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    First record of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in Chinese mainland
    CHEN Si-qi, ZHAO Yi, LU Yong-yue, RAN Hao, XU Yi-juan
    2022, 21(6): 1825-1829.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(22)63903-0
    In January 2022, we received ant specimens collected from three field colonies from Shantou City, Guangdong Province, China.  They were identified as the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, through morphological and molecular analyses.  Wasmannia auropunctata is listed as one of the 100 most dangerous invasive species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and has spread from its native range in South America to every continent except Antarctica.  DNA analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) in nine specimens of W. auropunctata found that they had a close genetic relationship with specimens from Argentina.  This study represents the first formal record of the establishment of W. auropunctata outdoor in Chinese mainland.  However, the invasion stage and occurrence degree of W. auropunctata in China are not clear to date.  The implementation of quarantine measures, investigation of the occurrence and distribution, and development of monitoring and control strategies are needed to actively respond to the threat posed by this highly invasive ant.
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    Effects of exogenous paclobutrazol and sampling time on the efficiency of in vitro embryo rescue in the breeding of new seedless grape varieties
    XU Teng-fei, GUO Yu-rui, YUAN Xiao-jian, CHU Yan-nan, WANG Xiao-wei, HAN Yu-lei, WANG Wen-yuan, WANG Yue-jin, SONG Rui, FANG Yu-lin, WANG Lu-jun, XU Yan
    2022, 21(6): 1633-1644.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63815-7

    Embryo rescue technology plays an important role in seedless grape breeding.  However, the efficiency of embryo rescue, including the embryo formation, germination, and seedling rates, is closely related to the parental genotypes, degree of abortion, growth medium, and plant growth regulators.  In this study, we investigated the effects of different concentrations of paclobutrazol (PAC), a plant growth regulator, and embryo collection times on the embryo formation, germination, and seedling rates for different hybrid combinations of grape breeding varieties used for their aroma and cold-resistance traits.  The results showed that the different PAC concentrations had varying impacts on the development of ovules and embryos from the different grape varieties.  The embryo formation rates of the ‘Sultanina Rose’בBeibinghong’ and ‘Kunxiang Seedless’בTaishan-2’ crosses were the highest under the 5.1 μmol L–1 PAC treatment.  The 1.0 μmol L–1 PAC treatment was optimal for the germination and seedling development of the ‘Sultanina Rose’בBeibinghong’ embryos, whereas the 0.2 μmol L–1 PAC treatment induced the highest germination rate for the ‘Sultanina Rose’בKunxiang Seedless’ cross.  The optimal sampling times for each cross varied as 39 d after pollination (DAP) for the ‘Flame Seedless’בMuscat Hamburg’ cross, 46 DAP for the ‘Kunxiang Seedless’בBeibinghong’ cross, and 41 DAP for the ‘Ruby Seedless’בBeibinghong’ and ‘Fantasy Seedless’בShuangyou’ crosses.  Moreover, the medium modified with 0.5 g L–1 of indole-3-butyric acid allowed the malformed seedlings to develop into plantlets and achieve larger progenies.  This study provides a useful basis for further studies into grape embryo rescue and could improve breeding efforts for new seedless grape varieties.

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    Identification of genetic locus with resistance to take-all in the wheat-Psathyrostachys huashanica Keng introgression line H148
    BAI Sheng-sheng, ZHANG Han-bing, HAN Jing, WU Jian-hui, LI Jia-chuang, GENG Xing-xia, LÜ Bo-ya, XIE Song-feng, HAN De-jun, ZHAO Ji-xin, YANG Qun-hui, WU Jun, CHEN Xin-hong
    2021, 20(12): 3101-3113.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63340-8
    Take-all is a devastating soil-borne disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).  Cultivating resistant line is an important measure to control this disease.  Psathyrostachys huashanica Keng is a valuable germplasm resource with high resistance to take-all.  This study reported on a wheat-P. huashanica introgression line H148 with improved take-all resistance compared with its susceptible parent 7182.  To elucidate the genetic mechanism of resistance in H148, the F2 genetic segregating population of H148×XN585 was constructed.  The mixed genetic model analysis showed that the take-all resistance was controlled by two major genes with additive, dominant and epistasis effects.  Bulked segregant analysis combined with wheat axiom 660K genotyping array analysis showed the polymorphic SNPs with take-all resistance from P. huashanica alien introgression were mainly distributed on the chromosome 2A.  Genotyping of the F2 population using the KASP marker mapped a major QTL in an interval of 68.8–70.1 Mb on 2AS.  Sixty-two genes were found in the target interval of the Chinese Spring reference genome sequence.  According to the functional annotation of genes, two protein genes that can improve the systematic resistance of plant roots were predicted as candidate genes.  The development of wheat-P. huashanica introgression line H148 and the resistant QTL mapping information are expected to provide some valuable references for the fine mapping of disease-resistance gene and development of take-all resistant varieties through molecular marker-assisted selection.
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    Control of cotton pests and diseases by intercropping: A review
    CHI Bao-jie, ZHANG Dong-mei, DONG He-zhong
    2021, 20(12): 3089-3100.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63318-4
    Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is a globally important crop that is often damaged by pests and diseases.  Current cotton pests and diseases management is dependent on chemical pesticides.  Although chemical pesticides are usually effective, long-term application of these pesticides often leads to increased insecticide resistance in the pests, fewer natural enemies, reduced natural control, and a degraded environment.  Because of increased environmental awareness and the need for sustainable cotton production, the control of cotton pests and diseases using biological means like intercropping is increasingly receiving attention.  Intercropping of cotton with other crops can often boost the total yield and output of the intercropping system and provide significant economic benefits without sacrificing cotton quality.  Intercropping also increases the number of natural enemies, and reduces the occurrence of cotton pests and diseases by altering the ecological structure and environmental conditions in the fields.  Cotton-based intercropping is an effective strategy to reduce the competition between cotton and grain or other economic crops for arable land.  It is also an important way to increase the populations of natural enemies in cotton fields for the management of pests and diseases.  However, inappropriate intercropping can also increase labor requirements and even result in inadequate control of pests and diseases.  This review focuses on the performance and the mechanisms of intercropping for reducing cotton pests and disease as well as on the effective management of intercropping systems.  The risks and limitations, as well as the study approaches needed and the prospects of intercropping for the control of cotton pests and diseases, are also discussed.  This information is intended to aid researchers and growers in designing economically viable and ecologically friendly pest and disease management strategies that will reduce the use of chemicals and the cost of cotton production.
     
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    Genome-wide characterization and expression analysis of WRKY family genes during development and resistance to Colletotrichum fructicola in cultivated strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa Duch.)
    ZOU Xiao-hua, DONG Chao, LIU Hai-ting, GAO Qing-hua
    2022, 21(6): 1658-1672.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63816-9
    Based on the recently published whole-genome sequence of cultivated strawberry ‘Camarosa’, in this study, 222 FaWRKY genes were identified in the ‘Camarosa’ genome.  Phylogenetic analysis showed that the 222 FaWRKY candidate genes were classified into three groups, of which 41 were in group I, 142 were in group II, and 39 were in group III.  The 222 FaWRKY genes were evenly distributed among the seven chromosomes.  The exon–intron structures and motifs of the WRKY genes had evolutionary diversity in different cultivated strawberry genomes.  Regarding differential expression, the expression of FaWRKY133 was relatively high in leaves, while FaWRKY63 was specifically expressed in roots.  FaWRKY207, 59, 46, 182, 156, 58, 39, 62 and 115 were up-regulated during achene development from the green to red fruit transition.  FaWRK181, 166 and 211 were highly expressed in receptacles at the ripe fruit stage.  One interesting finding was that FaWRKY179 and 205 were significantly repressed after Colletotrichum fructicola inoculation in both ‘Benihoppe’ and ‘Sweet Charlie’ compared with Mock.  The data reported here provide a foundation for further comparative genomics and analyses of the distinct expression patterns of FaWRKY genes in various tissues and in response to C. fructicola inoculation.
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    Genetic diversity analysis and GWAS reveal the adaptive loci of milling and appearance quality of japonica (oryza sativa L.) in Northeast China
    XU Xin, YE Jun-hua, YANG Ying-ying, LI Ruo-si, LI Zhen, WANG Shan, SUN Yan-fei, ZHANG Meng-chen, XU Qun, FENG Yue, WEI Xing-hua, YANG Yao-long
    2022, 21(6): 1539-1550.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63701-2
    Milling and appearance quality are important contributors to rice grain quality.  Abundant genetic diversity and a suitable environment are crucial for rice improvement.  In this study, we investigated the milling and appearance quality-related traits in a panel of 200 japonica rice cultivars selected from Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces in Northeast China.  Pedigree assessment and genetic diversity analysis indicated that cultivars from Jilin harbored the highest genetic diversity among the three geographic regions.  An evaluation of grain quality indicated that cultivars from Liaoning showed superior milling quality, whereas cultivars from Heilongjiang tended to exhibit superior appearance quality.  Single- and multi-locus genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were conducted to identify loci associated with milling and appearance quality-related traits.  Ninety-nine significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected.  Three common SNPs were detected using the mixed linear model (MLM), mrMLM, and FASTmrMLM methods.  Linkage disequilibrium decay was estimated and indicated three candidate regions (qBRR-1, qBRR-9 and qDEC-3) for further candidate gene analysis.  More than 300 genes were located in these candidate regions.  Gene Ontology (GO) analysis was performed to discover the potential candidate genes.  Genetic diversity analysis of the candidate regions revealed that qBRR-9 may have been subject to strong selection during breeding.  These results provide information that will be valuable for the improvement of grain quality in rice breeding.
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    Evidence of silk growth hampering in maize at high planting density using phenotypic and transcriptional analysis
    ZHANG Min, XING Li-juan, REN Xiao-tian, ZOU Jun-jie, SONG Fu-peng, WANG Lei, XU Miao-yun
    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63796-6 Online: 02 August 2021
    Abstract117)   PDF (1661KB)(12)   
    Increasing the planting density is an effective means to increase the yield of maize (Zea mays L.), although it would also aggravate ovary apical abortion-induced bald tip of the ear, which might, in turn, reduce the yield. While the mechanism underlying the regulation of drought-related abortion in maize is well established, high planting density-related abortion in maize remains poorly understood. Therefore, the present study was aimed to investigate the mechanism underlying the ovary apical abortion response to high density. This was achieved by evaluating the effects of four different plant densities (60000 plants ha-1 (60 k), 90000 plants ha-1 (90 k), 120000 plants ha-1 (120 k), and 150000 plants ha-1 (150 k)) on plant traits related to plant architecture, plant ear, flowering time, and silk development in two inbred lines (Zheng58 and PH4CV) and two hybrid lines (Zhengdan 958 and Xianyu 335). The phenotypes of both inbred and hybrid plants were observed under different planting density treatments, and it was revealed that high planting density increased the phenotypic performance values of the evaluated traits. Anthesis-silking interval (ASI) extended, and the amount of the silks extruded from husks reduced upon increasing the planting density. Delayed silk emergence resulted in asynchronous flowering and ear bald tip. Observation of the silk cell revealed that the silk cells became smaller as planting denstiy increased. The changes in transcript abundance in the silks involved genes associated with expansive growth rather than carbon metabolism. These findings further the understanding of silk growth regulation under high planting density and provide a theoretical basis for further research on high planting density breeding in maize.
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    Cotton cultivation technology with Chinese characteristics has driven the 70-year development of cotton production in China
    FENG Lu, CHI Bao-jie, DONG He-zhong
    2022, 21(3): 597-609.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63457-8
    Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, significant achievements have been made in cotton production in China.  China has maintained its position as the world’s largest cotton producer for 33 years (1983–2015), with average annual increases of 3.5 and 3.9% in the unit yield and total output of cotton, respectively.  Cotton production has played an extremely important role in the development of the national economy and the improvement of living standards.  Although the cotton planting area has been reduced in recent years, the total output has remained relatively unchanged due to the continuous increase in the unit yield.  China’s dominant position in global cotton production is undoubtedly attributed to the progress and development of cotton cultivation technology.  Over the past 70 years, China has established a high-yielding and high-efficiency cotton cultivation mode that corresponds to its national conditions, including a large population and a limited land area.  Furthermore, cotton cultivation technology is constantly being innovated and developed to keep pace with the times.  In this paper, we review the development of cotton production and cultivation in China over the past 70 years, with a particular focus on the innovation and development of cotton cultivation technology with Chinese characteristics.  This review is intended to provide guidance for the sustainable development of China’s cotton production in the future and to provide a reference for global cotton production.

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    Protective efficacy of an H5/H7 trivalent inactivated vaccine (H5-Re13, H5-Re14, and H7-Re4 strains) in chickens, ducks, and geese against newly detected H5N1, H5N6, H5N8, and H7N9 viruses
    ZENG Xian-ying, HE Xin-wen, MENG Fei, MA Qi, WANG Yan, BAO Hong-mei, LIU Yan-jing, DENG Guo-hua, SHI Jian-zhong, LI Yan-bing, TIAN Guo-bin, CHEN Hua-lan
    2022, 21(7): 2086-2094.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(22)63904-2

    Some H5 viruses isolated in poultry or wild birds between 2020 and 2021 were found to be antigenically different from the vaccine strains (H5-Re11 and H5-Re12) used in China.  In this study, we generated three new recombinant vaccine seed viruses by using reverse genetics and used them for vaccine production.  The vaccine strain H5-Re13 contains the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of an H5N6 virus that bears the clade 2.3.4.4h HA gene, H5-Re14 contains the HA and NA genes of an H5N8 virus that bears the clade 2.3.4.4b HA gene, and H7-Re4 contains the HA and NA genes of H7N9 virus detected in 2021.  We evaluated the protective efficacy of the novel H5/H7 trivalent inactivated vaccine in chickens, ducks, and geese.  The inactivated vaccine was immunogenic and induced substantial antibody responses in the birds tested.  Three weeks after vaccination, chickens were challenged with five different viruses detected in 2020 and 2021: three viruses (an H5N1 virus, an H5N6 virus, and an H5N8 virus) bearing the clade 2.3.4.4b HA gene, an H5N6 virus bearing the clade 2.3.4.4h HA gene, and an H7N9 virus.  All of the control birds shed high titers of virus and died within 4 days post-challenge, whereas the vaccinated chickens were completely protected from these viruses.  Similar protective efficacy against H5 viruses bearing the clade 2.3.4.4h or 2.3.4.4b HA gene was observed in ducks and geese.  Our study indicates that the newly updated H5/H7 vaccine can provide solid protection against the H5 and H7N9 viruses that are currently circulating in nature.  

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    Quantification and prediction of enteric methane emissions from Chinese lactating Holstein dairy cows fed diets with different dietary neutral detergent fiber/non-fibrous carbohydrate (NDF/NFC) ratios
    DONG Li-feng, JIA Peng, LI Bin-chang, WANG Bei, YANG Chun-lei, LIU Zhi-hao, DIAO Qi-yu
    2022, 21(3): 797-811.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63825-X
    Methane (CH4) emissions from ruminant production are a significant source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas production, but few studies have examined the enteric CH4 emissions of lactating dairy cows under different feeding regimes in China.  This study aimed to investigate the influence of different dietary neutral detergent fiber/non-fibrous carbohydrate (NDF/NFC) ratios on production performance, nutrient digestibility, and CH4 emissions for Holstein dairy cows at various stages of lactation. It evaluated the performance of CH4 prediction equations developed using local dietary and milk production variables compared to previously published prediction equations developed in other production regimes.  For this purpose, 36 lactating cows were assigned to one of three treatments with differing dietary NDF/NFC ratios: low (NDF/NFC=1.19), medium (NDF/NFC=1.54), and high (NDF/NFC=1.68).  A modified acid-insoluble ash method was used to determine nutrient digestibility, while the sulfur hexafluoride technique was used to measure enteric CH4 emissions.  The results showed that the dry matter (DM) intake of cows at the early, middle, and late stages of lactation decreased significantly (P<0.01) from 20.9 to 15.4 kg d–1, 15.3 to 11.6 kg d–1, and 16.4 to 15.0 kg d–1, respectively, as dietary NDF/NFC ratios increased.  Across all three treatments, DM and gross energy (GE) digestibility values were the highest (P<0.05) for cows at the middle and late lactation stages.  Daily CH4 emissions increased linearly (P<0.05), from 325.2 to 391.9 kg d–1, 261.0 to 399.8 kg d–1, and 241.8 to 390.6 kg d–1, respectively, as dietary NDF/NFC ratios increased during the early, middle, and late stages of lactation.  CH4 emissions expressed per unit of metabolic body weight, DM intake, NDF intake, or fat-corrected milk yield increased with increasing dietary NDF/NFC ratios.  In addition, CH4 emissions expressed per unit of GE intake increased significantly (P<0.05), from 4.87 to 8.12%, 5.16 to 9.25%, and 5.06 to 8.17% respectively, as dietary NDF/NFC ratios increased during the early, middle, and late lactation stages.  The modelling results showed that the equation using DM intake as the single variable yielded a greater R2 than equations using other dietary or milk production variables.  When data obtained from each lactation stage were combined, DM intake remained a better predictor of CH4 emissions (R2=0.786, P=0.026) than any other variables tested.  Compared to the prediction equations developed herein, previously published equations had a greater root mean square prediction error, reflecting their inability to predict CH4 emissions for Chinese Holstein dairy cows accurately.  The quantification of CH4 production by lactating dairy cows under Chinese production systems and the development of associated prediction equations will help  establish regional or national CH4 inventories and improve mitigation approaches to dairy production.

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    First record of the golden potato nematode Globodera rostochiensis in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China
    JIANG Ru, PENG Huan, LI Yun-qing, LIU Hui, ZHAO Shou-qi, LONG Hai-bo, HU Xian-qi, GE Jian-jun, LI Xing-yue, LIU Miao-yan, SHAO Bao-lin, PENG De-liang
    2022, 21(3): 898-899.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63845-5
    The potato cyst nematodes (PCN) Globodera rostochiensis (Wollenweber) Skarbilovich, 1959 is considered the most damaging nematode pest of potato worldwide that causes significant yield losses, and this nematode is recognized and listed as a quarantine nematode in many countries (EPPO 2017).  China is currently the largest producer of potato in the world, while the total production is also the highest (Guan and Cai 2019).  The survey for cyst nematodes on potato were conducted in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China during 2018–2020, numerous cysts were observed on potato roots in Huize County and Ludian County of Yunnan Province, Zhaojue County and Yuexi County of Sichuan Province.  Cysts and second-stage juveniles (J2s) were isolated from each soil sample using the Cobb decanting and sieving method.  The morphology of cysts and J2s and molecular analysis established the identity of this species as golden cyst nematode Globodera rostochiensis (Subbotin et al. 2010).  For morphological analysis, the cysts were characterized by smoothly rounded with a small projecting neck, brown and golden color, terminal cone was absent and circumfenestrate.  The key morphometrics of cysts (n=25) were: length excluding neck 705±24 (689–747) μm, width 698±28 (678–759) μm, number of cuticular ridges between anus and vulval fenestra 17.3±1.7 (14–19); fenestral diameter 13.6±1.1 (12.25–15.45) μm; distance from anus to the edge of fenestra 63.7±11.3 (48.23–79.14) μm; Granek’s ratio 4.7±0.7 (3.92–5.75).  The key morphometrics of J2s (n=25): body length 453.9±16.6 (440–496) μm, stylet length 21.9±1.0 (20.3–24.3) μm, tail length 51.1±3.2 (45.5–55.5) μm, and hyaline region length 24.4±2.5 (21.7–29.9) μm.  Morphology of the cysts and J2 were consistent with those of G. rostochiensis (Subbotin et al. 2010; EPPO 2017).  Moreover, the identification result was confirmed by PCR using universal primers TW81 (5´-GTTTCCGTAGGTGAACCTGC-3´) and AB28 (5´-ATATGCTTAAGTTCAGCGGGT-3´) for ITS region and D2A (5´-TTTTTTGGGCATCCTGAGGTTTAT-3´) D3B (5´-AGCACCTAAACTTAAAACATAATGAAAATG-3´) for rDNA-28S region, respectively.  The ITS rDNA sequences (GenBank accessions MZ042365, MZ042366, MZ042369, and MZ042370) exhibited 99.83% identity match to G. rostochiensis sequences available in the GenBank (GQ294513).  Sequence from the 28S region (GenBank accessions MZ057595, MZ057596, MZ057599, and MZ057600) was 99.33% similar to those of G. rostochiensis isolate from MF773722.  The species was also confirmed with species-specific primers ITS5 (5´-GGAAGTAAAAGTCGTAACAAGG-3´) and PITSr3 (5´-AGCGCAGACATGCCGCAA-3´) (Bulman and Marshall 1997), a single 434-bp fragment was obtained from Huize, Ludian, Zhaojue and Yuexi populations.  The pathog enicity testing of Huize, Ludian, Zhaojue and Yuexi, three weeks-old potato plants (cv. Qinshu 9)

    were inoculated with 2 000 eggs, and cultured in an incubator at 23°C/20°C with a 16 h/8 h light/dark photoperiod.  After three months inoculation, 36±7.2 cysts and females were extracted from the infested potato roots, no females and cysts were observed on control plants.  


    This is the first report of potato golden cyst nematode G. rostochiensis in China.  



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    Biosynthesized metallic nanoparticles as fertilizers: An emerging precision agriculture strategy
    Busiswa NDABA, Ashira ROOPNARAIN, Haripriya RAMA, Malik MAAZA
    2022, 21(5): 1225-1242.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63751-6
    Nanofertilizers increase efficiency and sustainability of agricultural crop production.  Due to their nanosize properties, they have been shown to increase productivity through target delivery or slow release of nutrients, thereby limiting the rate of fertilizer application required.  Nanofertilizers can be synthesized via different approaches ranging from physical and chemical to green (biological) synthesis.  The green approach is preferable because it makes use of less chemicals, thereby producing less chemical contamination and it is safer in comparison to physicochemical approaches.  Hence, discussion on the use of green synthesized nanoparticles as nanofertilizers is pertinent for a sustainable approach in agriculture.  This review discusses recent developments and applications of biologically synthesized metallic nanoparticles that can also be used as nanofertilizers, as well as their uptake mechanisms for plant growth.  Toxicity concerns of nanoparticle applications in agriculture are also discussed.
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    Roles of mushroom polysaccharides in chronic disease management
    ZHANG Shan, LEI Lin, ZHOU Yun, YE Fa-yin, ZHAO Guo-hua
    2022, 21(7): 1839-1866.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63871-6
    Chronic diseases have drawn much attention as the primary cause of death and disability.  In exploring novel side-effect-free agents against chronic diseases, significant efforts have been devoted to mushroom polysaccharides due to their diverse biological activities.  This work reviewed the structural features, biological performances and molecular mechanisms of mushroom polysaccharides in managing cancers, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases.  The potentials of mushroom polysaccharides against chronic diseases highly depend on their structural features, including monosaccharide composition, molecular weight, the type and configuration of glycosidic bonds, degree of branching, the type of substituent pattern and chain conformation.  Regarding their working mechanisms, shared and disease-specific pathways were found.  The three chronic diseases shared the regulation of specific signalling pathways and the adjustment of gut microbiota.  In addition, the roles of transcription factors, receptors, enzymes, hormones and other functional proteins involved in the molecular mechanisms of mushroom polysaccharides against chronic diseases are first elaborated herein.  The present review describes the state of the art of mushroom polysaccharides in treating chronic diseases and addresses the perspectives, and will further promote research on this topic.
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    Characterization of laccase gene StLAC6 involved in the pathogenicity and peroxisome function in Setosphaeria turcica
    LIU Ning, ZHANG Qian-qian, JIA Hui, ZHAO Bin, ZHU Zi-ping , CAO Zhi-yan, DONG Jin-gao
    2022, 21(7): 2019-2030.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63855-8

    Laccases, as a kind of multicopper oxidase, play an important role in pigment synthesis and growth in fungi and are involved in their interactions with host plants.  In Setosphaeria turcica, 9 laccase-like multicopper oxidases have been identified, and StLAC2 is involved in the synthesis of the melanin that accumulates in the cell wall.  The function of another major laccase gene, StLAC6, was studied here.  The knockout of StLAC6 had no effect on the growth, morphology or invasion ability of S. turcica, but the morphology and function of peroxisomes of knockout mutants were abnormal.  The knockout of the StLAC6 gene resulted in increased contents of phenolic compounds and melanin and the sensitivity to fungicides increased compared with wild type strains.  In the mutants of StLAC6, there is a significant change of the expression levels of other laccase genes.  This study provides a new insight into laccase functions and the relationship of the laccase gene family in plant pathogenic fungi.   

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    Recent advances in immunocastration in sheep and goat and its animal welfare benefits: A review
    ZENG Fan-mei, DING Yi, Teketay WASSIE, JING Hai-jing, Sohail AHMED, LIU Gui-qiong, JIANG Xun-ping
    2022, 21(2): 299-309.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63670-5
    Castration of male animals is a common practice in the meat industry aimed at reducing aggressive behavior, preventing unpleasant flavor, and controlling undesirable breeding.  For many years, mechanical castration and surgical castration have been practiced to sterilize the animals.  However, these castration methods are not humane because of the associated risk of death, pain, and stress.  Recently, immunocastration targeting the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG) axis has been reported as an animal-friendly approach that circumvents many of the concerns with conventional castration, and suggested by researches as an alternative to surgical castration.  However, there is no compilation of updated information on the use of immunocastration in sheep and goats.  Therefore, this review aims to summarize the developmental process from traditional surgical castration to immunocastration and to screen the process of immune targets.  It also compares the respective advantages and disadvantages of traditional castration technologies and immunocastration, in particular including analyses in the characteristics, features application and welfare benefits of immunocastration in sheep and goats were also analyzed.
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    Optimization of nitrogen fertilization improves rice quality by affecting the structure and physicochemical properties of starch at high yield levels
    ZHOU Tian-yang, LI Zhi-kang, LI En-peng, WANG Wei-lu, YUAN Li-min, ZHANG Hao, LIU Li-jun, WANG Zhi-qin, GU Jun-fei, YANG Jian-chang
    2022, 21(6): 1576-1592.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63678-X
    A major challenge in modern rice production is to achieve the dual goals of high yield and good quality with low environmental costs.  This study was designed to determine whether optimized nitrogen (N) fertilization could fulfill these multiple goals.  In two-year experiments, two high yielding ‘super’ rice cultivars were grown with different N fertilization management regimes, including zero N input, local farmers’ practice (LFP) with heavy N inputs, and optimized N fertilization (ONF).  In ONF, by reducing N input, increasing planting density, and optimizing the ratio of urea application at different stages, N use efficiency and the physicochemical and textural properties of milled rice were improved at higher yield levels.  Compared with LFP, yield and partial factor productivity of applied N (PFP) under ONF were increased (on average) by 1.70 and 13.06%, respectively.  ONF increased starch and amylose content, and significantly decreased protein content.  The contents of the short chains of A chain (degree of polymerization (DP) 6–12) and B1 chain (DP 13–25) of amylopectin were significantly increased under ONF, which resulted in a decrease in the stability of rice starch crystals.  ONF increased viscosity values and improved the thermodynamic properties of starch, which resulted in better eating and cooking quality of the rice.  Thus, ONF could substantially compensate the negative effects caused by N fertilizer and achieve the multiple goals of higher grain quality and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) at high yield levels.  These results will be useful for applications of high quality rice production at high yield levels.
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    A locus TUTOU2, determines the panicle apical abortion phenotype of rice (Oryza sativa L.) in tutou2 mutant
    ZHU Zi-chao, LUO Sheng, LEI Bin, LI Xian-yong, CHENG Zhi-jun
    2022, 21(3): 621-630.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63447-5
    Rice panicle apical abortion (PAA) is a detrimental agronomic trait resulting in spikelet number reduction and yield loss.  To understand its underlying molecular mechanism, we identified one recessive PAA mutant tutou2 from the offspring of tissue cultures.  The mutation locus was finely mapped to a 75-kb interval on the long arm of chromosome 10.  Sequence analysis revealed a single nucleotide substitution of A to T at the 941 position of LOC_Os10g31910 in tutou2, resulting in an amino acid change from isoleucine to phenylalanine.  Complementation analysis showed that the degenerated panicle phenotype in tutou2 was rescued in the transgenic lines.  A phenotype similar to tutou2 can also be obtained by LOC_Os10g31910 knockout in wild-type rice.  These results suggested that LOC_Os10g31910 is the causative locus TUTOU2 responsible for the tutou2 PAA phenotype and probably also the locus of DEL1, previously documented as a leaf senescence gene.  The significant phenotypic differences between del1 and tutou2 suggest that the locus DEL1/TUTOU2 plays roles in both leaf and panicle development which were not considered fully in previous studies.
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    The roles of microRNAs in regulating root formation and growth in plants
    YAN Xiao-xiao, LIU Xiang-yang, CUI Hong, ZHAO Ming-qin
    2022, 21(4): 901-916.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63818-2
    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (ca. 20–24 nucleotides) non-coding RNAs that have recently been recognized as key post-transcriptional modulators of gene expression; and they are involved in many biological processes in plants, such as root growth and development.  The miRNAs regulate root elongation, lateral root (LR) formation and adventitious root (AR) development in response to hormone signaling, nutrient uptake and biotic/abiotic stress.  This review provides multiple perspectives on the involvement of miRNAs in regulating root growth and development in plants.  We also discuss several crucial mechanisms of miRNAs, their relationships with transcription factors and the target gene-mediated hormone signaling interactions in the regulation of root growth and development.
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    HBP1 inhibits chicken preadipocyte differentiation by activating the STAT3 signaling via directly enhancing JAK2 expression
    CHEN Hong-yan, CHENG Bo-han, MA Yan-yan, ZHANG Qi, LENG Li, WANG Shou-zhi, LI Hui
    2022, 21(6): 1740-1754.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63895-9

    Obesity presents a serious threat to human health and broiler performance.  The expansion of adipose tissue is mainly regulated by the differentiation of preadipocytes.  The differentiation of preadipocytes is a complex biological process regulated by a variety of transcription factors and signaling pathways.  Previous studies have shown that the transcription factor HMG-box protein 1 (HBP1) can regulate the differentiation of mouse 3T3-L1 preadipocytes by activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.  However, it is unclear whether HBP1 involved in chicken preadipocyte differentiation and which signaling pathways it regulates.  The aim of the current study was to explore the biological function and molecular regulatory mechanism of HBP1 in the differentiation of chicken preadipocytes.  The expression patterns of chicken HBP1 in abdominal adipose tissue and during preadipocyte differentiation were analyzed by RT-qPCR and Western blot.  The preadipocyte stably overexpressing HBP1 or knockout HBP1 and their control cell line were used to analyze the effect of HBP1 on preadipocyte differentiation by oil red O staining, RT-qPCR and Western blot.  Cignal 45-Pathway Reporter Array was used to screen the signal pathways that HBP1 regulates in the differentiation of chicken preadipocytes.  Chemical inhibitor and siRNA for signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) were used to analyze the effect of STAT3 on preadipocyte differentiation.  The preadipocyte stably overexpressing HBP1 was transfected by the siRNA of STAT3 or treated with a chemical inhibitor of STAT3 for the rescue experiment.  The results of gene expression analysis showed that the expression of HBP1 was related to abdominal fat deposition and preadipocyte differentiation in chickens.  The results of function gain and loss experiments indicated that overexpression/knockout of HBP1 in chicken preadipocytes could inhibit/promote (P<0.05) lipid droplet deposition and the expression of adipogenesis-related genes.  Mechanismlly, HBP1 activates (P<0.05) the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathway by targeting janus kinase 2 (JAK2) transcription.  The results of functional rescue experiments indicated that STAT3 signaling mediated the regulation of HBP1 on chicken preadipocyte differentiation.  In conclusion, HBP1 inhibits chicken preadipocyte differentiation by activating the STAT3 signaling pathway via directly enhancing JAK2 expression.  Our findings provided new insights for further analysis of the molecular genetic basis of chicken adipose tissue growth and development.


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    A major and stable QTL for wheat spikelet number per spike validated in different genetic backgrounds
    DING Pu-yang, MO Zi-qiang, TANG Hua-ping, MU Yang, DENG Mei, JIANG Qian-tao, LIU Ya-xi, CHEN Guang-deng, CHEN Guo-yue, WANG Ji-rui, LI Wei, QI Peng-fei, JIANG Yun-feng, KANG Hou-yang, YAN Gui-jun, Wei Yu-ming, ZHENG You-liang, LAN Xiu-jin, MA Jian
    2022, 21(6): 1551-1562.   DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63602-4
    The spikelet number per spike (SNS) contributes greatly to grain yield in wheat.  Identifying various genes that control wheat SNS is vital for yield improvement.  This study used a recombinant inbred line population genotyped by the Wheat55K single-nucleotide polymorphism array to identify two major and stably expressed quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for SNS.  One of them (QSns.sau-2SY-2D.1) was reported previously, while the other (QSns.sau-2SY-7A) was newly detected and further analyzed in this study.  QSns.sau-2SY-7A had a high LOD value ranging from 4.46 to 16.00 and explained 10.21–40.78% of the phenotypic variances.  QSns.sau-2SY-7A was flanked by the markers AX-110518554 and AX-110094527 in a 4.75-cM interval on chromosome arm 7AL.  The contributions and interactions of both major QTLs were further analyzed and discussed.  The effect of QSns.sau-2SY-7A was successfully validated by developing a tightly linked kompetitive allele specific PCR marker in an F2:3 population and a panel of 101 high-generation breeding wheat lines.  Furthermore, several genes including the previously reported WHEAT ORTHOLOG OF APO1 (WAPO1), an ortholog of the rice gene ABERRANT PANICLE ORGANIZATION 1 (APO1) related to SNS, were predicted in the interval of QSns.sau-2SY-7A.  In summary, these results revealed the genetic basis of the multi-spikelet genotype of wheat line 20828 and will facilitate subsequent fine mapping and breeding utilization of the major QTLs.
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