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  • Author or Editor: Li Lin x
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Soil microbes and enzymes play important roles in plant growth and metabolism. However, for Glechoma longituba (Nakai) Kupr., an important crop with edible and medicinal uses in China, their effects are not well elucidated. To explore their impacts on plant morphology and bioactive compounds, the plant samples and rhizosphere soil of five different G. longituba populations were collected and investigated in this study. After high-throughput sequencing combined with data analyses, high microbial diversity and richness in the rhizosphere soil of each G. longituba population were observed, and the variations on bacterial and fungal community compositions among these soil samples were also proved. The activities of urease, neutral phosphatase, sucrase, protease, and polyphenol oxidase were significantly different among the rhizosphere soils from different G. longituba populations. Among the major microbial communities and soil enzymes we studied, the genera of Tomentella, Sebacina, Fusarium, Nitrospira, and the activity of soil sucrase were remarkably correlative with both the morphological indices and the contents of bioactive compounds of G. longituba by redundancy analysis. These findings would help guide the scientific plantation of G. longituba to promote its medicinal quality.

Open Access

As gifts are an important market sector for selling fresh flowers, this study investigated the effects of the characteristics associated with the dyads of givers and receivers on the probability of buying fresh flowers as gifts. Based on the theory of gift giving, several factors were hypothesized to influence the probability of buying fresh flowers as gifts, including givers’ financial capability and the perceived gift values of flowers, as well as knowledge of receiver’s needs, preferences, and difficulty to please. A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted to test the hypotheses. Results of the statistical analysis based on 394 valid questionnaires revealed that the perceived gift values of flowers, i.e., the economic value, functional value, social value, and expressive value, were the most important factors for the consumer decision of whether to buy fresh flowers as gifts. However, different gift values were emphasized for fresh flowers across different relational ties. For example, economic value was the key value when the receivers were parents, whereas social value and expressive value were emphasized when the receivers were romantic partners. Different from many previous studies, this study revealed that financial capability did not influence the likelihood of givers deciding to purchase fresh flowers for gifts. The study results implied that when promoting fresh flowers for gift use, the gift values of fresh flowers need to be emphasized to consumers.

Free access
Authors: , , , and

Paeonia delavayi is a species endemic to Southwest China and an important genetic resource for flower color breeding of tree peonies. The mechanisms underlying the flower coloration of this plant have not been fully elucidated. In this article, the petals of yellow-colored individual (Pl) and purple–red-colored individual (Pd) of P. delavayi were studied. And anatomical observations revealed that a large amount of yellow protoplasts and a small amount of colorless protoplasts were located in the yellow-colored Pl petals, whereas a mixture of purple, red, and pink protoplasts were observed in the purple–red-colored Pd petals. The Pl cells were subrotund and flat, whereas the Pd cells were irregularly polygon-shaped and bulging. Chemical analyses were performed, and the results indicated that significant differences occurred between the cell sap pH of the Pl and Pd flowers and large differences occurred in the contents of Fe and Al between Pl and Pd. Cyanidin- and peonidin-based anthocyanins with flavones and flavonols as copigments determined the Pd flower color, whereas chalcone 2 ′G with apigenin 7-O-neohesperidoside and chrysoeriol 7-O-glucoside as copigments determined the yellow color of Pl. Correspondingly, the genes dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) and anthocyanidin synthase (ANS) were significantly highly expressed in Pd, whereas chalcone isomerase (CHI), flavanone 3-hydroxylase (F3H), flavone synthase (FNS), flavonol synthase (FLS), flavonoid 7-O-glycosyltransferase (7GT), and 2′4′6′4-tetrahydroxychalcone 2′-glucosyltransferase (THC) had high transcript levels in Pl relative to Pd. The results indicate that the color variation of P. delavayi petals may be related to a delicately controlled balance of the aforementioned factors.

Free access

Leaf stomata are the main channels for water loss of plants including cut flowers. In this study, we investigated the organographic distribution, morphological characteristics, light–dark response, and water loss contribution of stomata in cut carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus L. ‘Master’), which are prone to typical water deficits despite a few and small leaves. Stomata were observed in the upper and lower leaf epidermis, stem surface, abaxial bract epidermis, and abaxial sepal epidermis. Stomatal density (SD) on the stem surface was the highest and significantly greater than that on the upper and lower leaf and abaxial bract epidermis. The sepal epidermis had the lowest SD and the smallest stomata whereas the upper leaf epidermis had the largest stomata. Changes in the water loss rate increased in the light and decreased in the dark in both intact and leaves-removed cut carnations. The water loss rate of the former was greater than that of the latter. However, the water loss rate for the stem-only cut carnations had weak change rhythms and was much lower than that for the intact and leaves-removed cut carnations. These findings demonstrate the differential contributions of stomata in leaves, stems, and floral organs to water loss, and help to elucidate further the mechanism underlying postharvest water deficit in cut carnations.

Open Access

Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important plant hormone that plays an important role in stress responses. Previous studies have suggested that ABA can also accelerate ripening in climacteric and nonclimacteric fruit. Capsanthin is a carotenoid that confers red coloration to mature pepper (Capsicum annuum) fruit. However, the effect of ABA on capsanthin accumulation in pepper fruit has not been thoroughly studied. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the effects of ABA treatment on capsanthin accumulation in pepper fruit and on the expression of key genes involved in the capsanthin biosynthetic pathway. For this purpose, we treated pepper fruit with ABA at green mature stage. Our results indicate that ABA treatment increased capsanthin content in pepper fruit, with the best result obtained with 150 mg·L−1 ABA solution. Application of exogenous ABA also increased the expression levels of the capsanthin synthesis genes phytoene synthase (Psy), lycopene β-cyclase (Lcyb), β-carotene hydroxylase (Crtz), and capsanthin/capsorubin synthase (Ccs), likely explaining the significant capsanthin content increase in pepper fruit.

Free access

Crabapples (Malus sp.) are ornamental woody plants that belong to the Rosaceae family. Flooding has severely hampered the growth and development of crabapple, and little is known about the molecular responses of crabapple to waterlogging tolerance. Cuttings of waterlogging-tolerant Malus hupehensis and waterlogging-intolerant Malus halliana received flooding treatment of 30 days and regular planting, respectively. Using transcriptome sequencing, we isolated 5703 and 2735 waterlogging-responsive genes from waterlogging-treated M. hupehensis and M. halliana leaves. Among these differentially expressed genes (DEGs), only 746 were shared by both. Several variables may explain the greater waterlogging tolerance of M. hupehensis: there were more waterlogging response genes related to carbohydrate and energy metabolism; signal transduction; antioxidation; lipid metabolism; protein and amino acid metabolism; and polysaccharide, cell wall, and cytoskeleton metabolism pathway in the waterlogged leaves of M. hupehensis than in M. halliana. In particular, the number of DEGs related to anaerobic metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, γ-aminobutyric acid metabolism and cellulase, pectinase metabolism pathway in the flooded leaves of M. hupehensis was more than that in M. halliana. The alterations in gene expression patterns of the two crabapple species induced by waterlogging varied substantially. These outcomes pave the way for further studies into the functions of genes that may be involved in waterlogging tolerance in crabapples.

Open Access

Camellia oleifera Abel. is one of four major woody oil plants in the world. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effect of different plant growth regulators (PGRs) and concentrations on direct organogenesis using cotyledonary nodes, hypocotyls, and radicle explants. High induction frequency of adventitious shoots were obtained from cotyledonary nodes, hypocotyls, and radicle explants (85.2%, 73.6%, and 41.0%, respectively) when cultured on half-strength Murashige and Skoog (1/2 MS) medium containing 2.0 mg·L−1 6-benzylaminopurine (BA) and 0.1 mg·L−1 indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Microshoots from cotyledonary nodes, hypocotyls, and radicle explants were then transferred to 1/2 MS medium containing 2.0 mg·L−1 BA and 0.05 mg·L−1 indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) for shoot multiplication, resulting in 6.9 shoots per explant. The shoots were transferred to Woody Plant Medium (WPM) supplemented with various α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and gibberellic acid (GA3) for shoot elongation. The mean length of shoots and the number of leaves per shoot were 3.7 and 6.6 cm, respectively, in WPM supplemented with 0.5 mg·L−1 NAA and 3.0 mg·L−1 GA3. The highest rooting of shoots (90.2%) or the number of roots per shoot (7.2) was obtained when elongated microshoots were transferred to 1/2 MS medium supplemented with 3.5% perlite, 1.0 mg·L−1 IBA and 2.0 mg·L−1 NAA. The rooted plantlets were successfully acclimatized in the greenhouse with a survival rate of 90.0%. The in vitro plant regeneration procedure described in this study is beneficial for mass propagation and improvement of C. oleifera through genetic engineering.

Free access

Low mobility and solubility reduce the availability of traditional phosphorus (P) fertilizer in red acidic soil. Hydroxyapatite (HAP), especially nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HAP), may be more efficient than P fertilizer because of its nanoparticle characteristics. Camellia oleifera (C. oleifera) is an edible oil tree whose productivity is greatly affected by P fertilizer. During this study, we investigated the migration of different particle sizes of HAP (20 nm, 200 nm, and 80 μm) and their effects on the seedling growth of C. oleifera cultivar Huashuo (HS) cuttings. A column experiment showed that the efflux ratio was negatively correlated with particle size in red acidic soil. The leaching results revealed that the contents of total P and available P in the 20-nm treatment were significantly higher than those in the 200-nm and 80-μm treatments in the deep soil (10–15 cm or 15–20 cm), whereas the application of 20-nm n-HAP caused 13.43% wastage of available P. During the container experiments, 200-nm and 20-nm HAP significantly promoted the growth of the seedlings in terms of seedling height, stem diameter, and biomass. The available P contents in the rhizosphere and nonrhizosphere soils were negatively correlated with the HAP particle sizes. In conclusion, the migration of HAP is inversely correlated with particle size, and HAP improves the P bioavailability in red acidic soil. In summary, 200-nm HAP was the best P fertilizer for the seedlings of HS among the three particle sizes. This study offers preliminary results indicating that 200-nm HAP might be a better P fertilizer compared with other two HAP particle sizes for use in future C. oleifera orchards.

Open Access