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Yu-Sen Chang and Chen-Yu Lin

The effect of copper hydroxide [Cu(OH)2] applied to interior container surfaces on shoot and root responses was evaluated on palimara alstonia (Alstonia scholaris). The seedlings grown in Cu(OH)2-treated containers had greater plant height than those in untreated containers, and had no observable copper toxicity symptoms. Cu(OH)2-treated containers effectively reduced root circling on the surface of rootballs compared with untreated containers. The Cu(OH)2 treatment significantly increased the dry weight of fine roots (those with a diameter 0-2 mm) and small roots (>2-5 mm) but did not influence the dry weight of medium roots (>5-10 mm), large roots (>10 mm), or total roots. The Cu(OH)2 treatment also significantly increased total root length and surface, which was due principally to the increasing length and surface of the fine roots. The results indicated that the Cu(OH)2 treatment, which can improve the root quality of palimara alstonia seedlings and thereby increase the root-length-to-leaf-area ratio and the root-surface-to-leaf-area ratio, has the potential to produce high-quality plants.

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Chen-Yu Lin, Kan-Shu Chen, Hsuan-Ping Chen, Hsiang-I Lee and Ching-Hsiang Hsieh

This study investigated the effects of different temperature treatments (18, 24, and 30 °C) on apex development in tropical cauliflower cultivars of varying maturity types. Two commercial cultivars, H-37 (early maturity) and H-80 (mid–late maturity), were used as the testing materials. ‘H-37’ reached the curd-initiation phase earlier than ‘H-80’ and showed superior growth during the curd’s initial development phase under all temperature treatments. Analysis of variance revealed significant effects regarding main temperature and cultivar as well as their interaction. ‘H-37’ at a temperature of 18 °C demonstrated the optimal transformation of apex development from the vegetative to reproductive stage. A temperature of 24 °C promoted the apex development of ‘H-37’ at the curd initial development phase. Gene expression analysis results indicated that the BoFLC2 expression of ‘H-37’ was significantly down-regulated than that of ‘H-80’ after curd initiation and advanced growth. A temperature 30 °C accelerated the ending of juvenile stage and forward to curd initiation in ‘H-80’ and declined with temperature decreased. Moreover, expression of the BoFLC2 transcript level of both tropical cauliflower cultivars nearly disappeared at the high temperature of 30 °C following curd initiation, suggesting that heat stress hinders curd formation. The results of this study also indicate that the number of leaves required to induce curd initiation is less than nine in tropical cauliflower at temperatures of 18 to 30 °C. In conclusion, under nonvernalized high temperatures, different cultivars of tropical cauliflower can initiate curd development but with a different pattern from those cultivars grown in temperate zones. This information may provide novel insights for cauliflower farmers or breeders in tropical regions.

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Sandy Lin, Hsiao-Ching Lee, Wen-Huei Chen, Chi-Chang Chen, Yen-Yu Kao, Yan-Ming Fu, Yao-Huang Chen and Tsai-Yun Lin

Nuclear DNA contents were estimated by flow cytometry in 18 Phalaenopsis Blume species and Doritis pulcherrima Lindl. DNA amounts differed 6.07-fold, from 2.74 pg/diploid nuclear DNA content (2C) in P. sanderiana Rchb.f. to 16.61 pg/2C in P. parishii Rchb.f. Nuclear DNA contents of P. aphrodite Rchb.f. clones, W01-38 (2n = 2x = 38), W01-41 (2n = 3x = 57), and W01-22 (2n = 4x = 76), displayed a linear relationship with their chromosome numbers, indicating the accuracy of flow cytometry. Our results also suggest that the 2C-values of the Phalaenopsis sp. correlate with their chromosome sizes. The comparative analyses of DNA contents may provide information to molecular geneticists and systematists for genome analysis in Phalaenopsis. Endoreduplication was found in various tissues of P. equestris at different levels. The highest degree of endoreduplication in P. equestris was detected in leaves.

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I-Ling Lai, Chih-Wan Lin, Tsai-Yu Chen and Wei-Hsin Hu

Begonia montaniformis × Begonia ningmingensis var. bella hybrids have high ornamental potential. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine the optimal conditions for the micropropagation of a Begonia montaniformis × Begonia ningmingensis var. bella F1 progeny by using various concentrations of plant growth regulators (PGRs) and varying light spectra in half-strength Murashige and Skoog (1/2 MS) medium. The results showed that the explant regeneration was optimal when the lamina was incubated in a medium supplemented with 2.0 μM N6-benzylaminopurine and 0.8 μM α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). Under such conditions, 98% of the explants regenerated adventitious shoots after 8 weeks, and 41 buds were produced per explant on average. The mean shoot length was 9.6 mm, and on average, 4.5 shoots per explant were more than 2 mm long. Subsequently, the induced adventitious shoots were transferred into rooting medium consisting of 1/2 MS and various NAA concentrations. After 4 weeks, the shoots subcultured in this medium showed ≈93% root induction and an average of 3.5 adventitious roots per explant. Furthermore, the applied light spectrum significantly influenced shoot regeneration, and optimal results were achieved under an equal distribution of blue, red, and infrared light. The histological sections of shoots regenerated from direct organogenesis were observed through scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Afterward, the rooting adventitious shoots were subcultured in PGR-free medium for 8 weeks. The seedlings were successfully acclimated 4 weeks after being transferred to soil and bloomed after 11 months in a greenhouse. Thus, the PGR composition in micropropagation efficiently shortened the time to blooming from 25 to 16 months.

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Yu-Xiong Zhong, Jian-Ye Chen, Hai-Ling Feng, Jian-Fei Kuang, Ruo Xiao, Min Ou, Hui Xie, Wang-Jin Lu, Yue-Ming Jiang and He-Tong Lin

Fresh fruit of longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) are susceptible to pericarp browning and aril breakdown. Aril breakdown in longan fruit is regarded as one of the most important factors reducing quality and shortening storage life of the fruit. To better understand the molecular mechanism of aril breakdown, the expression patterns of three expansin (EXP) and three xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) genes in relation to the aril breakdown of longan fruit stored at room temperature (25 °C) or low temperature (4 °C) were investigated. The results showed that aril breakdown index increased progressively during storage at 25 and at 4 °C. Northern blotting analysis revealed that the accumulations of three EXP and three XET genes exhibited differential characteristics with the occurrence of aril breakdown. During storage at 25 °C, the accumulations of Dl-XET3 increased after 1 day, suggesting that Dl-XET3 correlated well with the early aril breakdown, while Dl-EXP3 together with Dl-XET1 and Dl-XET2 was involved in later aril breakdown. However, expression of Dl-XET1 and Dl-XET2 could be mainly involved in aril breakdown of longan fruit stored at 4 °C. In addition, Dl-EXP2, whose accumulation increased sharply when longan fruit were transferred from low temperature to room temperature within 12 hours, was related to the aril breakdown in this storage period. These data indicated that Dl-EXPs and Dl-XETs were closely related to aril breakdown in longan fruit.

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Choun-Sea Lin, Nien-Tzu Liu, De-Chih Liao, Jau-Song Yu, Chuang-Hwei Tsao, Chao-Hsiung Lin, Chih-Wen Sun, Wann-Neng Jane, Hsing Sheng Tsay, Jeremy Jian-Wei Chen, Erh-Min Lai, Na-Sheng Lin, Wei-Chin Chang and Chung-Chih Lin

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.