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  • Author or Editor: Yan Shi x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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A standardized screening procedure for tolerance to bicarbonate-induced Fe chlorosis using a commercial fertilizer mix (Plantex) as the nutrient source, high solution pH (8.5) and 1.5 m m bicarbonate to simulate a calcareous soil situation was used with a 1 vermiculite:1 perlite (v/v) support media, small pots and topping (pinching back the tops of shoots). The tolerance level of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] rootstock could be assessed by leaf visual-chlorosis ratings and Spad-502 chlorophyll readings instead of extractable leaf-chlorophyll concentration or plant Fe concentration. Although most of the tolerant genotypes had almond [P. amygdalus (Mill.) D.A. Webb] in their parentage, a few peaches (`Swat', NJ672281007) showed high to moderate levels of tolerance.

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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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We studied the effects of exogenous spermidine (Spd) on plant growth and nitrogen metabolism in two cultivars of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) that have differential sensitivity to mixed salinity-alkalinity stress: ‘Jinpeng Chaoguan’ (salt-tolerant) and ‘Zhongza No. 9’ (salt-sensitive). Seedling growth of both tomato cultivars was inhibited by salinity-alkalinity stress, but Spd treatment alleviated the growth reduction to some extent, especially in ‘Zhongza No. 9’. Exogenous Spd may help reduce stress-induced increases in free amino acids, ammonium (NH4 +) contents, and NADH-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase (NADH-GDH) activities; depress stress-induced decreases in soluble protein and nitrate content; and depress nitrate reductase, nitrite reductase, glutamine synthetase (GS), NADH-dependent glutamate synthase (NADH-GOGAT), glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), and glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) activities, especially for ‘Zhongza No. 9’. Based on our results, we suggest that exogenous Spd promotes the assimilation of excess toxic NH4 + by coordinating and strengthening the synergistic action of NADH-GDH, GS/NADH-GOGAT, and transamination pathways, all during saline-alkaline stress. Subsequently, NH4 + and its related enzymes (GDH, GS, GOGAT, GOT, and GPT), in vivo, are maintained in a proper and balanced state to enable mitigation of stress-resulted damages. These results suggest that exogenous Spd treatment can relieve nitrogen metabolic disturbances caused by salinity-alkalinity stress and eventually promote plant growth.

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Seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) is a notable warm-season turfgrass. Certain germplasm resources are distributed in the southern regions of China. The objectives of this study were to investigate the genetic diversity and genetic variation of Chinese seashore paspalum resources. Morphological characteristics and sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers were used to assess genetic relationships and genetic variation among 36 germplasm resources from China and six cultivars from the United States. The results showed significant variation for 13 morphological characteristics among 42 tested seashore paspalum accessions, and that the phenotypic cv was, in turn, turf height > turf density > internode length > inflorescence density > leaf width > reproductive branch height > spikelet width > leaf length > spikelet number > inflorescence length > internode diameter > inflorescence width > spikelet length. According to the morphological characteristics and cluster analysis, 42 seashore paspalum accessions were divided into six morphological types. In total, 374 clear bands were amplified using 30 SRAP primer combinations; among these bands, 321 were polymorphic with 85.83% polymorphism. SRAP marker cluster analysis showed that 42 seashore paspalum accessions were grouped into seven major groups, with a genetic similarity coefficient ranging from 0.4385 to 0.9893 and genetic distance values ranging from 0.0108 to 0.8244. The high level of genetic diversity occurred among Chinese germplasm, and the genetic distance was relatively high between Chinese germplasm and cultivars introduced from the United States. The patterns in morphological trait variations and genetic diversity will be useful for the further exploitation and use of Chinese seashore paspalum resources.

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Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is a sensitive and widely used technique for gene expression analysis that depends on stability of the reference genes used for data normalization. Tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), known as one of the most famous traditional ornamental plants in China, is very popular in both domestic and international markets for its showy and colorful flowers. To date, no systematic studies on reference genes have been performed in tree peony with different flower colors. In this study, we evaluated the expression stability of 12 candidate reference genes in different tissues and five flower developmental stages of tree peony with six different colors by three algorithms: geNorm, NormFinder, and BestKeeper. The results showed that protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), ubiquitin protein ligase (UPL), and ubiquitin (UBQ) were the most stable genes across all samples. Helicase, alpha-tubulin (TUA), and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (EIF5A) also exhibited high expression stability in different tissues, in samples with different colors, and at different flower developmental stages. According to the geNorm analysis, the combination of two most stable reference genes was optimal for normalization in all tested sample sets in this study. To further validate the suitability of the reference genes identified in this study, the expression patterns of two putative homologs of chalcone synthase gene (PsCHS1) and chalcone isomerase gene (PsCHI1) were studied at different developmental stages of white flowers. The results provide information for transcriptional analyses in future studies of gene expression on tree peony flower development and pigmentation.

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