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Liping Kou, Tianbao Yang, Xianjin Liu and Yaguang Luo

Regulation of cell death in flower petals Plant Mol. Biol. 44 303 318 Saftner, R.A. Bai, J. Abbott, J.A. Lee, Y.S. 2003 Sanitary dips with calcium propionate, calcium chloride, or a calcium amino acid chelate maintain quality and shelf stability of fresh

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Peter C. Andersen, Fred M. Rhoads, Steven M. Olson and Brent V. Brodbeck

`Colonial' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plants were grown on raised beds with black polyethylene mulch, drip irrigation, and preplant-N rates of 0, 67, 134, 202, or 269 kg·ha-1. Petiole sap was collected 7 and 13 weeks after transplanting. Concentrations of NO3-N, free amino acids, total amino acids, and total-N (the sum of NO3-N and amino acid-N) were examined as functions of the rate of N fertilization. Also, each of these compounds was used as an independent variable as a predictor of fruit yield. Seven weeks after planting, the concentrations of NO3-N and 15 of 18 of the free amino acids were correlated with the rate of N fertilization, but concentrations of bound or total amino acids were not. The amount of NO3-N accounted for 37% of the total-N in the 0 kg·ha-1 treatment, and up to 83% in the 202 kg·ha-1 treatment. NO3-N was highly correlated with total-N for both nonhydrolyzed and hydrolyzed sap (R 2 = 0.98). Thirteen weeks after transplanting, neither the concentration of NO3-N nor that of amino acids, other than asparagine, glutamine, and proline, were significantly related to the rate of N fertilization. On both dates, concentrations of glutamine plus glutamic acid were correlated with rate of N fertilization whether expressed as absolute values or as percentage values. N fertilization rate and the concentration of NO3-N or total-N were related to total fruit yield (R 2 = 0.69 to 0.74), and marketable fruit yield (R 2 = 0.78 to 0.82). N-fertilization rate and petiole sap concentrations of NO3-N or total-N were also correlated with the N contained in total or marketable yield. Petiole sap variables measured 13 weeks after transplanting were not significantly correlated with fruit yield or the quantity of N contained in the fruit. Free, bound, or total amino acids in petiole sap were not as well correlated with fruit yield parameters as were N-fertilization rate, NO3-N, or total-N in petiole sap.

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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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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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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.