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  • Author or Editor: Hee-Ju Lee x
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Increasing numbers of vegetables are being grafted in recent years and many different grafting methods, as well as grafting aids, have been developed and practiced among farmers as well as commercial plug seedling producers. For solanaceous crops, such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, splice grafting at very young stages of development is recommended. Several types of grafting machines and/or robots are now available for commercial use. The presence of roots often slows down and reduces the efficiency of robot or machine grafting. Therefore, grafting with root-removed rootstocks is frequently used for grafting, mostly because of the grafting efficiency, especially in cucurbitaceous crops. The feasibility of producing grafted pepper plug seedlings using root-removed rootstock was investigated. After grafting, the seedlings were placed in pot soil in cell trays, usually 128-cell trays, and then placed in a conditioning room for subsequent rooting and graft union formation. Young pepper cuttings readily rooted in pot soils and the use of rooting substances greatly accelerated the speed of rooting. Even though rooting was delayed a few days in grafted seedlings, normal rooting took place in all graft combinations.

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Use of grafted seedlings is a practical method to overcome salt accumulation, deterioration of physicochemical properties of soil, and accumulation of soil-borne pathogen that farmers, as well as commercial plug seedling producers, in Korea mainly adapted. Graft-take, subsequent growth, and quality characteristics of grafted hot pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) seedlings composed of three scions and 10 rootstocks were investigated. `Manita', `Chungyang', and `Nokkwang' were cultivars of scions used—they are the major hot pepper cultivars in Korea. The ten rootstock cultivars can be categorized into three groups: cultivars specially bred for rootstocks (`Konesian Hot', `PR-380', `R-Safe', and `Tantan'); cultivars recently bred in NHRI, Korea with the potential to be rootstocks (`Wonkwang1' and `Wonkwang2'); and cultivars originally bred for fruit harvest, but used as rootstocks due to their tolerance to soil-borne pathogens (`Kataguruma', `PR-Data', `PR-Gangza', and `PR-Power'). All the plants were treated with 5 mg·L-1 diniconazole solution 2 weeks after grafting and were soaked into 1.4% salt solution for 48 hours about 5 weeks after grafting. All the grafted seedlings showed feasible growth, including normal flowering and fruit set, and any symptoms of phytophthora blight and anthracnose were not found during 17-day-long experiment. Seedlings grafted onto `Tantan' rootstock showed stronger tolerance to high salt concentration than those grafted onto other rootstocks. Use of some, such as `Wongang 1', `PR-Data' and `Kataguruma', was alleviated the salt-induced growth inhibition.

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To determine whether chilling tolerance is related to cold acclimation, changes in physiological responses and activity of antioxidative enzymes were investigated in leaves of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) grown in controlled environments. Plants were exposed to 15 °C (cold-acclimated) or 25 °C (nonacclimated) for 3 days, under 50 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetic photon flux and 70% relative humidity. Plants were then exposed to 8 °C chilling temperature for 3 days, and allowed to recover in a growth chamber at 25 °C for 3 days. Measurements of leaf water content, cellular leakage, lipid peroxidation, chlorophyll a fluorescence, and quantum yield showed that cold-acclimated leaves were less affected by chilling compared to nonacclimated leaves. Cold-acclimated leaves recovered faster than nonacclimated leaves with regard to all variables examined. Catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activities were induced in cold-acclimated leaves, but not in nonacclimated leaves. These data indicate that cold acclimation increased chilling tolerance of cucumber in association with antioxidative enzymes.

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Lilium lancifolium (syn. L. tigrinum) is the only polyploidy-complex species involving both diploid (2n = 2x = 24) and triploid (2n = 3x = 36) plants in the genus. The origin of natural triploid remains a mystery and research has been limited mainly to chromosomal studies that have overlooked research on pollen ontogeny. By spatiotemporal comparison of the development and morphology of diploid and triploid pollen grains, we study the correlations between pollen fertility and morphological development in diploid and triploid plants and propose the necessity and importance of further research on natural polyploid-ontogenetic diversity. In this comparative investigation, we used various microscopy techniques including histological analyses, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The main morphological differences between triploid and diploid pollen grains started with abnormal tetrad formation of triploid, followed by inadequate amylogenesis and amylolysis in young microspores, and finished with the formation of an abnormal structure of pollen surface layers in maturing pollen grains, which finally resulted in pollen grain unfolding and male sterility. From observing the series of morphological events that induced male-sterile pathway in natural triploid pollens, this study showed a variety of correlations between pollen development and fertility, which differed from male sterility resulting from gene mutation, indicating that there exists greater variability in pollen male-sterile ontogeny. Our results suggest that multilateral research is required for understanding the fickle ontogeny of natural male-sterile polyploid.

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