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Xiaoying Li, Hongxia Xu, Jianjun Feng and Junwei Chen

Deep transcriptome sequencing allows for the acquisition of large-scale microsatellite information, and it is especially useful for genetic diversity analysis and mapping in plants without reference genome sequences. In this study, a total of 14,004 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were mined from 10,511 unigenes screening of 63,608 nonredundant transcriptome unigenes in loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) with a frequency of 22 SSR loci distributed over 100 unigenes. Dinucleotide and trinucleotide repeat SSRs were dominant, accounting for 20.62%, and 42.1% of the total, respectively. Seventy primer pairs were designed from partial SSRs and used for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. Of these primer pairs, 54 exhibited amplification and 33 were polymorphic. The number of alleles at these loci ranged from two to 17, and the polymorphism information content values ranged from 0.24 to 0.89. We tested the transferability of 33 SSR polymorphic primer pairs in apple and pear, and the transferability rates in these two species were 90.9% and 87.9%, respectively. A high level of marker polymorphism was observed in apple [Malus ×domestica (66.7%)], whereas a low level was observed in pear [Pyrus sp. (51.5%)]. In addition, the PCR products from seven SSR primer pairs were selected for sequence analysis, and 89.2% of the fragments were found to contain SSRs. SSR motifs were conserved among loquat, apple, and pear. According to our sequencing results for real SSR loci, ≈12,490 SSR loci were present in these loquat unigenes. The cluster dendrogram showed a distinct separation into different groups for these three species, indicating that these SSR markers were useful in the evaluation of genetic relationships and diversity between and within the species of Maloideae in the Rosaceae. The results of our identified SSRs should be useful for genetic linkage map construction, quantitative trait locus mapping, and molecular marker-assisted breeding of loquat and related species.

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Ruining Li, Wenwen Huang, Xiaoxiao Wang, Xiaoying Liu and Zhigang Xu

The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of yellow light (Y), green light (G), and two blue lights (B) at different wavelengths in conjunction with red light (R) on the growth and morphogenesis of potato plantlets in vitro. Randomized nodal explants were cut into 1.0–1.5 cm pieces and were grown under five different light conditions: fluorescent white light (FL); the combined spectra of R, Y, and B at 445 nm (R630B445Y); the combined spectra of R, G, and B at 445 nm (R630B445G); the combined spectra of R, Y, and B at 465 nm (R630B465Y); and the combined spectra of R, G, and B at 465 nm (R630B465G). Morphogenesis and physiological parameters were investigated. The results showed that R630B445Y and R630B465Y increased the fresh weight (FW), dry weight (DW), stem diameter, blade number, leaf area, specific leaf weight (SLW), and the health index of potato plantlets in vitro; root activity increased significantly; and soluble sugar, soluble protein, and starch also increased. The addition of Y to the combined spectra of R and B contributed to the growth, development, and morphogenesis more than the combined spectra of R and B with G, and B at 445 nm was more effective at promoting plant growth than was B at 465 nm.

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Ruining Li, Jiahuan Long, Yongzhe Yan, Jiaming Luo, Zhigang Xu and Xiaoying Liu

Monochromatic light and wide-band white light both affect plant growth and development. However, the different effects between monochromatic light and addition white light to monochromatic light on the formation, growth, and dormancy of microtubers have not been fully explored. Therefore, we evaluated these effects using in vitro potatoes grown under pure blue and red lights and a combination of blue light and red light supplemented with white light, respectively. Current results suggested that light spectra influenced microtuber formation, growth, and dormancy by regulating potato plantlet morphogenesis, affecting the synthesis and transportation of photosynthetic metabolites, and altering the accumulation and distribution of biomass in various plant tissues. Monochromatic lights and the combined spectra had differing effects. For instance, monochromatic red light induced the growth of more microtubers, whereas addition white light to red light decreased number but increased weight of microtubers. Meanwhile, monochromatic blue light facilitated tuber growth, whereas addition white light to blue light decreased microtubers weight but increased microtuber number. In addition, composite lights of addition white light to monochromatic red and blue lights both extended the dormancy period, and monochromatic blue light shortened the dormancy period of microtubers >300 mg. Therefore, in microtuber agricultural production, specific light conditions may be applied at different growth stages of in vitro potatoes to increase the number of effective microtubers (>50 mg) and to satisfy storing requirement of seed microtubers.

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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.