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  • Author or Editor: Long Wang x
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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.

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Shennongjia mountain region is famous for its various kinds of species. Through one year's deep-going expedition in the area, lots of valuable plant species were collected, among them many are very useful and had not been used in landscape. Such as Arisaema lobatum var. variegatum nv. LuDiFei, Cremastra appendiculata var. fulva LuDiFei, Stylophorum lasiocarpum (Oliv.) Fedde, Sedum filipes Hems., Iris wilsonii C. H. Wright, Amaranthus caudatus L., Cotoneaster dammeri Schneid, Meconopsis quintupineria Regel., Lysimachia paridiformis Franch., Dysoma versipellis (Hance) M. Cheng, Adiantum pedatum L. and so on. Some genera are quite rich in this region, especially in Rosa, Sorbus, Cotoneaster, Lonicera, Impatiens, Aconitum, Gentiana, Adiantum etc. All these are marvelous material for direct appliance in garden and for breeding. There are many rare plants in the area, large communities of Davidia involucrata Baillon and Chimonanthus praecox (L.) Link were found during the expedition, and what interesting more is that various natural variations do exist in the communities. Detail description and evaluation were given to the important species, and some suggestions of protection and utilization were offered in the paper.

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Rhododendron decorum is a common species in southwest China and northeast Myanmar, in which the flowers have been eaten as a favorite vegetable. We isolated and characterized 24 microsatellite primer pairs from this species. The number of alleles ranged from two to seven. The observed and expected heterozygosities (HO and HE ) were 0.3830 to 0.7855 and 0 to 0.7917, respectively. Eleven loci were significantly deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium as a result of the heterozygote deficiency. Cross-species amplification in another eight Rhododendron species showed their potential use for evolutionary and conservation studied in this genus. These markers will be useful to reveal the genetic population structure and genetic diversity of R. decorum.

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To assess cross-species amplification, we tested 38 microsatellite loci previously developed for Rhododendron delavayi Franch. and R. decorum Franch. in eight species representative of the genus Rhododendron. Sixteen pairs can be amplified successfully in all species, whereas two failed amplification in all species. Nine loci were polymorphic across six examined species with one to 11 alleles per locus. The observed and expected heterozygosity per locus varied from 0.07 to 0.65 and 0.44 to 0.81, respectively. Cross-application of these microsatellite loci will provide a potentially useful tool to investigate the genetic structure, gene flow, and evolutionary relationships in genus Rhododendron.

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Callus induction and plant regeneration play a key role in transgenic technology. Although much progress has been made with respect to eggplant, this type of research is insufficiently developed in Solanum torvum (a wild relative of eggplant), which contains a large number of resistance genes. Here, a high-efficiency regeneration system of S. torvum was established. Stem segments and leaves were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0.5–3.0 mg·L−1 6-benzyladenine (6-BA) and 0.1–0.6 mg·L−1 α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). The highest callus induction ratio (100%) was produced on MS + 1.0 mg·L−1 6-BA + 0.5 mg·L−1 NAA. The combination of 0.5 mg·L−1 BA and 1.0 mg·L−1 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid in MS medium (double microelement) was the best for plant regeneration. Well-developed shoots rooted on half-strength MS medium supplemented with 0.1 mg·L−1 indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). These results will be helpful for functional verification of resistance genes from S. torvum and may be useful to those working in the field of eggplant breeding.

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Lighting strategies for morphological and physiological characteristics of horticultural crops often focus on the proper daily light integral (DLI); however, a suitable combination of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and photoperiod at the same DLI is conducive to optimize the light environment management in vegetable seedling production. In the present study, cucumber seedlings (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Tianjiao No. 5) were grown for 21 days under six different combinations of PPFD and photoperiod at a constant DLI of 11.5 mol⋅m−2⋅d−1, corresponding to a photoperiod of 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, and 22 h⋅d−1 provided by white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) under a controlled environment. Results showed that plant height, hypocotyl length, and specific leaf area of cucumber seedlings decreased quadratically with increasing photoperiod, and the opposite trend was observed in seedling quality index of cucumber seedlings. In general, pigment content and fresh and dry weight of cucumber seedlings increased as photoperiod increased from 7 to 16 h⋅d−1, and no significant differences were found in fresh and dry weight of shoot and root as photoperiod increased from 16 to 22 h⋅d−1. Sucrose and starch content of cucumber leaves increased by 50.6% and 32.3%, respectively, as photoperiod extended from 7 to 16 h⋅d−1. A longer photoperiod also led to higher cellulose content of cucumber seedlings, thus improving the mechanical strength of cucumber seedlings for transplanting. CsCesA1 relative expression level showed a trend similar to cellulose content. We propose that CsCesA1 is the key gene in the response to cellulose biosynthesis in cucumber seedlings grown under different combinations of PPFD and photoperiod. In summary, prolonging the photoperiod and lowering PPFD at the same DLI increased the quality of cucumber seedlings. An adaptive lighting strategy could be applied to increase seedling quality associated with the reduction of capital cost in cucumber seedling production.

Open Access

Primula amethystina Franchet. is a beautiful perennial herbaceous plant locally endemic to the alpine area in southwest China. We isolated and characterized 11 polymorphic microsatellite primer pairs from this species. The number of alleles ranged from two to five. The observed and expected heterozygosities (HO and HE ) were 0.25 to 0.875 and 0.223 to 0.691, respectively. Six loci were significantly deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium as a result of the heterozygote deficiency. These markers will have great potential to reveal the genetic population structure and genetic diversity of P. amethystina.

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This study aimed to investigate the flowering biological characteristics, floral organ characteristics, and pollen morphology of Camellia weiningensis Y.K. Li. These features of adult C. weiningensis plants were observed via light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Pollen viability and stigma receptivity were detected using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazole chloride (TTC) staining and the benzidine–hydrogen peroxide reaction method. C. weiningensis is monoecious, with alternate leaves and glabrous branchlets. Its flowering period lasts 2 to 4 months, and the flowering time of individual plants lasts ≈50 days, with the peak flowering period from the end of February to the middle of March. It is a “centralized flowering” plant that attracts a large number of pollinators. Individual flowers are open for 12 to 13 days, mostly between 1230 and 1630 hr, and include four to six sepals, six to eight petals, ≈106 stamens, an outer ring of ≈24.6-mm-long stamens, an inner ring of ≈13.4-mm-long stamens, one pistil, and nine to 12 ovules. The flowers are light pink. The style is two- to three-lobed and 16.6 mm long, showing a curly “Y” shape. The contact surface of the style is covered with papillary cells and displays abundant secretory fluid and a full shape, facilitating pollen adhesion. The pollen is rhombohedral cone-shaped, and there are germ pores (tremoids). The groove of the germ pore is slender and extends to the two poles (nearly reaching the two poles). The pollen is spherical in equatorial view and trilobate in polar view. The pollen vitality was highest at the full flowering stage, and the stigma receptivity was greatest on days 2 to 3 of flowering. The best concentration of sucrose medium for pollen germination was 100 g/L. The number of pollen grains per anther was ≈2173, and the pollen-to-ovule ratio was 23,034:1. C. weiningensis is cross-pollinated. Seventy-two hours after cross-pollination, the pollen tube reached the base, and a small part entered the ovary. The time when the pollen tube reached the base after pollination was later than that in commonly grown Camellia oleifera. The results of this study might lay an important foundation for the flowering management, pollination time selection, and cross-breeding of C. weiningensis.

Open Access