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A method has been developed for analyzing pyrite quantitatively in the sediments of Erhai Lake in southwest China using 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy combined with a series of acidic pre-treatments. Following a washing with an alkaline solution (0.1N NaOH), the sediment samples were successively treated using HCl, HF, and then HCl (65 °C). The residues thus prepared were analyzed for pyrite using 57Fe Mössbauer spectrometry. The presence of pyrite was also confirmed in the acidic residues of the sediments using sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure. This method can be used to measure pyrite in aquatic sediments, especially when the concentration of pyrite is very low and the particles of pyrite are small or the crystallinity is low, and even in amorphous status. In addition, vertical variations of pyrite contents are positively correlated with organic matter and negatively correlated with hematite, superfine paramagnetic ferric iron and sedimentation rate in the cored sediment from the Erhai Lake. All these geochemical indicators may also reflect environmental changes in sedimentation conditions and diagenesis.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: Y.P. Jing, D.T. Liu, X.R. Yu, F. Xiong, D.L. Li, Y.K. Zheng, Y.F. Hao, Y.J. Gu, and Z. Wang

The objective of the present study was to understand the developmental regularity of wheat endosperm cells at different Days After Pollination (DAP) using microscopic and histochemical methods. Resin semi-thin sections of the endosperm and the enzymatically dissociated Starchy Endosperm Cells (SECs) were observed under a light microscope. The results showed that: (1) SECs were irregular-shaped and had two types of starch granules: large oval-shaped A-type starch granules and small spherical B-type starch granules. (2) The growth shape of SECs was referred to as S-curve and the fastest cell growth period was at 16–24 DAP. (3) The largest increase and growth of A-type starch granules were mainly at 4–16 DAP. B-type starch granules increased rapidly after 16 DAP and made up over 90% of the total starch granules in SEC during the late stage of endosperm development. (4) The nuclei of SEC deformed and degenerated during the middle and late stages of endosperm development and eventually disappeared. However, starch granules still increased and grew after the cell nuclei had degenerated. The investigations showed the development regularity of starch endosperm cells and starch granules, thereby improving the understanding of wheat endosperm development.

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Chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) are powerful tools to combine naturally occurring genetic variants with favorable alleles in the same genetic backgrounds of elite cultivars. An elite CSSL Z322-1-10 was identified from advanced backcrosses between a japonica cultivar Nipponbare and an elite indica restorer Xihui 18 by SSR marker-assisted selection (MAS). The Z322-1-10 line carries five substitution segments distributed on chromosomes 1, 2, 5, 6 and 10 with an average length of 4.80 Mb. Spikilets per panicle, 1000-grain weight, grain length in the Z322-1-10 line are significantly higher than those in Nipponbare. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified and mapped for nine agronomic traits in an F3 population derived from the cross between Nipponbare and Z322-1-10 using the restricted maximum likelihood (REML) method in the HPMIXED procedure of SAS. We detected 13 QTLs whose effect ranging from 2.45% to 44.17% in terms of phenotypic variance explained. Of the 13 loci detected, three are major QTL (qGL1, qGW5-1 and qRLW5-1) and they explain 34.68%, 44.17% and 33.05% of the phenotypic variance. The qGL1 locus controls grain length with a typical Mendelian dominance inheritance of 3:1 ratio for long grain to short grain. The already cloned QTL qGW5-1 is linked with a minor QTL for grain width qGW5-2 (13.01%) in the same substitution segment. Similarly, the previously reported qRLW5-1 is also linked with a minor QTL qRLW5-2. Not only the study is important for fine mapping and cloning of the gene qGL1, but also has a great potential for molecular breeding.

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It is well demonstrated that wheat-rye 1BL/1RS translocated chromosome leads to some valuable novel traits such as disease resistance, high yield and functional stay-green after anthesis. To understand the physiological mechanism of 1BL/1RS translocation responsible for osmotic stress, two wheat cultivars, CN12 and CN17, carrying the translocated chromosome and MY11 without the translocated chromosome were employed in the study. During 5-day osmotic stress, fresh weight inhibition, chlorophyll content, soluble protein content, MDA concentration, antioxidant enzymes activity and free polyamines content were examined. CN12 and CN17, especially cultivar CN17, registered greater biomass and minor oxidative damage compared with their wheat parent. Meanwhile, the concentration of Spd and Spm in CN17 was significantly higher than the others. In addition, we found a positive correlation of fresh weight inhibition (FWI) and Put concentration, and a negative one with the parameters (Spd + Spm): Put ratio, indicating the importance of higher polyamine (Spd and Spm) accumulation on the adaptation to osmotic stress. Therefore, we proposed that the accumulation of higher polyamines (Spd and Spm) should play an important role on the adaptation of 1BL/1RS translocation lines to osmotic stress and might be important factors for the origin of novel traits introduced by 1BL/1RS.

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In this study, a new substitution line, 12-5-1, with 42 chromosomes that was derived from BC3F2 descendants of the hybridization between Triticum aestivum cv. CN19 and Aegilops biuncialis was created and reported. The 12-5-1 was immune to both powdery mildew and stripe rust and has stable fertility. Multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridization indicated that 12-5-1 was a substitution line 1Mb(1B). The seed storage protein electrophoresis showed that 12-5-1 presented high molecular weight glutenin subunits (2 + 12) of CN19 and a new subunit designated as M which apparently originated from parent Ae. biuncialis, and absent 7 + 8 subunits. Additionally, the flour quality parameters showed that the protein content, Zeleny sedimentation value, wet gluten content, and grain hardness and mixing time of 12-5-1 were signifiantly higher than those of its parent CN19. Moreover, 5 pairs of the chromosome 1Mb-specifi polymerase chain reaction-based landmark unique gene markers, TNAC1021, TNAC1026, TNAC1041, TNAC1-02 and TNAC1-04, were also obtained. The new substitution line 1Mb(1B) 12-5-1 could be a valuable source for wheat improvement, especially for wheat end product quality and resistance to disease.

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