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Diheng Zhong, Hongmei Du, Zhaolong Wang, and Bingru Huang

Fatty acid metabolism may be involved in plant adaptation to drought stress. The objective of this study was to identify saturated and unsaturated fatty acids associated with leaf dehydration tolerance by comparing fatty acid composition and unsaturation levels at equivalent leaf water status of two bermudagrass genotypes contrasting in drought resistance. A drought-resistant hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) genotype (‘Tifway’) and a drought-sensitive bermudagrass (C. dactylon) genotype (‘C299’) were maintained under well-watered (control) or water-withheld (drought) conditions. Drought treatment was imposed until soil water content decreased to 5% or leaf relative water content (RWC) dropped to 28% to 29%. ‘Tifway’ maintained higher RWC and lower electrolyte leakage (EL) at 5 and 10 days of drought stress. Leaves of ‘Tifway’ maintained lower EL when RWC of both genotypes declined to the same level of water deficit (28% to 29%) by the end of drought periods. The degree of fatty acid unsaturation, expressed as the double bond index, decreased in both genotypes during drought stress, which was mainly associated with the decline in linoleic (C18:2) and linolenic acids (C18:3) and an increase in palmitic (C16:0) and stearic acids (C18:0). A lipid composition characterized by a greater amount of unsaturated fatty acids was detected in ‘Tifway’ relative to ‘C299’ exposed to the same level of water deficit, mainly as a result of a greater content of C18:2 and a lower content of C16:0 and C18:0. Our results suggest that the ability to maintain a greater composition of unsaturated fatty acids in membrane lipids may contribute to superior leaf dehydration tolerance in bermudagrass.

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Caihong Zhong, Shengmei Wang, Zhengwang Jiang, and Hongwen Huang

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Weibing Zhuang, Xiaochun Shu, Xinya Lu, Tao Wang, Fengjiao Zhang, Ning Wang, and Zhong Wang

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Ya-Long Qin, Xiao-Chun Shu, Wei-Bing Zhuang, Feng Peng, and Zhong Wang

Callus induction and plant regeneration play a key role in transgenic technology. Although much progress has been made with respect to eggplant, this type of research is insufficiently developed in Solanum torvum (a wild relative of eggplant), which contains a large number of resistance genes. Here, a high-efficiency regeneration system of S. torvum was established. Stem segments and leaves were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 0.5–3.0 mg·L−1 6-benzyladenine (6-BA) and 0.1–0.6 mg·L−1 α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). The highest callus induction ratio (100%) was produced on MS + 1.0 mg·L−1 6-BA + 0.5 mg·L−1 NAA. The combination of 0.5 mg·L−1 BA and 1.0 mg·L−1 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid in MS medium (double microelement) was the best for plant regeneration. Well-developed shoots rooted on half-strength MS medium supplemented with 0.1 mg·L−1 indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). These results will be helpful for functional verification of resistance genes from S. torvum and may be useful to those working in the field of eggplant breeding.

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Zhong-Hua Bian, Rui-Feng Cheng, Qi-Chang Yang, Jun Wang, and Chungui Lu

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have shown great potential for plant growth and development, with higher luminous efficiency and more flexible and feasible spectral control compared with other artificial lighting. The combined effects of red and blue (RB) LED with or without green (G) LED light and white LED light on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) growth and physiology, including nitrate content, chlorophyll fluorescence, and phytochemical concentration before harvest, were investigated. Continuous light exposure at preharvest can effectively reduce nitrate accumulation and increase phytochemical concentrations in lettuce plants. Nitrate accumulation is dependent on the spectral composition and duration of treatment: lettuce exposed to continuous RB (with or without G) LED light with a photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) of 200 µmol·m−2·s−1 exhibited a remarkable decrease in nitrate content at 24 hour compared with white LED light treatment at the same PPF. In addition, RB LED light (R:B = 4:1) was more effective than white LED light at the same PPF in facilitating lettuce growth. Moreover, continuous LED light for 24 hours significantly enhanced free-radical scavenging activity and increased phenolic compound concentrations. We suggest that 24 hours continuous RB LED with G light exposure can be used to decrease nitrate content and enhance lettuce quality.

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Yu Wang, Haobo Yang, Shuai Zhong, Xin Liu, Tong Li, and Chengwen Zong

Sugar and organic acid contents as well as sugar-to-acid ratio of fruit are important factors affecting fruit quality and processing. In this study, we compared sugar and organic acid contents of Vaccinium uliginosum (bog bilberry) fruit harvested from 100 plants across 10 wild populations growing in the Changbai Mountains of China. Correlation of sugar and acid contents with the spatial distribution of these populations was accessed. Germplasm with high sugar and low acid with potential for use in future breeding was also identified. Results showed that sugar and organic acid contents varied among different V. uliginosum populations in the Changbai Mountains. Fructose (18.60–38.54 mg·g−1) and glucose (15.77–35.08 mg·g−1) were the main sugars, whereas quinic (16.06–20.97 mg·g−1), citric (10.39–14.96 mg·g−1), and malic (4.28–7.47 mg·g−1) acids were the main organic acids in V. uliginosum. The first population collected in the Dongfanghong forest farm (lat. 42°00′N, long. 128°03′E) showed the highest average sugar content and sugar-to-acid ratio among the sampled populations. Moreover, total sugar content and sugar-to-acid ratio of Sample 7—Population 1, which is located at Manjiang forest farm (lat. 41°09′N, long. 127°05′E) was much higher than the other 99 samples, making this sample representative of important germplasm for breeding. Altitude and latitude were important environmental factors affecting sugar and organic acid contents. Fructose, glucose, and total sugar contents were positively correlated with altitude and negatively correlated with latitude. Oxalic acid content and sugar-to-acid ratio were positively correlated with altitude, and there was no significant correlation between organic acid contents and latitude.

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Hua Gao, Zheng-yang Zhao, Lei-cun Wang, Zhen-zhong Liu, and Ya-zhou Yang

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Yalong Qin, Yiming Chen, Weibing Zhuang, Xiaochun Shu, Fengjiao Zhang, Tao Wang, Hui Xu, Bofeng Zhu, and Zhong Wang

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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.

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Li Ma, Chang Wei Hou, Xin Zhong Zhang, Hong Li Li, De Guo Han, Yi Wang, and Zhen Hai Han

Understanding of root growth patterns and architecture of apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) trees is very important for commercial apple production. Most commercial apple trees are usually a grafted complex consisting of the scion and the rootstock, each of which is a different genotype. Recently, rootstocks of dwarf tree species have been used extensively to meet the convenience in management; however, this practice appears to negatively impact root development. Using minirhizotrons, we investigated root dynamics, root spatial distribution, and shoot growth in ‘Red Fuji’ scion grown: 1) directly on dwarf and vigorous root stocks and 2) on a dwarf root stock placed in between the non-dwarf scion and non-dwarf rootstock (hereinafter referred to as an interstem). The results showed that: 1) one or two peaks in total root length density (TRLD) were observed in each scion/rootstock combinations every year; 2) the greatest TRLD peaks were always observed in between May and December. The peaks of shoot growth were always asynchronous with that of white root length density; 3) compared with scion/vigorous rootstock combinations, inserting a dwarfing interstem between the scion and vigorous seedling rootstock reduced the TRLD; 4) scion/vigorous rootstock combinations had a relatively deep, widespread and large root system. Scion/dwarfing rootstock combinations had a root system distributed in a small region; and the root systems of scion/dwarfing interstem/vigorous rootstock combinations tended to be intermediate between those of scion/vigorous rootstock and scion/dwarfing rootstock. This implies that the insertion of interstems altered the root architecture by not only the quantity of roots, but also the spatial distribution.