate genetic similarity and interrelationship among 104 plum (Prunus L. spp.) and related accessions from the Chinese National Germplasm Repository for Plums and Apricots and the Tianshan Germplasm Repository for Wild Fruit Resources, including six plum species (Prunus salicina Lindl., Prunus simonii Carr., Prunus ussuriensis Kov. et Kost., Prunus domestica L., Prunus cerasifera Ehrh., and Prunus spinosa L.), two related species [apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) and nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa Thunb.)], eight putative hybrids between plum and apricot (plumcot), and six accessions of wild European plum (P. domestica). Out of the 42 ISSR primers, 12 were selected, which generated 103 markers in total, 99 of which were polymorphic. Possible accession-specific ISSR bands or patterns were also found. Some possible synonyms or homonyms were clarified or discussed, and closely related accessions such as bud mutants were discriminated. Based on the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) analysis and principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) using the Jaccard coefficient, two different dendrograms were constructed—one including accessions grouped by species and one with all 104 accessions—and a two-dimensional plot was obtained. Three groups were formed in both dendrograms and PCoA plot: Group I including apricot (‘Yinxiangbai’) and plumcot types; Group II containing Asia-originated diploid species [e.g., P. cerasifera, P. ussuriensis, P. tomentosa, and Chinese plum-types (i.e., P. salicina and its hybrids)]; and Group III involving European-origin polyploid species (e.g., P. spinosa and P. domestica) and recently found wild European plum accessions in China. The dendrogram with accessions grouped by species implied that 1) plumcot types had closer relatedness with apricot than with plum; 2) P. simonii should be a variant of P. salicina while P. ussuriensis an independent species; 3) P. domestica was more closely related to P. spinosa than to P. cerasifera. Two accessions of European plum (‘89-7-3’ and ‘Wanhei’) were clustered into outgroups in the dendrogram with all 104 accessions, which could been grouped within Group III in the PCoA plot. The distribution of both European plum and Chinese plum-types across respective groups did not reflect the geographic origins. The present study also further confirmed that the wild plants found in Xinjiang of China were P. domestica.

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Monoterpenoid metabolism and aroma compounds are influenced by genetic characteristics. Linalool, α-terpineol, nerol, and geraniol are primary monoterpenoids that have previously been studied in grape (Vitis vinifera) berries. Previous studies were restricted by the lack of relevant studies investigating population structure and the regulatory mechanism underlying monoterpenoid synthesis. In this study, a total of 1133 alleles were amplified, with each locus having on average 6.06 alleles. We also assessed the genetic variability among the genotypes based on 187 microsatellite primer pairs amplified in 96 grape genotypes. The results of the phylogenetic tree analysis showed that the grapevine accessions grouped into five genetic clusters that largely coincided with the recognized species classification and the result of principal coordinates analysis (PCoA). The molecular characterization of these accessions provides insight into genetic diversity, population structure, and linkage disequilibrium (LD) in grapevines. A total of 51 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were detected that were significantly associated with linalool, α-terpineol, nerol, and geraniol. We found that Deoxyxylulose phosphate synthase (DXS) was located in the region UDV060 on linkage group (LG) 5, whereas Farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS) and Hydroxymethylbutenyl diphosphate reductase (HDR) were located in the VLG19-I-1 and VLG3-A-1 regions, respectively. These novel QTLs will potentially assist in the screening of aroma compounds in grapevines.

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Ultraviolet-A (UV-A) is the main component of UV radiation in nature. However, its role on plant growth, to a large extent, remains unknown. In this study, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Beijing Cherry Tomato’) seedlings were cultivated in an controlled environment in which UV-A radiation was provided by UV-A fluorescent lamps (λmax = 369 nm) with a fluence rate of 2.28 W·m−2. The photoperiod of UV-A radiation was 0, 4, 8, and 16 hours, which corresponds to control, UV-A4, UV-A8, and UV-A16 treatments, respectively. The photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) was 220 μmol·m−2·s−1, which was provided by light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with a blue/red light ratio of 1:9, the photoperiod of PPFD was 16 hours. We showed that supplementing 8 and 16 hours of UV-A to visible radiation (400–700 nm) stimulated plant biomass production by 29% and 33%, respectively, compared with that of control. This resulted mainly from larger leaves (i.e., 22% and 31% in 8 and 16 hours UV-A, respectively), which facilitated light capture. Supplemental UV-A also enhanced photosynthetic capacity, as indicated by greater net photosynthesis rates in response to CO2 under saturating PPFD. Furthermore, the greatest stomatal conductance (g S) value was observed in UV-A16, followed by UV-A8, which correlated with the greater stomatal density in the corresponding treatments. Moreover, supplemental UV-A did not induce any stress, as the maximum quantum efficiency of photosynthetic system II (PSII) (F v/F m) remained ≈0.82 in all treatments. Similarly, chlorophyll content and leaf mass area (LMA) were also unaffected by UV-A radiation. Taken together, we conclude that supplementing reasonable levels of UV-A to visible radiation stimulates growth of indoor cultivated tomato seedlings.

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We investigated the effects of different planting seasons and gibberellic acid treatments on the growth and development of Gypsophila paniculata to explore new approaches to controlling the flowering period. Four different cultivars were selected and continually planted in July, September, and November in the low-latitude and high-altitude region of Kunming, China (25° N, 102° E). Results showed that the vegetative growth and flowering time of Gypsophila paniculata were prolonged and postponed when the planting time was delayed. Specifically, ‘My Pink’ showed 20% and 80% rosette rates when grown in autumn and winter, respectively, thus indicating that Gypsophila paniculata is sensitive to planting time. Moreover, GA3 treatment not only can significantly promote vegetative growth but also can stimulate early flowering and suppress the occurrence of rosettes during winter. This is more specific to ‘My Pink’, which showed 40% and 80% reductions in rosette rates with four and eight GA3 treatment applications, respectively. Our study showed that seasonal variations in the growth and development of Gypsophila paniculata and GA3 treatment can effectively stimulate early flowering and suppress rosettes during winter.

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Luculia pinceana Hook. (Rubiaceae) is a typical distylous species with dimorphic and long-styled monomorphic populations. Within this study, we developed 13 microsatellite markers from L. pinceana using a modified biotin–streptavidin capture method. Polymorphism of each locus was assessed in 30 individuals from four dimorphic populations and one monomorphic population. The average allele number of these microsatellites was 4.153 per locus ranging from three to seven. The observed and expected heterozygosities were from 0.040 to 0.840 and from 0.571 to 0.769, respectively. Additionally, all 13 identified microsatellite markers were successfully amplified in its related species, L. yunnanensis, 10 of which showed polymorphism. These microsatellite markers could provide a useful tool for further study of the breeding system and the population genetic structure in this species and within other Luculia species.

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Gypsophila paniculata is an ornamental crop with medicinal value. To date, limited information has been reported about the natural products in G. paniculata to explain its medicinal function. The current study reports the natural products found in G. paniculata stem for the first time. Thirty-three compounds were isolated from the extract of G. paniculata stem and identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, 10 of which have contents >2%. These were 2-O-methyl-D-mannopyranose (37.4706%), glycerol (12.5669%), two tetratetracontane isomer (7.6523 + 3.5145%), tetrahygro-4-pyranol (5.3254%), 1,6-anhydro-beta-d-glucopyranos (4.7507%), palmitic acid (4.1848%), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxystyrene (3.7439%), methyl-octadeca-9,12-dienoate (2.7490%), and 2-deoxy-D-galactose (2.6193%). Another bioactive compound, condrillasterol, was identified with 1.3384% content. We also reported that G. paniculata possesses antioxidant activity possibly associated with the presence of a phenolic chemical 4-hydroxy-3-methoxystyrene. Our data collectively demonstrate that G. paniculata contains some bioactive compounds with high contents and antioxidants, consistent with its role as a medicinal herb.

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