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Yan Ma, David H. Byrne, and Jing Chen

An objective of our rose breeding research is to transfer resistance to blackspot and other diseases from wild diploid species to modern rose cultivars. Interspecific hybrids among blackspot-resistant diploid species were chosen for chromosome doubling to produce fertile amphidiploids that could be hybridized to the tetraploid commercial germplasm. Five such F1 interspecific hybrids were treated with colchicine. The study included two different application procedures (shake in colchicine solution or colchicine in media), four colchicine concentrations (0.05%, 0.1%, 0.15%, and 0.20%), and five treatment periods (1, 3, 5, 8, and 10 days). After colchicine treatment, all the materials were cultured in vitro. One thousand-thirty-seven surviving explants were selected for typical “gigas” characteristics of doubled diploids. Chromosome counts on shoot tips of these selected genotypes confirmed 15 amphidiploids. The best colchicine treatment varied among the interspecific hybrids. Higher colchicine concentrations or duration reduced growth rating, rooting, and percent survival. The recognition of amphiploids and ploidy chimeras from young seedlings will also be discussed.

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Yan Ma, David H. Byrne, and Jing Chen

A high priority in rose (Rosa spp.) breeding research is the transfer of disease resistance, especially to black spot (Diplocarpon rosae Lib.), from wild diploid Rosa species to modern rose cultivars. To this end, amphidiploids (2n = 4x = 28) were induced with colchicine from five interspecific diploid (2n = 2x = 14) hybrids involving the black spot resistant diploid species R. wichuraiana Crép, R. roxburghii Thratt., R. banksiae Ait., R. rugosa rubra Hort., and R. setigera Michaux. Two application procedures (agitation of excised nodes in colchicine solution or tissue culture of shoots on medium with colchicine), five colchicine concentrations (0.0, 1.25, 2.50, 3.76, and 5.01 mmol), and five durations (2, 3, 5, 8, and 10 d) were used. After colchicine treatment, the materials were cultured in vitro and the surviving explants were examined for the “gigas” characteristics typical of doubled diploids. Chromosome counts of morphologically suspect genotypes confirmed 15 amphidiploids among 1109 plants that survived colchicine treatment. Although the effect of colchicine treatment varied some among interspecific hybrids, 2.50 mmol for 48 h of node agitation or 1.25 mmol for at least 5 d of shoot culture were optimal.

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Jing Ma, Zheng Li, Bin Wang, Shunzhao Sui, and Mingyang Li

Expansins are extracellular proteins that are involved in cell wall modifications such as cell wall disassembly, cell separation, and cell expansion. Little is known about expansin gene expression during flower development of wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox). In the present study, an expansin gene, CpEXP1, was isolated from the wintersweet flower cDNA library through random sequencing; this gene encodes a putative protein of 257 amino acids with the essential features conserved, like in other alpha expansins. The CpEXP1 gene exhibited different transcription levels in different tissues and had a significantly higher expression in flowers than other tissues. It is strongly correlated with the development of the flower. The expression of CpEXP1 increased in the flower buds or whole flowers from Stage 1 to 4 and decreased from Stage 5 to 6 during natural opening. Ethephon (an ethylene releaser) treatment promoted cut flower senescence, whereas 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) (an ethylene perception inhibitor) delayed the process of flower wilting. This result is associated with the concomitant lower transcript levels of CpEXP1 in the ethephon-treated samples as well as the steady expression in the 1-MCP-treated samples compared with that in control flowers. The studies show the interesting observation that the expression of an expansin gene CpEXP1 is correlated with the development of Chimonanthus praecox flowers, the upregulation during flower opening vs. the downregulation during senescence.

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Yan Ma, David H. Byrne, Jing Chen, and Amanda Byrne

Several rose species (Rosa rugosa, R. wichuraiana, R. setigera, R. laevigata, R. banksiae, R. roxburghii, R. odorata and hybrids) were employed to establish the appropriate nutrient media for shoot multiplication and root initiation of cultured shoots and to describe a procedure for the successful transfer to soil of plants obtained in vitro. Cultured shoot tips and lateral buds from different genotypes proliferated multiple shoots on a basal medium (MS salt, vitamins, glycine, sucrose and agar) supplemented with 0mg/l to 6mg/l 6-benzylamino purine (BA) and 0mg/l to 0.5 mg/l naphthalene acetic acid (NAA). Most rose species cultured in a modified MS medium supplemented with 2mg/l BA showed good growth and shoot proliferation. The buds nearest the apex exhibited the slowest rate of bud development. Root development was enhanced and shoot development inhibited by lowering the concentration of MS salts to quarter- and half-strength. With difficult-to-root species, rooting was improved by supplementing the media with auxin or giving them 3-7days of dark treatment.

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Dao-Jing Wang, Jing-Wen Zeng, Wen-Tao Ma, Min Lu, and Hua-Ming An

Rosa roxburghii Tratt (Rosaceae) of various organ surfaces are widely existing trichomes. Certain varieties have fruits that are thickly covered with macroscopic trichomes. R. roxburghii Tratt (RR) and R. roxburghii Tratt. f. esetosa Ku (RRE) are important commercial horticultural crops in China because of their nutritional and medicinal values. RRE is generally considered a smooth-fruit variant that arose from RR. Despite their economic importance, the morphological and anatomic features of organ trichomes have not been explored in detail for these two rose germplasms. In this research, we investigated the distribution, morphology, and structure of trichomes distributed on the stem, pedicel, fruit, sepal, and marginal lobule sepals (MLS) of RR as well as RRE. This was accomplished using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). There are various shapes of trichomes distributed on the surfaces of stems, pedicels, fruits, and sepals of the two germplasms. Binate prickles arose on the stem nodes in both germplasms, but acicular trichomes, papillary trichomes, and ribbon trichomes were present only on the surfaces of pedicels in RR. Likewise, flagelliform trichomes were present only on the surfaces of pedicels in RRE. Furthermore, a transection of stems shows that thorns in the two germplasms are composed of epidermis, meristematic layer, and parenchyma cells. The trichome epidermis and meristematic layer in stems of RR are composed of round cells, whereas RRE exhibits square cells in the same layers. Trichomes on the fruit of RR were macroscopic and of single flagelliform and acicular shape. RRE exhibited polymorphic trichomes of flagelliform, triangular, capitate glandular, and elliptic glandular shapes on the pericarp. On the surfaces of RR sepals, there are thick macroscopic acicular trichomes. In contrast, RRE sepals presented flagelliform trichomes and capitate glandular trichomes. It is interesting that no trichomes were found on the surfaces of the MLS in the two germplasms; however, stomata were densely packed on the MLS of RRE when compared with RR. For RR, the trichomes on both sepal and fruit are composed of an epidermis layer and parenchyma cells; however, the epidermis cells of sepal trichomes are polygon-shaped, in contrast to the round epidermis cells in fruit. These results suggest that the two rose germplasms are good candidates for understanding the trichome ontogeny in the genus and for further breeding of the smooth organ trait in this rose species.

Open access

Qiuyue Ma, Shushun Li, Jing Wen, Lu Zhu, Kunyuan Yan, Qianzhong Li, Shuxian Li, and Bin Zhang

Acer truncatum seeds are an excellent source of beneficial natural compounds, including high levels of unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs), that promote health. Recently, A. truncatum has emerged as an oil crop. Therefore, the transcriptomes of A. truncatum seeds at 70, 85, 100, 115, 145, 180 days after flowering (DAF) were analyzed to gain a better understanding of the transcriptional and translational regulation of seed development and oil biosynthesis. A total of 28,438 genes were identified, and 3069/2636, 3288/3438, 1319/2750, and 5724/5815 upregulated/downregulated genes were identified when comparing different samples with 85 DAF seeds. Sixteen lipid metabolism pathways with 754 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, including 34 DEGs associated with UFA biosynthesis. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that six putative fatty acid desaturase (FAD) genes clustered into five FAD groups. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis indicated that the temporal expression patterns of oil biosynthesis genes and transcription factors were largely similar to the RNA sequencing results. The results of this study will enhance the current understanding of oil metabolism in A. truncatum seeds and allow new methods of improving oil quality and seed yield in the future.

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Xiao-Juan Wei, Jinlin Ma, Kai-Xiang Li, Xiao-Jing Liang, and Haiying Liang

The flowers of Camellia chrysantha, commonly named as golden camellia, are treasured for their unique yellow color and are popularly used for tea. Compared with common camellia flowers that are either red, purple, pink, or white, golden camellia flowers are rare and are in high market demand. Our study was aimed to induce flowering in juvenile C. chrysantha grafted plants with urea and paclobutrazol (PBZ), a growth retardant. Generally, it takes 6–8 years for C. chrysantha seedlings and 5–6 years for grafted plants to set flower buds. With a 4 × 4 factorial design, four dosages of urea (1, 3, 5, or 8 g/plant) and four concentrations of PBZ (50, 150, 350, and 750 ppm) were tested on 4-year-old C. chrysantha grafted plants. Significant interaction between urea and PBZ was observed, and nine of the 16 combinations produced significantly more flower buds than the control, although not all flower buds could open because of abscission. High concentrations of PBZ and high dosages of urea were generally associated with severe defoliation and slow growth of basal stem diameter. When taking bud abscission into account, combinations of 150 ppm PBZ with 1 g urea and 350 ppm PBZ with 3 g urea resulted in significant flowering in juvenile C. chrysantha grafted plants without negative effects on vegetative growth and flower bud size and severe defoliation. This is the first report on flowering induction in a golden camellia species using juvenile plants. Our results suggest that application of optimized PBZ and urea doses can be a potential means for manipulation of early flowering in golden camellia species.

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Suxiao Hao, Yanfen Lu, Jing Liu, Yufen Bu, Qi Chen, Nan Ma, Zhiqin Zhou, and Yuncong Yao

Dwarfing rootstocks can improve the plant architecture of apple trees and increase production. Gibberellins (GAs) are crucial for plant growth and dwarfing traits. The receptor, GIBBERELLIN INSENSITIVE DWARF1 (GID1), plays an important role in the regulation pathway. However, the growth regulatory mechanism of GID1 in dwarf apple rootstock seedlings is not clear. In this study, we selected dwarf apple rootstock ‘SH6’ and its cross parents as materials to clone the GA receptor gene GID1c. There were two different sites in the alpha/beta hydrolase domain. The expression of GID1c in ‘SH6’ was lower than that in Malus domestica cv. Ralls Janet, with the decrease of GA content. We further conducted GA3 treatment and overexpression of GID1c in tissue culture seedlings of ‘SH6’, and the results showed that the expression of GID1c and biosynthesis genes increased and promoted the accumulation of hormone contents, which ultimately regulates the growth of ‘SH6’ dwarf apple rootstock seedlings. Our results suggest that GID1c may affect the plant architecture and dwarf traits of dwarfing rootstock and accelerate its application in orchards.

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Shunzhao Sui, Jianghui Luo, Daofeng Liu, Jing Ma, Weiting Men, Lu Fan, Yu Bai, and Mingyang Li

Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) is a woody garden plant with fragrant flowers, which blooms in deep winter. The vase life of fresh cut flowers is 8–9 days. We applied ethylene and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP; an ethylene action inhibitor) to test the role of ethylene in flower opening and senescence. In addition, abscisic acid (ABA), gibberellic acid (GA3), two cytokinins, 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA), and zeatin (ZT) were also applied. The expression pattern of CpSRG1, a senescence-related gene, was analyzed. Ethylene treatment accelerated flower opening and senescence, decreasing vase life by 2.1 days. It also decreased flower break strength, indicating the induction of abscission. 1-MCP slowed opening, delayed senescence, and prolonged vase life by 2.6 days. Ethylene dramatically induced the expression of the CpSRG1 gene, while 1-MCP suppressed it. ZT promoted flower opening and increased vase life by 1.6 days. It suppressed the expression of CpSRG1. 6-BA, GA3, or ABA had no significant effect on flower opening and senescence of wintersweet.

Free access

Xiao-Juan Wei, Xiao-Jing Liang, Jin-Lin Ma, Kai-Xiang Li, and Haiying Liang

Camellia flowers are highly prized for their beauty worldwide and are strongly symbolic in many cultures. A new interspecific hybrid cultivar, Camellia ‘Maozi’, generated by crossing Camellia pubipetala with C. japonica ‘Dahong Mudan’, exhibits strong hybrid vigor and has small flowers with a rare light tone of purple. In southwest China with a subtropical monsoon climate, young Camellia ‘Maozi’ trees flush shoots three times in spring, summer, and autumn, with an average annual growth of 12.9 cm. Adult trees flush once a year. Floral bud formation occurs in late April and early May. Camellia ‘Maozi’ flowers are sterile with no fruits and seeds produced. While an individual flower wilts 4–8 days after opening, the blossom can last 1–3 months. Frost damage can be found in young leaves when temperature drops to 4–7 °C. Under direct sunlight with temperatures of 37–39 °C lasting for more than 2 days, young leaves can turn yellow on their edges. Its primary diseases include sooty mold, shoot tip blight, and peony leaf tip blight. Its primary insect pests are tea green leafhopper (Jacobiasca formosana) and tea aphid (Toxoptera aurantii). Rooting of stem cuttings occurs directly from stems, mostly without callus development. Two hours of treatment with 500 mg·L−1 indole-3-butyric acid and rooting in a mix of latosolic red soil and vermiculite (2:1 v/v) resulted in high rooting rate and quality of aboveground growth. Grafting can be carried out from May to September, while survival rate and new shoot length are highest in July. The most compatible rootstock is C. oleifera, followed by C. polyodonta. The results of this study are of value for understanding the reproductive biology of Camellia ‘Maozi’ and further disseminating it as a new cultivar for camellia collection.