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  • Author or Editor: Man Xu x
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The responses of photosynthesis, chlorophyll fluorescence, and de-epoxidation state of the xanthophyll cycle pigments (DEPS) of micropropagated apple trees (Malus ×domestica) were investigated under whole-root water stress (WRS) and half-root water stress (HRS) induced by polyethylene glycol 6000 to simulate whole and partial root zone drying. Compared with control plants without water stress, plants under WRS and HRS exhibited reduced leaf net photosynthetic rate (Pn) and stomatal conductance (g S) with a greater reduction in WRS than in HRS plants. However, intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) increased under WRS as water stress was prolonged, signifying a non-stomatal limitation of Pn. Regarding HRS, decreased Pn was mainly the result of a stomatal limitation explained by a relatively low Ci. Changes in photosynthesis and chlorophyll parameters indicate that severe and slight damage occurred to the photosynthetic apparatus of WRS and HRS leaves, respectively, starting at Day 3 after initiating water stress. This damage was not evident on the donor side but was expressed as a reduced capacity of the acceptor side of the photosystem II reaction centers. To prevent damage from excess light, the DEPS of WRS leaf increased. Decreased g S could explain reduced water use under an irrigation strategy of partial root zone drying in fruit trees.

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Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is an important aquatic ornamental plant which contains several diverse flower colors, but the underlying mechanisms of its flower coloration remain unclear. In this study, seven complementary DNA (cDNA) clones of genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis, including chalcone synthase (CHS), chalcone isomerase (CHI), flavanone 3-hydroxylase (F3H), flavonoid 3′-hydroxylase (F3′H), flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylase (F3′5′H), dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR), and anthocyanidin synthase (ANS), were isolated and characterized. Moreover, expression patterns of these seven genes and pigment profiles were investigated across four N. nucifera cultivars with different flower colors: Zhongguohongbeijing [ZGH (red)], Xinghuafen [XHF (pink)], Molingqiuse [MLQS (yellow)], and Zhufengcuiying [ZFCY (white)]. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis showed that during flower development, transcripts of early biosynthetic genes (NnCHS, NnCHI, and NnF3H) were abundant at the early stage; noticeably, highest expression of NnCHI in MLQS probably induced abundant anthoxanthin synthesis and displayed yellow. Expression of late biosynthetic genes, especially NnDFR and NnANS, was generally consistent with change patterns of anthocyanins in ZGH and XHF, but NnF3′H was barely detectable in the pink cultivars. Meanwhile, negligible expression of NnDFR and NnANS was detected in MLQS and ZFCY, respectively, which blocked their colored anthocyanin biosynthesis. Spatial expression analysis revealed that most flavonoid biosynthetic genes were highly expressed in floral tissues, rather than leaves. These results suggest that in N. nucifera cultivars with different flower colors, flavonoid biosynthesis is differentially regulated by the expression of these flavonoid biosynthetic genes, among which, NnCHI, NnF3′H, NnDFR, and NnANS are supposed to be critical for pigment accumulation, and therefore, affect different flower coloration.

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