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Kun Xu*, Xiufeng Wang, and Fang Wang

Mulching with straw increase soil water content, air relative humidity and air temperature, but decreased soil temperature. Though mulching with straw didn't change light intensity, ginger growth and yield were the same as shading. The growth and yield under shading and mulching with straw were both higher than that of naked soil.

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Kun Xu*, Xiufeng Wang, and Fang Wang

The rate of fertilizer-N utilization by ginger was quite different in different applying stages. The results indicated that the rate of fertilizer-N utilization increased with the delay of application. The highest utilization rate was the fertilizer dressed at middle period of vigorous growth, which was 45.24%; while the basal manure utilization rate was only 27.67%. It was also shown that the nitrogen uptake from basal manure was distributed in highest level in main shoots and leaves, the nitrogen derived from fertilizer dressed at middle period of vigorous growth was mostly distributed into rhizomes, and nitrogen absorbed from fertilizer dressed at early period of vigorous growth was distributed evenly into all organs. The reclamation rate from fertilizer dressed at middle period of growth was the highest and lowest reclamation rate was the basal manure. The content of fertilizer-N and soil-N in ginger plant was determined, it was shown 56.57% plant-N was derived from soil-N, the remaining 43.43% was from fertilizer-N. The nitrogen from soil played a very important role in ginger production, therefore the problem of how to maintain high soil fertilizer must be paid more attention.

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Xing Yuxian, Wang Xiufeng, and Athanasios P. Papadopoulos

A new multilayer soilless culture system for greenhouse tomato production is described. Experiments over two spring seasons and one winter season demonstrated faster plant growth rate, higher dry matter productivity, higher fruit yield, and better fruit quality with the multilayer soilless culture system compared to the traditional soil-based culture system. The multilayer soilless culture system is suggested as a replacement of the soil-based production system to achieve significant yield improvement in greenhouse tomato production.

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Xiyan Yu, Xiufeng Wang, Jide Fan, Hongmei Tian, and Chengchao Zheng

Sucrose phosphate synthase [SPS (EC] is thought to play a critical role in sucrose accumulation in muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) fruit. A full-length cDNA clone encoding sucrose phosphate synthase was isolated from muskmelon by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction and rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The clone, designated CmSPS1, contains 3377 nucleotides with an open reading frame of 3162 nucleotides. The deduced 1054 amino acids sequence showed high identities with other plant sucrose phosphate synthases. Northern blot analysis indicated that CmSPS1 was expressed in leaves, stems, and mature fruit, but was not detected in roots or flowers. Moreover, the mRNA accumulation of CmSPS1 started at 25 days after pollination (DAP) and reached highest level in mature fruit. Interestingly, both sucrose content and SPS activity increased dramatically between 20 and 30 DAP during fruit development, suggesting that sucrose accumulation may be linked to the CmSPS1 transcript level in muskmelon fruit.