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Ting Lei, Yang Song, Xuehua Jin, Tianyu Su, and Yiwen Pu

The plant Zantedeschia hybrida is colorful and suitable for cut flowers and potted plants. This study employed a colorimetric method for the determination of spathe color phenotypes in 27 Z. hybrida cultivars and classified them into six major color classes. To characterize the coloration mechanism of the Z. hybrida spathe, this study explored the main colorants and pigment distribution using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with photodiode array detection (DAD) and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), ultra-performance liquid chromatography/hybrid triple quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TRAP-MS), and tissue sections. The results showed that flavonoids were colorants in the spathes of different color groups and that cyanidin (Cy) was the main colorant, whereas carotenoids were not detected in the spathe. Total anthocyanin (TA) content was negatively correlated with lightness (L*) of coloration, such that a spathe with a higher TA and thicker pigmented cell layer showed a deeper color; however, there was no correlation between deep coloration in a spathe and flattened upper epidermal cells. The difference in TA was the main reason for the color variation among Z. hybrida of different color groups, whereas the total flavones and flavonols (TF) played a key role in the coloration of the orange and yellow group.

Open access

Chong Wang, Yang Song, Mingqian Wang, Jiajun Lei, Li Xue, and Shizhong He

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Meiling Yang, Fang Li, Hong Long, Weiwei Yu, Xiuna Yan, Bin Liu, Yunxiu Zhang, Guorong Yan, and Wenqin Song

As a wild apple species native to central Asia, Malus sieversii (Ledeb.) Roem. is distributed in a wide region covering most of the Tienshan Mountains. Malus sieversii is a useful genetic pool for apple breeding since rich with diversity. In this paper, we first describe the species range of this endangered species. We then describe an in situ reserve that has been established. We also investigated some reproductive characteristics of M. sieversii including pollen germination, seed dormancy, and seed viability. Both stratification and seedcoat removal efficiently released seed dormancy and accelerated seed germination. Pollen germination rate is around 60%. Our data suggest that injurious insects and human activities, rather than reproductive characters, limit the renewal of M. sieversii.

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Derek W. Barchenger, Joseph I. Said, Yang Zhang, Mingzhou Song, Franchesca A. Ortega, Yeasong Ha, Byoung-Cheorl Kang, and Paul W. Bosland

Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins constitute one of the largest protein families in plants. They are typically targeted to the mitochondria or chloroplast and bind to one or more organellar transcripts, influencing expression. Genes responsible for inhibiting the mitochondrial genes that cause cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), restorer-of-fertility (Rf) genes, often encode PPRs. Using in silico techniques, 552 PPR domains were identified throughout the chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) genome. The domains were mapped across 12 chromosomes and were found to be largely distally or proximally located. About 28% of the chile pepper PPR domains identified in this study have high structural similarity to previously reported PPRs in arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). In addition, 11 candidate Rf genes clustered on chromosome 6, and 1 on chromosome 1 were identified that were characterized in 16 A- (S rfrf), B- (N rfrf), and C-line (N RfRf) backgrounds. These findings support a multigene model for fertility restoration and broaden our understanding of the restoration of fertility. This may be an explanation for the lack of widely applicable molecular markers for this important trait. With this new information, specific Rf markers may be developed and will facilitate the implementation of hybrid breeding programs in chile pepper. In addition, this work provides a basis for future research in PPRs, an increasingly important gene family.

Open access

Tao Dong, Fang-cheng Bi, Yong-hong Huang, Wei-di He, Gui-ming Deng, Hui-jun Gao, Ou Sheng, Chun-yu Li, Qiao-song Yang, Gan-jun Yi, and Chun-hua Hu

An efficient biolistic transformation system of banana combined with a liquid medium selection system was developed during this study. An embryogenic cell suspension (ECS) of Musa acuminata cv. Baxi (AAA) was bombarded with a particle delivery system. After 7 days of restoring culture in liquid M2 medium, embryogenic cells were transferred to a liquid selection M2 medium supplemented with 10 μg/mL hygromycin for resistance screening. The untransformed cell clusters were inhibited or killed, and a small number of transformants proliferated in the liquid selection medium. After the 0th, first, second, and third generation of antibiotic screening, there were 0, 65, 212, and 320, respectively, vitality-resistant buds obtained from a 0.5-mL packed cell volume (PCV) of embryogenic cell suspension. The β-glucuronidase (GUS) staining, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, and Southern blot hybridization results all demonstrated a 100% positive rate of regenerated resistant seedlings. Interestingly, the number of buds obtained through third-generation screening was almost equal to that obtained from the original ECS in M2 medium without antibiotics. These results suggested that the liquid medium selection system facilitated the proliferation of a positive transgenic ECS, which significantly improved the regeneration rate of transformants. This protocol is suitable for the genetic transformation of all banana genotypes and is highly advantageous to varieties with low callusing potential.