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Chen-Yi Hung, Cindy B.S. Tong, and John R. Murray

The color of red potatoes is due to an accumulation of anthocyanins in periderm tissues. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of several factors on tuber redness. Using the red tuber-producing S. tuberosum ssp. tuberosum cultivar Norland, we observed that chroma (intensity of redness) and anthocyanin content of greenhouse-grown tubers decreased as tuber weight increased. There was a slight or no increase in hue (tint). We used HPLC to determine that pelargonidin and peonidin are the major anthocyanidins (aglycones of anthocyanins) in tuber periderm. The ratio of pelargonidin to peonidin increased as tuber weight increased up to 25 g fresh weight. The decrease in chroma was not due to an increase in cell sap pH; we observed a decrease in cellular pH as tuber weight increased. Controlled-atmosphere storage had no effect on tuber chroma or anthocyanin content compared to air storage. Methyl jasmonate, sucrose, or light treatment did not increase anthocyanin accumulation. Tubers exposed to light had less anthocyanin than those kept in the dark. We are examining the developmental expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes, as well as the effect of maize transcription factors on anthocyanin synthesis, in tuber periderm.

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Yi-Lun Liao, Wen-Shin Lin, and Shu-Yun Chen

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Yi-Chen Chen, Wei-Chun Chang, San-Tai Wang, and Shu-I Lin

Grafting is widely used in the commercial production of cucurbits (Cucurbitaceae) and solanaceous (Solanaceae) vegetables, but seldom in the production of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage (Brassica oleracea Capitata group). In our study, we developed a tube grafting method for cabbage using the ‘K-Y cross’ cabbage as the scion and ‘Tsuei Jin’ chinese kale (B. oleracea Alboglabra group) as the rootstock (K-Y/TJ), and then used the K-Y/TJ grafted seedlings to identify the best healing conditions. The examined healing conditions included temperature (15, 20, or 25 °C), relative humidity (RH; 75%, 85%, or 95%), and light intensity (high light intensity, 79 to 107 μmol·m–2·s–1; low light intensity, 38.6 to 58.8 μmol·m–2·s–1; or full darkness, 0 μmol·m–2·s–1). Considering all the healing conditions, the K-Y/TJ grafted seedlings healing at 20 °C, 95% RH, and high light intensity exhibited survival rates of up to 96.7% and overall superior seedling quality. ‘K-Y cross’ cabbages were then grafted onto chinese kale rootstocks, and the head traits of all grafted plants were comparable to those of nongrafted and/or self-grafted ‘K-Y cross’ plants. ‘K-Y cross’ plants grafted on ‘Jie Lan’ chinese kale rootstocks had greater ascorbic acid and total soluble solid (TSS) contents than nongrafted and self-grafted ‘K-Y cross’ plants. Overall, this research describes a successful tube grafting method and the optimal healing conditions for grafted cabbage seedlings, which can be used as a tool to improve head quality.

Open access

Yingchao Lin, Dejun Kong, Zhihong Wang, Yi Chen, Zhixiao Yang, Chun Wu, Hui Yang, and Lili Chen

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.

Free access

Meiling Zhang, Ming Chen, Zhen Wang, Ting Wu, Yi Wang, Xinzhong Zhang, and Zhenhai Han

Grafting has been widely used in orchard management because the rootstock can make the tree more tolerant to environmental stresses. Iron deficiency is one of the major limiting environmental factor in apple production worldwide. Systematic research has been made about iron-deficiency adaptive responses in the level of organs, cells, and subcells, whereas the interactions between Fe and other divalent cations in tissue level are little known. Synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence (SR-μXRF) was used to map the location of selected elements Fe, Zn, Mn, Ni, and Co in the longitudinal and latitudinal root samples of Malus xiaojinensis. Iron deficiency induced a significant increase in the relative contents of five micronutrients in epidermis and cortex. The ratio of element contents of roots under Fe-deficient condition and Fe-sufficient condition at same position increased obviously in the section of 1000- to 2000-μm distance from the root tip in xylem. Expression analysis of iron absorption- and transport-related genes in roots showed that MdNramp3 and MxCS1 increased significantly. These results indicated that iron deficiency promoted the long-distance transport of micronutrients in xylem, and MdNramp3 and MxCS1 might play an important role in this process. Importantly, this study directly provides visual divalent metals distribution in tissue level for an improved understanding of metal absorption process in apple rootstock.

Open access

Nittaya Chookoh, Yi-Tien Chiu, Chen Chang, Wei-Hsin Hu, and Ting-En Dai

A protocol for plant regeneration via direct induction of protocorm-like bodies (PLBs) from leaf segments of Tolumnia Snow Fairy was developed as a basis for mass production. Ten-month-old, in vitro–grown donor plantlets were obtained by inducing shoots from buds on the flower stalk. Leaf segments harvested from plantlets of different heights and from expanding leaves at different positions were compared, as were two BA concentrations with 0.5 mg·L−1 NAA. The greatest rate of PLB induction (16.7%) was observed when leaf segments taken from 1- to 2-cm height plants were cultured in Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium supplemented with 2 mg·L−1 BA and 0.5 mg·L−1 NAA after 16 weeks of culture. When using leaf explants, only inner, expanding leaves cultured on MS basal medium supplemented with 4 mg·L−1 BA and 0.5 mg·L−1 NAA resulted in PLB induction, at an average rate of 25.5 PLBs per explant. After 16 weeks of culture, histological and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations revealed that PLBs originated from epidermal cells of leaf explants. PLBs of 1 to ≤2 mm in diameter continued to proliferate after 4 weeks of culture. These secondary PLBs could be produced from either whole PLBs or the upper side of PLBs. Finally, PLBs were regenerated into plantlets. After ≈14 months of culture, fully developed plants exhibiting well-developed roots and shoots were acclimatized. These plants grew well, with 1-year survival rates of nearly 73%, for plants originating as explants taken from 1- to 2-cm tall plants, and of 79%, for plants originating as explants taken from inner leaves. Some mature plants flowered 1 year after transplantation. This study presents a simple system that can provide a large number of PLBs for mass propagation in a short time that can be converted into plants and also used for the new cultivars of Tolumnia orchids.

Free access

Junqin Zong, Yanzhi Gao, Jingbo Chen, Hailin Guo, Yi Wang, Fan Meng, Yiwei Jiang, and Jianxiu Liu

Waterlogging (WL) negatively affects plant growth and development, but the physiological responses of turfgrass species to WL are not well understood. The objective of this study was to examine growth and physiological mechanisms of WL tolerance in warm-season turfgrass species. Knotgrass (Paspalum paspaloides), spiny mudgrass (Pseudoraphis spinescens), seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), and centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides) were subjected to 30 days of WL. At the end of the treatment, knotgrass and spiny mudgrass maintained the shoot and root biomass while seashore paspalum and centipedegrass showed reductions in biomass under WL. Root oxidase activity (ROA) was unaffected until after 12 or 18 days of WL but decreased by 14.3%, 17.8%, 32.0%, and 68.7% at 30 days of WL for knotgrass, spiny mudgrass, seashore paspalum, and centipedegrass, respectively. Waterlogging increased root activities of lactate dehydrogenase and alcohol dehydrogenase, but generally to a lesser extent in knotgrass and spiny mudgrass. The leaf and root activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) were induced after 6 or 12 days of WL, but to a greater extent for knotgrass and spiny mudgrass. At 30 days of WL, the increased leaf and root activities of SOD and POD were higher in knotgrass and spiny mudgrass than that of seashore paspalum and centipedegrass; while centipedegrass showed 37.8% reduction in root SOD activity. The total soluble protein (TSP) concentration remained unchanged in both leaves and roots during the entire WL treatment for knotgrass, while a decreased leaf TSP was found in the other three species after 12 or 24 days of WL as well as in the roots of seashore paspalum and centipedegrass. More reductions in leaf or root TSP were observed in seashore paspalum and centipedegrass than in knotgrass and spiny mudgrass at 30 days of WL. The results indicated that higher ROA, activities of antioxidant enzymes and TSP contributed to WL tolerance of warm-season turfgrass species.

Free access

Chen-Yi Hung, John R. Murray, Sarah M. Ohmann, and Cindy B.S. Tong

The color of red potato tubers is due to an accumulation of anthocyanins in periderm and peripheral cortex tissues. The objective of this study was to characterize changes in anthocyanin content and tuber surface color during tuber development. Using the red tuber-producing potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) cultivar Norland, we observed that chroma (intensity of redness) and anthocyanin content per unit of surface area of greenhouse-grown tubers decreased as tuber weight increased. There was no increase in hue (tint) during the same developmental periods. Using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), we determined that pelargonidin and peonidin are the major anthocyanidins (aglycones of anthocyanins) in the tuber periderm. Northern blot analyses indicated that steady-state mRNA levels of dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR), an anthocyanin biosynthetic enzyme, continued throughout tuber development. These results suggest that anthocyanins are synthesized throughout tuber development, and that cell division and/or enlargement contribute to a decline in chroma and anthocyanin concentration.

Free access

Chandra Thammina, Mingyang He, Litang Lu, Kaishuang Cao, Hao Yu, Yongqin Chen, Liangtao Tian, Junmei Chen, Richard McAvoy, Donna Ellis, Degang Zhao, Yuejin Wang, Xian Zhang, and Yi Li

Euonymus alatus (Thunb.) Sieb., commonly known as “burning bush,” is an extremely popular landscape plant in the United States as a result of its brilliant showy red leaves in fall. However, E. alatus is also seriously invasive because of its prolific seed production and effective seed dispersal by birds. Thus, development of sterile, non-invasive, seedless triploid E. alatus is in high demand. In this article, we report successful production of triploid E. alatus using endosperm tissues as explants. In our study, ≈50% of immature endosperm explants and 14% of mature endosperm explants formed compact, green calli after culture in the dark for 8 weeks and then under light for 4 weeks on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 2.2 μM BA and 2.7 μM α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). Approximately 5.6% of the immature endosperm-derived calli and 13.4% of mature endosperm-derived calli initiated shoots within 8 weeks after they were cultured on MS medium with 4.4 μM benzyladenine (BA) and 0.5 μM indole-3-butyric acid (IBA). Eighty-five percent of shoots rooted after culture on woody plant medium (WPM) containing 4.9 μM IBA for 2 weeks and then on hormone-free WPM medium containing 2.0 g·L−1 activated charcoal for 4 weeks. Eight independently regenerated triploid plants have been identified. Triploid plant regeneration rates observed were 0.42% from immature endosperm explants and 0.34% from mature endosperm explants, respectively, based on the number of endosperm explants cultured. Because triploid plants cannot produce viable seeds, and thus are sterile and non-invasive, some triploid E. alatus plant lines reported here can be used to replace the currently used invasive counterparts. Chemical names used: benzyladenine (BA), indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), and α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

Free access

Zhi Quan, Bin Huang, Caiyan Lu, Yi Shi, Yanhong Cao, Yongzhuang Wang, Chuanrui He, Guangyu Chi, Jian Ma, and Xin Chen

Much nitrogen (N) is lost in high-input protected cropping systems mainly via leaching of not only nitrate-N but also extractable organic N (EON), but the role of EON in this process is poorly appreciated. A consecutive 3-year plot experiment was conducted to investigate the impact of co-application of manures with chemical N fertilizer on N accumulation and loss in a greenhouse soil rotationally planted with cucumber or tomato and lettuce. Application of manures significantly enhanced the average contents and stocks of NO3 -N, EON, and total N (TN) in 0- to 60-cm soil layer, although EON accumulated within growing season, while NO3 -N accumulated with fluctuation, and TN accumulated gradually throughout the 3-year experiment. With application rate at 120 or 180 t dry manures per hectare per 3 years, the corresponding apparent N surplus was 2710 or 3924 kg⋅ha−1 per 3 years. Due to little increase of biomass N uptakes during vegetable seasons, the accumulated N in soil profile would be a potential loss source, largely via leaching of both nitrate and EON. Application of manures slowed soil acidification but intensified secondary salinization of the greenhouse soil. Considering the manures-induced high soil N accumulation and loss, well-balanced evaluation of the role of manures in high-input agricultural ecosystems is needed.