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  • Author or Editor: Lei Wu x
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The calla lily (Zantedeschia hybrida) is a valued ornamental plant due to its unique shape and color variations. To determine the mechanisms responsible for color development in the calla lily spathe, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic analysis of the spathes of the black [Black Girl (B)], pink [Romantic (P)], and white [Ventura (W)] cultivars. The gene expression patterns in six spathe colors, including the preceding three colors as well as the amaranth [Promise (N)], red [Figo (F)], and yellow [Sun Club (Y)] cultivars were analyzed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Transcriptomic analysis identified 25,165 differentially expressed genes. The transcription abundance and expression level of genes annotated as anthocyanidin reductase (ANR1, ANR2), basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH1), and glutathione S-transferases (GST1) were significantly upregulated in B, and the expression of anthocyanidin synthase (ANS) was highest in B except for N. However, chalcone isomerase (CHI2) and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR1, DFR2) were expressed at significantly lower levels in P, W, and Y. Correlation analysis revealed that bHLH1 might act as a positive regulator of ANS expression, promoting anthocyanin synthesis. Moreover, GST1-encoded proteins may be related to the accumulation and transport of both anthocyanin and procyanidin in the calla lily spathe. It is speculated that the formation of the black spathe is related to the accumulation of anthocyanins and procyanidins. However, the low expression of CHI2, DFR1, and DFR2 may result in the inhibition of anthocyanin synthesis, which may lead to lightening of the spathe color. This preliminary study revealed the mechanism responsible for calla lily spathe color, identifying the key genes involved, thus providing effective gene resources and a theoretical basis for flower color molecular breeding.

Open Access

Amorphophallus species are one of the main economic crops in the mountainous areas of southwest China. However, soft rot disease (Pectobacterium carotovorum ssp. carotovorum) is devastating for this crop. This study explored the Amorphophallus resistance mechanism against soft rot disease by analyzing transcriptome data using a weighted gene coexpression network analysis. The RNA sequencing of plants infected for 0, 12, 24, and 48 hours produced a total of 52.25 Gb of clean reads. A total of 29,096 genes were divided into 34 modules. Six modules of interest with the highest correlation with the target traits were selected to elucidate the resistance genes and pathways. The selected modules were enriched in the α-linolenic acid metabolism, phenylpropane biosynthesis, plant hormone signal transduction, and plant pathogen interaction pathways. Ultimately, AmBGLU, AmCAML, AmCDPK, AmLOX, and AmRBOHD were identified as genes of interest in the four significantly related metabolic pathways for real-time fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction verification. The determination of salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) in Amorphophallus muelleri and Amorphophallus konjac that suffered from soft rot disease showed that SA and JA were involved in the A. muelleri and A. konjac defense response against soft rot disease. Methyl jasmonate treatment delayed the onset of A. konjac soft rot disease. This study provides a reference for the interaction between Amorphophallus species and soft rot disease and the breeding of broad-spectrum and specific Amorphophallus cultivars that are resistant to soft rot disease.

Open Access

Different pollinators exhibit different adaptability to plants. Here, we compared the performance in visiting frequency and pollination efficiency among three bee pollinators (Bombus terrestris, Apis cerana, and Apis mellifera) on greenhouse-grown northern highbush ‘Bluecrop’ blueberry plants and evaluate their effects on yield and fruit quality. Our results indicated that the duration of daily flower-visiting of B. terrestris was 24 and 64 minutes longer than that of A. cerana and A. mellifera, respectively, and the visiting time of a single flower for B. terrestris was substantially shorter than the other two bee species, and pollen deposition on the stigma from single visit by B. terrestris was twice and three times that of A. cerana and A. mellifera, respectively. The yield of individual plants pollinated by B. terrestris showed an increase of 11.4% and 20.0% compared with the plants pollinated by A. cerana and A. mellifera, respectively, with the rate of Grade I fruit (>18 mm diameter) reaching 50.8%, compared with 32.9% and 22.5% for A. cerana and A. mellifera groups, respectively. Moreover, the early-to-midseason yield of plants pollinated by B. terrestris was higher, and the ripening time was 3 to 4 days earlier. An artificial pollination experiment demonstrated that seed set of high (≈300), medium (90–110), and low (20–30) pollination amounts were 43.0%, 42.5%, and 10.5%, respectively, and the corresponding mean weights of single fruits (related to the seed number inside) were 2.8, 2.7, and 1.2 g, respectively. The highly efficient pollination of B. terrestris was attributed to its behavior of buzz-pollination. Therefore, it is preferential for pollination of ‘Bluecrop’ blueberry in the greenhouse.

Open Access