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Horticulturae, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 106 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Dragon fruit is a high-value tropical fruit with significant potential for consumers and producers. This study focused on ensuring the quality of dragon fruit through the application of a non-destructive robotic sensor. The quality of the fruit is directly associated with texture deterioration. The variables obtained from the sensor successfully differentiated between acceptable and deteriorated fruit. The utilization of the robotic sensor proves to be an efficient tool for evaluating the quality of dragon fruit. This approach has the potential to result in substantial savings, particularly considering the elevated costs associated with importing tropical fruits into the European market. View this paper
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11 pages, 1295 KiB  
Article
Screening and Selection for Herbicide Tolerance among Diverse Tomato Germplasms
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121354 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 785
Abstract
Solanum lycopersicum, the domesticated species of tomato, is produced and consumed globally. It is one of the most economically important vegetable crops worldwide. In the commercial production of tomatoes, tomatoes are extremely sensitive to herbicide drifts from row crops in the vicinity. [...] Read more.
Solanum lycopersicum, the domesticated species of tomato, is produced and consumed globally. It is one of the most economically important vegetable crops worldwide. In the commercial production of tomatoes, tomatoes are extremely sensitive to herbicide drifts from row crops in the vicinity. Injury to tomatoes from auxin herbicides and glyphosate can occur at rates as low as 0.01×. This results in a substantial yield reduction, and at high drift rates, plants may not show signs of recovery. With the new herbicide-resistant crop technologies on the market, which include 2,4-D and dicamba-resistant crops, there is an increase in the usage of these herbicides, causing more serious drift problems. There is a diverse germplasm of tomatoes that includes wild relatives which are tolerant to numerous biotic and abiotic stresses. Herbicide/chemical stress is an abiotic stress, and wild tomato accessions may have a natural tolerance to herbicides and other abiotic stresses. In the current study, diverse tomato genotypes consisting of 110 accessions representing numerous species, Solanum habrochaites, S. cheesmaniae, S. pimpinellifolium, S. chilense, S. lycopersicum, S. pimpinellifolium, S. galapagense, S. chimelewskii, S. corneliomulleri, S. neorickii, and S. lycopersicoides, were used for screening drift rate herbicide tolerance. The herbicides tested included simulated drift rates of 2,4-D, dicamba, glyphosate, quinclorac, aminopyralid, aminocyclopyrachlor, and picloram. The visual injury rating of each accession for each herbicide treatment was taken 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after treatment (DAT) on a scale of 0–100%. Numerous accessions were found to have minimal injury (less than 20%) for each of the herbicides tested; nine accessions were found for both 2,4-D and glyphosate, eleven for dicamba, five for quinclorac, eight for aminocyclopyrachlor and two for both aminopyralid and picloram at 28 DAT. The identification of genotypes with a higher herbicide tolerance will provide valuable genetic resources for the development of elite tomato varieties that can resist herbicide injury and produce competitive yields. Full article
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18 pages, 7090 KiB  
Article
The Molecular Mechanism of Relatively Low-Temperature-Induced Broccoli Flower Bud Differentiation Revealed by Transcriptomic Profiling
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1353; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121353 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 817
Abstract
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) has a large, edible green flower head, which is one of its critical economic traits. A prerequisite of broccoli flower head formation is flower bud differentiation (FBD). Low-temperature treatment is an effective way to induce [...] Read more.
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) has a large, edible green flower head, which is one of its critical economic traits. A prerequisite of broccoli flower head formation is flower bud differentiation (FBD). Low-temperature treatment is an effective way to induce FBD in broccoli. However, the molecular mechanism underlying low-temperature-induced broccoli FBD remains largely unclear. In this study, using broccoli cultivar Zhongqing 10 as the experimental material, we investigated the effects of low-temperature treatment on FBD by comparing the plants grown at low temperatures (17 °C/9 °C, 16 h/8 h) with the control plants grown under normal temperature conditions (25 °C/17 °C, 16 h/8 h). After 15 days of different temperature treatments, the flower buds of the plants growing under the low-temperature condition started to differentiate. However, the control plants remained in the vegetative growth stage, indicating that low temperature successfully induced flower bud formation. Subsequently, a global transcriptomic analysis was conducted to detect the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) during low-temperature-induced FBD in broccoli. A total of 14 DEGs in five phytohormone signaling pathways, 42 DEGs in nine transcription factor families, and 16 DEGs associated with the floral development pathways were identified. More DEGs were present in the auxin signaling pathway than in other phytohormone signaling pathways, which indicated that the auxin signaling pathway played a critical role in modulating low-temperature-induced FBD in broccoli. Furthermore, four TF classes, including bZIP, GCM domain factors, MADS-box factors, and C2H2 zinc finger factors, possessed enriched motifs, indicating that their closely related DETFs ABI5, HY5L, WRKY11, WRKY15, WRKY22, SOC1, AGL8, FLC, SPL8, and SPL15 may be directly involved in the transcription regulation of broccoli FBD. This study provides an important basis for further investigation of the molecular regulatory mechanism of broccoli flower development under low temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics, Genomics, Breeding, and Biotechnology (G2B2))
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21 pages, 3306 KiB  
Systematic Review
Paulownia spp.: A Bibliometric Trend Analysis of a Global Multi-Use Tree
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1352; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121352 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
The research on Paulownia spp. has increased in the last twenty years thanks to the growing interest in the application modalities of this plant in various sectors such as wood, phytoremediation, environmental protection, paper, biofuel, chemistry and medicine. For the first time, this [...] Read more.
The research on Paulownia spp. has increased in the last twenty years thanks to the growing interest in the application modalities of this plant in various sectors such as wood, phytoremediation, environmental protection, paper, biofuel, chemistry and medicine. For the first time, this study analyzed the papers present in the Web of Science Core Collection on “Paulownia” to obtain a set of characteristics in the work carried out from 1971 to 2021. This analysis selected and took into account 820 articles and provided evidence of the scientific production of authors, institutions, and countries. This work showed that the most studied species was Paulownia tomentosa, followed by P. fortunei and P. elongate. The JCR category and research area with the most publications was plant science, with 20.4% of the total. The papers were published in 460 journals and in a book series. The journals with the most publications were Bioresources, Advanced Material Research, Agroforestry Systems, Journal of Wood Science and Industrial Crops and Products. The institutions with the most prolific affiliation with the field of Paulownia spp. research were Henan University, the US Department of Agriculture, Belgrade University, the Chinese Academy, and Georgia University. Finally, the 3842 keywords were divided into nine different clusters and the trends of interest in the last fifteen years were highlighted. Full article
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16 pages, 8220 KiB  
Article
UPLC–MS/MS and Gene Expression Research to Distinguish the Colour Differences of Rhododendron liliiflorum H. Lév
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1351; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121351 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Among ornamental plants, the colour of the petals is an important feature. However, the reason for the colour differences of Rhododendron liliiflorum remains unclear. To reveal the differences in the colour of R. liliiflorum, high-efficiency liquid chromatographic collar (UPLC–MS/MS) technology was used [...] Read more.
Among ornamental plants, the colour of the petals is an important feature. However, the reason for the colour differences of Rhododendron liliiflorum remains unclear. To reveal the differences in the colour of R. liliiflorum, high-efficiency liquid chromatographic collar (UPLC–MS/MS) technology was used to study the yellow and white parts of R. liliiflorum. A total of 1187 metabolites were identified in R. liliiflorum petals, including 339 flavonoid metabolites. Seventy-eight types of flavonoids in these metabolites were found in the yellow and white parts of R. liliiflorum petals, along with 11 other significantly enriched substances. Combining gene expression-related data with differential metabolite data demonstrated effects of enrichment in the flavanonols (fustin), flavonols (epiafzelechin and afzelechin), and flavanones (pinocembrin) of flavonoid biosynthesis; glyccitin, 6″-O-malonylgenistin, and 6-hydroxydaidzein of isoflavonoid biosynthesis; and anthocyanin biosynthesis of malvidin-3-O-galactoside (primulin), delphinidin-3-O-rutinoside, cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (kuromanin), and cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside (keracyanin), which are potentially the contributing factors responsible for the differences in petal colour in R. liliiflorum. This study establishes a connection between the differential metabolites underlying the color differences in the petals of R. liliiflorum and the gene expression in R. liliiflorum. This will provide a foundation for subsequent research on the regulation of flower color in R. liliiflorum and have profound implications for horticultural applications of R. liliiflorum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological and Molecular Biology Research on Ornamental Flower)
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12 pages, 3175 KiB  
Article
Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi, Especially Rhizophagus intraradices as a Biostimulant, Improve Plant Growth and Root Columbin Levels in Tinospora sagittata
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1350; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121350 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 920
Abstract
Tinospora sagittata is a columbin-rich medicinal plant, but its columbin levels are reduced under artificial cultivation conditions. The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of inoculations with Diversispora versiformis (Dv), Funneliformis mosseae (Fm), Rhizophagus intraradices ( [...] Read more.
Tinospora sagittata is a columbin-rich medicinal plant, but its columbin levels are reduced under artificial cultivation conditions. The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of inoculations with Diversispora versiformis (Dv), Funneliformis mosseae (Fm), Rhizophagus intraradices (Ri), and mixed inoculation (Dv + Fm + Ri) (Mix) on growth performance, root morphology, leaf photosynthetic physiology, and root columbin levels in T. sagittata. These arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were able to colonize the roots, as evidenced by a root mycorrhizal colonization rate ranging from 17% to 48% and soil hyphal lengths ranging from 17.51 cm/g to 32.02 cm/g, with the Mix treatment being the greatest. AMF inoculations improved plant height (16–151%), leaf number (119–283%), shoot (37–211%), and root biomass (22–318%) to varying extents, with Ri and Mix treatments being the most prominent. AMF-treated plants presented relatively greater root total length, projected area, surface area, volume, and average diameter, especially those treated with Ri and Mix. AMF inoculations also significantly improved the leaf nitrogen balance index, transpiration rate, and stomatal conductance, while the photosynthesis rate and chlorophyll index varied by AMF species, along with a decrease in intercellular CO2 levels. Root columbin levels ranged from 0.524 mg/g to 5.389 mg/g, and AMF inoculation significantly increased root columbin levels by 228–928%, with Ri being the most significant. Root columbin levels were significantly positively correlated with soil hyphal length, root total length, root projected area, root surface area, root volume, and root average diameter, but not root AMF colonization rate. This study demonstrates for the first time that AMF, especially Ri, can be employed as a biostimulant to promote growth as well as root columbin levels in T. sagittata, where AMF-triggered improvement in root morphology is an important reason for promoting root columbin levels. Full article
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14 pages, 6883 KiB  
Article
Effect of Photoperiod and Gibberellin on the Bolting and Flowering of Non-Heading Chinese Cabbage
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1349; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121349 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 785
Abstract
Non-heading Chinese cabbage (cabbage) is an essential green leafy vegetable, and bolting and flowering are necessary for reproduction. However, further research is needed to study the effect of photoperiod on the bolting and flowering of cabbage, particularly on the development of the stem. [...] Read more.
Non-heading Chinese cabbage (cabbage) is an essential green leafy vegetable, and bolting and flowering are necessary for reproduction. However, further research is needed to study the effect of photoperiod on the bolting and flowering of cabbage, particularly on the development of the stem. In this study, we performed phenotypic analysis and measured endogenous gibberellin levels in the cabbage. We carried out these experiments under four different photoperiodic treatments, 12 h (light)/12 h (dark), 14 h (light)/10 h (dark), 16 h (light)/8 h (dark), and 18 h (light)/6 h (dark). The results showed that the time of bolting and flowering gradually decreased with increasing light duration. The development of stems was optimal under the 16 h (light)/8 h (dark) photoperiod treatment, and the same result was obtained via cytological observation. In addition, the changes in the endogenous gibberellin3 (GA3) content under different photoperiodic treatments were consistent with the development of stems and peaked at 16 h (light)/8 h (dark). At the same time, qRT-PCR analysis showed that the relative expression of the key gibberellin synthase genes, BcGA3ox2 and BcGA20ox2, exhibited upregulation. When treated with exogenous GA3 and its synthesis inhibitor, paclobutrazol (PAC), exogenous gibberellins significantly promoted bolting; conversely, gibberellin inhibitors suppressed the bolting, flowering, and stem elongation of cabbage. Therefore, the photoperiod may regulate cabbage bolting by regulating endogenous GA3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Light Quantity and Quality on Horticultural Crops)
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11 pages, 1005 KiB  
Article
Interaction of Culture Medium and Artificial Light Type on Pigmentation of Micro-Propagated Opuntia Plants
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121348 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 784
Abstract
Opuntia is recognized economically as a significant crop for its nutritional, functional, and therapeutic properties and its potential in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and bioenergy industries. Opuntia is conventionally propagated by seed or vegetative propagation via rooted scions or grafting. However, multiplication procedures are [...] Read more.
Opuntia is recognized economically as a significant crop for its nutritional, functional, and therapeutic properties and its potential in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and bioenergy industries. Opuntia is conventionally propagated by seed or vegetative propagation via rooted scions or grafting. However, multiplication procedures are insufficient for extensive spreading. One of the alternative techniques is in vitro. For this reason, the objective was to evaluate the growth of different components combined with light conditions to induce callus, embryogenesis, and the possible synthesis of a component in the genus Opuntia. The existence of genes involved in pigment synthesis in genotypes of different fruit colors was complementarily analyzed. In this study, we used different combinations of fructose (2 g/L) with prickly pear juice (2 mL/L), mannitol (4 g/L), silver nitrate (AgNO3: 1 mg/L), 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D: 2 mg/L), and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA: 1 g/L), with white, blue, and red LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and laser beams. These explants yielded sufficient contents of simple phenols, gallic acid equivalents (GAE: 2283.30 ± 6.29 mg/100 g), and coumaric (2155.0 ± 35.0 mg/100 g) and ferulic (2176 ± 27.9 mg/100 g) acids for the genotype Tapón aguanoso, and chlorogenic acid (CGA: 380.22 ± 22.05 mg/100 g) for the Copena V1 genotype. Upon analyzing the genotypes of different fruit pigmentations, we also observed the following: enzyme 4,5 estradiol dioxygenases can be present in all genotypes (regardless of pigmentation); enzyme 5,3 glucosyltransferases (GTs) could be induced in pigment synthesis in the genotypes of orange to purple fruits. Sequencing primer-amplified fragments for GT showed high similarity to uridine diphospho (UDP)-glucose from other species. This allows us to infer that it is possible to obtain products of high therapeutic value in the near future under controlled conditions. Full article
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16 pages, 4618 KiB  
Article
Three-Dimensional Imaging in Agriculture: Challenges and Advancements in the Phenotyping of Japanese Quinces in Latvia
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1347; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121347 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 808
Abstract
This study presents an innovative approach to fruit measurement using 3D imaging, focusing on Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica) cultivated in Latvia. The research consisted of two phases: manual measurements of fruit parameters (length and width) using a calliper and 3D imaging [...] Read more.
This study presents an innovative approach to fruit measurement using 3D imaging, focusing on Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica) cultivated in Latvia. The research consisted of two phases: manual measurements of fruit parameters (length and width) using a calliper and 3D imaging using an algorithm based on k-nearest neighbors (k-NN), the ingeniously designed “Imaginary Square” method, and object projection analysis. Our results revealed discrepancies between manual measurements and 3D imaging data, highlighting challenges in the precision and accuracy of 3D imaging techniques. The study identified two primary constraints: variability in fruit positioning on the scanning platform and difficulties in distinguishing individual fruits in close proximity. These limitations underscore the need for improved algorithmic capabilities to handle diverse spatial orientations and proximities. Our findings emphasize the importance of refining 3D scanning techniques for better reliability and accuracy in agricultural applications. Enhancements in image processing, depth perception algorithms, and machine learning models are crucial for effective implementation in diverse agricultural scenarios. This research not only contributes to the scientific understanding of 3D imaging in horticulture but also underscores its potential and limitations in advancing sustainable and productive farming practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Horticulture: Latest Advances and Prospects)
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17 pages, 6253 KiB  
Article
Leaf Area Prediction of Pennywort Plants Grown in a Plant Factory Using Image Processing and an Artificial Neural Network
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121346 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 778
Abstract
The leaf is a primary part of a plant, and examining the leaf area is crucial in understanding growth and plant physiology. Accurately estimating leaf area is key to this understanding. This study proposed a methodology for the non-destructive estimation of leaf area [...] Read more.
The leaf is a primary part of a plant, and examining the leaf area is crucial in understanding growth and plant physiology. Accurately estimating leaf area is key to this understanding. This study proposed a methodology for the non-destructive estimation of leaf area in pennywort plants using image processing and an artificial neural network (ANN) model. The image processing method involved a series of steps, including grayscale conversion, histogram equalization, binary masking, and region filling, achieving an accuracy of around 96.6%. The ANN model, trained with 70% of a dataset, exhibited high correlations of 97.1% in training and 96.6% in testing phases, with leaf length and width significantly impacting the model output. A comparative analysis revealed the superior performance of the ANN model over the image processing method, demonstrating higher R2 values (>0.99) and lower errors. Furthermore, it showed the impact of diverse LED light combinations and nutrient levels (electrical conductivity, EC) on pennywort plant growth, indicating that the R70:B30 LED light ratio with nutrient level 2 (2.0 dS·m−1) fostered the most favorable growth for pennywort plants. The non-destructive nature, simplicity, and speed of the ANN model in estimating leaf area based on easily obtainable measurements of length and width render it an accessible and accurate tool for plant growth assessment in controlled environments. This approach offers opportunities for future studies, tracking changes in leaf areas under varied growth conditions without harming the plant, thus enhancing precision in research. Full article
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17 pages, 1926 KiB  
Article
Biostimulants Affect Differently Biomass and Antioxidant Status of Onion (Allium cepa) Depending on Production Method
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1345; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121345 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 995
Abstract
Onions, essential in various salads and cooked dishes, are sought after by producers for high yields, while consumers value their quality, particularly the presence of antioxidant compounds. This study investigates the impact of production methods and biostimulants on the biomass yield and quality [...] Read more.
Onions, essential in various salads and cooked dishes, are sought after by producers for high yields, while consumers value their quality, particularly the presence of antioxidant compounds. This study investigates the impact of production methods and biostimulants on the biomass yield and quality of onions. The two-year experiment was conducted in Vojvodina, Serbia, and compared directly seeded (DS) and from-set (FS) onions with four biostimulant treatments: control (C), seaweed extracts (T1), humic and fulvic acids (T2), and Trichoderma sp. (T3). DS onions yielded significantly more biomass, while FS onions had higher dry matter content. DS onions treated with T1 showed a significant increase in phenols (↑ 5.30%), while T2 and T3 led to declines (↓ 8.66% and ↓ 7.55%, respectively). All biostimulants reduced phenol content in FS onions. T1 and T2 significantly increased the flavonoid concentration in DS onions, with no significant changes in FS onions. T1 enhanced antioxidant properties in DS onions and reduced them in FS onions. Additionally, T2 and T3 decreased antioxidant activity in both DS and FS onions, as evidenced by DPPH, FRAP, and ABTS tests. These findings guide onion production, advocating for the fresh consumption of DS onions with higher biomass and industrial processing suitability for FS onions, emphasizing the potential of bio-based products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effect of Biostimulants on Horticultural Crops)
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15 pages, 2091 KiB  
Article
Application of Encapsulation Technology: In Vitro Screening of Two Ficus carica L. Genotypes under Different NaCl Concentrations
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121344 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Salinity stress represents an increasing issue for agriculture and has a great negative impact on plant growth and crop production. The selection of genotypes able to tolerate salt stress could be a suitable solution to overcome the problem. In this context, in vitro [...] Read more.
Salinity stress represents an increasing issue for agriculture and has a great negative impact on plant growth and crop production. The selection of genotypes able to tolerate salt stress could be a suitable solution to overcome the problem. In this context, in vitro cultures can represent a tool for identifying the NaCl tolerant genotypes and quickly producing large populations of them. The possibility of exerting selection for tolerance to NaCl by using encapsulation technology was investigated in two genotypes of fig: ‘Houmairi’ and ‘Palazzo’. The effects of five concentrations of NaCl (0, 50, 100, 150 and 200 mM) added to the artificial endosperm were tested on the conversion of synthetic seeds and on the growth of derived shoots/plantlets. Moreover, proline (Pro) and malondialdehyde (MDA), the enzymatic activities of catalase (CAT), guaiacol peroxidase (POD), and EL (Electrolytic Leakage), as well as the chlorophyll content, flavanols, anthocyanins, and Nitrogen Balance Index (NBI) were determined on shoots/plantlet. The obtained results clearly showed that ‘Houmairi’ and ‘Palazzo’ could tolerate salt stress, although a strong difference was found depending on each specific physiological pathway. Indeed, ‘Houmairi’ was revealed to be more tolerant than ‘Palazzo’, with different response mechanisms to salt stress. The use of encapsulated vitro-derived explants proved to be a useful method to validate the selection of genotypes tolerant to salinity stress. Further investigation in the field must validate and confirm the legitimacy of the approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Vitro Propagation and Biotechnology of Horticultural Plants)
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12 pages, 3467 KiB  
Article
Tomato Accumulates Cadmium to a Concentration Independent of Plant Growth
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1343; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121343 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 753
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) contamination is a growing concern, as exposure to the metal has been shown to inhibit plant growth and development. However, soil Cd pollution in China is typically mild, and thus its concentration often does not impede plant growth. On the other [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) contamination is a growing concern, as exposure to the metal has been shown to inhibit plant growth and development. However, soil Cd pollution in China is typically mild, and thus its concentration often does not impede plant growth. On the other hand, it is unknown if increased plant growth impacts Cd uptake, movement, and accumulation. Here, we analyzed the relationship between Cd accumulation in 31 tomato cultivars and the impact on specific growth parameters in mild Cd contamination. The results showed that there are variations in the Cd distribution among the 31 tomato cultivars studied. There were higher Cd concentrations in shoots of the cultivar ‘SV3557’, whereas root Cd concentrations were the lowest. The roots of the cultivar ‘HF11’ recorded the lowest Cd content but had higher Cd content in the shoots. The Cd concentration in roots and shoots was not related to root length, plant height, and root weight. However, Cd accumulation in the shoots was markedly promoted by root length and plant height, and Cd accumulation in the roots was promoted by root weight. Subsequently, we imposed Cd on four selected tomato cultivars to ascertain their accumulation in the shoot tissues. The results revealed that, among the four tomato cultivars, Cd was highly accumulated in the leaves, followed by the stems, and the fruits (leaf > stem > fruit). When identifying significant loci associated with Cd accumulation in tomato plants, it is crucial to find a suitable indicator to assess the plant’s ability to accumulate Cd. Thus, Cd concentration in shoots can be used as a reliable proxy for evaluating tomato plants’ capacity for Cd accumulation. This study serves as a valuable reference in guiding the selection of such an index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses to Abiotic Stresses in Horticultural Crops)
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11 pages, 1583 KiB  
Article
Nickel Ions Enhanced the Adaptability of Tomato Seedling Roots to Low-Nitrogen Stress by Improving Their Antioxidant Capacity
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121342 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 769
Abstract
To elucidate the physiological mechanisms underlying the impact of exogenous nickel ions (Ni2+) on the adaptability of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedling roots to low-nitrogen levels, the cultivar ‘Micro Tom’ was selected as the experimental material and cultivated hydroponically in [...] Read more.
To elucidate the physiological mechanisms underlying the impact of exogenous nickel ions (Ni2+) on the adaptability of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedling roots to low-nitrogen levels, the cultivar ‘Micro Tom’ was selected as the experimental material and cultivated hydroponically in the cultivation room of the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University. Two distinct nitrogen concentrations (7.66 and 0.383 mmol·L−1) and two different levels of Ni2+ (0 and 0.1 mg·L−1 of NiSO4·6H2O) were employed as treatments. On the 9th day of cultivation, we measured the root biomass, the concentrations of antioxidant compounds, and the activities of antioxidant enzymes in the tomato seedlings. The study showed that when the nitrogen levels were low, the growth and development of the tomato seedling roots were hindered. This led to a significant increase in the levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide anion (O2), and malondialdehyde (MDA), indicating oxidative damage to the roots. Conversely, treatment with Ni2+ induced a notable increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the seedlings and augmented the accumulation of nonenzymatic antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid (ASA) and reduced glutathione (GSH), thereby enhancing the operational efficiency of the ascorbate–glutathione cycle (ASA–GSH). Consequently, this led to substantial reductions in the H2O2 and MDA levels, ultimately mitigating the oxidative damage inflicted on the tomato seedling roots subjected to low-nitrogen stress. In conclusion, exogenous Ni2+ can reduce the peroxidative damage of tomato seedlings by promoting antioxidase activity in tomato seedlings under low-nitrogen stress, improve the tolerance of tomato seedlings to low-nitrogen stress, and maintain the normal growth and development of tomato seedlings. Full article
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11 pages, 2405 KiB  
Article
Balancing Hormones and Gene Expressions for Rooting Success: Lovastatin Unveils Cytokinin Inhibition in Malus prunifolia var. ringo Apple Stem Cuttings
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121341 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 658
Abstract
Adventitious root (AR) formation is the key to asexual reproduction; however, cytokinin (CK) hampers AR formation. But the mechanism by which CK inhibits it is still unknown. In this study, we used Malus prunifolia var. ringo apple stem cuttings that were treated with [...] Read more.
Adventitious root (AR) formation is the key to asexual reproduction; however, cytokinin (CK) hampers AR formation. But the mechanism by which CK inhibits it is still unknown. In this study, we used Malus prunifolia var. ringo apple stem cuttings that were treated with exogenous 6-benzyl adenine (6-BA) at 1 mg/L and lovastatin (CK biosynthesis inhibitor) at 1 mg/L to compare with control (untreated) cuttings. The results indicated that the control and 6-BA-treated cuttings failed to produce ARs; however, lovastatin-treated cuttings successfully produced a few ARs after 20 days (d) of treatments by increasing indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and reducing zeatin riboside (ZR) content at several time points. The 6-BA treatment induced the expression of CK-related genes, such as MdARR3, MdARR5, MdARR5-2, MdAKH4, and MdCKX5, at most time points. However, lovastatin-treated cuttings reduced their expression, which favors AR formation. Furthermore, the expression of auxin-related genes, including MdIAA23, MdARF7, and MdARF19, was induced by lovastatin treatment. Like auxin-related genes, several root-development-related genes (MdWOX5, MdWOX11, MdLB29, and MdARRO1) were also promoted in response to lovastatin treatment that were repressed by 6-BA and control cuttings. In conclusion, lovastatin treatment supports AR formation by inhibiting CK biosynthesis inside the cuttings, as compared to the control and 6-BA-treated cuttings. This study laid the foundation for future studies on the relationship of CK biosynthesis inhibitors with adventitious rooting in apples and other crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection New Insights into Developmental Biology of Fruit Trees)
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12 pages, 636 KiB  
Article
Crude Saponins from Chenopodium quinoa Willd. Reduce Fusarium Wilt Infection in Tomato Seedlings
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1340; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121340 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 742
Abstract
Quinoa saponins are pentacyclic triterpene compounds composed of one triterpenoid glycoside and two different sugar chains. Previous studies have showed that natural quinoa saponins showed little or no antifungal activity, and there are few reports about their antifungal effects in recent decades. Fusarium [...] Read more.
Quinoa saponins are pentacyclic triterpene compounds composed of one triterpenoid glycoside and two different sugar chains. Previous studies have showed that natural quinoa saponins showed little or no antifungal activity, and there are few reports about their antifungal effects in recent decades. Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (FOL) is the most serious for tomatoes in the field and under greenhouse conditions. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of different concentrations and application modes of crude saponins from quinoa bran against the causal pathogen of tomato wilt under a greenhouse experiment. The results showed that the anti-FOL activity of quinoa saponins was weak in vitro, but significantly enhanced in vivo. Tomato seeds and seedlings treated with solution of quinoa saponins at 0.5 and 1.0 g/L significantly reduced the disease incidence (%) of tomato Fusarium wilt. The treatment types of saponin solution have influence on the preventive effects (%) of tomato seedlings against Fusarium wilt, among them, root soaking > foliar spray > seed soaking. The treatment of seed soaking with quinoa saponins inhibited germination of tomato seeds to some extent. However, the germination rate of tomato seeds after saponin soaking was comparable to the chemical pesticide (thiram carboxin); therefore, it could be used to control tomato wilt disease. This is due to the fact that the antifungal activity of quinoa saponins in vivo was much higher than that in vitro when the saponin concentration was between 0.5–1.0 g/L, indicating that the antifungal activity of quinoa saponins may be achieved mainly by inducing resistance. This investigation supports the potential use of quinoa saponins as a supplier of antifungal compounds, and could be the foundation for a future study examining the use of quinoa bran as a new resource against FOL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biostimulants Application in Horticultural Crops)
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19 pages, 6739 KiB  
Article
Effect of Osmolytes on Photoassembly of Functionally Active Mn4CaO5 Cluster in Mn-Depleted Photosystem II Preparations Isolated from Spinach Leaves
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1339; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121339 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 662
Abstract
The effect of osmolytes (trehalose, sucrose, betaine, D-glucose and hydroxyectoine) on the photoassembly of the functionally active inorganic core of the water-oxidizing complex (Mn4CaO5 cluster) in Mn-depleted PSII preparations (apo-WOC-PSII) was investigated. It was revealed that the efficiency of the [...] Read more.
The effect of osmolytes (trehalose, sucrose, betaine, D-glucose and hydroxyectoine) on the photoassembly of the functionally active inorganic core of the water-oxidizing complex (Mn4CaO5 cluster) in Mn-depleted PSII preparations (apo-WOC-PSII) was investigated. It was revealed that the efficiency of the photoassembly of the Mn4CaO5 cluster was considerably (three times) increased in the presence of 1 M disaccharides (trehalose or sucrose) in contrast to other osmolytes. It was found that the osmolytes (especially trehalose or sucrose) improved the redox interaction of exogenous Mn2+ with apo-WOC-PSII, enhanced the protective effect of Mn2+ against the photoinhibition of apo-WOC-PSII, protected CaCl2-treated PSII preparations against thermoinactivation, and stabilized the water-oxidizing complex and electron transport from QA to QB in native PSII preparations during heat treatment. It is suggested that the ability of osmolytes to enhance the efficiency of the photoassembly of a Mn4CaO5 cluster depends on their effect on the following key processes: the redox interaction of Mn2+ with apo-WOC-PSII; the stability of apo-WOC-PSII to photoinhibition during the photoactivation procedure; and the stabilization of both the newly assembled functionally active Mn4CaO5 cluster and the electron transfer from QA to QB. Full article
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11 pages, 511 KiB  
Review
The Search of a Molecular “Swiss Knife” for Chloroplast Genomic Editing
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1338; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121338 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 640
Abstract
In recent years, genome editing methods have become an integral part of the genetic engineering toolset that allows for making targeted changes to plant genomes, both in the case of single-gene mutations and multiplex modifications. These technologies were mostly proven effective for editing [...] Read more.
In recent years, genome editing methods have become an integral part of the genetic engineering toolset that allows for making targeted changes to plant genomes, both in the case of single-gene mutations and multiplex modifications. These technologies were mostly proven effective for editing nuclear genomes. However, plastids, the best-known example of which is chloroplasts, have their own genome (plastome), which is also available for various genetic manipulations, including editing. Despite the fact that the modification of plastomes represents a very promising task for modern biotechnology, the structure of plastids and the peculiarities of their genome organization require the specific adaptation of genome editing methods. This applies to both the design of genetic constructs and methods of their delivery to plastids. The article provides an overview of the current state of research in the field of plastid genome editing with chloroplasts taken as an example. We consider the possibilities of using programmable genome-editing technologies, analyze their effectiveness, limitations, and problems caused by the structural features of these organelles, and their genome organization. We discuss the results of the first successful experiments in this field and try to assess the prospects for the development of tools and methods for increasing the efficiency and the specificity of this biotechnological platform. Full article
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15 pages, 5937 KiB  
Article
Effect of Different Macronutrient Supply Levels on the Drought Tolerance of Rainfed Grass Based on Biomass Production, Water Use Efficiency and Macroelement Content
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121337 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Water shortage, one of the main limiting factors for plant growth and development, can be alleviated by an adequate nutrient supply. The effect of different nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) supply levels and their combinations was examined in different rainfall supply [...] Read more.
Water shortage, one of the main limiting factors for plant growth and development, can be alleviated by an adequate nutrient supply. The effect of different nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) supply levels and their combinations was examined in different rainfall supply periods (wet, normal, dry) on a grass sward in a field experiment. Dry and fresh aboveground biomass production were primarily increased by the N–rainfall supply interaction, from 0.739 to 6.51 and from 1.84 to 21.8 t ha−1, respectively, but the P–rainfall supply and N–P interactions and K treatment all had significant effects. Dry matter content was primarily influenced by the N–rainfall supply interaction, increasing in response to N in dry periods and declining in wet periods. Water use efficiency (WUE) was increased by the N–rainfall supply interaction from 28.3 to 127 kg ha−1 mm−1, but the N–P interaction had a similarly strong effect, and K treatment increased it in the dry period. The N, P and K contents of the aboveground biomass were increased by treatment with the corresponding element, but were also influenced by rainfall supply. The increase in biomass, mainly due to N treatment, caused the dilution of the P and K contents in grass in treatments poorly supplied with P and K. Biomass production and WUE were significantly improved up to a dose of 200 kg ha−1 year−1 of N, up to a supply level of 153 mg kg−1 of P2O5, and 279 mg kg−1 of K2O measured in the soil. Treating grass with the N, P and K macroelements may effectively increase biomass production and water use efficiency, but above a certain level their application is unnecessary. Full article
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13 pages, 1115 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Nitrogen and Water Management Strategies to Optimize Yield in Open Field Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Production
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1336; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121336 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 825
Abstract
Countries in arid climates, such as Qatar, require efficient water-saving strategies and nitrogen treatment for vegetable production. Vegetable importation constituted approximately USD 352 million of Qatar’s 2019 GDP; hence, enhancing local production is essential. This study investigated the effect of varying nitrogen and [...] Read more.
Countries in arid climates, such as Qatar, require efficient water-saving strategies and nitrogen treatment for vegetable production. Vegetable importation constituted approximately USD 352 million of Qatar’s 2019 GDP; hence, enhancing local production is essential. This study investigated the effect of varying nitrogen and water levels on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) fruit yield. Various water management strategies were also evaluated. A split plot design was employed with two water levels (W1: 50% deficit irrigation, W2: 100% full irrigation) and three nitrogen levels (N1: 50 kg N ha−1, N2: 70 kg N ha−1, N3: 100 kg N ha−1) to examine cucumber yield and physiological response. Our findings revealed that using minimal drip irrigation and reducing nitrogen levels significantly enhanced the growth, SPAD index, fruit characteristics, and yield components of cucumber. Drip irrigation had a greater influence on cucumber production than nitrogen levels. Shoot height increased by 4% from W2N1 (T1) to W1N3 (T6) and 4.93% from W2N2 (T2) to W1N2 (T5). Fruit length and width increased by 10.63% and 13.41% from T2 and T1 to T5, respectively. The highest total yield occurred at T5, followed by T6, T2, W2N3 (T3), W1N1 (T4), and T1 at 34.5, 29.1, 27.6, 25.8, 25.2, and 20.4 t/ha, respectively. The optimal combination comprised 50% deficit irrigation (W1) and 70 kg N ha−1 (N2) nitrogen. These results suggest the importance of optimizing drip irrigation for achieving maximum cucumber fruit yield in arid climates. Full article
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13 pages, 4824 KiB  
Article
Mining Genes Related to Single Fruit Weight of Peach (Prunus persica) Based on WGCNA and GSEA
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121335 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Single fruit weight is an important goal of crop production and horticultural species domestication, but its genetic mechanism is still unclear. In this study, the fruits of different peach fruit types in their first rapid development period were used as materials. First, the [...] Read more.
Single fruit weight is an important goal of crop production and horticultural species domestication, but its genetic mechanism is still unclear. In this study, the fruits of different peach fruit types in their first rapid development period were used as materials. First, the differentially expressed genes were analyzed by RNA-seq data. Secondly, weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) was used to calculate the correlation between genes and modules, the genes with different expression patterns were divided into 17 modules, the modules were correlated with the phenotype of single fruit, and a highly correlated blue module was obtained. Then, the possible differentially expressed genes and signal pathways among different fruit types were compared by gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and 43 significant pathways were obtained. Finally, 54 genes found to be repeatedly expressed in 3 of the methods were screened, and 11 genes involved in plant hormone signal transduction were selected for subsequent analysis according to their functional annotations. Combined with the changing trend of phenotype, three genes (Prupe.7G234800, Prupe.8G079200 and Prupe.8G082100) were obtained as candidate genes for single fruit weight traits. All three genes are involved in auxin signal transduction, with auxin playing an important role in plant growth and development. This discovery provides a new perspective for revealing the genetic law of single fruit weight in peach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Genetic Improvement and Breeding of Fruit Trees)
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17 pages, 2511 KiB  
Article
Multivariate Analysis of the Phenological Stages, Yield, Bioactive Components, and Antioxidant Capacity Effects in Two Mulberry Cultivars under Different Cultivation Modes
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121334 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 742
Abstract
Mulberry fruits are rich in bioactive components renowned for their antioxidant properties and potential health benefits. This study thoroughly investigated the impact of cultivation modes on the phenological stages, yield, bioactive components, and antioxidant activity of two mulberry cultivars, Yueshen Dashi (YS-DS) and [...] Read more.
Mulberry fruits are rich in bioactive components renowned for their antioxidant properties and potential health benefits. This study thoroughly investigated the impact of cultivation modes on the phenological stages, yield, bioactive components, and antioxidant activity of two mulberry cultivars, Yueshen Dashi (YS-DS) and Xinjiang Baisang (XJ-BS). Notably, greenhouse cultivation led to earlier phenology and shorter fruit development maturation durations compared to field cultivation. Despite a decrease in fruit production and firmness, the greenhouse-grown mulberries exhibited higher individual fruit fresh weight. The content of bioactive components, encompassing anthocyanins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamin C, and of antioxidant activity (measured in the FRAP and DPPH radical scavenging assays) was found to be lower in the greenhouse-grown mulberries than in those cultivated in the field. The contents of total polyphenols and flavonoids showed robust positive correlations in the FRAP and DPPH radical scavenging assays, which suggests that the antioxidant activity of mulberry fruit might be primarily attributable to the bioactive components of total polyphenols and flavonoids. Interestingly, the sugar content and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity (HRSA) displayed an inverse relationship between the two cultivars in the greenhouse versus field conditions. The multivariate analysis highlighted distinct patterns for different cultivars under varying cultivation modes. This study underscores the potential to enhance bioactive components and antioxidant activity through effective manipulation of climate conditions, thereby unlocking the full nutritional potential of mulberry fruits on a large scale in greenhouse environments. Full article
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12 pages, 4966 KiB  
Article
Chromatic Effects of Supplemental Light on the Fruit Quality of Strawberries
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1333; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121333 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Supplemental light is widely applied in greenhouses to promote the production and flavor of strawberries in global markets. The present selections of colored lights are, however, quite empirical or qualitative, from the perspective of photometry or colorimetry, which lacks precision. The accurate control [...] Read more.
Supplemental light is widely applied in greenhouses to promote the production and flavor of strawberries in global markets. The present selections of colored lights are, however, quite empirical or qualitative, from the perspective of photometry or colorimetry, which lacks precision. The accurate control of chromatic parameters of supplemental light and their chromatic influences on fruit quality have been under-studied. In this study, color parameters including ten groups of correlated color temperatures (CCTs-2250 K, 2400 K, 2600 K, 2800 K, 3000 K, 3500 K, 4000 K, 4500 K, 5000 K, and 6000 K) and two groups of illuminances (600 lx and 1000 lx) of supplemental lights were precisely controlled using a digital color-coding method applied to LED supplemental lights, and the strawberry was irradiated with the LED supplemental light from December 2021 to March 2022 in facilities cultivation (greenhouse). Moreover, the irradiation time was 6 h per day (4:00 a.m.–7:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.). We systematically investigated the chromatic effects of supplemental light on five parameters of strawberries: plant height, single weight, fruit hardness, soluble solids, and titratable acids. The results showed that the supplemental light generally lowered the single weight by 14% and fruit hardness by 6%, and increased plant height by 21%, the contents of soluble solids by 7.4%, and titratable acids by 27%. The chromatic dependences of the five parameters were different and might be strengthened, weakened, or shifted by light illuminance. Our results demonstrated the beneficial roles of supplemental light in accelerating maturation and enhancing the flavor of strawberries in greenhouse cultivation. These results provided valuable guidance for the effective cultivation of strawberries. Moreover, the controlling method for accurate colors was ready for the implementation of supplemental lights in other fruits or plants. Full article
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3 pages, 178 KiB  
Editorial
Harvesting Knowledge: Illuminating Advances in Brassica Crops Genomics and Breeding
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1332; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121332 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Brassica crops encompass a diverse array, including vegetables, oil crops, ornamentals, and condiments [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Brassica Crops Genomics and Breeding)
13 pages, 3736 KiB  
Article
Photosynthetic Characteristics of 20 Herbaceous Peony Cultivars
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121331 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 713
Abstract
To identify herbaceous peony cultivars with strong photosynthetic productivity, we compared the photosynthetic characteristics of 20 herbaceous peony cultivars based on four photosynthetic characteristics parameters and established light–response curves under a light intensity gradient, using CIRAS-3 portable photosynthetic dynamic monitoring. The net photosynthetic [...] Read more.
To identify herbaceous peony cultivars with strong photosynthetic productivity, we compared the photosynthetic characteristics of 20 herbaceous peony cultivars based on four photosynthetic characteristics parameters and established light–response curves under a light intensity gradient, using CIRAS-3 portable photosynthetic dynamic monitoring. The net photosynthetic rate (Pn) showed a “unimodal” diurnal variation pattern, with a peak around 12:00. The diurnal pattern of the transpiration rate was the same as that of Pn. Stomatal conductance values (Gs) showed similar patterns among the cultivars, with only small differences. The daily variation in intracellular CO2 concentration (Ci) showed an opposite trend to that of Pn. When the photosynthetically active radiation was 0–400 μmol·m−2s−1, Pn increased linearly and gradually with increasing light intensity. ‘Xueyuanhonghua’, ‘Qingwen’, ‘Taohuafeixue’, ‘Chifen’, and ‘Qihualushuang’ showed high photosynthetic productivity. ‘Xueyuanhonghua’, ‘Fushi’, ‘Qingwen’, ‘Tianshanhongxing’, ‘Qingtianlan’, ‘Dafugui’, and ‘Hongfushi’ had high light saturation points and the highest light resistance. ‘Xueyuanhonghua’, ‘Qingwen’, ‘Taohuafeixue’, ‘Tianshanhongxing’, ‘Qingtianlan’, ‘Guifeichacui’, ‘Chifen’, and ‘Hongxiuqiu’ had low light compensation points. Thus, two cultivars with strong photosynthetic productivity, ‘Xueyuanhonghua’ and ‘Qingwen’, can be cross-bred to obtain both light- and shade-tolerant plants. This study provides a theoretical basis for breeding new cultivars with high photosynthetic productivity. Full article
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11 pages, 2302 KiB  
Brief Report
Visualizing and Inferring Chromosome Segregation in the Pedigree of an Improved Banana Cultivar (Gold Finger) with Genome Ancestry Mosaic Painting
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121330 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 848
Abstract
Banana breeding faces numerous challenges, such as sterility and low seed viability. Enhancing our understanding of banana genetics, notably through next-generation sequencing, can help mitigate these challenges. The genotyping datasets currently available from genebanks were used to decipher cultivated bananas’ genetic makeup of [...] Read more.
Banana breeding faces numerous challenges, such as sterility and low seed viability. Enhancing our understanding of banana genetics, notably through next-generation sequencing, can help mitigate these challenges. The genotyping datasets currently available from genebanks were used to decipher cultivated bananas’ genetic makeup of natural cultivars using genome ancestry mosaic painting. This article presents the application of this method to breeding materials by analyzing the chromosome segregation at the origin of ‘Gold Finger’ (FHIA-01), a successful improved tetraploid variety that was developed in the 1980s. First, the method enabled us to clarify the variety’s intricate genetic composition from ancestral wild species. Second, it enabled us to infer the parental gametes responsible for the formation of this hybrid. It thus revealed 16 recombinations in the haploid male gamete and 10 in the unreduced triploid female gamete. Finally, we could deduce the meiotic mechanism lying behind the transmission of unreduced gametes (i.e., FDR). While we show that the method is a powerful tool for the visualization and inference of gametic contribution in hybrids, we also discuss its advantages and limitations to advance our comprehension of banana genetics in a breeding context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developments in the Genetics and Breeding of Banana Species)
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28 pages, 5236 KiB  
Article
Primary Determination of the Composition of Secondary Metabolites in the Wild and Introduced Artemisia martjanovii Krasch: Samples from Yakutia
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1329; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121329 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 824
Abstract
Artemisia martjanovii Krasch is a rare representative of the genus Artemisia in Siberia and the Far East. The phytochemical composition of this endangered species is essential for its potential use in medicine. We used tandem mass spectrometry and HPLC-MS/MS methods to describe the [...] Read more.
Artemisia martjanovii Krasch is a rare representative of the genus Artemisia in Siberia and the Far East. The phytochemical composition of this endangered species is essential for its potential use in medicine. We used tandem mass spectrometry and HPLC-MS/MS methods to describe the metabolome from the stem and leaf extracts of A. martjanovii from Yakutia. The metabolome profile analysis of A. martjanovii grown in the Botanical Garden of the North-Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk, Russia, and the wild A. martjanovii from Khangalassky district, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) differed significantly both in the polyphenol composition and other compound classes. In total, we identified 104 bioactive constituents from stem and leaf extracts, 56 compounds from the polyphenol group, and 48 from other compound classes. Twenty-seven compounds classified as polyphenol groups, i.e., flavones apigenin, trihydroxy(iso)flavone, salvigenin, cirsiliol, cirsilineol, nevadensin, syringetin, gardenin B, thymonin, and chrysoeriol C-hexoside; flavonols: taxifolin, tetrahydroxy-dimethoxyflavone-hexoside, etc.; and 26 compounds from other classes are being reported for the first time in the genus Artemisia L. Full article
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17 pages, 26161 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification, Evolution, and Expression Analysis of the MAPK Gene Family in Rosaceae Plants
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121328 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 783
Abstract
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are crucial regulators in coping with abiotic and biotic stresses, including drought, salinity, fungi, and pathogens. However, little is known about the characteristics, evolution process, and functional divergence of the MAPK gene family in Rosaceae plants. A total of [...] Read more.
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are crucial regulators in coping with abiotic and biotic stresses, including drought, salinity, fungi, and pathogens. However, little is known about the characteristics, evolution process, and functional divergence of the MAPK gene family in Rosaceae plants. A total of 97 MAPK members were identified in six Rosaceae species, including 12 genes in Fragaria vesca, 22 genes in Malus domestica, 23 genes in Pyrus bretschneideri, 12 genes in Prunus mume, 14 genes in Prunus persica, and 14 genes in Rosa chinensis. All MAPK members of six Rosaceae plants were categorized into four clusters by the phylogenetic relationship analysis. Collinearity analysis discovered that both segmental duplication and tandem duplication contributed to the expansion of MAPK family genes in Rosaceae plants. And the analysis of motifs and gene structures indicated that the evolution of the MAPK gene family was highly conserved among phylogenetic clusters in Rosaceae species. In addition, the dN/dS rates of MAPK paralogous gene pairs were below one, suggesting the MAPK gene family in Rosaceae was driven by purifying selective pressure. Furthermore, functional divergence analysis discovered that 14 amino acid residues were detected as potentially key sites for functional divergence of MAPK family genes between different cluster pairs, specifically Type I functional divergence. The analysis of functional distance indicated that cluster C retained more of the original functional features, while cluster B exhibited functional specialization. Moreover, the expression profiles revealed that PmMAPK8, PmMAPK9, and PmMAPK10 were both highly expressed under drought stress and low temperature conditions. This study aims to comprehensively analyze the evolutionary process and functional analyses of the MAPK gene family in Rosaceae plants, which will lay the foundation for future studies into MAPK genes of Rosaceae in response to drought and cold stress. Full article
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13 pages, 2540 KiB  
Article
Phenotype “Explosion” in Hercinothrips femoralis (O. M. Reuter 1891) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): A Particular Phenomenon for Successful Introduction of Economic Species
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121327 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Intraspecific trait variability, produced by genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity within species, allows the optimization of individual’s fitness in different conditions, ultimately enhancing survival and reproduction. We investigated variability in morphological traits of invasive thrips species Hercinothrips femoralis (O. M. Reuter, 1891) during [...] Read more.
Intraspecific trait variability, produced by genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity within species, allows the optimization of individual’s fitness in different conditions, ultimately enhancing survival and reproduction. We investigated variability in morphological traits of invasive thrips species Hercinothrips femoralis (O. M. Reuter, 1891) during simulated introduction and establishment in a novel environment. Six generations of this species were reared in laboratory for eight months. The initial phase of introduction was simulated by the transfer of thrips generations to environments with different environmental conditions varying in temperature and humidity. The statistical evaluation of seven measured morphological attributes (e.g., body length, wing length) was performed to analyse the morphological variability. Species phenotypic “explosion” in several morphological characters (especially total body length) was observed during the initial phase of introduction in generations brought from the primary site into novel environments with different conditions. Probable phenotypic specialization was observed during the generations following introduction under the same ecological conditions. Furthermore, the most variable morphological features were specified. This study goes beyond the taxonomic level, because its results and main idea can be applied to any invasive species. Full article
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10 pages, 948 KiB  
Brief Report
The Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in the In Vitro Germination and Growth of the Petunia (Petunia hybrida E. Vilm.) Male Gametophyte
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1326; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121326 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 689
Abstract
The in vitro growth of the pollen tube (PT), an object of comprehensive and intensive research, is a model for studying the mechanisms of sexual reproduction in higher plants. We have studied the potential role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the in [...] Read more.
The in vitro growth of the pollen tube (PT), an object of comprehensive and intensive research, is a model for studying the mechanisms of sexual reproduction in higher plants. We have studied the potential role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the in vitro germination and growth maintenance of the petunia (Petunia hybrida E. Vilm.) male gametophyte. The exogenous treatment with H2O2 influences the PT germination and polar growth in vitro. The addition of H2O2 to culture medium increases both the percentage of pollen grain germination and the PT length in the case of long cultivation, but inhibits both processes during the first hour of cultivation. This suggests that endogenous ROS play a decisive role in the early stages of pollen germination, with the sensitivity to endogenous ROS emerging later over the course of their growth. The addition of diphenylene iodonium chloride (DPI), a NADPH oxidase inhibitor, considerably decreases both the germination and the growth of the petunia male gametophyte at low concentrations (0.1 μM), and completely arrests the growth at high concentrations (1 μM). ROS are necessary for polar growth of the petunia male gametophyte; they are secreted in the early stages of pollen grain activation and are further localized to the initiation of the PT, mainly in the PT apical part, during polar growth, as confirmed with the help of intravital fluorescence microscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Propagation and Seeds)
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12 pages, 1844 KiB  
Article
Foliar Fertilization with Molybdate and Nitrate Up-Regulated Activity of Nitrate Reductase in Lemon Balm Leaves
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1325; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121325 - 10 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
The foliar feeding of soil-grown plants with essential elements such as molybdate can restore their Nitrate reductase activity. However, the activity of nitrate reductase under the foliar feeding of plants with molybdate and nitrate in hydroponic conditions has not been investigated. Thus, we [...] Read more.
The foliar feeding of soil-grown plants with essential elements such as molybdate can restore their Nitrate reductase activity. However, the activity of nitrate reductase under the foliar feeding of plants with molybdate and nitrate in hydroponic conditions has not been investigated. Thus, we wanted to investigate the effect of the foliar feeding of molybdate and nitrate on the nitrate reductase activity in the leaves of lemon balm plants under hydroponic conditions. Nitrate and molybdate solutions were applied by spraying the leaves of lemon balm plants and the nitrate reductase activity was determined by the colorimetric method. The results of our study demonstrated that the application of molybdate and KNO3 solution enhanced the nitrate reductase activity in the leaves of lemon balm plants. Importantly, our results indicate that foliar fertilization with nitrate and molybdate can improve nitrogen metabolism and carbon fixation in the leaves of lemon balm plants under hydroponic conditions. Full article
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