Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Horticultural and Floricultural Crops".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2024) | Viewed by 18241

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School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian 223003, China
Interests: vegetable biotechnology; abiotic stress response; vegetable quality regulation; hormones in horticultural plants
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College of Horticulture, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
Interests: horticultural crop germplasm enhancement; abiotic stress; organ formation; fruit development
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Horticultural plants play an irreplaceable role in satisfying human nutrition, pleasure and other aspects. There are some excellent traits in horticultural plants, including plant type structure, nutrient enrichment, color change, organ development, etc. In recent years, new progress has been made in the research on the phenotype variation of horticultural plants and the genotype changes behind it, which will effectively accelerate the rate of production of more nutritious, happier and more interesting horticultural products for human beings. In recent years, new technologies are increasingly being used to bridge the genotype-to-phenotype gap in crop selection.

This Special Issue focuses on recent progress in addressing phenotype variation and their underlying genotype basis in horticultural crops:

  • all types of omics, including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and phenomics;
  • Genetic engineering and genome editing;
  • Organ formation and development and their genetic basis;
  • Genetic analysis of tolerance or resistance;
  • Genome biology and evolution;
  • Genetic basis of quality and production;
  • Stable and transient transformation technology.

Dr. Guanglong Wang
Prof. Dr. Lijun Ou
Prof. Dr. Aisheng Xiong
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • horticultural crop
  • genetics
  • biotechnology
  • genotype
  • phenotype

Published Papers (11 papers)

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17 pages, 3080 KiB  
Article
Nitric Oxide Promoted the Seed Germination of Cynanchum auriculatum under Cadmium Stress
by Fang-Fang Liu, Xuan-Huan Qiao, Tao Yang, Peng Zhao, Zhi-Peng Zhu, Jun-Hao Zhao, Jia-Ming Luo, Ai-Sheng Xiong and Miao Sun
Agronomy 2024, 14(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14010086 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Cynanchum auriculatum, an early food-medicine homologous plant native to Asia, possesses significant nutritional and health benefits. However, the presence of cadmium (Cd) in the soil poses a hazard to the germination and growth of C. auriculatum. As nitric oxide (NO) plays [...] Read more.
Cynanchum auriculatum, an early food-medicine homologous plant native to Asia, possesses significant nutritional and health benefits. However, the presence of cadmium (Cd) in the soil poses a hazard to the germination and growth of C. auriculatum. As nitric oxide (NO) plays a vital role in plant resistance to heavy metal stress, we used three different concentrations of SNP treatment during the germination phase, aiming to alleviate the inhibitory effects of Cd stress on the seed germination of C. auriculatum. The results indicated that when compared to seeds treated with SNP concentrations of 0.2 mM and 0.8 mM, C. auriculatum seeds treated with 0.4 mM SNP exhibited an improved germination rate and germination index, as well as longer hypocotyl. Furthermore, in comparison to NOS-like, the SNP application stimulated the production of endogenous NO through NR catalysis. Additional investigations showed that the ABA level decreased while the GA level increased under normal conditions, while the SNP application enhanced the accumulation of both ABA and GA in C. auriculatum seeds under Cd stress. Histochemical staining and biochemical indicators demonstrated that SNP treatment enhanced the enzymatic activity of SOD, POD, and CAT, while inhibiting the production of hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion. Moreover, SNP treatment resulted in increased α-amylase activity, which facilitated starch hydrolysis and the generation of soluble sugar. Ultimately, the seed vitality of C. auriculatum under Cd stress was promoted. Our findings present a theoretical framework for the application of SNP in the seed germination mechanism of C. auriculatum and establish the groundwork for comprehending the physiological role of NO under Cd stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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21 pages, 10769 KiB  
Article
Exogenous GR24 Inhibits Strawberry Tillering by Affecting the Phytohormone Signaling and Sugar Metabolism Pathways
by Yuting Peng, Yuyan Jiang, Caixia He, Musha She, Mengyao Li, Qing Chen, Yong Zhang, Yuanxiu Lin, Yunting Zhang, Yan Wang, Wen He, Xiaorong Wang, Haoru Tang and Ya Luo
Agronomy 2023, 13(12), 3078; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13123078 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Tillering is an important part in strawberry growth, and strawberries can reproduce nutritionally through stolons to generate genetically stable offspring. However, excessive tillering during the fruit-growing stage can negatively impact fruit yield and quality. In this study, different concentrations of exogenous rac-GR24 (GR24) [...] Read more.
Tillering is an important part in strawberry growth, and strawberries can reproduce nutritionally through stolons to generate genetically stable offspring. However, excessive tillering during the fruit-growing stage can negatively impact fruit yield and quality. In this study, different concentrations of exogenous rac-GR24 (GR24) are used to treat the strawberry plants. It was found that GR24 effectively inhibited the sprouting of strawberry stolons, while promoting the growth of the stems and leaves. Among the treatments, the most effective concentration was found to be 5 μmol/L GR24. This treatment resulted in a decrease in the glucose content in the strawberry crowns and also caused changes in the contents of two endogenous phytohormones, gibberellic acid (GA3) and trans-zeatin riboside (tZR). Transcriptome data further suggested that exogenous GR24 may inhibit strawberry plant tillering by affecting various phytohormone signaling pathways and the sugar metabolism pathway. In 5 μmol/L GR24-treated plants, the expression level of type-B response regulator (B-ARR) was down-regulated and the expression level of CYTOKININ RESPONSE 1 (CRE1), histidine-containing phosphotransfer protein (AHP), and type-A response regulator (A-ARR) were up-regulated, suggesting the inhibition of the cytokinin (CTK) signaling pathway. The down-regulation of auxin (AUX) and auxin response factor (ARF), as well as the up-regulation of auxin/indole-3-acetic acid (AUX/IAA), led to the inhibition of the indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) signaling pathway. Additionally, the up-regulation of pyrabactin resistance 1/ pyrabactin resistance 1-like (PYR/PYL), non-fermenting 1-related protein kinase 2 (SnRK2), and ABRE binding factors (ABF) and the down-regulation of protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) were observed in the up-regulated abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathways. In the sugar metabolism pathway, the up-regulation of invertase (INV), hexokinase (HK), and fructokinase (FRK) and the down-regulation of trehalase (TREH) and beta-amylase (BMY) led to a decreased glucose synthesis and an increased glucose consumption. Therefore, GR24 can effectively inhibit strawberry plant tillering through these pathways, making it an effective reagent for tillering inhibition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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15 pages, 2964 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic Analysis of Cucumis hystrix and the Functional Identification of ChTrxh under NaCl Stress
by Zhaolai Guo, Senlin Zeng, Kunzhi Li and Huini Xu
Agronomy 2023, 13(12), 2931; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13122931 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 814
Abstract
Salinity is a prominent environmental stressor that significantly impacts plant growth and development. Here, we conducted research on the physiological and transcriptomic mechanism of a wild cucumber, Cucumis hystrix Chakr, under NaCl stress. Physiological data showed that contents of malondialdehyde, peroxide (H2 [...] Read more.
Salinity is a prominent environmental stressor that significantly impacts plant growth and development. Here, we conducted research on the physiological and transcriptomic mechanism of a wild cucumber, Cucumis hystrix Chakr, under NaCl stress. Physiological data showed that contents of malondialdehyde, peroxide (H2O2), proline, soluble sugar, and activities of antioxidant enzymes of superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase, and glutathione reductase in wild cucumber plants were increased significantly after NaCl treatment. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that 3509 transcripts were differentially expressed in leaves and 5516 transcripts in roots after NaCl treatment. Numerous genes were related to the signal transduction, transcription factor, ion transport, osmotic metabolism, and reactive oxygen species scavenging. Moreover, the thioredoxin H type gene of Cucumis hystrix Chakr (ChTrxh) was isolated and characterized. Our study demonstrated that the transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing ChTrxh exhibited enhanced tolerance to NaCl stress compared to wild-type plants. These findings contribute valuable insights into the functional characteristics of important genes in wild cucumber under NaCl stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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16 pages, 4750 KiB  
Article
Insights into the Coloring Mechanism of Dark-Red and Yellow Fruits in Sweet Cherry through Transcriptome and Metabolome Analysis
by Chaoqun Chen, Yao Zhang, Wanjia Tang, Hongxu Chen and Ronggao Gong
Agronomy 2023, 13(9), 2397; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13092397 - 17 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
The color of sweet cherry fruits is an important indicator of their appearance and quality. That influences the purchasing desires of consumers. We performed a multi-omics analysis of two different colors of sweet cherry fruits (yellow “Bing Hu” and dark-red “Hong Deng” fruits). [...] Read more.
The color of sweet cherry fruits is an important indicator of their appearance and quality. That influences the purchasing desires of consumers. We performed a multi-omics analysis of two different colors of sweet cherry fruits (yellow “Bing Hu” and dark-red “Hong Deng” fruits). A total of 12 flavonoid differential metabolites, including hesperetin, rutin, and quercetin, and 18 differential structural genes, including PAL, CHS, FLS, and DFR, were identified. Possible key regulatory genes for the second stage of color change (from green to yellow) of “Bing Hu” sweet cherry fruits were identified as SBP, bHLH, WD40, and bZIP, which regulated the accumulation of flavonoids, including hesperetin and naringenin. In addition, the possible important roles of transcription factors, which were mainly MYB, bHLH, AP2, and WRKY, in the third stage of color change in both fruits were also identified. This study offers new insights into the changes in fruit coloration between yellow and dark-red sweet cherries, while the analysis of key metabolites and differential genes lays a molecular foundation for future color improvement and breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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14 pages, 3171 KiB  
Article
Ethylene Signaling Pathway Genes in Strawberry and Their Expression Patterns during Fruit Ripening
by Yunting Zhang, Meiyi Deng, Xianjie Gu, Chenhui Guo, Yan Chen, Yuanxiu Lin, Qing Chen, Yan Wang, Yong Zhang, Ya Luo, Xiaorong Wang and Haoru Tang
Agronomy 2023, 13(7), 1930; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13071930 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1352
Abstract
Ethylene at least partly regulates some aspects during non-climacteric ripening in strawberry. However, the ethylene signaling pathway genes in the strawberry fruit have not been comprehensively and systematically analyzed. In the present study, 15 FaETRs and 14 FaEIN3/EINs were identified in the octoploid [...] Read more.
Ethylene at least partly regulates some aspects during non-climacteric ripening in strawberry. However, the ethylene signaling pathway genes in the strawberry fruit have not been comprehensively and systematically analyzed. In the present study, 15 FaETRs and 14 FaEIN3/EINs were identified in the octoploid strawberry genome. Subcellular localization analysis predicted that FaETRs and FaEIN3/EINs are respectively localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and the nucleus. The phylogenetic trees showed that FaETRs were classified into two subgroups, while FaEIN3/EINs were divided into three clades, which was supported by gene structure and conserved motif analysis. FaETRs and FaEIN3/EINs could interact with several components, such as CTR1, RTE1, EIN2 and ERF1B, in the ethylene signaling pathway by protein–protein interaction network analysis. Transcriptomic data showed that FaETRs were mainly expressed at the early stage of fruit development in three strawberry cultivars. Additionally, a couple of FaETRs (FaETR2 and FaETR13) and FaEINs (FaEIN2 and FaEIN7) could be induced by 1 μM ABA and inhibited by 100 μM nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA, an ABA biosynthesis blocker). These findings suggested that the FaETR- and FaEIN3/EIN-mediated ethylene signaling pathway might play a role in strawberry fruit ripening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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15 pages, 3166 KiB  
Article
S-nitrosylation of SlAPX Is Involved in Alleviating Oxidative Damage in Transgenic Tobacco under Nitrate Stress
by Chuntao Lv, Yuanlin Liang, Manqi Wang, Kunzhi Li, Xudong Sun and Huini Xu
Agronomy 2023, 13(5), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13051322 - 9 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
Nitric oxide (NO) modulates plant response by post-translationally modifying proteins, mainly through S-nitrosylation. Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) in the ascorbate-glutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle participates in the removal of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). However, the relationship between S-nitrosylation and the role of tomato [...] Read more.
Nitric oxide (NO) modulates plant response by post-translationally modifying proteins, mainly through S-nitrosylation. Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) in the ascorbate-glutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle participates in the removal of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). However, the relationship between S-nitrosylation and the role of tomato APX (SlAPX) under nitrate stress is still unclear. In this study, the enzyme activity, mRNA expression, and S-nitrosylation level of SlAPX were significantly increased in tomato roots after nitrate treatment. SlAPX protein could be S-nitrosylated by S-nitrosoglutathione in vitro, and APX activity was significantly increased after S-nitrosylation. The SlAPX overexpressed tobacco plants grew better than the wild type (WT) plants under nitrate stress. Meanwhile, the transgenic plants showed lower reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde content, higher APX, monodehydroascorbate reductase, glutathione reductase activities, ascorbic acid/dehydroascorbic acid, and reduced glutathione/oxidized glutathione ratio, proline, and soluble sugar contents than those in the WT plants under nitrate treatment. Moreover, overexpressed transgenic seeds showed higher tolerance to methyl viologen induced oxidative stress compared with the WT. The NO accumulation and S-nitrosylation APX level were higher in transgenic plants than in WT plants after nitrate stress treatment. Our results provide novel insights into the mechanism of SlAPX modulation excess nitrate stress tolerance involving the S-nitrosylation modification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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10 pages, 1671 KiB  
Article
The γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Synthesis Gene Regulates the Resistance to Water Core-Induced Hypoxia Stress for Pear Fruits
by Xiao Liu, Hao Ma, Jing Liu, Donghe Liu and Chunlei Wang
Agronomy 2023, 13(4), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13041062 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1426
Abstract
Watercore is a physiological disorder which often occurs in Rosaceae fruits, and it causes hypoxia stress, promoting fruit decay. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) was reported as being involved in different abiotic stresses, and glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) is the key enzyme of GABA synthesis in [...] Read more.
Watercore is a physiological disorder which often occurs in Rosaceae fruits, and it causes hypoxia stress, promoting fruit decay. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) was reported as being involved in different abiotic stresses, and glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) is the key enzyme of GABA synthesis in plants. Our previous transcriptome analysis found that PpGAD2 was significantly induced in watercore fruit; however, the mechanism through which PpGAD2 regulates watercore-induced hypoxia stress resistance in pears is unclear. The present study found that the fruit pulp ethanol, malondialdehyde (MDA) and H2O2 content was significantly inhibited by exogenous GABA. The transcript abundance of PpGAD2 was significantly higher than that of other PpGADs in watercore fruit or healthy fruit. Tissue expression showed that the content of PpGAD2 in mature fruit was higher than in young fruit. Moreover, subcellular localization showed that PpGAD2 was located in the cytoplasm. Transient overexpression assays suggested that PpGAD2 had a role in GABA synthesis. Several CML (calmodulin–like) genes were also significantly increased in watercore fruit. Moreover, PpWRKY53 was significantly induced in watercore fruit, and the GUS activity assay showed that PpWRKY53 can significantly increase the activity of the PpGAD2 promoter. Taken together, these results demonstrate that PpGAD2 played an important role in GABA synthesis to increase plants’ resistance to hypoxia stress, and its activity may be affected by PpWRKY53 and several watercore-induced CML genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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18 pages, 1709 KiB  
Article
Combined Morphological and Palynological Classification for Hibiscus syriacus L. (Malvaceae): Construction of the Diagnostic Classification Framework and Implications of Pollen Morphological Variation on Fruiting
by Fen Xiao, Xiaohong Wang, Yun Jiang, Chulin Chen, Jiajia Chen, Jingwen Zhang and Yafeng Wen
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030828 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2894
Abstract
Identifying useful taxonomic indicators for classifying Hibiscus syriacus L. (Malvaceae) cultivars can help address challenges in their homonymy and synonymy. Moreover, analyzing which pollen traits possibly lead to their successful fruiting can serve to guide the hybridization and breeding of H. syriacus. [...] Read more.
Identifying useful taxonomic indicators for classifying Hibiscus syriacus L. (Malvaceae) cultivars can help address challenges in their homonymy and synonymy. Moreover, analyzing which pollen traits possibly lead to their successful fruiting can serve to guide the hybridization and breeding of H. syriacus. For the first time, this study classified 24 cultivars of H. syriacus based on 24 morphological and palynological indicators assessed for flowers, leaves, and pollen grains. These indicators were a mixture of quantitative and qualitative traits, measured to contribute to the identification and classification of H. syriacus cultivars. The results showed that the 24 H. syriacus cultivars could be classified into 2–6 clusters according to different taxonomic criteria. The leading diagnostic indicators were eight quantitative and eight qualitative traits, of which two new quantitative traits—the width of the spine base (SW) and average of the pollen grain radius and spine length (D-spine)—and five new qualitative traits—the amount of pollen surface spines (O-SA), whether the petals have the red center (B-RC), whether the pollen surface ruffles strongly (B-RS), the degree of pollen surface ruffling (O-DR), and relationship between calyx and bract (O-CB)—could be used as defining traits for H. syriacus cultivars owing to their robust contribution to the classification. The correlations between indicators for flowers, leaves, and pollen grains were explored, which revealed that the O-SA in H. syriacus was strongly tied to quantitative pollen traits. Furthermore, three qualitative morphological traits—whether the stamens are heterogeneous in terms of inner petals (B-IP), O-CB, and whether the leaf lobing is strong (B-LL)—were correlated with partial quantitative pollen traits. We also found that those H. syriacus cultivars with micro-spines or granulate on the pollen grain surface have higher fruiting rates; additionally, pollen diameter, spine length, and spine spacing might also be potential factors influencing successful breeding. The insights gained from this study could fill a key knowledge gap concerning the taxonomic criteria suitable for distinguishing H. syriacus cultivars. Our findings also provide timely information on how to understand the pollination process, especially those aspects leading to pollinator selection via pollen grain features, which could influence breeding programs and outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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15 pages, 4148 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Analysis and Expression of MYC Family Genes in Tomato and the Functional Identification of slmyc1 in Response to Salt and Drought Stress
by Yang Feng, Senlin Zeng, Jinping Yan, Kunzhi Li and Huini Xu
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 757; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030757 - 5 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2025
Abstract
Myelocytomatosis (MYC) transcription factors are crucial mediators of the jasmonate signaling pathway, which mediates the growth and developmental processes of plants. However, the function of MYC genes in tomato, Solanum lycopersicum (SlMYC), remains poorly understood. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Myelocytomatosis (MYC) transcription factors are crucial mediators of the jasmonate signaling pathway, which mediates the growth and developmental processes of plants. However, the function of MYC genes in tomato, Solanum lycopersicum (SlMYC), remains poorly understood. In this study, we have identified 14 non-redundant SlMYC genes across the genome of tomatoes. Six of the twelve chromosomes included these genes, and four syntenic pairs of SlMYC were identified. According to the results of phylogenetic analysis, 14 SlMYC genes were clustered into classes I, II, III, and IV, and their functional domains were predicted. The SlMYC upstream promoter region contained a variety of light-, stress-, and hormone-response regulatory elements. The expression of the 14 SlMYC genes differed significantly across organs. SlMYCs primarily showed an upregulation trend after methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatment. In contrast, after treatment with sodium chloride (NaCl), SlMYCs showed a trend of downregulation. However, there were differences in the expression patterns of SlMYCs after mannitol treatment. Using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas 9 (CRISPR/Cas 9) technology, the loss-of-function of SlMYC1 (slmyc1) was obtained. The slmyc1 tomato plants demonstrated reduced resistance to NaCl and mannitol stress compared to wild-type plants due to their shorter root length and higher reactive oxygen species (ROS) content. In brief, this study provides valuable information about the taxonomy of the SlMYC genes in tomato. It establishes a foundation for future research on the mechanism by which SlMYC influences plant development and stress response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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17 pages, 368 KiB  
Perspective
More or Less: Recent Advances in Lignin Accumulation and Regulation in Horticultural Crops
by Guang-Long Wang, Jia-Qi Wu, Yang-Yang Chen, Yu-Jie Xu, Cheng-Ling Zhou, Zhen-Zhu Hu, Xu-Qin Ren and Ai-Sheng Xiong
Agronomy 2023, 13(11), 2819; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13112819 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1112
Abstract
Lignin is an important secondary metabolite that maintains the mechanical strength of horticultural plants and enhances their ability to respond to external environmental changes such as biotic and abiotic stresses. However, excessive accumulation of lignin can lead to lignification of horticultural products, reducing [...] Read more.
Lignin is an important secondary metabolite that maintains the mechanical strength of horticultural plants and enhances their ability to respond to external environmental changes such as biotic and abiotic stresses. However, excessive accumulation of lignin can lead to lignification of horticultural products, reducing their taste quality and nutritional value. Therefore, the lignin content of horticultural products needs to be controlled at a reasonable level, and studying and regulating lignin metabolism is very meaningful work. This article focuses on the synthesis, accumulation, and regulation of lignin in horticultural crops in recent years, provides a systematic analysis of its molecular mechanism and application prospects, and sheds insights into the directions that need further research in the future. This article provides an important basis for the regulation of lignin accumulation and lignification in horticultural crops and proposes new ideas for improving the quality of horticultural crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
15 pages, 990 KiB  
Perspective
Recent Progress in Genetic Transformation and Gene Editing Technology in Cucurbit Crops
by Jing Feng, Naonao Wang, Yang Li, Huihui Wang, Wenna Zhang, Huasen Wang and Sen Chai
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030755 - 5 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3793
Abstract
Cucurbits (Cucurbitaceae) include major horticultural crops with high nutritional and economic value that also serve as model plants for studying plant development and crop improvement. Conventional breeding methods have made important contributions to the production of cucurbit crops but have led to a [...] Read more.
Cucurbits (Cucurbitaceae) include major horticultural crops with high nutritional and economic value that also serve as model plants for studying plant development and crop improvement. Conventional breeding methods have made important contributions to the production of cucurbit crops but have led to a breeding bottleneck because of the narrow genetic bases and low variation rates of these crops. With the development of molecular techniques, innovations in germplasm development through transgenesis and gene editing have led to breakthroughs in horticultural crop breeding. Although the development of genetic transformation and gene editing techniques for cucurbit crops has lagged behind that for other major crops, great progress has been made in recent years. Here, we summarize recent advances in improving the genetic transformation efficiency of cucurbit crops, including the screening of germplasm and the application of physical treatments, morphogenic genes, and selection markers. In addition, we review the application of gene editing technology to cucurbit crops, including CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated nuclease 9)-mediated gene knockout and base editing. This work provides a reference for improving genetic transformation efficiency and gene editing technology for cucurbit crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Horticultural Crops - from Genotype to Phenotype)
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