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  • Author or Editor: Ho-Hyun Kim x
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Fatty acid is known as a physiologically active compound, and its composition in rice may affect human health in countries where rice is the major diet. The fatty acid composition in brown rice of 120 Korean native cultivars was determined by one-step extraction/methylation method and GC. The average composition of 9 detectable fatty acids in tested rice cultivars were as followings: myristic acid; 0.6%, palmitic acid; 21.2%, stearic acid; 1.8%, oleic acid; 36.5%, linoleic acid; 36.3%, linolenic acid; 1.7%, arachidic acid; 0.5%, behenic acid; 0.4%, and lignoceric acid; 0.9%. Major fatty acids were palmitic, oleic and linoleic acid, which composed around 94%. The rice cultivar with the highest linolenic acid was cv. Jonajo (2.1%), and cvs. Pochoenjangmebye and Sandudo showed the highest composition of palmitic (23.4%) and oleic acid (44.8%), respectively. Cultivar Pochuenjangmebye exhitibed the highest composition of saturated fatty acid (28.1%), while cvs. Sandudo and Modo showed the highest mono-unsaturated (44.8%) and poly-unsaturated (42.4%) fatty acid composition, respectively. The oleic acid showed negative correlation with palmitic and linoleic acid, while positive correlation between behenic and lignoceric acids was observed.

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A cohort of sixth grade students at two newly constructed elementary schools in Seoul, South Korea, performed a self-assessment of ocular discomfort symptoms in association with indoor air quality (IAQ) by indoor plant intervention from early June to mid-Oct. 2011. Indoor plant intervention made little difference in air temperature and relative humidity, but stabilized the increasing levels of carbon dioxide. The indoor concentrations of formaldehyde and ethylbenzene showed little difference, but those of toluene and xylene showed a decreasing trend in classrooms with indoor plants. The participants in classrooms without indoor plants exhibited an increase in ocular discomfort symptoms at School A and a decrease in symptoms at School B; those in classrooms with indoor plants demonstrated a decrease in frequency at both schools. The variation of symptom severity did not follow a clear trend. Participants assessed their symptom severity of ocular discomfort with four options from three points for frequent occurrence to zero points for no occurrence. Among participants in classrooms without indoor plants, symptom severity significantly worsened at both schools as the scores increased from 1.96 to 2.17 at School A and from 2.27 to 2.34 at School B; among those in classrooms with indoor plants, symptom severity significantly lessened at School A and slightly worsened at School B as the scores decreased from 2.33 to 1.98 at School A and increased from 2.35 to 2.42 at School B. After spending the experimental duration in classrooms without indoor plants at both schools, 34.8% of participants at School A and 33.3% of participants at School B perceived their symptom severity as having increased. At Schools A and B, indoor plants decreased the frequency of participants experiencing an increase of symptom severity by 13.0% and 9.7%, and increased the frequency of participants reporting decrease of symptom severity by 34.8% and 22.6%.

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Grapevine cultivars have traditionally been identified based on the morphological characteristics, but the identification of closely related cultivars has been difficult because of their similar pedigree backgrounds. In this study, we developed DNA markers for genetic fingerprinting in 37 grapevine cultivars, including 20 cultivars bred in Korea. A total of 180 randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were obtained using 30 different primers. The number of polymorphic bands ranged from three (OPG-08 and OPU-19) to nine (OPV-01 and UBC116), with an average of six. RAPD markers were used in cluster analysis performed with the unweighted pair-group method of arithmetic averages (UPGMA). The average similarity value was 0.69 and the dendrogram clustered the 37 grapevine cultivars into five clusters. The relationships among the grapevine cultivars were consistent with the known pedigrees of the cultivars. The 50 RAPD fragments selected were sequenced for the development of sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers. As a result, 16 of 50 fragments were successfully converted into SCAR markers. A single polymorphic band, the same size as the RAPD fragments or smaller, was amplified depending on the primer combinations in the 14 SCAR markers, and codominant polymorphisms were detected using the SCAR markers G119_412 and GB17_732. Among these markers, combination of 11 SCAR markers, GG05_281, G116_319, G146_365, G119_412, GW04_463, G169_515, G116_539, GV04_618, GV01_678, GG05_689, and GB17_732, provided sufficient polymorphisms to distinguish the grapevine cultivars investigated in this study. These newly developed markers could be a fast and reliable tool for identifying grapevine cultivars.

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Being self-incompatible, most Asian plums should be planted with a compatible pollinizer to produce fruits. Therefore, the selection of an adequate pollinizer is essential when new plum cultivars are released. To select a suitable pollinizer for ‘Summer Fantasia’ plum, the S genotype, cross-compatibility, pollen viability, and flowering time of five candidate cultivars were evaluated. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, the S genotype of ‘Summer Fantasia’ was determined as S a S c , which was expected to be compatible with other S genotypes. To test cross-compatibility, the trees were covered with caging net to prevent unintended pollination, and pistils were hand pollinated without emasculation. Fruit set percentage was calculated 10 weeks after pollination. The fruit set percentage resulting from the cross between ‘Summer Fantasia’ and ‘Taiyo’ (S b S c ) was 13.8%, whereas that resulting from other combinations was less than 5.0%. Pollen germination percentage was investigated to monitor pollen viability; it varied yearly among cultivars, although ‘Formosa’ (10.6%) and ‘Taiyo’ (13.8%) showed the highest pollen germination percentages among the cultivars. When averaged over three years and two locations, ‘Summer Fantasia’ bloomed 2–3 days after ‘Akihime’, ‘Formosa’, ‘Oishiwase’, and ‘Purple Queen’. Blooming period of ‘Summer Fantasia’ and ‘Taiyo’ overlapped almost entirely. Overall, the results indicated that ‘Taiyo’ was the most suitable pollinizer for ‘Summer Fantasia’.

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The efficiency of volatile formaldehyde removal was assessed in 86 species of plants representing five general classes (ferns, woody foliage plants, herbaceous foliage plants, Korean native plants, and herbs). Phytoremediation potential was assessed by exposing the plants to gaseous formaldehyde (2.0 μL·L−1) in airtight chambers (1.0 m3) constructed of inert materials and measuring the rate of removal. Osmunda japonica, Selaginella tamariscina, Davallia mariesii, Polypodium formosanum, Psidium guajava, Lavandula spp., Pteris dispar, Pteris multifida, and Pelargonium spp. were the most effective species tested, removing more than 1.87 μg·m−3·cm−2 over 5 h. Ferns had the highest formaldehyde removal efficiency of the classes of plants tested with O. japonica the most effective of the 86 species (i.e., 6.64 μg·m−3·cm−2 leaf area over 5 h). The most effective species in individual classes were: ferns—Osmunda japonica, Selaginella tamariscina, and Davallia mariesii; woody foliage plants—Psidium guajava, Rhapis excels, and Zamia pumila; herbaceous foliage plants—Chlorophytum bichetii, Dieffenbachia ‘Marianne’, Tillandsia cyanea, and Anthurium andraeanum; Korean native plants—Nandina domestica; and herbs—Lavandula spp., Pelargonium spp., and Rosmarinus officinalis. The species were separated into three general groups based on their formaldehyde removal efficiency: excellent (greater than 1.2 μg·m−3 formaldehyde per cm2 of leaf area over 5 h), intermediate (1.2 or less to 0.6), and poor (less than 0.6). Species classified as excellent are considered viable phytoremediation candidates for homes and offices where volatile formaldehyde is a concern.

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