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  • Author or Editor: Yang Wu x
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Echinacea purpurea L. is one of the important ornamental and medicinal plant species. Ploidy manipulation is a valuable tool for improving plant quality or production in E. purpurea as well as in many other plants. To study the segregation of pure ploidy plantlets from colchicine-induced ploidy chimeras in E. purpurea, we used a chimera plantlet that consisted of 1.93% diploid, 35.04% tetraploid, and 63.03% octoploid cells as the source material for experiments. The results showed that three factors significantly influenced the segregation, i.e., the component ratios of different ploidy cells in the chimera, the number of sequential passages, and the methods of segregation culture of the chimera plantlets. Other factors, such as explant types (i.e., leaf, petiole, or root) and 6-benzyladenine (BA) concentrations (i.e., 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, and 1.2 mg·L−1) occasionally influenced the segregation. Pure chromosome-doubled polyploids are not easily obtained in various plant species, so segregation culture of ploidy chimeras may potentially be more effective. The morphological characteristic and content of cichoric acid were compared among diploid, tetraploid, and octoploid plants. Results indicated that tetraploid and octoploid plants had more stunted growth, larger stomata, lower stomata frequency, more chloroplast number in guard cells, and higher cichoric acid content than original diploid lines.

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We investigated the effects of different planting seasons and gibberellic acid treatments on the growth and development of Gypsophila paniculata to explore new approaches to controlling the flowering period. Four different cultivars were selected and continually planted in July, September, and November in the low-latitude and high-altitude region of Kunming, China (25° N, 102° E). Results showed that the vegetative growth and flowering time of Gypsophila paniculata were prolonged and postponed when the planting time was delayed. Specifically, ‘My Pink’ showed 20% and 80% rosette rates when grown in autumn and winter, respectively, thus indicating that Gypsophila paniculata is sensitive to planting time. Moreover, GA3 treatment not only can significantly promote vegetative growth but also can stimulate early flowering and suppress the occurrence of rosettes during winter. This is more specific to ‘My Pink’, which showed 40% and 80% reductions in rosette rates with four and eight GA3 treatment applications, respectively. Our study showed that seasonal variations in the growth and development of Gypsophila paniculata and GA3 treatment can effectively stimulate early flowering and suppress rosettes during winter.

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MS is the most commonly used basal medium for the micropropagation of banana (Musa spp.), in which inorganic N source consists of NH4 +-N and NO3 --N, and NH4 +:NO3 - = 1:2. In the present study, basal medium for rooting culture was modified by supplying NO3 --N as the sole N source at the concentration of 17.80 to 19.78 mmol·L-1. Not only was the percentage of qualified plantlets higher than that of MS or ½ MS, but the cost for medium preparation (per liter) was about $0.6 lower than that of MS based on local retail price, for the concentration of N decreased from about 60 mmol·L-1 to nearly 20 mmol·L-1. The effects of four factors: sucrose (25 to 35 g·L-1), NAA (0.2 to 1.0 mg·L-1), IBA (0.2 to 1.0 mg·L-1), and basal medium with modified N source on the percentage of qualified plantlets were studied by using orthogonal design. The variance analysis of data showed that all the four factors significantly affected the process of rooting culture. Among them, sucrose was the most important factor, followed by revised basal medium, IBA, and NAA. The optimal medium for rooting culture was BM II supplemented with 30 g·L-1 sucrose, 0.5 mg·L-1 NAA, and 0.5 mg·L-1 IBA. During the following acclimation phase, >90% of plantlets survived. Chemical name used: 6-benzylaminopurine (BA); indole-3-butyric acid (IBA); α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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Loropetalum chinense, one of three species in its genus in China, is distributed primarily in Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces. By establishing a Loropetalum gene bank and reviewing research on its varieties, genetic traits, and genetic diversity, we hope to promote the full yet sustainable use of this valuable, regionally varied natural resource. Our results will help promote the development of a broader resource economy.

Open Access

Spine grape (Vitis davidii Foex) is an important wild plant species in South China. To provide economical and environmentally safe ways to promote the precocious maturation of spine grape berries, the effects of riboflavin were investigated. Riboflavin affected the reactive oxygen species metabolism in spine grape berries by increasing superoxide radical production and the hydrogen peroxide content, and it impaired the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase. Riboflavin also induced the upregulated expression of maturation-related genes in advance, and the earlier accumulation of anthocyanin and total soluble solids. Phenological observations revealed that the treated grape berries underwent a color-turning stage 9 days earlier than the control, and the maturation stage occurred 7 days earlier than the control. Thus, riboflavin may significantly promote the precocious maturation of spine grape berries.

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Tobacco is traditionally an industrial crop that is used for manufacturing cigarettes. However, due to health concerns and global tobacco control movements, alternative uses of tobacco are urgently needed to support tobacco farmers and vendors. Tobacco is also an oilseed crop with an oil yield ranging from 30% to 40 of its dry weight. However, there is still no information on the effects of nitrogen application on tobacco seed yield and seed oil production. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of N fertilization (90, 120, 150, and 180 kg·ha−1 N) on the seed yield, oil content, fatty acid composition, and seed germination characteristics of tobacco plants at two locations. The results showed that applying increasing amounts of N to tobacco plants significantly increased their total seed yields and oil content. Nitrogen application also modified the fatty acid composition of the seed oil, as more unsaturated fatty acids were produced under the increasing N application rate treatments than under the control. Moreover, increasing the N application rate generally significantly increased the yields of individual fatty acids as well. Nevertheless, the increased seed oil content and altered fatty acid composition did not affect seed germination traits, as the seed germination potential and rate showed no obvious change among treatments or the control. The height and size of the tobacco plants also increased with the increasing N application rate, which would be beneficial for increasing biomass production for bioenergy. This study shows for the first time the feasibility of increasing the seed and oil yields and modifying the fatty acid composition of tobacco plants by increasing N addition.

Open Access

Oriental melon (Cucumis melo var. makuwa Makino) is a fruit with distinctive characteristics that is grown in Fuzhou, China. Fusarium wilt disease management remains a major challenge in the production of this fruit. Here, we performed seven field trials at four locations in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China, to evaluate the control of fusarium wilt and yield of Oriental melons grafted on two Cucurbita rootstocks [Shengyan Tianzhen (SYTZ) and Nanzhen No. 1 (NZ1)]. During the growing seasons of 2008 to 2011, Oriental melons grafted on SYTZ and NZ1 exhibited dramatically reduced incidences of fusarium wilt disease and increased yields compared with nongrafted Oriental melons. Disease was only recorded in Trial 3 at Hongwei (2009), where plants grafted on SYTZ and NZ1 exhibited 1.05% and 1.1% infection, respectively. In the other six field trials, wilting was not observed at all. In comparison, the incidence of the disease in nongrafted Oriental melons ranged from 45.0% to 100.0%. The use of Cucurbita rootstocks improved the qualitative and quantitative carotenoid profiles, increasing lutein levels (12.7 and 10.8 μg·g−1 of fresh weight, respectively) and ζ-carotene and phytofluene amounts in fruit samples from SYTZ- and NZ1-grafted plants. In particular, the Liyu/NZ1 combination significantly increased β-carotene content ≈4-fold compared with nongrafted samples. In conclusion, Cucurbita rootstocks provided acceptable protection of Oriental melon cv. Liyu against fusarium wilt and improved the productivity and quality of fruits.

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In recent years, air circulation has been used in protected cultivation to improve the microenvironment around seedlings, which in turn enhances photosynthesis and seedling growth. However, a practical and precise air circulation device has not yet been reported, especially one for growing seedlings in a greenhouse. Considering the use of a seedbed in seedling cultivation, a blower that can move back and forth on the seedbed and accurately control the air velocity is designed. In this experiment, we take the nonblowing treatment as the control (CK); three air velocities (0.3, 0.6, and 0.9 m/s) were selected to investigate the effect of interval blowing on the microenvironment of the canopy, physiology of seedling growth, stomatal characteristics of leaves, and stem mechanics of tomato seedlings. The three air velocities were found to significantly reduce the canopy temperature by 0.44, 0.78, and 1.48 °C lower than the CK, respectively, and leaf temperature by 0.83, 1.57, and 2.27 °C lower than the CK, respectively, in cultivated seedlings during summer. The relative humidity of the tomato seedling canopy decreased by 2.7% to 7.0%. Compared with the CK, the plant height of tomato seedlings decreased by 13.54% and root dry mass, root-shoot ratio, and seedling quality index (SQI) increased by 34.63%, 21.43%, and 14.29%, respectively, at 0.6 m/s. In addition, mechanical indexes such as hardness and elasticity of the tomato seedling stem were higher under air disturbance than those of the CK. The best effect was seen in the treatment with the air velocity of 0.6 m/s, in which the hardness and elasticity of the stem base and the first node were significantly higher than that of the CK. In conclusion, air disturbance generated by the air blowing device we designed effectively improved the microenvironment around the plants, enhanced the physiological activity of the seedlings, and thereby promoted seedling growth.

Open Access

To understand the soil nutrient status of pear orchards in Beijing, we investigated their fertilization situation, including the fertilizer type, amount, and period. Furthermore, soil samples were collected at a depth of 0 to 40 cm to determine the contents of soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The status of nutrient profits and losses was analyzed. The results showed that 50% of the pear orchards received organic fertilizer as a single nutrient source, and 35.7% of the pear orchards received a combined application of organic fertilizer and chemical fertilizer. Most pear orchards received organic fertilizer in autumn, but the application of chemical fertilizer occurred mainly before germination and during fruit expansion. The average nutrient input to the investigated pear orchards was 569.6 kg/ha for N, 855.0 kg/ha for P2O5, and 448.1 kg/ha for K2O, and the corresponding proportion of organic fertilizer was 76.9%, 88.0%, and 85.8%, respectively. However, the pear orchards had surpluses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, with average surplus amounts as high as 445.5, 794.3, and 321.4 kg/ha, respectively. Among all pear orchards surveyed, 93.33% faced environmental risks and 37.04% faced leaching risks. The average content of soil phosphorus was 2.23 times its critical value, and 64.29% of the studied pear orchards exceeded the critical value. Most pear orchards had surplus potassium, with 26.92% exceeding 500 kg/ha. This study provides a basis for soil improvement, high-quality production of fruits, and efficient utilization of pear orchards in Beijing.

Open Access