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  • Author or Editor: Bin Li x
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Expansins are extracellular proteins that are involved in cell wall modifications such as cell wall disassembly, cell separation, and cell expansion. Little is known about expansin gene expression during flower development of wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox). In the present study, an expansin gene, CpEXP1, was isolated from the wintersweet flower cDNA library through random sequencing; this gene encodes a putative protein of 257 amino acids with the essential features conserved, like in other alpha expansins. The CpEXP1 gene exhibited different transcription levels in different tissues and had a significantly higher expression in flowers than other tissues. It is strongly correlated with the development of the flower. The expression of CpEXP1 increased in the flower buds or whole flowers from Stage 1 to 4 and decreased from Stage 5 to 6 during natural opening. Ethephon (an ethylene releaser) treatment promoted cut flower senescence, whereas 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) (an ethylene perception inhibitor) delayed the process of flower wilting. This result is associated with the concomitant lower transcript levels of CpEXP1 in the ethephon-treated samples as well as the steady expression in the 1-MCP-treated samples compared with that in control flowers. The studies show the interesting observation that the expression of an expansin gene CpEXP1 is correlated with the development of Chimonanthus praecox flowers, the upregulation during flower opening vs. the downregulation during senescence.

Free access

Acer truncatum seeds are an excellent source of beneficial natural compounds, including high levels of unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), that promote health. Recently, A. truncatum has emerged as an oil crop. Therefore, the transcriptomes of A. truncatum seeds at 70, 85, 100, 115, 145, 180 days after flowering (DAF) were analyzed to gain a better understanding of the transcriptional and translational regulation of seed development and oil biosynthesis. A total of 28,438 genes were identified, and 3069/2636, 3288/3438, 1319/2750, and 5724/5815 upregulated/downregulated genes were identified when comparing different samples with 85 DAF seeds. Sixteen lipid metabolism pathways with 754 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, including 34 DEGs associated with UFA biosynthesis. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that six putative fatty acid desaturase (FAD) genes clustered into five FAD groups. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis indicated that the temporal expression patterns of oil biosynthesis genes and transcription factors were largely similar to the RNA sequencing results. The results of this study will enhance the current understanding of oil metabolism in A. truncatum seeds and allow new methods of improving oil quality and seed yield in the future.

Open Access

To examine whether 1 mm of spermidine (Spd) modifies plant ethylene production in response to short-term salt stress, cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seedlings were grown in nutrient solution with or without 75 mm NaCl stress for 3 days, and the leaves were sprayed with 1 mm Spd or water (control). We investigate the effects of the treatments on ethylene production, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) content, 1-(malonylamino) cycolpvopane-1-carboxylic acid (MACC) content, activities of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase (ACS), and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase (ACO) and gene expression of acs2, aco1, and aco2 in the cucumber leaves. The results indicate that ethylene production was increased significantly under salt stress as did ACC and MACC content, the activities of ACS and ACO, and the transcriptional level of acs2, whereas the gene expression of aco1 and aco2 was somewhat decreased. However, exogenous Spd treatment depressed the content of ACC and MACC, ACS activity, and the level of acs2 transcripts in the leaves of salt-stressed cucumber. Although the activity of ACO and gene expressions of aco1 and aco2 increased by Spd, ethylene emission was inhibited. Our results suggest that application of exogenous Spd could reverse salinity-induced ethylene production by inhibiting the transcription and activity of ACS under salt stress. We conclude that exogenous Spd could modify the biosynthesis of ethylene to enhance the tolerance of cucumber seedlings to salt stress.

Free access

The pathogenic fungus Colletotrichum musae infects developing green bananas (Musa spp. AAA group), but remains latent until the fruit ripens. The aim of this research was to determine whether the appearance of disease symptoms is regulated by chitinase gene expression following treatment of fruit with benzothiadiazole (BTH) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA), and with physical (heat) and chemical (H2O2 and Ca2+-related) treatments. In bananas inoculated with C. musae, BTH and MeJA lowered disease severity and stimulated higher gene expression compared with the untreated controls during ripening. However, in naturally infected bananas, BTH and MeJA treatments slightly reduced transcription of the chitinase gene in green bananas, but they prolonged gene expression in ripe bananas and significantly reduced disease severity. The combination of H2O2 and the NADPH oxidase inhibitor, diphenylene iodonium, down-regulated chitinase gene expression and compromised disease resistance compared with H2O2 alone. Heat treatment (HT) or the combination of HT followed by CaCl2 reduced disease, but only the latter significantly upregulated chitinase gene expression. The combination of HT and a calcium ionophore (A23187) resulted in different disease indicies and different levels of gene expression depending upon the order of application: HT followed by A23187 induced higher gene expression and lower disease. The results suggest that disease resistance of green bananas could be related to high and prolonged levels of chitinase gene expression, and chitinase could be involved in harvested banana's anthracnose resistance activated by different defense pathway signals, such as BTH, MeJA, H2O2, and Ca2+.

Free access

Gummy stem blight incited by the fungus Didymella bryoniae is a major disease of melons worldwide. The objectives of the present study were to critically evaluate melon (Cucumis melo L.) germplasm for resistance to D. bryoniae and to characterize the genetics of resistance in the resistant accessions. Two hundred sources of germplasm (plant introduction accessions, cultivars, breeding lines, landraces, and wild relatives) were screened against a single highly virulent isolate (IS25) of D. bryoniae in a plastic tunnel. The genetics of resistance to D. bryoniae was studied in three crosses between plant introductions 157076, 420145, and 323498, resistant parents that were fairly adapted (flowering, fruiting, powdery mildew tolerance) to Nanjing conditions, and plant introductions 268227, 136170, and NSL 30032 susceptible parents, respectively. Six populations of each cross (susceptible parent, resistant parent, F1, F2, the two reciprocal backcrosses) were analyzed for their responses to D. bryoniae. Seedlings in both studies were inoculated with a spore suspension (5 × 105 spores/mL−1) of D. bryoniae at the four to six true-leaf stages and assessed for leaf and stem damage at 7, 14, and 21 d postinoculation. Results of germplasm screening indicated most germplasms reported as resistant elsewhere were confirmed resistant under our conditions. However, some plant introductions identified as highly resistant elsewhere were susceptible under our conditions, the most interesting being plant introduction 482399. This plant introduction that was considered resistant was highly susceptible in our study. We also identified other sources of resistance not reported previously, for example, JF1; a wild Cucumis from the highlands of Kenya was rated highly resistant. Analysis of segregation of F1, F2, and backcross generations of the three crosses indicated that each of the three plant introductions carry a single dominant gene for resistance to the D. bryoniae.

Free access

Ethylene is important during the berry development and in the last stages of rachis development or rachis senescence. Since grapes develop in a cluster that comprises both the fruit berry and the nonfruit rachis, we measured the release of ethylene from both tissues. Detached berries from Vitis vinifera ‘Ruby Seedless’ and ‘Thompson Seedless’ showed that ethylene release peaks at the beginning of berry development and at veraison. Ethylene production in the rachis was higher than that in the berry and had an obvious peak before harvest in ‘Thompson Seedless’. In both cultivars, ethephon treatment induced ethylene production in the rachis but not in the berry. Expression of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) synthase (ACS) and ACC oxidase (ACO) genes showed diverse temporal and spatial patterns in ‘Thompson Seedless’ and ‘Ruby Seedless’. For most gene family members, the low ACS expression levels were observed in berry and rachis. Expression levels of most of the ACS and ACO genes did not correlate with ethylene released in the same organ. The transcriptional level of VvACS1 did correlate with ethylene evolution in rachis of ‘Thompson Seedless’ during berry development and storage, which suggested that VvACS1 may have important roles in rachis senescence. In berries of ‘Thompson Seedless’ and ‘Ruby Seedless’, the transcriptional levels of VvACO1, VvACS2, and VvACS6 coincided with ethylene production, indicating possible roles in berry development. Expression of VvACS2VvACO9 and VvACO1VvACO3 was not consistent with ethylene production during storage or in response to ethephon treatment, which suggests that the expression of ACS and ACO was affected by other stress factors after harvest.

Free access

Tetrastigma hemsleyanum is a traditional Chinese medicine herb, commonly used for its anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties. Flavonoids are the main functional constituents of T. hemsleyanum, and their production in the herb is affected by light quality. T. hemsleyanum is a shade-loving plant and is usually covered by black shade nets during cultivation. However, there are only a few studies on the effects of using color films on growth and flavonoid synthesis in T. hemsleyanum. In this study, we measured the influence of five different color films on growth indexes—sugar, soluble amino acid, soluble protein, and flavonoid content—and flavonoid-synthesizing enzyme activities in T. hemsleyanum. The films used were colorless plastic film as the control group (CK-W), red film (RF), yellow film (YF), green film (GF), and blue film (BF). BF promoted plant growth and increased yield, as evidenced by the highest growth indexes, soluble amino acid content, and chalcone isomerase (CHI) enzyme activity. RF increased the content of secondary metabolites, thereby enhancing herb quality, as evidenced by the highest phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) activity and increased flavonoid content.

Open Access

This study examined the ability to vegetatively propagate 1-year-old pecan (Carya illinoinensis) through the rooting of hardwood cuttings. Cuttings were treated with varying concentrations of different auxins and different combinations of media and ambient temperatures. Under different temperature conditions, all auxin treatments induced the rooting of cuttings but did not promote sprouting. The effectiveness of the induction of adventitious roots was as follows: 1-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) > indole 3-butyric acid > indole 3-acetic acid. The base of the parent shoot treated by NAA at a concentration of 0.09%, planted in substrate with bottom heat was the most effective, with 82% rooting, 8.3 roots/cutting and root lengths of 7.3 cm. These findings suggested that auxin and substrate/air temperature differences are both indispensable in the process of adventitious roots formation in pecan. This study revealed that the propagation of hardwood cuttings derived from branches of 1-year-old pecan is possible.

Free access

Protected grape cultivation develops rapidly because of huge economic benefits. However, adverse environmental conditions (insufficient sunlight, high temperature, etc.) in protected cultivation led to low-quality berries. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of berry thinning on the quality attributes of two table grape cultivars (Baoguang and Cuiguang) under linkage greenhouse conditions. Three treatments (L, light berry thinning; M, moderate berry thinning; H, heavy berry thinning) were compared with the control (C, no berry thinning). Berry thinning increased berry weight, total soluble solids (TSS), fructose, glucose, the ratio of TSS to titratable acidity (TA), anthocyanin contents, berry firmness, and mineral contents (Ca, Fe, Na, Mg). Conversely, TA and organic acid profiles were decreased by berry thinning. Cultivars showed significant effects on most of the berry quality parameters. The interaction of cultivars by berry-thinning treatments affected sugar and acid components, anthocyanin contents, and mineral elements.

Open Access