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  • Author or Editor: Shiping Wang x
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The aim of this study was to investigate the roles of spur characteristics and carbon partitioning in regulating cultivar differences in fruit size of two late-maturing japanese pear cultivars, `Atago' and `Shinkou'. The study of spur characteristics showed that the two cultivars displayed different patterns in leaf development, flower characteristics, fruit growth, and shoot type. In contrast to `Atago' with dramatically larger fruit, `Shinkou' is a heavily spurred cultivar with a higher total leaf area and leaf number per spur early in fruit growth, less vegetative shoots, and smaller fruit but larger core. No significant differences were obtained in specific leaf weight, leaf thickness, chlorophyll content, and net photosynthesis of mature leaves, and seed number per fruit between the two cultivars. The results of trace experiment with 13C revealed that on a spur basis, there were no significant differences in the amount of 13C assimilate produced by spur leaves on each labeling date except at 190 days after anthesis, however, there were highly significant differences in the amount of 13C allocated to fruit between cultivars. Moreover, a higher amount of 13C assimilates was allocated to `Atago' flesh (or fruit) than that in `Shinkou'. Analysis of relative sink strength (RSS) indicates that the sink strength of fruit was dominant over those of other organs in the spur measured in both cultivars except at the early stage of fruit growth. `Atago' exhibited a greater RSS of fruit and lower losses of 13C for respiration and export than `Shinkou'. These results suggest that the movement of photosynthates into the fruit was determined by sink strength of the fruit rather than the source strength in the two cultivars.

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In this study, the ultrastructure of phloem and its surrounding parenchyma cells in the developing grape berry produced under root restriction or without (control) was for the first time systematically investigated through transmission electron microscopy during the entire developmental process of the berry. The results showed that root restriction increased the number of plasmodesmata between sieve elements (SE) and companion cells (CC) and between the SE/CC complex and phloem parenchyma cells. Sieve elements in fruit produced under root restriction were smaller in size than those from the control treatment, but CC were bigger than in the control treatment. During the first rapid growth phase of the grape berry, there was denser cytoplasm in the CC produced under root restriction having more abundant mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, multivesicular bodies, vesicles, and plastids than in control fruit. During the second rapid growth phase of the grape berry, CC under root restriction showed more serious plasmolysis. Cytoplasmic contents such as vesicles were fused into the vacuole of which the tonoplast nearly disappeared in the phloem parenchyma cells, and cytoplasmic contents in fruit cells produced under root restriction became denser than the control treatment. These results demonstrated that grape berry adapted to the root restriction stress through ultrastructure variation of the phloem, and this variation explained the increase of photosynthate accumulation in the grape berry observed under root restriction.

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To analyze the evolutionary level of Prunus mira Koehne (Prunus mira Koehne Kov et. Kpst), 15 kinds of pollen grains from five altitudes were observed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). This study demonstrates that pollen morphous P. mira has high variation; specifically, individuals from higher altitudes are much more evolved than those from lower altitudes. This is the first time the pollen morphology of P. mira has been systematically illustrated. Furthermore, 12 random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) primers generated clear and repeatable bands among all individuals based on RAPD; 107 bands ranging from 200 bp to 2000 bp were generated with an average of 8.92 bands per primer. Thus, the RAPD technique proved to be a powerful tool to reveal variation on P. mira. This study provides comprehensive information for genetic diversity of P. mira from different altitudes.

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Areca (Areca catechu L.) is one of the most important cash crops in China and is considered the fourth most widely used addictive substance. In addition, areca is widely used in traditional and herbal medicines. The major characteristics of the fruit are affected by its genetic background and growth environment. The growing environment in different regions will impact the quality of agricultural products and the processing quality. The quality of areca is not only the basis of its commercialization development and processing quality, but also is an important basis for the scientific planting of areca. Therefore, determining the quality of areca will provide evidence for scientific planting and more optimal applications. We evaluated the quality of areca by comparing the differences in physicochemical characteristics using principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis. A total of 165 arecas, in the same growth period, were collected from 11 main producing regions in Hainan Province. Our results illustrate that the physicochemical characteristics of areca in different regions were significantly different. The PCA was conducted using 10 quality indexes, and three principal components were extracted to reflect 80% of the original variables. The first principal component mainly reflected the fruit shape quality, the second principal component mainly reflected the hardness quality, and the third principal component mainly reflected the functional component quality. The relationship between each producing region and the principal component could be obtained intuitively from the principal component score plots. The arecas in Wanning and Wenchang were larger and their cellulose content was greater than in other areas, indicating that they were more suitable for processing. In contrast, the arecas in Baoting, Wuzhishan, Danzhou, Tunchang, and Dongfang had a greater arecoline content than the other areas, making them more suitable for use as medicinal materials. Hierarchical cluster analysis classified the 11 producing regions into five categories based on the measured parameters, which was consistent with the results of the PCA score plots. These results could provide information to improve the use of areca in China.

Open Access

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) is an important vegetable crop rich in vitamins and sulforaphane. However, the floral heads of broccoli experience rapid postharvest senescence. Here we found that hydrogen sulfide (H2S) treatment alleviated dark-promoted senescence in broccoli florets. H2S delayed the symptoms of senescence and maintained higher levels of chlorophyll and Rubisco and lower protease activity compared with water control. Gene expression analysis showed that H2S down-regulated the expression of chlorophyll degradation-related genes BoSGR, BoNYC, BoCLH1, BoPPH, and BoRCCR. Expression of lipoxygenase gene BoLOX1 and the genes involved in the ethylene synthesis pathway, BoACS2 and BoACS3, were also down-regulated by H2S. The reduced expression level in cysteine protease gene BoCP3 and aspartic protease gene BoLSC807 suggested the role of H2S in alleviating protein degradation during broccoli senescence. H2S up-regulated the expression of sulfur metabolism genes BoSR and BoOASTL, and the antioxidant gene BoCAT. These results show that H2S plays a vital role in alleviating broccoli senescence through a broad regulation on gene expression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism genes, ethylene synthesis genes, and protease genes.

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