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  • Author or Editor: Haiyan Zhang x
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Cynanchum bungei Decne is a rare, endemic, and important medicinal plant species in China. Seed germination and early seedling growth of large seeds (greater than 7 mm) and small seeds (smaller than 7 mm) were investigated at three temperatures (15, 20, and 25 °C) in both continuous light and alternating light/dark photoperiods to determine seed propagation requirements. Photoperiod significantly affected seed germination and early seedling growth. Germination and seedling growth at a 12:12-h photoperiod performed better than in continuous light. Temperature had a significant effect on germination index (GI), vigor index (VI), germination velocity (GV), mean germination time (MGT), shoot biomass (SB), root biomass (RB), and taproot length (TL), but no significant effect on final germination percentage (FGP). A temperature of 20 °C was the optimum temperature for seed germination and early seedling growth. Average growth height (AGH) and relative growth rate (RGR) of shoots at 15 °C were greater than that at 20 °C. Large seeds had better germination and seedling performance than small seeds. However, small-seeded seedlings had greater biomass allocated to roots (BAR) and root-to-seedling ratio (RSR) than seedlings from large seeds. Small seeds of C. bungei could be more competent in unfavorable soil and light conditions than large seeds.

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As a rare, endemic, important, and salt-sensitive medicinal plant species in China, Cynanchum bungei Decne seeds were treated to germinate with distilled water (control) or NaCl solutions in the presence or absence of nitric oxide (NO) donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP) to investigate the effects of exogenous NO on seed germination, seedling growth, and antioxidant enzyme activities under salt stress. Sixty mm NaCl significantly inhibited the germination and seedling growth of C. bungei. Exogenous SNP alleviated salt stress in a dose-dependent manner, as indicated by accelerating the seed germination, increasing germination index (GI), vigor index (VI), germination velocity (GV), shoot height (SH), taproot length (TL), shoot biomass (SB), root biomass (RB) as well as shortening mean germination time (MGT), and 0.1 mm SNP was the optimal concentration. SNP at 0.1 mm greatly increased the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) under salt stress, which contributed to alleviate the oxidative stress induced by salt stress in C. bungei seeds. It is concluded that NO treatment is an effective practice to improve C. bungei seed germination under saline condition.

Free access

The effects of CaCl2, GA3, and H2O2 priming on Isatis indigotica Fort. seed germination characteristics, seedling growth parameters, and antioxidant enzyme activities under salt stress were investigated. NaCl had an adverse effect on the germination and seedling performance of I. indigotica. However, these three priming agents alleviated salt stress by increasing the germination percentage, improving seed vigor, accelerating germination velocity, and establishing strong seedlings. The optimal concentrations were 15 g/L for CaCl2, 0.2 g/L for GA3, and 40 mm for H2O2. Seed priming treatments enhanced the activities of antioxidant enzymes in seedlings, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT), under a salt environment, which reduced the oxidative injury caused by salt. Seed priming is a promising technique that can enhance the ability of I. indigotica seed germination when salt is present.

Open Access

The study here aimed to investigate the effects of pre-winter ditching and freezing-thawing on soil microbial structure in different soil layers of old apple orchards. A total of 30 samples were obtained from 3 Nov. 2016 to 9 Mar. 2017. The relative abundance, alpha diversity, community structure of fungi, and the relationship between environmental factors and microbial community structure were analyzed, and the greenhouse experiments were used for further verification. Results showed that the number of actinomycete and total bacterial colonies decreased, whereas the number of fungi sustained decreased, resulting in a higher bacteria/fungi ratio. The percentage of Fusarium initially decreased, then later increased by 11.38%, 3.469%, 2.35%, 2.29%, and 3.09%. However, Fusarium levels were still 9% lower on 9 Mar. 2017 that on 3 Nov. 2016. Both the abundance and diversity of the community were higher in the upper soil than in the lower. The main environmental factor contributing to the percentage of Fusarium change was average temperature (AT), although highest temperature (HT) and water content (WC) also had an impact. The Malus hupehensis Rehd. seedlings growing in lower soil were more vigorous than that in upper soil. In sum, pre-winter ditching and freezing-thawing in old apple orchards can reduce the abundance percentage of harmful Fusarium and promote the growth of M. hupehensis Rehd. seedlings.

Open Access

The relationship between soil texture and the degree of apple replant disease (ARD) was analyzed from the perspective of the microbial community structure and diversity within the rhizosphere soil of Malus hupehensis Rehd. seedlings. Three different textured soils were taken from different apple orchards in Laizhou, Yantai. The soils were divided into two parts, one was kept in replanted conditions, and the other was fumigated with methyl bromide to act as a high standard control. The strength of ARD occurrence was examined by measuring fresh and dry weight suppression (%) of the M. hupehensis seedlings. Differences in the fungal community structure (especially in Fusarium) among the three soil texture types were analyzed using high-throughput sequencing. The results showed that replanted loam clay soil had the highest fungal diversity, followed by sandy loam soil and finally loam soil. The richness of fungi between soil textures, however, was not significantly different. At the genus level, the relative abundance of Fusarium was 1.96%, 0.78%, and 10.89% in replanted sandy loam, replanted loam soil, and replanted loam clay soil, respectively. Moreover, the gene copy number of Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium solani, and the inhibition rate of fresh weight of M. hupehensis seedlings were the same in the three soil textures. The plant height, photosynthesis (net) (Pn), and stomatal conductance (g S) of the M. hupehensis seedlings were significantly less in the replanted soil compared with the control treatments, with the overall difference being greatest in replanted loam clay soil, followed by replanted sandy loam and then replanted loam soil.

Open Access

Bougainvillea Comm. ex Juss. (Nyctaginaceae; Bougainvillea) is a popular ornamental plant with vigorous growth, luxuriant blooming, colorful bracts, and a high tolerance to the stresses of temperature, drought, and soil pollution, and thus is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions. However, the paucity of information on ploidy and the genomic constitution is a significant challenge to genome research and cultivar improvement. We present a flow cytometry method for ploidy detection in bougainvillea based on evaluating different lysates and tissues, identify the ploidy level of a batch of bougainvillea accessions, and infer the genome size of horticultural species Bougainvillea glabra, Bougainvillea spectobilis, and Bougainvillea peruviana. The results show that tender leaves and woody plant buffer (WPB) were optimal for flow cytometry analysis. The 2C nuclear DNA amounts in 176 bougainvillea accessions ranged from 4.66 ± 0.04 to 12.26 ± 0.1 pg, which represents 161 diploids, 13 triploids, 1 tetraploid, and 1 di-tetraploid mixoploid. For B. glabra, B. spectobilis, and B. peruviana, the mean 1C values were 3.201, 3.066, and 2.915 pg, respectively. The genome size of B. glabra was significantly larger than that of B. peruviana (P = 0.0004), but had no significant variation with that of B. spectobilis (P = 0.1061). These results reveal fundamental cytogenetic information for bougainvillea that are beneficial to whole-genome sequencing and hybrid breeding programs.

Open Access