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Sun Qigao-

Through author's two years' study, mechanism of vitrification of Malus honanensis was conducted in following aspects:

  1. Factors affecting vitrification;
  2. Anatomical comparison of abnormal leaves and stems with those of the normal;
  3. Content6 of chlorophyll (a.b/T);
  4. contents of lignin, cellulose, etc;
  5. Contents of amino acid, protein;
  6. Isoenzyme of peroxidase, etc;
  7. Recovery of vitrious plantlets.

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Louis G. Nickell and Glenn E. Vogt

The development of dark color is often a major problem in the processing of potatoes. This is due, in large part, to the reaction of reducing sugars with amino acids upon the application of heat during processing. Several chemicals have been shown which, when applied to foliage in the field, will decrease reducing sugars and dark color in processed potatoes.

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Rajeev Arora and Chon-Chong Lim

Many reports have shown the accumulation of specific proteins associated with cold acclimation in plants. However, there is a scarcity of data on the physiological and/or biochemical changes associated with deacclimation process. This study was initiated to determine protein changes specifically associated with deacclimation in Rhododendron. Current-year leaves were collected from three Rhododendron cultivars (`Chionoides', `Grumpy Yellow', and `Vulcanís Flame'; ≈4-year-old rooted cuttings) during natural non-acclimated (June), cold-acclimated (January), and deacclimated (May) state. Leaf freezing tolerance was evaluated using controlled freezing protocol (Lim et al. 1998, J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 123:246–252). Seasonal SDS-PAGE profiles exhibited a distinct accumulation of 27 kDa protein in deacclimated and nonacclimated tissues, but this protein was essentially undetectable in cold acclimated tissues of all three cultivars. Further characterization of this polypeptide, labeled as RhDAP27 (for rhododendron deacclimation protein), revealed that it has an iso-electric point of 6.5, has a compositional bias for Glu/Gln (13.9%), His (11.4%), Gly (11%), Ala (10%), Lys (8.3%), and Asp/Asn (8.1%)—hydrophilic amino acids constitutedabout 54% of the total amino acids while 40% were nonpolar, aliphatic amino acids (Gly, Ala, Val, Leu, Ile, Pro) and only 6% were aromatic amino acids (Phe and Tyr). Micro-sequencing of the four peptides produced by partial cleavage of RhDAP27 revealed a striking homology of RhDAP27 with two proteins (from Mesembryanthemum crystallinum and Pinus taeda) that belong to the family of ABA stress ripening/water deficit stress inducible proteins.

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Shogo Matsumoto, Kentaro Kitahara, Sadao Komori and Junichi Soejima

S-allele genotypes of nine apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) cultivars were identified using S-allele–specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR)–restriction fragmentlength polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. A new S-allele, Sg, was proposed to be present in `American Summer Pearmain', `Indo', `Kitanosachi', and `Meku 10'. This allele is very similar to Sf at the nucleotide sequence (92%) and deduced amino acid sequence (94%) levels.

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Kyu H. Chung, Dennis E. Buetow and Schuyler S. Korban

A nuclear gene, Lhcb1*Pp1, encoding a light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein of photosystem II has been isolated from peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. `Stark Earliglo'] leaf genomic DNA, cloned, and sequenced. This gene encodes a precursor polypeptide of 267 amino acids with a transit peptide of 34 and a type I mature protein of 233 amino acids. The amino acid sequence of the mature polypeptide is 89% to 94% and 80% to 94% similar to those encoded by type I Lhcb genes of annual and other woody plants, respectively. In contrast, the amino acid sequence of the peach transit peptide is less conserved being 47% to 69% similar to those of annual plants and only 17% to 22% similar to those of other woody plants. The peach gene was used as a probe for Lhcb gene expression. Lhcb mRNA is detected in leaves of field-grown trees during June to October. Lhcb mRNA is detected at a high level in leaves of peach shoots grown in tissue culture in the light, but only at a trace level in leaves grown in the dark. Some Lhcb genes appear to be light-modulated in stems. Lhcb1*Ppl contains four potential polyadenylation sites. S1 nuclease analysis detected transcripts of the sizes expected from each of the four polyadenylation sites. All four are found in leaves of light-grown shoots and of field-grown trees throughout the growing season. In contrast, only three are detected in stems of light-grown shoots.

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Zhencai Wu and Paul A. Wiersma

Expansins are a class of proteins that stimulate the extension of plant cell walls. Expansins have been found in nearly all growing plant tissues, such as hycopotyls, young seedlings, fibers, internodes, flower petals, and ripening fruits. We isolated two full-length expansin cDNA clones, Pruav-Exp1 and Pruav-Exp2, from sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) fruit. Pruav-Exp1 has 1048 nucleotides encoding 254 amino acids, while Pruav-Exp2 has 1339 nucleotides encoding 250 amino acids. Deduced amino acid sequences of sweet cherry Pruav-Exp1 and Pruav-Exp2 share 72% identity. A Blast search of the GenBank database with the deduced amino acid sequences of Pruav-Exp1 and Pruav-Exp2 indicated a high sequence identity with other plant expansin genes. Interestingly, Pruav-Exp1 shares 99% identity of amino acid sequence with that of apricot expansin Pav-Exp1. Fragments from the 3' ends of Pruav-Exp1 and Pruav-Exp2 were cloned to generate gene-specific probes. These probes were used to study expansin gene expression in different tissues and during fruit development. Northern blot analysis showed different mRNA expression patterns for each gene. The mRNA of Pruav-Exp1 was expressed at the pink and ripe stages, but not at the early green and yellow stages of fruit development. The mRNA of Pruav-Exp2 was present earlier, from a low level in yellow expanding fruit, increasing to a high level at the pink stage and remaining at this level through the ripe stage. Both mRNAs were also expressed at a low level in flower, but not present in other tissues such as roots, leaves and peduncles. Our study indicates an expansin gene family is present in sweet cherry and suggests that two expansin genes may have different roles during fruit development and ripening.

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Farbod Youssefi, Patrick H. Brown and Steve A. Weinbaum

It has been proposed that a pool of amino N, whose size is determined by aboveground N demand, cycles in the plant and regulates soil N uptake by exerting an inhibitory effect at the root level. Several experiments were carried out to study this hypothesis in almond trees [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb]. Based on the evidence found, there is an association, at the whole tree level, between sap N content and soil N uptake. The data are consistent with the possibility that increased phloem sap amino acids result in decreased uptake of soil N.

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Peter C. Andersen, Brent V. Brodbeck and Russell F. Mizell III

Diurnal variations in the chemical composition of xylem fluid have been established for many plant species exhibiting positive root pressure; similar patterns have not been well documented in transpiring plants. Diurnal changes in plant water status and xylem fluid chemistry were investigated for `Flordaking' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch], `Suwannee' grape (Vitis hybrid), and `Flordahome' pear (Pyrus communis L.). Xylem tension was maximum at 1200 or 1600 hr and declined to <0.5 MPa before dawn. Xylem fluid osmolarity ranged from 10 to 27 mm and was not correlated with diurnal patterns of xylem tension. The combined concentration of amino acids and organic acids accounted for up to 70%, 45%, 55%, and 23% of total osmolarity for irrigated P. persica, nonirrigated P. persica, Vitis, and P. communis, respectively. The concentration of total organic compounds in xylem fluid was numerically greatest at 0800 or 0900 hr. For irrigated P. persica the osmolarity of xylem fluid was reduced by 45% from 0800 to 1200 hr, 1 h after irrigation, compared to only a 12% reduction from 0800 to 1200 hr for nonirrigated trees. Asparagine, aspartic acid, glutamine, and glutamic acid were mainly responsible for diurnal changes in the concentration of total amino acids and organic N for P. persica; the diurnal variation in organic N for Vitis was due to glutamine. Arginine, rather than the amides, was the primary source of organic N in xylem fluid of P. communis, and there was no consistent diurnal change in the concentration of amino acids or organic N. The predominant organic acids in all species examined were citric and malic acids. No consistent diurnal trend occurred in the concentration of organic acids or sugars in xylem fluid.

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Anwar G. Ali and Carol J. Lovatt

The effects of different methods of sample preparation, extraction, and storage on the recovery of the combined pool of ammonia plus ammonium (NH3 + NH4 +) from `Washington' navel orange leaves previously incubated in solutions of increasing NH4 Cl concentrations were assessed. Procedures and instruments for quantifying NH3 + NH4 + were tested for their sensitivity, reproducibility, and freedom from interference by amino acids. Reliable recoveries of NH3 + NH4 + free from amino acid interference, were obtained with oven-dried (60C) leaves ground to pass through a 40-mesh screen, extracted by homogenization in 10% TCA or by shaking in 2% acetic acid, and then filtered and analyzed on the basis of differences in electrical conductance between the sample and the reference cell. Methods measuring NH3 + NH4 + in KCl extracts by reaction with salicylate-nitroprusside in the presence of hypochlorite were compromised by significant color formation due to amino acids. Using fresh or freeze-dried leaf samples resulted in lower recoveries than use of oven-dried samples. Storage at -20C of fresh or oven-dried leaf samples in 10% TCA before or after homogenization and filtration did not alter NH3 + NH4 + levels, whereas storage of these samples at 4C increased NH3 + NH4 + levels.

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Lambert B. McCarty and Daniel L. Colvin

Buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] is a turfgrass species traditionally adapted to low-rainfall areas that may incur unacceptable weed encroachment when grown in higher rainfall areas such as Florida. An experiment was performed to evaluate the tolerance of two new buffalograss cultivars, `Oasis' and `Prairie', to postemergence herbicides commonly used for grass, broadleaf, and sedge weed control. Twenty to 40 days were required for each cultivar to recover from treatment with asulam, MSMA, and sethoxydim (2.24, 2.24, and 0.56 kg-ha-l, respectively). Other herbicides used for postemergence grass weed control (metsulfuron, quinclorac, and diclofop at 0.017, 0.56, and 1.12 kg·ha-1, respectively) did not cause unacceptable buffalograss injury. Herbicides used for postemergence broadleaf weed control, triclopyr, 2,4-D, sulfometuron, dicamba (0.56, 1.12, 0.017, and 0.56 kg·ha-1, respectively), and a three-way combination of 2,4-D + dicamba + mecoprop (1.2 + 0.54 + 0.13 kg·ha-1), caused 20 to 30 days of unacceptable or marginally acceptable turfgrass quality, while 20 days were required for `Prairie' buffalograss to recover from atrazine treatments. `Oasis' buffalograss did not fully recover from 2,4-D or 2,4-D + dicamba + mecoprop through 40 days after treatment. Herbicides used for postemergence sedge control, bentazon and imazaquin, caused slightly reduced, but acceptable, levels of turf quality in both cultivars throughout the experiment. Chemical names used: 6-chloro-N-ethyl-N'-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (atrazine); methyl[(4-aminophenyl)sulfonyl]carhamate (asulam); 3-(1-methylethyl)-(1H)-2,1,3-benzothiadiazin-4(3H)-one 2,2-dioxide (bentazon); 3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid (dicamba); (±)-2-[4-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenoxy]propanoic acid (diclofop); 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-3-quinolinecarboxylic acid (imazaquin); (±)-2-(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)propanoic acid (mecoprop); 2-[[[[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]benzoic acid (metsulfuron); monosodium salt of methylarsonic acid (MSMA); 2-[1-(ethoxyimino)butyl]-5-[2-(ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one(sethoxydim); 2-[[[[(4,6-dimethylethyl-2-pyrimidinyl)amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]benzoic acid (sulfometuron); [(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy]acetic acid (triclopyr); (2,4-dichlorophenoxyl)acetic acid (2,4-D); 3,7-dichloro-8-quinolinecarboxylic acid (quinclorac).