Aeration through subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) can promote plant growth and increase crop yield; however, more research is focused on annual crops, and there are few studies on perennial crops. We have studied a new type of SDI (SDI with tanks) suitable for cultivation and production of perennial fruit trees and photovoltaic aeration device in greenhouse. The results showed that aeration irrigation promoted the growth of new leaves, fine roots, and new branches of grape, regulated O2/CO2 content in rhizosphere soil, and accelerated air exchange in rhizosphere soil. This study showed that aeration irrigation did not change the structure of bacteria and fungi but significantly increased the abundance of aerobic bacteria, such as Nitrospira and Cytophagia. Moreover, it promoted the increase of Pseudomonas and Aspergillus related to phosphate solubilization, that of Bacillus related to potassium solubilization, and that of Fusarium related to organic matter (OM) decomposition. This study shows that aeration irrigation through SDI with tanks can promote grape growth, which may be related to the ability of aeration irrigation to change the gas composition of rhizosphere soil, optimize the structure of rhizosphere soil microorganism.
Fengyun Zhao, Junli Sun, Songlin Yu, Huaifeng Liu and Kun Yu
Yu-Wei Liu and Chen-Kang Huang
Hydroponic systems in plant factories can be categorized into recirculating or noncirculating systems. In this study, the effects of various commercially available circulation pumps, including a centrifugal magnetic drive pump, a regenerative self-priming pump, and a submersible pump, were experimentally explored. In addition, the effects of an ultraviolet sterilization system on the ion concentrations in nutrient solutions were examined. The concentrations of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, nitrate, sulfate, and ferric (Fe3+) ions in the nutrient solution were measured. For all three types of pumps, the results indicated that there was no significant effect on the concentrations of ions in the nutrient solution. However, the concentration of Fe3+ ions decreased significantly after the nutrient solution was treated by a ultraviolet sterilization system for 48 hours. In addition, the effects of the three types of pumps on the growth of butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa) were examined. The temperature records during the pump circulation tests showed that the nutrient solution temperature of the regenerative self-priming pump increased by 15.5 °C (from 20.5 to 36 °C), which caused yellow seedling, scorching on the leaves, and browning of the roots. The ion concentration in the nutrient solutions and total fresh weight of butterhead lettuce did not show any noticeable difference between the centrifugal magnetic drive pump and the submersible pump. In this paper, we clarify the cause of the decreasing iron concentration and provide a guideline for selecting the pump for circulating hydroponic systems in plant factories.
Ling Yu, Hongwei Chen, Peipei Hong, Hongli Wang and Kefeng Liu
Salvia splendens is a widely used ornamental bedding plant; however, the limited propagation method has decreased its quality and yield. Through years of selection, we have obtained a new variety of S. splendens with weak apical dominance and named it as ‘Cailinghong’. To establish an effective method for regeneration of S. splendens ‘Cailinghong’, different explants, including leaves, receptacles, petioles, stem nodes, and stem segments were used for adventitious bud induction. Next, various combinations of plant growth regulators (PGRs) were selected for bud and root induction, which were assessed by adventitious bud initiation rate and proliferation rate, as well as root induction rate. Meanwhile, the survival rate of transplanted plantlets was also calculated. As a result, stem nodes were found easy to be induced to form buds, and the optimum medium component was 1/2 Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0.45 µM naphthalene acetic acid (NAA), 8.88 µM 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA), and 2.46 µM 3-indolebutyric acid (IBA) for plantlets induction, whereas 1/4 MS medium supplemented with 2.23 µM NAA for root induction. Furthermore, the survival rate of transplanted plantlets was up to 80%, and all regenerated plantlets were normal in phenotype. Therefore, cultured in 1/2 MS medium with combined PGRs, whole plantlet of S. splendens ‘Cailinghong’ could be regenerated directly from stem node.
June Liu, Zhimin Yang, Weiling Li, Jingjin Yu and Bingru Huang
Cold stress is a major factor limiting the growth of warm-season turfgrass species. Cold tolerance in warm-season turfgrass species could be improved through in vitro selection for somaclonal variations. The objectives of this study were to establish an effective in vitro culture protocol for generating plants from calli using mature seeds of seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) and to determine whether in vitro cold selection of somaclonal variations would lead to improved cold tolerance in seashore paspalum. The optimal concentrations of supplemental compounds in the culture medium for callus induction, embryogenic callus formation, and plant regeneration were determined. The supplemental compounds included 2,4–dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D), 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA), kinetin (KT), naphthalene-1-acetic acid (NAA), CuSO4, and acidic hydrolysis casein (AHC). The highest rates of callus induction (97.50%), embryogenic callus formation (66.88%), and regeneration (55.94%) were obtained with the supplemental compounds of 3.0 mg·L−1 2,4-D and 10.0 mg·L−1 CuSO4 for callus induction; with 3.0 mg·L−1 2,4-D, 15 mg·L−1 CuSO4, and 1.0 g·L−1 AHC for embryogenic callus formation; and with 8.0 mg·L−1 6-BA, 0.2 mg·L−1 KT, 0.5 mg·L−1 NAA, and 10 mg·L−1 CuSO4 for plant regeneration. Embryogenic calli were subjected to 2 or 6 °C treatment for 90 days for in vitro cold selection of somaclonal variation. Plants regenerated from calli surviving cold treatment (cold-selected) for 45 or 60 days were then exposed to low temperatures [15/10 or 5/3 °C (day/night)]. Plant variants derived from cold-selected calli exhibited significant improvement in their tolerance to low temperature of either 15/10 or 5/3 °C (day/night), as manifested by higher turf quality, leaf chlorophyll content, and membrane stability as well as lower levels of lipid peroxidation compared with the control plants. This study demonstrated the feasibility of in vitro selection for cold tolerance in seashore paspalum. The cold-tolerant variants could be useful germplasm for breeding programs and further molecular characterization of cold tolerance mechanisms.
Yiwei Jiang, Eric Watkins, Shuwei Liu, Xiaoqing Yu and Na Luo
Prairie junegrass (Koeleria macrantha) is a native cool-season C3 grass that has shown potential as a low-input turfgrass. An increased understanding of the physiological and molecular responses of prairie junegrass to water-deficit conditions is important for developing cultivars with enhanced drought tolerance. The objective of this study was to characterize the antioxidative responses and candidate gene expression in prairie junegrass subjected to drought stress. Two drought-tolerant (TOL-1 and TOL-2) and two drought-susceptible (SUS-1 and SUS-2) genotypes of prairie junegrass were subjected to 7 days of drought stress. Leaf relative water content (RWC) of SUS-1 and SUS-2 was 72.1% and 73.8% and RWC of TOL-1 and TOL-2 was 90.1% and 85.4% in drought-stressed plants, respectively. Drought stress did not affect chlorophyll fluorescence, lipid peroxidation, and antioxidative enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase (APX), or glutathione reductase for tolerant or susceptible genotypes. The TOL-2 and SUS-2 genotypes were further examined for candidate gene expression. Drought stress did not alter expression levels of CAT and chloroplastic copper/zinc SOD (Cu/ZnSOD), but increased levels of APX in either genotype, compared with their relative controls. Expression of P5CS encoding Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase and P5CR encoding Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase for proline biosynthesis were up-regulated under drought stress for both genotypes; however, expression of P5CR was more strongly induced under drought stress for TOL-2, compared with its control. The expression of 1-FFT encoding fructan:fructan 1-fructosyltransferase, which is involved in fructan biosynthesis, was strongly induced under drought stress for TOL-2 but not detected under either control or drought stress conditions for SUS-2. These results indicate that the genes involved in proline and fructan biosynthesis may play an important role in drought tolerance in prairie junegrass.
Yiwei Jiang, Yu Cui, Zhongyong Pei, Huifen Liu and Shoujun Sun
Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) is an important cool-season forage and turfgrass species. Growth and physiological responses of perennial ryegrasses to chronic deficit irrigation (DI) and recovery following a water deficit event are not well understood. The objective of this study was to characterize plant growth, water status, and gene expression in response to DI and recovery of perennial ryegrass. Two accessions, PI598453 (drought tolerant) and PI403847 (drought susceptible), were subjected to irrigation treatments with 100% evapotranspiration (ET) replacement every other day as the control (100% ET) and 70% ET replacement as DI treatment for 21 days in a greenhouse. After the treatment period, the DI-treated plants were shifted back to 100% ET for 7 days for recovery. The grasses were cut every 7 days, for a total of three times. Leaf relative water content (LRWC) significantly decreased at 21 days of 70% ET for both accessions, compared with the control; but to a greater extent in the more susceptible PI403847. Water-use efficiency (WUE) significantly increased 1.6-fold for PI598453 and 1.3-fold for PI403847 under 70% ET, whereas 33% reduction of leaf dry weight (LDW) was found only in PI403847. Plant height (HT) and leaf length (LL) were unaffected by 70% ET after the first two cuttings, but decreased after the third cut and did not recover to the control level for both accessions. Reductions in leaf width (LW) under 70% ET were found at 8 and 6 days after cutting for PI598453 and for PI403847, respectively. The transcript levels of heat shock protein (HSC70), iron superoxide dismutase (FeSOD), and plasma membrane intrinsic protein type 1 (PIP1) in both leaves and stems were generally downregulated during 70% ET treatment with a few exceptions but fully recovered to 100% ET after rewatering. The expression levels of cytosolic copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (cyto Cu/Zn SOD) and light-harvesting Chl a/b-binding proteins (LHCB) did not alter under 70% ET for both accessions. Differential growth and physiological responses of perennial ryegrass accessions to DI could be used for further studying of molecular mechanisms of drought tolerance in perennial ryegrass.
Weijie Jiang, Jie Bai, Xueyong Yang, Hongjun Yu and Yanpeng Liu
The application of plant growth regulators (PGRs), such as abscisic acid (ABA), putrescine (Put), and 2,4-epibrassinolide (EBR), has been shown to enhance a plant's resistance to various abiotic stresses. However, the protective effects of these PGRs on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) seedlings under suboptimal temperature stress have not yet been evaluated. We also do not know the most effective method of application of PGRs for various tomato cultivars. We studied the effects of three rates of exogenous ABA, Put, or EBR in limiting damage from suboptimal temperature stress on two tomato cultivars, Zhongshu6 (considered sensitive to suboptimal temperatures) and SANTIAM (considered tolerant to suboptimal temperatures). Results showed that application of these PGRs at appropriate concentrations could effectively reduce the decline in the net photosynthetic rate (Pn) and the chlorophyll (Chl) content in leaves caused by suboptimal temperature stress in both ‘Zhongshu6’ and ‘SANTIAM’ and could promote an increase in organic osmolyte (proline and soluble sugar) contents and root 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC)-reducing activity for ‘Zhongshu6’. However, these effects were inferior on ‘SANTIAM’. For both cultivars, the best treatment concentrations are 1 mm ABA, 0.1 mm Put, or 0.02 μM EBR. Results indicate that in tomato production, exogenous application of ABA, Put, or EBR at appropriate concentrations can effectively limit damage from suboptimal temperature stress.
Jingjin Yu, Mengxian Liu, Zhimin Yang and Bingru Huang
Drought stress is one of the most important abiotic stresses limiting plant growth, while high recuperative capacity of plants from drought damages is critical for plant survival in periods of drought stress and rewatering. The objective of our study was to determine physiological and growth factors in association with drought tolerance and recuperative capacity of cool-season kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis cv. Excursion II) and warm-season zoysigrass (Zoysia matrella cv. Diomand), which were grown in controlled environment chambers and maintained well watered (control) or subjected to drought stress and subsequently rewatering. Compared with kentucky bluegrass, zoysiagrass maintained higher leaf hydration level during drought stress, as shown by greater relative water content (RWC), improved osmotic adjustment (OA), increased leaf thickness, and more extensive root system at deeper soil layers. Turf quality (TQ) and photosynthesis recovered to a greater level and sooner in response to rewatering for zoysiagrass, compared with kentucky bluegrass, which could be due to more rapid reopening of stomata [higher stomatal conductance (g S)] and leaf rehydration (higher RWC). The aforementioned physiological factors associated with leaf dehydration tolerance during drought and rapid resumption in turf growth and photosynthesis in zoysiagrass could be useful traits for improving drought tolerance in turfgrasses.
Fang Yu, Zhiming Ni, Xingfeng Shao, Lina Yu, Hongxing Liu, Feng Xu and Hongfei Wang
To explore differences in sucrose metabolism between peach fruit subjected to chilling stress (5 °C) and nonchilling stress (10 °C), sucrose concentration as well as the activities and gene expression levels for enzymes associated with sucrose metabolism were compared. Fruits stored at 5 °C accumulated higher concentrations of H2O2 and developed severe chilling injury (CI) compared with fruit kept at 10 °C. Activities and gene expression levels for enzymes related to sucrose metabolism, such as acid invertase (AI), neutral invertase (NI), sucrose synthase (SS), and sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) were higher in fruit stored at 5 °C than at 10 °C throughout or late in storage. A sharp increase in net sucrose cleavage activity dramatically decreased sucrose concentration and increased reducing sugars at 5 °C. The sucrose concentration at 10 °C increased over the first 21 days and then declined slightly, and was higher than in fruit at 5 °C throughout storage. The increase in net sucrose cleavage activity at 5 °C is contrary to the expectation that biochemical reactions ordinarily proceed more rapidly with increasing temperature. We conclude that chilling stress stimulates the activities and transcription levels of enzymes involved in sucrose metabolism, resulting in increased sucrose cleavage.
Liwang Liu, Guang Liu, Yiqin Gong, Wenhao Dai, Yan Wang, Fanmin Yu and Yunying Ren
Four molecular marker systems—RAPD (random amplified polymorphic DNA), ISSR (intersimple sequence repeat), SRAP (sequence-related amplified polymorphism), and SSR (simple sequence repeat)—were used to evaluate seed genetic purity of a hybrid cabbage cultivar ‘Zaoxia 16’. Genetic relationships of the F1 hybrids and their parents were analyzed with 157 RAPD primers, 54 ISSR primers, 84 SRAP primer combinations, and 44 SSR primers. Three RAPD primers (NAURP2006, NAURP2020, and NAURP2031), two ISSR primers (NAUISR1058 and NAUISR1062), one SRAP primer combination (NAUSR04/NAURS05), and two SSR primers (NAUSSR1011 and NAUSSR1031), which produced male and female parent-specific markers simultaneously, were selected for testing the genetic purity of the F1 seeds. A total of 210 ‘Zaoxia 16’ hybrid individuals were investigated with these eight selected primers. Of these, 12 appeared to be false hybrids. Nine of the 12 putative false hybrids, confirmed with all eight primers, exhibited similar banding patterns to the female parent, suggesting that they could be derived from selfing of the female parent. The results were in accordance with those from field evaluations. This study showed that RAPD, ISSR, SRAP, and SSR markers are highly efficient and reproducible for genetic purity testing of cabbage commercial hybrid seeds.