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  • Author or Editor: Li Nian x
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Cold stress is an important factor that limits grape (Vitis sp.) production around the world. The high expression of osmotically responsive genes 1 (HOS1) protein acts as a repressor of cold-responsive genes in plants. To increase understanding of mechanism regulating cold tolerance in grape, we isolated and characterized a novel HOS1 gene, designated VvHOS1 from ‘Muscat Hamburg’ grapevine (Vitis vinifera). Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis revealed that the expression of VvHOS1 could be induced by the application of exogenous abscisic acid and various abiotic environmental conditions such as low temperature, drought, and salinity. Moreover, VvHOS1 expression could also be induced by cold plus drought conditions (4 °C, 10% polyethylene glycol 6000). In addition, overexpression of VvHOS1 in arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) decreased the plants’ tolerance to cold, drought, and salt as well as negatively regulated the expression level of two stress-responsive genes, AtRD29A and AtCOR47. The results obtained in this study should help us to elucidate the function of VvHOS1 and understand the cold-responsive pathway in grapevine.

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Rhododendron delavayi Franch. is an important ornamental plant and often plays a role in natural hybridization with other sympatric species in Rhododendron subgenus Hymenanthes. Fifteen microsatellite loci were developed and characterized in this species. The average allele number of these microsatellites was four per locus, ranging from three to six. The ranges of expected (HE ) and observed (HO ) heterozygosities were 0.0365 to 0.7091 and 0.0263 to 0.9512, respectively. Cross-species amplification in R. agastum and R. decorum showed that a subset of these markers holds promise for congeneric species study. These sets of markers are potentially useful to investigate the genetic structure and gene flow of R. delavayi and other congeneric species.

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Advancements in electronic devices have led to increases in mental stress in modern adults, and removing this stress is crucial for mental health. The purpose of this study is to examine the psychophysiological benefits of contact with indoor plants. The effects of transplanting plants (horticultural activity) and work on a mobile phone (control activity) were assessed by blood pressure measurement, electroencephalography (EEG), the semantic differential method (SDM), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). The SDM data showed that the subjects felt more relaxed, comfortable and natural, and experienced lower anxiety after the transplantation of plants than the control group. Participant’s total alpha and beta wave mean values increased over time during the transplantation task but decreased at the end of the control task. The mean meditation score was significantly higher after transplanting plants. Our study results indicate that contact with plants may minimize mental stress.

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