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  • Author or Editor: Wei Zhang x
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Nutrient-depleted soil is a major constraint for crop production, particularly for fruits. Here, we investigated the different response of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) deficiency on the growth and development of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) in sand culture under greenhouse conditions. Compared with K, the lack of N or P is more unfavorable to strawberry growth and development. N deficiency affected shoot-root (S/R) ratio at different growth stages, and decreased the shoot biomass. P deficiency greatly increased the N content but decreased K content of the plants, which means P is of advantage to regulate the absorption and utilization of N and K nutrients in plants. Meanwhile, P has a profound influence on fruit quality, such as total soluble (TSS) sugar content. K deficiency is not conducive to fruit coloring and the formation of high-quality commercial fruits. The results contribute to a better understanding of the difference of N, P, or K deficiency on strawberry growth, nutrient absorption, and fruit quality during the whole growth period.

Open Access

Potassium deficiency is a major problem limiting tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) growth, and grafting has the potential to alleviate it. To compare the photosynthetic performance of grafted tobacco under different potassium levels, tobacco Yunyan 87 (main cultivar) and Wufeng No. 2 (potassium high-efficiency cultivar) were selected to conduct mutual grafting trials in the form of hydroculture with two potassium supply levels (5 mmol·L−1 K and 0.5 mmol·L−1 K). The plant growth, gas exchange parameters, chlorophyll a fluorescence, and the initial ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase (RuBisCO) activity were measured. The results showed that potassium deficiency could significantly decrease the net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance (g S), and transpiration rate in the tobacco leaves, resulting in nonstomatal restriction. Grafting could effectively alleviate this problem. The actual quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII) photochemicals in ‘Yunyan 87’ increased 29.4% and 20.3% by grafting, respectively, under normal and low potassium levels. Compared with nongrafted ‘Yunyan 87’, grafting also effectively improved the electron transfer efficiency of PSII in the tobacco leaves under low potassium stress by reducing nonradiation energy dissipation and enhancing the initial activity of RuBisCO. From this study, it can be known that grafted tobacco plants can improve their photosynthesis by alleviating the nonstomata restriction of leaves under potassium stress and improving the electron transfer efficiency of PSII.

Open Access

Paeonia ostii is recognized as an important oilseed tree peony species with potential as a raw material source for cosmetic and health care products, strong seed setting capacity, high seed oil yield, and abundant omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. P. ostii, commonly called Fengdan, is widely cultivated in China. The cultivation method difference has an important influence on the oil-use feature, which is a key index for evaluating the quality of oilseed crops. This study aimed to select an optimal cultivation method to provide the first reference data for high-yield and high-quality seed oil harvesting and to facilitate the understanding of the quality difference in the formation mechanism of seed oil in cultivated P. ostii. This study selected five representative cultivation methods, open field cultivation, sunny slope cultivation, shady slope cultivation, understory intercropping cultivation, and high-altitude cultivation, and investigated the influence of cultivation method differences on the oil-use feature based on the three aspects of seed yield traits, oil yield, and fatty acid compositions. Six seed yield traits (fruit pod length, fruit pod width, fruit pod thickness, number of fruit pods per plant, 1000-grain weight, and seed yield per plant) and oil yield reached the maximum values of 7.75 cm, 6.99 cm, 1.57 cm, 11.33, 290.45 g, 85.8 g, and 30.41%, respectively, using the understory intercropping cultivation method. Fatty acid compositions were mainly identified as α-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid, with significant content differences among different cultivation methods (P < 0.05). Functional component α-linolenic acid and total amounts of unsaturated fatty acids reached the maximum values of 46.85% and 65.23%, respectively, with high-altitude cultivation and understory intercropping cultivation. The seed yield traits, oil yield, and total amounts of unsaturated fatty acids were optimal with the understory intercropping cultivation method, whereas high-altitude cultivation was conducive to the accumulation of α-linolenic acid. Understory intercropping cultivation with appropriate altitude increases is recommended as a preponderant cultivation method for high-yield and high-quality seed oil harvesting for this crop.

Open Access

This study aimed to understand the effects of meteorological factors on the ‘Fuji’ apple quality in the Circum-Bohai and Loess Plateau apple production regions of China and to guide apple production based on local climate. Fruit samples of the ‘Fuji’ apple and meteorological data were investigated from 132 commercial ‘Fuji’ apple orchards covering 44 counties in the two aforementioned production regions (22 counties per region). The partial least-squares regression (PLSR) method was first used to screen major meteorological factors that greatly affected fruit quality; these were subsequently used to establish the regression equation of fruit quality attributes and major meteorological factors. Linear programming was used to estimate optimum meteorological factors for good apple quality. The results showed that in the Circum-Bohai production region, many meteorological factors (total annual precipitation, total precipitation from April to October, lowest temperature from April to October, sunshine percentage from April to October) were significantly higher than those in the Loess Plateau production region; however, the temperature difference between day and night from April to October was significantly smaller than that in the Loess Plateau production region. The soluble solids content and skin color area of apples from the Loess Plateau production region were significantly greater than those from the Circum-Bohai production region. The same fruit quality factor of ‘Fuji’ apple was affected by different meteorological factors in the two production regions. The monthly mean temperature and monthly highest temperature from April to October of the Circum-Bohai production region had relatively larger positive effect weights on fruit quality, whereas the total annual precipitation, monthly mean relative humidity from April to October, and total precipitation from April to October of the Loess Plateau production region had relatively larger positive effect weights on fruit quality. The major influencing meteorological factors of the fruit soluble solids content were total precipitation from April to October (X 7), mean annual temperature (X 1), and the monthly highest temperature from April to October (X 5) in the Circum-Bohai production region; however, it included the monthly mean temperature difference between day and night from April to October (X 6), total annual precipitation (X 2), and total precipitation from April to October (X 7) in the Loess Plateau production region. In the Circum-Bohai production region, the optimum meteorological factors for ‘Fuji’ fruit quality of vigorous apple orchards were the mean annual temperature (13.4 °C), total annual precipitation (981 mm), monthly mean temperature (16.8 to 22.4 °C), lowest temperature (11.9 °C), highest temperature (19.5 to 26.8 °C), temperature difference between day and night (12.3 °C), total precipitation (336–793 mm), relative humidity (55.7% to 70.7%), and sunshine percentage (42.3% to 46.1%) during the growing period (April–October). In the Loess Plateau production region, the optimum meteorological factors for ‘Fuji’ fruit quality of vigorous apple orchards were the mean annual temperature (5.5 to 11.6 °C), total annual precipitation (714 mm), monthly mean temperature (13.3 to 19.9 °C), lowest temperature (7.9 to 9.3 °C), highest temperature (19.6 to 27.3 °C), temperature difference between day and night (7.1 to 12.4 °C), total precipitation (338–511 mm), relative humidity (56.1% to 82.4%), and sunshine percentage (37.3% to 55.9%) during the growing period (April–October). The restrictive factors for high-quality ‘Fuji’ apples of the Circum-Bohai production region were the smaller monthly mean temperature difference between day and night, higher monthly mean lowest temperature, and larger monthly mean relative humidity during the growing period; however, those of the Loess Plateau production region were drought or less precipitation from November to March, lower monthly mean temperature, and higher monthly mean highest temperature during the growing period.

Open Access

A cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) system is one of the most efficient ways to produce F1 hybrid seeds in pepper (Capsicum annuum). Restorer-of-fertility (Rf) genes are a critical component within the CMS/Rf system. The inheritance of Rf genes in pepper by joint segregation analysis was examined. The inheritance of Rf genes in the two progenies was controlled by two major additive-dominant epistatic genes and additive-dominant epistasis polygene. The two major genes had high additive effects and dominant effects. In addition, there existed significant epistatic effects between the two major genes. The major genes had high heritability in F2, BC1, and BC2 generations. Also, the fertility restorer characteristic can be selected during early generations of the breeding cycle.

Open Access

The marginal soil temperature on the south side of a greenhouse remains at low temperatures in winter for long periods, which affects crop growth and land-use efficiency, it is of great significance to grasp the influencing factors of soil temperature change to improve the marginal soil temperature on the south side of the greenhouse. This study was conducted in at typical greenhouse in the cold and arid area of northern China and used the Grey Relational Analysis (GRA) method, the relational degree between the marginal soil temperature on the south side of the greenhouse and environmental factors under different lining structures was analyzed, and established the soil temperature transfer function. The results show that soil temperature had the greatest correlation with the soil humidity and air humidity inside and outside the greenhouse, and the second greatest correlation was the relation with the air temperature inside and outside the greenhouse and the outdoor soil temperature; the lining structure could effectively reduce the relation between soil temperature and humidity inside and outside the greenhouse. Polystyrene extruded board (PEB) had a greater degree of relational reduction than other lining materials in the test. Through verification analysis, the mean absolute error of soil temperature of 5 cm was less than 0.85 °C, the average absolute error of soil temperature at 15 cm was less than 0.57 °C, and the average absolute error of soil temperature at 25 and 55 cm was less than 0.2 °C. In conclusion, the constructed soil temperature transfer function could be used to predict the variation trend of soil temperature, and the PEB material lining structure had good thermal insulation.

Open Access

Maintaining and caring for residential landscapes is a crucial aspect of homeownership in the United States. For homeowners in the United States, residential lawns represent a significant economic investment, signal their social commitments, and reflect their personal characters. To investigate the differences in Florida homeowners’ priorities regarding residential landscape features, an online survey of 1220 homeowners was conducted. Four different groups of homeowners were identified based on their perceived importance of the four landscape features, namely, environmental, financial, aesthetic, and psychological benefits. Factors such as environmental and financial attitudes and social norms influencing homeowners’ decision-making were examined. The findings revealed that homeowners’ knowledge of landscaping practices and environmental attitudes impact their prioritization regarding landscape features.

Open Access

6-Benzyladenine (6-BA) is a safe and efficient cytokinin. The adult tea plants of the cv. Longjing 43 were used in this study. The foliar portion of tea bushes were sprayed with different concentrations (50, 100, 200, or 400 mg·L−1) of 6-BA after heavy pruning, when three to four leaves grew out in late May. The effects of 6-BA application on the growth of the new shoots and lateral branches were quantified. After 5 months, treatments with 50, 100, 200, or 400 mg·L−1 6-BA suppressed plant height by 11.0%, 18.0%, 21.0%, or 22.0%, respectively; 6-BA at 100, 200, or 400 mg·L−1 decreased the number of lateral branches by 20.0%, 23.0%, or 18.0%, respectively. Meanwhile, treatments with 50, 200, or 400 mg·L−1 6-BA increased the length of lateral branches by 38.0%, 79.0%, or 81.0% respectively; 200 mg·L−1 6-BA increased the diameter of lateral branches by 8.0%. In addition, after 2 months, 50 or 200 mg·L−1 6-BA did not significantly affect the growth of functional leaves, 50, 100, or 200 mg·L−1 6-BA did not significantly affect photosynthetic rate (Pn) as compared with the control. Furthermore, 200 or 400 mg·L−1 6-BA significantly increased spring tea yield by 28.9% or 13.3%, respectively as compared with the control. In conclusion, 6-BA at the four concentrations promoted dwarfing and the formation of productive lateral branches and increased the spring yield, and 200 mg·L−1 6-BA exerted the best comprehensive effect.

Free access

The effects of CaCl2, GA3, and H2O2 priming on Isatis indigotica Fort. seed germination characteristics, seedling growth parameters, and antioxidant enzyme activities under salt stress were investigated. NaCl had an adverse effect on the germination and seedling performance of I. indigotica. However, these three priming agents alleviated salt stress by increasing the germination percentage, improving seed vigor, accelerating germination velocity, and establishing strong seedlings. The optimal concentrations were 15 g/L for CaCl2, 0.2 g/L for GA3, and 40 mm for H2O2. Seed priming treatments enhanced the activities of antioxidant enzymes in seedlings, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT), under a salt environment, which reduced the oxidative injury caused by salt. Seed priming is a promising technique that can enhance the ability of I. indigotica seed germination when salt is present.

Open Access