rss_2.0Folia Horticulturae FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Folia Horticulturae Horticulturae Feed of foliar application of zinc on annual productivity, foliar nutrients, bioactive compounds and oxidative metabolism in pecan<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Pecan nut production is quite commonly limited by zinc (Zn) deficiency. Here, we evaluate the response in terms of the concentrations of non-structural carbohydrates, yield components, foliar nutrient levels and oxidative metabolism in young ‘Western Schley’ pecan nut trees in response to foliar applications of 200 mg · L<sup>−1</sup> of Zn as one of the following: ZnSO<sub>4</sub>, Zn-EDTA, ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) or the proprietary product ‘nitrazinc’ (NZN) (the control). Across two consecutive growing seasons, the spraying of Zn in these various forms helped maintain the foliar concentrations of non-structural carbohydrates, foliar nutrients (total-N, Ca<sup>2+</sup> and Mg<sup>2+</sup>) and the kernel percentage of nuts. Likewise, trees sprayed with ZnSO<sub>4</sub> maintained the concentrations of Zn in the leaflets across seasons. On the other hand, Zn-EDTA decreased the concentration of chlorophyll and total carotenoids. In general, leaflets treated with ZnSO<sub>4</sub>, Zn-EDTA and ZnO NPs reduced their oxidative metabolism. Sources of Zn – such as ZnSO<sub>4</sub> – are commercially viable alternatives suitable for increasing the performance of some parameters associated with the yield and quality of nuts in pecan. It would be worthwhile to determine the optimal Zn dose rates for the various pecan cultivars in common use and also to increase our understanding of the physiological and biochemical changes associated with foliar Zn applications.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and cold drying of edible flowers affect metabolite patterns of extracts and decoctions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>Edible flowers are rich in bioactive compounds and pigments that are on increasing demand in nutraceutical, medicinal, food, cosmetic and dyeing industries. This study evaluated the anthocyanins, phenolics and antioxidant activity of eight edible flowers (<italic>Bellis perennis</italic> L., <italic>Centaurea cyanus</italic> L., <italic>Dianthus</italic> <italic>carthusianorum</italic> L., <italic>Lavandula angustifolia</italic> Mill., <italic>Primula vulgaris</italic> Huds., <italic>Rosa canina</italic> L., <italic>Rosa pendulina</italic> L. and <italic>Viola odorata</italic> L.) after 24 h of hot drying (50 °C; natural convection stove) or cold drying (CD) (22 °C; heat-pump drying system). The hot-dried and cold-dried materials were then used to prepare ultrasound-assisted extracts, which are used as food additives or as a source of natural colourants, or decoctions (DECs), which are used for herbal teas. The edible flower UAEs and DECs had high amounts of anthocyanins (up to 3,284.6 mg C3G · 100 g<sup>-1</sup>), phenolics (up to 9,034 mg · 100 g<sup>-1</sup>) and antioxidant activity (866 μmol TE · g<sup>-1</sup>, 4,901 mmol Fe<sup>2+</sup> · kg<sup>-1</sup>), with roses having the highest amount. The anthocyanin content and phenolic profile (flavonols, benzoic acids, cinnamic acids and flavanols) of edible flowers are found to be affected by drying and extraction methods. For decoctions, CD was found to be the most efficient drying method for all the parameters. For UAEs, CD resulted in a higher anthocyanin content, while hot drying resulted in a higher phenolic content, particularly flavanols. Overall, the studied edible flower extracts and decoctions can contribute to healthy and coloured substances, which can be used for designing innovative natural products. <italic>Rosa pendulina</italic> and <italic>R. canina</italic> are the most promising sources.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue effect of application of effluent water on sage ( L.) yield and quality in lysimeters<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Cultivation of medicinal plants with the irrigation of agricultural effluents might be of great importance to save fresh water resources, extend cultivation area and increase economic feasibility. We investigated the effects of saline fish farm effluent water, diluted and gypsum-supplemented effluent, and natural freshwater as a control irrigation in lysimeters. Beside plant growth parameters, macronutrient and sodium content and the amount and composition of essential oil of sage plants were measured. Significant differences among irrigation treatments were found in plant height, SPAD value and essential oil content. Seasonal variation was also observed on plant height, nutrient content of the leaves and the total essential oil content. The essential oil components characterised by the highest levels of availability were detected as α-thujone, camphor, ß-thujone, 1,8-cineol and ledol. Under effluent irrigation, the concentrations of - and ß-thujone increased slightly; only camphene, trans-sabinole and caryophyllene-oxide changed significantly. The other main components remained stable. Our analysis of the response of sage to the input of effluent provides a reasonable ground for recommending the utilisation of saline effluent water from intensive fish farming in sage production, thus preventing the wastage of valuable water resources.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of ultrasonic-assisted extraction and biological activity of total flavonoids from leaves of using response surface methodology<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p><italic>Murrayae exotica</italic> is a traditional Chinese medicine widely grown in southeast China. A Box–Behnken design of response surface methodology was employed to further optimise ultrasonic-assisted extraction conditions for <italic>M. exotica</italic> leaves total flavonoids (MELTF). The results showed that the optimised extraction conditions were an ultrasonic power of 240 W, an ultrasonic temperature of 60 °C, a solvent concentration of 76%, an ultrasonic time of 55 min and a liquid–solid ratio of 22 mL · g<sup>−1</sup>. Under these conditions, 8.59 ± 0.34 mg · g<sup>−1</sup> was achieved as the mean experimental value of extraction yield, which amounts to 2.56 times that of ethanol leaching extraction. As compared to MELTF, MELTF after purification (MELPTF) had a higher purity of 9.96%, which was nearly nine times higher than that of MELTF (1.26%). As compared to MELTF, MELPTF had higher α-glucosidase and α-amylase inhibitory activities as well as DPPH<sup>·</sup> and ABTS<sup>·+</sup> scavenging activities with IC<sub>50</sub> values of 0.021, 0.094, 0.245 and 0.113 mg · mL<sup>−1</sup>, which are 1.33, 2.12, 3.17 and 1.78 times higher than those of MELTF (0.028, 0.199, 0.777 and 0.201 mg · mL<sup>−1</sup>). The study thus demonstrates the eligibility of MELPTF to be considered as a multifunctional bioactive ingredient having potential applications in anti-hyperglycaemic pharmaceutical formulation and as an antioxidant in functional foods.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue kinase and plant–pathogen interactions govern male responses to during the early stages of infection<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>This study explored the effect of <italic>Ustilago esculenta</italic> infection on differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in male Manchurian wild rice (<italic>Zizania latifolia</italic>). We injected male Jiaobai plants at the five-leaf stage with <italic>U. esculenta</italic> suspension, and leaves at different timepoints after inoculation were collected for transcriptome sequencing. Transcriptome sequencing identified 1,226 DEGs mainly enriched in resistance-related processes. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) showed that ‘plant–pathogen interaction’ and ‘MAPK signalling pathway-plant’ were the two most important upregulated pathways, and 16 candidate genes related to response to <italic>U. esculenta</italic> infection were screened. The results provide a basis for determining the molecular mechanisms of the response of male <italic>Z. latifolia</italic> to <italic>U. esculenta</italic> infection.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue on pollen viability and stigma receptivity throughout the flowering period in the selected taxa of the Gesneriaceae family<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Plants in the Gesneriaceae family are appreciated for their decorative leaves and flowers, ease of cultivation, and shade tolerance. Sexual hybridisation has long been carried out for producing novel hybrids. However, scientific knowledge is lacking on the correct timing of pollination in this family. This study was conducted to elucidate the optimal timing for pollination by screening pollen viability and stigma receptivity throughout the flowering period in eight gesneriad taxa. Pollen viability was evaluated by the <italic>in vitro</italic> germination test and stigma receptivity was based on stigma morphology and pistil length. The flowering duration varied from 10 days in <italic>Alsobia</italic> to 18 days in <italic>Streptocarpus</italic>. While the pollens of <italic>Episcia, Kohleria, Saintpaulia, Sinningia</italic>, and <italic>Smithiantha</italic> had totally lost viability 2–5 days before the flowers withered, a slightly contrasting situation was observed in the cases of <italic>Alsobia, Deinostigma</italic>, and <italic>Streptocarpus</italic>, where a small portion of pollen grains remained viable towards the end of the flowering period. The highest pollen germination rate was recorded from 1 day in <italic>Alsobia</italic>, <italic>Episcia</italic>, and <italic>Kohleria</italic>, to 9 days in <italic>Deinostigma</italic>. The reduction in pollen germination was rapid in <italic>Alsobia</italic>, <italic>Saintpaulia</italic>, and <italic>Smithiantha</italic>, and moderate in the remaining taxa. The greatest pollen tube growth occurred at 1–3 days after flower opening and decreased rapidly in all the taxa tested. The longest pistil of 2.03–3.50 cm was observed at 3–8 days of anthesis depending on the plant tested. The findings in this study suggest that higher pollination success may be achieved using pollen grains of newly opened flowers and stigmas of mature flowers in this family.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue comparative study of morphological characteristics in diploid and tetraploid (auto and allotetraploids) genotypes<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this study, ploidy levels were determined by stomatal observations and flow cytometry analysis of plants polyploidised by the application of 0.05% colchicine to seedlings at the first true leaf stage. In the study of developing polyploid watermelon rootstocks, the survival rate of the plants was 77%, and the polyploidisation rates were 11% and 3% according to stomatal observations and flow cytometry analysis, respectively. According to the results of flow cytometry, 22 polyploid genotypes were determined. Auto- (12) and allotetraploids (10) of <italic>Citrullus</italic> genotypes were developed, and their plant growth performance was determined in hydroponic culture in comparison with diploids, commercial rootstocks (RS841, ‘Argentario’) and watermelon cultivar (‘Crimson Tide’). Putative tetraploids and their diploid controls were grown in hydroponic culture for 21 days, and their vegetative growth performances were determined. The results showed that the increases in plant biomass depending on polyploidisation were 100% in autotetraploids and 156% in allotetraploids as compared to diploid controls.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue properties revealed huge diversity in 50 date palm ( L.) genotypes<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>Date palm has excellent economic value all over the world. Date palm genotypes grown in Pakistan are diverse in nature. The current study aimed to explore the diversity in 50 date palm genotypes collected from two different research stations in Punjab, Pakistan. The study findings are as follows: Dhakki had the highest fruit weight, pulp weight, fruit width and fruit volume. Jaman had a longer fruit length. Eedel Shah and Begum Jangi had greater fruit thickness and fruit perimeter, respectively. Makran showed a higher fruit area. Dedhi showed the highest stone weight, thickness and volume. Halmain had a longer stone length, and Sundari had an extended stone width. Makhi exhibited a higher stone perimeter and area. The Danda genotype had low weight and a small length of the stone. Begum Jangi and Peeli Sundar had small stone width. Seib and Shado had a higher moisture content in their fruits. The fruits of Baidhar and Khudraw-2 genotypes had the highest dry matter and reducing sugars. Champa Kali and Shakri had higher TSS levels in fruits. Halmain had higher juice pH. The fruits of Pathri and Makhi genotypes exhibited higher non-reducing sugars and carotenoids. In this study, a dendrogram was constructed to cluster 50 genotypes into five different clusters based on their physico-chemical characteristics. The correlation matrix and variable plot revealed positive and negative correlations between fruits traits and their biochemical properties conducive to the improvement of desired traits. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that Dhakki, Chohara, Baidhar, Karbalaen and Eedel Shah showed a higher genetic diversity; hence, in the scatter plot and biplot, these genotypes deviated from the centre of origin. Physico-chemical characteristics of data palm genotypes indicated a huge diversity among them, which could help select diverse parents, which is important for different breeding purposes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue effects of microbial fertiliser on yield and quality parameters of curly lettuce and cucumber with fertiliser saving<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>This research aimed to evaluate the potential effects of microbial fertilizer on the growth, yield and quality parameters and fertiliser savings of lettuce and cucumber. The study had control (C), microbial fertilisation (MF), chemical fertilisation (CF), chemical fertilisation + microbial fertilisation (CF + MF), 50% chemical fertilisation + microbial fertilisation (50% CF + MF) and dipping into microbial fertiliser + chemical fertilisation (D + CF) treatments. The highest head length, root collar diameter, soluble solids and leaf number of lettuce were obtained in D+CF. Maximum chlorophyll contents were obtained in CF, CF + MF and D + CF, all of which were higher than the C application. D + CF and CF + MF resulted in the highest total and marketable yields. In cucumber cultivation, although the highest fruit length was obtained in CF, CF + MF, 50% CF + MF and D + CF were only slightly less than CF. The highest fruit diameters were in CF + MF and 50% CF + MF. The chlorophyll contents were significantly more in 50% CF + MF and D + CF than in other applications. The highest first- and second-class yields were in 50% CF + MF and were significantly higher than those in C and CF. Average fruit weight was also higher in all MF applications. It counclud that the alone MF application is not important, so MF has to be used with organic or chemical fertilisers in lettuce and cucumber cultivation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue L. Kunth a bio-resource with potential: Overview and opportunities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p><italic>Byrsonima crassifolia</italic> L. Kunth is a plant native to the Americas that grows in tropical and subtropical areas. Fresh <italic>B. crassifolia</italic> fruits are a good source of ascorbic acid and carotenoids and contain volatile compounds such as butyric and caproic acids. Although <italic>B. crassifolia</italic> is commonly exploited from wild natural ecosystems, it exhibits the potential to become a crop plant. When optimal agronomic management systems support propagation by seed, fruits with more homogeneous characteristics can be produced compared to those obtained from wild or backyard plants. <italic>B. crassifolia</italic> fruits can be found in local markets in Central and South America. The pulp, peel, and other <italic>B. crassifolia</italic> fruit components can be processed to make traditional and innovative food products, namely candies, cookies, cakes, candied fruits, ice creams, sorbets, jellies, juices, liqueurs, jams, nectars, pickles, and fruit drinks as an alternative to avoid the waste of overripe fruits. Additionally, the woody fraction of the <italic>B. crassifolia</italic> tree is used as a source of firewood, as shade, and for constructing living fences. These uses also allow the maximum use of biomass by establishing support for cultivation with the circular economy and strengthening food security. Therefore, this review aims to provide insights into the generation and dissemination of knowledge supporting the development of strategies in the areas of agronomy, postharvest management, and technological processing of <italic>B. crassifolia</italic> to promote its sustainable use and exploitation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of alternative substrates for hydroponics based on biological parameters of leaf lettuce ( L.) and its stress response<abstract> <title style='display:none'>ABSTRACT</title> <p>The study focusses on alternative substrates with the potential to replace common substrates, such as mineral wool and perlite, as the influence of these on ecosystems and resources is being debated. To this aim, wood fibre, sheep wool and coco peat substrates were selected for testing. Leaf lettuce (<italic>Lactuca sativa</italic> L. ‘Lisboa’) is taken as the model crop for the evaluation of alternative substrates. The closed hydroponic system ebb and flow with growing in pots was used for the experiment. The parameters of the nutrient solution were EC 1.5–2 mS and pH 6–7. Biological parameters, content of nitrates, plant stress indicators, antioxidant activity (AA) as % scavenging of DPPH (AA), glutathione (GSH), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), total phenol content (TPC) and the content of chosen elements in the drain from substrates were evaluated. According to the biomass production of lettuce, the substrates can be ranked from the lowest as follows: sheep wool &lt; wood fibre &lt; mineral wool &lt; perlite &lt; coco peat. The levels of GSH and APX did not affect AA. The TPC showed the greatest effect on AA and the stress response in general. The nitrate content ranged between 426 and 686 mg · kg<sup>–1</sup> of fresh mass. Instead of mineral wool and perlite, coco fibre could be a promising alternative organic substrate for lettuce production in the ebb and flow hydroponics system. Wood fibre and sheep wool still have unresolved circumstances regarding their physical and chemical parameters.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue action of ginkgolic acid against pathogenic fungi and characterisation of its inhibitory activities on<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Ginkgolic acid is a natural plant antifungal substance with important biological activities, present in the testa of <italic>Ginkgo biloba</italic>. This research aims to analyse the antifungal action of ginkgolic acid against pathogenic fungi. Ginkgolic acid was analyzed by HPLC and FTIR, and the <italic>in vitro</italic> inhibitory activities of ginkgolic acid against pathogenic fungi has been investigated. Results showed that ginkgolic acid was a small hydrophobic molecule composed of five ginkgolic acids and their derivatives, with the alkyl and phenolic hydroxyl groups being located on the skeleton of the aromatic ring. Among <italic>Nigrospora oryzae</italic> (<italic>N. oryzae</italic>), <italic>Alternaria alternata</italic> (<italic>A. alternata</italic>) and <italic>Penicillium expansum</italic> (<italic>P. expansum</italic>), ginkgolic acid showed the strongest inhibition against <italic>N. oryzae</italic>, and the inhibition rate of ginkgolic acid at 5 mg · mL<sup>−1</sup> reached 65.82%. Ginkgolic acid lysed the cell membrane of <italic>N. oryzae</italic>, causing the leaking of the mycelial protein and enhancement of the permeability of the cell membrane, which caused the electrical conductivity of the liquid medium to increase. In addition, it also decreased the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase in the mycelium of <italic>N. oryzae</italic>, thereby weakening the cell's protective function by damaging the integrity of the biomembrane. Furthermore, ginkgolic acid can effectively protect the leaves of <italic>Epipremnum aureum</italic> from infection by <italic>N. oryzae</italic>. It was concluded that ginkgolic acid effectively inhibited the activity of <italic>N. oryzae</italic>.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue characteristics of flower organs and micropropagation of male sterile lines of hybrids<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Lily pollen causes many problems affecting humans' quality of life and health, such as clothing contamination and skin or nasal allergies. The manual removal of anthers is time-consuming and labour-intensive, and thus, not conducive to commercial production. It is of great importance to produce pollen-free lily varieties with beautiful shapes. In this study, we studied the morphological characteristics of flower organs and polyploids of six pollen-free filial generations of four lily species and their micropropagations. Lily ‘5-21’ is male sterile and produces uncrackable anthers with inactive pollens under natural conditions. Lily ‘3-12’ is unable to produce anthers, because the petals become stamens, thereby leading to infertility. Lilies ‘3-1’, ‘5-4’, ‘5-35’ and ‘0-0.2’ are unable to produce anthers, because they lack floral organs. Polyploids of six hybrid lilies were identified by flow cytometry and chromosome counting, and the results showed that lily ‘5-4’ was triploid and the rest were diploid. Morphological observation indicated that flowering periods were from early July to early August and lasted for about 11 days. Six male sterile lilies had low seed setting rates when they were used as female parents. Most of the seeds were flaky with developed embryos. Therefore, asexual reproduction is optimal for these six male sterile lilies. The male sterility of six lilies was associated with their parents' pollen activity. Scales of ‘5-4’ and ‘5-35’ were used as explants for <italic>in vitro</italic> micropropagation. The findings of the present study lay a foundation for breeding of pollen-free lilies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of different water contents in the substrate on cultivation of Jacq. P. Kumm<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Pleurotus ostreatus</italic> is a widely cultivated and investigated mushroom for its economical and ecological values and medicinal properties. <italic>P. ostreatus</italic> can be cultivated on different lignocellulosic substrates (oak sawdust, wheat straw, corn cobs and many more). Optimal growth is influenced not only by the composition of the substrate but also by the amount of water in it. In our study, <italic>P. ostreatus</italic> was cultivated on wheat straw pellets with different water contents (60%, 65%, 70% and 75%). Mycelium growth, biological efficiency (BE), moisture of substrate, pH, enzymatic activities and relationships were the parameters that were evaluated. Based on the results, the optimum initial substrate water content for mycelial growth and BE of the substrate ranged between 65% and 75%. On the other hand, the highest enzymatic activities of hydrolytic and ligninolytic enzymes (Mn-dependent peroxidase, 1,4-β-glucosidase and cellobiohydrolase) were determined for substrates with 75% of water content.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of a weak supply of light at night on the growth and quality components of tea plants<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Supplying artificial light is widely used in crop cultivation to improve yield and quality. In this study, we investigated the effects of a weak supply of light (WSL) on the growth and quality components of tea plants. Starting from mid-winter (20 January 2021), the purple tea (<italic>Camellia sinensis</italic>) cultivar ‘Ziyan’ was exposed to four different spectra at an intensity of 2 μmol · m<sup>−2</sup> · s<sup>−1</sup> or 5 μmol · m<sup>−2</sup> · s<sup>−1</sup> for 3 h or 5 h after sunset. The field observations showed that the sprouting index, which represents the time and speed of bud flush, was significantly higher in most of the WSL treatments than in the control (CK, <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.01). The total content of catechin in the harvested leaves of 3 WSL treatments was 11.51%–18.94% higher than that of the CK, but the content of anthocyanin of 4 WSL treatments unexpectedly decreased by 6.77%–11.69% (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05). The differences in yield, free amino acids and caffeine contents between the WSL treatments and CK were not significant. We concluded that the WSL treatments during the early spring night had positive impacts on the growth and some quality components of tea plants.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue extraction of bioactive compounds from in aqueous glycerol and modelling and optimisation by response surface methodology<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Development of efficient and green methods for extracting bioactive phytochemicals has great industrial value. Increasing environmental sensitivity at the global level has tremendously enhanced the demand for such methods. <italic>Azadirachta indica</italic> is a well-known medicinal tree. As glycerol has emerged as a green and safe extraction solvent for bioactive phytochemicals, this study aimed to investigate the efficacy of a glycerol–water solvent system to extract bioactive compounds from <italic>A. indica</italic> leaves. Modelling and optimisation were carried out by using response surface methodology (RSM) as per the Box–Behnken design with three variables, namely, solvent concentration, time and temperature. The responses were total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity and metal chelating activity (MCA). The optimum conditions found by numerical optimisation were a solvent concentration of 69.713%, a time period of 38.328 min and a temperature of 32.114 °C with the predicted values of TPC, TFC, %DPPH and %MCA as 5.27 mg gallic acid equivalents · g<sup>−1</sup> DW (dry weight), 9.869 mg rutin equivalents · g<sup>−1</sup> DW, 73.8% and 54.366%, respectively. The validation experiments showed almost the same results for each response with very low% errors (5.431–7.661). Increasing glycerol concentration in the extracting medium favoured the extraction of TPC, TFC and antioxidant phytochemicals, but for MCA, the trend was the opposite. In conclusion, 70% aqueous glycerol is an effective medium for the extraction of polyphenolic and antioxidant phytochemicals from <italic>A. indica</italic> leaves. Extraction models suggested by RSM have high prospects to be used on a large industrial scale.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue study of the effects of selenium nanoparticles and selenite on selenium content and nutrient quality in soybean sprouts<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Soybean (<italic>Glycine max</italic> L.) sprouts are a common vegetable with rich nutrients, such as protein, vitamin C and isoflavones. Soybean is also capable of accumulating selenium (Se). To study the effects of Se biofortification on the nutrient of this crop, soybean sprouts were treated with different concentrations of selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) or selenite (i.e., 10 μM, 20 μM, 40 μM, 80 μM and 100 μM) in a hydroponic experiment. Results showed that SeNPs and selenite remarkably increased the total Se concentration in soybean sprouts. Five Se speciations, namely, selenocystine, selenomethionine, methyl selenocysteine, selenite and selenate were detected in soybean sprouts, but selenomethionine was found to be the dominant Se speciation. SeNPs and selenite increased the contents of chlorophyll, carotenoid, soluble sugar, soluble protein, vitamin C and isoflavones in soybean sprouts. SeNPs treatments led to less malondialdehyde content compared with selenite. SeNPs and selenite both enhanced the glutathione content. The modest dosage of exogenous Se stimulated the catalase activity, whereas the large amount reduced it. The peroxidase and ascorbate peroxidase activities were stimulated by SeNPs and selenite. SeNPs posed no significant influence on the superoxide dismutase activity. This study suggests that SeNPs are a good exogenous Se source for the production of Se-rich soybean sprouts.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and yield in taro ( (L.) Schott) grown using different planting materials and exposed to different morphological alteration treatments<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study aimed to compare cormels and suckers to determine the better planting material (PM) and to evaluate the effects of morphology-altering treatments on both shoot growth and corm yield in taro plants. The PMs used included cormel (PMC), suckers with two leaves (PMS2) and suckers with four leaves (PMS4). Morphological alteration (MA) treatment included removal of all suckers (MAS), excising the mother plant (MAM), and non-treated control (NMA). Data were collected weekly for non-destructive and at 12, 20, and 28 weeks after planting (WAP) for destructive measurements. Results of this study indicated that the SPAD values were higher in taro plants grown using cormel and morphologically non-altered plants. Removal of all suckers caused the mother plant to increase the number of leaves. The dry weight of the leaf blades, petioles and fibrous roots of the mother plant and the number of suckers decreased after the corm enlargement process took place. Fresh and dry weights of the corm increased at 20 WAP and then slowed down at 28 WAP. The moisture content of corm was relatively constant at 75%. Cormel could form on the fibrous roots and on suckers, but the total wet and dry weights of the cormels were decreased if the suckers were periodically removed. The growth of suckers was very dominant compared to the NMA plant when the mother plant was excised. Meanwhile, if all the suckers were removed, the growth of the mother plant was relatively comparable to that of the NMA plants.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the sunblock alleviate abiotic stress in mango trees grown in the tropical semiarid?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Mango is the most exported fruit of Brazil, especially grown in São Francisco Valley (tropical semiarid) where there is high temperatures and low air humidity, a condition that can cause stress to plants. Thus, the current study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of different sunblocks to alleviate the abiotic stress of “Palmer” mango trees grown in a semiarid environment. The experimental design consisted of randomised blocks with six treatments, four repetitions and three plants per plot. The treatments consisted of different strategies of sunblocks as follows: (T1) control (no sunblock); (T2) calcium carbonate (50 g · L<sup>−1</sup>); (T3) sunblock (5 mL · L<sup>−1</sup>); (T4) sunblock (5 mL · L<sup>−1</sup>) + calcium carbonate (50 g · L<sup>−1</sup>); (T5) sunblock (5 mL · L<sup>−1</sup>) + sunblock silicon concentrated (20 mL · L<sup>−1</sup>) and (T6) sunblock (20 mL · L<sup>−1</sup>). The results indicate a clear action of sunblock in attenuating the abiotic stress of mango, with a persistent effect with time elapsing, considering the evaluated interval. The sunblock clearly promotes a differentiated leaf coverage pattern, protecting the photosynthetic apparatus and increasing its performance and consequently improving the production of plant reserves. The use of calcium carbonate individually promotes a very short protective effect, without positive reflexes after a few days of application. Mango fruit yield is affected by the sunblock with an increase of 4.2 t · ha<sup>−1</sup> from the treatment with sunblock (20 mL · L<sup>−1</sup>) in relation to the control treatment.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of dandelion ( spp.) quality evaluation technology based on phenolic acids<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>One of the main purposes for which dandelions are cultivated is to derive phenolic acids from their processing. Phenolic acids, which are one of the main useful compounds in dandelion, constitute one of the important groups of therapeutically significant bioactive compounds in traditional Chinese medicine. To carry out a relatively full evaluation of dandelion quality, it was found advisable to use multiple indices to avoid conflict with the single evaluation index stipulated by China Pharmacopoeia. Thus, a quality evaluation method was created based on traditional Chinese medicinal theory and relevant statistics on phenolic acids. Firstly, four main kinds of phenolic acids – caftaric acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and cichoric acid – were chosen as the main indices for quality evaluation through the optimisation of high performance liquid chromatography detection conditions and fingerprint comparison analysis; then, the content of each component was divided into five levels based on the descriptive statistics of 578 dandelion samples and references; finally, the equal weight average method was used to convert content levels of the four components into a comprehensive quality index, which served as the means for dandelion quality to be identified and segregated into grades, as follows: Grade 1 (super high, probability of 0.8%), Grade 2 (high, 18.72%), Grade 3 (medium, 37.28%), Grade 4 (qualified, 32%) and Grade 5 (low, 11.2%). This method is the first to comprehensively evaluate dandelion quality for setting an industry standard in China, and has practical and scientific characteristics.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue