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Zhigang Ouyang, Huihui Duan, Lanfang Mi, Wei Hu, Jianmei Chen, Xingtao Li and Balian Zhong

In eukaryotic systems, messenger RNA regulations, including splicing, 3′-end formation, editing, localization, and translation, are achieved by different RNA-binding proteins and noncoding RNAs. The YTH domain is a newly identified RNA-binding domain that was identified by comparing its sequence with that of splicing factor YT521-B. Previous study showed that the YTH gene plays an important role in plant resistance to abiotic and biotic stress. In this study, 211 YTH genes were identified in 26 species that represent four major plant lineages. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these genes could be divided into eight subgroups. All of the YTH genes contain a YT521 domain and have different structures. Ten YTH genes were identified in navel orange (Citrus sinensis). The expression profiles of these CitYTH genes were analyzed in different tissues and at different fruit developmental stages, and CitYTH genes displayed distinct expression patterns under heat, cold, salt, and drought stress. Furthermore, expression of the CitYTH genes in response to exogenous hormones was measured. Nuclear localization was also confirmed for five of the proteins encoded by these genes after transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana cells. This study provides valuable information on the role of CitYTHs in the signaling pathways involved in environmental stress responses in Citrus.

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I-Ling Lai, Chih-Wan Lin, Tsai-Yu Chen and Wei-Hsin Hu

Begonia montaniformis × Begonia ningmingensis var. bella hybrids have high ornamental potential. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine the optimal conditions for the micropropagation of a Begonia montaniformis × Begonia ningmingensis var. bella F1 progeny by using various concentrations of plant growth regulators (PGRs) and varying light spectra in half-strength Murashige and Skoog (1/2 MS) medium. The results showed that the explant regeneration was optimal when the lamina was incubated in a medium supplemented with 2.0 μM N6-benzylaminopurine and 0.8 μM α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). Under such conditions, 98% of the explants regenerated adventitious shoots after 8 weeks, and 41 buds were produced per explant on average. The mean shoot length was 9.6 mm, and on average, 4.5 shoots per explant were more than 2 mm long. Subsequently, the induced adventitious shoots were transferred into rooting medium consisting of 1/2 MS and various NAA concentrations. After 4 weeks, the shoots subcultured in this medium showed ≈93% root induction and an average of 3.5 adventitious roots per explant. Furthermore, the applied light spectrum significantly influenced shoot regeneration, and optimal results were achieved under an equal distribution of blue, red, and infrared light. The histological sections of shoots regenerated from direct organogenesis were observed through scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Afterward, the rooting adventitious shoots were subcultured in PGR-free medium for 8 weeks. The seedlings were successfully acclimated 4 weeks after being transferred to soil and bloomed after 11 months in a greenhouse. Thus, the PGR composition in micropropagation efficiently shortened the time to blooming from 25 to 16 months.

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Gong-Jun Shi*, Xi-Lin Hou, Wei Hu and Zhong-Chun Jiang

It studies the changes of endogenous hormones and polyamines in cytoplasmic male sterile non-heading Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis Makino var. communis Tsen et Lee). Results showed that the microspore was prone to being sterile when there were lack of IAA, GA and polyamines, especially Put and abundant with ZRs and ABA in the anther. The imbalance of IAA/ZRs also easily caused the anther sterile.

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Zhiyong Hu, Min Zhang, Qigen Wen, Jie Wei, Hualin Yi, Xiuxin Deng and Xianghua Xu

Seedlessness is of commercial importance in citrus (Citrus L.). Seedless ‘Ougan’ mandarin (C. suavissima) was selected from a bud sport mutation that occurred in ‘Ougan’ mandarin. We analyzed their pollen viability through KI-I2 and FDA staining, and examined the anthers of wild-type (seedy) and seedless mutant ‘Ougan’ mandarin using histological and cytochemical methods to characterize the process of pollen development. No pollen fertility was detected in this mutant. Pollen abortion in anthers of the mutant occurred at the tetrad stage of microspore development, and almost all the tetrads were abnormal. The mutant had heterogeneous microspore populations, including monads, dyads, triads, tetrads, and polyads in the same microsporangium. Pollen grain number per anther of the mutant was 21.9% less than the wild type. Morphology of mature pollen grains using SEM showed that the shape of mature pollen grains from both wild type and mutant is similar, but the microsporangia of the latter contained pollen grains of more variable sizes. At the early mature pollen grain stage, abundant starch grains and lipids appeared in the wild type's pollen, but fewer amounts were observed in the mutant. Moreover, the tapetal cells of the wild type accumulated lipids, but not those of the mutant. Results indicated that the abnormal development of the microspore led to pollen abortion in the mutant, and this could be the reason for its seedlessness. However, the genetic reasons for the aberrant tetrads are not clear and are under investigation.

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Wei Hu, Ju-Hua Liu, Xiao-Ying Yang, Jian-Bin Zhang, Cai-Hong Jia, Mei-Ying Li, Bi-Yu Xu and Zhi-Qiang Jin

The banana, a typical climacteric fruit, undergoes a postharvest ripening process followed by a burst in ethylene production that signals the beginning of the climacteric period. Postharvest ripening plays an important role in improving the quality of the fruit as well as limiting its shelf life. To investigate the role of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) in climacteric ethylene biosynthesis and fruit ripening in postharvest banana, a GAD gene was isolated from banana, designated MuGAD. Coincidently with climacteric ethylene production, MuGAD expression as well as the expression of the genes encoding the Musa 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase (MaACS1) and Musa 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase (MaACO1) greatly increased during natural ripening and in ethylene-treated banana. Moreover, ethylene biosynthesis, ripening progress, and MuGAD, MaACS1, and MaACO1 expression were enhanced by exogenous ethylene application and inhibited by 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). Taken together, our results suggested that MuGAD is involved in the fruit ripening process in postharvest banana.