Horticulture College, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou1
Fujian Science Institute of Tropical Crops, Zhangzhou2
College of Life Science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou3
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (NSW Department of Primary Industries and Charles Sturt University), Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, PMB4
In this experiment, five commercial cultivars and one wild species of loquat were used to investigate frost tolerance and enzymatic activities in leaves and young fruits under cold stress at -3°C. The frost injury, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and oxygen-scavenging enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) were studied. This results showed that the wild species ‘Wild Oak-leaf’ loquat was the most frost tolerant among accessions tested, followed by the cultivar ‘Golden Block’. Other cultivars, ‘Wu Gong Bai’, ‘Taicheng 4’, ‘Xiangzhong 11’ and ‘Zaozhong 6’, were relatively weak in frost tolerance. The enzymatic activities of SOD, POD and CAT increased initially and then decreased as the exposure time increased. However, the enzymatic peak occurred later in the frost-tolerant accession than in the frost-sensitive accession. The correlation coefficients of MDA contents between leaves and immature fruits were from 0.93 to 0.99 in the five commercial loquat cultivars. For the ‘Wild Oak-leaf’ loquat, the correlation coefficients of MDA and POD were 0.98 and 0.95, respectively, but the coefficients for SOD, CAT and APX were relatively low. In general, there were good correlations between loquat leaves and immature fruits in MDA content and enzyme activities. These results indicate that analysis of these physiological and biochemical activities in loquat leaves could potentially be used to predict the cold tolerance in loquat at immature fruit stage and to accelerate breeding programs for cold tolerance in loquat.
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