The role of the walnut (Juglans regia L.) shell in nut development, transportation, cleaning, and storage is often ignored. The shell suture seal and thickness are directly associated with kernel characteristics. In the present study, shell differentiation and microstructure were observed with an optical microscope using paraffin-sectioning and cryosectioning. The results showed that the parenchymal cells of the endocarp began to differentiate into sclerenchymal cells from 49 d after flowering (DAF), and the entire process continued until fruit maturation. The mature shell consists of three parts, including the sclereid layer (L1), sclerenchymal cell layer (L2), and shrunken cell layer (L3), from the outside to the inside. The shell thickness, suture seal grade, and mechanical strength were evaluated, as well as the lignin, cellulose, and phenolic compounds of the shell. Suture seal grade was positively correlated with lignin content, shell thickness, and L1 thickness and negatively correlated with shell cell diameter. Similarly, the mechanical strength of the shell was positively correlated with lignin content and L1 thickness. ‘Qingxing’ fruits were subjected to two treatments, namely, 30% shading and 70% shading, from 10 d after anthesis to maturity, with no shading used as control. After harvesting in September, nutshell sections showed thinner shells, with decreased contents of lignin and polyphenols, obtained under shaded conditions, and two of the three parts of the shell changed dramatically. The thinning of L1 and thickening of L3 eventually led to a thinner shell. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship among the shell structure, cellular components, and physical properties and provide a theoretical basis for cultivar breeding, rational planting density, and regulation of shell development.
Shugang Zhao, Jiamin Niu, Linying Yun, Kai Liu, Shuang Wang, Jing Wen, Hongxia Wang and ZhiHua Zhang
Kunkun Li, Weiqi Dong, Yun Zhao, Hongxia Xu, Junwei Chen and Changjie Xu
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) is an economically important subtropical fruit tree, originating and commercially produced mainly in China and Japan. The aseptic seed germination of 13 loquat cultivars, including 9 white-fleshed cultivars and 4 red-fleshed ones, was studied, and the relationship between the germination rate and the content of endogenous ABA in seeds was explored. The germination rate and the seedling height at 80 days after sowing of white-fleshed cultivars were generally higher than that of red-fleshed ones. The ABA content in seeds was generally lower in white-fleshed cultivars, and the ABA content negatively correlated with the germination rate at 80 days after sowing. A moderate detrimental effect of 75% ethanol disinfection on aseptic germination of loquat seeds was observed, especially, for the cultivar Dahongpao, and the germination rate and seedling height were reduced by around half and one-third, respectively. The addition of plant preservative mixture (PPM) to the germination medium at a final concentration of 25 mg·L−1 effectively controlled contamination when the 75% ethanol disinfection procedure was omitted.