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  • Author or Editor: Yan Shi x
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Fifty apple cultivars and 30 Malus species were evaluated for resistance to four isolates of bitter rot pathogens, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and C. acutatum, in controlled conditions. Fruit were wound-inoculated by placing 0.1 ml of inoculum (106 conidia/ml) into puncture wounds (2 mm in diameter), and intact fruit were inoculated by spraying with inoculum. Inoculated fruit were incubated at 25 to 28C for 2 weeks. `Golden Delicious' (susceptible) and `Red Delicious' (resistant) were used as controls. Diseases were quantified by measuring lesion diameter, and disease severity was objectively rated. Relative lesion diameter and severity rating were calculated as [X × 100/RD – 100] and (X – RD) × 100/7 (X = parameter of given cultivar or species, RD = parameter of `Red Delicious') to determine relative resistance. Conclusions were as follows: 1) different levels of resistance were identified in apple cultivars and Malus species and also were detected within `Golden Delicious' and `Red Delicious' types; 2) `Jonagold', `Oregon Spur II', `Spartan', `Melrose', `Red Cort', `Jonafree', `VPI-9', and `Red Delicious showed good relative resistant; 3) M. halliana, angustifolia, prunifolia, sylvestris, and fusca were more resistant than `Delicious'; 4) M. angustifolia was immune to two isolates of C. acutatum.

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Paeonia delavayi is a species endemic to Southwest China and an important genetic resource for flower color breeding of tree peonies. The mechanisms underlying the flower coloration of this plant have not been fully elucidated. In this article, the petals of yellow-colored individual (Pl) and purple–red-colored individual (Pd) of P. delavayi were studied. And anatomical observations revealed that a large amount of yellow protoplasts and a small amount of colorless protoplasts were located in the yellow-colored Pl petals, whereas a mixture of purple, red, and pink protoplasts were observed in the purple–red-colored Pd petals. The Pl cells were subrotund and flat, whereas the Pd cells were irregularly polygon-shaped and bulging. Chemical analyses were performed, and the results indicated that significant differences occurred between the cell sap pH of the Pl and Pd flowers and large differences occurred in the contents of Fe and Al between Pl and Pd. Cyanidin- and peonidin-based anthocyanins with flavones and flavonols as copigments determined the Pd flower color, whereas chalcone 2 ′G with apigenin 7-O-neohesperidoside and chrysoeriol 7-O-glucoside as copigments determined the yellow color of Pl. Correspondingly, the genes dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) and anthocyanidin synthase (ANS) were significantly highly expressed in Pd, whereas chalcone isomerase (CHI), flavanone 3-hydroxylase (F3H), flavone synthase (FNS), flavonol synthase (FLS), flavonoid 7-O-glycosyltransferase (7GT), and 2′4′6′4-tetrahydroxychalcone 2′-glucosyltransferase (THC) had high transcript levels in Pl relative to Pd. The results indicate that the color variation of P. delavayi petals may be related to a delicately controlled balance of the aforementioned factors.

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Virulence of morphologically diverse isolates of Glomerella cingulata (anamorph: Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) and Collectotrichum sp. was examined by inoculating apple fruit. Three morphologically distinct fungal pathogens were examined on Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, or Idared. Fruit were inoculated by either placing a 100 ul spore suspension (106 spores/ml) into wounds or spraying the inoculum onto wounded fruit. All fruit were incubated at 25C on 100% RH. Free moisture was maintained on spray inoculated fruit. Virulence was quantified by measuring both lesion diameter and depth every 2-5 days for 2-4 weeks after inoculation. Overall, all of the teleomorphic isolates (G. cingulata) were significantly (p=.05) more virulent than the nonchromogenic or chromogenic isolates on fruit of all three cultivars. Genetically and morphologically diverse isolates of the bitter rot pathogen(s) are being selected and used to evaluate cultivar resistance to fruit rot.

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Medium pH is generally adjusted to 5.8 to 6.0 for plant tissue culture. Our research indicated that pH generally falls between 5.5 and 7.5 in an ordinarily made medium which can be directly used for apple tissue culture without adjusting pH. Repeated adjustment of pH by adding NaOH and HCl leads to the increase in Na+ and Cl concentration and decrease in Mg2+ and Ca2+ concentration in the medium due to precipitation. To determine the pros, cons, and necessity of pH levels while making medium in plant tissue culture, subculture proliferation, adventitious root induction, and organ regeneration, the apple cultivars Fuji, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, and Gala were used and hardness of the medium and the ion content of Na+, Cl, Mg2+, and Ca2+ in the medium under different pH were measured. In the lower pH range of 5.0–5.5, plantlets could be subcultured and grew normally; however, the medium did not solidify or solidified poorly resulting in problems associated with handling. No significant difference was found among the treatments when pH ranged 6.0–8.0 in terms of proliferation, adventitious root induction, and adventitious bud regeneration from leaves, except a slight decrease in shoot number proliferation in ‘Jonagold’ and in adventitious bud regeneration from leaves in ‘Fuji’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ at pH above 7.5. The hardness of the medium increased with the increased pH. The superfluous Cl and Na+ generated during the process of overadjusting pH to 7.0 by adding NaOH and then readjusting to 6.0 by adding HCl significantly affected the proliferation, rooting, and organ regeneration of apple plantlets. A relative broad range of medium pH (5.5–7.5) is suitable for apple tissue culture. We suggest that it is not necessary to always adjust medium pH to 5.8–6.0 in apple tissue culture; especially the repeated adjustment should be avoided.

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Peach trees when grown in calcareous soils frequently exhibit lime-induced iron chlorosis. There have been numerous reports of rootstock tolerant to soil alkalinity but given the wide range of field conditions under which the comparison were made, it is difficult to quantify the relative tolerance of the different rootstock. A greenhouse screening procedure using a 0.5g/liter potassium bicarbonate solution (pH 8.0-8.3) was employed to compare the tolerance levels of 50 peach, almond and hybrid lines. Most peach lines tested were very susceptible (Nemaguard) to susceptible (Nemared, Lovell). A few exhibited a low level of tolerance (Montclar, Rutger Red Leaf, Rancho Resistant). High levels of tolerance were found with in almond and almond-peach hybrid families.

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Apple bitter rot, caused by Glomerella cingulata is an economically important disease in the Southeastern U.S. Development of resistant cultivars may be an important way to control this disease. To evaluate the apple germplasm resistance, it is necessary to understand variation in virulence of isolates so that appropriated isolates can be selected for screening procedures. Examination of virulence was performed on four Arkansas isolates (G667, G668, G959 and G960) on `Golden Delicious' fruit. The fruit were wound-inoculated with a 100 μl spore suspension (107 spores/ml), then incubated in dew chamber at 28C and 100% RI-I. Differences in virulence were detected among the isolates in terms of lesion diameter and depth. Isolate G959 was statistically (p=.05) more virulent than two isolates (G667 and G668) examined. Additional isolates from difference geographical locations will be examined for virulence in future studies.

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Root and foliar applications of 24-epibrassinolide (EBL), an immobile phytohormone with antistress activity, were evaluated for their effects on reducing fusarium wilt and their influence on antioxidant and phenolic metabolism in roots of cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Jinyan No. 4). EBL pretreatment significantly reduced disease severity together with improved plant growth and reduced losses in biomass regardless of application methods. EBL treatments significantly reduced pathogen-induced accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, activities of defense-related and ROS-scavenging enzymes. The enzymes included superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, guaiacol peroxidase, catalase as well as phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and polyphenoloxidase. There was no apparent difference between two application methods used. EBL applications triggered a slight increase in H2O2 concentration followed by increases in the transcript levels of WRKY transcription factor and defense-related genes. This study demonstrated that EBL enhanced resistance to fusarium wilt by a novel mechanism that was not related to its active transport or increase in antioxidant system.

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A set of Petunia hybrida plants encompassing a range of ploidy levels was developed through colchicine-mediated induction of chromosome doubling. The resulting double-flower tetraploid plants were cross-hybridized with inbred single-flower diploid lines to generate F1 populations with segregation for ploidy level and flower type. The initial in vivo application of colchicine to seedling apical tips produced mixoploid plants of petunia at a high rate of efficiency. Thus, 95% of the shoot tips treated with colchicine for 48 h resulted in polyploid mutant plants, and no difference in this efficiency was observed using concentrations of colchicine between 0.2 and 2.0 mg·mL−1. Of the polyploid plants, 10% were found to be tetraploid and 85% were mixoploid (chimeric). Compared with their diploid counterparts, polyploid plants underwent reduced elongation growth during the first 2 weeks and had thicker stems and shorter internodes resulting in dwarfing of the whole plant. In extreme cases, very slow growth rates produced stunted plantlets. Polyploid plants also had larger, thicker leaves and, in some cases, the leaves that developed after 1 month of growth appeared seriously malformed. Octoploid plants were also obtained and these tended to have more extreme phenotypes. Pure tetraploid plants of double-flower petunia were isolated by the in vitro culture of explants from the initial chimeric tetraploid mutants. These were crossed with three inbred single-flower diploid lines (S1, S2, and S3) thereby generating F1 populations that showed segregation for flower type and ploidy level and included the generation of triploid plants. In the tetraploid plants, flower diameter and the number of flower petals were not changed significantly (P > 0.05) compared with the original diploid double-flower plants, but observation of the pollen grains revealed segregation for size consistent with the increased ploidy level. Analysis of the F1 progeny plants also indicated that chromosome number is not necessary but sufficient to cause the production of semidouble-flowered plants. Flower color and flower diameter were also analyzed in the F1 progeny and complex patterns of inheritance were inferred. In addition to single and double flowers, semidouble-flowered plants were also suggested to be generated by the hybridization of 2n or 3n pollen from the double-flower tetraploid plants with the single-flower diploid lines.

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Hydroponics has been an increasingly important field of vegetable production. However, a big issue with hydroponics is that certain crops can quickly accumulate high levels of nitrate-N (NO3 ± -N) from the hydroponic system. The objective of this research was to decrease NO3 accumulation and increase the nutritional value and yield of vegetable crops using lettuce and oilseed rape as a model under hydroponic production. In this study, two technologies were applied to leafy vegetable production: 1) using supplementary lighting (blue-violet diode) by manipulating illumination and 2) removing fertilization before harvest for a short term (3 or 5 days), thus providing a practical experiment for improving yield and edible qualities of hydroponic leaf vegetable production. Illumination was applied 4 hours a day (0500–0700 hr and 1700–1900 hr) during good weather, or 12 hours a day during bad weather with insufficient natural light (<2000 lux) during the autumn and winter seasons. Results showed that the lettuce cultivar Ou-Luo and the oilseed rape cultivar Ao-Guan Pakchoi had increased yield (50.0% and 88.3%, respectively), decreased NO3 content (26.3% and 30.8%, respectively), and increased total soluble solids (24.1% and 30.6%, respectively). The 5-day fertilizer-free treatment before harvest resulted in 19.2%, 6.4%, and 16.5% yield increases; and 26.0%, 24.3%, and 47.8% NO3 decreases in oilseed rape cultivar Ao-Guan Pakchoi and lettuce cultivars Da-Su-Sheng and Ou-Luo, respectively.

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Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) is an important vegetable crop rich in vitamins and sulforaphane. However, the floral heads of broccoli experience rapid postharvest senescence. Here we found that hydrogen sulfide (H2S) treatment alleviated dark-promoted senescence in broccoli florets. H2S delayed the symptoms of senescence and maintained higher levels of chlorophyll and Rubisco and lower protease activity compared with water control. Gene expression analysis showed that H2S down-regulated the expression of chlorophyll degradation-related genes BoSGR, BoNYC, BoCLH1, BoPPH, and BoRCCR. Expression of lipoxygenase gene BoLOX1 and the genes involved in the ethylene synthesis pathway, BoACS2 and BoACS3, were also down-regulated by H2S. The reduced expression level in cysteine protease gene BoCP3 and aspartic protease gene BoLSC807 suggested the role of H2S in alleviating protein degradation during broccoli senescence. H2S up-regulated the expression of sulfur metabolism genes BoSR and BoOASTL, and the antioxidant gene BoCAT. These results show that H2S plays a vital role in alleviating broccoli senescence through a broad regulation on gene expression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism genes, ethylene synthesis genes, and protease genes.

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