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  • Author or Editor: Ling Li x
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Foliar application of hormones and nutrients can improve fruit quality, but specific conditions for applying hormones and nutrients may vary among fruit species. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of 6-BA, potassium phosphate (monobasic), and calcium chloride on fruit weight, palatability, and storage quality of 8-year-old pear trees, cv. Hosui. Foliar applications of 1 mg·L-1 6-BA, 0.3% potassium phosphate, 0.3% calcium chloride, or 0.3% potassium phosphate + 0.3% calcium chloride were made at 20-day intervals from June until maturity. All foliar applications increased average fruit weight over the control (distilled water). 6-BA or the combination of potassium phosphate and calcium chloride increased fruit weight more than did potassium phosphate or calcium chloride alone. Fruit palatability, measured as the ratio of sugar content to acid content, was significantly lower in 6-BA, potassium phosphate, and calcium chloride treatments than in the control. All treatments increased vitamin C content over the control. Fruit storage quality in calcium chloride or calcium chloride + potassium phosphate treatments was superior to that in the control. Potassium phosphate alone and 6-BA treatments had no effects on fruit storage quality. We conclude that foliar applications of 0.3% potassium phosphate + 0.3% calcium chloride or 1 mg·L-1 6-BA can increase average fruit weight and improve fruit palatability.

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The pathogenic fungus Colletotrichum musae infects developing green bananas (Musa spp. AAA group), but remains latent until the fruit ripens. The aim of this research was to determine whether the appearance of disease symptoms is regulated by chitinase gene expression following treatment of fruit with benzothiadiazole (BTH) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA), and with physical (heat) and chemical (H2O2 and Ca2+-related) treatments. In bananas inoculated with C. musae, BTH and MeJA lowered disease severity and stimulated higher gene expression compared with the untreated controls during ripening. However, in naturally infected bananas, BTH and MeJA treatments slightly reduced transcription of the chitinase gene in green bananas, but they prolonged gene expression in ripe bananas and significantly reduced disease severity. The combination of H2O2 and the NADPH oxidase inhibitor, diphenylene iodonium, down-regulated chitinase gene expression and compromised disease resistance compared with H2O2 alone. Heat treatment (HT) or the combination of HT followed by CaCl2 reduced disease, but only the latter significantly upregulated chitinase gene expression. The combination of HT and a calcium ionophore (A23187) resulted in different disease indicies and different levels of gene expression depending upon the order of application: HT followed by A23187 induced higher gene expression and lower disease. The results suggest that disease resistance of green bananas could be related to high and prolonged levels of chitinase gene expression, and chitinase could be involved in harvested banana's anthracnose resistance activated by different defense pathway signals, such as BTH, MeJA, H2O2, and Ca2+.

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Thirteen Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa) hybrid cultivars and 26 parental inbred lines were used as experimental materials to screen for primers producing hybrid and parental complementary bands and for primers with high polymorphism information contents and low genotype frequencies. A total of 18 pairs of core primers were designed to identify the purity of Chinese cabbage. There was no significant difference in the purity percentage measured between different loci of the same strain. The fingerprint obtained by the amplification of each locus could be used to identify purity to obtain an authentic purity percentage. Curve mapping and significance analyses were conducted using the purity percentage of eight different seed samples and confirmed a sampling seed number of 96. The results of the purity test were verified by comparison with the grow-out test (GOT) using molecular markers. In conclusion, the simple sequence repeat (SSR) detection system could be used for the rapid identification of the purity of the tested Chinese cabbage hybrids.

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The freezing method combined with enzymolysis was used to determine the content of stone cells of 70 pear varieties for the purpose of identifying the relationship between the content of stone cells and pulp quality. The results demonstrated that the content of stone cells was strongly correlated with pear quality. The majority of the stone cells in all the varieties had diameters of 0.25-0.5 mm; the weight of the stone cells with diameters in this range differed significantly among pear varieties. In addition, the varieties with a higher content of stone cells contained a higher content of coarse pulp than the varieties with a lower content of stone cells.

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Partridge tea is one of the famous local herbal teas of Hainan Island, China. In the present study, headspace solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were combined to determine and analyze the volatile components in the red and green leaves of partridge tea. Seventeen volatile components were identified in the red young leaves. The olefins, alkanes, and alcohols accounted for 71.24%, 1.1%, and 0.54%, among which the main components were caryophyllene (22.50%), humulene (18.73%), and α-guaiene (8.78%), respectively. Twenty volatile components were identified from red mature leaves, including 34.74% olefins, 6.14% esters, and 3.11% acids. Eighteen volatile components were identified from green young leaves, among which olefins (70.52%), alkanes (4.32%), and alcohol (0.89%) were the major components. Nineteen volatile components were identified from green mature leaves, among which the olefins, esters, and acids were the major components with the contents of 46.04%, 6.38%, and 1.37%, respectively. Results showed that the major volatile components of partridge tea were olefins, in which caryophyllene was the most abundant. The contents of volatile components between red leaves and green leaves had notable differences, which might be useful for germplasm identification of partridge tea.

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To control asparagus harvest timing, we investigated the effects of short-term low (5%) oxygen (O2) treatment in the cultivation area on asparagus growth and yield using a closed cultivation system. During 120 days of cultivation, low O2 treatments were initiated at 0 to 4, 20 to 24, and 40 to 44 days after planting (DAP). The sprouting spears and control crown yield gradually decreased with increasing DAP. However, low O2 treatment at 0 to 4 DAP significantly delayed the decrease until 80 DAP, although the total yield did not change during cultivation. In contrast, low O2 treatments at 20 to 24 and 40 to 44 DAP did not affect yield performance. Taken together, short-term low O2 treatment immediately after planting can change the harvest timing of white asparagus and can be used for effective asparagus culturing in a closed system, such as a plant factory.

Open Access

The king oyster mushroom [Pleurotus eryngii (DC.:Fr.) Quél.] is gaining popularity across the world due to its excellent taste, high nutritional quality, medicinal value, and long shelf life. Conventional substrates for king oyster mushroom cultivation consist of sawdust derived from various tree species. Sawdust demand is increasing worldwide, creating a need for alternative materials that can at least partially replace sawdust as substrate for king oyster mushroom. In Taiwan, as in other countries that grow fruit trees, pruned fruit tree branches are an expensive agricultural waste, particularly if they are not recycled or reused. In the present study, we evaluated substrates containing sawdust and different proportions of material ground from pruned wax apple or Indian jujube branches for cultivation of king oyster mushroom. Our results suggested that among all five substrate mixes tested, the best substitute for conventional sawdust (100% sawdust) was a substrate that contained 75% sawdust mixed with 25% materials ground from trimmed wax apple branches (Wax apple 25%). Furthermore, determination of mineral element content, pH, and electrical conductivity (EC) levels of the substrates both before spawn inoculation and after harvesting revealed no significant changes in mineral content, a slight reduction in pH value, and a minor increase in EC levels after cultivation. Taken together, results from this study suggest that agricultural wastes from pruned fruit tree branches can partially replace sawdust as the cultivation substrate for king oyster mushroom.

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Light, as the energy and signal sources for plant growth and development, is one of the most important environment factors in recently developed plant factories with artificial light (PFALs). To find the optimal combination of light wavelengths for lettuce (Lactuca sativa cv. ‘Tiberius’) plant growth in a PFAL, four treatments, each using red (R; 662 nm) and blue light (B; 447 nm) with a ratio of 4:1 and photon flux density (PFD) of 150 μmol·m−2·s−1, and mixing, respectively, with 50 μmol·m−2·s−1 of green light (G; 525 nm; RBG), yellow light (Y; 592 nm; RBY), orange light (O; 605 nm; RBO) and far-red light (FR; 742 nm; RBFR), were set up during this experiment. A combination of R and B with a ratio of 4:1 and PFD of 200 μmol·m−2·s−1 was set as the control (RB). The responses of lettuce growth, morphology, anatomical structure of the lettuce leaf, photosynthetic performance, lettuce nutritional quality, and energy use efficiency were investigated. The results showed that RBG, RBO, and RBFR increased the shoot fresh weight of lettuce by 20.5%, 19.6%, and 40.4%, and they increased the shoot dry weight of lettuce by 24.2%, 13.4%, and 45.2%, respectively, compared with those under RB. The Pn under RBY was significantly lower than that under RB, although no significant differences in chlorophyll or carotenoid content were found between RBY and RB. RBG increased the lettuce leaf area, the thickness of the leaf palisade tissue, Pn, and light use efficiency compared with those under RB. Plants grown under RBO showed better photosynthetic capacity, such as higher Pn, ΦPSII, and other photosynthetic parameters. RBFR caused an increase in lettuce leaf area and energy use efficiency, but a decrease in leaf thickness and Pn of the single leaf. Moreover, tipburn injury was observed under RBFR. Therefore, these results demonstrate that RBG and RBO can be considered optimal combinations of light wavelengths for lettuce growth in a PFAL in this experiment, although plant growth can also be improved by using RBFR.

Open Access