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Hailin Liu, Cunmeng Qian, Jian Zhou, Xiaoyan Zhang, Qiuyue Ma and Shuxian Li

Cornus florida seeds show strong dormancy. In this study, we investigated the causes of the dormancy by assessing the permeability of the stony endocarp, the germination of seeds after mechanical dissection, and the effect of endogenous inhibitors. Water uptake by intact and cracked seeds during imbibition showed that the endocarp formed a strong barrier for water absorption. Meanwhile, extracts from endocarp decreased the germination frequency of chinese cabbage seeds from 99.3% (control) to 2.7%. Therefore, the endocarp was the mechanical barrier and contained endogenous inhibitors for seed germination. However, the germination percentage of decoated seeds and dissected seeds with the exposed radicle were only 13.3% and 28.7%, respectively. It was found that the endosperm also played a role in seed dormancy. Extracts from endosperm decreased the germination frequency of chinese cabbage seeds from 99.3% (control) to 53.0%. By contrast, extracts from embryo did not affect the germination of chinese cabbage seeds. When tested with the excised embryos, germination percentage was up to 85.3% at the 16th day of incubation. Taking these results together, we concluded that the endocarp and endosperm were responsible for seed dormancy in C. florida. To break the seed dormancy of C. florida, stratification and soaking in sulfuric acid are the effective means. The highest germination frequency was achieved by immersing seeds in 98% sulfuric acid for 10 minutes, then soaking the seeds in 500 mg·L−1 gibberellic acid (GA3) for 72 hours before cold stratification at 5 °C for 60 days.

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Yan Li, Peter M. Hirst, Yizhen Wan, Yingjiao Liu, Qian Zhou, Hua Gao, Yunzhong Guo, Zhengyang Zhao, Leicun Wang and Mingyu Han

A comparison of field tolerance of 25 apple (Malus ×domestica) cultivars and 39 apple rootstocks to the pathogens Marssonina coronaria and Alternaria alternata apple pathotype was performed. Although most apple cultivars grown in China were susceptible or highly susceptible to both pathogens causing two diseases, considerable variation in the level of resistance to both pathogens was observed. Only three cultivars, Qinguan, Jiguan, and Xiangyanghong, exhibited resistance to both pathogens. Among the rootstocks tested, 30 of 39 (77%) were susceptible or highly susceptible to M. coronaria and 32 (82%) were susceptible to the A. alternata apple pathotype. Four rootstocks, ‘P.22’, ‘SH12’, ‘Za’ai 76’, and ‘Qingdao598’, were resistant to both pathogens. The correlation between resistance to both pathogens was highly significant in the 74 apple cultivars and rootstocks tested suggesting common genetic resistance factors to these two pathogens. Data represented horizontal resistance in the germplasm. The resistant local germplasm should be used in disease resistance breeding programs.