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Tingting Zhao, Dawei Li, Lulu Li, Fei Han, Xiaoli Liu, Peng Zhang, Meiyan Chen, and Caihong Zhong

Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis Planchon) is an economically important fruit, and its flowering and production are affected by the chill accumulation in winter. In this study, the chilling requirements of nine kiwifruit cultivars with three ploidy levels (diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid) were analyzed by using the Dynamic Model, Utah Model, and chilling hours (CH) Model. The chilling requirements for vegetative budbreak of these kiwifruit cultivars were 24–55 chill portions (CP), 316–991 chill units (CU), and 222–853 CH, and the chilling requirements for floral emergence were 45–69 CP, 825–1336 CU, and 655–1138 CH. The chilling requirements for vegetative budbreak and floral emergence were significantly lower for diploid than hexaploid cultivars with tetraploid cultivars intermediate. Pearson correlation analysis indicated that ploidy levels were positively correlated with chilling requirement, with the cv of 0.74 and 0.82 for vegetative budbreak and floral emergence chilling requirements, respectively. In conclusion, these results provide some novel insights of kiwifruit varieties of various chilling requirements, which is beneficial for kiwifruit cultivar selection for different climates and environments.

Full access

Tingting Sun, Tingting Pei, Zhijun Zhang, Mingjun Li, Linlin Huang, Cuiying Li, Xueyan Shi, Minghui Zhan, Xiaoyu Cao, Fengwang Ma, and Changhai Liu

Osmotic adjustments play a fundamental role in plant responses to water deficit. For apple (Malus domestica) trees growing in the primary production areas of China, drought and low phosphorus (P) levels are the main sources of abiotic stress. Although tolerance to drought and low P are important breeding goals for cultivar improvement, there is little information on natural variation within Malus for these traits or the molecular mechanisms that may mediate tolerance. In this study, it was found that in plants grown under conditions of osmotic and low P stress, electrolyte leakage and photosynthetic parameters were significantly higher, but chlorophyll concentrations were lower compared with nonstressed plants. These physiological indicators revealed that, under low P condition, the order of osmotic stress resistance (high to low) was Malus sieversii (Ms) → Malus prunifolia (Mp) → Malus hupehensis (Mh). Expression of the phosphorus transporter genes PHT1;7, PHT1;12, and PHT2;1 in the roots and PHT1;12 and PHT4;5 in the leaves was positively correlated with plant osmotic resistance. It is proposed that the highly expressed PHT genes might improve P absorption and transport efficiency, resulting in the high osmotic stress resistance under low P level conditions in Malus species.

Free access

Jingkang Hu, Yingmei Gao, Tingting Zhao, Jingfu Li, Meini Yao, and Xiangyang Xu

Members of the zinc-finger homeodomain (ZF-HD) family play a key role in the control of plant growth and development, which are involved in plant responses to stress. Although many functional studies of this gene family have been performed in different plants, the features of this family in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) remain unknown. In this study, we identified 22 ZF-HD genes in the tomato genome and classified them into seven groups located on six chromosomes. Expression of 15 ZF-HD genes in tomato was studied in different tissues to identify their putative functions in many aspects of plant growth and development. Based on previous phylogenetic analyses in arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), our results showed that some tomato SL-ZH (S. lycopersicum zinc-finger homeodomain) genes cluster into the same neighbor-joining (NJ) branch as arabidopsis, indicating that these genes may share similar structures and functions in these plants. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that the tomato ZF-HD gene may be involved in abiotic stress responses, the SL-ZH13 gene in cold stress and the SL-ZH15 gene in drought stress; almost all tomato ZF-HD genes were responsive to salt stress, except for SL-ZH7, -ZH8, and -ZH22. However, the structures and functions of unknown groups require further research. In conclusion, this study identified tomato ZF-HD genes and analyzed their gene structures, subfamily distribution, and expression characteristics. These experiments combined with previous research findings reveal significant information and insight for future studies on the agronomic features and stress resistance in tomato.

Free access

Yingmei Gao, Jingkang Hu, Tingting Zhao, Xiangyang Xu, Jingbin Jiang, and Jingfu Li

BRI1-EMS-suppressor 1 (BES1) is a transcription factor (TF) that functions as a master regulator of brassinosteroid (BR)-regulated gene expression. Here, we provide a complete overview of Solanum lycopersicum BES1 (SLB) genes, including phylogeny, gene structure, protein motifs, chromosome locations and expression characteristics. Through bioinformatic analysis, we compared the sequences of SLB genes, arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genes, and chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis) genes. All of the gene sequences were divided into three groups by cluster analysis. SLB genes were mapped to the eight tomato (S. lycopersicum) chromosomes. Bioinformatic analysis showed that SLB genes shares similarities with the proteins from other plants, though different species exhibit specific features. The expression patterns of SLB genes in various tissues and under different abiotic conditions were analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. SLB genes were found to be induced by multiple stresses, particularly salt stress, indicating that SLB genes may have important roles in the response to unfavorable environmental changes. This study provides insight into the evolution of SLB genes and may aid in the further functional identification of BES1 proteins and the response of tomato plants to different stresses.

Open access

Ying Wang, Tingting Xue, Xing Han, Lingxiao Guan, Liang Zhang, Hua Wang, and Hua Li

Kaolin particle film (KPF) is an aqueous formulation of chemically inert mineral particles that can be sprayed on the surface of crops to form a protective film, resulting in increased fruit yield and quality. In this work, the effects of kaolin-based, foliar reflectant particle film on grape composition and volatile compounds in ‘Meili’ (Vitis vinifera L.) grapes were investigated under different growth stages over two growing seasons. The 100-berry weight and titratable acid content were decreased, and the sugar and soluble solid contents were increased in grapes of plants treated with kaolin over 2 years. Compared with grapes from plants not sprayed with kaolin, the levels of total phenol, flavonoid, flavanol, tannin, and anthocyanins of grapes from plants treated with kaolin for 2 years were mostly increased. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis also revealed an increased content of monomeric anthocyanin and changed anthocyanin composition. However, there was little effect on the volatile compounds in the grapes. These results demonstrate that KPF can facilitate the accumulation of sugar and phenolics, thereby improving grape quality even in a humid climate.

Open access

Hui He, Tingting Li, Fan Zhou, Qianjun Yang, Luyun Hu, and Yanwei Yu

Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPSs) are common adverse reactions to antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of edible horticultural therapy (EHT) on EPSs in schizophrenic patients. This study assessed the changes in psychopathological symptoms and extrapyramidal symptoms in patients with schizophrenia before and after participating in a six-session EHT. Forty schizophrenic patients, recruited from Wuhan Wudong Hospital, were randomly assigned to the EHT group (average age: 45.40 ± 13.960 years) or the control group (average age: 49.30 ± 12.516 years). The EHT program held weekly sessions from May 2020 to June 2020. A psychiatrist assessed the psychopathological symptoms and extrapyramidal symptoms of schizophrenic patients in both groups with the Chinese version of the Positive and Negative Syndromes Scale (PANSS) and the Rating Scale for Extrapyramidal Side Effects (RSESE). After six courses of horticultural therapy, the terms of positive, negative, and general symptoms on the PANSS significantly improved in the EHT group. Moreover, the EPSs were also significantly improved in the EHT group. However, there was no change in the PANSS and RSESE scores in the control group. This study shows that EHT has the potential to improve not only psychopathological symptoms but also EPSs in psychiatric patients. This adds new evidence for EHT as an adjunct to treatment for schizophrenia.

Open access

Yingli Ma, Tingting Yuan, Tao Wang, Jiaxin Li, Zhongqiu Xu, Siqian Luo, and Yinfeng Xie

In the actual cultivation process, blind fertilizer application was widespread, resulting in a serious decline in the yield of Pseudostellaria heterophylla. We used the 3414 fertilizer experiment design to study the effects of combined Boron (B), Molybdenum (Mo), and Copper (Cu) on the growth indexes, diurnal changes of photosynthesis, and rapid fluorescence induction dynamics in P. heterophylla. Our results show that the optimal combination of B, Mo, and Cu simultaneously promoted the growth of underground and aboveground parts, and significantly improved the quality of single root tuber and yield per unit area. The best combination was treatment 9 (T9 = B, 1 g/L; Mo, 0.08 g/L; Cu, 0.05 g/L), and resulted in a 35.1% increase in yield per unit area compared with the control group (T1). Although the optimal combined application of microfertilizers did not change the bimodal trend of diurnal variation of photosynthesis, it effectively increased the daily average, peak, and valley values of the photosynthetic rate by alleviating the nonstomatal limitation and the photosynthetic midday depression. Pseudostellaria heterophylla leaves showed greater photochemical activity and less photoinhibition of photosystem II in T9. Major effects were that it helped protect the activity of the oxygen-evolving complex to reduce the oxidative damage of chloroplasts and prevent the dissociation of thylakoid. The microfertilizer application also enhanced the electron receiving ability of the QB and plastoquinone (PQ) electronic pools, thereby increasing the ability of electron transfer from QA to QB. The number of reaction centers per unit area was promoted notably by the fertilization treatment.

Free access

Li Huang, Wan-zhi Ye, Ting-ting Liu, and Jia-shu Cao

Cytological features of ‘Aijiaohuang’ chinese cabbage-pak-choi (Brassica campestris ssp. chinensis) Bcajh97-01A/B genic male-sterile AB line were examined to determine phenotypic reasons for male sterility. The sterile line Bcajh97-01A was found to undergo aberrant cytokinesis during male meiosis. Transcriptional profiling of the flower buds of both fertile and sterile plants was performed at the periods preceding meiosis, at the tetrad to uninucleate pollen period, and at the binucleate to mature pollen period. Transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) from corresponding genes that were expressed in flower buds at these three different stages could be divided into nine classes. We sequenced a total of 14 new TDFs that were differentially displayed at particular pollen developmental stages, including eight genes with unknown or hypothetical functions and six genes showing significant homology with known genes. This characterization of the Bcajh97-01A genic male-sterile line allowed the identification of candidate genes underlying genic male sterility.

Free access

Ji Tian, Zhen-yun Han, Li-ru Zhang, Ting-Ting Song, Jie Zhang, Jin-Yan Li, and Yuncong Yao

Anthocyanins are protective pigments that accumulate in plant organs such as fruits and leaves, and are nutritionally valuable components of the human diet. There is thus considerable interest in the factors that regulate synthesis. Malus crabapple leaves are rich sources of these compounds, and in this study we analyzed leaf coloration, anthocyanin levels, and the expression levels of anthocyanin biosynthetic and regulatory genes in three crabapple cultivars (Royalty, Prairifire, and Flame) following various temperature treatments. We found that low temperatures (LTs) promoted anthocyanin accumulation in ‘Royalty’ and ‘Prairifire’, leading to red leaves, but not in ‘Flame’, which accumulated abundant colorless flavonols and retained green colored leaves. Quantitative reverse transcript PCR (RT-PCR) analyses indicated that the expression of several anthocyanin biosynthetic genes was induced by LTs, as were members of the R2R3-MYB, basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) and WD40 transcription factor families that are thought to act in a complex. We propose that anthocyanin biosynthesis is differentially regulated in the three cultivars by LTs via the expression of members of this anthocyanin regulatory complex.

Free access

Ting-Ting Li, Zhi-Rong Li, Kang-Di Hu, Lan-Ying Hu, Xiao-Yan Chen, Yan-Hong Li, Ying Yang, Feng Yang, and Hua Zhang

Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) is a typical climacteric fruit, and its ripening is closely associated with ethylene. In this study, we present evidence that H2S alleviated ethylene-induced ripening and senescence of kiwifruit. Kiwifruit were fumigated with ethylene released from 0.4 g·L−1 ethephon solution or H2S with 1 mm sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) as the donor or in combination. Fumigation with ethylene was found to accelerate kiwifruit ripening and H2S treatment effectively alleviated ethylene-induced fruit softening in parallel with attenuated activity of polygalacturonase (PG) and amylase. Ethylene + H2S treatment also maintained higher levels of ascorbic acid, titratable acid, starch, soluble protein, and reducing sugar compared with ethylene group, whereas suppressed the increase in chlorophyll and carotenoid. Kiwifruit ripening and senescence under ethylene treatment was accompanied by elevation in reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, including H2O2 and superoxide anion and malondialdehyde (MDA), but combined treatment of ethylene plus H2S alleviated oxidative stress in fruit. Furthermore, the activities of antioxidative enzymes catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) were increased by ethylene + H2S treatment in comparison with ethylene alone, whereas the activities of lipoxygenase (LOX) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) were attenuated by H2S treatment. Further investigations showed that H2S repressed the expression of ethylene synthesis-related genes AdSAM, AdACS1, AdACS2, AdACO2, and AdACO3 and cysteine protease genes, such as AdCP1 and AdCP3. Taken together, our findings suggest that H2S alleviates kiwifruit ripening and senescence by antagonizing the effect of ethylene through reduction of oxidative stress and inhibition of ethylene synthesis pathway.