Editor’s Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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14 pages, 1500 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Petiole Sap Nutrients Using Rapid and Standard Methods and Its Relation to Leaf Analysis of Fertilized Malus domestica cv. Gala
by Mariana Mota, M. João Martins, Layanne Sprey, Anabela Maurício, Cristina Rosa, João Faria, Miguel B. Martins, Miguel L. de Sousa, Ricardo Santos, Rui M. de Sousa, Henrique Ribeiro and Cristina M. Oliveira
Horticulturae 2024, 10(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10010036 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1324
Abstract
Currently, fertilization decisions in apple orchards are based on soil and leaf analyses while the leaf material is sampled after the growing season, usually in June–July (90–110 days after full bloom). This approach is inefficient, as the information becomes available later than the [...] Read more.
Currently, fertilization decisions in apple orchards are based on soil and leaf analyses while the leaf material is sampled after the growing season, usually in June–July (90–110 days after full bloom). This approach is inefficient, as the information becomes available later than the growing season and is therefore only useful in supporting fertilization decisions for the next year, not the current one. To establish a method that provides useful information for fertilization decisions earlier in the growth cycle, our research focused on the assessment of the nutrient content of petiole sap using different methods, the standard method and the rapid method using a reflectometer. For this study, in 2021, four ‘Gala’ orchards were fertilized with different N–P–K levels. Macro and micronutrients were determined in leaves and petiole sap at 45 and 90–110 days after full bloom (DAFB) using standard laboratory methods and the reflectometer. When leaf analysis at 45 and 90–110 DAFB was compared with petiole sap analysis at the same time point, no significant correlations were found between the nutrient contents in leaf material and petiole sap, with the exception of calcium. However, positive results were obtained regarding the correlation between reflectometer determination and standard laboratory analyses. The regression analysis revealed high determination coefficients for N-NO3 (R2 = 0.703), K+ (R2 = 0.705), Ca2+ (R2 = 0.715), and Mg2+ (R2 = 0.780) between standard laboratory methods and the reflectometer. These results suggest that the reflectometer enables a real-time diagnostic tool for monitoring nutrient status throughout the growth cycle, particularly key nutrients related to fruit quality. The N–P–K fertilization strategies had no influence on the nutrient content of leaves or petiole sap. The nutrient content of both sample types varied depending on the orchard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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22 pages, 3027 KiB  
Article
Soilless-Grown Green and Purple Basil Response to High Tunnel Photo-Selective Covering Films
by Fritzner Pierre, Kathleen Demchak, Matthew Cooper, Myungjin Lee and Francesco Di Gioia
Horticulturae 2024, 10(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10010033 - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1474
Abstract
Protected cultivation systems, such as high tunnels, have gained popularity for their ability to enhance growth conditions and extend the growing season of horticultural crops. The choice of the covering film in these systems can significantly impact crop productivity and quality while influencing [...] Read more.
Protected cultivation systems, such as high tunnels, have gained popularity for their ability to enhance growth conditions and extend the growing season of horticultural crops. The choice of the covering film in these systems can significantly impact crop productivity and quality while influencing pest and pathogen incidence. This study aimed to evaluate the yield, physiological responses, and nutritional quality of green and purple basil grown in high tunnels using different plastic film covers. The study was conducted in Central Pennsylvania using twelve research high tunnels covered with four alternative polyethylene films with varying light diffusion and ultraviolet (UV) radiation transparency levels: TuffLite IV (TIV), KoolLite Plus (KLP), UV-transparent (UVT), and UV-opaque (UVO). Green ‘Genovese Compact Improved’ and purple ‘Amethyst Improved’ basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) cultivars were grown as test crops. The plastic covering film had a significant effect on the growth of both basil cultivars, with a significant interaction between the film and basil genotype. Green basil generally exhibited higher fresh and dry biomass compared to purple basil, and the film effect varied with the basil genotype. Leaf area, stem, leaf, and total plant biomass were influenced by the plastic cover, with UVO and UVT films resulting in higher biomass production. The plastic covering films showed varying effects on the mineral content, total chlorophyll, carotenoids, total phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activity, with UVO and UVT films often resulting in improved nutritional quality compared to traditional films. Furthermore, covering films influenced the downy mildew severity on both cultivars and the UVT film consistently limited the severity of the foliar disease in both genotypes. Overall, this study highlights the importance of selecting appropriate plastic covering films with varying levels of UV transparency in high tunnel production systems. Full article
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17 pages, 2063 KiB  
Article
Viticultural Climate Indexes and Their Role in The Prediction of Anthocyanins and Other Flavonoids Content in Seedless Table Grapes
by Pasquale Crupi, Vittorio Alba, Giovanni Gentilesco, Marica Gasparro, Giuseppe Ferrara, Andrea Mazzeo and Antonio Coletta
Horticulturae 2024, 10(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10010028 - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 799
Abstract
Background: Viticulture bioclimatic indexes like the Heliothermal Index (HI), Cool Night Index (CI), and Dryness Index (DI), can be used to assess the influence of climate on grapes’ quality. Methods: HI, CI, and DI + total seasonal irrigation were utilized to assess the [...] Read more.
Background: Viticulture bioclimatic indexes like the Heliothermal Index (HI), Cool Night Index (CI), and Dryness Index (DI), can be used to assess the influence of climate on grapes’ quality. Methods: HI, CI, and DI + total seasonal irrigation were utilized to assess the effect of climate on the flavonoids content and composition of two Vitis vinifera seedless varieties, ‘Summer Royal’ and ‘Crimson Seedless’, both grown in Apulia (Southern Italy). Results: The flavonoids content was significantly affected by variety and climate conditions on the base of HI, CI, and DI + total seasonal irrigation. Factor analysis applied to climate indexes and flavonoids showed that anthocyanins and flavonols were negatively and positively correlated to CI in both varieties, respectively. Additionally, warmer night temperatures determined higher fla-van-3-ols. HI increase promoted anthocyanins, flavonols, and flavan-3-ols content in Crimson Seedless, whilst it induced an opposite trend in Summer Royal. Finally, DI + total seasonal irrigation showed to be positively linked to flavonols content and negatively linked to anthocyanins content just in the case of Crimson Seedless. Significant regression models were also determined between climate indexes and productive parameters (i.e., yield, TSS, TA, pH, bunch, and berry weight). Conclusions: Climate indexes HI, CI, and DI + total seasonal irrigation showed an effect on quality grape parameters like flavonoids and contributed to building predictive models when new climatic zones are going to be evaluated for the production of table grapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vine Cultivation in an Increasingly Warming World)
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14 pages, 4535 KiB  
Article
LED White Light Treatment Delays Postharvest Senescence of ‘Zaosu’ Pear Fruit with Inhibited Chlorophyll Degradation
by Hongbo Mi, Xu Zhou, Jun Yang, Jingxin Chen and Bin Liu
Horticulturae 2024, 10(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10010032 - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 830
Abstract
To investigate the effects of LED white light treatment (LWT) on the storage quality of postharvest ‘Zaosu’ pears, as well as its role in maintaining fruit greenness and delaying senescence, pear fruits were treated with intermittent irradiation using LED white light for 12 [...] Read more.
To investigate the effects of LED white light treatment (LWT) on the storage quality of postharvest ‘Zaosu’ pears, as well as its role in maintaining fruit greenness and delaying senescence, pear fruits were treated with intermittent irradiation using LED white light for 12 h per day, with a light source distance of 30 ± 1 cm and a photon flux density of 151 μmoL/(m2·s) at 25 °C. The results showed that LWT preserved the postharvest quality of ‘Zaosu’ pear fruit by reducing weight loss and ascorbic acid degradation and promoting the ratio of sugar and organic acid. Meanwhile, LWT also substantially inhibited the respiration intensity and ethylene production during the storage process. Accordingly, the expressions of genes related to ethylene biosynthesis and signaling were reduced in LWT fruit. Notably, LWT retarded the decrease in chlorophyll content of fruit by increasing the activities of enzymes associated with chlorophyll synthase. Additionally, LWT also suppressed the chlorophyll degradation-related enzymes and their gene expressions in pear peel. These findings suggest that a moderate light irradiation can delay the de-green progress and benefit post-harvest storage of ‘Zaosu’ pear. Full article
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13 pages, 1241 KiB  
Article
Lily Database: A Comprehensive Genomic Resource for the Liliaceae Family
by Manosh Kumar Biswas, Sathishkumar Natarajan, Dhiman Biswas, Jewel Howlader, Jong-In Park and Ill-Sup Nou
Horticulturae 2024, 10(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10010023 - 25 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1348
Abstract
The Lily database is an online genomic resource which is composed of a Korean Lily germplasm collection, transcriptome sequences, molecular markers, transcription factors (TFs) and DEGs (Differentially Expressed Genes) data. A total of ~0.23 gb of RNA-sequencing data were used for gene identification, [...] Read more.
The Lily database is an online genomic resource which is composed of a Korean Lily germplasm collection, transcriptome sequences, molecular markers, transcription factors (TFs) and DEGs (Differentially Expressed Genes) data. A total of ~0.23 gb of RNA-sequencing data were used for gene identification, marker development and gene expression analysis. As a result, 103,929 genomic, 47,863 EST-SSR, 20,929 SNP and 1213 COS-marker were developed. A total of 1327 TF genes were identified and characterized. This is the first unique, user-friendly, genomic resource database for Lilium species. It is a relational database based on a ‘three-tier architecture’ that catalogs all the information in a MySQL table and a user-friendly query interface and data visualization page developed using JavaScript, PHP and HTML code. The search parameters are highly flexible; users can retrieve data by using either single or multiple search parameters. Data present in this database can be used for germplasm characterization, gene discovery, population structure analysis, QTL mapping, and accelerating lily variety improvements. Full article
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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
by Lu-Lu Meng, Fu-Qi Xu, Ze-Zhi Zhang, Mashael Daghash Alqahtani, Manal A. Tashkandi and Qiang-Sheng Wu
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1350; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121350 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1051
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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11 pages, 1295 KiB  
Article
Screening and Selection for Herbicide Tolerance among Diverse Tomato Germplasms
by Gourav Sharma, Swati Shrestha, Te-Ming Tseng and Sanju Shrestha
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121354 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 954
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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15 pages, 2091 KiB  
Article
Application of Encapsulation Technology: In Vitro Screening of Two Ficus carica L. Genotypes under Different NaCl Concentrations
by Irene Granata, Luca Regni, Maurizio Micheli, Cristian Silvestri and Maria Antonietta Germanà
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121344 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 805
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
by Xingyu Zhang, Cong Zhang and Yuyang Zhang
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1343; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121343 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 965
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, 2405 KiB  
Article
Balancing Hormones and Gene Expressions for Rooting Success: Lovastatin Unveils Cytokinin Inhibition in Malus prunifolia var. ringo Apple Stem Cuttings
by Sinuo Sun, Muhammad Mobeen Tahir, Zushu Xie, Pengyan Wei, Jianing Yu, Hangkong Liu, Yinnan He, Xiaoying Ren, Yuanyuan Ma and Jiangping Mao
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121341 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 792
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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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
by Denis V. Yanykin, Dina V. Kazantseva and Andrey A. Khorobrykh
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1339; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121339 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 764
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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13 pages, 4824 KiB  
Article
Mining Genes Related to Single Fruit Weight of Peach (Prunus persica) Based on WGCNA and GSEA
by Hangling Bie, Huimin Wang, Lirong Wang, Yong Li, Weichao Fang, Changwen Chen, Xinwei Wang, Jinlong Wu and Ke Cao
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121335 - 12 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 861
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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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
by Alberto Cenci, Guillaume Martin, Catherine Breton, Angélique D’Hont, Nabila Yahiaoui, Julie Sardos and Mathieu Rouard
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121330 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1014
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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19 pages, 6046 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Productive Responses of Two Vitis vinifera L. Cultivars across Three Sites in Central-South Italy
by Filippo Ferlito, Elisabetta Nicolosi, Angelo Sicilia, Clizia Villano, Riccardo Aversano and Angela Roberta Lo Piero
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121321 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Grapevine adaptation to drought involves morphological, anatomical, and physiological modifications that could be viewed as a measure of drought avoidance. The main vine responses to drought consist of the regulation of carbon assimilation as a consequence of limited stomatal conductance, which is reflected [...] Read more.
Grapevine adaptation to drought involves morphological, anatomical, and physiological modifications that could be viewed as a measure of drought avoidance. The main vine responses to drought consist of the regulation of carbon assimilation as a consequence of limited stomatal conductance, which is reflected in changes in plant water status. In this factorial study (2020–2021 growing seasons), two red cultivars, the local ‘Aglianico’, widely grown in Central-South Italy, and the international ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’, were used to evaluate how their interaction in three different environments can modify physiological adaptations and how yields and their qualitative traits can be modified. The lowest leaf water potential (−0.68 Mpa) for the two cultivars was registered in Molise, while the most stressed vine was found in Sicily for Aglianico (−1.86 MPa). At least in two of three locations, Molise and Campania, the detected stomatal conductance and the leaf water potential have shown that Cabernet Sauvignon can be classified as a near-isohydric cultivar, whereas Aglianico can be categorized as a near-anisohydric cultivar. The interactions between genotype x environment highlight different levels of adaptability between the two cultivars in different sites during each season. The data presented here contribute to a better understanding of the effects of genotype and environment interactions in progressive dry cultivation and how these interactions can modify the qualitative traits of grapes. Full article
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12 pages, 2577 KiB  
Article
Xylella fastidiosa, Possible New Threat to Chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) in Italy
by Davide Greco, Erika Sabella, Giambattista Carluccio, Angelo Giovanni Delle Donne, Luigi De Bellis and Andrea Luvisi
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121315 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1558
Abstract
This is the first worldwide report of X. fastidiosa (Xf) subsp. pauca on Castanea sativa and the first characterization of Xf infection on this species. Plants located in three sites (in a long-term affected area in Apulia) were monitored for symptoms [...] Read more.
This is the first worldwide report of X. fastidiosa (Xf) subsp. pauca on Castanea sativa and the first characterization of Xf infection on this species. Plants located in three sites (in a long-term affected area in Apulia) were monitored for symptoms and bacterial concentrations in spring and summer, while microscopic analyses were performed to evaluate the pathogen distribution in the xylem vessels. All chestnut plants appeared asymptomatic but the Xf subsp. pauca strain “De Donno” was present at low concentrations (1.14 × 104 and 1.56 × 103 cfu mL−1 in April and June) and with a low incidence (respectively, 38% and 30%). The FISH-CLSM (Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization—Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope) analysis showed evident Xf occlusions but in a low percentage (9.2 ± 3.4%); these data can explain the lack of symptoms on the canopy. Furthermore, through a bibliographic analysis it emerged that Philaenus spumarius and Neophilaenus campestris, two Xf vectors present in Europe, are suckling feeding insects on chestnut trees and could be involved in the bacterial transmission to this species. Asymptomatic Xf host species can play a considerable role in new outbreak emergence or in the expansion of existing ones. So, it is essential to identify them to plan more effective monitoring activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathology in Horticultural Production)
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13 pages, 1718 KiB  
Article
Triploid Hybrids of 2x Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) by 2x Black Highbush Blueberry (V. fuscatum) and 2x Elliott’s Blueberry (V. elliottii) as Evidence of a Genome Balance Requirement for Hybridization Success
by Mark Ehlenfeldt, James L. Luteyn, Fernando de la Torre and Juan Zalapa
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1308; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121308 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 754
Abstract
Hybridizations were made between a 2x V. vitis-idaea (sect. Vitis-idaea, lingonberry) and 2x V. fuscatum (sect. Cyanococcus, Black Highbush Blueberry) as part of a project aimed at understanding the crossability and compatibility of these but specifically aimed at assessing [...] Read more.
Hybridizations were made between a 2x V. vitis-idaea (sect. Vitis-idaea, lingonberry) and 2x V. fuscatum (sect. Cyanococcus, Black Highbush Blueberry) as part of a project aimed at understanding the crossability and compatibility of these but specifically aimed at assessing the possibilities for improvement and utilization of lingonberry. The crosses succeeded at a low level, and six hybrids were produced and genetically verified. When tested for ploidy level, five of the six hybrids were found to be triploids and one was found to be a tetraploid. Hybrids were intermediate in morphology and only fertile at very low levels, largely due to their triploid nature. Several of these hybrids produced progeny when used as females and pollinated with 6x V. virgatum-derived males, indicating viable unreduced 2n ovules. Similar crosses were made between lingonberry and 2x V. elliottii (sect. Cyanococcus, Elliott’s Blueberry). These crosses produced two genetically verified hybrids, which were also determined to be triploids. These hybrids were effectively sterile. The production of triploids from 2x × 2x crosses indicates that there is a natural selection for a reproductive genome balance of two V. vitis-idaea:one Cyanococcus. The success of secondary hybridizations with hexaploid materials suggests that the triploid hybrids may be used to advance the utilization and recombination of lingonberry germplasm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Resources and Breeding Trends of Berry Crops)
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25 pages, 1868 KiB  
Review
From Lab to Field: Biofertilizers in the 21st Century
by Ana Ibáñez, Sonia Garrido-Chamorro, María F. Vasco-Cárdenas and Carlos Barreiro
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1306; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121306 - 05 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3073
Abstract
Nowadays, legal regulations and social environmental concerns are converging towards the promotion of more sustainable agriculture based on organic compounds and soil preservation. These trends are fuelling the growth of the biofertilizers, which are beneficial preparations containing microorganisms able to enhance a plant’s [...] Read more.
Nowadays, legal regulations and social environmental concerns are converging towards the promotion of more sustainable agriculture based on organic compounds and soil preservation. These trends are fuelling the growth of the biofertilizers, which are beneficial preparations containing microorganisms able to enhance a plant’s ability to uptake essential nutrients. Their production and commercialization encompass a multitude of critical steps deeply reviewed in this manuscript through an exhaustive overview of the key stages, such as microorganism selection, new environmental sources, upscaling to field trials, encapsulation, current application systems and regulatory considerations. However, although the economical expectations are promising, several methodological, environmental, and legal concerns are undermining their advancement. The redefinition of international legal frameworks, their enhancement based on trending technologies, and the fostering of multidisciplinary collaboration across sectors are key players to promote biofertilizers as eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives to chemical fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Plant Nutrition, Fertilization, Soil Management)
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16 pages, 3185 KiB  
Article
Effects of Rootstock on Water Stress, Physiological Parameters, and Growth of the Pistachio Tree
by Eduardo Fernández-Suela, Pablo Garcia-Estringana, E. Francisco de Andrés, Noelia Ramírez-Martín and Jesus Alegre
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1305; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121305 - 05 Dec 2023
Viewed by 910
Abstract
In Spain, almost all pistachios are grown under water-stress conditions. Pistachio plants have sophisticated mechanisms to avoid or tolerate stress. It is known that the rootstock affects responses to water stress in the cultivar grafted onto it. The traditional belief is that Pistacia [...] Read more.
In Spain, almost all pistachios are grown under water-stress conditions. Pistachio plants have sophisticated mechanisms to avoid or tolerate stress. It is known that the rootstock affects responses to water stress in the cultivar grafted onto it. The traditional belief is that Pistacia terebinthus L. is the rootstock best adapted to rainfed conditions. This study examined the effect of rootstock on stress traits, photosynthetic rate, transpiration, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll, polyphenol concentrations, and growth in plants of Pistacia vera L. cv. Kerman grafted onto P. terebinthus, P. atlantica, and UCB-1. These responses were classified into constituent traits and characteristics of the plant’s adaptation to water stress. The latter was induced by adding PEG 6000 to the nutrient solution. Plants grafted onto P. terebinthus showed more constituent traits, while plants grafted onto UCB-1 showed a greater number of drought-responsive traits. Plants grafted onto P. atlantica showed similar adaptative traits to those observed in UCB-1 but lower values of transpiration and net photosynthesis. Although it is likely that plants grafted onto P. terebinthus survive longer under extreme drought conditions, under moderate stress conditions, their yield is probably lower than that of plants grafted onto UCB-1 under the same moderate stress conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biotic and Abiotic Stress)
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15 pages, 2536 KiB  
Article
Greenhouse Screening for pH Stress in Rhododendron Genotypes
by Shusheng Wang, Marie-Christine Van Labeke, Emmy Dhooghe, Johan Van Huylenbroeck and Leen Leus
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121302 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 819
Abstract
The genus Rhododendron is known for its preference for acidic soils, although some genotypes can tolerate a more neutral or alkaline pH. In this study, a greenhouse experiment was set up for 140 days to examine different parameters to assess pH stress in [...] Read more.
The genus Rhododendron is known for its preference for acidic soils, although some genotypes can tolerate a more neutral or alkaline pH. In this study, a greenhouse experiment was set up for 140 days to examine different parameters to assess pH stress in the progeny of R. fortunei and the cross combination R. ‘Pink Purple Dream’ x ‘Belami’. Additional cultivars ‘Gomer Waterer’ and ‘Cunningham’s White’ were included in the greenhouse test. The plants were divided into two groups. One group was planted in a substrate with a neutral pH (treatment, pH 6.3) and the other group of plants was planted in an acidic pH substrate (control, pH 4.5). Tolerance to pH stress was evaluated for the individual genotypes on both substrates 140 days after the start of the experiment. The following parameters were analyzed: shoot length, root development, chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm), leaf color and weight (fresh and dry). In intolerant genotypes, all parameters except for number of shoots were negatively affected by pH stress; especially, the development of roots was negatively impacted by the neutral pH, resulting in above-ground symptoms of pH stress, including decreased height and lower fresh and dry weight. The results show variation in pH tolerance within the genotypes tested and point to the potential for the selection of Rhododendron genotypes with improved tolerance to neutral pH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tolerance and Response of Ornamental Plants to Abiotic Stress)
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14 pages, 5181 KiB  
Article
Optimized Fertilization Shifted Soil Microbial Properties and Improved Vegetable Growth in Facility Soils with Obstacles
by Yiqian Lang, Yun Ma, Guiliang Wang, Xiaoqing Qian and Juanjuan Wang
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1303; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121303 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 970
Abstract
Currently, facility cultivation produces almost a third of all vegetables in China. The intensive production style has led to serious soil problems that need to be tackled. In this paper, a pot experiment was set up to evaluate the effects of optimized fertilization [...] Read more.
Currently, facility cultivation produces almost a third of all vegetables in China. The intensive production style has led to serious soil problems that need to be tackled. In this paper, a pot experiment was set up to evaluate the effects of optimized fertilization on vegetable growth and soil properties. Specifically, calcium, magnesium, boron and molybdenum were added on the basis of soil testing. The results showed that the growth of Chinese cabbage was significantly increased by optimized fertilization. The soil pH increased (by 3.82%), and EC decreased (by 8.54%). The abundance of culturable bacteria increased by 33.86%, whereas that of fungi decreased by 70.7%. The optimized fertilization increased the richness but not the evenness of soil microorganisms, increased the relative abundance of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacillus and Bacteroidetes, and decreased the relative abundance of Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, and superphyla. Optimized fertilization inhibited the growth of Chytridiomycota and Mortierellomycota, especially the plant pathogen Fusarium. Moreover, balanced fertilization was beneficial in promoting various metabolic processes of soil bacteria. Soil water-soluble Ca, Mg, and available Mo might be the main factors driving the change in microbial groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Nutrition)
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16 pages, 4489 KiB  
Article
Studies on Seed Germination and Micropropagation of Ebenus sibthorpii, an Endemic Shrub of Greece with Potential Ornamental Use
by Konstantinos Bertsouklis, Dimitra Vazaka-Vodena, Apostolos-Emmanouil Bazanis and Maria Papafotiou
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1300; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121300 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 895
Abstract
The introduction of new ornamental species is a challenge for the floriculture industry. Ebenus sibthorpii is an endemic species of Greece, with a strong ornamental potential. To the best of our knowledge, there are no studies on the in vitro propagation of this [...] Read more.
The introduction of new ornamental species is a challenge for the floriculture industry. Ebenus sibthorpii is an endemic species of Greece, with a strong ornamental potential. To the best of our knowledge, there are no studies on the in vitro propagation of this species. Therefore, the current study aimed to determine the possibility of micropropagation of Ebenus sibthorpii as a first step for its introduction into the floriculture industry. A preliminary study on the germination ability of the species was also conducted on 1/2-strength Murashige and Skoog medium (MS/2), in the range of 5–35 °C. Seeds germinated at 46–64% indifferently of temperature between the range of 10–30 °C. In vitro cultures were successfully established (77–80% explant response) from single-node explants excised from seedlings, on MS medium either hormone-free (Hf) or supplemented with 6-benzyladenine (BA) at 0.5 and 1 mg L−1. The subsequent multiplication stage involved subcultures in MS medium either Hf or supplemented with various cytokinin types and concentrations, while the combination of 0.01 mg L−1 naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) with BA was also tested. Τhe highest multiplication indices (3.6–4.6) were observed in media containing BA at 0.1–0.5 mg L−1, regardless of NAA presence, and in those with 0.5 mg L−1 ZEA or 1 mg L−1 TDZ. The highest number of shoots were formed in TDZ media, but almost half of them did not elongate. To address this, a two-fold culture was developed, where micro-shoots produced on TDZ media were transferred to Hf, MS or MS/2 medium to elongate. Thus, the highest multiplication index (16.4) was achieved when micro-shoots from 1 mg L−1 TDZ medium were transferred to MS medium. The present study could be the basis of further exploitation and conservation of E. sibthorpii. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Floriculture, Nursery and Landscape, and Turf)
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12 pages, 2118 KiB  
Article
Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria for Aquaponics as a New Strategy That Grants Quality and Nutrient Efficiency in Kohlrabi Cultivation
by María Carmen Piñero, Jacinta Collado-González, Ginés Otálora, Josefa López-Marín and Francisco M. del Amor
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1299; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121299 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1226
Abstract
Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about eating healthy, and the products they consume are produced in an environmentally friendly way. Therefore, in this work, production techniques such as aquaculture and the use of plant growth-promoting bacteria in kohlrabi cultivation (Brassica oleracea L.) [...] Read more.
Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about eating healthy, and the products they consume are produced in an environmentally friendly way. Therefore, in this work, production techniques such as aquaculture and the use of plant growth-promoting bacteria in kohlrabi cultivation (Brassica oleracea L.) were studied. To this end, we applied three types of irrigation treatments (control, mixed water (50% fish effluent/50% drainage water) (mixed water), and mixed water enriched with synthetic fertilizers (mixed water + S)) combined with two formulations of plant growth-promoting bacteria (B1 and B2) in kohlrabi plants. Our data showed that the B1 inoculum combined with control irrigation caused both the increase in dry matter and the diameter of the bulb (17.8% and 8.9%, respectively); moreover, this inoculum increased the concentration of Ca when applied with mixed irrigation solution (water + S), and Zn for the B2 inoculum. The nitrogen utilization efficiency (NUtE) was augmented by the mixed irrigation treatment, with the lowest concentration of nitrates observed in the bulbs. Both inocula increased the total phenolic compounds in the control irrigation, whilst an increase in fructose and sucrose concentrations was only observed with B2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenge of Horticultural Crops under Climate Change)
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15 pages, 4166 KiB  
Article
Effects of Temperature on Growth and Isoprene Metabolism Pathway in Eucommia ulmoides Oliv
by Wenqin Yao and Degang Zhao
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121298 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 781
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the influence of temperature on the growth and isoprene metabolism pathways of Eucommia ulmoides seedlings. Growth indices and levels of rubber and total triterpenoids in leaves were assessed under three temperature treatments: low (15 °C/10 °C), control (25 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the influence of temperature on the growth and isoprene metabolism pathways of Eucommia ulmoides seedlings. Growth indices and levels of rubber and total triterpenoids in leaves were assessed under three temperature treatments: low (15 °C/10 °C), control (25 °C/20 °C), and high (35 °C/30 °C). High-throughput sequencing identified 2309 differentially expressed genes, of which 1608 were upregulated and 701 were downregulated. After 40 days, leaf length, leaf width, and plant height were significantly lower in low- and high-temperature treatments compared with the control. Specific leaf weight was higher in LT-treated leaves. Chlorophyll a and b contents were 1.372 mg.g−1 and 0.594 mg.g−1, respectively, in control leaves, followed by low- and high-temperature treatments. Carotenoid content was the highest in LT treatment. The rubber content of LT and HT groups significantly decreased by 16.5% and 38%, respectively, compared with that of the control group. Total triterpene content was the lowest in control leaves at 1.02%, which was 30% and 20% less than that in low- and high-temperature treatments, respectively. This study provides insights into the efficient cultivation of E. ulmoides and the regulatory network of secondary metabolic pathways. Full article
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18 pages, 5670 KiB  
Article
Grape Yield Prediction Models: Approaching Different Machine Learning Algorithms
by Caio Bustani Andrade, Jean Michel Moura-Bueno, Jucinei José Comin and Gustavo Brunetto
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1294; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121294 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Efficient marketing of winegrapes involves negotiating with potential buyers long before the harvest, when little is known about the expected vintage. Grapevine physiology is affected by weather conditions as well as by soil properties and such information can be applied to build yield [...] Read more.
Efficient marketing of winegrapes involves negotiating with potential buyers long before the harvest, when little is known about the expected vintage. Grapevine physiology is affected by weather conditions as well as by soil properties and such information can be applied to build yield prediction models. In this study, Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR), Cubist (CUB) and Random Forest (RF) algorithms were used to predict yield from imputed weather station data and soil sample analysis reports. Models using only soil variables had the worst general results (R2 = 0.15, RMSE = 4.16 Mg ha−1, MAE = 3.20 Mg ha−1), while the use of only weather variables yielded the best performance (R2 = 0.52, RMSE = 2.99 Mg ha−1, MAE = 2.43 Mg ha−1). Models built with CUB and RF algorithms showed signs of overfitting, yet RF models achieved the best average results (R2 = 0.58, RMSE = 2.85 Mg ha−1, MAE = 2.24 Mg ha−1) using only weather variables as predictors. Weather data imputation affected RF and CUB models more intensely while PLSR remained fairly insensitive. Plant age, yield level group, vineyard plot, May temperatures, soil pH and exchangeable concentrations of Zn, Cu, K and Mn were identified as important predictors. This exploratory work offers insights for future research on grape yield predictive modeling and grouping strategies to obtain more assertive results, thus contributing to a more efficient grapevine production chain in southern Brazil and worldwide. Full article
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11 pages, 16461 KiB  
Article
Non-Destructive Evaluation of White-Flesh Dragon Fruit Decay with a Robot
by Coral Ortiz, Carlos Blanes, Pablo Gonzalez-Planells and Francisco Rovira-Más
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121286 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit with significant potential for consumers and producers. The quality assurance of this high-value product is crucial to satisfy consumer expectations. The quality of imported dragon fruit after storage may deteriorate due to inappropriate storage conditions. The firmness [...] Read more.
Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit with significant potential for consumers and producers. The quality assurance of this high-value product is crucial to satisfy consumer expectations. The quality of imported dragon fruit after storage may deteriorate due to inappropriate storage conditions. The firmness of dragon fruit is an essential parameter to estimate its conditions, and it is usually measured by destructive testing. The objective of the present study is to develop and test a non-destructive robotic sensor for assessing dragon fruit quality related to texture deterioration. Sixty white-fresh dragon fruits obtained from a store were divided in two sets of thirty fruits and stored 48 h at different conditions (cold and room storage) to produce deteriorated and consumer-acceptable fruits. First, the fruit samples were assessed non-destructive with the force sensor of a collaborative robot while they were touched. The robot tool is a pad capable of adapting and copying fruit shapes while controlling its hardness with the jamming transition of its internal granular fill. Second, the fruits were evaluated with destructive tests such as fruit firmness, flesh firmness, and soluble solid content. The procedure followed to produce deteriorated and acceptable fruits were confirmed. A discriminant analysis was carried out to segregate the fruit between the two categories according to the non-destructive variables extracted from the sensor. The variables obtained from the robotic first slope (S1) and the difference between the maximum value and the first overshoot (Os) were significant predictors for the separation in the two quality categories. Promising results were obtained with 77.50% of well classified fruit from the model data set, and 84.21% from the validation data set. The use of the robot could be an efficient tool in evaluating the quality of dragon fruit. This process may lead to substantial savings, particularly considering the elevated cost associated with the importation of tropical fruits into the European market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Postharvest Biology, Quality, Safety, and Technology)
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9 pages, 1106 KiB  
Article
Temperature and Daylength Effects on Growth and Floral Initiation in Biennial-Fruiting Blackberry
by Anita Sønsteby and Ola M. Heide
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1285; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121285 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 881
Abstract
Little is known about the environmental control of growth and flower bud initiation (FBI) in commercial blackberries. We studied the processes in the cultivars ‘Lock Ness’, ’Ouachita’ and ‘Sweet Royalla’ at 12, 16 and 20 °C in a daylight phytotron under naturally decreasing [...] Read more.
Little is known about the environmental control of growth and flower bud initiation (FBI) in commercial blackberries. We studied the processes in the cultivars ‘Lock Ness’, ’Ouachita’ and ‘Sweet Royalla’ at 12, 16 and 20 °C in a daylight phytotron under naturally decreasing autumn daylength at Ås, Norway (59°40′ N). Growth rate increased with increasing temperature but was much lower at all temperatures in the erect ‘Ouachita’ than in the trailing cultivars ‘Lock Ness’ and ‘Sweet Royalla’. In all cultivars, FBI occurred earliest at 16 °C, whereas little or no FBI took place in ‘Ouachita’ and ‘Lock Ness’ at 12 °C. Growth cessation was earliest at 16 °C where it occurred in early September in all cultivars, suggesting a critical daylength of approximately 14 h. At variance from earlier statements, FBI started in lateral buds situated several nodes below the apex and progressed in both acropetal and basipetal directions as previously reported for red raspberry. Winter chill at 0 °C enhanced flowering in spring in marginally induced plants of all cultivars except ‘Ouachita’ grown at 12 °C, which remained vegetative in spring. The results suggest that temperature is as important as daylength for FBI in biennial-fruiting blackberry, and that winter chilling may enhance flowering and yield potential in partially induced plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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15 pages, 1958 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Natural Deastringency and Genetic Improvement of Chinese PCNA Persimmon (Diospyros kaki)
by Sichao Yang, Meng Zhang, Lei Xu, Qinglin Zhang, Chaohua Zhou, Xinlong Hu and Zhengrong Luo
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121273 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1192
Abstract
Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is a worldwide fruit cultivated mainly in the East Asia, Mediterranean, Caucasus, Latin America, and Oceania regions. This fruit contains abundant proanthocyanidins (PAs, also called condensed tannins), whose biosynthesis is the main cause of fruit astringency. As the [...] Read more.
Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is a worldwide fruit cultivated mainly in the East Asia, Mediterranean, Caucasus, Latin America, and Oceania regions. This fruit contains abundant proanthocyanidins (PAs, also called condensed tannins), whose biosynthesis is the main cause of fruit astringency. As the original centre and top producing country, China has discovered a unique type with desirable natural deastringency, the Chinese pollination-constant non-astringent (C-PCNA) persimmon. Studies have revealed that the C-PCNA trait is controlled by a single and dominant locus, which differs from that of another type, the Japanese PCNA type, with recessive loci. In the C-PCNA type, accumulating evidence has shown that the astringency removal process involves two pathways (“dilution effect” and “coagulation effect”). Moreover, molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS) for the natural deastringency trait locus in C-PCNA has been used to test the non-astringency/astringency trait of hybrid offspring at the seedling stage. Importantly, persimmon can bear male flowers, female flowers, and perfect flowers, but sex-linked MAS has been developed for female-only persimmon. This sex-linked MAS, together with astringency-linked MAS and embryo rescue technology, may even shorten the conventional cross-breeding period of about 2–3 years. In addition, recently studies have established a stable genetic transformation system for persimmon transgenic improvement. Despite these efforts, how synthetic PAs and metabolism pathways lead to a deastringent trait remains unclear for persimmon. Thus, our review summarizes the latest research progress on the natural deastringency mechanism in C-PCNA, and we provide a new viewpoint for the genetic improvement of persimmon breeding in China. Full article
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16 pages, 2317 KiB  
Article
Warm Bulb Storage Optimises Flowering Attributes and Foliage Characteristics in Amaryllis belladonna L.
by Carolyn Margaret Wilmot, Muhali Olaide Jimoh and Charles Petrus Laubscher
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121271 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 890
Abstract
Amaryllis belladonna is an autumn-flowering bulbous geophyte endemic to the Western Cape, South Africa. The species’ erratic flowering disposition and brief flowering period upon maturity limit its economic productivity and competitiveness within the traditional genera of cut flowers and potted plants. However, it [...] Read more.
Amaryllis belladonna is an autumn-flowering bulbous geophyte endemic to the Western Cape, South Africa. The species’ erratic flowering disposition and brief flowering period upon maturity limit its economic productivity and competitiveness within the traditional genera of cut flowers and potted plants. However, it can be an attractive, eco-friendly, seasonal addition to the specialty floriculture market. A 10-month study evaluated the effects of a warm storage period on A. belladonna bulbs’ flowering yield, flowering time, quality characteristics, and foliage growth. The experiment comprised dormant flower-sized bulbs randomly assigned to one of six storage regimes of either a 0- (no storage control), 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, or 12-week interval periods at a continuous warm temperature of 23 ± 1 °C before planting into pots between mid-November 2021 and mid-February 2022 in the greenhouse. The results showed that flowering production (64.3% flowering after the 12-week storage), flowering time (anthesis occurring 9 days after the 10- and 12-week storage), and quality attributes (number of florets in the inflorescence, scape diameter, inflorescence fullness ratio, and pot longevity) of A. belladonna scapes were significantly impacted by warm bulb storage, but not foliage growth. Irrespective of bulb storage, inflorescence abortion occurred. An extended bulb storage did not advance the flowering time despite a greater harvest and shorter cultivation periods after planting. This study established that a cumulative temperature range during bulb dormancy is crucial for supporting the A. belladonna inflorescence maturity’s energetic demands and the opening of floret buds. Bulbs should be stored at elevated temperatures for at least 8–10 weeks to attain the best floret-quality attributes and longevity. However, for an economical and sustainable greenhouse and specialty cut flower production, 12-week warm bulb storage is recommended to achieve the optimal anthesis in the shortest interval for this seasonal single-harvest species after planting. Full article
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13 pages, 1103 KiB  
Article
Effect of Genotype-by-Environment Interaction on Oil and Oleic Fatty Acid Contents of Cultivated Peanuts
by Hui Zhang, Yan Yu, Mingli Wang, Phat Dang and Charles Chen
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121272 - 27 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
Twenty-seven genotypes of varieties and advanced breeding lines were grown in two locations in three years with three replications to estimate the effects of the genotype-by-environment interaction (G × E) on the oil and oleic fatty acid contents of cultivated peanuts. Oil and [...] Read more.
Twenty-seven genotypes of varieties and advanced breeding lines were grown in two locations in three years with three replications to estimate the effects of the genotype-by-environment interaction (G × E) on the oil and oleic fatty acid contents of cultivated peanuts. Oil and oleic fatty acid contents were quantified using NMR and GC, respectively. The tested lines were genotyped with functional SNP markers from the FAD2A and FAD2B genes using real-time PCR and classified into four genotypes. The results indicated that Alabama was the environment that better discriminated the test genotypes during the year 2012. Eight promising selected genotypes #12, #15, ARSOKR, Brantley, GaHO, M04-149, M04-48, and SunO97R showed wide adaptation and high-oleic acids of 83.02%, 81.32%, 82.03%, 81.15%, 79.21%, 80.94%, 82.46%, and 82.18%, respectively. The Additive Main Effects and Multiplicative Interaction (AMMI) model that combines the conventional analyses of variance for additive main effects with the principal component analysis (PCA) for the non-additive residuals was applied to estimate the additive effects from FAD2A and FAD2B genes and the G × E interaction. The results indicated significant G × E interactions for oleic fatty acid contents. No correlation between oil content and FAD2A and FAD2B genes was found. The FAD2B gene had a larger additive effect than the FAD2A gene. The results from this study may be useful not only for peanut breeders, but also for food processors and product consumers to select suitable cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics, Genomics, Breeding, and Biotechnology (G2B2))
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22 pages, 8818 KiB  
Article
Development, Verification, and Analysis of Simple Mathematical Model of Lettuce Productivity under Different Light Conditions
by Ekaterina Sukhova, Lyubov Yudina, Yuriy Zolin, Alyona Popova and Vladimir Sukhov
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1259; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121259 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 797
Abstract
Lettuce is an important agricultural plant which is often cultivated under artificial illumination including light of light emitting diodes (LEDs). Spectrum and intensity of used illumination and duration of photoperiod can strongly influence a final lettuce biomass; their effects can be interacted. It [...] Read more.
Lettuce is an important agricultural plant which is often cultivated under artificial illumination including light of light emitting diodes (LEDs). Spectrum and intensity of used illumination and duration of photoperiod can strongly influence a final lettuce biomass; their effects can be interacted. It means that search of optimal light conditions is complicated problem for experimental investigations because numerous combinations of light conditions should be analyzed. A mathematical model of lettuce productivity can provide the potential tool for intensification of this search; earlier, we preliminarily proposed the minimal model of lettuce productivity under the LED illumination. The aim of the current work was further development, verification, and analysis of the simple mathematical model of the lettuce productivity. Dry weight of a lettuce leaf rosette was used as the main variable of the model; its changes were described as function of difference between production of biomass through assimilation and its consumption through respiration. The model was quantitively parameterized and verified on basis of our previous experimental works devoted to influence of parameters of the LED illumination on lettuce characteristics. It was shown well correspondence between experimental and simulated results. Further analysis of the developed model predicted optimal illumination conditions of the lettuce cultivation. Particularly, it showed a positive influence of gradual and step increase of the light intensity on final biomass of cultivated lettuce plants. Thus, the developed model can be used as the tool for the theoretical prediction of optimal light conditions for the lettuce cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LED Lighting to Control Plants’ Growth and Development)
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17 pages, 753 KiB  
Article
Produce or Buy: Impacts of Citrus Farming and Crop Diversification on Household Dietary Diversity in Guangxi, China
by Xinjian Chen, Baoji Zhou, Xinfeng Zuo and Xiaojun Fan
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121256 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 725
Abstract
In recent decades, China has made significant strides in food and nutrition security, yet challenges persist in the western rural regions, especially in Guangxi. Farming households in this area face heightened vulnerability due to limited arable land and environmental hazards, leading to increased [...] Read more.
In recent decades, China has made significant strides in food and nutrition security, yet challenges persist in the western rural regions, especially in Guangxi. Farming households in this area face heightened vulnerability due to limited arable land and environmental hazards, leading to increased efforts to boost income through horticultural crop farming. This study explores the impact of citrus farming and crop diversification on household dietary diversity within the context of the existing literature, examining trade-offs between subsistence and income-generating farming. Using OLS regression techniques and a mediating effect model, the analysis focuses on distinct contexts within citrus farming, utilizing survey data from households engaged in the cultivation of both citrus and non-citrus. Results reveal that while citrus cultivation moderately contributes to dietary diversity, its primary influence lies in encouraging farmers to diversify food purchases, with the mediating effect from market purchases exceeding 50%. Diversifying crop production, including staple crops and vegetables alongside citrus, proves more effective in enhancing dietary diversity among citrus farming households. Crop diversification positively influences dietary diversity, partially addressing household self-sufficiency. While extensive crop diversification may not be the ultimate solution to food security challenges, promoting specific diversification systems shows promise in the context of sustainable agriculture goals. Full article
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12 pages, 802 KiB  
Article
Effect of Organic Additives on the Micropropagation of Asparagus officinalis
by Preekamol Klanrit, Khanittha Lila, Paramaporn Netsawang, Phakamas Siangsanor, Pornthap Thanonkeo and Sudarat Thanonkeo
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1244; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111244 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 898
Abstract
In vitro propagation is one of the most promising techniques for the large-scale clonal propagation of Asparagus officinalis. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of organic additives, including coconut water (CW), banana homogenate (BH), and potato homogenate (PH), [...] Read more.
In vitro propagation is one of the most promising techniques for the large-scale clonal propagation of Asparagus officinalis. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of organic additives, including coconut water (CW), banana homogenate (BH), and potato homogenate (PH), on A. officinalis shoot and root proliferation. The results revealed that CW, specifically at 20% (v/v), was the most effective organic additive for promoting shoot and root formation in the in vitro plantlets. Furthermore, the longest shoot and root lengths were also observed in the MS medium supplemented with 20% (v/v) CW. In the supporting medium of 1:1 peat moss and vermiculite, the in vitro plantlets exhibited a high survival rate with a morphology comparable to that of the mother plant. The results of this study demonstrate that CW can be applied as a supplemental material for large-scale A. officinalis micropropagation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Propagation and Seeds)
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12 pages, 3170 KiB  
Article
Development of Cleaved Amplified Polymorphic Sequence Marker for Cap Color Identification in Pleurotus cornucopiae
by Yashu Yang, Yan Zhang, Chenyang Huang, Qiang Chen and Wei Gao
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111238 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 889
Abstract
Cap color is one of the most crucial commercial traits for oyster mushrooms, and dark-colored varieties are highly favored by consumers, yet they are relatively scarce on the market. There is an urgent need for the selection and breeding of dark oyster mushrooms. [...] Read more.
Cap color is one of the most crucial commercial traits for oyster mushrooms, and dark-colored varieties are highly favored by consumers, yet they are relatively scarce on the market. There is an urgent need for the selection and breeding of dark oyster mushrooms. Previous studies identified PcTYR, a key gene that controls the cap color of Pleurotus cornucopiae, and four SNPs were identified based on a genome-level sequence comparison of the black and white gene pools for extreme traits in the segregating populations. In this study, we verified whether these SNPs were color-specific sites via specific primer design, PCR amplification, and enzyme digestion of the entire isolated population strains and developed CAPS/dCAPS markers for the early visual identification of cap color to assist material screening in cap color breeding. One CAPS marker, TYR-CAPS-3-2, was developed for identifying the cap color of oyster mushrooms. After digestion with the restriction endonuclease Mse I, the marker generated polymorphic bands that accurately and visually distinguished dark-colored (non-white) and white strains from the cap color-segregating population. Consequently, the application of this marker during the early growth stage of oyster mushrooms can facilitate molecular-marker-assisted selection, expediting the breeding process for dark-colored varieties. Full article
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17 pages, 1835 KiB  
Article
How to Diagnose Potassium Abundance and Deficiency in Tomato Leaves at the Early Cultivation Stage
by Jinxiu Song, Dongxian He, Jianfeng Wang and Hanping Mao
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1225; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111225 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1018
Abstract
Potassium is one of the indispensable nutrient elements for plant growth, fruit development, and yield. The research and application of potassium nutrition diagnosis technology is the premise of scientific potassium management. However, potassium deficiency in tomato leaves, from vegetative to reproductive growth, is [...] Read more.
Potassium is one of the indispensable nutrient elements for plant growth, fruit development, and yield. The research and application of potassium nutrition diagnosis technology is the premise of scientific potassium management. However, potassium deficiency in tomato leaves, from vegetative to reproductive growth, is not easy to diagnose. To alleviate this problem, this paper proposes a suitable method of supplying potassium to tomatoes via a nutrient solution and diagnosing potassium abundance and deficiency through diagnosis methods based on ecological morphology, biological accumulation, and the photosynthetic characteristics of tomato plants. The relationship between the ecological morphology and biomass accumulation of tomatoes cultivated in the nutrient solution with potassium supply levels of 1, 4, 8, and 16 mmol/L is also discussed, and the potassium supply in the nutrient solution was studied 21 days after transplanting. The results showed that there was a significant quadratic correlation between the potassium supply in the nutrient solution and plant height and biomass accumulation, respectively. The most suitable level of potassium supply via the nutrient solution was deemed to be 10~13 mmol/L. However, if irreversible damage or severe stress to tomato plants has occurred because of potassium deficiency, there will be serious differences in the growth status of plants, and the diagnosis results will deviate greatly. In addition, the photosynthetic induction characteristics responding to the dark–light conversion of tomato leaves with potassium contents of 0.9%, 2.1%, 3.1%, and 3.3% cultivated with potassium supply amounts of 1, 4, 8, and 16 mmol/L in the nutrient solution were investigated. The results showed that tomato leaves with potassium contents of 3.1% and 3.3% had a more rapid response to dark–light conversion and higher first-order derivatives of net photosynthetic rate compared to those with potassium contents of 0.9% and 2.1%, but the first-order derivative of intercellular CO2 concentration showed an opposite trend. Additionally, a quadratic correlation between leaf potassium content and CO2 assimilation during 5 min of photosynthetic induction was established (R2 > 0.99). According to this correlation, the suitable leaf potassium content was estimated to be 2.3~2.7%, similar to that of tomatoes cultured in the nutrient solution with a 4~8 mmol/L potassium supply. Therefore, this method can realize the rapid, non-destructive, and real-time detection of potassium content in tomato leaves based on a portable photosynthetic measurement system by establishing the relationship between leaf potassium content and net CO2 assimilation during the photosynthetic induction period, therefore helping to avoid the irreversible damage caused by potassium deficiency at the later stages of plant cultivation and providing technical support for the precise fertilization of potassium in actual cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ecophysiology of Horticultural Crops)
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19 pages, 1421 KiB  
Article
Macronutrient Fertilization and Cadmium Absorption in Two Cocoa Clones
by Juan J. Reyes-Pérez, Roger A. Pincay-Ganchozo, Manuel D. Carrillo-Zenteno, Víctor Reynel, Karina Peña-Salazar and Wilmer Tezara
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111223 - 12 Nov 2023
Viewed by 821
Abstract
Soil Cd is absorbed by roots and accumulated in cocoa plants, which represents a problem in the commercialization of beans. In order to evaluate whether the exogenous application of macronutrients (N, N-P, N-P-K, N-P-K-S, N-P-K-S-Mg, and N-P-K-S-Mg-Ca) mitigates the absorption, translocation, and accumulation [...] Read more.
Soil Cd is absorbed by roots and accumulated in cocoa plants, which represents a problem in the commercialization of beans. In order to evaluate whether the exogenous application of macronutrients (N, N-P, N-P-K, N-P-K-S, N-P-K-S-Mg, and N-P-K-S-Mg-Ca) mitigates the absorption, translocation, and accumulation of Cd in plants, soil pH and electric conductivity, dry root and shoot biomass, leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll content, and macronutrient bioaccumulation were evaluated in two cocoa clones (CCN-51 and EET-103) grown in a greenhouse. An increase in macronutrients gradually increased the extraction capacity of Cd in both clones, with the highest Cd values being obtained with the application of N-P-K-S-Mg-Ca. Macronutrient fertilization did not affect leaf gas exchange; however, it caused significant reductions of 30, 40, and 60% in chlorophyll content, shoot, and root dry biomass, respectively. The greatest translocation of Cd from the root to the shoot was obtained with treatments that included N in clone EET-103 and Ca in clone CCN-51. Fertilization with macronutrients did not decrease the absorption and accumulation of Cd in the cocoa seedlings, because a greater removal force of Cd from the adsorption complex towards the soil solution was caused by the exogenous application of Ca and Mg and an increase in soil acidity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fertilization and Irrigation Management in Horticulture)
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14 pages, 265 KiB  
Article
Shoot Yield and Mineral Nutrient Concentrations of Six Microgreens in the Brassicaceae Family Affected by Fertigation Rate
by Tongyin Li, Jacob D. Arthur and Guihong Bi
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111217 - 09 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Microgreens have become an important specialty crop valued by their varying texture, vibrant colors, and nutrient-dense features. As the number of species and cultivars rapidly increases for microgreen production, fertigation requirements in relation to shoot production and nutrient compositions remain unclear. This study [...] Read more.
Microgreens have become an important specialty crop valued by their varying texture, vibrant colors, and nutrient-dense features. As the number of species and cultivars rapidly increases for microgreen production, fertigation requirements in relation to shoot production and nutrient compositions remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the shoot yield, visual quality, and mineral nutrient concentrations of six microgreens in the Brassicaceae family including the ‘Waltham’ broccoli, ‘Red Acre’ cabbage, Daikon radish, ‘Red Russian’ kale, pea, and Rambo radish in two experiments in December 2020 and January 2021. Each microgreen was fertigated with 120 mL of fertilizer solution daily for five consecutive days with a rate of 0, 70, 140, 210, or 280 mg·L−1 N from a general-purpose fertilizer. Broccoli, Daikon radish, and kale similarly produced the highest fresh shoot weights of 916.5 to 984 g·m−2 in December 2020, while pea produced the highest fresh shoot weight of 2471 g·m−2 in January 2021 among cultivars. The fertigation rates of 140, 210, and 280 mg·L−1 N resulted in similar fresh and dry shoot weights of selected microgreens, suggesting 140 mg·L−1 N should be sufficient for microgreen fertilization. Mineral nutrients in microgreens varied among cultivars: pea microgreens had the highest nitrogen (N) concentrations of 70.6 to 75.2 mg·g−1 in December 2020 and 72.1 to 75.4 mg·g−1 in January 2021; and cabbage microgreens were rich in calcium (Ca) in both experiments. The kale, pea, and Rambo radish microgreens contained the highest concentrations of iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) in December 2020. The fertigation rate affected macronutrient concentrations but did not affect micronutrient concentrations including Fe, Mn, or zinc (Zn). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Nutrition)
14 pages, 2249 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Biochemical Evaluation of Salt Stress Tolerance in a Citrus Tetraploid Somatic Hybrid
by Lamiaa M. Mahmoud, Nabil Killiny, Paige Holden, Frederick G. Gmitter, Jr., Jude W. Grosser and Manjul Dutt
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111215 - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1160
Abstract
Somatic hybridization has emerged as a valuable tool for developing novel genetic combinations in citrus breeding programs, including the creation of salt-tolerant rootstocks. In this study, the performance of a tetraploid somatic hybrid, obtained by fusing protoplasts derived from salt-tolerant Cleopatra mandarin ( [...] Read more.
Somatic hybridization has emerged as a valuable tool for developing novel genetic combinations in citrus breeding programs, including the creation of salt-tolerant rootstocks. In this study, the performance of a tetraploid somatic hybrid, obtained by fusing protoplasts derived from salt-tolerant Cleopatra mandarin (Citrus reshni hort. ex Tanaka) and salt-sensitive Carrizo citrange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck × Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf), was assessed under in vitro salt stress. Hybrid plants were characterized by leaf morphology, and ploidy level by flow cytometry and molecular markers. In vitro shoots were generated from the micropropagation of mature stem pieces of the somatic hybrid and its parents, and these were challenged by exposure to NaCl (0, 50, or 100 mM) supplemented to the media for three weeks to induce salt stress. The leaves of the somatic hybrid display intermediate morphology compared to the parental Cleopatra mandarin and Carrizo citrange rootstocks. All molecular markers successfully amplified DNA from the three cultivars; however, only 11 of 14 unequivocally confirmed somatic hybridity. The physiological and biochemical parameters, including chlorophyll content, lipid peroxidation, total phenolic compounds, antioxidants activity and proline content, were measured in the leaves. The somatic hybrid exhibited superior salt stress tolerance compared to the parent varieties, as evidenced by the reduced cellular membrane damage indicated by the lower levels of malondialdehyde and electrolyte leakage, particularly under 100 mM NaCl treatment. The somatic tetraploid hybrid also displayed higher total phenolic content than either parent, while Cleopatra mandarin exhibited the highest proline levels under 50 mm NaCl. These results demonstrate the enhanced salinity stress tolerance of the somatic hybrid compared to its parent lines, highlighting its potential as a valuable candidate for developing salt-tolerant citrus rootstocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biotic and Abiotic Stress)
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21 pages, 4435 KiB  
Article
Biochemical Responses to Salt Stress and Biostimulant Action in Tomato Plants Grown in Two Different Soil Types
by Javier Zuzunaga-Rosas, Dennys Silva-Valdiviezo, Roberta Calone, Ioan Lupuţ, Sara Ibáñez-Asensio, Monica Boscaiu, Héctor Moreno-Ramón and Oscar Vicente
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1209; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111209 - 07 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1571
Abstract
Soil salinity is one of the major causes of losses in agricultural production, which is accentuated by global warming. A sustainable strategy to mitigate the effects of the increasing soil salinisation is the use of biostimulants. In this study, the effect of a [...] Read more.
Soil salinity is one of the major causes of losses in agricultural production, which is accentuated by global warming. A sustainable strategy to mitigate the effects of the increasing soil salinisation is the use of biostimulants. In this study, the effect of a plant-based biostimulant was tested on tomato plants exposed to different salinity levels in loamy and sandy soils. Salinity in the soils reached a maximum value of 14.35 dS m−1. The treatments included a control (tap water) and a dose of 0.4 mL L−1 of the commercial biostimulant BALOX®, containing polyphenols and glycine betaine. After 60 days of treatment, several growth and biochemical parameters were evaluated in the plants, and different responses were found depending on the type of soil texture. Salt stress inhibited plant growth, mainly affecting the roots of plants not treated with the biostimulant, in both soil texture types. It also caused a reduction of total chlorophyll and carotenoid levels by 44% and 38%, respectively, under severe salinity conditions. High salinity induced a significant increase in ionic, osmotic and oxidative stress in plants, as indicated by the accumulation of toxic Na+ and Cl ions, higher proline and MDA levels, and increased antioxidant enzyme activities. However, the application of BALOX® stimulated plant growth and root system development in all experimental conditions. The areas of roots and leaves and the stem length and diameter showed higher mean values in biostimulant-treated plants on both soil types, with more pronounced differences with the controls in sandy soils. The total fresh weight showed maximum increases of 54% and 93% on loamy and sandy soils, respectively. In addition, BALOX® significantly improved the active transport of nutrients such as K+ and Ca2+, and the concentration of photosynthetic pigments by up to 64% over control values; it also allowed greater protection against salt stress as shown by a significant reduction of proline levels, by up to 36%, and MDA by 51% under strongly saline conditions. The application of BALOX® generally decreased the level of stress in the tomato plants, promoting plant growth and enhancing their biochemical responses, even on strongly salinised soils. Full article
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19 pages, 4698 KiB  
Article
Genetic Variation and Association Analysis of Phenolic Compounds in Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) Mutant Lines Using Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS)
by Dong-Gun Kim, Jaihyunk Ryu, Baul Yang, Ye-Jin Lee, Jae Hoon Kim, Juyoung Kim, Woon Ji Kim, Sang Hoon Kim, Soon-Jae Kwon, Jin-Baek Kim, Si-Yong Kang, Jae Il Lyu, Chang-Hyu Bae and Joon-Woo Ahn
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1204; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111204 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 910
Abstract
The concentration of phenolic compounds in rapeseed is important because they are either anti-nutritional compounds or directly related to antioxidant activity. In this study, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), and an association study was conducted to investigate phenolic content [...] Read more.
The concentration of phenolic compounds in rapeseed is important because they are either anti-nutritional compounds or directly related to antioxidant activity. In this study, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), and an association study was conducted to investigate phenolic content in 95 rapeseed mutant lines derived from gamma rays and their original cultivar. A total of 3,196,318 SNPs were detected, resulting in the identification of a set of 70,208 union SNPs used to perform association studies. Seven compounds were identified, sinapine being the major phenolic compound (91.2–99.2%) in all genotypes. An association study was conducted for seven compounds and total phenolic content (TPC). It identified 241 SNPs that were significantly associated with these compounds, total sinapine content (TSC), and TPC. Based on the SNP markers detected, BnaC02g20420D was associated with dihexose, BnaC08g30570D with progoitrin, BnaA01g06890D with methyl sinapate, BnaA09g16810D with sinapine(4-O-8′)guaiacyl, BnaCnng39930D with trans-sinapine 1, BnaA07g31720D with trans-sinapine 2, BnaC03g31950D with sinapoyl malate, and BnaAnng27700D with TPC. These were selected as candidate genes that may play a key role in rapeseed. The SNP markers associated with these key phenolic compounds can be used as targets in breeding programs to reduce anti-nutritional components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Brassica Crops Genomics and Breeding, Volume II)
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18 pages, 3016 KiB  
Article
Novel Approach to Organic Mulching from Natural-Based Solutions to Enhance Soil Health and Functional Value of Calafate Fruit
by Matías Betancur, Jorge Retamal-Salgado, María Dolores López, Rosa Vergara-Retamales and Mauricio Schoebitz
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111202 - 05 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
Mulching suppresses weeds, improves soil biology, and increases physical or bioactive fruit yield in fruit orchards. However, there is no information on its impact on calafate (Berberis microphylla G. Forst.) orchards, which produce berries with high antioxidant content. To address this gap, [...] Read more.
Mulching suppresses weeds, improves soil biology, and increases physical or bioactive fruit yield in fruit orchards. However, there is no information on its impact on calafate (Berberis microphylla G. Forst.) orchards, which produce berries with high antioxidant content. To address this gap, in 2021, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of 5 years of mulching on soil, plants, and calafate fruit. Four mulching treatments were established: no mulch (control), geotextile, oat straw, and hazelnut shell. All mulches suppressed weeds (43%) and maintained more soil moisture (5%) than the control. Soil microbial activity increased only with hazelnut shell compared with the control, up to 46%. Only oat straw and hazelnut shell increased basal respiration and urease up to 31% and 15% more than the control. Oat straw produced the highest fruit yield with 0.44 t ha−1, while the lowest yield was produced by the control and hazelnut shell with 0.1 and 0.15 t ha−1, respectively. The geotextile with 0.35 t ha−1 of fruit produced no differences between treatments. The ORAC antioxidant capacity was only higher in the control and hazelnut shell, with a mean of 3272 µmol TE 100 g−1. Hazelnut shell mulch is recommended to improve the biological functions of the soil and the antioxidant capacity of the calafate fruit. Full article
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14 pages, 1241 KiB  
Article
Phytochemistry, Antioxidant Potential, and Antibacterial Activities of Anacyclus pyrethrum: Promising Bioactive Compounds
by Abdelmounaim Baslam, Abdelfatah Aitbaba, Rachida Aboufatima, Fatimazahra Agouram, Samia Boussaa, Abderrahman Chait and Marouane Baslam
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1196; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111196 - 02 Nov 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1179
Abstract
Secondary metabolites derived from plants have demonstrated significant biological activity and hold both edible and medicinal significance. These compounds play a crucial role in the development of pharmaceuticals, particularly in the context of inflammatory disorders and chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress. The [...] Read more.
Secondary metabolites derived from plants have demonstrated significant biological activity and hold both edible and medicinal significance. These compounds play a crucial role in the development of pharmaceuticals, particularly in the context of inflammatory disorders and chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress. The objective of this study was to investigate the chemical characterization, antioxidant potential, and antibacterial properties of the aqueous extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum (AEAP). To achieve this, we employed various analytical techniques including HPLC–ESI–MS/MS, Fourier transform infrared, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The antioxidant activity of the AEAP was assessed using DPPH (2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and reducing power assays, while antibacterial activity was evaluated against both Gram-negative (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecium) using the broth microdilution assay. Our findings demonstrated significant antioxidant activity of the AEAP, as well as broad-spectrum antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. HPLC analysis identified important bioactive compounds, notably pellitorine and 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, known for their antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Overall, the AEAP demonstrated potent antioxidant and antibacterial activities, suggesting its potential as a valuable natural source of bioactive compounds with various therapeutic applications. Full article
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11 pages, 866 KiB  
Article
Translocation of Aminopyralid from Straw Mulch to Plants in Perennial Strawberry Plantations: Case Study
by Martin Koudela, Sebnem Kurhan, Miroslava Soukupová, Pavel Klouček and Čeněk Novotný
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1192; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111192 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 868
Abstract
Aminopyralid (AP)-contaminated straw mulch is frequently used in strawberry production to maintain moisture and reduce weed growth. AP may be translocated by rain and irrigation. Contamination of plant tissues with AP during the production cycle at a strawberry farm was measured by HPLC [...] Read more.
Aminopyralid (AP)-contaminated straw mulch is frequently used in strawberry production to maintain moisture and reduce weed growth. AP may be translocated by rain and irrigation. Contamination of plant tissues with AP during the production cycle at a strawberry farm was measured by HPLC MS/MS using a newly validated extraction method. Samples were removed from a commercial plantation using straw mulch. The highest AP levels (1.2–1.3 ng.g−1) were found in strawberries; the levels in leaves and roots were two and four to ten times lower, respectively. The amounts detected in fruits were 10 times lower than the dietary tolerances given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for wheat grain and cattle milk/meat. The effect of AP on flowering and fruiting was investigated in pot experiments closely mimicking farm conditions. The released AP negatively affected flowering and reduced the total fruit weight two times. The study showed a significant release of AP from mulch straw during commercial strawberry production and documented the risk of using herbicide-contaminated straw for mulching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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14 pages, 2367 KiB  
Article
A Decade-Long Quantitative–Qualitative Characterization of 18 Lemon Cultivars
by Claudio Di Vaio, Aurora Cirillo, Chiara Catalano and Stefano La Malfa
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1186; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111186 - 30 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1476
Abstract
Together with lime, lemon is recognized as the third most extensively cultivated citrus species worldwide, trailing only behind orange and mandarin. The enhancement in the economic value of lemons as a valuable resource in Southern Italy depends by the competitiveness of local lemon [...] Read more.
Together with lime, lemon is recognized as the third most extensively cultivated citrus species worldwide, trailing only behind orange and mandarin. The enhancement in the economic value of lemons as a valuable resource in Southern Italy depends by the competitiveness of local lemon production in both domestic and international markets. This necessitates conducting a comprehensive study that thoroughly explores the available indigenous germplasm at the local and national levels. This study aims to identify the most promising Sicilian and Campanian cultivars that are well suited for both fresh fruit consumption and the production of processed goods. This re-study assumes even greater importance considering the ongoing climate changes, as environmental stresses significantly impact the ripening process and the timing of fruit development. Our study has highlighted a notable diversity among the 18 investigated lemon cultivars, particularly highlighting specific cultivars that possess desirable attributes for fresh consumption. The cultivars that showed the greatest cumulative production over the 10 years of the study were Erice with 467.89 kg/tree and Femminello Siracusano 2KR with 408.44 kg. Notably, cultivars like Segesta, Erice, and Kamarina have exhibited higher percentages of juice content ranging from 27.30% to 31.08%. These cultivars show great potential for abundant juice content and optimal acidity levels for direct consumption. On the other hand, cultivars characterized by enhanced yield, such as Femminello Siracusano 2KR, Femminello Fior d’Arancio m79, and Erice, may prove to be particularly well suited to produce processed goods. Overall, our findings provide valuable insights into some qualitative parameters of lemon cultivars, important either for fresh consumption or for transformed products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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19 pages, 1784 KiB  
Review
Grape Tartaric Acid: Chemistry, Function, Metabolism, and Regulation
by Menghan Li, Jing Su, Huanqi Yang, Lei Feng, Minghui Wang, Gezhe Xu, Jianhui Shao and Chunhua Ma
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111173 - 26 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2817
Abstract
Tartaric acid (TA) is the primary organic acid present in grapes and a fundamental constituent of wine, responsible for shaping its taste, aroma, and overall quality. This review presents a comprehensive overview of the advances made in previous investigations on grape tartaric acid. [...] Read more.
Tartaric acid (TA) is the primary organic acid present in grapes and a fundamental constituent of wine, responsible for shaping its taste, aroma, and overall quality. This review presents a comprehensive overview of the advances made in previous investigations on grape tartaric acid. It elucidates the structural properties, distribution characteristics, biosynthesis, catabolism, and transcriptional regulation of grape tartaric acid, and also speculates on the regulatory mechanism of tartaric acid based on the modulation of ascorbic acid-related transcription factors. Furthermore, this review provides insights into the future research directions and objectives, with the goal of providing a reference for the analysis of the complete biosynthetic pathway of grape tartaric acid, thereby enabling precise regulation of tartaric acid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viticulture)
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13 pages, 1177 KiB  
Article
Maternal Environment and Priming Agents Effect Germination and Seedling Quality in Pitaya under Salt Stress
by Burcu Begüm Kenanoğlu, Kerem Mertoğlu, Melekber Sülüşoğlu Durul, Nazan Korkmaz and Ayşen Melda Çolak
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111170 - 26 Oct 2023
Viewed by 913
Abstract
Lack of water and salinity are common problems in many parts of the world. Therefore, some types of cacti can present as promising crops. Therefore, the ability of cactus species to survive and adapt under natural stress conditions should be evaluated. The experiment [...] Read more.
Lack of water and salinity are common problems in many parts of the world. Therefore, some types of cacti can present as promising crops. Therefore, the ability of cactus species to survive and adapt under natural stress conditions should be evaluated. The experiment was aimed at evaluating the effect of salt stress on germination and emergence of pitaya seeds obtained from different species (Hyloceresu undatus (Haw.) Britton and Rose and Hylocereus polyrhizus (Lem.) Britton and Rose), priming with plant growth regulators, namely salicylic acid (SA), oxalic acid (OA) and mepiquat chloride (MC). The experiment had a completely randomized design with a 2 × 4 × 3 factorial scheme corresponding to two pitaya cultivars (white- and red-fleshed), four NaCl concentrations (0, 2500, 5000 and 10,000 ppm), and three PGRs (150 ppm/MC, SA, OC). According to the results, the maternal environment of the seed was important in salt stress resistance, while seeds matured in the environment with red fruit flesh were more tolerant to salt stress. Although Pitaya species are relatively salt-tolerant, growth (about 30%) was significantly reduced above 2500 ppm and germination (about 45%) above 5000 ppm. Germination percentage stood out as the most important trait determining seed quality and had positive effects on the germination stress tolerance index (r: 0.63), seedling length (r: 0.74) and fresh seedling weight (r: 0.56). This is the first study of how maternal environment affects germination and seedling quality under saline conditions in Hylocereus. The results obtained may contribute to pitaya cultivation and breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses to Abiotic Stresses in Horticultural Crops)
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12 pages, 1287 KiB  
Review
Research Progress of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Promoting Citrus Growth
by Chungui Tang, Zhongfeng Zhang, Limin Yu and Ying Li
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111162 - 24 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
Citrus, the world’s most common fruit, boasts an abundance of resources and varieties and possesses a high commodity value. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and citrus roots can form a symbiotic relationship, promoting citrus growth, improving its disease resistance, and increasing the quality of [...] Read more.
Citrus, the world’s most common fruit, boasts an abundance of resources and varieties and possesses a high commodity value. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and citrus roots can form a symbiotic relationship, promoting citrus growth, improving its disease resistance, and increasing the quality of the fruits. However, the literature lacks a detailed understanding of the symbiotic citrus–AMF relationship in cultivation. In this study, we reviewed the diversity (different citrus species and habitats), stress resistance (disease, drought, saline-alkali, temperature stresses), expression of defense genes, and underlying mechanisms of symbiotic AMF in citrus. Our aim was to provide a robust reference point and offer valuable insights to guide future studies on citrus symbiotic AMF and their applications in citrus planting. This review could help to facilitate AMF applications in citrus biological control (particularly in the citrus Huanglongbing) and sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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25 pages, 6114 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Profile and Biological Activities of Extracts Obtained from Young Shoots of Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.), European Blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), and Mountain Cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.)
by Maria-Beatrice Solcan, Ionel Fizeșan, Laurian Vlase, Ana-Maria Vlase, Marius Emil Rusu, Letiția Mateș, Andreea-Elena Petru, Ionuț-Valentin Creștin, Ioan Tomuțǎ and Daniela-Saveta Popa
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111163 - 24 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
This study explores the bioactive potential of young shoots from blackcurrant, European blueberry, and mountain cranberry, widely employed in gemmotherapy and phytotherapy, as rich sources of antioxidants, antimicrobial agents, and anti-inflammatory components. The primary aims of this study were to enhance the extraction [...] Read more.
This study explores the bioactive potential of young shoots from blackcurrant, European blueberry, and mountain cranberry, widely employed in gemmotherapy and phytotherapy, as rich sources of antioxidants, antimicrobial agents, and anti-inflammatory components. The primary aims of this study were to enhance the extraction conditions for bioactive compounds from blackcurrant young shoots using Modde software for experimental design, to conduct a comprehensive phytochemical analysis of blackcurrant, European blueberry, and mountain cranberry young shoot extracts through LC–MS analysis, and to evaluate the in vitro biological activities of these optimized extracts. The experimental design comprised multiple variables: extraction techniques, solvent type, extraction time, apparent pH, and the solvent-to-vegetal product ratio. The responses included total phenolic content, total flavonoid content, condensed tannin content, and total antioxidant activity determined through the DPPH assay. Furthermore, the antioxidant potential of the extracts was validated through in vitro cell culture experiments, in addition to the cytotoxicity assessments conducted on both normal and cancer cell lines. Extracts obtained through Ultra-Turrax extraction using 70% acetone displayed high levels of polyphenolic compounds and enhanced antioxidant potential, regardless of young shoots origin. LC–MS analysis revealed the predominant occurrence of chlorogenic acid, hyperoside, and isoquercitrin in all examined samples. The optimized extracts also displayed significant biological potential when evaluated in vitro on cell lines. These results provide valuable insights into the potent bioactive components present in these young shoot extracts, paving the way for further exploration in therapeutic applications. Full article
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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 1063
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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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 1204
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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12 pages, 2148 KiB  
Article
The Influence of the Spectral Composition and Light Intensity on the Morphological and Biochemical Parameters of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) in Vertical Farming
by Natalya A. Semenova, Yuri A. Proshkin, Alexandr A. Smirnov, Alexey S. Dorokhov, Alina S. Ivanitskikh, Dmitry A. Burynin, Artem A. Dorokhov, Nadezhda I. Uyutova and Narek O. Chilingaryan
Horticulturae 2023, 9(10), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9101130 - 13 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1439
Abstract
The present study has been carried out to determine the effects of four different illuminators with red, far-red, blue, and white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on the growth, morphology, pigment composition, and chlorophyll fluorescence of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) of the ‘Zhirnolistny’ cultivar. [...] Read more.
The present study has been carried out to determine the effects of four different illuminators with red, far-red, blue, and white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on the growth, morphology, pigment composition, and chlorophyll fluorescence of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) of the ‘Zhirnolistny’ cultivar. We investigated these variants in two photon flux densities, 400–800 nm (PFD) 120 µmol m−2 s−1 and 180 µmol m−2 s−1. The studies were carried out in a climate chamber. Plant measurements were carried out on the 30th and 45th days of cultivation. The results showed that during the period of active growth, on the 30th day, spinach plants accumulated 2.6 and 2.4 times more fresh weight in the variant with a higher PFD (180 µmol m−2 s−1). At the end of the growing season, only a decrease in PFD had an effect on the fresh and dry weight of plants. The highest concentration of chlorophyll on both the 30th and 45th days of vegetation was found when spinach plants were grown under red-blue (RB) LEDs in a spectrum proportion of R70:B30. It was found that the variants had a higher proportion of green radiation in the spectrum of illuminators with PFD 180 µmol m−2 s−1, and the nitrate content in spinach was slightly lower than in other variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use and Management of Artificial Light in Horticultural Plants)
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