Interspecific hybridization among the three most economically important cultivated species of Cucurbita spp., Cucurbita pepo, C. moschata, and C. maxima can be made but not readily. By means of various pollination measures, different mating systems, and varying selection methods, nine advanced interspecific-bridge lines were developed, in which the crossing barrier among the species and the male sterility of the F1 and subsequent generations were overcome over a 12-year period from 1999 through 2011. Despite the considerable influence of parental cultigens and environmental factors on the incompatibility of interspecific crosses, the plant and population compatibility significantly increased when a backcross with a recurrent parent in the same species or a multiple-way cross with a parent in the different species was made. As the generations advanced, the percentage of fertile seeds (PFS) significantly increased in all the sib- and self-families. The four advanced interspecific-bridge lines out of nine not only have gained the normal crossability of interspecific hybridization, but also could eliminate the sexual obstacles of the subsequent generations. The results demonstrate that a two- or three-species bridge line with crossing compatibility can be created by two- or three-species recombination and continuous selection. More importantly, the breakthrough of the advanced interspecific-bridge lines could provide a powerful platform for breeders to transfer favorable traits freely among the species and create more valuable and unique types or varieties through a conventional breeding process.
Qi Zhang, Enda Yu and Andy Medina
Zhihui Chang, Laiqiang Zhuo, Fangfang Yu and Xunzhong Zhang
Biosolids are valued as a source of plant nutrients, soil organic matter, and biologically active substances. This greenhouse study was designed to examine if application of biosolids can improve plant drought tolerance by affecting nitrogen (N) and hormone metabolism as well as root growth in kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.; KBG). The three treatments, which provided N rates equivalent to 75 mg plant-available N/kg soil, included: 1) biosolids at 1× agronomic (Ag) N rate (75 mg N/kg soil completely provided with biosolids); 2) biosolids at 0.5× Ag N rate (37.5 mg N/kg soil provided with biosolids and 37.5 mg N/kg soil provided with NH4NO3); and 3) control (75 mg N/kg soil completely provided with NH4NO3). The treated KBG was grown under either well-watered (90% container capacity) or drought stress (≈25% container capacity) conditions. Biosolids application improved turf quality and delayed leaf wilting under drought stress. The grass treated with biosolids at 1× N rate had higher leaf proline and amino acid content and greater nitrate reductase activity than the control under drought stress. Biosolids treatments also increased leaf and soil indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) content. Moreover, biosolids at 1× N rate increased root length density by 23% compared with the control under drought stress. The results of this study suggest that biosolids may enhance plant drought tolerance by improving N and hormone metabolism and root growth in KBG.
Zhan Shu, Xue Zhang, Dianqiong Yu, Sijia Xue and Hua Wang
Hybridization between species of the genus Juglans is common because of weak reproductive isolation mechanisms between closely related species with sympatric distributions. In this research, we investigated the possibility of naturally occurring interspecific hybrids between two species in the genus Juglans: persian walnut (Juglans regia) and chinese walnut (Juglans cathayensis). We used 12 pairs of microsatellite markers to analyze introgression between the two species. All amplified microsatellites were polymorphic in the two species. The result of Bayesian admixture analyses showed that introgression between the two species is rare; only three of nine individuals tentatively identified as hybrids, based on intermediate morphological characteristics, were defined as mixed genotypes. The other six putative hybrids and 156 morphologically pure individuals showed no sign of introgression.
Le Luo, Chao Yu, Xuelian Guo, Huitang Pan and Qixiang Zhang
Rosa laxa is widely distributed in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China and is highly adaptable and rich in variation. In this study, we investigated the morphology, habitats, and palynomorphology of R. laxa botanical varieties from Xinjiang, China. In addition to R. laxa var. laxa, there were three other botanical varieties of R. laxa growing in southern Xinjiang, including var. mollis, var. kaschgarica, and var. tomurensis. Together, these four botanical varieties exhibited morphological variation, mainly in the morphology of prickles and the glandular trichome and in flower color. The pollen grains of the R. laxa botanical varieties, all medium in size (21.77–48.39 μm), came in three shapes: perprolate, prolate, and subspheroidal. Their pollen exine sculptures were characterized by either a striate-perforation pattern or striate pattern, but perforation varied in terms of diameter and density and striae varied in depth and density. Palynomorphological assessment showed that three types of evolution, i.e., primitive, transitive, and evolved, were present among R. laxa botanical varieties, and pollen dimorphism was observed in the same botanical variety. Perprolate pollen with a dense striate pattern was the most evolved type. Based on morphological and palynomorphological investigations, var. tomurensis was considered to be the most evolved one among the studied botanical varieties.
Zhengke Zhang, Yu Zhang, Donald J. Huber, Jingping Rao, Yunjing Sun and Shanshan Li
‘Fuyu’ perisimmon fruit were treated with 500 nL·L−1 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) for 24 h at 20 °C and then stored at 4 °C for 45 days to investigate the effects of 1-MCP on chilling injury (CI) during storage at 4 °C. Persimmon fruit developed CI, manifested as rapid softening and external and internal browning. Injury symptoms were reduced by 1-MCP treatment. 1-MCP also delayed increases in respiration and ethylene production. Compared with control fruit, 1-MCP-treated fruit exhibited increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activities within the initial storage period and lower membrane permeability, malondialdehyde content, and peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activities throughout the entire storage period. These results suggest that reduction of CI symptoms in persimmon fruit in response to 1-MCP treatment may be attributed to altered oxidative status.
Lu Zhang, You-biao Hu, Hua-sen Wang, Sheng-jun Feng and Yu-ting Zhang
Plant growth and development are determined by complex exogenous and endogenous cues. A plant follows several temporally distinct developmental stages, including embryonic, vegetative, and reproductive. The vegetative stage, which is usually the longest stage, can be subdivided into juvenile and adult phases. The transition from the juvenile to the adult phase, also called the vegetative phase change, is characterized by anatomical, morphological, and physiological changes in the vegetative parts of the shoot. Recent studies in several systems have identified the genetic temporal mechanisms of this process, which is regulated by an endogenous age cue (i.e., microRNA156/157) and its targeted genes (i.e., Squamosa promoter binding protein-box transcription factors). This review summarizes the recent advances in the study of the underlying regulatory mechanisms of vegetative phase change. This review also describes the modes of miRNA action and the functions of their targeted genes in this highly conserved developmental process.
Zhi-Hong Gao, Zhi-Jun Shen, Zhen-Hai Han, Jing-Gui Fang, Yu-Ming Zhang and Zhen Zhang
Sequencing amplification fragments produced using simple-sequence repeat (SSR) primer pairs pchgms2 and UDP96008 in `Dayezhugan' japanese apricot showed that SSRs obtained included a microsatellite locus originally identified in peach. The microsatellite sequence homogeneity between UDP96008 in japanese apricot in this study and UDP96008 in the peach in GenBank was 98%. Twenty-four japanese apricot genotypes originating in diverse geographic areas had been identified with 14 SSR primer pairs developed in different species of Prunus. In total, 129 alleles were obtained and per primer pairs detected 2.5 alleles on the average. The results from cluster analysis showed that the genetic distance between `Nanhong' and `Zhonghong' was the closest, and cultivars from China and from Japan could not be separated completely.
Ji-Yu Zhang, Zhong-Ren Guo, Rui Zhang, Yong-Rong Li, Lin Cao, You-Wang Liang and Li-Bin Huang
This study examined the ability to vegetatively propagate 1-year-old pecan (Carya illinoinensis) through the rooting of hardwood cuttings. Cuttings were treated with varying concentrations of different auxins and different combinations of media and ambient temperatures. Under different temperature conditions, all auxin treatments induced the rooting of cuttings but did not promote sprouting. The effectiveness of the induction of adventitious roots was as follows: 1-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) > indole 3-butyric acid > indole 3-acetic acid. The base of the parent shoot treated by NAA at a concentration of 0.09%, planted in substrate with bottom heat was the most effective, with 82% rooting, 8.3 roots/cutting and root lengths of 7.3 cm. These findings suggested that auxin and substrate/air temperature differences are both indispensable in the process of adventitious roots formation in pecan. This study revealed that the propagation of hardwood cuttings derived from branches of 1-year-old pecan is possible.
Jin-wei Zhang, Yi-xue Liu, Jin-ping Yu, Wei Zhang, Ya-qiong Xie and Ning-ning Ge
In the early Spring of 2015 and 2016, weed infestation surveys were conducted in areas of cool-season turfgrass Festuca arundinacea Schreb. at 23 sites within Tianjin municipality in northern China. The weed community within turfgrass areas comprised 37 weed species belonging to 14 families. Perennial weeds accounted for 45.9% of the total community of weed species, whereas annual or biennial weeds accounted for 54.1%. Asteraceae was the dominant family (43.2%), and the percentage of broadleaved weeds was 94.6%. Statistical analyses of the weed dominance index (integrating weed relative height and relative coverage) and relative abundance (integrating weed relative density, frequency, and uniformity) showed that the 10 most common weed species during the early spring were Ixeris polycephala Cass., Taraxacum mongolicum Hand.-Mazz., Inula japonica Thunb., Hemistepta lyrata Bge., Trigonotis pedunclaris (Trev.) Benth., Calystegia hederacea Wall., Lepidium apetalum Willd., Plantago asiatica L., Cirsium segetum Bge., and Ixeris sonchifolia Hance. Ixeris polycephala Cass. and T. mongolicum Hand.-Mazz were the most dominant and harmful weed species. Partial correlation analysis (PACA) indicated that the deterioration rate (percentage of bare soil or coverage of plants other than turfgrass) of the turfgrass area was significantly and positively correlated with the total dominance index [(TDI), an index to evaluate the weed infestation severity)] and that the soil organic matter (SOM) and salinity factors were negatively correlated with the TDI. Factors such as soil nutrient conditions (the contents of N, P, and K and the total N), soil physical properties (density and clay content), soil moisture, soil temperature, and soil pH did not correlate significantly with the TDI. We conclude that the deterioration rate was the most important factor influencing weed infestation in the early spring and that SOM and soil salinity might also be important factors. The results of this study can help turfgrass researchers and managers identify the most harmful weed species and integrate management strategies in areas of cool-season turfgrass F. arundinacea Schreb. during early spring in the Tianjin region, China.
Zhengke Zhang, Runshan Fu, Donald J. Huber, Jingping Rao, Xiaoxiao Chang, Meijiao Hu, Yu Zhang and Nina Jiang
Expansins are proteins that have been reported to contribute to fruit softening. In this study, an expansin gene, CDK-Exp3, was identified from persimmon fruit, and the mRNA accumulation of CDK-Exp3 during postharvest softening was examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Sequence analysis showed that CDK-Exp3 contained a putative open reading frame of 765 bp encoding a polypeptide of 254 amino acid residues, which had all the characteristics of α-expansin. As fruit softened, the expression of CDK-Exp3 increased dramatically within the initial 8-day ripening at 20 °C followed by a gradual decline at the late stages of ripening. The expression of CDK-Exp3 was inhibited by gibberellic acid, and the maximum transcript abundance was delayed by 20 days compared with that of the control fruit. The results suggest that CDK-Exp3 might be closely related to softening of persimmon fruit during postharvest ripening.