Frontiers of Agriculture in China

ISSN 1673-7334

ISSN 1673-744X(Online)

CN 11-5729/S

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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Expression pattern of wheat miRNAs under salinity stress and prediction of salt-inducible miRNAs targets
Wenjing LU, Jincai LI, Fangpeng LIU, Juntao GU, Chengjin GUO, Liu XU, Huiyan ZHANG, Kai XIAO
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 413-422.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1133-z

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding small RNAs that regulate gene expression by translational repression or transcript degradation. Thus far, a large number of miRNAs have been identified from model plant species and the quantity of miRNAs has been functionally characterized in diverse plants. However, the molecular characterizations of the conserved miRNAs are still largely elusive in wheat. In this study, 32 wheat miRNAs (TaMIRs) currently released in the Sanger miRBase (the microRNA database) were selected to evaluate the expression patterns under conditions of non-stress (CK) and salt stress treatment. Based on the analysis of semiquantitative RT-PCR and quantitative real qRT-PCR, TaMIR159a, TaMIR160, TaMIR167, TaMIR174, TaMIR399, TaMIR408, TaMIR11124 and TaMIR1133 were found to have responses to salinity stress, with an upregulated pattern under salt stress treatment. Based on a BLAST search against the NCBI GenBank database, the potential targets of the salt-inducible wheat miRNAs were predicted. Except for TaMIR399 not being identified to have the putative target genes, other salt-inducible TaMIRs were found to possess 2 to 7 putative target genes. Together, our results suggest that a subset of miRNAs are involved in the mediation of salt stress signaling responses in wheat via their roles on the regulation of acted target genes at post-transcriptional and translation levels.

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Identification of a novel enhancin-like gene from Bacillus thuringiensis
Dan ZHAO, Wei GUO, Weiming SUN, Daqing XU, Daqun LIU
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 423-429.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1117-z

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An enhancin-like gene was cloned from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) strain GS8 isolated from soil samples in china. The sequence analysis revealed that an open reading frame (ORF) of 2202 nucleotides encoding a protein containing 733 amino acids with a molecular mass of 84 kDa. The enhancin-like protein showed 100% identity to Bel protein (FJ644935) and 23%–41% identity to viral enhancin proteins; in the 252 to 261 amino-acid sequence of enhancin-like protein, a conserved metal binding motif (HEIAH) similar to that in the reported bacterial enhancin-like proteins was found (HEXXH in viral enhancin protein), which indicated that the enhancin-like protein belongs to metalloprotease. The purified enhancin-like protein was fed together with Cry9Ea to Spodopera exigua and Trichoplusia ni larvae, but no significant increase in toxicity was observed.

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Identification and molecular tagging of two Arabidopsis resistance genes to Botrytis cinerea
Jihong XING, Qiaoyun WENG, Helong SI, Jianmin HAN, Jingao DONG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 430-436.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1107-1

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To map Arabidopsis resistance genes to Botrytis cinerea, Arabidopsis Col-0 ecotype resistant to B. cinerea BC18 isolate and Arabidopsis Ler ecotype susceptible to B. cinerea BC18 isolate were crossed. According to the resistant responses of the F1, BC1 and F2 populations to B. cinerea, we identified two genes, named BC1 and BC2, responsible for the resistance of Arabidopsis Ler ecotype to B. cinerea. Through the method of map-based cloning, BC1 was linked to DNA markers CCR1 and DHS1 on the fourth chromosome of Arabidopsis with genetic distances of 1.2 cM and 1.6 cM for CCR1 and DHS1, respectively, and BC2 was linked to DNA markers CA72/NGA151 and NGA106 on the fifth chromosome with genetic distances of 1.4 cM and 2.4 cM for CA72/NGA151 and NGA106, respectively. Our results are beneficial for chromosome walking so that we can obtain the whole gene sequences, which will facilitate the understanding of their roles and manners of resistance to B. cinerea.

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Cloning and prokaryotic expression of TaE3 from wheat and preparation of antiserum
Yunwei ZHANG, Xiang GAO, Shengfang HAN, Dongmei WANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 437-442.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1146-7

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The E3 ubiquitin ligase is a multi-functional protein that performs vital roles, particularly in various stress environment. To further understand the biological significance of E3 ubiquitin ligase gene from wheat (TaE3), total RNA was isolated from wheat leaves and then TaE3 gene was amplified by PCR after reverse transcription. The PCR product was cloned into PMD19-T vector to sequence subsequently. And then the recombinant expression vector (pET30a-GST-TaE3-His) was constructed and transformed into E. coli strain BL21 (DE3). SDS-PAGE analysis showed that the recombinant E. coli could express a proximate 43 kDa protein. TaE3 fusion protein was purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography from recombinant bacterial lysate and was used to immunize rabbit to produce polyclonal antibody. The titer and specificity of the anti-TaE3 antibody were successfully detected by indirect ELISA and western blot analysis.

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Exploring influential plant traits for enhancing upland cotton yield under salt stress
Ghulam ABBAS, Tariq MANZOOR KHAN, Jehanzeb FAROOQ, Abid MAHMOOD, Rana Nadeem ABBAS, Wajad NAZEER, Amjad FAROOQ, Zuhair HASNAIN, Muhammad Naeem AKHTAR
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 443-449.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1125-z

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This research was conducted to explore genetic material that can yield better under salt stress conditions. The experiment was laid out using 27 upland cotton genotypes in a RCBD 2 factorial arrangement with two replications. Saline water (NaCl at 20 dS/m) was applied after satisfactory emergence was achieved. The crop was raised to maturity and data relating to yield, fiber quality and ionic traits were recorded. Analysis of variance showed significant variations in the germplasm. Plant height, bolls per plant, boll weight, GOT%, staple length, staple strength, K+ and K+/Na+ ratio under salinity stress showed a highly significant correlation with seed-cotton yield. The highest direct effect on seed-cotton yield per plant was exhibited by bolls per plant and boll weight. The results from the correlation and path coefficient analyses revealed that although the K+/Na+ ratio had a strong positively significant association with seed-cotton yield, its direct effect on the seed-cotton yield was negative and thus selection on the basis of K+/Na+ may not be fruitful. Hence, only indirect selection through bolls per plant and boll weight may be effective in increasing the seed-cotton yield per plant under salinity stress.

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Construction of yeast two-hybrid cDNA libraries for wheat near-isogenic line TcLr19 under the stress of Puccinia recondita and its preliminary appreciation
Lifeng ZHANG, Hui ZHOU, Fengju WEI, Ziyi CHENG, Aihua YAN, Dongmei WANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 450-455.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1123-1

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Two cDNA libraries for wheat near-isogenic line TcLr19 under Puccinia recondita stress were constructed by using SMART technique and homologous reorganization method. Wheat near-isogenic line TcLr19 was infected with leaf rust race 366, and total RNA was extracted from the leaves after infection for 4, 8, and 12 h. The total RNAs were reverse transcribed to cDNA by using oligo(dT) primer and random primer, respectively. According to the evaluation on quality, the transformation efficiency was about 1.32 × 106 and 1.0 × 106 transformants/3 μg pGADT7-Rec, respectively, and the library titers were up to 2.62 × 108 and 3.51 × 108 pfu/mL, with 93% and 100% recombinant rate, which indicated the high quality of the two libraries for next screening.

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The candidate QTLs affecting phosphorus absorption efficiency and root weight in maize (Zea mays L.)
Junyi CHEN, Li XU
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 456-462.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1079-1

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A maize F2 population was first used to construct a genetic linkage map of Chromosome 6 covering 117.6 cM with an average interval of 3.68 cM between adjacent markers. Based on composite interval mapping (CIM), the quantitative trait loci (QTL) for phosphorus absorption efficiency (PAE) and root-related traits was detected in four environments, i.e., Kaixian County under deficient phosphorus (KXDP), Kaixian County under normal phosphorus (KXNP), SUDP1, and SUDP2. QTLs affecting root weight (RW) were detected simultaneously at the dupssr15 locus region (bin 6.06) on Chromosome 6 in the four environments, while QTL affecting taproot length and fiber number was only detected in one or two environments. The result suggested that taproot length and fiber number were more easily affected by the environment than PAE and RW. The alleles originating from 082 increased PAE and RW on Chromosome 6. The QTL on bin 6.06 explained 4%–10% and 4%–8% of the total phenotypic variance of PAE and RW, respectively, and the estimates of the genetic effects presented dominance and overdominance. The QTL for RW in the dupssr15 locus is the minor QTLs environment interactive effects, which should be particularly useful in MAS manipulation of breeding maize.

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REVIEW
Molecular characterization and roles of AP2 transcription factors on drought tolerance in plants
Jincai LI, Yongsheng ZHANG, Juntao GU, Chengjin GUO, Shumin WEN, Guiru LIU, Kai XIAO
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 463-472.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1148-5

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The APETALA2 (AP2) domain defines a large family of DNA binding proteins. It has been demonstrated that the AP2 proteins have important functions in the transcriptional regulation of a variety of biologic processes related to growth and development in various responses to drought and other abiotic stresses. In this essay, recent researches on the AP2 transcription factors, such as the molecular characterization, expression patterns in responses to drought and other abiotic stresses, the roles of ABA on drought responding which were mediated by AP2 transcription factors, transcription regulation mechanisms, and the roles of overexpression of AP2 transcription factor on plant drought tolerance, etc. have been overviewed. Deepening the understanding of signaling and the corresponding transduction pathways that are initiated via drought stress stimuli will play crucial roles for providing the theoretical basis for variety breeding with promising drought tolerance in the future.

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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Cloning and prokaryotic expression of translationally controlled tumor protein (TaTCTP) gene from wheat and preparation of antiserum
Lifeng ZHANG, Aihua YAN, Dong TIAN, Shengfang HAN, Dongmei WANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 473-478.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1144-9

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The translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is a multi-functioning protein that performs vital roles, particularly in various complicated life processes. To further understand the biological function of translationally controlled tumor protein (TaTCTP) gene from wheat, total RNA was isolated from wheat leaves and then TaTCTP gene was amplified by PCR after reverse transcription by using the anchored primers oligo(dT)18. And then TaTCTP gene was connected into PMD19-T vector for sequence. The recombinant expression vector (pET30a-GST-TaTCTP-His) was constructed and transformed into E. coli strain Rosetta (DE3) subsequently, then a proximate 20 kDa protein in Rosetta (DE3) was expressed and characterized by SDS-PAGE. Moreover, TaTCTP fusion protein was purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography from recombinant bacterial lysate and was used to immunize rabbit to produce polyclonal antibody. The titer and specificity of the anti-TaTCTP antibody were successfully detected by indirect ELISA and Western blot analysis.

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Screening of conidium development mutant of Botrytis cinerea and functional analysis of the related gene
Zhongbo XIA, Jihong XING, Xuan WANG, Bin ZHAO, Jianmin HAN, Jingao DONG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 479-485.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1114-2

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A novel conidium development mutant was obtained by screening the transformants of Botrytis cinerea produced by Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated method, which lost the ability of producing conidia. The flanking sequence of T-DNA insertion site was acquired by TAIL-PCR technology, and then, the T-DNA insertion in the second exon of BC1G_02800.1 confirmed by BLAST between the flanking sequence and the known sequence in the B. cinerea gene database. The mutant gene was identified as BC1G_02799.1 located in the upstream of BC1G_02800.1 gene by RT-PCR. The DNA full-length sequence of BC1G_02799.1 was 1951 bp and contained 1848 bp coding region, which encoded a 615 amino acids putative protein similar to ABC-transporter, and the function of BC1G_02799.1 gene was unknown to date. Phenotype analysis of the mutant found that the mutant strain colony was white, grew slowly, and did not produce conidium and sclerotia on PDA medium but showed a stronger pathogenicity to tomato leaves and successfully increased the enzyme activity related to pathogenicity compared to the wild type strain. The results suggested that the BC1G_02799.1 gene was involved in the conidium development, the sclerotia formation, and pathogenicity in B. cinerea. Our research will facilitate in understanding the molecular mechanism of conidium development, sclerotia formation, and pathogenic in B. cinerea.

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Genetic model analysis on seedling and maturity traits in wheat under rainfed conditions
Shahid Iqbal AWAN, Muhammad Shahzad AHMED, Jehanzeb FAROOQ, Syed Dilnawaz AHMAD, Muhammad ILYAS, Asad Hussain SHAH, Muhammad Fareed KHAN, Sardar ALI, Lutful HASAN
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 486-496.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1113-3

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An experiment was conducted to access the genetic variability among early vigour and quantitative traits under limited moisture in F2 generation of a 5 × 5 diallel cross of bread wheat. The results indicated that there was significant genotypic variation among the genotypes. Additive dominance model revealed full fitness of the data for RL, DSW, FRW, DRW, spike length, and 1000-grain weight but was partially fit for SL, FSW, R/S, tillers per seedling, plant height, tillers per plant, spikelets per spike, and grain yield per plant. The partially adequate models for these plant characters might be due to the presence of non-allelic interaction, linkage, and non-independent distribution of the genes in the parents. Additive genes coupled with moderate to high narrow sense heritability were involved in the heritage of all the traits, which indicated a higher scope of selection in early generations.

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Occurrence of major mycotoxins in maize from Hebei Province, China
Yizhi FENG, Bu TAO, Minhao PANG, Yingchao LIU, Jingao DONG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 497-503.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1115-1

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To investigate the frequency of occurrence and the concentrations of aflatoxins (AFs), deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN) and fumonisins (FBs) in naturally infected maize, 25 samples of maize collected from fields in Hebei Province, China, were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The maize samples were found to be frequently contaminated with DON (68%), ZEN (60%) and FBs (32%) in the range of from 28 to 2533 μg/kg, 60 to 1239 μg/kg and 150 to 4480 μg/kg, respectively. The average concentration found for DON, ZEN and FB1+ FB2 were 605, 238 and 418 μg/kg, respectively. The average concentration of DON (605 μg/kg) in our samples was below the maximum tolerable limit of 1000 μg/kg set as the Chinese standard for maize, while ZEN (238 μg/kg) was almost four times as high as the maximum tolerable limit of 60 μg/kg. The overall level of FB (FB1+ FB2) contamination was relatively low, with an average concentration of 418 μg/kg in 32% (8 of 25) of maize samples from Hebei. AFs were not detected in any of the tested samples. This is the first report on the natural occurrence of multimycotoxin in maize in China.

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Physical land suitability evaluation for specific cereal crops using GIS at Mashhad Plain, Northeast of Iran
Ali BAGHERZADEH, Mohammad Reza MANSOURI DANESHVAR
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 504-513.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1102-6

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Land evaluation is the process of predicting land use potential on the basis of its attributes. In the present study, the physical land suitability evaluation approach was investigated for specific cereal crops including irrigated wheat, barley, grain maize and sorghum, based on FAO land evaluation frameworks (FAO, 1976, 1983, 1985) and the proposed method by Sys et al. (1991) at Mashhad Plain, Northeast Iran. Twenty eight soil profiles were studied on seven land units by a precise soil survey and their morphological and physicochemical properties were determined. Climatic and land qualities/characteristics of four cereal crops were determined using the tables of crop requirements developed by Sys et al. (1993). An interpolation function was used to map values to scores in terms of land qualities/characteristics for land utilization types and the evaluation was carried out according to parametric approaches. The interpolation technique using GIS functions helped in managing the spatial data and visualizing the results. Our results indicated that the most important limiting factors for irrigated wheat and barley cultivations are soil physical and fertility/chemical properties, while the production of irrigated grain maize and sorghum is mainly limited by climatic conditions at Mashhad Plain. It was shown that all land units suitable for irrigated wheat cultivation overlap with that of barley, whereas the same limiting factors resulted in the overlapping of the irrigated grain maize production area with that of sorghum. The results of the physical land suitability evaluation for specific cereal crops indicated the priority of irrigated barley and wheat cultivations over irrigated grain maize and sorghum at the study area.

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Induced chlorophyll mutations. I. Mutagenic effectiveness and efficiency of EMS, HZ and SA in mungbean
Mohd Rafiq WANI, Samiullah KHAN, Mohammad Imran KOZGAR
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 514-518.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1126-y

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A systematic and comparative study on the frequency and spectrum of chlorophyll mutations induced by ethylmethane sulphonate (EMS) - an alkylating agent, hydrazine hydrate (HZ) – a base analogue and sodium azide (SA) – a respiratory inhibitor, was carried out in two mungbean varieties, namely, PDM-11 and NM-1. A wide spectrum of chlorophyll mutants was obtained in the M2 generation. All these chlorophyll-deficient mutants were lethal except maculata, viridis and virescent. Chlorina followed by xantha types were predominant in both the varieties. EMS treatments induced the highest frequency of chlorophyll mutations followed by HZ and SA. The frequency of chlorophyll mutations was dose-dependent and increased with the mutagen concentration. Based on effectiveness in both varieties, the order of mutagens was HZ>SA>EMS. Two criteria viz., pollen sterility (Mp/S) and seedling injury (Mp/I) were taken into consideration to determine the efficiency of the mutagens. EMS was found to be the most efficient mutagen followed by HZ and SA. Moderate concentrations of the mutagens were the most effective and efficient in inducing mutations.

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Effects of plant growth regulators on growth and yields characteristics in adzuki beans (Phaseolus angularis)
Baozhong YIN, Yongsheng ZHANG, Yuechen ZHANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 519-523.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1150-y

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Using the Jihong 8937 variety of adzuki bean (Phaseolus angularis) as material, two kinds of plant growth regulator (PGRs), PP333 and NAA, were sprayed on the leaves, in order to study their effects on the growing courses, dry matter accumulation and yields. Three concentrations for each of the PGRs were applied, with a naturally growing plant as the control (CK). Results showed that each concentration of PP333 could advance the developmental course but the NAA was reverse. There was no difference between the two kinds of PGRs in the whole growing course. The lower and medium concentrations of PP333 could increase the dry matter accumulation, but the others showed the contrary. The lower and the medium concentrations of these PGRs could increase the contents of dissolvable protein and chlorophyll, but their higher concentrations had inhabiting effects. Our research also found that their lower and medium concentrations could consistently increase this bean’s yield, but the higher concentration reduced it. As a whole, the medium concentration of PP333 was found as the best combination to improve the growth and development of adzuki beans.

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PCR-based screening of BAC clones of different chromosomes in Chinese cabbage
Daling FENG, Shuxin XUAN, Aixia GU, Airu MA, Jiuhuan LI, Shuxing SHEN
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 524-528.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1122-2

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In this paper, taking SSR and functional gene sequence as the primers and the plasmid of first- and second-level pools of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library as templates, the PCR method was used for specific clones of different chromosomes in Chinese cabbage. The results showed that the number of positive clones was 1–11 per primer and the average number of clone was 3.9 by screening 19200 clones of BAC library using 12 pairs of SSR primers from 10 linkage groups individually, which were nearly consistent with about 3.4 times of genome coverage. Positive clones were acquired in chromosome Nos. 2 to 5 and 8 to 10 without screening with the positive clones in chromosome Nos. 1, 6, and 7. In addition, the primer of FLC1 functional gene of chromosome No. 10 was used for PCR screening, and two BAC clones containing FLC1 gene were acquired. Therefore, different specific BAC clones of chromosomes were taken by using SSR primer and functional gene primer. Specific clone screening of chromosomes could provide a probe for identifying the chromosome accurately. Meanwhile, the BAC library screening method was optimized, serving as an effective technical means for quick BAC clone screening.

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Quality evaluation of mixed brewed perries based on PCA and sensory evaluation
Yanhui WANG, Yuan LIU, Yuxing ZHANG, Zhanyang XU
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 529-533.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1128-9

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In order to improve the sensory quality of Yali perry and choose fruits specially suitable for mixed fermentation with Yali pear, 11 kinds of fruits were selected and contrasted, including hawthorn, kiwifruit, Kyoho grape, Brown plum, Fuji apple, Nanguo pear, Dongzao jujube, Mopan persimmon, Korla pear, and Chi pear. These fruits were mixed separately with Yali pear, thus turning out 64 different types of mixed perries. The assessment on products was made based on the physiochemical indexes, aroma components via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and comparison between the qualities of the mixed perries via sensory evaluation and principal component analysis (PCA). Based on the PCA on the physiochemical indexes of 39 mixed perries and aroma components of 7 mixed perries, the models aiming at evaluating perry flavor and aroma quality were established, which were compatible with those of sensory evaluation; based on the sensory evaluation and PCA, hawthorn, plum, grape, and apple were suitable specially for mixing brewing, among which the hawthorn-Yali perry in the proportion of 25:100 and plum-Yali perry in the proportion of 40:100 scored the highest. The results will be helpful to the development of perry industry.

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Improvement of eggplant seed germination and seedling emergence at low temperature by seed priming with incorporation SA into KNO3 solution
Yanping ZHANG, Haihe LIU, Shuxing SHEN, Xine ZHANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 534-537.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1124-0

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The effects of incorporation SA into KNO3 priming solution on the germination and emergence of eggplant seeds at 15°C were investigated. Seeds were primed into 3% KNO3 containing 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, or 1 mM salicylic acid (SA) for 6 days, respectively. After the priming, seeds were either immediately used for germination and emergence test at 15°C or stored at 4°C for 1 month and then for the germination test. The primed eggplant seeds in general improved the final germination percentage (FGP), germination rate (G50), and germination synchrony (E10–90) at 15°C compared with non-priming seeds. Priming seeds in 3% KNO3 solution supplement with 0.1 mM SA resulted in the best priming effect compared with other priming treatments and non-priming treatment, and all of the beneficial priming effects were still retained after stored at 4°C for 30 days. These results indicated that priming seeds in 3% KNO3 solution containing 0.1 mM SA could be used as an effective method to improve low-temperature performance of eggplant seeds and subsequent seedling growth.

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Effects of regulators on the respiratory enzyme of pear branches during dormant period
Lei BI, Yuxing ZHANG, Bharat Kumar POUDYAL, Xiaolei WU, Jie LIU
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 538-542.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1127-x

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The effects of regulators on the respiratory enzymes of Qiyuesu’s pear branches during dormant period were studied. The results showed that enzyme activities of SDH, G-6-PDH and 6-PGDH were increased by 0.02 mmol/L SA and 120 mg/L GA3. The enzyme activities of phosphohexoisomerase were reduced by 0.02 mmol/L SA and 120 mg/L GA3. Compared with the control, the PGI activity was reduced by 20.5% and 13.6% using 0.02 mmol/L SA and 120 mg/L GA3. Similarly, the SDH activity was increased by 6.1% and 29.2%, respectively. Likewise, the activity of G-6-PDH and 6-PGDH was increased by 93.9% and 24.8%. Changes of respiratory enzymes were consistent with respiratory pathway of regulators, which indicated that SA and GA3 were helpful to break the dormancy by enhancing activities of SDH, G-6-PDH and 6-PGDH.

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Effect of intercropping, Bradyrhizobium inoculation and N, P fertilizers on yields, physical and chemical quality of cowpea seeds
Ekhlas M. MUSA, Elsiddig A. E. ELSHEIKH, Isam A. MOHAMED AHMED, Elfadil E. BABIKER
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 543-551.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1147-6

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The present study was aimed to determine the effects of inoculation with Bradyrhizobium strain, intercropping, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization and their interaction on the yield, physical and chemical properties of cowpea seeds. The results showed that the seed yield of cowpea was significantly (P≤0.05) increased by Bradyrhizobium inoculation, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers, but not by intercropping. All treatments of intercropping, P, Bradyrhizobium plus N and Bradyrhizobium plus P treatments significantly (P≤0.05) increased the hydration coefficient and cookability of cowpea seeds compared to untreated plants in both seasons. For chemical composition, all treatments significantly (P≤0.05) increased the dry matter, ash, protein and fiber content of the seeds compared to the untreated plants for the two systems and in both seasons, whereas it significantly (P≤0.05) decreased carbohydrate content of the seeds. Fat content of the seeds was not increased by Bradyrhizobium inoculation and intercropping, but it was significantly increased by nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization. Intercropping, Bradyrhizobium inoculation and nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization significantly (P≤0.05) increased tannin content and in vitro protein digestibility of the seeds compared to untreated plants for both systems and in the two seasons.

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Foliar Zn fertilization impacts on yield and quality in pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum)
Xufang ZONG, Hong WANG, Zhenwei SONG, Deli LIU, Aijun ZHANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 552-555.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1132-9

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Zn is an essential mineral nutrient for plant growth and development. Its effect on crop yield and quality has not been well documented. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of foliar application of zinc fertilizers on yield and quality of millet (Pennisetum glaucum). Six levels of ZnSO4·7H2O (0, 0.75, 1.13, 1.50, 2.25, 3.00 kg/hm2) were applied to two millet cultivars (Jigu 20 and Jiyou 2) to obtain 12 treatments. Zinc fertilization increased millet yield and improved quality when applied at a proper rate in both cultivars. The yield was the highest in Jigu 20 when applied at 1.50 kg/hm2, and in Jiyou 2 when treated with 1.50 kg/hm2. Zn application at 1.5 kg/hm2 increased protein content by 11.13% for Jigu 20 and 10.53% for Jiyou 2. The Zn application at all rates increased lysine acid and soluble sugar content in the grain in both cultivars. The results of this study suggest that foliar Zn application increases yield and also improves grain quality when applied at 1.50 to 2.25 kg/hm2 for soils with low zinc content.

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Analysis on water requirement and water-saving amount of wheat and corn in typical regions of the North China Plain
Lihua LV, Huijun WANG, Xiuling JIA, Zhimin WANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 556-562.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1149-4

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This paper studied the variation characters on wheat and corn water consumption and irrigation water-saving amount under different water conditions (ample irrigation level, farmers conventional irrigation level and optimizing irrigation level). The water use efficiency and water saving potential of optimizing treatment and farmers’ conventional irrigation treatment were analyzed respectively. The objective of this study was to provide theoretical supporting for popularization and application of optimizing irrigation measures. Crop water requirement under sufficient water supply was calculated by Penman equation. We obtained crop water consumption under conventional treatment and optimizing treatment by field experiment. The main results showed that the irrigation amount of wheat and corn was too much under farmers’ conventional irrigation level and basically satisfied their water requirement, therefore, the water-saving amount was smaller while water-saving potential was bigger compared with the optimizing irrigation treatment. The grain yield under optimizing irrigation treatment was improved or appreciably reduced compared with that under conventional irrigation treatment, while the water consumption and irrigation amount of optimizing irrigation treatment was lower, with a higher water use efficiency. Therefore, the optimizing irrigation treatment could achieve a stable yield and high water efficiency at the same time. Moreover, when the optimizing irrigation measure was adopted, the grain yield reached 5940 kg/hm2, water-saving amount reached 91mm for winter wheat, and the grain yield reached 7743 kg/hm2, with water-saving amount of 49 mm for summer corn in the piedmont region of Taihang Mount. The grain yield got 7710 kg/hm2, with water-saving amount of 20 mm for winter wheat in Heilonggang Plain. Therefore, the water-saving amount in the piedmont region of Taihang Mountain was obviously higher than that in Heilonggang Plain. Thus, the piedmont region of Taihang Mountain in the North China Plain is viewed as the key district for water-saving.

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Long-term application of K fertilizer and straw returning improve crop yield, absorptive capacity of K, and soil nutrient natural supplying capacity in North China
Limin SUN, Chunjie LI, Ping HE, Mengchao LIU, Jinghui HU
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 563-569.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1140-0

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With the aim of increasing the grain crop yield and the level of soil nutrition in the fluvo-aquic soil in North China, the effects of long-term application of K fertilizers and straw returning on crop yield and soil nutrient supplying capacity were investigated in the long-term K localization experiment (1992–2009). The results revealed that wheat and maize responded to K fertilizer in an identical manner and the average yield of wheat and maize for 17 years were NPKSr>NPK>NPSr>NP. Application of K fertilizer on the basis of NP fertilizers could increase the yield of wheat and maize while the grain and straw yields in each treatment were significantly higher for maize than for wheat. The yield of wheat and maize was increased by 6.74% and 22.32% respectively when applied with NPK fertilizers compared to NP fertilizers. With the NPSr fertilizing mode, the yield of wheat and maize was increased by 2.84% and 10.62% compared to the NP mode respectively. The NPKSr fertilizing mode gave the best yield for wheat and maize, resulting in 10.34%and 23.81% increase respectively compared to the NP mode. The yield stability of wheat was significantly higher than that of maize. Under the condition of long-term fertilization, the K uptaken by wheat and maize was degressive by the sequence of NPKSr>NPSr>NPK>NP, mainly deposited in the straw but not in the grain. In this work, the soil natural ability for applying K was gradually reduced as the planting years proceeded and the changes were fitted by linear equations. The natural supply ability of K element in land planted wheat was higher than that in land planted maize.

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External morphology and microstructure of the compound eye of fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren
Fan FAN, Cunpeng ZHAO, Hongmin REN, Lihua LV, Baoliang TIAN, Guoshu WEI
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 570-575.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1131-1

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The external morphology of the compound eye of the winged female and male Solenopsis invicta Buren and its microstructure in light and dark adaptations were observed using scanning electron microscopy and optical microscopy. The results indicated that the compound eye located on the lateral side of its head, is the a shape of a half ellipsoid and composed of approximately 510 ommatidia in the female, and a near hemisphere with about 805 ommatidia in the male. The ommatidium was made of a corneal lens, crystalline cone, 8 to 9 retinula cells and basement membrane. The cornea was a colorless, transparent and double convex lens. The crystalline cone, with an inverted cone shape, was approximately 14.50 m long, formed by four equal parts, and surrounded by many pigment granules. The rhabdom beneath the crystalline cone, was about 75.00 m long, with a thicker middle part and thinner ends. More pigment granules were scattered in the distal and proximal ends and less in the middle, and the basement membrane was on the most bottom area of the ommatidium. The primary pigment cells moved horizontally along the crystalline cone from its distal to proximal end during dark adaptation or moved reversely during light adaptation. There was no significant difference between the pigment granule distribution and the structure of the crystalline cone between female and male ommatidium under the same light or dark adaptation. It is concluded that the fire ant compound eye is an apposition eye, whose light-tuning mechanism is accomplished by the change of crystalline cone and the movement of the pigment cells.

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Construction of a Fosmid genomic library of Streptomyces roseoflavus Men-myco-93-63
Weiming SUN, Wei GUO, Daqun LIU, Tinghui LIU, Lina FENG, Lianna LIU, Yaning LI, Yakun ZHANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 576-580.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1119-x

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To clone the antibiotic biosynthesis gene cluster of Streptomyces roseoflavus Men-myco-93-63, we constructed a Fosmid genomic library. The genomic DNA of the strain Men-myco-93-63 was isolated by the modified CTAB procedure, and the size of most genomic DNA fragments was larger than 150 kb. Then, a Fosmid genomic library containing more than 6000 clones was constructed. The average size of the inserted DNA in recombinant plasmids was 38.1 kb, and the probability of harboring any gene in the genome of the strain Men-myco-93-63 was 99.99%. The library coverage was at least a 10-fold genome equivalent. Therefore, the constructed Fosmid library meets the requirements as a standard genomic library

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Screening and Identification of the antagonistic strain DL-59 of B. velezensis against A. brassicae and biocontrol efficiency
Shuna LI, Shutao DU, Chaoyu LI
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 581-587.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1111-5

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The aim of this study was to screen the antagonistic spore-forming bacteria of Alternaria brassicae and to assess their control effect. The test microorganism was A. brassicae in this experiment. One spore-forming strain named DL-59 with a rather stronger antagonistic activity than ever reported was obtained by using an improved agar plate diffusion method. Morphological, physiological and biochemical tests combined with 16S rDNA sequence analysis were carried out to identify DL-59. Its control effect was studied in the basin culture and the plot trials. Two hundred strains were isolated form soil and 20 antagonistic bacteria strains were obtained through preliminary screen. After the secondary screening, a strain named DL-59 with a rather stronger antagonistic activity was obtained and identified as B. velezensis with the largest diameter of inhibition zone of 23 mm. The control efficacy was 79.07%. The plot trials showed that DL-59 had a visible preventive effect on cabbage black spot disease. This can be applied for biological control of plant disease. The strain can produce spores, which is important for the storage of its preparation.

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Effects of steam-flaked corn on the performance and blood biochemical parameters in finishing steers
Ruijing LI, Yufeng CAO, Yanxia GAO, Qiufeng LI, Jianguo LI
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 588-593.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1139-6

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This paper aims at studying the effect of steam-flaked corn instead of corn in the diet for finishing steers on the growth performance and blood biochemical parameters. A single-factor design was used. There were 28 simmental crossbred steers with the similar bodyweight (414.4±29.3 kg, P>0.05) selected and allotted to four groups with seven duplicates in each group. Steam-flaked corn replaced the proportion of normal cracked corn, which was of 0, 30%, 60%, or 90% in the concentrate of Groups I, II, III, or IV, respectively. The results showed that the steam-flaked corn replacing ordinary cracked corn could significantly improve the growth of steers. The daily growth rate (ADG) was increased by about 37.16% from 985.3 g/d to 1351.4 g/d. The feed efficiency was significantly improved by 27.46%. The feed to gain ratio was decreased from 5.68 to 4.12. Serum urea nitrogen was decreased from 4.59 mmol/L to 3.66 mmol/L. Under the experiment conditions, steam-flaked corn replacing ordinary cracked corn could increase the feed efficiency with an optimal replacing ratio of 90%.

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Effects of aflatoxin-detoxifizyme on growth performance and liver biochemical indices of broilers fed with aflatoxin B1
Baojiang CHEN, Yong WANG, Huimin YU, Qing XU
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 594-597.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1135-x

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Aflatoxin-detoxifizyme (ADTZ) was evaluated for its ability to reduce the deleterious effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in broiler diets. A total of 624 one-day-old AA broilers were randomly divided into 3 treatment groups with 8 replicates each. The control, AFB1 and ADTZ treatments were fed with basal diet, basal diet+ 0.1 mg/kg AFB1 and basal diet+ 0.1 mg/kg AFB1 + 0.3% ADTZ, respectively. The trials lasted 42 days. The results showed that: (1) AFB1 diminished the growth performance of broilers significantly (P<0.01). (2) The AFB1 supplement caused significant alteration of related liver enzyme activities and significantly decreased the body’s antioxidant capacity. (3) Related parameters were returned to normal levels by a 0.3% ADTZ addition to the AFB1-contaminated diet. All the results in the trials indicate that ADTZ has the ability to detoxify AFB1 and recover the negative effects of AFB1.

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Effects of rumen-degradable protein balance on rumen fermentation in continuous culture fermenters
Qiufeng LI, Yanxia GAO, Yufeng CAO, Zhihua FENG, Jianguo LI
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 598-604.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1138-7

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Twelve dual-flow continuous culture fermenters (culture 8 d with 5 d for adjustment and 3 d for sample collection) were used to evaluate the effects of rumen-degradable protein balance (RDPB) on rumen fermentation. The different RDPB levels in six diets were as follows: -16.84, -8.87, -0.87, +7.13, +15.13, and +23.12 g RDPB /kg DM. Results indicated that RDPB had a significant effect on fermenter NH3-N (P<0.0001), but had less effect on the fermenter pH (P = 0.058), total VFA concentration (P = 0.57), or acetate molar proportion (P = 0.70). The decrease in rumen-available N in the diets with the RDPB levels at +15.13, +7.13, -0.87, -8.87, -16.84 g RDPB/kg DM resulted in NH3-N concentration decreasing at 9%, 52%, 104% and 118% in rumen compared with the diet of +23.12 g RDPB/kg DM. Total VFA concentration, acetic acid and valeric acid at different time points was altered (P<0.05) by the treatment. With the increase of dietary RDPB, the total NH3-N flowing out of fermenters linearly increased, and the N losses also increased.

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Effects of an emulsifier on the performances of Khaki Campbell ducks added with different sources of fats
Zosangpuii, Amlan Kumar PATRA, Goutam SAMANTA, Kaushik PAL
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 605-611.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1141-z

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An experiment was conducted to assess the effects of different sources of fats added with an external emulsifier (lecithin) on the performances of Khaki Campbell Ducks in an eight-week trial. Ducks were grouped into five dietary groups with three replicates (n = 10) in each group. The ducks were fed with a basal diet supplemented with 3% soybean oil and without emulsifier (C1), 3% palm oil without emulsifier (C2), 3% soybean oil with emulsifier (T1), 3% palm oil with emulsifier (T2) and 3% lard with emulsifier (T3). The growth performance of ducks did not vary (P>0.1) among the dietary treatments. Feed intakes by ducks were also similar (P>0.1) among treatments within the periods. Similarly, feed intake to gain ratios were not affected by any dietary treatments. The metabolizability of dry matter, crude protein and nitrogen free extract also did not change (P>0.1) due to various dietary treatments. However, the metabolizability of fats in all the emulsifier added groups (T1, T2 and T3) was greater (P<0.05) than the dietary groups without emulsifier (C1 and C2). Various carcass traits such as percentages of hot carcass, breast, legs, lungs, hearts, gizzard, giblets weights relative to bodyweights did not vary (P>0.1) among the groups. The carcass yield tended (P = 0.06) to be greater in the T1 than in the C1 group. The moisture, fats, protein and ash composition of meat (percent on fresh basis) was similar (P>0.1) among treatments. In conclusion, supplementation of lecithin as an emulsifier to the diets containing different sources of fats (3%) appears to have no major impact on the overall performances of Khaki Campbell ducks in their grower phase.

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Effects of xylooligosaccharide on growth performance, activities of digestive enzymes, and intestinal microflora of juvenile Pelodiscus sinensis
Yueqiang GUAN, Huan ZHOU, Zhili WANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 612-617.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1129-8

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The effects of xylooligosaccharide (XOS) on growth performance, activities of digestive enzymes, and intestinal microflora of Chinese soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis were investigated by adding different concentrations of XOS in the diet of juvenile P. sinensis. The turtles with an average initial bodyweight of 12.26±0.32 g were randomly divided into five groups, which were fed with diets containing 0 mg/kg (control), 50 mg/kg (Trial I), 100 mg/kg (Trial II), 200 mg/kg (Trial III), and 500 mg/kg (Trial IV) XOS product (95%), respectively. The feeding trial lasted for 30 days. Indices described above were determined at the end of the experiment. The results showed that the diet supplemented with XOS could enhance the growth of P. sinensis, and the growth rate of Trial III was the highest. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) of the trials was lower than that of the control. All the trials had higher activities of intestinal digestive enzymes than the control. The amylase activity of Trial II was the highest and was significantly different from that of the control, while the protease activity of the trials was not significantly but slightly higher than that of the control. The numbers of total aerobic bacteria and Enterobacteria of all the trials were significantly lower than those of the control. The number of Bifidobacteria of Trial II ranked the largest, significantly higher than that of the control, whereas the number of Bifidobacteria of all the other trials was higher but not more significant than that of the control. The results demonstrated that XOS supplementation in the diet of P. sinensis could enhance its growth and decrease FCR. Furthermore, it could enhance activities of intestinal protease and amylase and optimize its intestinal microflora. The recommended supplemental concentration of XOS in the diet of Juvenile P. sinensis should be 100– 200 mg/kg.

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Co-culture of roughskin sculpin (Trachidermis fasciatus) with common carp, medaka and freshwater shrimp
Yufeng LIU, Huiguang FU
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 618-623.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1136-9

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Co-culture of roughskin sculpin and common carp, roughskin sculpin and medaka, and roughskin sculpin and freshwater shrimp were carried out in three earthen ponds from late May till late October of 2009 in a suburb of Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province, China. In the sculpin/medaka and sculpin/shrimp co-culture ponds, aquatic plants (cattail and reed) composing approximately 25% of the pond area were settled. Commercial feed was administered in all the three ponds for the three forage animals: common carp, medaka and freshwater shrimp. In the sculpin/carp co-culture pond, though common carp grew properly with a yield of 4550 kg per hm2, the sculpin gradually decreased in number, and eventually only a few were left. In the sculpin/medaka co-culture pond, the pelagic medaka and benthic roughskin sculpin made full use of the water column of the pond, with the former breeding continuously to provide fry and juveniles for the latter to prey on, yielding 61.4 kg roughskin sculpin per hm2 and 1550 kg medaka per hm2. In the sculpin/shrimp co-culture, adult freshwater shrimp were also bred to supply fry and juveniles for the growing roughskin sculpin to prey on, yielding 46.4 kg roughskin sculpin per hm2 and 304 kg shrimp per hm2, less than that in the sculpin/medaka co-culture, as both freshwater shrimp and roughskin sculpin lived in the same niches, i.e. the pond bottom and the plant stems and leaves, with the open water column left vacant. Further improvements were also proposed.

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Ontogenic development of digestive enzyme activities in juvenile soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) under cultured conditions
Yurong ZOU, Qinghui AI, Kangsen MAI
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 624-630.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1145-8

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The study was conducted to investigate the ontogenic development of main digestive enzymes (pepsin, trypsin, amylase and lipase) activities in juvenile soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) (initial mean bodyweight 3.63±0.27 g), in order to provide data on the digestive physiology of the juveniles during the first 30 days after hatching (DAH). The soft-shelled turtles were reared in an indoor rearing system, and fed with a formulated diet four times daily from 2 to 30 DAH. The results showed that the specific growth rate (SGR) of soft-shelled turtle ranged from 1.31 to 4.00%/d during the first 30 DAH. The specific activities of pepsin in stomachic segments, trypsin, amylase and lipase in intestinal segments first decreased slightly then increased to the maximum value (P<0.05). The specific activities of these enzymes were first detected on 1 DAH, and the lowest values were observed from 4 to 6 DAH, while the highest values were found from 22 to 30 DAH. Results of the present study indicated that the activities of digestive enzymes in soft-shelled turtle developed during the development and were well correlated with growth.

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Impact of 1-MCP on postharvest quality of sweet cherry during cold storage
Qingrui YANG, Lei WANG, Fuqing LI, Junlian MA, Zide ZHANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 631-636.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1110-6

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Sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) is a kind of fruit with short postharvest life. Postharvest treatment of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP: 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 μL/L) was applied to cherry fruits, and its effects on postharvest fruit quality during 60-day-storage at cold temperature was investigated. Sweet cherry fruits were harvested at commercial fruit maturity and exposed to 1-MCP at 20±1°C for 24 h. Following 1-MCP treatments, the fruits were stored for 60 d at 90±5% RH and, 0±1°C, in three concentrations of 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 μL/L 1-MCP, of which 1.5 μL/L 1-MCP had the most positive effect on fruit quality. Postharvest treatments of 1-MCP significantly reduced endogenous ethylene production, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity in cherry fruits 60 d after cold storage when compared to untreated fruits. 1-MCP treatment was associated with lower respiration rate and relative electric conductivity (REC) and maintained cell membrane integrity. The results indicated that the treatment 1-MCP was effective in inhibition of the declining of POD activity and CAT activity. In conclusion, 1-MCP treatment could be a good candidate for maintaining postharvest quality of cherry, and 1-MCP could prolong the storage life of sweet cherry.

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Study on separation and purification of oligomeric proanthocyanidin from Rhodiola rosea
Zhiping YIN, Boyang ZHANG, Hongyu CHEN, Sisi WANG, Wen ZHAO
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 637-642.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1137-8

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The objective was to study the technology for the separation and purification of oligomeric proanthocyanidins from Rhodiola rosea and establish the best operating conditions. First, the oligomeric proanthocyanidins was extracted by ethyl acetate from rough-extracted R. rosea liquid using an optimized technique. Its purification was achieved by macroporous resins. Five kinds of macroporous adsorbent resins were compared for the adsorption and desorption performance of procyanidins, the concentration and pH value of both the extracted sample and the eluant were investigated. According to the results, the optimized conditions were as follows: four times of extraction at 25 min each time was effective, the best volume ratio was 1.5:1 (ethyl acetate: extracted solution); AB-8 resin was the best choice; the concentration of the extracted sample was 4.0 g/L, and the pH was 4.5; the ratio of the diameter to height of the chromatography column was 1:40 (cm); 50% ethanol was used as the eluant at pH 5; and finally, the purity of procyanidins reached 88. 3%.

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Biochemical change of fermented scallop (Argopecten Irradians Lamarck) flour paste in different fermentation periods
Yawei HOU, Jie WANG, Yi CAI, Yaqiong LIU, Jianlou MU, Jianfeng SUN
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 643-648.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1112-4

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The aim of this paper was to study the biochemical changes in fermented scallop flour paste (SFP) during different fermentation periods. SFP was prepared with scallop muscles, flour koji, salt, rice koji, and neutral protease at 40°C for 12 days. Biochemical changes during fermentation were investigated. By reducing sugar content, formaldehyde nitrogen content, total acid content, and free amino acids (FAAs), the concentration of SFP was increased but water activity was decreased. Most FAAs were increased, and the amounts of glutamic acid, glycine, alanine, and leucine were high. Some amino acid concentrations were higher than their taste threshold, such as the glutamate of umami, the glycine and alanine of sweet and umami, and the arginine and lysine of bitter and sweet. They contributed significantly to the characteristic taste of SFP. Therefore, SFP is a potential seasoning agent with nutritional properties and good taste.

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Study on filming of oxidized starch/PVA
Zhizhou CHEN, Lin ZHANG, Lin WANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 649-654.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1143-x

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In this study, oxidized starch was taken as raw material to prepare filming. Single factor and orthogonal experiments were conducted to investigate its properties. The results showed that the different concentrations of oxidized starch, glycerol, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and glutaraldehyde had significant effects on the properties of the oxidized starch/PVA films, among which the most important factor was glycerol, followed by the oxidized starch, PVA and glutaraldehyde. The optimum film-forming conditions were 6.0% oxidized starch, 6.0% PVA, 2.5% glycerol and 0.6% glutaraldehyde.

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Effect of salt stress on the physiological and photosynthetic characteristics of Weigela florida
Qingjuan NIE, Zhigang WANG, Zhibin REN, Dazhuang HUANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 655-661.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1142-y

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Effects of salt stress on the physiological and photosynthetic characteristics of Weigela florida were studied. The results showed that the leaf area of Weigela florida was enhanced at 0.1% and 0.2% salt concentration, but decreased obviously when salt concentration was higher than 0.3%. The symptom of the salt injury was not significant when the salt concentration was lower than 0.3%, but was significant when higher than 0.4%. The water content decreased gradually but the electrolyle leakage increased gradually with the increasing of salt concentration and time. The total content of chlorophyll was rising while salt concentration was lower than 0.3%, but decreased while salt concentration was higher than 0.4%. The proline contents increased gradually while salt concentration was lower than 0.5%, but decreased at 0.5%. The soluble sugar content increased gradually with the increasing of salt concentration and prolonging of treatment, but decreased at 0.4% salt concentration 15 days after salt treatment. To the photosynthetic characteristics, the salt concentrations of 0.1% and 0.2% did not affect the photosynthetic characteristics of Weigela florida, when salt concentration was higher than 0.3%, the salinity significantly reduced Pn, Gs and Tr, but enhanced intercellular CO2 concentrations at the salt concentrations of 0.3% and 0.4%. It was indicated that 0.1% and 0.2% salt concentrations had little influence on Weigela florida. The growth of Weigela florida was slightly decreased at the salt concentration of 0.3% without effect on its normal growth. However, the salt concentration of 0.4% affected the growth of Weigela florida obviously. Weigela florida died 7 days after treatment and it could not normally grow when salt concentration is higher than 0.5%.

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Observation of the infection process of Metarhizium anisopliae on the cuticle of Anoplophora glabripennis larvae with scanning electron microscopy
Haixia YAN, Da WANG, Xusheng ZHAO, Dazhuang HUANG, Xiangchao MA
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 662-665.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1134-y

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The invasion behavior and infection process of Metarhizium anisopliae on different cuticle areas of Anoplophora glabripennis larvae were observed by scanning electron microscopy. The results indicated that M. anisopliae infected A. glabripennis larvae mainly through the intersegmental membrane where more attaching conidia, faster germination, and higher germination and penetration rates were observed. The secondary invasion area was around the valve. The two areas were vulnerable to infection from M. anisopliae. Twelve hours after vaccination, conidia germinated and bud-shaped protrusions formed on the cuticle of A. glabripennis larvae, then germ tubes and various attaching structures were produced. Conidia penetrated the integument into the hemocoele of A. glabripennis larvae 36–48 h later.

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Potential of Beauveria bassiana for biologic control of Apriona germari
Huiping LI, Dazhuang HUANG, Zhigang WANG
Front Agric Chin. 2011, 5 (4): 666-670.  
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11703-011-1130-2

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Apriona germari is a destructive stem-boring pest. To date, the control of the pest is still based largely on the chemical insecticides. To meet the needs of people’s high pesticide efficacy and environment safety, the alternative management strategy must be proposed. Beauveria bassiana is one of the most widely studied and used entomopathogenic fungi. The potential of Beauveria bassiana used to control Apriona germari was here evaluated. The result showed that the infective rate of B. bassiana to adults was 20%, with no pathogenicity to eggs. But it showed a high pathogenicity to larvae. The laboratory bioassays showed that the mortality, when concentration was 1 × 108 conidia/mL, was 96.47% ten days after inoculation. LT50 of B. beauveria to Apriona germari larvae was 4.53 d at the concentration of 1 × 108 conidia/mL; LC50 was 6.76 × 105 conidia/mL. The infecting experiments in field showed that, 20 days after control, the mortality was 68.4%. The present results suggested that B. bassiana has an excellent potential for biological control of A. germari larvae.

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