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  • Author or Editor: Chao Wang x
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Pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] is an important nut tree species, and Zn nutrition is critical for its growth and nut production. The aim of this study was to provide a perspective on Zn accumulation in pecan fruit over time and to determine the effects of Zn application on fruit quality. Two concentrations of ZnSO4 (0.4% and 1.6%) were sprayed onto the shuck or the nearest pair of leaflets. Purified water was sprayed similarly as the control. The results show that Zn application to the shuck and leaves increased the Zn concentration and content in embryos. The greater the concentration of the Zn solution sprayed, the greater the Zn concentration in the embryo. The greatest zinc concentration in the embryo was found during the early stage of embryo development. In the treatment during which 1.6% ZnSO4 was sprayed onto the shuck, the Zn concentration in the early embryo was 242.91 mg·kg–1, which was 2.2 times that of the control. Thereafter, embryo Zn concentration decreased gradually until maturity. The treatments could be ranked, from greatest Zn concentration in the mature embryo to least, as follows: 1.6% ZnSO4 on shuck (66.36 mg·kg–1) > 1.6% ZnSO4 on leaflets (64.28 mg·kg–1) > 0.4% ZnSO4 on leaflets (55.51 mg·kg–1) > 0.4% ZnSO4 on shuck (49.67 mg·kg–1) > control (47.34 mg·kg–1). A model was presented that showed Zn was transported from the shuck and leaves to the stalks through the conducting tissue, and then to the embryo through the embryo sac. The application of 0.4% ZnSO4 to the shuck resulted in the greatest oil content (74.05%), which was 10% greater than that in the control. Applications of 0.4% ZnSO4 to the shuck and leaflets resulted in a greater proportion of oleic acid (≈69%) and a lower proportion of linoleic acid (≈20%), palmitic acid (≈6.0%), and linolenic acid (≈1.1%). The results of this preliminary investigation are useful for exploring the mechanism of action for Zn on pecans.

Free access

Zinc finger–homeodomain (ZF-HD) proteins, a family of plant-specific transcription factors, play an important role in regulating plant growth and development, as well as responses to stress. Although ZF-HDs have been investigated in several model plants, no systematic studies have been reported in apple (Malus ×domestica). In this study, 14 putative ZF-HD genes were identified in the apple genome and characterized using bioinformatics tools. All members harbored complete canonical structures of the ZF-HD motif. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that ZF-HD genes in the genome of apple could be classified into four subfamilies, with high intragroup similarities. Gene-structure analysis revealed that although 11 MdZHDs had only one exon, MdZHD6 and MdZHD13 had two exons and MdZHD8 had six exons, suggesting limited variation among the apple ZHD genes. The expression profiles of MdZHD genes revealed their involvement in the growth and development of different tissues. Numerous binding sites for transcription factors, such as MYB, bZIP, and AP2, were found in the promoter region of the putative MdZHD genes. Nearly all putative MdZHDs were predicted to localize in the nucleus. Finally, the expression levels of the MdZHD genes under abiotic stress were examined in apple rootstock Malus hupehensis and the results showed that the expression of 10 MdZHD genes was induced in response to three abiotic stress factors. Exceptionally, the expression of MdZHD11 was not induced in response to any of the abiotic stress treatments, MdZHD12 was only induced in response to salt stress, and MdZHD7 and MdZHD9 were induced in response to both drought and salt stress. The present results provide valuable insights into the putative physiological and biochemical functions of MdZHDs in apple.

Open Access

Inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) were used to evaluate the genetic diversity of Kongpo Monkshood (Aconitum kongboense L.) in Motuo, Tibet Plateau. From 70 accessions of three populations, 10 out of 100 informative ISSR primers were chosen for polymorphism analysis. Percentage of polymorphic bands was 50% to 66.67% with a mean of 58.42%. The effective number of alleles (Ne) was between 1.545 (population 3) and 1.586 (population 2), and the mean value was 1.564; the Nei’s gene diversity (h) ranged from 0.315 to 0.327 with the average value of 0.320; the value of Shannon’s information index (I) ranged from 0.459 to 0.478, with the mean of 0.469. Based on molecular data, cluster analysis classified the 70 cultivars into three groups. Most accessions were related to the geographical origin and their genetic backgrounds. Bayesian structure and PCoA analysis were consistent with the dendrogram result. Based on the analysis, it will provide a reference for Kongpo Monkshood breeding purposes and contribute to identification, rational exploitation, and conservation of germplasms.

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Rose is among the most important cut flower crops worldwide. The vase life is an important indicator of cut rose quality. The composition of the vase solution directly affects vase life. Neoagaro-oligosaccharides (NAOS) are degraded seaweed-derived polysaccharides that constitute a group of compounds with small molecular weight and good water solubility. Oligosaccharide treatment can extend the postharvest longevity of certain types of cut flowers; however, little information is available on the utility of NAOS for preservation of cut rose flowers. To explore the effects of NAOS on the longevity and quality of cut flowers of rose ‘Gaoyuanhong’, 100 mg·L−1 NAOS alone and in combination with 10 g·L−1 sucrose were incorporated in the vase solution. Distilled water was used as the control. Physiological indicators, comprising maximum flower diameter, fresh weight, water balance, vase life, bacteria number in the vase solution, and hormone contents of the outer petals, were determined in fresh cut flowers and analyzed. Compared with the control, 100 mg·L−1 NAOS treatment increased the maximum flower diameter (mean 8.21 cm), induced the maximum rates of change in flower diameter and cut flower fresh weight, maintained the best water balance, significantly extended the vase life to 16 days, and reduced the number of bacteria in the vase solution. The abscisic acid content of the outer petals in the control and 100 mg·L−1 NAOS treatments were significantly lower than that of the other treatments on day 9. The results showed that NAOS is useful to improve the postharvest quality and extend the vase life of cut rose flowers, and might contribute to the development of novel alternative preservatives for the cut rose industry.

Open Access

Camellia weiningensis is a typical woody edible oil tree species in the northwest alpine area of Guizhou Province, China, but its embryological development is not fully elucidated. Here, we assessed flower bud differentiation, microsporogenesis, and male-female gametophyte development in this species. We performed cytological observations of flower bud development in C. weiningensis through conventional paraffin sectioning, scanning electron microscopy, and stereomicroscopy to establish the corresponding relationships between the external morphology and internal structure. The flowers were hermaphroditic and exhibited a short flower bud differentiation time. Although pistil development occurred later than stamen development, both organs matured synchronously before flowering. The anther contained four sacs that exhibited a butterfly shape in transverse sections. The anther wall comprised the epidermis, anther chamber inner wall, two middle layers, and a glandular tapetum (from outside to inside). Microspore mother cells formed a tetrahedral tetrad through meiosis, mature pollen was two-celled with three germination pores, and the ovary comprised three to five chambers (three chambers predominated). Multiple ovules were invertedly attached to the axial placentation and exhibited double integuments and a thin nucellus. The embryo sac exhibited Allium-type development, and the mature embryo sac was seven-celled and eight-nucleated. In C. weiningensis, embryonic development does not exhibit abnormalities, and stamen development occurs earlier than pistil development. During flower bud development, the inner development process of male and female cells can be judged according to their external morphological characteristics. Our results may provide a theoretical basis for regulating flowering in and the cross-breeding of C. weiningensis.

Open Access

Camellia oleifera is an important plant species that produces edible oils. Understanding the double fertilization of this plant is critical for studies concerning crossbreeding, self-incompatibility, and the biological mechanisms underlying hybridization. We aimed to characterize pollen tube growth and double fertilization in C. oleifera. The female and male parent cultivars (Huashuo and Xianglin XLC15, respectively) were used for artificial pollination. Growth of the pollen tube in the style, ovary, and ovule from pollination to fertilization and the cytological characteristics of female and male gamete fusion during double fertilization were observed using fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Numerous pollen grains germinated 2 to 4 hours after pollination. The pollen tubes entered the interspaces between the papillar cells, grew along the stylar canal, and aggregated at the one-third site of the style. They grew in the gradually narrowing stylar canal, entering the locule. The tubes turned 90° and entered the embryo sac through the micropyle; subsequently, they entered a degenerated synergid, where the spermatids were released. One sperm nucleus fused with the polar nucleus, forming the primary endosperm nucleus, whereas the other sperm fused with the egg, forming the zygote. The polar nucleus was fertilized earlier than the egg. Double fertilization of C. oleifera is characterized as pre-mitotic gametogony. The current results lay a theoretical foundation for studies concerning the crossbreeding and embryology of C. oleifera and provide fundamental data concerning the reproductive biology of the genus Camellia.

Free access

Chinese flame tree (Koelreuteria bipinnata var. integrifoliola), a common ornamental tree in southern China, exhibits a variety of fruit colors among individual plants within the same cultivated field. In this study, 44 plants with different fruit colors were selected to investigate the impact of pigment composition on the coloration of fruit peels. The plants were divided into three groups based on the color phenotype of the fruit peel: red, pink, and green. The values of lightness (L*) were negatively correlated with redness (a*) and positively correlated with yellowness (b*). The correlations of chroma (C*) with the other color parameters differed among the three groups. In the pooled pink and red groups, C* was negatively correlated with both L* and b* and positively correlated with a*, whereas the opposite relationships were found in the green group. According to the pigment analysis, anthocyanins, chlorophylls, and carotenoids were detected in the fruit peels. Anthocyanins were found to be the main pigment responsible for the differences in fruit color among the various groups. The highest anthocyanin content of fruit peel was found in the red group, followed by the pink group; the lowest anthocyanin levels appeared in the green group. The major anthocyanin component in the fruit peels was identified as cyanidin 3-O-rutinoside. By classifying fruit peel color and determining pigment composition, this study provides a theoretical basis for further researching genetic control and regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis genes on pigment accumulation and peel coloration of chinese flame tree.

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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.

Free access

High temperature and high relative humidity (RH) are one of the most serious agricultural meteorological disasters that limit the production capacity of agricultural facilities. However, little information is available on the precise interaction between these factors on tomato growth. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of high temperature under different RH levels on tomato growth and endogenous hormones and to determine the optimal RH for tomato seedling growth under high temperature environment. Two high temperature (38/18 °C, 41/18 °C) and three relative humidity (50 ± 5%, 70 ± 5%, 90 ± 5%) orthogonal experiments were conducted, with 28/18 °C, 50 ± 5% (CK) as control. The results showed that the dry matter accumulation of tomato plants under high temperature environment was significantly lower than that of CK. At 38 °C, the dry matter accumulation with 70% relative humidity was not significantly different from that of CK; at 41 °C, dry matter accumulation with 70% and 90% relative air humidity was significantly greater than that of 50%. The concentrations of soluble sugar and free amino acids in all organs in high temperature-treated plants were significantly higher than that in CK. As relative humidity increased, soluble sugar concentrations of each organ decreased, and the free amino acid concentrations increased. Cytokinin (ZT) and indole acetic acid (IAA) concentrations in tomato buds were significantly lower than in CK under high temperature conditions. The lower the RH, the lower the content of ZT and IAA. The gibberellin (GA3) and abscisic acid (ABA) concentrations were higher than in CK under high temperatures. GA3 concentrations decreased and ABA concentrations were augmented with increased humidity. The differences of tomato seedling growth indices and apical bud endogenous hormone concentrations between RHs under high temperature conditions were significant. Raising RH to 70% or higher under high temperature conditions could be beneficial to the growth of tomato plants. The results contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between microclimate parameters inside a Venlo-type glass greenhouse environment, in a specific climate condition, and their effects on the growth of tomato.

Open Access

This study aimed to investigate the flowering biological characteristics, floral organ characteristics, and pollen morphology of Camellia weiningensis Y.K. Li. These features of adult C. weiningensis plants were observed via light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Pollen viability and stigma receptivity were detected using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazole chloride (TTC) staining and the benzidine–hydrogen peroxide reaction method. C. weiningensis is monoecious, with alternate leaves and glabrous branchlets. Its flowering period lasts 2 to 4 months, and the flowering time of individual plants lasts ≈50 days, with the peak flowering period from the end of February to the middle of March. It is a “centralized flowering” plant that attracts a large number of pollinators. Individual flowers are open for 12 to 13 days, mostly between 1230 and 1630 hr, and include four to six sepals, six to eight petals, ≈106 stamens, an outer ring of ≈24.6-mm-long stamens, an inner ring of ≈13.4-mm-long stamens, one pistil, and nine to 12 ovules. The flowers are light pink. The style is two- to three-lobed and 16.6 mm long, showing a curly “Y” shape. The contact surface of the style is covered with papillary cells and displays abundant secretory fluid and a full shape, facilitating pollen adhesion. The pollen is rhombohedral cone-shaped, and there are germ pores (tremoids). The groove of the germ pore is slender and extends to the two poles (nearly reaching the two poles). The pollen is spherical in equatorial view and trilobate in polar view. The pollen vitality was highest at the full flowering stage, and the stigma receptivity was greatest on days 2 to 3 of flowering. The best concentration of sucrose medium for pollen germination was 100 g/L. The number of pollen grains per anther was ≈2173, and the pollen-to-ovule ratio was 23,034:1. C. weiningensis is cross-pollinated. Seventy-two hours after cross-pollination, the pollen tube reached the base, and a small part entered the ovary. The time when the pollen tube reached the base after pollination was later than that in commonly grown Camellia oleifera. The results of this study might lay an important foundation for the flowering management, pollination time selection, and cross-breeding of C. weiningensis.

Open Access