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Kemin Su, Justin Q. Moss, Guolong Zhang, Dennis L. Martin and Yanqi Wu

Drought stress is a major limiting factor for warm-season turfgrass growth during the summer in the U.S. transition zone. Genotypic variation in drought resistance exists among bermudagrasses (Cynodon sp.), but the mechanisms of drought resistance are poorly understood. Our objectives were to investigate physiological changes in three bermudagrass cultivars under a well-watered condition and drought stress. to determine expression differences in soluble protein and dehydrin of the three cultivars under well-watered and drought stress conditions, and to identify the association between dehydrin proteins and drought tolerance. Grasses included a high drought-resistant cultivar, Celebration, a low drought-resistant cultivar, Premier, and a newly released cultivar, Latitude 36. In both well-watered and drought treatments, ‘Latitude 36’ had the highest visual quality and lower or medium electrolyte leakage among three cultivars. In the drought treatment, 16- and 23-kDa dehydrin proteins were observed in ‘Latitude 36’ but not in ‘Celebration’ or ‘Premier’. Our results indicate that the 16- and 23-kDa dehydrin expressions could be associated with drought tolerance and contribute to drought tolerance in bermudagrass.

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K.J. Vining, Q. Zhang, A.O. Tucker, C. Smith and T.M. Davis

Mentha longifolia, a wild relative of the polyploid, cultivated Mentha (mint) species, was evaluated as a potential model system for genetic research relevant to the cultivated mints. Fourteen Mentha longifolia accessions maintained by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service, National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR), were highly diverse with respect to geographic origin, oil composition, verticillium wilt resistance, aspects of morphology, and molecular marker polymorphism. Accession CMEN 584 was the only carvone chemotype, while CMEN 682 was the only accession with high menthol content. Trans-piperitone oxide was the primary oil component of accessions CMEN 17 and CMEN 18, while pulegone was most abundant in CMEN 20, CMEN 500, CMEN 501, and CMEN 585. Four accessions—CMEN 585, CMEN 17, CMEN 501, and CMEN 81—were consistently resistant to verticillium wilt, while CMEN 584 and CMEN 516 were highly susceptible. Pairwise similarity coefficients were calculated and a UPGMA (unweighted pair-group analysis) tree was constructed on the basis of 63 informative randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) marker bands. CMEN 585 and CMEN 584 shared the greatest number of bands (16), and formed a distinct cluster in the UPGMA tree. Seven pairs of accessions had no bands in common, emphasizing the high degree of molecular diversity represented by these accessions. The favorable features of diploid (2n = 2x = 24) genome constitution, comparatively small genome size (400 to 500 Mb), self-fertility, fecundity, and diversity with respect to economically relevant traits, contribute to M. longifolia's potential usefulness as a model system for the cultivated mints. As a perennial species amenable to vegetative propagation, M. longifolia's spectrum of susceptibility/resistance to an important vascular wilt disease encourages its further evaluation as a system for broader studies of plant–microbe interactions and disease resistance mechanisms.

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Zai Q. Yang, Yong X. Li, Xiao P. Xue, Chuan R. Huang and Bo Zhang

Wind tunnel tests were conducted in an NH-2-type wind tunnel to investigate the wind pressure coefficients and their distribution on the surfaces of a single-span plastic greenhouse and a solar greenhouse. Wind pressures at numerous points on the surfaces of the greenhouse models were simultaneously measured for various wind directions. The critical wind speeds, at which damage occurred on the surfaces of single-span plastic greenhouses and solar greenhouses, were derived. To clearly describe the wind pressure distribution on various surface zones of the greenhouses, the end surface and top surface of the plastic greenhouse and the transparent surface of the solar greenhouse were divided into nine zones, which were denoted as Zone I to Zone IX. The results were as follows: 1) At wind direction angles of 0° and 45°, the end surface of the single-span plastic greenhouse was on the windward side, and the maximum positive wind pressure coefficient was near 1. At wind direction angles of 90° and 180°, the entire end surface of the single-span plastic greenhouse was on the leeward side, and the maximum negative wind pressure coefficient was near −1. The maximum positive wind pressure on the end surface of the single-span plastic greenhouse appeared in Zone IV at a wind direction angle of 15°, whereas the maximum negative pressure appeared in Zone VIII at a wind direction angle of 105°. 2) Most of the wind pressure coefficients on the top surface of the plastic greenhouse were negative. The maximum positive and negative wind pressure coefficient on the top surface of the plastic greenhouse occurred in Zones I and II, respectively, at a wind direction angle of 60°. 3) At a wind direction angle of 0°, the distribution of wind pressure coefficient contours was steady in the middle and lower zones of the transparent surface of the solar greenhouse, and the wind pressure coefficients were positive. At a wind direction angle of 90°, the wind pressure coefficients were negative on the transparent surface of the solar greenhouse. A maximum positive wind pressure coefficient was attained at a wind direction angle of 30° in Zone IX, whereas the maximum suction force occurred in Zone VII at a wind direction angle of 135°. 4) The minimum critical wind speeds required to impair the single-span plastic greenhouse and solar greenhouse were 14.5 and 18.9 m·s−1, respectively.

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Kelly J. Vining, Q Zhang, C.A. Smith and T.M. Davis

Resistance gene analog (RGA) sequences were obtained from four Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds. accessions using degenerate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers targeting the conserved nucleotide binding site domain found in many plant disease resistance genes. Seven distinct RGA families were identified. All M. longifolia RGAs showed similarity to sequences of the non-toll-interleukin 1 receptor R gene class. In addition, degenerate PCR primers based on the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) verticillium wilt resistance (Ve) genes were used to PCR-amplify a 445-base pair (bp) Ve-like sequence from M. longifolia that had ≈57% predicted amino acid identity with Ve. Mint-specific primers based on the original mint Ve sequence were used to obtain mint-specific Ve sequences from four M. longifolia accessions and from peppermint (Mentha ×piperita L.) cultivar ‘Black Mitcham’ that had 95% to 100% predicted amino acid identity to the original mint Ve sequence. Inverse PCR was then used to obtain flanking mint Ve sequence from one M. longifolia accession extending the mint Ve sequence to 1077 bp. This is the first report of RGA sequences in the Lamiaceae and the first report of Ve-like sequences obtained with degenerate PCR primers.

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Hua Q. Zhao, Qing H. He, Li L. Song, Mei F. Hou and Zhi G. Zhang

The procedure for Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel’ propagation was investigated, which involves shoot regeneration, rooting of regenerated shoots, and acclimation of regenerated plantlets. Petioles, as explants, were cultured on MS medium supplemented with 1-naphthylacetic acid (NAA), benzylaminopurine (BA), thidiazuron (TDZ) and callus formed on all media. Shoots were observed to proliferate from callus on media with BA and NAA, whereas no shoots regenerated on media with TDZ and NAA. On media containing 0.5 or 1.0 mg·L−1 BA in combination with NAA, the regenerated shoots showed severe hyperhydricity, whereas on media containing 0.1 mg·L−1 BA in combination with NAA, the regenerated shoots grew normally. The highest shoot induction rate, 90.6%, was obtained on media containing 0.1 mg·L−1 BA and 0.01 mg·L−1 NAA. The effects of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), and NAA on rooting of H. villosa ‘Caramel’ was explored. The highest rooting rate (95%) was obtained on 1/2 MS medium containing 0.2 mg·L−1 NAA. In the subsequent acclimation experiments, about 85% of rooted plantlets survived and grew normally.

Open access

Brian M. Schwartz, Wayne W. Hanna, Lisa L. Baxter, Paul L. Raymer, F. Clint Waltz, Alec R. Kowalewski, Ambika Chandra, A. Dennis Genovesi, Benjamin G. Wherley, Grady L. Miller, Susana R. Milla-Lewis, William C. Reynolds, Yanqi Wu, Dennis L. Martin, Justin Q. Moss, Michael P. Kenna, J. Bryan Unruh, Kevin E. Kenworthy, Jing Zhang and Patricio R. Munoz