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  • Author or Editor: Kui Lin x
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The effects of different light intensities and qualities on the biomass, physiological parameters, and biochemical contents of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) were evaluated, with the aim of obtaining better quality and higher yield, as well as saving energy in lettuce cultivation. Three different light qualities, provided by red (R), green (G), and blue (B) light-emitting diodes (LEDs), were used to produce six different combinations of illumination: A1: R:G:B = 7:0:3 [photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) = 150 μmol·m−2·s−1]; A2: R:G:B = 6:2:2 (150 μmol·m−2·s−1); A3: R:G:B = 7:0:3 (120 μmol·m−2·s−1); B1: R:G:B = 3:0:7 (150 μmol·m−2·s−1); B2: R:G:B = 2:2:6 (150 μmol·m−2·s−1); and B3: R:G:B = 3:0:7 (120 μmol·m−2·s−1), and the fluorescent lamp (FL) at 150 μmol·m−2·s−1 was used as the control (CK). In most cases, treatment A2 resulted in higher biomass attributes, whereas higher physiological parameters were observed in treatment B2. However, a greater shoot dry weight (SDW) was observed in treatment A1. No significant difference was detected in chlorophyll [Chl (a + b)] and carotenoid (CAR) contents among the different treatments. Soluble sugar content was found the highest in treatment A1, although it was not significant compared with that observed in treatment A2. Soluble protein content was higher in treatments with a higher component of blue light. Vitamin C content was found the highest in treatment B3 and the lowest in treatment A1, whereas malondialdehyde (MDA) content was the highest in CK and the lowest in treatments B1 and B2. These results indicated that appropriate ratio of red to blue light can effectively promote the accumulation of biochemical compounds in lettuce and that replacement of a certain portion of red light, blue light, or both with green light was more effective in promoting plant growth and quality.

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Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is a sensitive and widely used technique for gene expression analysis that depends on stability of the reference genes used for data normalization. Tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), known as one of the most famous traditional ornamental plants in China, is very popular in both domestic and international markets for its showy and colorful flowers. To date, no systematic studies on reference genes have been performed in tree peony with different flower colors. In this study, we evaluated the expression stability of 12 candidate reference genes in different tissues and five flower developmental stages of tree peony with six different colors by three algorithms: geNorm, NormFinder, and BestKeeper. The results showed that protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), ubiquitin protein ligase (UPL), and ubiquitin (UBQ) were the most stable genes across all samples. Helicase, alpha-tubulin (TUA), and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (EIF5A) also exhibited high expression stability in different tissues, in samples with different colors, and at different flower developmental stages. According to the geNorm analysis, the combination of two most stable reference genes was optimal for normalization in all tested sample sets in this study. To further validate the suitability of the reference genes identified in this study, the expression patterns of two putative homologs of chalcone synthase gene (PsCHS1) and chalcone isomerase gene (PsCHI1) were studied at different developmental stages of white flowers. The results provide information for transcriptional analyses in future studies of gene expression on tree peony flower development and pigmentation.

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