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Hai-nan Liu, Jian-rong Feng, Xiao-fang Liu, Wen-hui Li, Wen-juan Lv and Ming Luo

Three kinds of expression vectors of a pollen-S determinant were constructed to provide a reference for molecular breeding of self-compatible (SC) Prunus species. An S-haplotype-specific F-box (SFB) protein gene from the ‘Xiaobaixing’ apricot (Prunus armeniaca) was cloned by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and 3′-rapid-amplification of cDNA ends (3′-RACE). A 1136-bp sequence complementary to the 3′-end of the cDNA (GenBank accession number KP938528.2) with a 912-bp complete open reading frame (ORF) was obtained. The deduced amino acid sequence contained an F-box domain, two variable regions, and two hypervariable regions with structural characteristics similar to SFB in other Rosaceae plants. Sense, antisense, and RNA interference (RNAi) vectors for SFB were constructed by enzyme restriction. The target fragment was restricted using the corresponding restriction enzyme and then directionally inserted between the 35S cauliflower mosaic virus promoter and the nopaline synthase terminator (NOS-ter) of the expression vector pCAMBIA-35S-MCS-NOS-NPTII. The intron-containing hairpin RNA (ihpRNA) was obtained by fusion PCR. The constructed vectors were transferred into Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA4404 by freezing/thawing. The RNAi vector of SFB was also transformed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). The successful construction of these three expression vectors provides a basis for transforming ‘Xiaobaixing’ apricot and the breeding of SC Prunus cultivars.

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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.

Open access

Wen-hui Li, Jian-rong Feng, Shi-kui Zhang and Zhang-hu Tang

‘Korla’ fragrant pear (Pyrus sinkiangensis T.T. Yu) variety has shown severe coarse skin in recent years. The intrinsic quality of its coarse fruit shows an increase in the number of stone cells and poor taste. In this study, stone cells and the cell wall of coarse pear (CP) and normal pear (NP) during various development stages were compared using paraffin-sectioning and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the relationships between lignin-related genes and stone cell formation and cell wall thickening were also analyzed. Our results show that giant stone cells are formed and distributed in the core of pear, whereas many of these crack 60 days after flowering (DAF). The period of stone cell fragmentation occurs later in CP fruits than in NP fruits. Parenchyma cell wall development in CP and NP fruits varies from 120 DAF to maturity. The parenchyma cell wall of CP fruits thickens, whereas that of NP fruits is thinner during the same period. The expression pattern of five genes (Pp4CL1-l, PpHCT-l, Pp4CL2-l, PpPOD4, and PpPOD25) coincides with changes in stone cell content in the pulp. Correlation analysis demonstrates a significant correlation between stone cell content and the expression level of the five genes (ρ < 0.05). In addition, the expression of those five genes and PpCCR1 genes in CP fruits significantly increases during maturation and is highly correlated with the thickness of the parenchyma cell wall. The aim of this work is to provide insights into the mechanism of stone cell and parenchyma cell wall development in pear fruits and identify important candidate genes to regulate the quality of fruit texture using bioengineering methods.

Free access

Zhi-li Suo, Wen-ying Li, Juan Yao, Hui-jin Zhang, Zhi-ming Zhang and Di-xuan Zhao

Tree peony cultivars are usually classified according to flower characteristics (flower form and flower color) which are commonly affected by environmental influences and developmental levels. Judgment of flower forms may also depend on the observer. Precise and rapid cultivar identification methods are also required to manage cultivar collections as well as tree peony breeding programs. The objective of this paper is to analyze the discriminatory ability of leaf morphology and Intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) marker systems for tree peony cultivars. As a result, although there exist large variations of leaf morphology of tree peony cultivars, the morphological characteristics of biternately compound leaves 3, 4, and 5 from the base of a shoot at the middle part of a plant are relatively stable with smaller variations within cultivars (2.7% to 27.1%, 16.8% on average) and with larger differentiations among cultivars (72.9% to 97.3%, 83.2% on average). Statistical and principal components analyses indicate that 12 leaf morphological characteristics are valuable for cultivar classification. ISSR markers present a precisely discriminatory power in tree peony cultivar classification without environmental influences. The cultivars with multiple flower forms, which makes it difficult to make judgment by means of a flower-form-based classification system, have been significantly characterized using leaf morphology or ISSR markers.

Free access

Jian-rong Feng, Wan-peng Xi, Wen-hui Li, Hai-nan Liu, Xiao-fang Liu and Xiao-yan Lu

The characterization of aroma of the 14 main apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) cultivars in Xinjiang was evaluated using high-performance solid-phase microextraction (HP-SPME) with gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). A total of 208 volatiles that include 80 esters, 25 aldehydes, 15 terpenes, 21 ketones, 39 alcohols, 27 olefins, and 1 acid were identified from these cultivars. The compounds propyl acetate, 3-methyl-1-butanol acetate, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol acetate, d-limonene, β-linalool, hexanal, hexyl acetate, butyl acetate, β-myrcene, ethyl butanoate, and β-cis-ocimene were the major compounds responsible for aroma in these cultivars. GC-MS results showed that Kuchexiaobaixing, Guoxiyuluke, and seven other cultivars were characterized by a high level of esters and were considered to be fruity apricot aroma. ‘Luotuohuang’ and ‘Heiyexing’ accumulate high levels of terpenes and exhibited an outstanding floral aroma. Higher levels of alcohols and aldehydes were observed in ‘Danxing’, ‘Sumaiti’, and ‘Kumaiti’. The latter are considered green aroma cultivars. These three types of cultivars with different aroma characteristics can be significantly differentiated by using the principal component analysis (PCA) method. The contributions of volatiles to the apricot aroma were assessed by using the partial least squares regression (PLSR) model. Esters, terpenes, and C6 components were shown to be responsible for the fruity, floral, and green character of fresh apricots, respectively.

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.