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Nobuyuki Fukuoka, Takamoto Suzuki, Keisuke Minamide, and Tatsuro Hamada

The effect of shading in midsummer on anthocyanin and non-flavonoid polyphenol biosynthesis of Gynura bicolor DC leaves was examined using a control (full solar radiation) and a shade treatment (50% shading of full solar radiation). Leaf temperature in the shade plot remained ≈40 °C in the daytime, ≈6 °C lower than in the control. Plants in the shade plot grew better than the control. The content of chlorogenic acid (CGA) in leaves decreased with leaf maturation for both treatments, and a larger amount of CGA was detected in leaves from the control than the shade treatment. The profiles of reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activity exhibited an identical pattern to the content of CGA. Although there was an abrupt increase in the content of anthocyanin in the early stage of leaf expansion, the content decreased rapidly as the leaves matured. The increase in anthocyanin early during leaf expansion was much more limited in control leaves than shaded leaves. There were no correlation between the profiles of anthocyanin and gene expression such as GbPAL, GbC4H, Gb4CL, GbCHS, GbCHI, GbF3H, and GbUFGT. However, the profiles of expression of genes such as GbMYB2, GbF3′H, GbDFR, and GbANS were similar to the anthocyanin profiles. These results suggest that artificial shading in midsummer is an effective method to promote anthocyanin accumulation but reduces ROS scavenging capacity as a result of lowered CGA production.

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Yasutaka Kano, Youichi Ikeshita, Yuri Kanamori, and Nobuyuki Fukuoka

To investigate the effects of night temperature on sugar accumulation in watermelon fruit, fruits were treated with higher nighttime temperature under a greenhouse. The minimum nighttime ambient temperature of the heating box (18 °C) was ≈6 °C higher than that of the control. The heat-treated fruit weighed at the end of heating treatment, 16 days after anthesis (DAA), was greater than that of control, but fruit weight at harvesting, 42 DAA, was almost the same in both treatments. Cells of all portions of the heat-treated fruit at 16 DAA were much larger than those of the control, and cells in the outermost rectangular parallelepipeds (RPs; 15-mm long samples that were serially collected from a 10-mm thick disk along a 10-mm wide strip removed at the maximum transverse diameter of the fruit) of the heat-treated fruit were 80 μm or more larger than those of the control. At 16 DAA, the number of RPs with sucrose contents of 2 g·L−1 or more were six and nine in control and heat-treated fruit, respectively. At 42 DAA, content in the outer RPs of the heat-treated fruit was greater than that in the outer RPs of the control. The number of RPs with sucrose contents of 40 g·L−1 or more was five in the control and 11 in heat-treated fruit. Mean sucrose, glucose, and fructose in fruit at 16 DAA did not differ in the treated fruit from the control. However, the sucrose content of heat-treated fruit was 32% higher than that of the control at 42 DAA. Glucose and fructose content were lower in heat-treated fruit than in the control.