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  • Author or Editor: Xin Zhang x
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Four papaya (Carica papaya L.) lines that may have commercial value were surveyed for variability in ripening characteristics. Skin and flesh yellowing, fruit softening, respiration rate, and ethylene production were compared. Skin yellowing and flesh softening followed a similar sigmoid pattern for all lines. However, the temporal relationship between skin yellowing and flesh softening differed among the lines. Fruit from lines RL-1-3 and RL-1-12 did not begin to soften until the skin was 80% yellow, compared to 40% yellow for the commercial cultivars Kapoho and Sunrise. Fruit from RL-1-3 and RL-1-12 took 12 and 16 days, respectively, to reach 100% yellow from color break, which was two to three times as long as that of `Kapoho' and `Sunrise' at 22C. All lines showed typical climacteric respiration and ethylene patterns. The time between the start of skin yellowing and the rise in respiration varied from ≈2 days in `Kapoho' and `Sunrise' to ≈4 days in line RL-1-3 and 8 days in line RL-1-12. The respiratory peak was greatly reduced in RL-1-12. The patterns of softening in lines RL-1-3 and RL-1-12 differed from `Kapoho' and `Sunrise': RL-1-3 softened slowly, but reached similar firmness values to other lines 4 days after 100% yellow skin color; RL-1-12 had a much slower rate of softening and the fruit were still firm 4 days after the fruit reached 100% yellow. The ripening patterns of line RL-1-3 and RL-1-12 could be useful in postharvest handling and provide material for studying the genetic control of fruit softening.

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Waterlogging can occur in salt-affected turfgrass sites. The objective of this study was to characterize growth and carbohydrate, lipid peroxidation, and nutrient levels in the leaves and roots of two perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) cultivars (Catalina and Inspire) to short-term simultaneous waterlogging and salinity stress. Previous research showed that ‘Catalina’ was relatively more tolerant to salinity but less tolerant to submergence than ‘Inspire’. Both cultivars were subjected to 3 and 7 days of waterlogging (W), salinity [S (300 mm NaCl)], and a combination of the two stresses (WS). Across the two cultivars, W alone had little effect on the plants, while both S and WS alone significantly decreased plant height (HT), leaf fresh weight (LFW), leaf dry weight (LDW), root fresh weight (RFW), root dry weight (RDW), leaf nitrogen (LN) and carbon (LC), and leaf and root K+ (RK+), and increased leaf water-soluble carbohydrate (LWSC) and root water-soluble carbohydrate (RWSC), malondialdehyde (MDA), and Na+ content, compared with the control. A decline in chlorophyll content (Chl) was found only at 7 days of WS. Leaf phosphorus (LP) content either decreased or remained unchanged but root phosphorus content increased under S and WS. Reductions in LFW and LDW were found at 3 days of S and WS, whereas RFW and RDW were unaffected until 7 days of S or WS. Both cultivars responded similarly to W, S, and WS with a few exceptions on RDW, LWSC, leaf MDA (LMDA), and root MDA (RMDA). Although WS caused declines in Chl and resulted in higher leaf Na+ (LNa+) and root Na+ (RNa+) than S at 7 days of treatment, S and WS had similar effects on growth, carbohydrate, MDA, N, C, and phosphorus, and K+ content across the two cultivars. The results suggested that S alone largely accounted for the negative effects of WS on plant growth and physiology including alteration of carbohydrate and nutrient content as well as induction of lipid peroxidation.

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As one of the most important fruit tree crops, apple (Malus ×domestica), is faced with the serious impact of soil salinization. However, the underlying genetic and regulatory network remains elusive. Here, we adopted time-course RNA sequencing to decipher the genetic basis and regulatory module of apple in response to salt stress. Among a series of intense changes in genes at each time point, the critical genes in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway were highly consistent with the duration of the stress treatment. Moreover, Salt Overly Sensitive 1 (SOS1) genes were identified and predicted to play important roles in the response process. We constructed coexpression modules and explored modules significantly associated with stress. SOS genes were identified in the hub genes, suggesting a critical role. Interestingly, transcription factors were also identified and predicted to cointeract with SOS genes in the hub genes of the coexpression module [e.g., HB7 (MD01G1226600), WRKY33 (MD12G1181000), and ERF106 (MD07G1248700)]. Collectively, our exploration and findings provide a reference and data resource for the study of genetic and salt regulatory networks in apple.

Open Access

Soil water deficit impacts cold acclimation and freezing tolerance in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.), but the mechanisms underlying have not been well understood. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of deficit irrigation before and during cold acclimation on osmoprotectants, antioxidant metabolism, and freezing tolerance in creeping bentgrass. The grass was subjected to three-soil moisture levels: well-watered [100% container capacity (CC)], deficit irrigation induced-mild drought stress (60% CC), and severe drought stress (30% CC) for 35 days including 14 days at 24/20 °C (day/night) and then 21 days under cold acclimation treatment (2 °C) in growth chambers. Leaf proline and total soluble sugar (TSS) levels were higher in the grass under mild drought stress relative to that under severe drought stress. Superoxide (O2 −·), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and malondialdehyde (MDA) content were higher in the grass under severe drought relative to that under well-watered and mild drought stress at day 35. Mild drought stress increased catalase (CAT) and guaiacol peroxidase (POD) activity, induced new isoforms and increased band intensities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), CAT, and POD during cold acclimation (days 14 to 35). No differences in osmoprotectants, antioxidant metabolism, and freezing tolerance were found between mild drought and well-watered treatments. The results of this study suggest deficit irrigation-induced mild drought stress in late fall and winter could induce accumulation of osmoprotectants and improve antioxidant metabolism, and freezing tolerance, but severe drought stress could reduce freezing tolerance of creeping bentgrass in the region with limited precipitation.

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Water chestnut (Trapa natans L.) is a group of annual, floating-leaved aquatic plants that serves as food and medical resources in many countries. However, the molecular method for distinguishing different T. natans L. resources is lacking. In this study, we detected genetic diversity of several chloroplast and nuclear genic or intergenic sequences in four varieties of T. natans and one wild type of Trapa incisa Siebold & Zuccarini to evaluate their potential as molecular markers. Our data revealed that the three chloroplast fragments (rbcL, matK, and pbsA-trnH) show no sequence difference among all tested samples. Only one nucleotide substitution is detected for the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) in the T. natans variety Shuihongling. Four nucleotide substitutions are detected for the nuclear carotenoid isomerase (CRTISO) gene in the variety Hongxiuxie. In contrast, a total of 29 polymorphic sites are detected for a Toll and interleukin-1 receptor-nucleotide binding site–leucine rich repeat (TNL) gene in the five samples, among which six are nucleotide substitutions and the rest are insertions/deletions. The five samples could be fully distinguished from each other based on the TNL gene. To specifically authenticate ‘Heshangling’, 33 randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were adopted to amplify genomic sequences from the five samples. A pair of sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR) primers were designed based on the results of RAPD markers, which could specifically amplify one target band from all eight individuals of ‘Heshangling’, but none from any individuals of other T. natans varieties or one T. incisa. Taken together, a TNL sequence was provided in this study to distinguish four T. natans varieties and one T. incisa. Furthermore, a RAPD-SCAR marker was developed for efficient authentication of ‘Heshangling’.

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Genetic diversity of Narcissus was systematically studied on both morphological and molecular levels. Twenty-four characteristics of nine narcissi were observed and their differences evaluated by clustering method. The results showed that nine narcissi can be divided into two subclusters: one comprised by Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the other by Chinese Narcissus. The morphological diversity among five cultivars of N. pseudonarcissus is higher than that among four ecotypes of Chinese Narcissus (Narcissus tazetta var. chinensis). There are seven morphological characteristics in N. pseudonarcissus presenting obvious variations with coefficients from 33.33% to 91.67%. Only five morphological characteristics in Chinese Narcissus present certain variations with coefficients from 37.04% to 51.79%. On DNA level, two clusters are distantly related too. Based on the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers, 13 out of 40 random primers yielded scorable polymorphisms between samples. Wide variations in banding profiles between cultivars or between ecotypes were observed with nearly every primer tested. Among 95 band positions that were scored for all the 9 narcissi, 81 are polymorphic (85.26%). Cluster analysis of the calculated similarity matrix revealed that the genetic diversity between these individuals within the same section is low. However, the genetic diversity between two sections is obviously higher. Taken together, the methods combined morphological characteristics and RAPD technique allow a deep evaluation of the variation of Narcissus on both section level and cultivar/ecotype level.

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Recently, so-called “vegetative” and “generative” rootstocks have been identified by seed companies as rootstock types that have different impacts on tomato scions. In this experiment of grafted grape tomato production in an organically managed high tunnel system, we characterized the effects of vegetative and generative rootstock cultivars on tomato yield components and fruit mineral contents. Grape tomato scions ‘BHN 1022’ (determinate) and ‘Sweet Hearts’ (indeterminate) were grafted onto ‘DR0141TX’ (vegetative), ‘Estamino’ (generative), and ‘Multifort’ (noncharacterized) rootstocks with self- and nongrafted scions as controls. Experiments were conducted twice with different transplanting dates (Expt. 1: 31 Jan. vs. Expt. 2: 9 Mar.) in 2018. No rootstock by scion interaction effects on whole-season fruit yield components were observed, indicating similar responses of determinate and indeterminate grape tomato scions to all rootstocks tested. For Expt. 1, the three rootstocks increased marketable fruit number, marketable yield, and total yield by 23.3%, 37.9%, and 34.4% on average, respectively, compared with the self- and nongrafted controls, primarily due to improved productivity during the peak and late harvest periods. For Expt. 2, the rootstocks did not significantly benefit any whole-season yield components. ‘DR0141TX’ and ‘Multifort’ increased stem diameter in both experiments, whereas ‘Estamino’ only increased stem diameter in Expt. 2 relative to the nongrafted controls. Consistent increase in aboveground dry biomass of rootstock treatments at crop termination in Expt. 1 corresponded to the greater yield of rootstock-grafted plants in that experiment. All rootstocks in both experiments consistently increased fruit P, K, Ca, Zn, and Fe contents on a dry weight basis at peak harvest regardless of the tomato scion used. Despite a relatively low level of root-knot nematode infestation, plants grafted with ‘DR0141TX’ or ‘Estamino’ tended to have lower root galling index ratings than scion controls and ‘Multifort’-grafted plants, which was more evident in Expt. 1. Given the different environmental conditions during the tomato production period between the two experiments conducted in high tunnels, our findings highlight the important influence of production environment on grafted tomato performance. This study on grafted grape tomatoes in high tunnel organic production systems also demonstrated that so-called “vegetative” and “generative” rootstocks had similar impacts on tomato scion yield components and fruit mineral contents.

Open Access

Karyotype comparison and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were conducted to analyze the wild Lilium species distributed in China. The karyotype results revealed that all species except Lilium lancifolium (2n = 3X = 36) were diploid and had two pairs of metacentric or submetacentric chromosomes. The karyotypes of all species are similar. FISH analysis revealed that there are 5–12 45S rRNA gene loci dispersed on the chromosomes of the 14 diploid species, and 15 45S rRNA gene loci were detected in the triploid species L. lancifolium. Most of the FISH signals were detected on the long arms and the centromeric regions. Three samples of L. brownii [Hubei, China (lat. 31°28′N, long. 110°23′E); Liaoning, China (lat. 40°07′N, long. 124°19′E); and Guangxi, China (lat. 25°06′N, long. 107°27′E)] showed very similar chromosome patterns in both the karyotype and the FISH analyses, further demonstrating that these samples belonged to the same species. L. brownii is widely distributed in China from latitude 25°06′N to 40°07′N, indicating that it is highly adaptable to the environment.

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