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  • Author or Editor: Chao Yu x
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Rosa laxa is widely distributed in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China and is highly adaptable and rich in variation. In this study, we investigated the morphology, habitats, and palynomorphology of R. laxa botanical varieties from Xinjiang, China. In addition to R. laxa var. laxa, there were three other botanical varieties of R. laxa growing in southern Xinjiang, including var. mollis, var. kaschgarica, and var. tomurensis. Together, these four botanical varieties exhibited morphological variation, mainly in the morphology of prickles and the glandular trichome and in flower color. The pollen grains of the R. laxa botanical varieties, all medium in size (21.77–48.39 μm), came in three shapes: perprolate, prolate, and subspheroidal. Their pollen exine sculptures were characterized by either a striate-perforation pattern or striate pattern, but perforation varied in terms of diameter and density and striae varied in depth and density. Palynomorphological assessment showed that three types of evolution, i.e., primitive, transitive, and evolved, were present among R. laxa botanical varieties, and pollen dimorphism was observed in the same botanical variety. Perprolate pollen with a dense striate pattern was the most evolved type. Based on morphological and palynomorphological investigations, var. tomurensis was considered to be the most evolved one among the studied botanical varieties.

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Fruit abscission occurring severely in the early fruit development affects macadamia yield. Developing effective methods to improve fruit retention is a priority for macadamia cultivation and production. Girdling is an important horticultural practice that has been widely used to increase fruit yield. Previous studies have shown that girdling fails to increase macadamia yield despite enhancing the early fruit set, but few have examined the effect of girdling on its related physiological mechanism. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of main-branch girdling (MBG) on early fruit retention and also on the levels of carbohydrates and endogenous hormones in the leaves, bearing shoots and fruit of macadamia. Herein, MBG was performed at fruit set using a single-blade knife on 9-year-old macadamia trees (Macadamia integrifolia). Results showed that MBG significantly reduced young fruit drop, concurrent with significant increases in the contents of starch in both the leaves and the bearing shoots and in glucose, fructose, and sucrose levels in the husk and seed. It was suggested that the availability of carbohydrate for fruit retention was improved by MBG. Additionally, MBG increased indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), gibberellin (GA3), and zeatin-riboside (ZR, a type of cytokinin) concentrations and decreased abscisic acid (ABA) contents in the husk and the seed, indicating that MBG reduced the early fruit drop by modifying the balance of endogenous hormones. Therefore, a positive interplay between carbohydrates and endogenous hormones induced by MBG was involved in the reduction of early fruit abscission in macadamia.

Open Access

The genus Dendrobium is important in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, and the precise identification of Dendrobium species is critical for the treatment and for pharmacological research. In the present study, a ribosomal DNA (rDNA) internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region-based analysis was used to ascertain the phylogenetic relationship among 20 Dendrobium species. The lengths of the ITS regions among the 20 species ranged from 636 to 653 bp, and the identities of the rDNA regions among the different species ranged from 75.7% to 99.1%. The results also showed that the ITS1 and ITS2 regions exhibit more variation than the 5.8S rDNA. A phylogenetic tree derived from the ITS sequence indicated that six medicinal Dendrobium species, of which five are common medicinal plants in the Taiwan market, were closely related and shared a common clade. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification was successfully performed to identify the six medicinal Dendrobium species, and amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) PCR was used to distinguish D. tosaense specifically from the 19 other Dendrobium species. The established PCR-based (multiplex and ARMS) analyses can be used for the authentication of the raw materials of medicinal Dendrobium from other species.

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Magnolia (Magnoliaceae) is widely cultivated for its beauty; however, despite this, the components of the different flower colors in Magnolia have not been elucidated. In this study, the color parameters of 10 Magnolia petals with different colors were measured by the Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart (RHSCC) and a color reader CR-10. The composition and content of the flavonoids in the petals were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with diode array detection (HPLC-DAD) as well as HPLC with electrospray ionization and mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS2). All results showed that the 10 petals were divided into four color groups. Regarding the flavonoid composition, four types of anthocyanins, including Cyanidin-glucosyl-rhamnoside (Cy-GR), Cyanidin-glucosyl-rhamnosyl-glucoside (Cy-GRG), Peonidin-glucosyl-rhamnoside (Pn-GR), and Peonidin-glucosyl-rhamnosyl-glucoside (Pn-GRG), were identified, as well as 10 types of flavonols. The flavonols included isorhamnetin, quercetin, kaempferol, and their glycosides, which included rutinoside, rhamnose, and glucoside. Cyanidin and peonidin make Magnolia petals appear red-purple and purple, respectively, and the flavonols perform as evident auxiliary pigments, particularly quercetin. The Magnolia cultivar flower phenotypes sampled in this study differed by changes in their existing flavonoid content rather than by the appearance of new flavonoids. Consequently, this study provides a reference for further revealing the basis of Magnolia flower color and provides clues for color breeding.

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Wild Rosa species, which are highly variable and locally adapted, are widely distributed in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of China. These species possess many important horticultural traits that are not found in the gene pool of modern cultivated roses. However, little is known about their cytological characteristics, because few of them have been karyologically analyzed. Karyological data of 13 samples of seven wild Rosa taxa, including R. berberifolia, two botanical varieties of R. spinosissima, R. platyacantha, R. beggeriana, R. acicularis, and R. laxa, were investigated by means of squashes of shoot tips. The results showed that seven samples were diploid (2n = 2x = 14), whereas the other six samples were tetraploid (2n = 4x = 28). The karyotypes of all the test samples were composed of m and sm chromosomes, which include 1A, 2A, 1B, and 2B. There were differences in asymmetry index, centromere index, and distribution of relative lengths. The karyotype of the tetraploid R. laxa var. laxa sample from Aksu easily distinguished from the other R. laxa var. laxa samples tested in having the highest asymmetry index and the most evolved karyotype. This Aksu population merits recognition as a new botanical variety of R. laxa. The karyological data, most of which are first reports for their taxa, provide a comprehensive cytogenetic resource that can be used to better understand the taxonomy, evolution, and speciation in the genus Rosa and to identify candidate species for breeding programs.

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The chloroplast genome of an albino mutant isolated from tissue culture of the bamboo Bambusa edulis Munro was examined to identify aberrations. A number of the chloroplast genes encoding ATP synthases, photosystem II subunits, NADH dehydrogenase, and ribosomal proteins had been deleted, at least partially, in the albino mutant. Comparison of the two-dimensional electrophoresis profiles of albino and green bamboos revealed three spots of reduced intensity, indicating repression of these proteins in the albino mutants. Mass spectroscopic analysis subsequently revealed that two of these proteins are 33-kDa subunits of the photosystem II oxygen-evolving protein complex (PsbO) and one is a 23-kDa subunit of photosystem II oxygen-evolving protein complex (PsbP). The genes encoding these two proteins were cloned from B. edulis, and were denoted BePsbO (accession no. EF669513) and BePsbP (accession no. EF669512). Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and two-dimensional gel analyses of BePsbO and BePsbP in green and albino bamboos grown in the light or dark revealed that the albino mutant, similar to its green counterpart, sensed the light signal, resulting in the induction of BePsbO and BePsbP transcription, but it did not accumulate the protein products. We conclude that the repression of protein-expressing BePsbO and BePsbP is because of a defect in post-transcriptional regulation in the albino mutant.

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