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Shiow Wang* and Wei Zheng

The effects of preharvest methyl jasmonate (MJ) application on fruit quality, flavonoid content and antioxidant capacity (ORAC) in black raspberry cv. Jewel (Rubus occidentalis L) were studied under field conditions. Raspberries treated with 0.1 mm methyl jasmonate had 20% higher soluble solids content, 20% higher total sugars, 16% higher fructose, 34% higher glucose and 30% lower titratable acids, 31% lower malic acid and 17% lower citric acid than untreated fruit. El-lagic acid, quercetin 3-glucoside, kaempferol 3-glucoside, kaempferol 3-glucuronide, cyanidin 3-glucoside and cyaniding 3-rutinoside were found in raspberry fruit extract. Cyanidin 3-rutinoside was the most dominant anthocyanin and was the major contributor to antioxidant activity in Jewel raspberries. MJ treatments significantly enhanced the content of anthocyanins by 92%, total phenolics by 53%, flavonoids by 98% and the antioxidant capacities by 74% in the fruit. The ORAC value was positively correlated with anthocyanins and total phenolics. In this study, the correlation coefficient for ORAC (y) vs anthocyanins (x) was 0.977 (y = 0.056x + 27.874), and that for ORAC (y) vs. total phenolics (x) was 0.988.

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Yan-Ling Zheng and Wei-Bang Sun

As a critically endangered tree in the Magnoliaceae family, huagaimu (Manglietiastrum sinicum) is represented by only 10 mature individuals in evergreen broadleaved montane forests of southeastern Yunnan Province, China. Our previous work revealed the existence of a seed dormancy period for this species. The current study was performed to evaluate the effects of plant growth regulators (PGRs) and moist chilling on breaking seed dormancy in this species. Germination of seeds pretreated for 24 h with gibberellic acid (GA3), α-naphthaleneacetic acid, 6-benzyladenine, and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid indicated that only GA3, at concentrations of 300 and 500 mg·L−1, can significantly break the seed dormancy of huagaimu after 50 days of incubation, with about 66% germination under 500 mg·L−1 GA3. Moist chilling at 4 °C for 3 weeks can also effectively break the seed dormancy of the species, with 56% of seeds treated in this way germinating after 30 days of incubation. The combined treatments of PGRs followed by moist chilling were also conducted. Based on germination results after 30 days of incubation, the seed germination of combined treatments was significantly higher than that of PGR treatments. However, the seeds treated only with moist chilling presented the highest germination percentage among all the treatments.

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Wei Zheng, Xiu-Qun Liu, and Longqing Chen

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Wei Zheng, Xiao-Dan Xu, and Long-Qing Chen

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Wei Zheng, Xiao-dan Xu, Kai-Ge Zhao, and Longqing Chen

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Hui-juan Zhou, Zheng-wen Ye, Ming-shen Su, Ji-hong Du, and Xiong-wei Li

Heat treatment induces resistance to low temperature in horticultural crops. Changes in soluble protein and heat-stable protein (HSP) contents, the total soluble solids (TSS), titratable acidity (TA), reducing sugar, weight loss and firmness of honey peach (cv. Hujingmilu) during heat treatment and refrigerated storage were investigated. Low-temperature storage alone led to decreasing of TA and reducing sugar and caused severe fresh mealiness. The hot-air treatment before low temperature combined with the use of a plastic bag (thickness of 0.03 mm) could counteract this effect. Heat treatment before refrigerated storage increased both soluble protein and HSP contents, and the ratio of heat-stable to soluble protein. The most favorable effect was obtained with 46 °C for 30 minutes. In addition, heat treatment before storage retarded the increase in fruit firmness, maintained the highest contents of the TSS and reducing sugar and inhibited the decline of TA during refrigerated storage. Treatment for 30 minutes at 46 °C before low-temperature storage in combination with a 0.03-mm plastic bag might be a useful technique to alleviate chilling injury (CI) and maintain honey peach fruit quality during cold storage.

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Haiyan Zhao, Haiying Liang, Yibing Chu, Congcong Sun, Ning Wei, Mengnan Yang, and Caixia Zheng

Ginkgo biloba L. (ginkgo) is generally regarded as a tolerant species to environmental stresses. However, its tolerance mechanisms are not well understood, particularly for salt stress. To evaluate the species’ physiological responses to salt stress, 3-year-old ginkgo seedlings were exposed to a range of salinity levels (0% to 1.0% NaCl). A significant reduction in maximum (F v/F m) and actual (ΦPSII) quantum yields of photosystem II (PSII) photochemistry and the nonphotochemical quenching (qN) coefficient only occurred in late treatment stages at the salinity levels of 0.6% to 1.0%. As salt concentration increased, the response time and chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence indices decreased. Overall, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD); contents of catalase (CAT), reduced glutathione (GSH), and flavonoids; and scavenging rate of free radicals enhanced under salinity stress. These data indicate that ginkgo seedlings are tolerant to low salt stress, and enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidant systems seem to work synergistically to reduce lipid oxidation under NaCl stress because malondialdehyde (MDA) content did not increase. Correlation and principal component analyses determined that water potential, Chl fluorescence parameters, activities of POD and SOD, contents of CAT and flavonoids, and hydroxyl (•OH) and diphenyl picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging capability were sensitive to salt stress. These parameters can be used for in vitro or rapid and nondestructive monitoring of the responses of ginkgo seedlings to salinity stress. It is of significance to understand the tolerance mechanisms of ginkgo to salt stress, reduce the harm of NaCl and other snow-melting agents to ginkgo as shade trees, and develop new salt-tolerant varieties.

Open access

Hui-juan Zhou, Xia-nan Zhang, Ming-shen Su, Ji-hong Du, Xiong-wei Li, and Zheng-wen Ye

To investigate the influence of ultraviolet-C (UVC) radiation pretreatment on the sugar metabolism of yellow peaches (cv. Beinong2 × 60–24–7) during storage, the concentrations of soluble sugar (sucrose, fructose, glucose, and sorbitol), and related gene expression were determined. During UVC pretreatment, peaches were subjected to a dose of 4 kJ·m−2 when they were placed at 15 cm under a UVC lamp tube for 10 minutes at 25 °C. Then, they remained at 15 ± 2 °C for 10 days. Peaches stored at 15 ± 2 °C immediately after picking were used as the control group (CG). UVC pretreatment reduced the ethylene production rate and resulted in a significant increase in the accumulation of sucrose during days 2 to 8 of the storage period, followed by a lower concentration of fructose and glucose and the upregulation of PpaSS1. The expression levels of PpaSPS2, PpaSS1, and PpaST3 were significantly correlated with fructose concentration, and those of PpaSPS2 and PpaST2 were significantly correlated with glucose concentration. The enzyme activity of sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) was positively correlated with PpaSPS2, PpaSS2, and PpaST2. The enzyme activities of sucrose synthase (SS), acid invertase (AI), and neutral invertase (NI) were positively correlated with PpaSS1, PpaST1, and Ppani, respectively. Expressions of PpSPS1 and PpSPS2 in UVC-pretreated peaches were upregulated on storage days 8 and 2, and there was a UVC-induced peak in SPS activity on storage days 4 and 8, which resulted in the rapid accumulation of sucrose. UVC pretreatment could upregulate the gene expression of PpaSS1 on day 2, which could improve and maintain the quality of peaches for consumption.