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  • Author or Editor: Bo Chen x
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Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum accessions in China have not been adequately characterized for their morphological traits. Such characterization would be helpful in the development of improved cultivars and in cultivar classification. In this study, the morphological traits of 23 accessions were evaluated in spring, summer, and autumn to determine their phenotypic diversity. Cluster analysis with average distance was performed for the main traits of leaf and flower using data processing system software. The morphological investigation indicated that the number of flowering accessions and the flower number of L. chinense var. rubrum in spring were more than those in autumn. Only one accession (no. 13) yielded several flowers in summer. Some accessions had the same or similar color of leaf or flower in spring and autumn. Two accessions had the same flower color in spring and autumn, whereas others showed slightly different colors in spring and autumn. The 23 entries were grouped into four clusters in spring and five clusters in autumn based on multivariate analysis of nine classification variables. Each cluster had some specific characteristics of its own. Generally, the cluster formed first because of the similarity in leaf color. The accessions with similar flower color formed subclusters within a cluster. These accessions are an important resource for the establishment of a core collection of L. chinense var. rubrum in the world. Several accessions with good qualities were selected and should be further tested for horticultural merit.

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Two complementary DNA fragments encoding expansin genes Ad-EXP1 and Ad-EXP2 were isolated from ripening kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa cv. Bruno) by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction amplification using a pair of degenerate primers. The homology between these two expansin family members was 50% in nucleotide sequence and 74% in amino acid sequence. It was revealed that Ad-EXP1 and Ad-EXP2 belong to subgroups A and B of an expansin gene family respectively. However, gene expression of these two members shared similar patterns. Both were upregulated by ethylene treatment and downregulated by acetylsalicylic acid treatment. The study suggests that members of both subgroups A and B of the expansin family are involved in kiwifruit fruit ripening.

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Loropetalum chinense, one of three species in its genus in China, is distributed primarily in Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces. By establishing a Loropetalum gene bank and reviewing research on its varieties, genetic traits, and genetic diversity, we hope to promote the full yet sustainable use of this valuable, regionally varied natural resource. Our results will help promote the development of a broader resource economy.

Open Access

The relationship between lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway-derived volatiles and LOX gene expression was evaluated in kiwifruit [Actinidia deliciosa (A. Chev.) C.F. Liang et A.R. Ferguson var. deliciosa cv. Bruno] during postharvest ripening at 20 °C. The C6 aldehydes n-hexanal and (E)-2-hexenal were abundant in peel compared with flesh tissue and declined as kiwifruit ripened. Esters such as ethyl butanoate and methyl butanoate were lower in the peel than flesh and accumulated when the fruit underwent a climacteric rise in ethylene production. Total LOX activity was higher in the peel than in the flesh and increased as kiwifruit ripened. Expression of AdLox2, AdLox3, AdLox4 and AdLox6 was high in the peel, whereas AdLox1 and AdLox5 showed similar levels in the peel and flesh at the ethylene climacteric. AdLox1 and AdLox5 transcript levels increased and AdLox2, AdLox3, AdLox4 and AdLox6 levels decreased during postharvest fruit ripening. Principal component analysis showed that n-hexanal and (E)-2-hexenal were grouped with LOX genes that were downregulated as kiwifruit ripened. The possible roles of LOX genes in relation to kiwifruit volatile formation during fruit ripening are discussed.

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