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Horticulturae, Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2021) – 26 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The quality of ornamental plants is determined by aesthetic characteristics including flower longevity. A flower’s lifespan is limited by the senescence of the petals, which is controlled by many endogenous signals and external factors. The programmed senescence of petals involves the degradation of organelles and macromolecules to allow for recycling of nutrients to developing parts of the plant. Endonucleases play a role in large-scale nucleic acid degradation during senescence. This contribution presents the cloning of a senescence-related nuclease that is transcriptionally regulated by ethylene and phosphate starvation and uses virus-induced gene silencing to confirm that this gene encodes a cobalt-enhanced endonuclease with activity against DNA and RNA. View this paper
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Article
Grafting Improves Fruit Yield of Cucumber Plants Grown under Combined Heat and Soil Salinity Stresses
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030061 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Improving the productivity of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants subjected to combined salinity and heat stresses is a significant challenge, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. Gianco F1 cucumbers were grafted onto five cucurbit rootstocks and, together with an ungrafted control, were [...] Read more.
Improving the productivity of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants subjected to combined salinity and heat stresses is a significant challenge, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. Gianco F1 cucumbers were grafted onto five cucurbit rootstocks and, together with an ungrafted control, were grown in Egypt in a net house with saline soil during the summer season over two years. The vegetative growth, yield, quality, biochemical, and mineral composition traits were measured. Although many differences were observed among treatments, in general, the grafted plants had a performance better than or similar to that of the ungrafted plants, based on the different parameters measured. In particular, the cucumber plants grafted onto the Cucurbita maxima × C. moschata interspecific hybrid rootstocks VSS-61 F1 and Ferro had the highest early and total marketable yields. These two rootstocks consistently conferred higher vigor to the scion, which had lower flower abortion rates and higher chlorophyll contents. The fruit quality and N, P, and K composition in the leaves suffered few relevant changes as compared with the control. However, the leaves of the VSS-61 F1 had higher catalase activity, as well as proline and Se contents, while those of Ferro had higher Si content. This study reveals that the grafting of cucumber plants onto suitable rootstocks may mitigate the adverse effects caused by the combination of saline soil and heat stresses. This represents a significant improvement for cucumber cultivation in saline soil under high-temperature stress conditions in arid regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grafting to Improve Yield and Quality of Vegetable Crops)
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Article
Effect of Root Restriction on the Performance of Three-Truss Cultivated Tomato in the Low-Node Pinching Order at High-Density Cultivation System
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030060 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 714
Abstract
The low-node pinching order at a high-density plant cultivation system (LN&HD) is now widely adopted for increasing tomato yield and fruit quality. The LN&HD cultivation period spans 70–120 days, employs the use of a small amount of substrate (low substrate volume), and plants [...] Read more.
The low-node pinching order at a high-density plant cultivation system (LN&HD) is now widely adopted for increasing tomato yield and fruit quality. The LN&HD cultivation period spans 70–120 days, employs the use of a small amount of substrate (low substrate volume), and plants are usually topped between the first and the fourth truss. Using a small amount of substrate in cultivation induces root restriction. Increasing the extent of root restriction in small pots has been adopted for increasing the fruit quality of tomato in some advanced countries. However, improving fruit quality at the expense of yield becomes a major drawback for adopting the LN&HD in Ghana. The LN&HD was introduced into Ghana mainly to increase tomato yield sustainably at a cost-effective level. This study aimed to manipulate or reduce the extent of root restriction to increase tomato yield. Information related to manipulating or reducing the extent of root restriction has not been extensively reported. Thus, an experiment was conducted (between 21 April 2019 and 11 August 2019) in the greenhouse of the University of Ghana Forest and Horticultural Research Centre, Kade-Ghana. Plants of two tomato cultivars (Jaguar and Momotaro York) were subjected to four root restriction conditions. The extent of root restriction were (1) complete root restriction in a 1.0 L volume capacity pot, (2) complete root restriction in a 1.5 L volume capacity pot, (3) partial root restriction in Rockwool-like cultivation, otherwise referred to as Cocowool, and (4) No root restriction in a trough containing 1.5 L of the substrate. The experiment was laid out in a 2 x 4 factorial in a randomized complete block. Results showed that partial root restriction in Cocowool and unrestricted roots in the trough produced the highest tomato yield and total dry matter compared to the plants that received complete root restrictions in the 1.0 and 1.5 L pots. However, the tomato’s total soluble solids increased with a complete root restriction in the 1.0 L pot. Reducing the extent of root restriction increased the yield and total dry matter of tomato. With the LN&HD, a small amount of substrate could be used (at a reduced cost) with a partial root restriction to increase the yield of tropical tomato cultivars grown in Ghana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroponics in Vegetable Production)
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Article
Living Mulch with Selected Herbs for Soil Management in Organic Apple Orchards
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030059 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
The establishment of living mulches in organic orchards could potentially improve the orchard biodiversity and, when specific plant species are selected, provide additional eco-services and functions, including adequate weed management. This study was conducted in an organically managed apple orchard in Skierniewice (Poland) [...] Read more.
The establishment of living mulches in organic orchards could potentially improve the orchard biodiversity and, when specific plant species are selected, provide additional eco-services and functions, including adequate weed management. This study was conducted in an organically managed apple orchard in Skierniewice (Poland) to assess the effect of two selected living mulching species: Alchemilla vulgaris and Mentha piperita. They were assessed on weed control, weed biodiversity, tree nutritional status, root dry weight density (RDWD), and other root morphological traits compared to a natural soil cover (control). Overall, both living mulches produced 42.5% more dry biomass, increased weed species number (+29%), and increased soil coverage (+33%) compared to control mowed plots. The apple leaf chlorophyll index and nutrient content were higher in the presence of both living mulches than in the control. In addition, apple trees had 30–46% higher root dry weight densities, even though other root morphological traits were not affected by the treatments. The results suggested that the tree row can be managed with living mulches of herbs; these species have the potential to provide an additional income to the farmer, as well as beneficial effects for the orchard biodiversity, without impairing the tree root development and nutrient status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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Article
Iodine Biofortification Counters Micronutrient Deficiency and Improve Functional Quality of Open Field Grown Curly Endive
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030058 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Human iodine (I) shortage disorders are documented as an imperative world-wide health issue for a great number of people. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends I consumption through ingestion of seafood and biofortified food such as vegetables. The current work was carried out [...] Read more.
Human iodine (I) shortage disorders are documented as an imperative world-wide health issue for a great number of people. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends I consumption through ingestion of seafood and biofortified food such as vegetables. The current work was carried out to appraise the effects of different I concentrations (0, 50, 250, and 500 mg L−1), supplied via foliar spray on curly endive grown in the fall or spring–summer season. Head fresh weight, stem diameter, head height, and soluble solid content (SSC) were negatively correlated to I dosage. The highest head dry matter content was recorded in plants supplied with 250 mg I L−1, both in the fall and spring–summer season, and in those cultivated in the fall season and supplied with 50 mg I L−1. The highest ascorbic acid concentration was recorded in plants cultivated in the spring–summer season and biofortified with the highest I dosage. The highest fructose and glucose concentrations in leaf tissues were obtained in plants cultivated in the spring–summer season and treated with 250 mg I L−1. Plants sprayed with 250 mg I L−1 and cultivated in the fall season had the highest I leaf concentration. Overall, our results evidently suggested that an I application of 250 mg L−1 in both growing seasons effectively enhanced plant quality and functional parameters in curly endive plants. Full article
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Article
Nutritional Value of Apiaceae Seeds as Affected by 11 Species and 43 Cultivars
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030057 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
The fragmentary literature data on Apiaceae seed antioxidant potential elicited a comparative evaluation work of seed biochemical profile between 11 species and 43 cultivars grown in similar conditions: anise, lovage, fennel, coriander, caraway, parsley, celery, dill, carrot, parsnip and chervil. Among the different [...] Read more.
The fragmentary literature data on Apiaceae seed antioxidant potential elicited a comparative evaluation work of seed biochemical profile between 11 species and 43 cultivars grown in similar conditions: anise, lovage, fennel, coriander, caraway, parsley, celery, dill, carrot, parsnip and chervil. Among the different solvents, temperature and duration regimes applied, 70% EtOH, 80 °C and 1 h running showed the best extraction efficiency of antioxidants. Total antioxidant activity (AOA) decreased as follows: lovage > anise > parsley > celery > fennel = dill > coriander > caraway > parsnip > carrot > chervil. Lovage, anise and fennel demonstrated the highest levels of total phenolics (TP), AOA and potassium. A positive correlation was recorded between total dissolved solids (TDS) and K and between AOA and TP content (r = 0.86 and r = 0.79 respectively, at p < 0.001). Varietal differences in AOA and TP levels were much lower than those relevant to TDS, K and water soluble protein (WSP), while the highest differences were found for selenium (Se). Two parsley cultivars showed anomalously high Se content and four dill cultivars unusually high levels of TDS and potassium. A positive correlation arose between Se and WSP levels in parsley seeds (r = 0.85 at p < 0.05). Full article
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Article
Estimation of Glucosinolates and Anthocyanins in Kale Leaves Grown in a Plant Factory Using Spectral Reflectance
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030056 - 21 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1082
Abstract
The spectral reflectance technique for the quantification of the functional components was applied in different studies for different crops, but related research on kale leaves is limited. This study was conducted to estimate the glucosinolate and anthocyanin components of kale leaves cultivated in [...] Read more.
The spectral reflectance technique for the quantification of the functional components was applied in different studies for different crops, but related research on kale leaves is limited. This study was conducted to estimate the glucosinolate and anthocyanin components of kale leaves cultivated in a plant factory based on diffuse reflectance spectroscopy through regression methods. Kale was grown in a plant factory under different treatments. After specific periods of transplantation, leaf samples were collected, and reflectance spectra were measured immediately from nine different points on each leaf. The same leaf samples were freeze-dried and stored for analysis of the functional components. Regression procedures, such as principal component regression (PCR), partial least squares regression (PLSR), and stepwise multiple linear regression (SMLR), were applied to relate the functional components with the spectral data. In the laboratory analysis, progoitrin and glucobrassicin, as well as cyanidin and malvidin, were found to be dominating components in glucosinolates and anthocyanins, respectively. From the overall analysis, the SMLR model showed better performance, and the identified wavelengths for estimating the glucosinolates and anthocyanins were in the early near-infrared (NIR) region. Specifically, reflectance at 742, 761, 787, 796, 805, 833, 855, 932, 947, and 1000 nm showed a strong correlation. Full article
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Article
Perceptions of Urban Green Areas during the Social Distancing Period for COVID-19 Containment in Italy
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030055 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
The scientific community recognizes that urban green areas play an important role in supporting human wellbeing. Green spaces are used differently by citizens accordingly to their age, gender, education, or lifestyle. During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic period in 2020, public green areas [...] Read more.
The scientific community recognizes that urban green areas play an important role in supporting human wellbeing. Green spaces are used differently by citizens accordingly to their age, gender, education, or lifestyle. During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic period in 2020, public green areas were closed due to the limitations imposed by social distancing in Italy and people were forced to stay at home. The aim of this research was to investigate the importance of public green areas in the life of the population in relation to the limits imposed during the first lockdown in Italy. A participatory approach was used, and an online questionnaire focused on people’s perceptions about the public attendance in green areas and their main uses pre-, during, and post-COVID-19 emergency period was administrated randomly to the adult population. The questions focused on the habit, frequency, and duration of park visits and about the individual perceptions and feelings about the green areas close (maximum 200 m distance) to their residences. A total of 3286 responses were obtained and analyzed at national and regional levels (Piemonte). In order to have a general national overview, a basic descriptive statistic was applied using all answers, elaborated in the form of percentages. At the regional level, questions were selected and compared to determine if answers were in related. Statistical analyses with chi-square tests and correspondence analyses were performed. The results indicated that the social distancing period for COVID-19 containment in Italy influenced perceptions about urban green areas. The importance of having outdoor green spaces was highlighted and an increase in interest about urban green areas was observed. Future planning strategies will have to consider the need of designing urban green areas for having more livable cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Horticulture and Nature-Based Solutions for Better Cities )
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Brief Report
Biological Control of the Raspberry Eriophyoid Mite Phyllocoptes gracilis Using Entomopathogenic Fungi
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030054 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
There is an urgent need to develop biological control methods against the eriophyoid mite, Phyllocoptes gracilis, which causes significant losses in organic raspberry production in Europe. The use of entomopathogenic fungi (EF) is a sustainable alternative to conventional chemical pesticides, reducing the [...] Read more.
There is an urgent need to develop biological control methods against the eriophyoid mite, Phyllocoptes gracilis, which causes significant losses in organic raspberry production in Europe. The use of entomopathogenic fungi (EF) is a sustainable alternative to conventional chemical pesticides, reducing the risks of pesticide resistance and other negative environmental impacts of agriculture. The objective of this study was to assess the pathogenicity of three strains of EF, two of Beauveria bassiana and one of Metarhizium anisopliae, on P. gracilis under laboratory conditions. Fungal spore suspensions (1 × 107 spores per mL) were sprayed on detached leaves infested with P. gracilis. Treated mites were kept under controlled conditions (25 ± 3 °C, 72 ± 10% relative humidity and photoperiod of 16:8 (light/dark)) and mite mortality was assessed three, five and seven days after inoculation. At all three measurement points (days after inoculation), the mortality of P. gracilis was highest for B. bassiana strain BB 1.1 and M. anisopliae strain MA 10.1. Our data demonstrate that EFs are promising candidates for the development of biological control agents against P. gracilis in raspberry crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbe-Assisted Production of Horticultural Crops)
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Article
Effects of Municipal Solid Waste Compost Supplemented with Inorganic Nitrogen on Physicochemical Soil Characteristics, Plant Growth, Nitrate Content, and Antioxidant Activity in Spinach
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030053 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1514
Abstract
In this study, we evaluated the effects of municipal solid waste compost supplemented with inorganic N on the physicochemical properties of soil, plant growth, nitrate concentration, and antioxidant activity in spinach. Experiments were carried out in neutral and acidic soils that were low [...] Read more.
In this study, we evaluated the effects of municipal solid waste compost supplemented with inorganic N on the physicochemical properties of soil, plant growth, nitrate concentration, and antioxidant activity in spinach. Experiments were carried out in neutral and acidic soils that were low in organic matter. A fertilized soil was used as a control, while four compost treatments—two compost rates of 35 and 70 t ha−1, supplemented or not with inorganic N (92 kg N ha−1 as Ca (NO3)2)—were applied by fertigation. The addition of compost increased the soil organic matter content and pH in both soils. The compost supplementation with N greatly increased the shoot dry weight and spinach fresh yield by nearly 109%. With the highest compost rate and 43% N applied, the yield increased in both soils, similar to results obtained in fertilized soil (3.8 kg m−2). The combined application of compost and N could replace inorganic P and K fertilization to a significant extent. The compost application at both rates and in both soils considerably decreased shoot Mn concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil, Water and Nitrates Management in Horticultural Production)
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Article
Astilbe and Coneflower Growth as Affected by Fertilizer Rate and Substrate Volumetric Water Content
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030052 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 599
Abstract
Improved irrigation and fertilization practices, such as reduced applications, are needed to improve the sustainability of container plant production. The objective of this study was to assess growth of Visions astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Visions’) and Mellow Yellow coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Mellow [...] Read more.
Improved irrigation and fertilization practices, such as reduced applications, are needed to improve the sustainability of container plant production. The objective of this study was to assess growth of Visions astilbe (Astilbe chinensis ‘Visions’) and Mellow Yellow coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Mellow Yellow’) grown at two controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) rates (100% or 50% of the medium bag rate) and two volumetric water contents (VWC; 40% and 18%). For coneflower, there were no significant treatment effects for height, growth index, shoot dry weight, or leaf size. There was a significant VWC effect on number of flowers with the 40% treatment having more flowers (5.6) per plant than the 18% treatment (2.7). Shoot dry weight, growth index, and leaf size of astilbe were greater for the 40% VWC treatment than the 18% VWC treatment with no fertilizer rate effect. Astilbe height and number of flowers was not significant. These results indicate that there is a species-specific effect of VWC on growth whereas reduced fertilizer applications are possible for both species without impacting growth. Although a substrate VWC of 18% is likely too low to produce salable plants, a VWC below 40% can potentially be used to support adequate growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Floriculture, Nursery and Landscape, and Turf)
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Review
Overview of the Dynamic Role of Specialty Cut Flowers in the International Cut Flower Market
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030051 - 14 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
The global cut flower industry has faced serious challenges over the years, but still remains an important sector of agriculture. Floriculture businesses seek new, innovative trends and niches to help increase product sales. Specialty cut flower (SCF) production has increased in the past [...] Read more.
The global cut flower industry has faced serious challenges over the years, but still remains an important sector of agriculture. Floriculture businesses seek new, innovative trends and niches to help increase product sales. Specialty cut flower (SCF) production has increased in the past 20 years in the US, Australia, Africa, and Europe. SCF production and sales could increase further if these new products were supported by dynamic marketing campaigns that focus on their strengths compared to the traditional cut flowers (TCF) such as roses, carnations, gerberas, and chrysanthemums. The major strength of SCF is the eco-friendly profile, which is associated to low CO2 footprints and environmental outputs. This contrasts TCF cultivation, which is associated to high energy inputs, especially at the traditional production centres (e.g., The Netherlands). It is suggested that environmental legislations, production costs, and customer demand for eco-friendly products will positively affect future SCF cultivation and sale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Ornamental Plant Production)
Review
Response Mechanism of Plants to Drought Stress
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030050 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2496
Abstract
With the global climate anomalies and the destruction of ecological balance, the water shortage has become a serious ecological problem facing all mankind, and drought has become a key factor restricting the development of agricultural production. Therefore, it is essential to study the [...] Read more.
With the global climate anomalies and the destruction of ecological balance, the water shortage has become a serious ecological problem facing all mankind, and drought has become a key factor restricting the development of agricultural production. Therefore, it is essential to study the drought tolerance of crops. Based on previous studies, we reviewed the effects of drought stress on plant morphology and physiology, including the changes of external morphology and internal structure of root, stem, and leaf, the effects of drought stress on osmotic regulation substances, drought-induced proteins, and active oxygen metabolism of plants. In this paper, the main drought stress signals and signal transduction pathways in plants are described, and the functional genes and regulatory genes related to drought stress are listed, respectively. We summarize the above aspects to provide valuable background knowledge and theoretical basis for future agriculture, forestry breeding, and cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Stress in Horticultural Plants)
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Article
Bacillus licheniformis PR2 Controls Fungal Diseases and Increases Production of Jujube Fruit under Field Conditions
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030049 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1032
Abstract
There is a growing interest in using biocontrol agents to control fungal diseases and increase the production of jujube fruit (Zizyphus jujua Miller var. inermis Rehder). The purpose of this study was to use Bacillus licheniformis PR2 to inhibit fungal diseases and [...] Read more.
There is a growing interest in using biocontrol agents to control fungal diseases and increase the production of jujube fruit (Zizyphus jujua Miller var. inermis Rehder). The purpose of this study was to use Bacillus licheniformis PR2 to inhibit fungal diseases and promote fruit production in jujube orchards. B. licheniformis PR2 secreted 92.4 unit/mL of chitinase, which inhibited fungal phytopathogens through hyphal alterations with swelling and bulbous structures. B. licheniformis PR2 also inhibited mycelial growths of fruit fungal pathogens Botrytis cinerea, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, and Phytophthora nicotianae by 81.3%, 60.1%, and 67.0%, respectively. B. licheniformis PR2 increased jujube fruit yield by 17.9 kg/tree by reducing rotting damage caused by fungal pathogens, with a yield 3.2 times higher than that achieved by the control without PR2 treatment. In addition, B. licheniformis PR2 produced auxin, which promoted cell division after flower fertilization, thus increasing fruit length and diameter by 1.2-fold compared to those of the control. These results confirmed that eco-friendly B. licheniformis PR2 could effectively control fungal diseases in jujube orchards and improve its fruit size and yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effect of Plant Pathogens on Horticultural Plants)
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Article
Opportunities of Reduced Nitrogen Supply for Productivity, Taste, Valuable Compounds and Storage Life of Cocktail Tomato
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030048 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
Vegetable production requires high nutrient input for ensuring high quality and high yield. As this is ecologically disadvantageous, it is necessary to determine if nitrogen (N) fertilization can be reduced without negative effects on productivity. For quality reasons, the effects of reduced N [...] Read more.
Vegetable production requires high nutrient input for ensuring high quality and high yield. As this is ecologically disadvantageous, it is necessary to determine if nitrogen (N) fertilization can be reduced without negative effects on productivity. For quality reasons, the effects of reduced N supply on taste, valuable compounds and storage life must be elucidated in parallel. This study examines whether reducing the N supply of cocktail tomatoes by 50% to recommendations affects the yield and quality of tomato fruits. Three varieties with different skin colors, yellow-orange (‘Apresa’), red (‘Delioso’) and brown (‘Bombonera’), were grown in soil in a greenhouse and harvested at the red-ripen stage. Quality parameters were assessed at harvest and after eight-day storage. Total yield decreased exclusively with ‘Bombonera’ due to reduced fruit weight. Firmness of the fruit pulp, concentrations of minerals, soluble solid contents, total acidity, total phenolics and liposoluble pigments of fruits were not influenced. However, storage affected chemical compositions positively, as shown by increased antioxidants. Descriptive sensory analyses revealed no impact of reduced N supply. From the perspective of the yield, quality and shelf life of fruits, reducing the N supply by 50% offers opportunities for the three cocktail tomato varieties in soil cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing the Product Quality of Vegetable Crops under Abiotic Stress)
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Article
Leaf Photosynthesis and Carbon Metabolism Adapt to Crop Load in ‘Gala’ Apple Trees
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030047 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 944
Abstract
It is widely accepted that a tight coordination between carbon (C) utilization in the sink and C assimilation and metabolism in the source exists in higher plants. However, much of our current understanding is based on research from herbaceous plants, where the source [...] Read more.
It is widely accepted that a tight coordination between carbon (C) utilization in the sink and C assimilation and metabolism in the source exists in higher plants. However, much of our current understanding is based on research from herbaceous plants, where the source and sink interaction is less sophisticated compared to woody perennials with a significant sink presence. Apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) is a good representative of the latter category, and its production and transport of sorbitol, in addition to sucrose, adds complexity to C regulation. In this study, four-year-old “Gala”/”M.26” apple trees were subjected to crop load levels at 2.5, 7.5, and 15 fruits/cm2 trunk cross-sectional area. Low crop load trees exhibited reduced leaf C assimilation and extra accumulation of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC). This was primarily a result of reduced activity of Rubisco and increased activities of key enzymes that synthesize starch, sucrose, and sorbitol. Among the NSC, leaf starch was found to be most sensitive to crop load and could function as a leading indicator for source–sink balance in apple. However, even the high crop load trees still retained a significant amount of NSC in leaves at dawn, demonstrating that apple is fundamentally different from herbaceous plants in the way it balances leaf carbon inventories at dawn with carbon export at night for sink growth. Full article
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Article
The Senescence-Associated Endonuclease, PhENDO1, Is Upregulated by Ethylene and Phosphorus Deficiency in Petunia
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030046 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
The upregulation of endonuclease activities and subsequent decreases in the nucleic acid content of leaves and petals are characteristics of senescence that allow for nutrient remobilization from dying organs. We previously identified a 43-kDa endonuclease activity (PhNUC1) that was upregulated in Petunia × [...] Read more.
The upregulation of endonuclease activities and subsequent decreases in the nucleic acid content of leaves and petals are characteristics of senescence that allow for nutrient remobilization from dying organs. We previously identified a 43-kDa endonuclease activity (PhNUC1) that was upregulated in Petunia × hybrida petals during senescence. PhNUC1 has optimal activity at neutral pH, is enhanced by Co2+, and degrades both DNA and RNA. The peptide sequence of a 43-kDa endonuclease identified from senescing petals by 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis was used to clone the gene (PhENDO1) encoding the senescence-associated protein. PhENDO1 expression was upregulated in petals during the senescence of unpollinated and pollinated flowers and by ethylene treatment. When petunias were grown under nutrient deficient conditions, P-starvation, and to a lesser extent N-starvation, induced expression of PhENDO1. The endogenous expression of PhENDO1 was down regulated using virus induced gene silencing (VIGS), and in-gel endonuclease assays confirmed that the activity of the 43-kDa PhNUC1 was decreased in senescing corollas from PhENDO1-silenced (pTRV2:PhCHS:PhENDO1) plants compared to controls (pTRV2:PhCHS). Down regulating PhENDO1 in petunias did not alter flower longevity. While PhENDO1 may be involved in nucleic acid catabolism during senescence, down regulating this gene using VIGS was not sufficient to delay flower senescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breeding, Genetics and Genomics of Ornamental Plants)
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Article
Assessment of Chilling Requirement and Threshold Temperature of a Low Chill Pear (Pyrus communis L.) Germplasm in the Mediterranean Area
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030045 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 878
Abstract
In temperate climates, bud break and shoot and flower emission of deciduous fruit tree species are regulated by precise chilling and heating requirements. To investigate this aspect, sixty-one accessions of European pear (Pyrus communis L.) collected in Sicily were phenotyped for three [...] Read more.
In temperate climates, bud break and shoot and flower emission of deciduous fruit tree species are regulated by precise chilling and heating requirements. To investigate this aspect, sixty-one accessions of European pear (Pyrus communis L.) collected in Sicily were phenotyped for three consecutive years for harvest date, bud sprouting and blooming to determine both the chilling requirements and the threshold temperature using the Chill Days model. The whole germplasm collection was grown in two different experimental fields located at 10 and 850 m above sea level representing two Mediterranean-type climates in which pear is commonly cultivated. Results revealed a mean threshold temperature of 6.70 and 8.10 °C for the two experimental fields, respectively, with a mean chilling requirement ranging from −103 and −120 days. Through this approach, novel insights were gained on the differences in chilling requirement for early flowering cultivars to overcome dormancy. Furthermore, to better dissect differences in chilling requirement between accessions, the sprouting bud rate of six cultivars was assessed on excised twigs stored at 4 ± 0.1 °C from 300 to 900 h followed by a period at 25 ± 0.1 °C varying from seven to twenty-eight days. Results of both experiments highlighted that Sicilian pear germplasm is characterized by a low chilling requirement compared to other pear germplasm, making Sicilian local accessions valuable candidates to be used for selecting novel cultivars, coupling their low chilling requirements with other traits of agronomical interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fruit Production Systems)
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Article
Storage Behavior of “Seddik” Mango Fruit Coated with CMC and Guar Gum-Based Silver Nanoparticles
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030044 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1029
Abstract
Mango fruit (cv. Seddik) is known as a delicate fruit for storage after harvest. Herein, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and guar gum-based silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were used as fruit coatings, and their effects on postharvest storage behavior and quality attributes were investigated. AgNPs were [...] Read more.
Mango fruit (cv. Seddik) is known as a delicate fruit for storage after harvest. Herein, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and guar gum-based silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were used as fruit coatings, and their effects on postharvest storage behavior and quality attributes were investigated. AgNPs were synthesized using a chemical reduction approach and then combined with CMC and guar gum as coating bases. Mango fruits were coated with the developed and pre-characterized CMC-AgNPs and guar gum-AgNPs, and then packed and stored at 13 °C for 4 weeks. The results showed an increase in weight loss, respiration rate, total soluble solids (TSS), total sugars, and total carotenoids over the storage period. However, this increase was comparatively less significant in coated fruits compared to uncoated fruits. Firmness and titratable acidity (TA) significantly decreased during storage, but this decrease was less in coated fruits. Silver traces in fruit pulp samples were not detected. These findings showed the efficacy of CMC-AgNP and guar gum-AgNP coatings in delaying mango fruit ripening and maintaining fruit quality during cold storage. Therefore, these coatings could be promising alternative materials for extending the postharvest life and marketing period of mango fruit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Postharvest Biology, Quality, Safety, and Technology)
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Review
Adaptive Management Lessons for Serianthes nelsonii Conservation
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030043 - 02 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 861
Abstract
The literature covering the biology, ecology, horticulture, and conservation of the critically endangered tree Serianthes nelsonii Merr. was reviewed. The roots, stems, and leaves of this charismatic legume tree revealed highly plastic traits and responded positively to horticultural manipulations to improve the quality [...] Read more.
The literature covering the biology, ecology, horticulture, and conservation of the critically endangered tree Serianthes nelsonii Merr. was reviewed. The roots, stems, and leaves of this charismatic legume tree revealed highly plastic traits and responded positively to horticultural manipulations to improve the quality of container-grown transplants. Pre-sowing seed treatments of seed coat scarification and 1 h of imbibition generated 85% to 90% germination at a temperature optimum of 26 °C. Adventitious root formation on air layers and successful unions on approach grafts were 100%. Seedling and sapling growth was maximum under 25% to 50% sunlight transmission, limited irrigation to ensure adequate root zone aeration, repetitive stem tip pruning to increase root:shoot quotient, and thigmic stress to retain an orthotropic orientation of stems. In situ regeneration on Guam was substantial but recruitment from seedling to sapling was nil. High quality leaf litter chemistry enabled rapid decomposition, and soils beneath the tree exhibited unique chemical traits that increased ecosystem health by creating spatial heterogeneity. The greatest unanswered questions focus on plant mortality. Research is needed to determine the reasons for the mortality of in situ seedlings, mortality within transplantation projects on Guam, and the mortality of 60% of the mature in situ tree population during the 26-year implementation of the national recovery plan. Horticultural researchers are ideally positioned to answer these urgent questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Horticulturae Ⅱ)
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Article
Seed Germination and Storage of the Endangered Species Manglietia crassipes Y. W. Law (Magnoliaceae)
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030042 - 28 Feb 2021
Viewed by 751
Abstract
Manglietia crassipes, a critically endangered species narrowly distributed on Mount Dayao in Guangxi, China, is also a species of ornamental interest whose variability has not been explored. Key factors leading to its endangerment have also not been studied. Here, two experiments were [...] Read more.
Manglietia crassipes, a critically endangered species narrowly distributed on Mount Dayao in Guangxi, China, is also a species of ornamental interest whose variability has not been explored. Key factors leading to its endangerment have also not been studied. Here, two experiments were conducted to test the effects of different plant growth regulators and different storage conditions on germination characteristics of M. crassipes seeds. Fruit morphology was measured, and germination characteristics of fresh mature seeds were tested in order to assess natural seed vigor. Seeds were soaked in distilled water (control), or gibberellic acid (GA3), 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA) or indoleacetic acid (IAA) solutions of different concentrations, for 48 h to determine their effects on seed germination. In addition, the effects of different seed storage conditions (constant 4 °C, −7 °C, −20 °C, or 25 °C for 100 days, wet stratification at 4 °C for 100 days) on seed germination were investigated. Results showed that the abortive rate of the mature fruits was high (28.9%) and fresh natural seeds had a low germination rate (G) and germination index (GI). Seed germination was inhibited with 6-BA at all concentrations, but only at less than 100 m·L1 IAA; otherwise, IAA slightly promoted seed germination. GA3 broke seed dormancy and significantly accelerated seed germination by improving G, GI and initial germination time (IGT), especially over 2500 mg·L1. The viability of seeds declined no matter how they were stored. However, 4 °C wet stratification storage was preferable for seed vigor and germination power. Our results suggest that the high abortive rate of fruits, low germination of the natural seed, seed dormancy and its intolerance to storage, contributed to the endangerment of M. crassipes. GA3 can break M. crassipes seed dormancy, which can be a benefit for future ornamental breeding and further protection or conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Propagation and Seeds)
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Article
Growth and Competitive Infection Behaviors of Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Bradyrhizobium elkanii at Different Temperatures
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030041 - 28 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1134
Abstract
Growth and competitive infection behaviors of two sets of Bradyrhizobium spp. strains were examined at different temperatures to explain strain-specific soybean nodulation under local climate conditions. Each set consisted of three strains—B. japonicum Hh 16-9 (Bj11-1), B. japonicum Hh 16-25 (Bj11-2), and [...] Read more.
Growth and competitive infection behaviors of two sets of Bradyrhizobium spp. strains were examined at different temperatures to explain strain-specific soybean nodulation under local climate conditions. Each set consisted of three strains—B. japonicum Hh 16-9 (Bj11-1), B. japonicum Hh 16-25 (Bj11-2), and B. elkanii Hk 16-7 (BeL7); and B. japonicum Kh 16-43 (Bj10J-2), B. japonicum Kh 16-64 (Bj10J-4), and B. elkanii Kh 16-7 (BeL7)—which were isolated from the soybean nodules cultivated in Fukagawa and Miyazaki soils, respectively. The growth of each strain was evaluated in Yeast Mannitol (YM) liquid medium at 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 °C with shaking at 125 rpm for one week while measuring their OD660 daily. In the competitive infection experiment, each set of the strains was inoculated in sterilized vermiculite followed by sowing surface-sterilized soybean seeds, and they were cultivated at 20/18 °C and 30/28 °C in a 16/8 h (day/night) cycle in a phytotron for three weeks, then nodule compositions were determined based on the partial 16S-23R rRNA internal transcribes spacer (ITS) gene sequence of DNA extracted from the nodules. The optimum growth temperatures were at 15–20 °C for all B. japonicum strains, while they were at 25–35 °C for all B. elkanii strains. In the competitive experiment with the Fukagawa strains, Bj11-1 and BeL7 dominated in the nodules at the low and high temperatures, respectively. In the Miyazaki strains, BjS10J-2 and BeL7 dominated at the low and high temperatures, respectively. It can be assumed that temperature of soil affects rhizobia growth in rhizospheres and could be a reason for the different competitive properties of B. japonicum and B. elkanii strains at different temperatures. In addition, competitive infection was suggested between the B. japonicum strains. Full article
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Article
Cherry Tomato Drying: Sun versus Convective Oven
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030040 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
Solar drying and convective oven drying of cherry tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) were compared. The changes in the chemical parameters of tomatoes and principal drying parameters were recorded during the drying process. Drying curves were fitted to several mathematical models, and the [...] Read more.
Solar drying and convective oven drying of cherry tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) were compared. The changes in the chemical parameters of tomatoes and principal drying parameters were recorded during the drying process. Drying curves were fitted to several mathematical models, and the effects of air temperature during drying were evaluated by multiple regression analyses, comparing to previously reported models. Models for drying conditions indicated a final water content of 30% (semidry products) and 15% (dry products) was achieved, comparing sun-drying and convective oven drying at three different temperatures. After 26–28 h of sun drying, the tomato tissue had reached a moisture content of 15%. However, less drying time, about 10–11 h, was needed when starting with an initial moisture content of 92%. The tomato tissue had high ORAC and polyphenol content values after convective oven drying at 60 °C. The dried tomato samples had a satisfactory taste, color and antioxidant values. Full article
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Article
Changes in the Metabolite Profile during Micropropagation of Normal and Somaclonal Variants of Banana Musa AAA cv. Williams
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030039 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1394
Abstract
Micropropagation techniques allow the mass production of banana plants but can cause somaclonal variations such as dwarfism. Changes in the metabolite profile during micropropagation of normal (NP) and dwarf (DP) banana plants have not been described. Both, NPs and DPs of banana Musa [...] Read more.
Micropropagation techniques allow the mass production of banana plants but can cause somaclonal variations such as dwarfism. Changes in the metabolite profile during micropropagation of normal (NP) and dwarf (DP) banana plants have not been described. Both, NPs and DPs of banana Musa AAA cv. Williams were micropropagated and the metabolite profile of vitroplants was assessed at the proliferation (PP), rooting (RP) and the second greenhouse-acclimatization (APII) phases of tissue culture. Metabolites from 10 DPs and 10 NPs meristems from each micropropagation phase were extracted and identified by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Principal component analysis (PCA) and test of statistical significance were applied to detect differentially accumulated metabolites. The PCA showed a clear grouping of DPs separated from NPs in RP and APII. Among the differentially accumulated metabolites, various precursors of apoplast components including arabinose and galactose or deoxygalactose in both PP and RP, as well as mannose and fucose in APII were under-accumulated in DPs. Results suggest affected apoplast composition during micropropagation of DPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Propagation and Seeds)
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Article
An Assessment of Treated Greywater Reuse in Irrigation on Growth and Protein Content of Prosopis and Albizia
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030038 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1056
Abstract
This study investigated the influence of treated greywater on growth and protein content of multipurpose (forage and ornamental) transplants, Prosopis juliflora L., Prosopis tamarugo L., and Albizia lebbeck L. Transplants of tested species were irrigated with treated greywater, diluted greywater (grey + distilled [...] Read more.
This study investigated the influence of treated greywater on growth and protein content of multipurpose (forage and ornamental) transplants, Prosopis juliflora L., Prosopis tamarugo L., and Albizia lebbeck L. Transplants of tested species were irrigated with treated greywater, diluted greywater (grey + distilled water, 1:1/by volume), and distilled water (control) for seven months. Water quality analysis showed that the concentrations of nutrients and heavy metals found in the greywater were within the acceptable range compared with Jordan Institution for Standard and Metrology (JISM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) thresholds for safe use of greywater. Escherichia coli found in the greywater were lower compared to JISM and WHO guidelines for the safe use of greywater. Irrigation with treated greywater increased shoot fresh weight by 24–39% and dry weight by 34–40% compared to diluted greywater and control. No significant difference in crude protein was noticed between water treatments. Prosopis species (P. juliflora Albizia lebbeck L. and P. tamarugo Albizia lebbeck L.) had higher shoot fresh (35%) and dry weight the same species had lower crude protein (44%) when compared to Albizia lebbeck Albizia lebbeck L. The reuse of treated greywater for landscaping or forage production alleviates the demand for water resources and reduces the pressure on wastewater treatment plants. However, considering the controversial findings of previous studies on greywater quality (especially, long-term reuse), the reuse of treated greywater needs to be considered with caution and periodic quality analyses and economic assessments are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Floriculture, Nursery and Landscape, and Turf)
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Reply
Reply to Comment on “The Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli in Aquaponic and Hydroponic Systems”
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030037 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 761
Abstract
Recently, the Aquaponic Association (AA) published a statement through multiple outlets in response to our article entitled “The Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli in Aquaponic and Hydroponic Systems” [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Knowledge of Hydroponic and Aquaponic Systems)
Comment
Food Safety and E. coli in Aquaponic and Hydroponic Systems
Horticulturae 2021, 7(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7030036 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 694
Abstract
The following document is The Aquaponic Association’s response to a recent publication on E. coli in Aquaponic and Hydroponic systems [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Knowledge of Hydroponic and Aquaponic Systems)
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