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Horticulturae, Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2024) – 130 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Understanding the complex hormonal interactions that trigger an adequate stress response is a crucial step for developing efficient and eco-friendly strategies for drought resilience of field-grown crops. Exogenously applied plant growth-regulating substances that simulate exposure to hormetic stress activate intrinsic plant defence mechanisms. Subsequently, the triggered protective reactions increase the chances for survival under unfavourable conditions. This concept was successfully tested on lettuce primed with bioequivalent doses of abscisic acid (ABA), in combination with ethylene precursor (ACC), an auxin-like acting compound (NAA), and cytokinin (kinetin). The experimental data confirmed that hormonal blends consisting of both stress- and growth-promoting hormones combined in physiologically relevant ratios could efficiently alleviate drought stress. View this paper
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18 pages, 1869 KiB  
Article
The Complete Chloroplast Genome of an Epiphytic Leafless Orchid, Taeniophyllum complanatum: Comparative Analysis and Phylogenetic Relationships
by Zhuang Zhou, Jinliao Chen, Fei Wang, Xiaopei Wu, Zhongjian Liu, Donghui Peng and Siren Lan
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060660 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 195
Abstract
Taeniophyllum is a distinct taxon of epiphytic leafless plants in the subtribe Aeridinae of Orchidaceae. The differences in chloroplast genomes between extremely degraded epiphytic leafless orchids and other leafy orchids, as well as their origins and evolution, raise intriguing questions. Therefore, we report [...] Read more.
Taeniophyllum is a distinct taxon of epiphytic leafless plants in the subtribe Aeridinae of Orchidaceae. The differences in chloroplast genomes between extremely degraded epiphytic leafless orchids and other leafy orchids, as well as their origins and evolution, raise intriguing questions. Therefore, we report the chloroplast genome sequence of Taeniophyllum complanatum, including an extensive comparative analysis with other types of leafless orchids. The chloroplast genome of T. complanatum exhibited a typical quadripartite structure, and its overall structure and gene content were relatively conserved. The entire chloroplast genome was 141,174 bp in length, making it the smallest known chloroplast genome of leafless epiphytic orchids. It encoded a total of 120 genes, including repetitive genes, comprising 74 protein-coding genes, 38 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, and 8 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes. A phylogenetic analysis was conducted on the chloroplast genomes of 43 species belonging to five subfamilies of Orchidaceae. The results showed that the five subfamilies were monophyly, with nearly all segments having a 100% bootstrap value. T. complanatum and Chiloschista were clustered together as a sister group to Phalaenopsis and occupied the highest position in the Epidendroideae. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that T. complanatum and other leafless orchids within the Orchidaceae evolved independently. This study may provide the foundation for research on phylogenetic and structural diversity in leafless epiphytic orchids, thereby enhancing the resources available for chloroplast genome studies in Orchidaceae. Full article
25 pages, 1241 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Physiological Features and Essential Oil Content of Thymus vulgaris after Soil Amendment with Chitosan Nanoparticles under Chromium Toxicity
by Mohammad Haghaninia, Farzad Rasouli, Abdollah Javanmard, Gholamreza Mahdavinia, Sahar Azizi, Rosario Nicoletti, Otilia Cristina Murariu, Alessio Vincenzo Tallarita and Gianluca Caruso
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060659 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 125
Abstract
An excessive amount of chromium in soil has detrimental effects on plant processes, and impairs food security, and public health. The application of nanoparticles may be a suitable solution and an innovative strategy by which to reduce plant abiotic stresses and pollution in [...] Read more.
An excessive amount of chromium in soil has detrimental effects on plant processes, and impairs food security, and public health. The application of nanoparticles may be a suitable solution and an innovative strategy by which to reduce plant abiotic stresses and pollution in the agricultural ecosystems. This research focuses on the effects of chitosan nanoparticles (CS-NPs) on thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) plants grown in Cr-contaminated soil. The effects of CS-NPs as a soil amendment at four concentrations were investigated on plant nutrient uptake, photosynthesis parameters, antioxidant system, and essential oil (EO) content under soil Cr stress. The results show that chromium stress reduced fresh and dry weight of shoots, the uptake of macro-, and micro-elements, chlorophyll and carotenoids. The application of CS-NPs improved the antioxidant enzyme activity, reduced malondialdehyde, and increased the content of nutrients, EOs, photosynthetic pigments, and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters. The intermediate dose of chitosan nanoparticles (0.1% w/v) best valorized the content and yield of thyme EOs under chromium stress. These results are indicative that the application of CS-NPs can represent a supportive approach for plant production in soils contaminated with heavy metals. Full article
17 pages, 2771 KiB  
Article
Autochthonous Red Varieties in the Oltrepò Pavese Wine District: An Effective Tool for Adaptation to Climate Change
by Alberto Vercesi, Matteo Gatti, Alessandra Garavani, Francesco Pelusi and Stefano Poni
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060658 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 220
Abstract
Global warming is challenging the performances of medium-to-late ripening red Vitis vinifera cultivars whose harvest dates might be consistently anticipated at the detriment of still insufficient phenolic maturity. A 3-year study (2021–2023) was devised to compare cv Croatina—the most grown red cultivar in [...] Read more.
Global warming is challenging the performances of medium-to-late ripening red Vitis vinifera cultivars whose harvest dates might be consistently anticipated at the detriment of still insufficient phenolic maturity. A 3-year study (2021–2023) was devised to compare cv Croatina—the most grown red cultivar in the Oltrepò Pavese district—with the following five autochthonous genotypes: Croà, Moradella, Mornasca, Ughetta, and Uva Rara. Weather trends, main yield components, and grape composition parameters were recorded each year; in two out of the three trial seasons, ripening curves for total soluble solids (TSS) and titratable acidity (TA) were also derived. In terms of yield performance, all minor varieties showed a level of basal node fruitfulness (about 1.1 clusters/shoot) high enough to perform short pruning, which was not possible to achieve in Croatina. As per grape quality at harvest, Uva Rara behaved quite similarly to Croatina, whereas Ughetta, Moradella, and Croà were judged to be unsuitable due to poor berry coloration at harvest (less than 0.7 mg/kg). Conversely, Mornasca’s performance was truly interesting and promising. In 2021 and 2023, Mornasca had delayed sugar accumulation, which was strongly uncoupled with total anthocyanins, which were not limited. In 2022, a hot and dry season, Mornasca outdid Croatina because the required TSS was assured, and the color significantly improved. The conclusion is that Mornasca is less susceptible than Croatina to imbalances in pigment formation or degradation, which typically occurs with berry overheating. Full article
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16 pages, 5403 KiB  
Article
In Vitro and Molecular Docking Studies of Antiglycation Potential of Phenolic Compounds in Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Fruit: Exploring Local Varieties in the Food Industry
by Abdoussadeq Ouamnina, Abderrahim Alahyane, Imane Elateri, Mourad Ouhammou and Mohamed Abderrazik
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060657 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 199
Abstract
The Moroccan date-growing sector is rich in a wide diversity of varieties but faces major challenges, notably the undervaluation of certain varieties intended mainly for animal feed. In this study, our objective was to evaluate the antiglycation activity of four date varieties, including [...] Read more.
The Moroccan date-growing sector is rich in a wide diversity of varieties but faces major challenges, notably the undervaluation of certain varieties intended mainly for animal feed. In this study, our objective was to evaluate the antiglycation activity of four date varieties, including three low-market-value varieties and one high-market-value variety, harvested during two seasons (2021 and 2022). In addition, to improve our knowledge of the antiglycation potential, molecular docking analyses were carried out. The results of the antiglycation activity of the date extracts showed strong activity, particularly for the ‘Khalt Khal’ variety, which showed a 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) of 1.83 mg/mL and 2 mg/mL in 2021 and 2022, respectively. In addition, the molecular docking analysis also showed the possible link between the bioactive compounds identified and their mechanisms of action. Our findings suggest new evidence for the antiglycation properties of the bioactive compounds present in dates. These results suggest the use of these varieties as a source of bioactive molecules or as a food additive. This could make it possible to create medicines or food products with a high commercial value using dates, which could help to treat the complications associated with glycation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flavor Biochemistry of Horticultural Plants)
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18 pages, 5188 KiB  
Article
Using Machine Learning Algorithms to Investigate the Impact of Temperature Treatment and Salt Stress on Four Forage Peas (Pisum sativum var. arvense L.)
by Onur Okumuş, Ahmet Say, Barış Eren, Fatih Demirel, Satı Uzun, Mehmet Yaman and Adnan Aydın
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060656 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 217
Abstract
The combination of high or low temperatures and high salt may cause significant harm to the yield, quality, and overall productivity of forage pea crops. The germination process, a crucial phase in the life cycle of forage peas, may be greatly influenced by [...] Read more.
The combination of high or low temperatures and high salt may cause significant harm to the yield, quality, and overall productivity of forage pea crops. The germination process, a crucial phase in the life cycle of forage peas, may be greatly influenced by varying temperature and salinity conditions. To comprehend the influence of these elements on the germination of forage peas, one must use many tactics, including the choice of resilient forage pea cultivars. The experiment aimed to evaluate the response of four forage pea cultivars (Arda, Ozkaynak, Taskent, and Tore) caused by various temperature (10 °C, 15 °C, and 20 °C) and salt (0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 dS m−1) conditions at the germination stage using multivariate analysis and machine learning methods. An observation of statistical significance (p < 0.01) was made regarding the variations between genotypes, temperature–salt levels, and the interaction of the observed factors: germination percentage (GP), shoot length (SL), root length (RL), fresh weight (FW), and dry weight (DW). The cultivar Tore had the best values for SL (1.63 cm), RL (5.38 cm), FW (1.10 g), and DW (0.13 g) among all the cultivars. On the other hand, the Ozkaynak cultivar had the highest value for GP (89.13%). The values of all of the parameters that were investigated decreased as the salt level rose, whereas the values increased when the temperature level increased. As a result, the Tore cultivar exhibited the highest values for shoot length, root length, fresh weight, and dry weight variables when exposed to a maximum temperature of 20 °C and a saline level of 0 dS m−1. It was determined that temperature treatment of fodder peas can reduce salt stress if kept at optimum levels. The effects of temperature and salt treatments on the germination data of several fodder pea cultivars were analyzed and predicted. Three distinct machine learning algorithms were used to create predictions. Based on R2 (0.899), MSE (5.344), MAPE (6.953), and MAD (4.125) measures, the MARS model predicted germination power (GP) better. The GPC model performed better in predicting shoot length (R2 = 0.922, MSE = 0.602, MAPE = 11.850, and MAD = 0.326) and root length (R2 = 0.900, MSE = 0.719, MAPE = 12.673, and MAD = 0.554), whereas the Xgboost model performed better in estimating fresh weight (R2 = 0.966, MSE = 0.130, MAPE = 11.635, and MAD = 0.090) and dry weight (R2 = 0.895, MSE = 0.021, MAPE = 12.395, and MAD = 0.013). The results of the research show that the techniques and analyses used can estimate stress tolerance, susceptibility levels, and other plant parameters, making it a cost-effective and reliable way to quickly and accurately study forage peas and related species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Horticulture Production)
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11 pages, 1709 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Tomato Productivity and Quality in Moderately Saline Soils through Salicornia-Assisted Cultivation Methods: A Comparative Study
by Marco Santin, Prangthip Parichanon, Maria Calogera Sciampagna, Annamaria Ranieri and Antonella Castagna
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060655 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 267
Abstract
The presence of high salt in soils is a substantial abiotic constraint for agricultural activities worldwide, particularly in Mediterranean regions. Researchers have discovered a simple and efficient way to repair soils that have suffered from excessive salt use. They use plants that can [...] Read more.
The presence of high salt in soils is a substantial abiotic constraint for agricultural activities worldwide, particularly in Mediterranean regions. Researchers have discovered a simple and efficient way to repair soils that have suffered from excessive salt use. They use plants that can overcome salt, like halophytes, to improve the soil quality. This research aimed to evaluate the tomato productivity and quality cultivated using different methods. We look at three different ways to grow tomatoes with the halophyte Salicornia europaea L. in a moderately salty soil: monoculture (only tomatoes), intercropping (mixed cultivation), and sequential cropping (growing tomatoes where halophytes were grown before). We considered how the different ways of managing crops affected tomato yield, biochemical factors in tomato plants (like phenolic and flavonoid contents), antioxidant levels, carotene profiles, and fruit quality and production. Sequential cropping showed the highest tomato productivity, while intercropping exhibited high concentrations of total phenolics, total flavonoids, carotenoids, and antioxidant capacity. The tomatoes had a sweet taste due to the higher total soluble solid content (TSSC) and maintained their quality due to the higher titratable acidity (TA). Full article
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14 pages, 2167 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Impact of Various Growing Media on the Expansion of Green Wall Plant Coverage with Image Analysis
by Omer Hulusi Dede and Hasan Ozer
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060654 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 234
Abstract
Green walls are seen as an important architectural element in the design of sustainable cities, helping to make cities ecologically rich, green, and healthy places to live. The use of green walls, which have seen a wide range of applications worldwide, is supported [...] Read more.
Green walls are seen as an important architectural element in the design of sustainable cities, helping to make cities ecologically rich, green, and healthy places to live. The use of green walls, which have seen a wide range of applications worldwide, is supported mainly because of their potential in combating climate change, and international standards are being developed for the design, implementation, and monitoring of green wall projects. In this study, the effects of different growing media used in green wall systems on plant area and the increase in green wall performance were evaluated using an indirect monitoring technique. Peat, hazelnut husks, rice hulls and perlite were mixed in different proportions to produce the growing media, and their physical and chemical properties were determined. Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) and boxwood (Buxus sempervirens L.) were used for planting the green wall. To measure the growth of the green wall and the planting area, images were taken and examined after planting and at the end of the growing period. According to the findings of this study, we found that growing media with a high water holding capacity and high organic matter content were more successful in terms of increasing plant area and green wall performance. However, factors such as pH and phosphorus were found to have negative effects on plant growth. In addition, it was determined that the physical and chemical properties of the growing media used in green wall systems are important for the plant area in green wall systems and that a balanced optimization of these properties increases the efficiency of green walls. The results obtained in this study show that the use of indirect monitoring techniques is a fast and effective method for monitoring the development of green wall systems. The appropriate use of this technique could be an effective tool for the standardization of installation and could contribute efficiently to the maintenance of green wall systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Nutrition)
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13 pages, 2142 KiB  
Article
Synergizing Sustainability: Integrated Nutrient Management and Intercropping for Optimal Coconut Cultivation in South India
by Arumugam Selva Rani, Sundararaj Subbulakshmi, Ramasamy Sudha, Kumaresan Kavitha, Shahul Hameed Nazreen Hassan, Murugiah Muthulakshmi, Kannan Sivagamy and Samuel Suresh
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060653 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 228
Abstract
The study highlights the importance of integrating organic resources, such as vermicompost and biofertilizers with inorganic fertilizers to sustain coconut yields and manage costs. The experimental trial was conducted from 2016 to 2020 in a 47-year-old East Coast Tall coconut garden at Coconut [...] Read more.
The study highlights the importance of integrating organic resources, such as vermicompost and biofertilizers with inorganic fertilizers to sustain coconut yields and manage costs. The experimental trial was conducted from 2016 to 2020 in a 47-year-old East Coast Tall coconut garden at Coconut Research Station in South India. The research evaluated four nutrient management treatments viz., T1 (75% Recommended Dose of Fertilizer (RDF) + 25% N organic), T2 (50% RDF + 50% N organic), T3 (100% N organic) and a control (100% RDF). Intercrops included black pepper (Piper nigrum), banana (Musa acuminata) and cocoa (Theobroma cacao). Organic manure significantly improved soil physical properties, water retention and overall soil health. The T2 treatment achieved the highest yields for coconut, cocoa, banana and black pepper. The added soil health parameters supported to these findings, with T2 showing the highest fungal (15.27 × 103 cfu/g of soil) and bacterial populations (17.25 × 105 cfu/g of soil), along with a significant earthworm population (26/m2), indicating enhanced soil ecosystem health. Additionally, soil moisture content was highest under T3 (100% organic) across various depths, followed by T2, highlighting the critical role of organic matter in improving soil moisture conservation. The economic feasibility analysis, including a net present value (NPV), benefit/cost ratio (B/C ratio) and an internal rate of return (IRR), revealed T2 to be the most economically viable nutrient management strategy. This study highlights the economic benefits of intercropping coconuts using an integrated nutrient management (INM) approach, demonstrating its superiority over traditional monocropping practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fertilization and Irrigation Management in Horticulture)
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10 pages, 2695 KiB  
Article
Identification of Key Soil Mineral Elements Affecting Sugars and Organic Acids of Jujube Fruit
by Panpan Tong, Guanglian Liao, Fengzhi Liang, Dengyang Lu, Cuiyun Wu and Jiangbo Wang
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060652 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 180
Abstract
Soil mineral elements are the key factors affecting fruit quality, but which soil elements affect the sugars and organic acids of jujube fruit is still not clear. In this study, the fruit and soil of 18 major producing areas of the Tarim Basin [...] Read more.
Soil mineral elements are the key factors affecting fruit quality, but which soil elements affect the sugars and organic acids of jujube fruit is still not clear. In this study, the fruit and soil of 18 major producing areas of the Tarim Basin were studied. By measuring the sugar and acid content in the fruits and element contents in the soil, the main soil mineral elements affecting the sugar and acid content in jujube fruits were identified. The results showed that the sugar components were mainly sucrose, glucose and fructose, and the organic acid components were mainly succinic acid, citric acid and malic acid. The fruits near the Kunlun Mountains had a higher ratio of sugar-to-acid and sweet-to-acid. Some elements in the soil of the Tarim Basin are abundant, such as the elements Ca, Fe, Mn and B, but the contents of the elements NO3-N, NH4-N, Zn and Mo are low. The contents of Ca, Mg and Mn were positively correlated with the contents of glucose, fructose and galactose. And the Fe, Ca, Mg and Mn were the main factors affecting the sugars and organic acid contents. Our study provides theoretical support for rational fertilization and efficient cultivation management of jujube. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Nutrition)
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25 pages, 11667 KiB  
Article
Integrated Metabolomic and Transcriptomic Analyses Reveal the Regulatory Mechanism Underlying the Accumulation of Anthocyanins in Cornus officinalis pericarp
by Yue Qin, Xuanmeng Chen, Jiahui Yang, Jing Gao, Gang Zhang, Yonggang Yan, Xinjie Yang, Xiaofei Zhang and Ying Chen
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060651 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 284
Abstract
The mature flesh of Cornus officinalis exhibits a vibrant red color, attributed to its rich anthocyanin content, imparting significant edible and medicinal value. Vibrant colors not only enhance the visual allure of medicinal materials but also maintain a close association with their intrinsic [...] Read more.
The mature flesh of Cornus officinalis exhibits a vibrant red color, attributed to its rich anthocyanin content, imparting significant edible and medicinal value. Vibrant colors not only enhance the visual allure of medicinal materials but also maintain a close association with their intrinsic quality. However, the intricate process of pigment formation governing the anthocyanin accumulation in the pericarp of Cornus officinalis remains poorly understood. In this study, we conducted the comprehensive sampling and analysis of pericarp tissues at three distinct developmental stages, employing morphological-structure observation and metabolomic and transcriptomic techniques. Our findings reveal a substantial increase in the anthocyanin accumulation during the transition to the red stage of Cornus officinalis fruit maturation. Metabolomic profiling identified the highest expression levels of Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside and Pelargonidin-3-O-rutinoside during the mature stage, suggesting their association with the red coloration of the fruit. Through RNA sequencing, we identified 25,740 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 41 DEGs associated with anthocyanin biosynthesis. The correlation between the DEG expression levels and anthocyanin content was explored, further elucidating the regulatory network. Additionally, we validated the pivotal role of the candidate gene BZ1 in the synthesis of Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside through qRT-PCR, confirming its crucial impact on anthocyanin accumulation. This study provides preliminary insights into anthocyanin accumulation in Cornus officinalis, laying the foundation for the future development of new cultivars with enhanced anthocyanin contents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Fruit Quality Formation and Regulation)
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16 pages, 3059 KiB  
Article
Higher Light Intensity Combined with Early Topping Improves the Yield and Quality of Pea Shoots in LED Plant Factory
by Juwen Liang, Fang Ji and Dongxian He
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060650 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Pea shoots is a popular vegetable in certain regions of the world due to their unique taste and abundance of health-promoting phytochemicals. The perishable nature and susceptibility to root rot of pea shoots necessitate a new soilless production system located close to the [...] Read more.
Pea shoots is a popular vegetable in certain regions of the world due to their unique taste and abundance of health-promoting phytochemicals. The perishable nature and susceptibility to root rot of pea shoots necessitate a new soilless production system located close to the market. This study compared the growth of pea shoots using various cultivation methods in an LED plant factory. The results showed that early topping (4 days after transplanting, ET) promoted early harvest compared to later topping (20 days after transplanting, LT) and increased the number of harvested shoots by extending the harvest time to 2.8 times, ultimately resulting in a substantial yield improvement. Moreover, the yield of ET with a lower planting density (72 plants m−2, ET-LD) was 8.7% higher than ET with a higher planting density (126 plants m−2, ET-HD). Particularly, the average shoot fresh weight (AFW) under ET-LD exceeded that of ET-HD by 48.9%. It is advisable to consider adopting ET-LD for the cultivation of pea shoots in LED plant factories. Based on ET-LD, the yield, nutritional quality, and light use efficiency of pea shoots were further explored at different stages under three levels of light intensity (50, 100, and 150 μmol m−2·s−1). Contrasted against a light intensity of 50 μmol m−2·s−1, AFW, number of harvested shoots, and total fresh yield under a light intensity of 150 μmol m−2·s−1, increased by 60.2%, 62.8%, and 165.1%, respectively. Meanwhile, AFW, photosynthetic capacity, soluble sugar and vitamin C levels in leaves, as well as light use efficiency and photon yield, initially increased and then decreased with the extension of the planting period. Among these, soluble sugar, light use efficiency, and photon yield started to decrease after reaching the maximum value at 60–70 days after transplanting. In conclusion, a light intensity of 150 μmol m−2·s−1 with a photoperiod of 16 h d−1 using LEDs, combined with early topping within a planting period of 60–70 days, proves to be suitable for the hydroponic production of pea shoots in LED plant factories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soilless Culture and Hydroponics in Closed Systems)
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14 pages, 4056 KiB  
Article
A New Plant-Wearable Sap Flow Sensor Reveals the Dynamic Water Distribution during Watermelon Fruit Development
by Runqing Zhang, Yangfan Chai, Xinyu Liang, Xiangjiang Liu, Xiaozhi Wang and Zhongyuan Hu
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060649 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 304
Abstract
This study utilized a plant-wearable sap flow sensor developed by a multidisciplinary team at Zhejiang University to monitor water distribution patterns in watermelon fruit stalks throughout their developmental stages. The dynamic rules of sap flow at different stages of fruit development were discovered: [...] Read more.
This study utilized a plant-wearable sap flow sensor developed by a multidisciplinary team at Zhejiang University to monitor water distribution patterns in watermelon fruit stalks throughout their developmental stages. The dynamic rules of sap flow at different stages of fruit development were discovered: (1) In the first stage, sap flow into the fruit gradually halts after sunrise due to increased leaf transpiration, followed by a rapid increase post-noon until the next morning, correlating with fruit expansion. (2) In the second stage, the time of inflow sap from noon to night is significantly shortened, while the outflow sap from fruit is observed with the enhancement of leaf transpiration after sunrise, which is consistent with the slow fruit growth at this stage. (3) In the third stage, the sap flow maintains the diurnal pattern. However, the sap flow that inputs the fruit at night is basically equal to the sap flow that outputs the fruit during the day; the fruit phenotype does not change anymore. In addition, a strong correlation between the daily mass growth in fruit and the daily sap flow amount in fruit stalk was identified, validating the sensor’s utility for fruit growth monitoring and yield prediction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Smart Technology and Equipment in Horticulture)
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14 pages, 977 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Regular Biological Mechanism of Susceptibility of Tomato Plants to Low Incidences of Blossom-End Rot
by Mostafa Abdelkader, Fathia A. Elkhawaga, Ahmed A. Suliman, Mikhail Puchkov, Kristina Nikolaevna Kuranova, Mohamed H. Mahmoud and Mohamed F. M. Abdelkader
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060648 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 285
Abstract
Blossom-end rot (BER) is a physiological disorder caused by calcium deficiency, often paired with moisture stress and irregular traditional watering practices. To understand the biological mechanism affecting the incidence of BER, different tomato genotypes were cultivated in sandy soil and were traditionally irrigated. [...] Read more.
Blossom-end rot (BER) is a physiological disorder caused by calcium deficiency, often paired with moisture stress and irregular traditional watering practices. To understand the biological mechanism affecting the incidence of BER, different tomato genotypes were cultivated in sandy soil and were traditionally irrigated. Nine tomato genotypes were investigated to assess their susceptibility to BER, and the incidence rate varied from 7.1% in “Voskhod” to 57.6% in “Majnat” genotypes. This study also comprehensively analyzed various physiological and biochemical parameters to elucidate their correlation with BER incidence in tomato plants. Our findings revealed a range of parameters positively correlated with BER incidence, including the relative water content of roots, the number of fruits per plant, vitamin C content, and potassium content. Parameters related to fruit quality, such as titratable acidity, peroxidase content, and firmness degree, also showed positive correlations with BER incidence. Conversely, parameters such as total yield per hectare, chlorophyll content, average plant height, and calcium content demonstrated strong negative correlations with BER incidence, suggesting potential protective effects against this disorder. This study highlights that genotypes with higher marketable yields, such as ‘Voskhod’ (65 tons/ha), showed lower BER incidence, underscoring the importance of selecting the appropriate genotype in improving yield and reducing blossom-end rot in tomato fields. Conversely, cultivars with high BER sensitivity, such as ‘Chelnok’ (26.3 tons/ha), require specially designed cultivation management to avoid production declines. Full article
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23 pages, 10370 KiB  
Article
Adsorption and Incorporation of AgNPs Mediated by Seed Priming in Cultivated Taify Pomegranate: Integrated Approaches
by Amal Ahmed Alyamani, Maissa M. Morsi and Hala M. Abdelmigid
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060647 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 429
Abstract
A novel approach known as seed priming has been developed to improve seed germination and, ultimately, increase growth and yield. For high-value crops like pomegranates (Punica granatum) in high-altitude regions like the Taif area, affordable, sustainable, and efficient seed treatments are [...] Read more.
A novel approach known as seed priming has been developed to improve seed germination and, ultimately, increase growth and yield. For high-value crops like pomegranates (Punica granatum) in high-altitude regions like the Taif area, affordable, sustainable, and efficient seed treatments are yet to be discovered. In this study, we employed a green synthesis method using pomegranate peel and coffee ground extracts to synthesize silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) at a concentration of 80 mg/mL. These AgNPs were then utilized to prime pomegranate seeds for 24 h. Furthermore, a chemical reduction method using trisodium citrate was used for comparison. The adsorption of NPs was verified using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), while their incorporation was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We further validated our EM results with X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). According to the findings of this study, AgNPs were observed to be present within seeds even after undergoing storage during priming. There is a possibility that the results obtained could potentially contribute to maintaining the quality of crops in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Cultivation of Horticultural Crops)
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11 pages, 1521 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Leaf Spectral Properties and Photosynthesis According to Growth Period
by Heewoong Goo, Yongseung Roh, Joonwoo Lee and Kyoung Sub Park
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060646 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 244
Abstract
This study analyzed the leaf spectral properties and photosynthesis rates of greenhouse-grown bell pepper leaves according to the growth period and leaf position to investigate the changes in carbon assimilation function according to leaf aging. Photosynthesis, growth, transpiration, stomatal conductance, light transmittance, and [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the leaf spectral properties and photosynthesis rates of greenhouse-grown bell pepper leaves according to the growth period and leaf position to investigate the changes in carbon assimilation function according to leaf aging. Photosynthesis, growth, transpiration, stomatal conductance, light transmittance, and light reflectance were measured. As the plants’ growth progressed, the number of leaves, fresh weight, and dry weight increased, but the specific leaf area decreased, likely due to the increased distribution of assimilates to reproductive organs. The average photosynthesis rate, according to the measured dates, exhibited a high value despite a large standard error, which was likely influenced by measurement errors caused by external environmental factors. The reflectance and transmittance increased from the upper to the middle and bottom leaves, and the absorption ratio decreased in the same order. The green light spectrum (500–580 nm) had a lower absorption ratio than other spectra because the green coloration of the leaves increased the light reflectance of this spectrum. As the PPFD increased where the leaf was positioned higher, the photosynthesis rate, transpiration amount, and stomatal conductance also increased. The higher the leaf position, the higher the photosynthesis rate, the amount of transpiration, and the stomatal conductance. As the CO2 concentration increased, the photosynthesis rate increased, but the transpiration and stomatal conductance changed little, indicating that the gas exchange within leaves was hardly affected by CO2, but the light levels promoted photosynthesis. From the results of this study, the optical properties of the leaves indicate that they are consistent with Lambert–Beer’s law, which implies that the length of the optical path is linearly proportional to the number of molecules in the absorption layer. We obtained the light saturation point and CO2 saturation point of bell peppers grown in a greenhouse and were able to determine the physiological changes in the leaves with increasing leaf age. Therefore, based on this information, it appears that a leaf removal model based on the productivity of bell pepper leaves could be developed. Full article
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14 pages, 4425 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of the WUSCHEL-Related Homeobox (WOX) Gene Family in Three Cymbidium Species and Expression Patterns in C. goeringii
by Fei Wang, Xiuming Chen, Mengya Cheng, Chengcheng Zhou, Ruiyue Zheng, Xiaopei Wu, Yanru Duan, Sagheer Ahmad, Zhongjian Liu, Jinliao Chen and Donghui Peng
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060645 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Numerous members of the WOX gene family play pivotal roles during the processes of growth and development in many plants, as has been demonstrated. Cymbidium goeringii, Cymbidium ensifolium, and Cymbidium sinense are ornamental plants with a fascinating floral morphology that are [...] Read more.
Numerous members of the WOX gene family play pivotal roles during the processes of growth and development in many plants, as has been demonstrated. Cymbidium goeringii, Cymbidium ensifolium, and Cymbidium sinense are ornamental plants with a fascinating floral morphology that are economically important in China. However, there is limited knowledge about the members of the WOX gene family and their functions in these three Cymbidium species. Hence, the WOX genes in three Cymbidium species were identified on the ground of the genomes data of C. goeringii, C. ensifolium, and C. sinense in this study. These identified WOX genes were further studied for their physicochemical properties, evolutionary relationship, gene structure, protein structure, and cis-acting elements of promoters, as well as the expression pattern of the WOX genes in different tissues of C. goeringii. The findings revealed that eight WOX genes in C. goeringii, twelve WOX genes in C. ensifolium, and nine WOX genes were identified. These WOX genes were further subdivided into WUS, ancient, and intermediate clades. The length of the coding region ranged from 149 to 335 aa, and it was predicted that all WOX genes would be located on the cell nucleus. The promoter cis-acting elements primarily comprised stress response, phytohormone response, plant growth and development, and transcription factor elements. Furthermore, both the transcriptomic data and RT-qPCR analysis showed that most WOX genes may be involved in multiple developmental stages of C. goeringii. To sum up, these results may serve as a theoretical foundation for further study of the function analysis of WOX genes in orchids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics, Genomics, Breeding, and Biotechnology (G2B2))
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16 pages, 1867 KiB  
Article
Behind the Loss of Salinity Resistance during Domestication: Alternative Eco-Physiological Strategies Are Revealed in Tomato Clade
by Antonio Pompeiano, Tommaso Michele Moles, Viviana Viscomi, Andrea Scartazza, Thais Huarancca Reyes and Lorenzo Guglielminetti
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060644 - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 252
Abstract
Salinity stress impairs growth and physiological performance in tomato, which is one of the most economically important vegetables and is widely cultivated in arid and semi-arid areas of the world. Plant landraces, which are heterogeneous, local adaptations of domesticated species, offer a unique [...] Read more.
Salinity stress impairs growth and physiological performance in tomato, which is one of the most economically important vegetables and is widely cultivated in arid and semi-arid areas of the world. Plant landraces, which are heterogeneous, local adaptations of domesticated species, offer a unique opportunity to valorize available germplasm, underpinning the productivity, resilience, and adaptive capacity of staple crops in vulnerable environments. Here, we investigated the response of fully mature tomato plants from a commercial variety, an ancestral wild relative, and a landrace under short-term salinity exposure, as well as their ability to recover upon cessation of stress. The heterogeneous panel evaluated in this study revealed different adaptative strategies to cope the stress. Our data highlighted the ability of the tomato clade to handle low and intermediate salinity stress for short-term exposure time, as well as its capacity to recover after the cessation of stress, although inter- and intraspecific variations in morphological and physiological responses to salinity were observed. Overall, the landrace and the wild type performed similarly to control conditions under low salinity, demonstrating an improved ability to maintain ionic balance. In contrast, the commercial genotype showed susceptibility and severe symptoms even under low salinity, with pronounced reductions in K+/Na+ ratio, PSII photochemical efficiency, and photosynthetic pigments. This research confirmed that improved salt tolerant genotypes can lead to substantial, positive impacts on horticultural production. While the salt tolerance mechanism of domesticated tomato was efficient under mild stress conditions, it failed at higher salinity levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Biosaline Agriculture)
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18 pages, 2102 KiB  
Article
Hot Water Treatment Preserves Chinese Chestnut (Castanea mollissima Blume) Quality during Storage by Increasing Its Sugar Accumulation and ROS-Scavenging Ability
by Yanpeng Wang, Jin Yao, Xibing Jiang, Bangchu Gong, Jinhui Yang and Yifan Wang
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060643 - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Heat treatment is a widely used physical technology for postharvest fruit and crops. The Chinese chestnut cultivar “Kuili” has high sugar and amylose contents, and is popular among people. However, the chestnut quality decreases quickly after harvest. In order to maintain the chestnuts’ [...] Read more.
Heat treatment is a widely used physical technology for postharvest fruit and crops. The Chinese chestnut cultivar “Kuili” has high sugar and amylose contents, and is popular among people. However, the chestnut quality decreases quickly after harvest. In order to maintain the chestnuts’ quality during storage, this study explores five hot water treatments for chestnuts: T1 (control, no treatment), T2 (50 °C), T3 (65 °C), T4 (75 °C), and T5 (90 °C) for 45 min. T1 was dried at ambient temperature, while the other heat treatments were dried at 30 °C for 30 min. After treatment, chestnuts were placed in plastic trays, covered with a 15 μm thick PVC film, and stored at 4 °C with 70% relative humidity; they remained in the same air for 120 days. Results indicated that T3 and T4 showed slight color changes while maintaining shell and kernel firmness, and their weight loss was reduced (+5–8%), as well as their decay rate (limited to within 20%). The T3, T4, and T5 treatments (from days 60 to 120) decreased their pest survival rates to <2%. Additionally, heat treatments facilitated the accumulation of total soluble sugar and increased the expression of sugar biosynthesis-related genes. Meanwhile, T3 and T4 delayed starch reduction (they maintained relatively higher contents, from 288 to ~320 mg g−1 DW) and altered some starch biosynthesis genes. Furthermore, T2, T3, and T4 exhibited higher antioxidant activity and lower hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide anions (O2) contents than T1. At the end of storage, the scores of T3 and T4 treatments were 55.1 and 52.3, and they ranked first and second among the five treatments, respectively. Therefore, these findings provide valuable insights for controlling postharvest losses in chestnuts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Postharvest Biology, Quality, Safety, and Technology)
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12 pages, 3316 KiB  
Article
Use of a Biostimulant Based on Seaweed Extract as a Sustainable Input to Enhance the Quality of Solanaceous Seedlings
by Vinícius Villa e Vila, Sônia Maria De Stefano Piedade, Christian Pascal Bouix, Roberto Rezende, Gustavo Soares Wenneck, Daniele de Souza Terassi, Paula Toshimi Matumoto-Pintro and Patricia Angélica Alves Marques
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060642 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Seaweed extracts have several functions in agriculture due to their composition that is rich in nutrients, plant hormones, and bioactive substances. It is a natural product used as a biostimulant especially to promote the growth and development of plants and their tolerance to [...] Read more.
Seaweed extracts have several functions in agriculture due to their composition that is rich in nutrients, plant hormones, and bioactive substances. It is a natural product used as a biostimulant especially to promote the growth and development of plants and their tolerance to environmental stresses. The objective of this study was to analyze the response to a biostimulant containing seaweed extract derived from Ascophyllum nodosum in the cultivation of tomato and eggplant seedlings, analyzing the growth and physiological parameters in two different regions of Brazil. Cherry tomato and eggplant were cultivated in polyethylene trays for 30 days. In each crop, five treatments were tested, comparing the use of a commercial seaweed extract in application doses and forms, which were the control (without seaweed application); 0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.3% of the seaweed extract applied by irrigation water; and treatment with 0.2% of the seaweed extract by foliar application. This study confirms the efficacy of incorporating seaweed extract from Ascophyllum nodosum as a bio-input into the production phase of Solanaceae seedlings. The seedlings which received the seaweed extract significantly increased some morphological parameters, mainly regarding the biomass and length of leaves, stems, and roots. In general, applying both methods through irrigation water and foliar application were effective in providing benefits compared to the control treatment. The intermediate dose (0.2%) was the most effective in promoting improvement in the analyzed parameters. This underscores the importance of obtaining quality seedlings for subsequent planting in the field, potentially leading to better acclimatization and initial adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biostimulants Application in Horticultural Crops)
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20 pages, 1248 KiB  
Review
Gene-Based Developments in Improving Quality of Tomato: Focus on Firmness, Shelf Life, and Pre- and Post-Harvest Stress Adaptations
by Hongmei Nie, Xiu Yang, Shaowen Zheng and Leiping Hou
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060641 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a widely consumed vegetable crop with significant economic and nutritional importance. This review paper discusses the recent advancements in gene-based approaches to enhance the quality of tomatoes, particularly focusing on firmness, shelf life, and adaptations to pre- [...] Read more.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a widely consumed vegetable crop with significant economic and nutritional importance. This review paper discusses the recent advancements in gene-based approaches to enhance the quality of tomatoes, particularly focusing on firmness, shelf life, and adaptations to pre- and post-harvest stresses. Utilizing genetic engineering techniques, such as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated proteins 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) and Transcription Activator-like Effector Nucleases (TALENs), researchers have made remarkable progress in developing tomatoes with improved traits that address key challenges faced during cultivation, storage, and transportation. We further highlighted the potential of genetic modifications in enhancing tomato firmness, thereby reducing post-harvest losses and improving consumer satisfaction. Furthermore, strategies to extend tomato shelf life through genetic interventions are discussed, emphasizing the importance of maintaining quality and freshness for sustainable food supply chains. Furthermore, the review delves into the ways in which gene-based adaptations can bolster tomatoes against environmental stresses, pests, and diseases, thereby enhancing crop resilience and ensuring stable yields. Emphasizing these crucial facets, this review highlights the essential contribution of genetic advancements in transforming tomato production, elevating quality standards, and promoting the sustainability of tomato cultivation practices. Full article
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18 pages, 1191 KiB  
Article
Characterization of the Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Germplasm in Sierra Leone Based on Agro-Morphological and Culinary Traits
by Vandi Amara, Alusaine Edward Samura, Prince Emmanuel Norman, Sheku Alfred Kanu, Kumba Yannah Karim, Fidèle Tiendrebeogo, Angela Obiageli Eni and Justin S. Pita
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060640 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 256
Abstract
The dearth of information on the extent of genetic variability in cassava limits the genetic improvement of cassava in Sierra Leone. This study aimed at assessing the genetic variability and relationships within 103 cassava genotypes using agro-morphological and culinary markers. A field trial [...] Read more.
The dearth of information on the extent of genetic variability in cassava limits the genetic improvement of cassava in Sierra Leone. This study aimed at assessing the genetic variability and relationships within 103 cassava genotypes using agro-morphological and culinary markers. A field trial was conducted in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences research site. The experiment was laid out in an augmented randomized block design. Morphological classification based on qualitative and quantitative traits categorized the germplasm into three different groups. A total of ten principal components (PCs) in the qualitative and six PCs in the quantitative trait sets accounted for 66.74% and 67.27% of the total genetic variation, respectively. Traits with significantly strong and positive correlations included presence of fruit (PFRT) and presence of seeds (PSE) (r = 0.86 ***), root yield per plant (RYPP) and number of storage roots (NSR) (r = 0.76 ***), RYPP and number of commercial roots (NCR) (r = 0.68 ***), length of leaf lobes (LLL) and width of leaf lobes (WLL) (r = 0.66 ***), and between NSR and NCR (r = 0.84 ***). The cooking time, cooking percentage, texture, mealiness, taste, and aroma varied widely among the accessions. The findings established that the cassava germplasm possesses useful genetic variability that could be exploited through selection for short-term release programs, genetic conservation of the valuable germplasm, and genetic improvement of the crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics, Genomics, Breeding, and Biotechnology (G2B2))
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14 pages, 9729 KiB  
Article
Foliar Spraying of Brassinolide Affects Leaf Quality and Secondary Metabolite Profiles of Cold-Stressed Tea Plants
by Yue Wen, An-Qi Lei, Abeer Hashem, Elsayed Fathi Abd_Allah, Qiang-Sheng Wu and Xiu-Bing Gao
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060639 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Cold stress is an important limiting factor affecting spring tea quality. This study analyzed the effects of foliar spraying of brassinolide (BR) at concentrations of 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, and 1 mg/L on the chlorophyll index, nitrogen balance index, quality, antioxidant defense system, and [...] Read more.
Cold stress is an important limiting factor affecting spring tea quality. This study analyzed the effects of foliar spraying of brassinolide (BR) at concentrations of 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, and 1 mg/L on the chlorophyll index, nitrogen balance index, quality, antioxidant defense system, and secondary metabolite profiles in leaves of Camellia sinensis cv. Fuding-dabaicha grown at 4 °C for 48 h. All exogenous BR treatments significantly increased leaf nitrogen balance index, with the highest effect at 0.1 mg/L, which also significantly increased leaf chlorophyll index. BR treatments distinctly increased tea polyphenol, catechin, amino acid, and caffeine levels at cold stress, with the greatest effect at 0.1 mg BR/L. Foliar spraying of BR showed no effect on the expression of CsGOGAT at cold stress, but it differentially regulated the expression of CsHMGR, CsGDH, and CsGs, accompanied by their expression being up-regulated under 0.1 mg BR/L treatment. BR-treated plants exhibited a low level of oxidative damage at cold stress based on malondialdehyde levels, which was associated with higher glutathione levels and CsCAT and CsSOD gene expression levels under BR concentrations of 0.05 mg/L and 0.1 mg/L. Non-targeted metabolomics found a total of 26,175 metabolites, the majority of which were lipids and lipid-like molecules (8.97%) and organic heterocyclic compounds (8.97%). BR treatments with 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, and 1 mg/L triggered 1181, 1997, 2414, and 1455 differential metabolites, respectively, accompanied by more differential metabolites being up-regulated. Among them, 18 differential metabolites were associated with tea quality. The enriched pathways of differential metabolites were mainly caffeine metabolism, amino acid synthesis and metabolism, alkaloid synthesis and metabolism, and flavonoid synthesis, depending on the BR concentrations used. Caffeine metabolism was an BR-inducible differential metabolite pathway. Taken together, foliar spraying of BR (0.1 mg/L) improved leaf antioxidant capacity and quality as well as modulated secondary metabolites and their pathways in cold-stressed tea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Nutrition)
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17 pages, 1514 KiB  
Article
How Sage and Rosemary Essential Oils Regulate Postharvest Senescence and Extend the Vase Life of Cut Gladiolus Spikes
by Mohamed M. Moussa, Ragia M. Mazrou and Fahmy A. S. Hassan
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060638 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 233
Abstract
The production of cut flowers has substantial economic potential, and therefore, extending their lifespan has been the main focus of several floriculture researchers. Despite the increased marketable value of gladioli, their spikes rapidly lose their visual value and postharvest quality, accompanied by a [...] Read more.
The production of cut flowers has substantial economic potential, and therefore, extending their lifespan has been the main focus of several floriculture researchers. Despite the increased marketable value of gladioli, their spikes rapidly lose their visual value and postharvest quality, accompanied by a short vase life. Unfortunately, most floral preservatives used to extend the flower lifespan have hazardous impacts; thus, providing eco-friendly alternatives has spurred immense interest among scientists. Sage and rosemary essential oils (EOs) seem to be effective eco-friendly flower preservatives due to their content of antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds. This study was therefore conducted to investigate whether using sage or rosemary EOs as novel preservative solutions can enhance the quality and prolong the vase life of cut gladiolus spikes. Gladiolus spikes were subjected to several concentrations (0, 50, 100, 150 and 200 mg L−1) of sage or rosemary EOs in a vase solution. All levels of both EOs significantly prolonged the vase life of gladiolus spikes, increased their water uptake and enhanced floret opening compared to the control. The vase life was increased by 88.16 and 84.76% by applying 150 or 100 mg L−1 of sage or rosemary EOs, respectively, compared to the untreated spikes. Sage and rosemary EO treatments markedly decreased bacterial populations, preserved the chlorophyll content, decreased H2O2 production and retarded the accumulation of malondialdehyde (MDA), and therefore preserved the membrane stability relative to the control. Furthermore, the total phenols and the antioxidant enzyme activities of catalase, glutathione reductase and ascorbate peroxidase were significantly increased due to sage or rosemary EO applications. In conclusion, sage or rosemary EOs may be applied as innovative, eco-friendly alternative preservatives to the communal chemicals used as preservatives in the cut flower industry. Full article
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18 pages, 3878 KiB  
Article
Preliminary Study on Programmed Cell Death during Calyx Abscission of Korla Fragrant Pear
by Yue Wen, Baijunjie Shao, Zhichao Hao, Chunfeng Wang, Tianyu Sun, Yutao Han, Jia Tian and Feng Zhang
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060637 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Programmed cell death (PCD) is common in plant growth and development, such as xylem development, organ senescence, and abscission. Calyx abscission in Korla fragrant pear contributes to fruit quality, while it was not clear whether PCD occurred during calyx abscission and which signals [...] Read more.
Programmed cell death (PCD) is common in plant growth and development, such as xylem development, organ senescence, and abscission. Calyx abscission in Korla fragrant pear contributes to fruit quality, while it was not clear whether PCD occurred during calyx abscission and which signals regulated the process. Therefore, it is imperative to clarify the process of PCD in the process of calyx abscission in Korla fragrant pear under natural conditions to enrich the mechanism of calyx abscission. The results showed that the total time of calyx abscission of Korla fragrant pear began from 6 days after pollination (DAP) to 13 DAP, and the peak of calyx abscission occurred 10 DAP. During the whole process of calyx abscission, PCD started 6 DAP. At 9 DAP, the degree of PCD deepened. At 12 DAP, the cells in the abscission zone showed asymmetry on both sides, the organelles in the distal cells of the abscission zone degraded into apoptotic fragments, and the protective layer of the normal development of cells located at the proximal end of the abscission zone region ended the PCD process. ETH concentrations in the abscission zone of the decalyx fruit were significantly higher than those of the persistent calyx fruits in each period during calyx abscission, and high levels of ethylene and hydrogen peroxide and low contents of the GA3, ZT, and hydroxyl radicals promoted calyx abscission before the formation of the abscission zone. At 3 DAP, the ethylene concentration (43.97 ppm) and H2O2 content (8.49 μmol/g) of decalyx fruit in the abscission zone were significantly higher than those of persistent calyx fruit by 67.69% and 27.86%, respectively; however, the GA3, ZT, and hydroxyl radicals showed the opposite. Overall, PCD in the abscission zone of decalyx fruits did occur during the calyx abscission of Korla fragrant pear, and ethylene and H2O2 might play major roles in initiating the PCD process during Korla fragrant pear calyx abscission. Full article
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12 pages, 2971 KiB  
Article
Metabolomic Analysis of Lycoris radiata across Developmental and Dormancy Stages
by Xueru Jiang, Xuying Wei, Hua Cheng, Xin You and Junhuo Cai
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060636 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 214
Abstract
The Lycoris radiata (L’ Herit.) Herb. is a perennial bulbous plant characterized by its high ornamental and medicinal value, exhibiting a unique growth rhythm where the flower and leaf do not coexist and a period of summer dormancy. However, its metabolic response to [...] Read more.
The Lycoris radiata (L’ Herit.) Herb. is a perennial bulbous plant characterized by its high ornamental and medicinal value, exhibiting a unique growth rhythm where the flower and leaf do not coexist and a period of summer dormancy. However, its metabolic response to various developmental stages remains unclear. To address this gap, we conducted a non-targeted metabolomic analysis spanning six developmental stages of L. radiata. The results showed that most differentially accumulated metabolites (DAMs) demonstrated enrichment predominantly in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism pathways, with the former being more active during vegetative growth and the latter during reproductive stages. The proportion of DAMs categorized under “quaternary ammonium salts”, “tricarboxylic acids and derivatives”, “fatty acids and conjugates”, and “pyrimidine nucleotide sugars” was notably higher in comparisons between the flowering and dormancy stages than in other comparative groups. Furthermore, DAMs involved in the KEGG pathways of C5-branched dibasic acid metabolism and lysine biosynthesis were uniquely identified during the transition from Dormancy to Flowering. The proportion of DAMs associated with “linoleic acids and derivatives” and “pyridines and pyridine derivatives” was notably higher in the leafing out versus flowering comparison than in other comparative groups. Furthermore, the glycolysis/gluconeogenesis pathway was uniquely enriched by DAMs during this phase. This study provided an in-depth view of metabolite changes in L. radiata over its annual growth cycle, enriching our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms governing its development, dormancy, and flowering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Propagation and Flowering of Ornamental Plants)
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10 pages, 1681 KiB  
Article
Heterodera schachtii (Nematoda: Heteroderidae) Associated with Cabbage-Cultivation Systems in Anatolia Region of Türkiye
by Gülsüm Badel Akyol, Ebubekir Yüksel, Eminur Elçi, Refik Bozbuğa, Abdelfattah Dababat, Mustafa İmren and Halil Toktay
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060635 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Heterodera schachtii (Schmidt, 1871) (Nematoda: Heteroderidae) is one of the most widespread plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) associated with cabbages, which cause severe yield losses in cruciferous vegetables. This study aimed to improve the current understanding of the prevalence and detection of H. schachtii in [...] Read more.
Heterodera schachtii (Schmidt, 1871) (Nematoda: Heteroderidae) is one of the most widespread plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) associated with cabbages, which cause severe yield losses in cruciferous vegetables. This study aimed to improve the current understanding of the prevalence and detection of H. schachtii in the cabbage-growing areas of Niğde Province, Türkiye. Field surveys were conducted between November and December 2021, and 100 soil samples were collected immediately after cabbage harvesting. Heterodera schachtii populations were identified by morphological and morphometric methods along with Internal Transcribed Spacer of the ribosomal region (ITS-rDNA) and Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit (COI-mtDNA) sequencing. The mean body length of H. schachtii was 463 ± 7 μm, while stylet and hyaline length ranged between 20.7–27.8 μm and 20.1–32.1 μm, respectively. Nearly half of the surveyed areas were infested with H. schachtii with a 41% incidence rate. However, the Merkez District had the highest proportion of infested fields with an over 51% incidence rate. The population density was determined in 41 samples with a mean of 79.5 cysts per 250 g of soil. These results will help to determine the control and management strategies of H. schachtii. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Pathology and Disease Management (PPDM))
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15 pages, 10775 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of Nucleotide-Binding Site–Leucine-Rich Repeat Gene Family in Cymbidium ensifolium and Expression Profiles in Response to Fusarium Wilt Infection
by Lu Yan, Bin-Xian Su, Jin-Jin Li, Yu-Yan Li, Shu-Yi Chen, Cai-Yun Feng, Yang Tian, Ye Ai and Qing-Hua Zhang
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060634 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 219
Abstract
Fusarium wilt in Cymbidium ensifolium, caused by Fusarium oxysporum, is highly contagious and poses a severe hazard. It significantly reduces the ornamental value of C. ensifolium and causes substantial economic losses in agricultural production. Nucleotide-binding site–leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) genes are key [...] Read more.
Fusarium wilt in Cymbidium ensifolium, caused by Fusarium oxysporum, is highly contagious and poses a severe hazard. It significantly reduces the ornamental value of C. ensifolium and causes substantial economic losses in agricultural production. Nucleotide-binding site–leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) genes are key regulatory factors in plant disease resistance responses, playing vital roles in defending against pathogen invasions. In our study, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the NBS-LRR gene family in the genome of Cymbidium ensifolium. Phylogenetic analysis identified a total of 31 NBS-LRR genes encoding NB-ARC proteins, which were categorized into five classes (CNL, CN, NL, N, RNL) based on their protein structural domains. These genes were found to be unevenly distributed across eight chromosomes. Physicochemical analysis revealed significant variances in molecular weight and sequence length among the family members. Subcellular localization results indicated that most genes primarily reside in the cytoplasm and cell membrane, suggesting that the primary sites of disease resistance responses may be the cell membrane and cyto-plasm. Furthermore, noticeable disparities were observed in gene structures and conserved motifs among different categories of family genes. Promoter analysis indicated that cis-regulatory elements are mainly associated with plant stress, jasmonic acid, gibberellin, and other development-related factors, suggesting that CeNBS-LRR genes mainly resist external stress through hormones such as abscisic acid and jasmonic acid. We characterized twenty-seven CeNBS-LRR gene expression patterns of healthy C. ensifolium at different periods after Fusarium wilt infection, and found that those genes exhibit a temporospatial expression pattern, and that their expression is also responsive to Fusarium wilt infection. By analyzing the expression pattern via transcriptome and qRT-PCR, we speculated that JL006442 and JL014305 may play key roles in resisting Fusarium wilt. This study lays the groundwork and holds considerable significance as a reference for identifying disease-resistant genes and facilitating genetic breeding in C. ensifolium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Germplasm Resources and Genetic Breeding of Ornamental Plants)
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10 pages, 1702 KiB  
Article
Cytogenetics of Five Edible Species of the Genus Kaempferia (Zingiberaceae) from Thailand
by Piyaporn Saensouk, Nooduan Muangsan, Phetlasy Souladeth, Kamonwan Koompoot, Nakorn Pradit, Anousone Sengthong and Surapon Saensouk
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060633 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Five edible species of the genus KaempferiaK. minuta, K. phuphanensis, K. sisaketensis, K. takensis, and K. udonensis—in Thailand were cytologically studied by their root tips. The somatic chromosome numbers of all species were found to be [...] Read more.
Five edible species of the genus KaempferiaK. minuta, K. phuphanensis, K. sisaketensis, K. takensis, and K. udonensis—in Thailand were cytologically studied by their root tips. The somatic chromosome numbers of all species were found to be 2n = 22, and the FNs of all species were revealed to be 44. The karyotype of all five rare and endemic species was provided: 10m + 12sm with three satellites for K. minuta, 12m + 10sm with six satellites for K. phuphanensis, 18m + 4sm with four satellites for K. sisaketensis, 6m + 10sm + 6st with three satellites for K. takensis, and 14m + 2sm + 6st with two satellites for K. udonensis. This research identified all new karyological information regarding the chromosome number, FN, karyotype, and ideogram of all the species. They all had a symmetrical karyotype. The chromosome structures and karyotype formula of five edible Kaempferia species from Thailand can be used for species identification. Full article
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30 pages, 1940 KiB  
Article
Wild Edible Plant Species in the ‘King’s Lagoon’ Coastal Wetland: Survey, Collection, Mapping and Ecological Characterization
by Anna Rita Bernadette Cammerino, Lorenzo Piacquadio, Michela Ingaramo, Maurizio Gioiosa and Massimo Monteleone
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060632 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Wild edible plants, botanically defined as phytoalimurgical species, have historically been a useful source of food to cope with recurrent famines and poor farming conditions. If properly identified, harvested, transformed and promoted, alimurgical plants could further enhance the wellbeing of rural and urban [...] Read more.
Wild edible plants, botanically defined as phytoalimurgical species, have historically been a useful source of food to cope with recurrent famines and poor farming conditions. If properly identified, harvested, transformed and promoted, alimurgical plants could further enhance the wellbeing of rural and urban communities and the multifunctional productivity of agriculture. The research aimed to survey alimurgical species in a wetland, map their location, detect their spatial richness, and develop a monitoring plan for ongoing vegetation succession. The study area is the King’s Lagoon, a wetland that has recently undergone a radical restoration of its natural layout. A satellite image was used to create a land cover map and interpret the relationship between plant species and land cover. The survey provided a snapshot of the wetland’s current ecosystem status and used botanical analysis and ecological indices to investigate biodiversity levels. The alpha, beta and gamma levels of biodiversity were explored and interpreted through the statistical processing of a comprehensive dataset of species occurrence and abundance, together with the calculation of Shannon’s, Simpson’s and Jaccard’s indices. It was observed that biodiversity in the wetland is developing gradually following restoration and is expected to increase over time as successional stages take hold. Biodiversity is more pronounced along the banks of the canals and watercourses connecting the basins and open ponds, while it is less pronounced in areas where the soil has been disturbed by previous excavations. Salicornia spp., Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima and Suaeda vera were identified as the most common and interesting species found in the study area. The potential for cultivation of some of the halophyte species that were monitored was also highlighted, with particular reference to the selection of the most commercially interesting species, the best species associations and intercropping practices in a wetland context, which must always prioritize the conservation of wild biodiversity. The spring surveys should be repeated in the coming years in order to accurately trace the dynamics of the ecological succession of this particular ecosystem, once it has returned to its natural development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Mediterranean Biodiversity)
15 pages, 10076 KiB  
Article
Iris pseudacorus and Lythrum anceps as Plants Supporting the Process of Removing Microplastics from Aquatic Environments—Preliminary Research
by Yoosun Kim, Kiyoung Park, Jonghyeok Bak and Sueran Choi
Horticulturae 2024, 10(6), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10060631 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 210
Abstract
(1) Background: Since microplastics in aquatic environments are difficult to prevent and can cause adverse physiological and biochemical reactions to various organisms, we aimed to analyze the effectiveness of using aquatic plants with well-developed roots and excellent water purification capabilities to remove microplastics [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Since microplastics in aquatic environments are difficult to prevent and can cause adverse physiological and biochemical reactions to various organisms, we aimed to analyze the effectiveness of using aquatic plants with well-developed roots and excellent water purification capabilities to remove microplastics in an eco-friendly manner. Additionally, we examined the differences in removal efficiency based on the sizes of the microplastic particles and the types of aquatic plants used. (2) Methods: Two types of polyethylene (PE) microplastic particles (46 µm and 140 µm) and two types of aquatic plants (Iris pseudacorus and Lythrum anceps) were used in this study. These plants were cultivated in tap water containing microplastics for a duration of four months in an aquatic setup without soil. Water samples from the cultivation area were analyzed using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) to determine the reduction in microplastics. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed to examine the adsorption of microplastics on the plants’ roots. Plant growth was assessed by measuring plant height, plant width, and the number of branches (number of leaves). (3) Results: The results revealed significant reductions in the numbers of microplastics in the water of the cultivation boxes containing Iris pseudacorus and Lythrum anceps, irrespective of the microplastic particle size or plant type. These reductions were further confirmed by the adsorption of microplastics on the roots of both plant species. Moreover, the presence of microplastics had no significant negative effects on the plants’ growth. These findings suggest that Iris pseudacorus and Lythrum anceps are suitable plants for removing microplastics in aquatic environments. (4) Conclusions: To effectively reduce aquatic microplastics using plants, it is essential to establish a sustainable vegetation cover using perennial plants with well-developed roots and rapid reproductive capabilities. Follow-up research should consider not only the type of plant but also various aspects related to their tolerance to different environmental conditions. Full article
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