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Xuelian Jiang, Yueling Zhao, Ling Tong, Rui Wang and Sheng Zhao

To investigate the quantitative response of tomato yield and fruit quality to deficit irrigation applied at different growth stages, greenhouse experiments were conducted in 2017 and 2018. Three irrigation treatments (full irrigation and two-thirds or one-third of full irrigation) were applied to greenhouse-grown tomato plants at flowering and fruit development (stage 2) and at fruit maturation stage (stage 3). Grey relational analysis (GRA), the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS), and principal components analysis (PCA) were used to calculate the comprehensive fruit quality indexes, and combinatorial evaluation method was determined. The results showed that deficit irrigation significantly reduced evapotranspiration (ET) and tomato yield and that relative yield had a negative linear correlation with relative seasonal water deficit (1−ETi/ETc). However, deficit irrigation improved fruit quality, especially at stage 2. Total soluble solids, the total soluble sugar concentration, the sugar-to-acid ratio, and vitamin C in the tomatoes all increased significantly in plants that were deficit irrigated compared with fully irrigated plants, while organic acids and lycopene decreased in both years. There were linear correlations between fruit quality parameters and 1−ETi/ETc. The comprehensive quality index derived from GRA and PCA is reliable, and the comprehensive quality indexes given by GRA, PCA, and a combination of GRA and PCA showed positive linear correlation with 1−ETi/ETc. The comprehensive quality ranking showed that in both years, F2/3M1 (two-thirds full irrigation at stage 2) gave a better result and CK (full irrigation) the worst. An appropriate water deficit at the flowering and fruit development stage, which results in a trade-off between acceptable yield and improved fruit quality, is recommended. Our results provide a sound basis for tomato production that has a desirable balance between high yield and high fruit quality.

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Honghui Gu, Jiansheng Wang, Huifang Yu, Zhenqing Zhao, Xiaoguang Sheng, Jisuan Chen and Yingjun Xu

Sulforaphane is an anticarcinogenic isothiocyanate derived from 4-methylsulfinylbutyl glucosinolate (glucoraphanin), which is abundant in broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) florets. However, some breakdown products from alkenyl glucosinolates present in many broccoli cultivars, particularly oxazolidine-2-thione hydrolyzed from 2-(R)-hydroxy-3-butenyl glucosinolate (progoitrin), have potentially harmful effects on human and animal health. The main objective of this study was to improve the glucoraphanin concentration in F1 hybrids by cross-breeding with inbred lines and doubled haploids. Glucoraphanin concentrations in 31 of the 61 F1 hybrids were significantly higher (P = 0.05) than that of the commercial cultivar (Youxiu) with the highest concentration of glucoraphanin (4.18 μmol·g−1 dry weight) among eight reference cultivars. Sixteen of the F1 hybrids had glucoraphanin concentrations 3-fold higher than that of ‘Youxiu’. Alkenyl glucosinolates were not detected in the new hybrids as a result of the parents having few of these compounds but were found in five reference cultivars. Most F1 hybrids showed moderate indole glucosinolate concentrations and acceptable commercial traits. IL609 and IL702.2 were determined to be promising parental lines as a result of the high glucoraphanin concentration that they and their offspring contained. The findings also indicated that some F1 hybrids do not show the high-glucoraphanin character of their parents; consequently, evaluation of these F1 hybrids for their glucosinolate content is required for breeding high-glucoraphanin broccoli.

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Xianzhi Zhou, Yufen Wu, Sheng Chen, Yang Chen, Weiguang Zhang, Xintao Sun and Yijie Zhao

Oriental melon (Cucumis melo var. makuwa Makino) is a fruit with distinctive characteristics that is grown in Fuzhou, China. Fusarium wilt disease management remains a major challenge in the production of this fruit. Here, we performed seven field trials at four locations in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China, to evaluate the control of fusarium wilt and yield of Oriental melons grafted on two Cucurbita rootstocks [Shengyan Tianzhen (SYTZ) and Nanzhen No. 1 (NZ1)]. During the growing seasons of 2008 to 2011, Oriental melons grafted on SYTZ and NZ1 exhibited dramatically reduced incidences of fusarium wilt disease and increased yields compared with nongrafted Oriental melons. Disease was only recorded in Trial 3 at Hongwei (2009), where plants grafted on SYTZ and NZ1 exhibited 1.05% and 1.1% infection, respectively. In the other six field trials, wilting was not observed at all. In comparison, the incidence of the disease in nongrafted Oriental melons ranged from 45.0% to 100.0%. The use of Cucurbita rootstocks improved the qualitative and quantitative carotenoid profiles, increasing lutein levels (12.7 and 10.8 μg·g−1 of fresh weight, respectively) and ζ-carotene and phytofluene amounts in fruit samples from SYTZ- and NZ1-grafted plants. In particular, the Liyu/NZ1 combination significantly increased β-carotene content ≈4-fold compared with nongrafted samples. In conclusion, Cucurbita rootstocks provided acceptable protection of Oriental melon cv. Liyu against fusarium wilt and improved the productivity and quality of fruits.

Free access

Weicheng Xu, Faxian Su, Guangchen Zhang, Jianwei Hou, Sheng Zhao, Yuan Deng, Paul E. Read and Guochen Yang

Sodium hydrogen sulfate (NaHSO3) in aqueous solution was sprayed on bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) plants beginning at first anthesis to test its effects as a photorespiration represser and resulting effects on yield. NaHSO3 sprays promoted plant height, stem diameter, fruit number and plant weight and increased the net assimilation rate, thus increasing yield. Concentrations of 60, 100, 120, 130, 200, 240 and 300 ppm were all effective, with 200 ppm optimum. Sprays repeated for three times at 7 day intervals were more effective in increasing growth and yield of bell pepper than spraying once or twice. This technique has gained acceptance as a practical method for improving production of bell pepper in Northeast China. Additional research is underway to further refine this practice.