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Jiang Lu, Elvis Clarke and Zhong-bo Ren

Although some of the American native Vitis species and their hybrids, particularly those originated from the southeastern United States, have been known for resistance to Pierce's disease (PD), their resistant status against the glassy-winged sharp shooter [GWSS, Homalodisca coagulata (Say)], the vector transmitting PD pathogen (Xylellafastidiosa Well), has not been reported. To determine GWSS feeding preferences on different grape species/cultivars and correlations of feeding to Pierce's disease development, a survey was conducted at Florida A&M University, Tallahassee. The feeding preference of GWSS on different species/cultivars was evaluated in two different ways: 1) count the number of GWSS on different grapevines in the field; and 2) determine the feeding preference by measuring the excretion of the GWSS feeding on difference grape species/cultivars, including highly susceptible V. vinifera cultivars, native American grape species and hybrids, and muscadine grapes. Results from this study indicated that the frequency of GWSS visits on different grapevines varied among the species/cultivars investigated. For example, PD-resistant grape V. rotundifolia (muscadine grape) had significantly fewer GWSS visits than did the PD-susceptible V. vinifera grape. The frequency of GWSS visits to V. labrusca, the native American grape susceptible to PD, was intermediate between those found on V. rotundifolia and V. vinifera. Similarly, the GWSS sucked more xylem sap when they fed on PD-susceptible grapevines than on PD-resistant ones. Overall, there is a positive correlation between the GWSS visits/feeding and the status of grapevine resistance/susceptibility to Pierce's disease.

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Pan-Hui Huang, Wen-Bin Yu, Jun-Bo Yang, Hong Wang and Lu Lu

Pedicularis rex C. B. Clarke ex Maxim., an endemic species with potential horticultural traits from Himalaya, has a unique cup-like petiole structure and highly infraspecific floral variation among members of the lousewort genus (Orobanchaceae). We developed 13 microsatellite markers from three microsatellite-enriched libraries (AG, AC, and AAG) of P. rex with a modified biotin–streptavidin capture technique. Polymorphism of each locus was assessed in 22 individuals with representation of five populations of P. rex. Number of alleles per locus (A) ranged from two to seven with an average of 4.38. The observed and expected heterozygosities varied from 0.03 to 0.86 and 0.45 to 0.84, respectively. Additionally, among the 13 identified microsatellite markers, 11 of them were successfully amplified in species P. thamnophila, and five of them showed polymorphisms. This study may provide important information for further investigation on the population genetics, introduction, and acclimatization of P. rex and its congeners.

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Na Liu, Baoli Zhou, Xin Zhao, Bo Lu, Yixiu Li and Jing Hao

Verticillium wilt (caused by Verticillium dahliae), a soilborne disease, often causes significant reductions of yield in eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) production where crop rotation is limited. Rootstock replacement through grafting is considered an effective method to control this disease. This 2-year study investigated the eggplant yield, resistance to verticillium wilt, and allelochemicals in root exudates of eggplant grafted onto a tomato rootstock. Both disease incidence and disease severity on grafted eggplant were markedly lower than those of nongrafted eggplants. Fifteen days after V. dahliae inoculation, grafted eggplants did not exhibit any infection, whereas the disease incidence and disease severity index of the nongrafted eggplants were 68.3% and 37.8% in 2006 and 66.7% and 36.3% in 2007, respectively. Twenty-five days after inoculation, disease incidences on grafted eggplants were only 8.1% and 9.5% in 2006 and 2007, respectively, but those of the nongrafted eggplants increased to 100%. As a result, early yield, total yield, and average fruit weight were significantly increased by grafting when inoculated with V. dahliae in 2006 and 2007. Mycelium growth of V. dahliae was inhibited by the root exudates of grafted eggplants. In contrast, the root exudates of nongrafted eggplants enhanced the mycelium growth. The gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis revealed that the composition in the root exudates released by grafted eggplants differed not only from the nongrafted eggplants, but also from the tomato rootstock plants. Ten chemical classes were isolated and identified in root exudates of grafted eggplants. Carbazoles, amines, azulene, and fluorene were only detected in the grafted eggplants. The relative contents of ester compounds were the highest in the root exudates from the grafted eggplant followed by derivatives of benzene, whereas the relative contents of benzene derivatives were much higher than that of the ester compounds in the root exudates from the nongrafted eggplant and tomato rootstock.