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Horticulturae, Volume 9, Issue 10 (October 2023) – 99 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A pilot large-scale aquaponic system operating in a coupled (CAP) or decoupled (DCAP) mode was developed and evaluated. The results were compared with those obtained in a conventional hydroponic system (HP). The work assessed the water and nutrient flows in four different crops: basil, parsley, cucumber and tomato, which were all co-cultivated with a tilapia aquaculture system. Only the leafy plants managed to absorb the essential nutrients via the CAP system. The fruit-bearing vegetables performed poorly in terms of nutrient absorption. The average nutrient use efficiency for nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and calcium was found to be 42% higher in the CAP treatment case compared to those of the HP and DCAP treatment scenarios. View this paper
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13 pages, 1226 KiB  
Article
Impact of Cover Cropping on Temporal Nutrient Distribution and Availability in the Soil
by Miurel Brewer, Ramdas G. Kanissery, Sarah L. Strauss and Davie M. Kadyampakeni
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101160 - 22 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1103
Abstract
Cover cropping is a best management practice that can improve soil quality by reducing soil erosion, building soil organic matter (SOM), and improving soil nutrient availability. Southwest (SW) Florida citrus growers have the challenge of growing citrus in sandy soils characterized by low [...] Read more.
Cover cropping is a best management practice that can improve soil quality by reducing soil erosion, building soil organic matter (SOM), and improving soil nutrient availability. Southwest (SW) Florida citrus growers have the challenge of growing citrus in sandy soils characterized by low organic matter (<2%), extremely low water and nutrient-holding capacities, and high sand content (>90%), and therefore are looking for methods to improve SOM and nutrient retention and availability in sandy soils. A trial of two cover crop (CC) mixtures planted in the row middles (RM) of Huanglongbing-affected citrus ‘Valencia’ (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck) orchards in sandy soils in SW Florida was conducted. This study explored how incorporating CCs in the RM of the orchards could affect soil ammonium (NH4+), soil nitrate (NO3), exchangeable macronutrients, and SOM temporal availability. These parameters were measured under the tree canopy (UC) and within RM of two orchards: South Grove (SG) and North Grove (NG), both located in SW Florida. The two seeded CC mixtures were legume + non-legume (LG+NL) and non-legume (NL) and were compared to a control no-CC grower standard (GSC). Phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and NH4+ were not statistically significantly different among treatments in either of the two sampling positions (UC and RM). Cover cropping significantly (p < 0.05) increased NO3-N concentrations in the RM area of the citrus orchards after seven consecutive seasons (brassicas, legumes, and grasses) by 31% in the LG + NL and 29% in the NL with reference to the GSC. In addition to the significant increase in NO3N, SOM significantly (p < 0.05) increased in the RM in the NG site only in both CCs treatments by 17% and 16% for LG + NL and NL treatments, respectively, compared with GSC. Full article
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12 pages, 474 KiB  
Article
Bioactive Compounds, Amino Acids, Fatty Acids, and Prebiotics in the Seed of Mahuad (Lepisanthes rubiginosa (Roxb.) Leenh)
by Apichaya Bunyatratchata, Theeraphan Chumroenphat, Surapon Saensouk and Sirithon Siriamornpun
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101159 - 22 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1142
Abstract
The seeds of Mahuad (Lepisanthes rubiginosa (Roxb.) Leenh (LRL) were analyzed for proximate composition and the contents of phenolic acids, flavonoids, and sugars/oligosaccharides. The LRL seeds contained approximately 29% moisture, 10% protein, 2% fat, 16% fiber, 2% ash, and 42% carbohydrate. The [...] Read more.
The seeds of Mahuad (Lepisanthes rubiginosa (Roxb.) Leenh (LRL) were analyzed for proximate composition and the contents of phenolic acids, flavonoids, and sugars/oligosaccharides. The LRL seeds contained approximately 29% moisture, 10% protein, 2% fat, 16% fiber, 2% ash, and 42% carbohydrate. The major phenolic acids were vanillic acid and p-hydroxybenzoic acid, accounting for 30% and 26% of total phenolic content, respectively. The predominant flavonoids were quercetin (62% of total flavonoid content) followed by myricetin (22%). Proline, methionine, and arginine were the dominant amino acids, constituting 35%, 19%, and 13% of total amino acid content, respectively. Prebiotic fructooligosaccharide (5.3 mg/g) and stachyose (4.2 mg/g) were also found in the LRL seeds. The major fatty acids were palmitic acid (C 16:0, 41%), oleic acid (C 18:1n9, 27%), and linoleic acid (C 18:2n6, 19%). This information reveals useful information about LRL seeds as a potential source of bioactive compounds for future use in various aspects including food, feeds, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Bioactive Substances, Pharmacognosy and Metabolomics)
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14 pages, 1057 KiB  
Article
Effect of Processing Methods on the Postharvest Quality of Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.)
by Sara Agudelo-Sánchez, Yadiela Mosquera-Palacios, Dairon David-Úsuga, Susana Cartagena-Montoya and Yudy Duarte-Correa
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101158 - 22 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1441
Abstract
The cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.) is an exotic tropical fruit of great national and international importance due to its nutritional and organoleptic properties. The objective of this study was to evaluate different postharvest treatments—coating, vacuum impregnation, and immersion—on the conservation of [...] Read more.
The cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.) is an exotic tropical fruit of great national and international importance due to its nutritional and organoleptic properties. The objective of this study was to evaluate different postharvest treatments—coating, vacuum impregnation, and immersion—on the conservation of several quality characteristics of cape gooseberry fruit. Moreover, the different conditions of the selected treatments were studied. Weight loss was assessed with a gravimetric analysis of the fresh and treated fruit. Firmness was determined by the instrumental texture. A sensory analysis was conducted using a multidimensional profile approach. Of the treatments evaluated, the lowest weight loss was recorded with the use of coating and immersion. However, the immersion process resulted in the product with the highest overall quality according to the sensory analysis and presented the most appropriate texture according to the firmness values. Finally, in the evaluation of the immersion, a significant influence of the CaCl2 immersion time (p < 0.05) on the firmness values of the product was found, resulting in longer times leading to less firm products. Considering 10% as a commercial standard limit for weight loss, the fruit treated under immersion and coating processes can be stored for at least 12 days. The immersion process is highlighted because it improved the sensory characteristics with respect to the control (i.e., without treatment). Therefore, it is a promising alternative for the postharvest treatment of cape gooseberries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Biology and Molecular Research of Horticulture Crops)
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15 pages, 3898 KiB  
Article
Species-Specific Level Variation in Polyamines in Coniferous and Deciduous Woody Plant Species in Urban Areas
by Marko Kebert, Saša Kostić, Milena Rašeta, Dejan V. Stojanović, Srđan Stojnić and Saša Orlović
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101157 - 22 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1305
Abstract
Urban heat islands (UHIs) and global warming will unavoidably have a negative impact on human health in urban areas, making urban forests much more susceptible to the risk of heat waves than forests. It is pivotal for urban forest management to understand tree [...] Read more.
Urban heat islands (UHIs) and global warming will unavoidably have a negative impact on human health in urban areas, making urban forests much more susceptible to the risk of heat waves than forests. It is pivotal for urban forest management to understand tree species’ adaptation mechanisms by focusing on the species-dependent variability of polyamines (PAs), significant players in the amelioration of biotic and abiotic stress in plants, to mitigate the negative effects of UHIs and global warming on human health. Based on this background, the content of major polyamines (PAs) (putrescine, spermidine, and spermine) and total phenolics and the corresponding antioxidant capacities were determined and analyzed in the 24 most prevalent deciduous and coniferous tree species found in urban areas, namely Futoški Park in Novi Sad (Serbia). High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with fluorometric detection (HPLC-FD) was used to separate and quantify major PAs from tree species. Results showed a species-specific level variation in polyamines, total phenolic, and antioxidant capacity in coniferous and deciduous woody plant species in inspected urban areas. In terms of total PA content, the most notable deciduous tree species were Betula pendula, Junglans regia, and Quercus rubra, while the coniferous tree species Thuja occidentalis, Taxodium distichum, Pinus nigra, and Abies concolor stand out. The most dominant foliar PA in most of the inspected species was putrescine (ranging from 527.67 to 10,049.3 nmol g−1 DW), followed by spermidine (from 250.56 to 2015.92 nmol g−1 DW) and spermine (from 168.8 to 718.41 nmol g−1 DW). Furthermore, significant intra-genus variability in terms of PA content was recorded within the genera Pinus, Thuja, and Picea. This study demonstrated that the PA and phenolic compounds, in combination with antioxidant assays, can serve as reliable and trustworthy criteria and descriptors for the selection of adaptable tree species in the context of urban climate–smart forestry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Response Mechanisms of Trees under Abiotic Stresses)
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15 pages, 7071 KiB  
Article
Exploring Wild and Local Fruits as Sources of Promising Biocontrol Agents against Alternaria spp. in Apples
by Keziban Sinem Tulukoğlu-Kunt, Mustafa Özden and Alessandra Di Francesco
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101156 - 22 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1363
Abstract
Biological control agents (BCAs) are a promising option for managing postharvest diseases. Their environmentally friendly nature makes them valuable for sustainable and eco-friendly postharvest disease management. This study evaluated the antagonistic potential of epiphytic yeasts isolated from a local apple genotype known as [...] Read more.
Biological control agents (BCAs) are a promising option for managing postharvest diseases. Their environmentally friendly nature makes them valuable for sustainable and eco-friendly postharvest disease management. This study evaluated the antagonistic potential of epiphytic yeasts isolated from a local apple genotype known as “Niğde Elması” and a range of wild fruits: rosehip, hawthorn, and wild pear. There were 375 yeast isolates obtained and screened in vitro and in vivo. Initially selected were 32 isolates able to inhibit the growth of Alternaria alternata mycelia in the in vitro experiments and identified using molecular methods as candidate BCAs. These isolates were identified as Aureobasidium pullulans using sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and the translation elongation factor EF-1α gene (EF1α). Based on two rounds of in vivo screening, four isolates were subsequently selected for their capability to control the infection of apple fruits under high inoculum pressure. Finally, their volatile and non-volatile antimicrobial activity was tested against Alternaria spp. These findings showed how wild fruits and a local apple genotype could represent a promising source for new BCA isolation. However, further studies are needed to reveal the mechanisms of action of these putative BCAs for application during the postharvest processing and storage of apples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Pre and Postharvest Diseases II)
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15 pages, 3381 KiB  
Article
Proteomic Analysis of the Effect of Accelerated Ageing on Allium mongolicum Seeds
by Xiaoqing Song, Zhongren Yang, Dong Zhang, Xiaoyan Zhang, Fenglan Zhang, Jiecai Liu and Chuanzong Yu
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101155 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1164
Abstract
Seed propagation is the most commonly used method for producing Allium mongolicum seeds. However, as storage time increases, the seeds may suffer from ageing to varying degrees. This study aims to investigate the proteome expression of A. mongolicum seeds with different levels [...] Read more.
Seed propagation is the most commonly used method for producing Allium mongolicum seeds. However, as storage time increases, the seeds may suffer from ageing to varying degrees. This study aims to investigate the proteome expression of A. mongolicum seeds with different levels of vigor. The findings of this study will provide evidence of protein expression levels that reveal the mechanism behind the ageing of A. mongolicum seeds. An integrated approach of tandem mass tag (TMT) labeling in conjunction with liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to capture the differential protein expression profiles of A. mongolicum seeds under unaged (Control), lightly aged (LA) and severely aged (SA). In total, 4336 proteins were identified, of which 4318 were quantifiable. After accelerated ageing, 291 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were identified. Compared with Control, 36 DEPs (16 up-regulated and 20 down-regulated) were found in LA; and 139 DEPs (64 up-regulated and 75 down-regulated) in SA. Compared with LA, 116 DEPs (51 up-regulated and 65 down-regulated) were found in SA. A number of candidate proteins associated with seed ageing were screened, including ATP-dependent RNA helicase-like protein DB10 (Unigene0060546), β-D-glucan exohydolase (Unigene0008772), Histone H1.2 partial (Unigene0049278), defensin Ec-AMP-D2 (Unigene0042879), NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (quinone) FQR1 (Unigene0047137), glutathione S-transferase (Unigene0000863), oleosin S1-2 (Unigene0011542), probable inactive purple acid phosphatase 2 (Unigene0010352), glutathione S-transferase U8-like (Unigene0006910), and glutathione S-transferase U17-like (Unigene0051938). Additionally, this study was the first to determine the proteome of A. mongolicum seeds. These data provided references for further study of seed ageing mechanism of A. mongolicum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Propagation and Seeds)
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16 pages, 6211 KiB  
Article
Modern Approaches to In Vitro Clonal Banana Production: Next-Generation Tissue Culture Systems
by Mansur Hakan Erol, Dicle Dönmez, Belgin Biçen, Özhan Şimşek and Yıldız Aka Kaçar
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101154 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1921
Abstract
In this study, the solid culture method, and Plantform™ and SETIS™ temporary immersion bioreactor systems were used comparatively to propagate, root, and acclimatize ‘Grande Naine’ and ‘Azman’ banana varieties for rapid, cheap, and mass production in in vitro conditions. Micropropagation rate, plant height, [...] Read more.
In this study, the solid culture method, and Plantform™ and SETIS™ temporary immersion bioreactor systems were used comparatively to propagate, root, and acclimatize ‘Grande Naine’ and ‘Azman’ banana varieties for rapid, cheap, and mass production in in vitro conditions. Micropropagation rate, plant height, number of leaves, and fresh and dry weight parameters were investigated in the micropropagation stage across eight subcultures. Rooting rate, plant height, number of leaves, number of roots/plant, root length, fresh and dry weight parameters were investigated in the rooting stage. Photosynthetic pigment analyses and stoma examinations were performed throughout all stages. In the micropropagation stage, a 20% increase in the Plantform™ system, a 12% increase in the SETIS™ system in ‘Grande Naine’, an 82% increase in the Plantform™ system, and a 98% increase in SETIS™ system in ‘Azman’ were determined compared to the solid culture. At the rooting stage, higher data were obtained from bioreactor systems than solid culture. Plants from bioreactor systems acclimatized faster and developed healthier in the greenhouse stage. It was determined that stomata were more active, and pigment accumulation was higher in bioreactor systems. Genetic variations across subcultures are among the most critical issues in banana clonal propagation. Leaf samples were taken from each system, and plant variation was investigated using SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers. No variation was observed from the initial stage to the greenhouse stage. As a result, it has been determined that bioreactor systems are an essential alternative for the mass production of bananas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Propagation and Seeds)
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18 pages, 2620 KiB  
Article
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Cultivar Yield and Quality Affected by Irrigation and Fertilization—From Field to Chip Bag
by Danijela Žunić, Vladimir Sabadoš, Đorđe Vojnović, Ivana Maksimović, Dušan Ilin, Aleksandra Tepić Horecki and Žarko Ilin
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101153 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Potatoes are essential for chip production, requiring high quality for processors and high yields for farmers. This two-year study was carried out for the purpose of investigating the influence of irrigation, fertilization, and cultivar on potato yield and tuber and chip quality. Field [...] Read more.
Potatoes are essential for chip production, requiring high quality for processors and high yields for farmers. This two-year study was carried out for the purpose of investigating the influence of irrigation, fertilization, and cultivar on potato yield and tuber and chip quality. Field experiments were conducted in Sombor, Serbia, using a split-split plot design with three replications. Whole-plot treatments involved two irrigation schemes: sprinkler irrigation (SI) used as standard (control) and drip irrigation (DI). Subplot treatments included nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) fertilization in four different combinations: 64 kg N/ha and 64 kg K/ha (N64K64) as control; 77 kg N/ha and 110 kg K/ha (N77K110); 90 kg N/ha and 156 kg K/ha (N90K156); and 103 kg N/ha and 202 kg K/ha (N103K202). Sub-subplots comprised three cultivars: VR-808; Pirol; and Brooke. The VR-808 cultivar consistently yielded the highest amount (25.6 and 24.9 t/ha) under both irrigation methods. DI raised tuber flesh temperature compared to SI. The N90K156 × Pirol interaction exhibited the highest number of tubers with defects, while N90K156 × VR-808 had the fewest. Under DI, the VR-808 cultivar produced chips with the highest total defects, whereas Brooke had the lowest. The postfrying palm oil temperature was the highest for N64N64 × Brooke and the lowest for N110K220 × Pirol. This study underscores the role of irrigation, fertilization, and cultivar in achieving high yields and high chip quality, providing valuable insights into the whole process, from field to chip bag. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vegetable Production Systems)
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37 pages, 5489 KiB  
Article
Landscaping with Fruits: Citizens’ Perceptions toward Urban Horticulture and Design of Urban Gardens
by Tijana Narandžić, Sanja Ružičić, Milica Grubač, Magdalena Pušić, Jovana Ostojić, Veljko Šarac and Mirjana Ljubojević
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101152 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1376
Abstract
Urban horticulture represents a sustainable way of dealing with the challenges of modern cities, including urbanization processes, population growth tendencies, a lack of green areas, environmental pollution and food insecurity. This study aimed to (1) investigate the perceptions of citizens of Novi Sad [...] Read more.
Urban horticulture represents a sustainable way of dealing with the challenges of modern cities, including urbanization processes, population growth tendencies, a lack of green areas, environmental pollution and food insecurity. This study aimed to (1) investigate the perceptions of citizens of Novi Sad municipality, Republic of Serbia, toward urban horticulture and (2) assess plant materials appropriate for cultivation in urban gardens and suggest urban spaces completely designed with the use of various forms of edible fruit species, including roses. The same questionnaire was administered with a four-year time gap, in 2019 and again in 2023, before and after the coronavirus pandemic. To investigate plant materials suitable for urban gardening, relevant articles in Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science platforms were searched. The questionnaires’ results showed significant differences between the two years concerning respondents’ attitudes toward urban horticulture’s impact on food safety, socialization and personal health and development, which could have been influenced by the pandemic. Vegetables were grown by most respondents, commonly in household yards and gardens. The main motivations for participating in community urban gardens were to grow food for their own consumption and to make charitable contributions, followed by the motivation ‘to socialize and relax’. Exemplary designs of an urban pocket, kindergarten yard and atrium courtyard are presented, providing insights into numerous possibilities for landscaping with fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticulturalization of the 21st Century Cities)
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16 pages, 3919 KiB  
Article
Effect of Pre-Germination Temperature Regime on Pollen Germination and Fruit Set in Pear, Pyrus bretschneiderilia
by Limin Liu, Ziyan Liu, Hu Han, Baiyu Qiao, Yangfan Li, Xiongkui He and Yajia Liu
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101151 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1026
Abstract
Extensive research has been conducted on the effects of pollen activation temperature, cultivation temperature, and ambient temperature on germination rates and fruit sets. Yet, the influence of the temperature (pre-germination temperature) at which the pollen suspension is prepared within the storage container (tank) [...] Read more.
Extensive research has been conducted on the effects of pollen activation temperature, cultivation temperature, and ambient temperature on germination rates and fruit sets. Yet, the influence of the temperature (pre-germination temperature) at which the pollen suspension is prepared within the storage container (tank) remains unexplored. In this study, we initially established the optimal time for pollen activation. Subsequently, pollen suspensions at varying temperatures were prepared, and their germination rates were analyzed using microscopy. Pollen suspensions of different temperatures were then sprayed onto Fojianxi pear flowers, and parameters such as flower fruit set rate, inflorescence fruit set rate, fruit longitudinal dimension, fruit transverse dimension, and fruit shape index were evaluated. The findings revealed that the optimal pollen activation duration was 6 h. A pollen suspension temperature of 30 °C resulted in the highest germination rate (72.06 ± 6.87%). However, a suspension temperature of 25 °C achieved the highest flower fruit set rate (57.29 ± 5.58%) and inflorescence fruit set rate (87.50 ± 4.84%). The fruit longitudinal dimension (68.12 ± 3.94 mm), transverse dimension (73.77 ± 4.04 mm), and fruit shape index (108.42 ± 6.02%) were most favorable at a suspension temperature of 15 °C. Our study concludes that the pollen in lower pollen suspension temperatures (15~25 °C) has higher germination energy and have higher stigmatic capacity. Thus, we advocate for a pollen suspension temperature range of 15~25 °C when employing liquid spray pollination techniques with Xuehuali (Pyrus bretschneiderilia) pollen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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15 pages, 3477 KiB  
Article
Pectin-Degrading Enzymes during Soursop (Annona muricata L.) Fruit Ripening: A Bioinformatics Approach
by Lilia Aurora Díaz-Rincón, Rosendo Balois-Morales, Pedro Ulises Bautista-Rosales, Verónica Alhelí Ochoa-Jiménez, Juan Esteban Bello-Lara and Guillermo Berumen-Varela
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101150 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 833
Abstract
The rapid ripening of soursop (Annona muricata L.) fruits is owing to its high respiration rate. Several enzymes affect the fruit cell wall in this process, resulting in the depolymerization of pectin primarily in the homogalacturonan. The main group of enzymes affecting [...] Read more.
The rapid ripening of soursop (Annona muricata L.) fruits is owing to its high respiration rate. Several enzymes affect the fruit cell wall in this process, resulting in the depolymerization of pectin primarily in the homogalacturonan. The main group of enzymes affecting the pectin content of soursop fruits include polygalacturonase (PG), pectate lyase (PL), pectin methylesterase (PME), and PME inhibitors (PMEis). In this study, pectin-degrading enzymes were analyzed using bioinformatic tools to uncover the gaps in our knowledge of this fruit. In this context, 67 genes encoding PG, 33 PL, 58 PME, and 39 PMEi isoenzymes were found. These genes were categorized into several families based on the results of phylogenetic analysis. Regarding the analysis of gene expression, a total of 25 were identified as differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in PG, while 3, 21, and 15 were found for PL, PME, and PMEis, respectively. Likewise, functional enrichment analysis demonstrated that the DEGs are involved in the modification of the cell wall, specifically in the degradation of pectin. On the other hand, gene co-expression networks revealed that the genes PG32 and PG35 affect the expression of PGs, as well as PL19 of the PL family, PME20, PME32, and PME35 of the PME family, and PMEi04 of the PMEi family. This suggests that they have a significant impact on the softening of soursop fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Physiology Studies in Fruit Development and Ripening)
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12 pages, 3292 KiB  
Article
The PpIAA5-ARF8 Module Regulates Fruit Ripening and Softening in Peach
by Yafei Qin, Wei Wang, Mingming Chang, Haiqing Yang, Fengrong Yin and Yueping Liu
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101149 - 20 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
Fruit ripening and softening are important physiological processes in fruit quality formation, and auxin is involved in regulating the ripening and softening process in peach fruit. Little research has been reported on the role of Aux/IAA (auxin/indole-3-acetic acid)-ARF (auxin response factor) protein interactions [...] Read more.
Fruit ripening and softening are important physiological processes in fruit quality formation, and auxin is involved in regulating the ripening and softening process in peach fruit. Little research has been reported on the role of Aux/IAA (auxin/indole-3-acetic acid)-ARF (auxin response factor) protein interactions in the ripening process of peach fruit. The transcriptomics and RT–qPCR results revealed that PpIAA5 expression increased before ripening in peach fruits. Overexpression of PpIAA5 significantly represses the expression of peach fruit ripening- and softening-related genes PpPG and PpACO1 in peach fruit tissues using transient transformation. A yeast library and yeast two-hybrid screen yielded PpARF8, a protein that interacts with PpIAA5. The interaction relationship was further established using a bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay. Transient overexpression of PpARF8 in peach fruit tissues promoted the expression of PpPA, PpPG, and PpACO1. Furthermore, a tomato transient transformation assay validated that the PpARF8 gene promotes fruit ripening and softening. Taken together, our results suggest that the PpIAA5-ARF8 signaling module can affect the ripening and softening of peach fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Storage and Quality Management of Horticultural Products)
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11 pages, 1471 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Zinc Concentrations in Fruit from Various Pear Strains and Cultivars in China for Establishing a Standard for Zinc-Enriched Pears
by Mengjiao Liu, Huili Yu, Longfei Liu, Zhengbo Ma, Jingjie Zhou, Sheng Tang, Lianghuan Wu, Guohai Fu, Yanqing Li and Meng Xu
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101148 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 943
Abstract
Zinc (Zn)-enriched pears, which are derived from genetically related cultivars or crops fortified using agronomic methods, have the potential to partly satisfy the human demand for Zn nutrition and diversify consumer choices. However, a standard for the Zn fortification level in pears is [...] Read more.
Zinc (Zn)-enriched pears, which are derived from genetically related cultivars or crops fortified using agronomic methods, have the potential to partly satisfy the human demand for Zn nutrition and diversify consumer choices. However, a standard for the Zn fortification level in pears is lacking, and the disparity in literature-reported fruit Zn concentrations can vary by substantial amounts. Before investigating the Zn concentrations in fruits of the main pear cultivars in China, common sample preparation methods were compared. Among the pre-treatment methods tested, the freeze-dry technique had a greater degree of discrete variation, whereas oven drying (fresh weight) was the optimal method for determining fruit Zn concentrations. Based on the optimal method, no significant distribution patterns of fruit Zn concentration were found among the regions and strains examined. The averaged pulp Zn concentration in all 26 cultivars was 0.72 mg kg−1, with the Hongxiangsu, Jinfeng, and 420 cultivars having the highest concentrations. Combined with the findings from our previous field experiments on Zn-fortified pears, a Zn concentration of ≥0.90 mg kg−1 is the suggested standard for pear enrichment. These results help us to better understand pear Zn nutrition levels and facilitate the marketisation of the fortified fruit. Full article
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11 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Application of a Protein Hydrolysate-Based Biostimulant Obtained from Slaughterhouse Sludge on Pepper Crops
by Paloma Ávila-Pozo, Juan Parrado, Luis Martin-Presas, José M. Orts and Manuel Tejada
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101147 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 941
Abstract
Currently, biostimulants obtained from protein hydrolysates are considered essential agronomic tools to promote sustainable agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a biostimulant obtained from slaughterhouse sludge via enzymatic hydrolysis processes on green pepper crops [...] Read more.
Currently, biostimulants obtained from protein hydrolysates are considered essential agronomic tools to promote sustainable agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a biostimulant obtained from slaughterhouse sludge via enzymatic hydrolysis processes on green pepper crops in a greenhouse. The biostimulant was administered through both root and foliar applications at two different doses (0.7 and 1.4 g L−1), with a total of four applications made over the 140-day experimental period. Throughout the crop growth period, various parameters were assessed, including plant height, the number of flowers and fruits, macro- and micronutrient content, and photosynthetic pigments in the leaves. Additionally, the nutritional content and vitamin C levels in the harvested fruits were determined. The results obtained indicated higher values of these parameters in the pepper plants when the biostimulant was applied at a higher dose and through root application. These higher values are likely a consequence of the increased plant absorption of the low-molecular-weight amino acids and nutrients derived from the biostimulant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vegetable Production Systems)
4 pages, 202 KiB  
Editorial
Horticultural Plants Facing Stressful Conditions—Ways of Stress Mitigation
by Agnieszka Hanaka, Małgorzata Majewska and Barbara Hawrylak-Nowak
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1146; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101146 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 748
Abstract
Rapidly progressing climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of drought and salinity stresses, which are the major factors affecting crop production and the quality of ornamental plants, fruits, and vegetables [...] Full article
17 pages, 3542 KiB  
Article
Preservation of Quality and Bioactive Compounds in Mangoes Using Chitosan-Graphene-Oxide-Based Biodegradable Packaging
by João Claudio Vilvert, Sérgio Tonetto de Freitas, Maria Aparecida Rodrigues Ferreira, Cristina dos Santos Ribeiro Costa, Ricardo Henrique de Lima Leite, Francisco Klebson Gomes dos Santos and Edna Maria Mendes Aroucha
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101145 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1303
Abstract
Mango is a climacteric fruit that requires efficient postharvest technologies to maintain quality during storage and transportation. This study aimed to investigate the effect of biodegradable packaging from chitosan (CS) incorporated with graphene oxide (GO) on the quality, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity [...] Read more.
Mango is a climacteric fruit that requires efficient postharvest technologies to maintain quality during storage and transportation. This study aimed to investigate the effect of biodegradable packaging from chitosan (CS) incorporated with graphene oxide (GO) on the quality, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of cold-stored ‘Tommy Atkins’ mangoes. Mangoes harvested at physiological maturity were stored without packaging or in CS, CS-GO or non-biodegradable polyethylene (PE) packaging at 12.0 °C and 89% relative humidity for 42 days. The results show that GO improved the water barrier and mechanical properties of CS packaging. All packaging delayed fruit ripening by reducing the respiration rate, mass loss, softening and changes in color, soluble solids, titratable acidity and beta-carotene content, also preserving the mangoes’ visual appearance. In addition, all packaging maintained higher ascorbic acid, yellow flavonoid, phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity levels in the fruit, compared to non-packed ones. Chitosan packaging is a promising, eco-friendly alternative for the preservation of quality, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of cold-stored ‘Tommy Atkins’ mangoes, extending their postharvest life by at least 14 days. Full article
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15 pages, 3124 KiB  
Article
Foliar Mn and Zn Treatments Improve Apple Tree Nutrition and Help to Maintain Favorable Soil pH
by Andrei I. Kuzin, Natalia Ya. Kashirskaya, Alexei E. Solovchenko, Alexei V. Kushner, Anna M. Kochkina, Ludmila V. Stepantzova and Vyacheslav N. Krasin
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101144 - 18 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1213
Abstract
The foliar application of micronutrients can improve primary nutrient uptake. As a result, foliar treatments can reduce fertilizer application rates and help to maintain the natural health of soil. Here, we report on the tentative implementation of this approach in an apple orchard [...] Read more.
The foliar application of micronutrients can improve primary nutrient uptake. As a result, foliar treatments can reduce fertilizer application rates and help to maintain the natural health of soil. Here, we report on the tentative implementation of this approach in an apple orchard located in a temperate climate (JSC “Dubovoye” 52°36′57.1″ N 40°17′04.1″ E; planted in 2002 according to the 6 × 4 m or 417 trees ha–1 cultivar (cv.) Bogatyr grafted on B118 (Budagovskii 118). Manganese treatments augmented foliar nitrogen content and, in certain seasons, foliar phosphorus, whereas zinc treatments enhanced foliar potassium. Low-rate chemical fertilizers application (once in 5 years) on the background of initial high-rate organic fertilization (60 t ha–1 manure) allowed us to retain the optimal soil pH in the experimental orchard. Full article
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12 pages, 1123 KiB  
Article
Effects of Irrigation Patterns Combining Severe Wilting with Complete or Incomplete Recovery by an Irrigation Control System Based on Photographs of Plants on High-Brix Tomatoes
by Fei Zhao, Hideo Yoshida, Eiji Goto and Shoko Hikosaka
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101143 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 846
Abstract
We investigated the effects of irrigation patterns combining severe wilting with complete (S_R) or incomplete recovery (S_IR) on the growth, photosynthesis, fruit quality, and yield using a photograph-based irrigation control system. The study was performed in winter with a single sufficient irrigation treatment [...] Read more.
We investigated the effects of irrigation patterns combining severe wilting with complete (S_R) or incomplete recovery (S_IR) on the growth, photosynthesis, fruit quality, and yield using a photograph-based irrigation control system. The study was performed in winter with a single sufficient irrigation treatment as Control, S_R, and S_IR. The daily mean maximum of the wilting ratios (W) in the S_R and S_IR was 15.1% and 15.3%, respectively, when W was set at 14%. S_R had the lowest total irrigation frequency of the three treatments. The accumulated cumulative wilting ratio in S_IR was 1.6 times that in S_R. Under water stress, the net photosynthetic rate decreased (S_IR < S_R), rapidly recovering to 73% and 80% of the maximum values following irrigation, respectively. The total amount of irrigation, the plant growth, and the yield were the highest in the Control and those of S_R and S_IR were comparable. S_IR produced the highest-quality fruit. The recovery level affected the fruit quality when the threshold values were similar; therefore, S_IR is appropriate to produce high-Brix tomatoes in winter. Conclusively, the image-based irrigation system could precisely and reproducibly control the irrigation (the most important parameter affecting the growth, yield, and fruit quality of tomatoes) to improve the fruit quality. Full article
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17 pages, 6895 KiB  
Article
Portable Technology for Obtaining Plasma-Activated Water to Stimulate the Growth of Spruce and Strawberry Plants
by Yury K. Danileyko, Sergej V. Belov, Aleksej B. Egorov, Vladimir I. Lukanin, Ludmila M. Apasheva, Elena N. Ovcharenko, Anton V. Lobanov, Maxim E. Astashev, Alexander V. Simakin, Alexey V. Shkirin, Evgeny M. Konchekov, Dmitry A. Zakharov, Eugenia V. Stepanova, Mark O. Paskhin, Dina V. Kazantseva, Roman V. Pobedonostsev, Vladimir Sukhov, Alexey S. Dorokhov and Andrey Yu. Izmailov
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101142 - 17 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1499
Abstract
A method for stimulating the growth of spruce and strawberry in the early phases of development is proposed. A technology for obtaining plasma-activated water (PAW) with the help of a glow discharge plasma generator was developed. The method is proposed for increasing the [...] Read more.
A method for stimulating the growth of spruce and strawberry in the early phases of development is proposed. A technology for obtaining plasma-activated water (PAW) with the help of a glow discharge plasma generator was developed. The method is proposed for increasing the shelf life of PAW by adding an aqueous colloid of polyvinylpyrralidone (PVP) polymer. It is shown that after treatment with a PAW + PVP mixture, the seeds have a higher percentage of germination, the plants develop faster in the early stages, and they are more viable. At the physicochemical level, after seed treatment with PAW + PVP, higher rates of metabolite outflow from seeds are observed. At the biological level, seed treatment with PAW + PVP leads to a slight decrease in the activity of antioxidant enzymes and a higher content of chlorophylls in the leaves, and a slightly higher assimilation rate is observed. In the leaves, there is higher content of the growth hormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), whereas the content of the growth-inhibiting hormone abscisic acid decreases. The use of a stimulating drug based on the composition of an aqueous solution activated by plasma and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PAW + PVP) polymer can be an effective means of a single pre-sowing treatment of spruce seeds in solving the problem of reforestation and strawberry during plant propagation. Full article
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13 pages, 2017 KiB  
Article
Control of Brown Rot Produced by Monilinia fructicola in Peaches Using a Full-Spectrum Extract of Zuccagnia punctata Cav.
by Melina G. Di Liberto, María Inés Stegmayer, Laura N. Fernández, Ariel D. Quiroga, Laura A. Svetaz and Marcos G. Derita
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1141; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101141 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1698
Abstract
Brown rot of stone fruit, caused by Monilinia spp., is one of the most important diseases worldwide, causing significant production losses. Currently, the standard practices for controlling this infection consist of repetitive use of synthetic fungicides. The global tendency encourages the demand for [...] Read more.
Brown rot of stone fruit, caused by Monilinia spp., is one of the most important diseases worldwide, causing significant production losses. Currently, the standard practices for controlling this infection consist of repetitive use of synthetic fungicides. The global tendency encourages the demand for high-quality food products harmless to health and the environment, leading to a reduction in the use of these types of substances. Zuccagnia punctata (Fabaceae) is a perennial shrub extensively used for the treatment of fungal and bacterial infections in Argentinean traditional medicine. In this study, we isolated and characterized (morphologically and molecularly) a pathogenic and virulent strain of Monilinia fructicola, which is the most hostile species of the genus. Consequently, we explored the in vitro antifungal activity of the ethanolic extract of Z. punctata against this phytopathogen. The chalcones 2′,4′-dihydroxy-3′-methoxychalcone and 2′,4′-dihydroxychalcone were isolated from the extract and evaluated against M. fructicola demonstrating that they were responsible for this activity. To promote full-spectrum extract rather than pure compounds, we performed ex-vivo assays using fresh peaches inoculated with the pathogen, and then treated by immersion in an extract solution of 250 µg/mL concentration. Treatment with Z. punctata extract did not show a statistically significant difference from commercial fungicides in the control of fruit rot. In addition, Huh7 cell cytotoxicity evaluation showed that Z. punctata extract was less cytotoxic than commercial fungicides at the assayed concentrations. Based on our research, this plant extract could potentially offer a safer alternative to commercial fungicides for treating peach brown rot. Full article
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17 pages, 11474 KiB  
Article
The Endophytic Entomopathogenic Fungus Beauveria bassiana Alleviates Adverse Effects of Salt Stress in Potato Plants
by Oksana G. Tomilova, Natalia A. Kryukova, Marina V. Efimova, Liliya V. Kolomeichuk, Irina S. Kovtun and Victor V. Glupov
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101140 - 16 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
The considerable decrease in crop productivity associated with the expansion of saline soils is an acute problem in agriculture. Endophytic fungi positively affect plant fitness under salinity conditions. The effects of potato inoculation with the conidia of the Beauveria bassiana strain Sar-31 on [...] Read more.
The considerable decrease in crop productivity associated with the expansion of saline soils is an acute problem in agriculture. Endophytic fungi positively affect plant fitness under salinity conditions. The effects of potato inoculation with the conidia of the Beauveria bassiana strain Sar-31 on growth (the weight of fresh and dry biomass, shoot and root length, numbers of stolons and leaves, and the leaf surface) and physiological indices (the concentration of pigments, free proline and malondialdehyde, and antioxidant enzymes’ activity) were evaluated under moderate chloride salinity (100 mM). The results indicated that the plant’s association with the fungus mitigated the negative impact of salinity probably because of the activation of antioxidant enzymes and accumulation of free proline in potato tissues. Moreover, under the influence of B. bassiana Sar-31, the number of stolons significantly increased, which is one of the main characteristics of potato as an agricultural crop. Thus, Sar-31 may be a promising candidate for further investigation of its ability to stimulate growth and increase the stress tolerance of potato plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Tolerance to Drought and Salt Stress in Plants)
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13 pages, 1026 KiB  
Article
Hydrocolloid Coatings as a Pre-Frying Treatment in the Production of Low-Fat Banana Chips
by Júlia Silva Pereira dos Santos, Magali Leonel, Paulo Ricardo Rodrigues de Jesus, Sarita Leonel, Adalton Mazetti Fernandes and Lucas Felipe dos Ouros
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101139 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Fried foods occupy a large portion of the fast-food market. However, growing consumer health awareness is driving research to minimize the oil content of products. The use of specific barriers such as hydrocolloid coatings can avoid high oil absorption. Herein, the physicochemical characteristics [...] Read more.
Fried foods occupy a large portion of the fast-food market. However, growing consumer health awareness is driving research to minimize the oil content of products. The use of specific barriers such as hydrocolloid coatings can avoid high oil absorption. Herein, the physicochemical characteristics of banana fruit cultivars and the effects of hydrocolloid coatings on the quality attributes of banana chips were evaluated. The unripe fruits were analyzed for length, diameter, mass, pulp/peel ratio, firmness, and color. The pulps were analyzed for moisture, total and reducing sugars, crude fat, total soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity, and maturation index. Pulp slices were coated before frying with four hydrocolloid solutions: guar gum, carboxymethylcellulose, sodium alginate, and maltodextrin. The fruits of the cultivar BRS Platina were larger, with a more yellowish pulp and those of FHIA 18 had smaller lengths and diameters. After frying, higher moisture losses were observed in the control and in the treatment with maltodextrin. Hydrocolloids promoted reductions in oil absorption from 26.54 to 9.14%, in addition to changes in the color and hardness of the chips. A coating pretreatment can be used to produce low-fat banana chips, with better results using guar gum. Our results are useful in expanding the commercialization of fruits that fall easily and the chip coating technology can be applied in snack industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Processed Horticultural Products)
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16 pages, 7258 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of the CmHAK Gene Family in Melon (Cucumis melo L.)
by Lina Fu, Huizhi Wang, Xifang Leng, Xinsheng Zhang, Baoying Xiao, Hui Liu, Dongxu Xue, Yangyang Wang, Chunyan Wu and Wei Wang
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1138; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101138 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1241
Abstract
(1) Background: As the largest family of potassium transporters in plants, KT/HAK/KUP plays an important function in plant growth, development, and stress, especially for potassium-loving plants such as melon. (2) Methods: The members of the KT/HAK/KUP gene family in the melon genome were [...] Read more.
(1) Background: As the largest family of potassium transporters in plants, KT/HAK/KUP plays an important function in plant growth, development, and stress, especially for potassium-loving plants such as melon. (2) Methods: The members of the KT/HAK/KUP gene family in the melon genome were identified by bioinformatics technology. The gene structure, chromosome location, phylogeny, and expression analysis were comprehensively and systematically analyzed. (3) Results: The results showed that there are 14 members of the KT/HAK/KUP gene family in melon, which are distributed on seven chromosomes. Each member contains 3–11 introns and 4–12 exons, and could be divided into three distinct branches in phylogeny. The number of amino acid residues encoded by each member varies between 610 and 878. In terms of expression, after 12 h of chilling stress, most of the CmHAK genes were expressed in two melon varieties with different chilling resistances. The expression levels of CmHAK6 and CmHAK8 were downregulated in chilling-resistant varieties, but there was no significant change in chilling-sensitive varieties, indicating that CmHAK6 and CmHAK8 genes may play a negative regulatory role in chilling-resistant varieties. (4) Conclusions: The study provides a theoretical basis for in-depth analysis of the functions of KT/HAK/KUP gene family and cultivation of high-potassium stress-resistant melon varieties. Full article
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17 pages, 1096 KiB  
Article
Biostimulants and Nano-Potassium on the Yield and Fruit Quality of Date Palm
by Adel M. Al-Saif, Lidia Sas-Paszt, Ragab. M. Saad, Hesham S. Abada, Ahmed Ayoub and Walid F. A. Mosa
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101137 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1427
Abstract
Although chemical fertilization has been excessively used for a high yield of fruit trees, it causes many problems such as nitrate accumulation, soil deterioration, and food safety and quality decline; therefore, the dependency on the usage of biostimulants has become paramount when aiming [...] Read more.
Although chemical fertilization has been excessively used for a high yield of fruit trees, it causes many problems such as nitrate accumulation, soil deterioration, and food safety and quality decline; therefore, the dependency on the usage of biostimulants has become paramount when aiming to reduce the usage of chemical fertilizers, improve the fruit quality, and increase the shelf life of the fruits. The present experiment was conducted during the 2021–2022 seasons to study the effect of the foliar of yeast extract (YE), fulvic acid (FA), moringa leaf extract (MLE), seaweed extract (SWE), and nano-potassium (K NPs) alone or after combining each one of them individually with K NPs on the yield and fruit physical and chemical characteristics of date palm cv. Samani. The results show that the application of 0.2% YE + 0.02% K NPs led to the highest results in yield, bunch weight, fruit weight, flesh weight, fruit content from soluble solids, total and reduced sugars, VC, total chlorophyll, and carotene. Additionally, the results also demonstrate that the application of 0.4% SWE + 0.02% K NPs, 0.4% FA + 0.02% K NPs, and 6% MLE positively affected the previously mentioned measurements compared with the control or the other sprayed treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Biostimulants in Horticultural Crops)
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18 pages, 16170 KiB  
Article
Efficacy and Potential Mechanism of Essential Oils of Three Labiatae Plants against the Pathogenic Fungi of Root Rot Disease in Atractylodes chinensis
by Siyuan Xie, He Si, Shenfei Zhang, Ru Zhou, Yuyan Xue, Shijie Wang, Shiqiang Wang, Yizhong Duan, Junfeng Niu and Zhezhi Wang
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101136 - 15 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1226
Abstract
Atractylodes chinensis has a high medicinal value and is widely cultivated. However, root rot disease seriously affects the yield and quality of A. chinensis. To develop green and safe pesticides, the inhibitory effect of essential oils (EOs) of three Labiatae plants on [...] Read more.
Atractylodes chinensis has a high medicinal value and is widely cultivated. However, root rot disease seriously affects the yield and quality of A. chinensis. To develop green and safe pesticides, the inhibitory effect of essential oils (EOs) of three Labiatae plants on the pathogenic fungi that causes root rot disease in Atractylodes chinensis was investigated. The results showed that the Origanum vulgare EO and Thymus mongolicus EO exhibited strong inhibitory effects on Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium solani, and Fusarium redolens, with 100% inhibition rate. The low MIC values of EOs and their main components against the three pathogenic fungi indicated that all of them showed strong fungicidal effects. The MIC values of O. vulgare EO against F. oxysporum, F. solani, and F. redolens were 2.60 mg/mL, 3.13 mg/mL, and 1.56 mg/mL, respectively. Analyses using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that the O. vulgare EO severely damaged the cell wall and cell membrane of mycelial cells. The O. vulgare EO increased cell permeability, leading to a large leakage of cell contents (DNA and proteins). In addition, O. vulgare EO inhibited F. oxysporum by inducing ROS production and reducing the amount of intracellular GSH, leading to a large accumulation of ROS. This study showed that plant EOs have excellent fungicidal activity and can be used as novel natural and environmentally friendly pesticides for the control of root rot in A. chinensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Pathology and Disease Management (PPDM))
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16 pages, 14796 KiB  
Article
Can Chitosan Applications in Pre- and Post-Harvest Affect the Quality and Antioxidant Contents of Red Raspberries?
by Ermes Lo Piccolo, Piera Quattrocelli, Michelangelo Becagli, Roberto Cardelli, Hafsa El Horri, Lucia Guidi, Marco Landi and Susanna Pecchia
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1135; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101135 - 14 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1396
Abstract
Red raspberry fruit production is increasing worldwide due to the growing consumer interest in foods with high antioxidant properties. However, raspberries are very perishable fruit with a short shelf life. Chitosan applications have shown promising results in promoting the storage of different berry [...] Read more.
Red raspberry fruit production is increasing worldwide due to the growing consumer interest in foods with high antioxidant properties. However, raspberries are very perishable fruit with a short shelf life. Chitosan applications have shown promising results in promoting the storage of different berry fruit. This work aimed at analysing the effects of chitosan applied in pre- and/or post-harvest on the quality and antioxidant properties of raspberry fruit during cold storage and room temperature conditions (i.e., 6 d at 4 °C and 3 d at 20 °C, respectively). Pre-harvest chitosan applications reduced fruit weight loss during cold storage and room temperature conditions but also reduced fruit decay at room temperature conditions. At the end of the whole storage conditions, chitosan-coated raspberries at pre-harvest were brighter than those of the uncoated control fruit. Furthermore, pre-harvest treatments with chitosan increased the total phenol and anthocyanin contents and promoted the highest total antioxidant activity compared with other treatments. After cold storage, post-harvest chitosan application drastically reduced the development of fungi that cause fruit decay, thus minimizing the potential risk of mycotoxin production. Overall, this study demonstrates that applications of chitosan in pre-harvest are sufficient to ensure the goal of maintaining and/or increasing fruit quality and antioxidant properties during cold storage and room temperature conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Pathogens: From Field to Fork)
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20 pages, 4336 KiB  
Article
Automating Seedling Counts in Horticulture Using Computer Vision and AI
by Fernando Fuentes-Peñailillo, Gilda Carrasco Silva, Ricardo Pérez Guzmán, Ignacio Burgos and Felipe Ewertz
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101134 - 14 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2003
Abstract
The accelerated growth of computer vision techniques (CVT) has allowed their application in various disciplines, including horticulture, facilitating the work of producers, reducing costs, and improving quality of life. These techniques have made it possible to contribute to the automation of agro-industrial processes, [...] Read more.
The accelerated growth of computer vision techniques (CVT) has allowed their application in various disciplines, including horticulture, facilitating the work of producers, reducing costs, and improving quality of life. These techniques have made it possible to contribute to the automation of agro-industrial processes, avoiding excessive visual fatigue when undertaking repetitive tasks, such as monitoring and selecting seedlings grown in trays. In this study, an object detection model and a mobile application were developed that allowed seedlings to be counted from images and the calculation of the number of seedlings per tray. This system was developed under a CRISP-DM methodology to improve the capture of information, data processing, and the training of object detection models using data from six crops and four types of trays. Subsequently, an experimental test was carried out to verify the integration of both parts as a unified system, reaching an efficiency between 57% and 96% in the counting process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soilless Culture in Vegetable Production)
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13 pages, 2625 KiB  
Article
Construction of Watermelon Mutant Library Based on 60Co γ-ray Irradiation and EMS Treatment for Germplasm Innovation
by Lijuan Yin, Yinjie Hou, Xiaoyao Chen, Xin Huang, Mengjiao Feng, Chunxia Wang, Zhongyuan Wang, Zhen Yue, Yong Zhang, Jianxiang Ma, Hao Li, Jianqiang Yang, Xian Zhang, Rong Yu and Chunhua Wei
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101133 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1032
Abstract
Watermelon is a crucial horticultural crop worldwide but its genetic base has become extremely narrow owing to long-term cultivation. Induced mutagenesis can create a range of variations with distinctive agricultural characteristics. To broaden the genetic diversity of watermelon, we established a mutagenesis library [...] Read more.
Watermelon is a crucial horticultural crop worldwide but its genetic base has become extremely narrow owing to long-term cultivation. Induced mutagenesis can create a range of variations with distinctive agricultural characteristics. To broaden the genetic diversity of watermelon, we established a mutagenesis library containing over 4000 M1 seeds from an inbred line ‘M08’, which was irradiated by 350 Gy of 60Co γ-rays for 3 h. The rates of germination, emergence, and survival of the M1 seeds were reduced by 5.88%, 18.66%, and 41.96%, respectively. After phenotypic screening, 20 and 10 types of morphological changes were observed in the M1 and M2 generations, with approximately 10.57% and 14.17% mutation frequencies, respectively. Six mutants with desirable horticultural alterations were selected for additional presentation, including the leaf color mutant C1-NO.1, the yellow peel mutant C1-NO.2, the pericarp thickening mutant C1-NO.3, the pericarp thinning mutant C1-NO.4, the seedless mutant C1-NO.5, and the C2-No.1 mutant with normal female flowers and malformed male flowers. Moreover, the three mutants M1-3, M2-1, and M1-5 were identified from our EMS-induced M2 library, exhibiting the fusiform fruit, the dark green peel, and the yellow leaves, respectively. Compared to the wild type (WT), the photosynthetic pigments and parameters were negatively impacted in the yellow-leaf mutant M1-5. For example, the total chlorophyll was 1.22 and 2.22 mg/g in the young and mature leaves of M1-5, respectively, which were significantly lower than those in the WT (2.58 and 2.90 mg/g, respectively). Notably, some mutagenesis phenotypes could be stably inherited, including traits such as yellow leaf color, fusiform fruit shape, and thickening and thinning pericarp. Taken together, these results indicate that these two mutant libraries serve as essential resources to discover new phenotypic germplasms, thereby facilitating the genetic breeding and functional gene exploration in watermelon. Full article
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12 pages, 544 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances and Challenges in Management of Colletotrichum orbiculare, the Causal Agent of Watermelon Anthracnose
by Takshay Patel, Lina M. Quesada-Ocampo, Todd C. Wehner, Bed Prakash Bhatta, Edgar Correa and Subas Malla
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1132; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101132 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1884
Abstract
The fungus Colletotrichum orbiculare causes watermelon anthracnose and is an important pathogen of watermelon in the United States, causing a significant impact on yield and quality of the produce. The application of fungicides as preventative and post-occurrence control measures is currently being deployed [...] Read more.
The fungus Colletotrichum orbiculare causes watermelon anthracnose and is an important pathogen of watermelon in the United States, causing a significant impact on yield and quality of the produce. The application of fungicides as preventative and post-occurrence control measures is currently being deployed by growers. Further study of the genetic and molecular basis of anthracnose resistance will help in guiding future watermelon breeding strategies. Several conserved virulence factors (effectors) in C. orbiculare have been reported to interact with the host, at times impairing the host immune machinery. A single dominant gene conferring race 1 anthracnose resistance was reported independently on two watermelon germplasm. The recent advances in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics could facilitate a better understanding of the interaction between C. orbiculare effectors and host resistance genes in the already sequenced watermelon genome. In this review, we encompass and discuss (i) the history of watermelon anthracnose, taxonomy, morphology, and diversity in races of C. orbiculare; (ii) the epidemiology of the anthracnose disease and host resistance; (iii) the genetics behind the pathogenesis; and (iv) the current advances in breeding and molecular efforts to elucidate anthracnose resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Crops Genetics and Genomics)
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17 pages, 1376 KiB  
Article
Exogenous Application of Coconut Water to Promote Growth and Increase the Yield, Bioactive Compounds, and Antioxidant Activity for Hericium erinaceus Cultivation
by Preuk Chutimanukul, Siripong Sukdee, Onmanee Prajuabjinda, Ornprapa Thepsilvisut, Sumalee Panthong, Hiroshi Ehara and Panita Chutimanukul
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101131 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2021
Abstract
Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr) Pers. is a medicinal mushroom that has various health benefits and is a rich source of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity. In recent years, H. erinaceus has been considered for its many medicinal properties and is widely consumed in Asian [...] Read more.
Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr) Pers. is a medicinal mushroom that has various health benefits and is a rich source of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity. In recent years, H. erinaceus has been considered for its many medicinal properties and is widely consumed in Asian countries. This work aimed to explore the potential improvement of coconut water utilization in order to promote growth and increase the yield, as well as the enhancement of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of H. erinaceus. The application of coconut water at a concentration of 20% (v/v) resulted in the optimal development and production of H. erinaceus. In terms of biological efficiency, it was demonstrated that the 22.09% increase over the control treatment resulted in a higher yield. Moreover, H. erinaceus cultivated from coconut water intake at all concentrations resulted in higher protein content. Additionally, bioactive compounds such as total triterpenoid content and total phenolic content of H. erinaceus were 67.87–89.24 mg Urs/g DW and 16.62–17.39 mg GAE/g DW, respectively, while H. erinaceus grown on a control treatment had the lowest at 56.84 mg Urs/g DW and 14.42 mg GAE/g DW, respectively. Applying coconut water at all concentrations resulted in H. erinaceus IC50 values of 0.58–0.69 mg/mL exhibiting higher DPPH activities than those grown on control treatment IC50 value of 0.77 mg/mL. Therefore, this finding of the study indicated that the utilization of coconut water as a therapy resulted in a significant enhancement in the development, production, and bioactive compounds of H. erinaceus, in comparison to the control treatment. Full article
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