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  • Author or Editor: Jian Li x
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In this study, the effects of different Xinjiang pear varieties and ‘Korla Fragrant Pear’ pollination on the stone cells and lignin of fruit were investigated. The contents of stone cells and lignin, and the activities of related enzymes [polyphenol oxidase (PPO), peroxidase (POD), and phenylalanine ammonium lyase (PAL)] were analyzed in fruit from different pollination combinations at different growth and developmental stages. Results showed that the stone cell mass density decreased rapidly at 60 to 90 days and 90 to 120 days after flowering. The stone cell and lignin contents, and activities of the three enzymes (PPO, POD, and PAL) decreased rapidly at 60 days after flowering. The stone cell mass density, stone cell and lignin contents, and enzyme activity of fruit from different pollination combinations varied at different timescales. The pear variety ‘Bayue‘ had the lowest stone cell and lignin contents in mature fruit from different pollination combinations. The stone cell content correlated positively with lignin content, stone cell mass density, and enzyme activity.

Open Access

Sedum rubrotinctum is widely grown as an ornamental because of its attractive leaf shape and color. Increasing the morphological diversity and color will greatly add to its ornamental value. Environmental conditions such as light and temperature can change the leaf color of succulent plants, but the mechanism is uncertain. To examine this mechanism, we tested the effects of two commercial chemical products Sowing Goodliness (Sg) and Aromatic Garden (Ag) on the morphology, pigment content, and growth performance of Sedum rubrotinctum seedlings. The Sg treatment did not change foliage color, but can accelerate plant growth and increase lateral bud number. The Ag treatment had marked changes on the relative proportions of pigments and leaf color, and plant growth was severely reduced with mortality observed in some plants. After Ag stress was discontinued, the surviving plants began to regrow and had good ornamental value but had the fewest number of lateral buds and leaves, and the smallest leaf length and thickness, canopy diameter, and plant height. Foliage color changes are caused directly by shifts in the relative proportions of pigments, particularly chlorophyll b and anthocyanin. In Ag-treated plants, chlorophyll b declined much faster than chlorophyll a, indicating that the transformation of chlorophyll b into chlorophyll a is an important step in the chlorophyll degradation pathway. Ag provides a way to learn more about the mechanism of chlorophyll degradation and should be investigated further. Ag enhanced anthocyanin production rapidly and improved the ornamental value of Sedum rubrotinctum. Different concentrations of Ag and Sg were not studied in this trial and might be tested to determine the ideal balance between leaf color and plant growth.

Open Access

Large natural genetic diversifications have occurred among Chinese tree peony cultivars under the natural and artificial selections on the flower for ornamental and medicinal uses in the past over 1500 years in China. Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Zi Mei You Chun’ X.Q. Zhao & J.P. Zhao & X.Z. Zhao & X.C. Zhao & Q.X. Gao & Z.Q. Zhao & J.X. Zhao & Z.L. Suo (Paeoniaceae) is a unique cultivar possessing side flowers and bicolored floral disc belonging to the Central Plains tree peony cultivar group of China. This natural mutant is not only an outstanding ornamental, but also a valuable material for scientific research on evolution of tree peony cultivars, metabolic pathways of pigments in the floral disc, origin of floral disc in Paeoniaceae, and other issues in plant evolutionary and developmental genetics.

Free access

Cornus florida seeds show strong dormancy. In this study, we investigated the causes of the dormancy by assessing the permeability of the stony endocarp, the germination of seeds after mechanical dissection, and the effect of endogenous inhibitors. Water uptake by intact and cracked seeds during imbibition showed that the endocarp formed a strong barrier for water absorption. Meanwhile, extracts from endocarp decreased the germination frequency of chinese cabbage seeds from 99.3% (control) to 2.7%. Therefore, the endocarp was the mechanical barrier and contained endogenous inhibitors for seed germination. However, the germination percentage of decoated seeds and dissected seeds with the exposed radicle were only 13.3% and 28.7%, respectively. It was found that the endosperm also played a role in seed dormancy. Extracts from endosperm decreased the germination frequency of chinese cabbage seeds from 99.3% (control) to 53.0%. By contrast, extracts from embryo did not affect the germination of chinese cabbage seeds. When tested with the excised embryos, germination percentage was up to 85.3% at the 16th day of incubation. Taking these results together, we concluded that the endocarp and endosperm were responsible for seed dormancy in C. florida. To break the seed dormancy of C. florida, stratification and soaking in sulfuric acid are the effective means. The highest germination frequency was achieved by immersing seeds in 98% sulfuric acid for 10 minutes, then soaking the seeds in 500 mg·L−1 gibberellic acid (GA3) for 72 hours before cold stratification at 5 °C for 60 days.

Free access

Planting date influences grain soybean yield and quality, but no information is available regarding the responses of seed chemical compositions to delayed planting date in vegetable soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Three vegetable soybean cultivars, CAS No.1, Tai 292, and 121, were planted on 3 May, 15 May, 27 May, and 8 June in the field during the 2010 and 2011 growing seasons. The experiment was a randomized complete block design with three replications on a typical Mollisol (black soil). We found that late planting reduced fresh pod yield in all cultivars and years. The reduction in fresh pod yield to delayed planting was significantly correlated with the reduction in the number of two-seed pods per plant. Cultivars with strong capacity in retaining more two-seed pods may possess an advantage if planting is delayed. Planting after 15 May increased seed protein content by 4.1% to 7.5% and reduced oil content by 2.4% to 26.3% for different cultivars. The contents of free amino acid, sum of fructose and glucose, raffinose, and stachyose in seed were also increased by late planting. By contrast, late planting reduced the seed sucrose content ranging from 7.6% to 45.5% for the different cultivars. Planting on 3 May usually produced the greatest fresh pod yield and highest seed sucrose content. These results demonstrated that late planting after early May might have a negative impact on the eating quality of vegetable soybean.

Free access

‘Korla’ fragrant pear (Pyrus sinkiangensis T.T. Yu) variety has shown severe coarse skin in recent years. The intrinsic quality of its coarse fruit shows an increase in the number of stone cells and poor taste. In this study, stone cells and the cell wall of coarse pear (CP) and normal pear (NP) during various development stages were compared using paraffin-sectioning and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the relationships between lignin-related genes and stone cell formation and cell wall thickening were also analyzed. Our results show that giant stone cells are formed and distributed in the core of pear, whereas many of these crack 60 days after flowering (DAF). The period of stone cell fragmentation occurs later in CP fruits than in NP fruits. Parenchyma cell wall development in CP and NP fruits varies from 120 DAF to maturity. The parenchyma cell wall of CP fruits thickens, whereas that of NP fruits is thinner during the same period. The expression pattern of five genes (Pp4CL1-l, PpHCT-l, Pp4CL2-l, PpPOD4, and PpPOD25) coincides with changes in stone cell content in the pulp. Correlation analysis demonstrates a significant correlation between stone cell content and the expression level of the five genes (ρ < 0.05). In addition, the expression of those five genes and PpCCR1 genes in CP fruits significantly increases during maturation and is highly correlated with the thickness of the parenchyma cell wall. The aim of this work is to provide insights into the mechanism of stone cell and parenchyma cell wall development in pear fruits and identify important candidate genes to regulate the quality of fruit texture using bioengineering methods.

Open Access

In this study, simple sequence repeat (SSR) and sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers were used to analyze the genetic diversity of 48 wild Vitis davidii accessions. A total of 78 distinct alleles were amplified by 11 SSR primers, and the average allele number was 8.8. The average observed heterozygosity (Ho) and expected heterozygosity (He) values were 0.785 and 0.814, respectively. The effective allele numbers ranged from 3.92 to 9.61. The average polymorphism information content (PIC) was 0.798. Twelve of 169 SRAP primer combinations were selected for SRAP analysis. A total of 188 bands were produced, and the average was 15.7 bands per primer combination; the average percentage of polymorphic bands was 84.0%. The average PIC was 0.76. The results of the clustering analysis based on SSR markers showed that the 48 wild V. davidii accessions could be classified into five main clusters and had a genetic similarity coefficient level of 0.68. The dendrogram obtained from the SRAP data showed that 48 wild V. davidii accessions could be classified into five main clusters and had a genetic similarity coefficient of 0.72. SSR and SRAP markers differentiated all accessions studied including those with a similar pedigree. We speculated on the origin of Ciputao 0941♀, Ciputao 0940♂, and Fu’an-ci-01 using SSR markers and used both SSR and SRAP markers to resolve homonymy. The result will be valuable for further management and protection of V. davidii germplasm resources.

Free access

The banana, a typical climacteric fruit, undergoes a postharvest ripening process followed by a burst in ethylene production that signals the beginning of the climacteric period. Postharvest ripening plays an important role in improving the quality of the fruit as well as limiting its shelf life. To investigate the role of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) in climacteric ethylene biosynthesis and fruit ripening in postharvest banana, a GAD gene was isolated from banana, designated MuGAD. Coincidently with climacteric ethylene production, MuGAD expression as well as the expression of the genes encoding the Musa 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase (MaACS1) and Musa 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase (MaACO1) greatly increased during natural ripening and in ethylene-treated banana. Moreover, ethylene biosynthesis, ripening progress, and MuGAD, MaACS1, and MaACO1 expression were enhanced by exogenous ethylene application and inhibited by 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). Taken together, our results suggested that MuGAD is involved in the fruit ripening process in postharvest banana.

Free access

Ten polymorphic microsatellite loci were isolated and characterized from an enriched genomic library of Paphiopedilum concolor (Batem.) Pfitzer. The number of alleles per microsatellite locus ranged from three to 11 with an average of 6.4 in a sample of 30 individuals from three populations. The observed and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.200 to 0.800 and from 0.544 to 0.827, respectively. These microsatellites can be used as tools to investigate the genetic structure of P. concolor populations and relationship patterns with closely related taxa.

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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.

Free access