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  • Author or Editor: Shuang Liu x
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The role of the walnut (Juglans regia L.) shell in nut development, transportation, cleaning, and storage is often ignored. The shell suture seal and thickness are directly associated with kernel characteristics. In the present study, shell differentiation and microstructure were observed with an optical microscope using paraffin-sectioning and cryosectioning. The results showed that the parenchymal cells of the endocarp began to differentiate into sclerenchymal cells from 49 d after flowering (DAF), and the entire process continued until fruit maturation. The mature shell consists of three parts, including the sclereid layer (L1), sclerenchymal cell layer (L2), and shrunken cell layer (L3), from the outside to the inside. The shell thickness, suture seal grade, and mechanical strength were evaluated, as well as the lignin, cellulose, and phenolic compounds of the shell. Suture seal grade was positively correlated with lignin content, shell thickness, and L1 thickness and negatively correlated with shell cell diameter. Similarly, the mechanical strength of the shell was positively correlated with lignin content and L1 thickness. ‘Qingxing’ fruits were subjected to two treatments, namely, 30% shading and 70% shading, from 10 d after anthesis to maturity, with no shading used as control. After harvesting in September, nutshell sections showed thinner shells, with decreased contents of lignin and polyphenols, obtained under shaded conditions, and two of the three parts of the shell changed dramatically. The thinning of L1 and thickening of L3 eventually led to a thinner shell. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship among the shell structure, cellular components, and physical properties and provide a theoretical basis for cultivar breeding, rational planting density, and regulation of shell development.

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The regeneration frequency of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is greatly influenced by its genetic makeup and recalcitrant nature. Phenolic secretion, in particular, is a major problem in okra tissue culture. This study describes a reproducible, rapid, and more efficient in vitro regeneration method using cotyledonary node explants of okra. Explants were incubated on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing different concentrations and combinations of various plant growth regulators (PGRs) [benzyladenine (BA), thidiazuron (TDZ), and α-naphthylacetic acid (NAA)], and regeneration enhancers [silver nitrate (AgNO3) and Pluronic F-68]. Cut ends of cotyledonary node segments rapidly turned brown and cultures failed to establish. Antibrowning additives, such as activated charcoal (AC), ascorbic acid (AA), and AgNO3 at various concentrations in PGR-free MS basal medium were tested for their ability to control phenolic secretion from explants. Among these additives, 15 mg·L−1 AA was found to be optimal for controlling phenolic secretion, resulting in healthy explants and culture establishment. The highest number of shoots (a mean of 9.3 ± 0.9 shoots per cotyledonary node explant) was obtained on MS media containing 0.5 mg·L−1 NAA + 1 mg·L−1 TDZ + 0.1% Pluronic F-68. Individual shoots were elongated on MS medium + 1 mg·L−1 BA + 0.1 mg·L−1 gibberellic acid (GA3) (shoot length 5.3 ± 0.2 cm) and rooted on ½ MS medium + 1 mg·L−1 indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and 200 mg·L−1 AC (5.3 ± 0.2 roots per shoot). Rooted plantlets were acclimatized in plastic pots inside a plant growth chamber at 25 ± 2 °C and 70% relative humidity, with an 80% survival rate. This optimized protocol can be used for producing transgenic plants of commercial okra cultivars through genetic transformation.

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