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Le Luo, Chao Yu, Xuelian Guo, Huitang Pan and Qixiang Zhang

Rosa laxa is widely distributed in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China and is highly adaptable and rich in variation. In this study, we investigated the morphology, habitats, and palynomorphology of R. laxa botanical varieties from Xinjiang, China. In addition to R. laxa var. laxa, there were three other botanical varieties of R. laxa growing in southern Xinjiang, including var. mollis, var. kaschgarica, and var. tomurensis. Together, these four botanical varieties exhibited morphological variation, mainly in the morphology of prickles and the glandular trichome and in flower color. The pollen grains of the R. laxa botanical varieties, all medium in size (21.77–48.39 μm), came in three shapes: perprolate, prolate, and subspheroidal. Their pollen exine sculptures were characterized by either a striate-perforation pattern or striate pattern, but perforation varied in terms of diameter and density and striae varied in depth and density. Palynomorphological assessment showed that three types of evolution, i.e., primitive, transitive, and evolved, were present among R. laxa botanical varieties, and pollen dimorphism was observed in the same botanical variety. Perprolate pollen with a dense striate pattern was the most evolved type. Based on morphological and palynomorphological investigations, var. tomurensis was considered to be the most evolved one among the studied botanical varieties.

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Ming Cai, Ke Wang, Le Luo, Hui-tang Pan, Qi-xiang Zhang and Yu-yong Yang

Hydrangea macrophylla is the most popular species in the genus Hydrangea because of its large and brightly colored inflorescences. Since the early 1900s, numerous cultivars with showy flowers have been selected. Although many H. macrophylla cultivars have been developed, cold hardiness is still the major limitation to their outdoor use. Hydrangea arborescens is a small attractive shrub or subshrub native to northeastern parts of the United States, which is valued for its hardiness. Interspecific breeding of H. arborescens and H. macrophylla has been tried, but putative hybrid seedlings either died at an early stage or were not verified. We made successful hybridizations between H. macrophylla ‘Blue Diamond’ and H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’ and used in vitro ovary culture to produce viable plants. Hybrids were intermediate in appearance between parents, but variable in leaves, inflorescences, and flower color. The success of this hybridization was confirmed by six simple sequence repeat (SSR) genetic markers. The maternal chromosome number was 36, and the paternal number was 38. Chromosome counts of hybrids indicated that nearly half of them were aneuploids. Male fertility of progeny was evaluated by fluorescein diacetate staining of pollen. Twelve out of 14 hybrids (85.7%) had male fertility. We documented the first flowering progeny of H. macrophylla and H. arborescens, suggesting an effective beginning to a cold hardiness breeding program.

Open access

Le Luo, Yichi Zhang, Yingnan Wang, Tangren Cheng, Huitang Pan, Jia Wang and Qixiang Zhang

Gesnariad (Primulina yungfuensis) is a popular houseplant species, native to southwest China. However, stunting frequently occurs as a result of limited knowledge about the growth requirements of this plant. Understanding water and fertilizer requirements of gesnariad are important for effective large-scale greenhouse cultivation. Using a response surface methodology (RSM) based on a rotatable central composite design (RCCD; half implementation), a pot experiment was performed in a natural-light greenhouse from June to Sept. 2014. The study assessed the interaction between irrigation volume (W) and nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) fertilizer rates on plant height, crown diameter, number of leaves, single leaf area, and fresh weight. Results showed that W had a significant positive effect on plant height, crown diameter, single leaf area, and fresh weight. Furthermore, P fertilization resulted in increased leaf number. Combined P and K fertilization reduced individual leaf area, whereas combined N and P fertilization reduced fresh weight. By analyzing the multiobjective decision-making model, we found that a combination of 100.2 mL water, 3.6 mmol·L−1 N, 0.10 mmol·L−1 P, and 1.2 mmol·L−1 K could be used to achieve optimum growth of gesnariad.

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Chao Yu, Le Luo, Hui-tang Pan, Yun-ji Sui, Run-hua Guo, Jin-yao Wang and Qi-xiang Zhang

Wild Rosa species, which are highly variable and locally adapted, are widely distributed in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of China. These species possess many important horticultural traits that are not found in the gene pool of modern cultivated roses. However, little is known about their cytological characteristics, because few of them have been karyologically analyzed. Karyological data of 13 samples of seven wild Rosa taxa, including R. berberifolia, two botanical varieties of R. spinosissima, R. platyacantha, R. beggeriana, R. acicularis, and R. laxa, were investigated by means of squashes of shoot tips. The results showed that seven samples were diploid (2n = 2x = 14), whereas the other six samples were tetraploid (2n = 4x = 28). The karyotypes of all the test samples were composed of m and sm chromosomes, which include 1A, 2A, 1B, and 2B. There were differences in asymmetry index, centromere index, and distribution of relative lengths. The karyotype of the tetraploid R. laxa var. laxa sample from Aksu easily distinguished from the other R. laxa var. laxa samples tested in having the highest asymmetry index and the most evolved karyotype. This Aksu population merits recognition as a new botanical variety of R. laxa. The karyological data, most of which are first reports for their taxa, provide a comprehensive cytogenetic resource that can be used to better understand the taxonomy, evolution, and speciation in the genus Rosa and to identify candidate species for breeding programs.