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Concept: Cultivated plant taxonomy


Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) is one of the fifth most important ornamental species worldwide. Many desirable plant characteristics, such as big size, adaptation under stress, and intra or interspecific hybridization capability, are dependent on plant ploidy level. We optimized a quick flow cytometry method for DNA content determination in wild and cultivated carnation samples that allowed a systematic evaluation of ploidy levels in Dianthus species. The DNA content of different carnation cultivars and wild Dianthus species was determined using internal reference standards. The precise characterization of ploidy, endoreduplication and C-value of D. caryophyllus ‘Master’ makes it a suitable standard cultivar for ploidy level determination in other carnation cultivars. Mixoploidy was rigorously characterized in different regions of several organs from D. caryophyllus ‘Master’, which combined with a detailed morphological description suggested some distinctive developmental traits of this species. Both the number of endoreduplication cycles and the proportion of endopolyploid cells were highly variable in the petals among the cultivars studied, differently to the values found in leaves. Our results suggest a positive correlation between ploidy, cell size and petal size in cultivated carnation, which should be considered in breeding programs aimed to obtain new varieties with large flowers.

Concepts: DNA, Organism, Flow cytometry, Flower, Cultivar, Dianthus, Cultivated plant taxonomy, Dianthus caryophyllus


Structured triacylglycerols (TAGs) were isolated from nine cultivated strains of microalgae belonging to different taxonomic groups, i.e. Audouinella eugena, Balbiania investiens, Myrmecia bisecta, Nannochloropsis limnetica, Palmodictyon varium, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Pseudochantransia sp., Thorea ramosissima, and Trachydiscus minutus. They were separated and isolated by means of NARP-LC/MS-APCI and chiral LC and the positional isomers and enantiomers of TAGs with two polyunsaturated, i.e. arachidonic (A) and eicosapentaenoic (E) acids and one saturated, i.e. palmitic acid (P) were identified. Algae that produce eicosapentaenoic acid were found to biosynthesize more asymmetrical TAGs, i.e. PPE or PEE, whereas algae which produced arachidonic acid give rise to symmetrical TAGs, i.e. PAP or APA, irrespective of their taxonomical classification. Nitrogen and phosphorus starvation consistently reversed the ratio of asymmetrical and symmetrical TAGs.

Concepts: Algae, Fatty acid, Fatty acids, Taxonomy, Ratio, Biological classification, Polyunsaturated fatty acid, Cultivated plant taxonomy


The origin of limes and lemons has been a source of conflicting taxonomic opinions. Biochemical studies, numerical taxonomy and recent molecular studies suggested that cultivated Citrus species result from interspecific hybridization between four basic taxa (C. reticulata, C. maxima, C. medica and C. micrantha). However, the origin of most lemons and limes remains controversial or unknown. The aim of this study was to perform extended analyses of the diversity, genetic structure and origin of limes and lemons.

Concepts: DNA, Taxonomy, Citrus, Orange, Citron, Rutaceae, Cultivated plant taxonomy, Numerical taxonomy


The effects of daylength and temperature on flowering of the cultivated octoploid strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) have been studied extensively at the physiological level, but information on the molecular pathways controlling flowering in the species is scarce. The flowering pathway has been studied at the molecular level in the diploid short-day woodland strawberry (F. vesca L.), in which the FLOWERING LOCUS T1 (FvFT1)-SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS1 (FvSOC1)-TERMINAL FLOWER1 (FvTFL1) pathway is essential for the correct timing of flowering. In this work, we show by transgenic approach that the silencing of the floral repressor FaTFL1 in the octoploid short-day cultivar ‘Elsanta’ is sufficient to induce perpetual flowering under long days without direct changes in vegetative reproduction. We also demonstrate that although the genes FaFT1 and FaSOC1 show similar expression patterns in different cultivars, the regulation of FaTFL1 varies widely from cultivar to cultivar and is correlated with floral induction, indicating that the transcription of FaTFL1 occurs at least partially independently of the FaFT1-FaSOC1 module. Our results indicate that changing the expression patterns of FaTFL1 through biotechnological or conventional breeding approaches could result in strawberries with specific flowering and runnering characteristics including new types of everbearing cultivars.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Molecular biology, Cloning, Garden strawberry, Fragaria, Cultivated plant taxonomy


Phytochemical profiles of two Brazilian native fruits, pitanga (red and purple) and araçá (yellow and red), as well as strawberry cultivars Albion, Aromas, and Camarosa, blackberry cultivar Tupy, and blueberry cultivar Bluegen cultivated in Brazil were characterized for total phenolic content and total anthocyanin content by liquid chromatography coupled to a photodiode array and a quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry detector. Radical scavenging, antiherpes, and cytotoxic activities of these berries extracts were also evaluated.

Concepts: Fruit, Tomato, Anthocyanin, Berry, Raspberry, Blueberry, Berries, Cultivated plant taxonomy


In this study, metabolomic analysis of chloroform extracts was performed to characterize cherry tomatoes (cv Naomi and Shiren) grown in different Sicilian areas, using (1)H NMR spectroscopy coupled with multivariate statistical analysis. Principal components analysis showed clear discrimination between extracts of cherry tomatoes cultivated in two different seasons (winter and summer) and grown in three areas of Sicily (Gela, Licata, Pachino). In particular, carotenoids and phospholipids mainly were found to be more discriminating metabolites for both cultivars in summer and winter. In the present study, the simple separation only based on production area was found to be inadequate to distinguish the three groups of tomatoes. A clear separation among the different samples groups was obtained using a multifactorial approach not only based on the geographical origin classification, but considering also cultivar, year and seasonality.

Concepts: Statistics, Multivariate statistics, Factor analysis, Sicily, The Unscrambler, Cultivated plant taxonomy, Gela, Licata


Early maturity is an important trait that is essential to the survival of weedy rice. To explore the mechanism of early maturity in weedy rice, the reproductive development of a large sample of weedy rice accessions and cultivars was compared in a common garden study. A selected sample of both weedy and cultivated rices was sown at different dates in two years to study in more detail their flowering and grain filling patterns.

Concepts: Cereal, Maize, Rice, Threshing, Cultivated plant taxonomy, Rice Owls baseball


In barley, breeding using good genetic characteristics can improve the quality or quantity of crop characters from one generation to the next generation. The development of effective molecular markers in barley is crucial for understanding and analyzing the diversity of useful alleles. In this study, we conducted genetic relationship analysis using expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers for barley identification and assessment of barley cultivar similarity. Seeds from 82 cultivars, including 31 each of naked and hulled barley from the Korea Seed and Variety Service and 20 of malting barley from the RDA-Genebank Information Center, were analyzed in this study. A cDNA library of the cultivar Gwanbori was constructed for use in analysis of genetic relationships, and 58 EST-SSR markers were developed and characterized. In total, 47 SSR markers were employed to analyze polymorphisms. A relationship dendrogram based on the polymorphism data was constructed to compare genetic diversity. We found that the polymorphism information content among the examined cultivars was 0.519, which indicates that there is low genetic diversity among Korean barley cultivars. The results obtained in this study may be useful in preventing redundant investment in new cultivars and in resolving disputes over seed patents. Our approach can be used by companies and government groups to develop different cultivars with distinguishable markers. In addition, the developed markers can be used for quantitative trait locus analysis to improve both the quantity and the quality of cultivated barley.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Allele, Quantitative trait locus, Barley, Genetic diversity, Malt, Cultivated plant taxonomy


This study investigated the composition of volatile compounds in two pummelo cultivars, including ‘Shatian’ and ‘Guanxi’, cultivated in different regions of China with the aim of studying the effect of cultivar and cultivation condition on biosynthesis of volatile compounds in pummelo. Volatile compounds were extracted from pummelo juice using head-space microextraction and then analyzed using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Results showed that a total of 49 volatile compounds was detected in the study, including 11 aldehydes, 7 alcohols, 3 ketones, 7 esters, 19 terpenes and 2 other volatiles. The ‘Guanxi’ pummelo cultivar possessed a more complex composition of volatile compounds compared with the ‘Shatian’ cultivar. Meanwhile, the volatile compounds appeared to exhibit a higher concentration in the ‘Guanxi’ cultivar samples than the ‘Shatian’ cultivar. Cluster analysis revealed that the ‘Guanxi’ cultivar samples from the different regions were grouped together, whereas the ‘Shatian’ cultivar samples were assembled. Principal component analysis showed that an obvious separation was observed between the ‘Guanxi’ and ‘Shatian’ cultivar. However, the ‘Shatian-SC15’ was significantly separated from the other ‘Shatian’ cultivar samples. These indicated that cultivar genotype was the primary factor that determined the volatile profile of the pummelo cultivar. Cultivation region might affect the biosynthesis of volatile compounds, resulting in the differentiation of the volatile composition in each pummelo cultivar.

Concepts: Alcohol, Citrus, Factor analysis, Ketone, Carboxylic acid, Principal component analysis, Volatile, Cultivated plant taxonomy


In 2011 vintage, the evolution of monomer and total anthocyanins, as well as of total flavonoids and polyphenols of grapes and wine of Nero d'Avola and Perricone, varieties cultivated in Sicily, was studied. Anthocyanin profiles are commonly used for grapevine cultivar identification because it is currently accepted that this trait is closely related to their genetic characteristics. The concentration of Nero d'Avola and Perricone anthocyanins was determined by HPLC-DAD.

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Wine, Polyphenol, Grape, Vitis riparia, Cultivar, Anthocyanin, Cultivated plant taxonomy