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Shaolan Yang, Changjie Xu, Bo Zhang, Xian Li and Kunsong Chen

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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Kunkun Li, Weiqi Dong, Yun Zhao, Hongxia Xu, Junwei Chen and Changjie Xu

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) is an economically important subtropical fruit tree, originating and commercially produced mainly in China and Japan. The aseptic seed germination of 13 loquat cultivars, including 9 white-fleshed cultivars and 4 red-fleshed ones, was studied, and the relationship between the germination rate and the content of endogenous ABA in seeds was explored. The germination rate and the seedling height at 80 days after sowing of white-fleshed cultivars were generally higher than that of red-fleshed ones. The ABA content in seeds was generally lower in white-fleshed cultivars, and the ABA content negatively correlated with the germination rate at 80 days after sowing. A moderate detrimental effect of 75% ethanol disinfection on aseptic germination of loquat seeds was observed, especially, for the cultivar Dahongpao, and the germination rate and seedling height were reduced by around half and one-third, respectively. The addition of plant preservative mixture (PPM) to the germination medium at a final concentration of 25 mg·L−1 effectively controlled contamination when the 75% ethanol disinfection procedure was omitted.

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Maomao Ding, Ke Wang, Wenting Wang, Miaojin Chen, Dajun Wu, Changjie Xu and Kunsong Chen

Peach (Prunus persica) is an important fruit crop worldwide with several thousand cultivars. Cultivar discrimination and hybrid authentication are often required in peach breeding and can be achieved by applying various molecular markers including simple sequence repeat (SSR). In this study a total of 2146 expressed sequence tag (EST)–SSR loci were detected with the 10,737 EST sequences retrieved from the NCBI. A total of 49 EST-SSR markers, including 24 simple ones with a motif comprising of tri-, tetra-, penta-, hexanucleotides, and 25 compound ones, were selected and then primers were designed. Following conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specificity control and sequence authentication, as well as fluorescence-based PCR product size and stutter band evaluation, 37 EST-SSR markers with correct amplification and without stutter band interference were validated. Among them, 14 were polymorphic in 18 closely related peach accessions, with polymorphism information content (PIC) ranging from 0.0994 to 0.3750. The 18 peach accessions can be distinguished using nine polymorphic markers, with the exception of ‘Shangshandayulu’ and ‘Xipu 1’, both being bud sports from ‘Yulu’. The clustering of the accessions as well as the fingerprint profiles supported the authentication of the hybrids. These EST-SSR markers are useful for peach breeding research.

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Shuiming Zhang, Zhongshan Gao, Changjie Xu, Kunsong Chen, Guoyun Wang, Jintu Zheng and Ting Lu

Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) was used to analyze genetic diversity of 100 accessions of Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.), one of the widely cultivated fruit tree crops in southern China. Six E-NN/M-NNN primer combinations were selected and a total of 236 bands were obtained, of which 177 were polymorphic (75.01%). An unweighted pair-group method of the arithmetic averages (UPGMA) was used to analyze the genetic relationships. The Dice's similarity coefficient among the Chinese bayberry accessions ranged from 0.75 to 1.00 and was 0.49 between Chinese bayberry and wax myrtle (M. cerifera L.). The 100 accessions of Chinese bayberry were clustered into two groups and seven subgroups. Subgrouping of Chinese bayberry was not related to the sex of the plant and color or size of the ripe fruit, but to some extent the region where the accession originated. However, the accessions from the same region did not necessarily belong to the same group or subgroup, which suggested the presence of extensive gene flow among different regions. Furthermore, close relationships between some morphologically similar accessions were found.

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Wenting Wang, Chao Feng, Zehuang Zhang, Liju Yan, Maomao Ding, Changjie Xu and Kunsong Chen

Chinese bayberry (Morella rubra) is an economically important subtropical evergreen fruit crop native to China and other Asian countries. For facilitating cultivar discrimination and genetic diversity analysis, a total of 38 high-quality and highly polymorphic expressed sequence tags-simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers, with little or no polymerase chain reaction (PCR) stutter bands, including 21 screened from those obtained previously and 17 newly developed markers, were developed. The average number of alleles (N a) per locus was 5.6, and polymorphism information content varied from 0.34 to 0.86, with a mean value of 0.57. With these markers, all 42 Chinese bayberry accessions analyzed were successfully discriminated and the phylogenetic relationship between accessions was revealed. The accessions can be separated into two groups with six subgroups. The grouping of four main cultivars in three subgroups and 12 white-fruited accessions, each with little or no anthocyanin accumulation in ripe fruit, into five subgroups suggested the preservation of broad diversity among cultivated populations. These EST-SSR markers and the findings obtained in this study can assist the discrimination of cultivars and lines and contribute to genetic and breeding studies in Chinese bayberry.