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Open access

Craig E. Kallsen and Dan E. Parfitt

Excessive boron (B) in soil and water is a problem for pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) production in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) of California. Although amenable, leaching of B requires more water than chlorine (Cl) or sodium (Na) and is increasingly difficult as B in irrigation water increases. The lack of subsurface drainage to the ocean increases soil salinity in many growing areas, especially on the west side of the SJV where B is often excessive natively in the soil and water. Pistachio rootstocks that can tolerate or exclude B may be a partial solution. For the past decade in California, the dominant rootstock has been seedlings and clonal selections of University of California Berkeley 1 (UCB-1), which is a hybrid of P. atlantica × P. integerrima. This reliance on a genetically similar pool of rootstocks has constrained Pistacia’s genetic potential for adapting to high-salt environments. This study compared scion and rootstock leaflet B concentration of novel hybrid experimental rootstocks with variable percentages of P. vera and P. integerrima heritage with UCB-1. Rootstocks with P. vera heritage limited B in both rootstock and scion leaflets compared with UCB-1. In six trials conducted over several years, leaflet B in ungrafted hybrid rootstocks having 62.5% to 75% P. vera and 25% to 37.5% P. integerrima heritage had 27.6% to 43.1% lower B leaflet concentration than did UCB-1. Depending on the experiment and year, grafted rootstocks having 37.5% P. vera and 62.5% P. integerrima heritage had 46.8% to 70.8% lower B scion leaflet concentration than did UCB-1. Genetic variation in B uptake in Pistacia species and interspecific hybrids, and among individual seedlings within populations, allows the breeding of pistachio rootstocks more tolerant of excess B.

Open access

Qun Yin, Xiaodeng Shi, Zhonglong Zhu, Ziyang Sang, Guijuan Du, Luyi Ma, and Zhongkui Jia

Open access

Matthew T. Elmore, Aaron J. Patton, Adam W. Thoms, and Daniel P. Tuck

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) control with postemergence herbicides in cool-season turfgrass is often inconsistent. Amicarbazone and mesotrione have complementary modes of action but have not been evaluated in tank-mixtures for control of mature annual bluegrass in cool-season turfgrass. Field experiments were conducted during 2018 in New Jersey, and in Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey during 2019 to evaluate springtime applications of amicarbazone and mesotrione for POST annual bluegrass control in cool-season turfgrass. On separate tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) sites in 2018, three sequential applications of amicarbazone (53 g⋅ha−1) + mesotrione at 110 to 175 g⋅ha−1 provided >70% annual bluegrass control, whereas three sequential applications of amicarbazone alone at 53 and 70 as well as two sequential applications at 110 g⋅ha−1 provided <15% control at 14 weeks after initial treatment (WAIT). In 2019, results in New Jersey were similar to 2018 where amicarbazone alone provided less control than mesotrione + amicarbazone tank-mixtures. In Indiana, where the annual bluegrass infestation was severe and most mature, tank-mixtures were more effective than amicarbazone alone at 6 WAIT, but at 12 WAIT all treatments provided poor control. In Iowa, where the annual bluegrass infestation was <1 year old, all treatments provided similar control throughout the experiment and by >80% at the conclusion of the experiment. This research demonstrates that sequential applications of mesotrione + amicarbazone can provide more annual bluegrass control than either herbicide alone, but efficacy is inconsistent across locations, possibly due to annual bluegrass maturity and infestation severity.

Open access

Jian Li, Jessica Chitwood-Brown, Gurleen Kaur, Joanne A. Labate, G.E. Vallad, Tong Geon Lee, and Samuel F. Hutton

Fusarium wilt of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), caused by fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (Fol), is one of the most important diseases in tomato production. Three races of the pathogen are described, and race-specific resistance genes have been applied in commercial tomato cultivars for controlling the disease. Race 3 (Fol3) threatens tomato production in many regions around the world, and novel resistance resources could expand the diversity and durability of Fol resistance. The wild tomato species, Solanum pennellii, is reported to harbor broad resistance to Fol and was the source of two known Fol3 resistance genes. In this study, we evaluated 42 S. pennellii accessions for resistance to each fusarium wilt race. F1 plants, developed from crossing each accession with the Fol3 susceptible line ‘Suncoast’, were evaluated for Fol3 resistance, and BC1F1 plants were screened to determine the likelihood that Fol3 resistance was based on a novel locus (loci). Nearly all accessions showed resistance to Fol3, and many accessions were resistant to all races. Evaluation of F1 plants indicated a dominant resistance effect to Fol3 from most accessions. Genetic analysis indicated 24 accessions are expected to contain one or more novel Fol3 resistance loci other than an allele near the I-3 locus. To investigate genetic structure of the S. pennellii accessions used in this study, we genotyped all 42 accessions using genotyping by sequencing. Approximately 20% of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci were heterozygous across accessions, likely due to the outcrossing nature of the species. Genetic structure analysis at 49,120 unique SNP loci across accessions identified small but obvious genetic differentiations.

Open access

Paul D. Gottlieb, Robin G. Brumfield, Raul I. Cabrera, Daniel Farnsworth, and Lucas Marxen

Water availability, quality, and management, particularly under climate change constraints and fierce competition for water resources, are challenging the sustainability of intensively irrigated nursery crops. We created an online tool to estimate costs and benefits of a water recycling investment at a commercial nursery, given data on the operation input by the user. The online tool returns a “regulatory risk score” based on the user’s drought and pollution risk. Then, using a partial budget approach, it returns net present value of the investment, upfront capital cost, and expected change in annual cash flow. The present article seeks to cross-validate this computer model with results reported in the case study literature. We aggregated data on 38 nurseries and greenhouses profiled in five published studies into a meta study dataset. These data validated the computer tool’s assumptions about the relationship of operation size to total capital cost. Separate simulations on the profitability effects of varying public water rates and price premia due to green marketing corroborated the findings of earlier studies. A major finding of the simulation analysis not previously emphasized in the literature is that capital cost and profit vary significantly with the precise method that is used to size the recapture pond. A “minimalist” approach to this decision is likely to be the most cost-effective, but growers should also keep stormwater runoff and other issues of environmental best practices in mind.

Open access

Ji-Eun Jeong and Sin-Ae Park

This study was conducted to determine the physiological and psychological benefits of integrating software coding and horticultural activity. Participants included 30 adults in their 20s. The subjects randomly engaged in activities—namely, connecting Arduino components, coding, planting, and a combined coding and horticultural activities. During the activity, two subjective evaluations were conducted at the end of each activity, and participants’ brain waves were measured. The spectral edge frequency 50% of alpha spectrum band (ASEF50) and ratio of sensorimotor rhythm from mid beta to theta (RSMT) were activated in the prefrontal lobe as participants performed combined coding and horticultural activities. When performing these combined activities, relative beta (RB) increased, and relative theta (RT) decreased in the prefrontal lobe. In addition, ASEF50, relative low beta (RLB), and relative mid beta (RMB) were activated during plant-based activities (planting and a combined coding and horticultural activities). The subjective evaluations revealed that the plant-based activities had a positive effect on participants’ emotions. This study shows that activities combining coding and horticulture had a positive impact on physiological relaxation and increased concentration in adults compared with other activities and was also linked with positive subjectively reported emotions.

Open access

Yan He, Lulu Yang, Yanjun Zhang, and Qiong Liang

Bletilla is an Orchidaceae genus with high medical value, including detumescence, antibacterial, and hemostasis. In this study, detailed estimates of ploidy level, karyotype, and genome size were first obtained, and a comprehensive cytological analysis was carried out to better understand the evolution of the genus. The karyotypes of Bletilla were mainly composed of metacentric and submetacentric chromosomes with lengths ranging from 1.25 to 4.93 μm. There was moderate cytological variation in Bletilla (chromosome number 2n = 32 to 76). Diploid with 2n = 34 and 2n = 36 was detected in Bletilla ochracea and Bletilla formosana, respectively, whereas diploid (2n = 32) was dominant in Bletilla striata, dysploidy (2n = 34, 2n = 36) and polyploid (2n = 48, 51, 64, 76) variations were also observed. Three species had a relatively symmetric karyotype, and which of B. ochracea was more asymmetry. The genome size (1C-values) varied from 2.94 pg (B. striata) to 3.33 pg (B. ochracea), of which B. ochracea was significantly larger than the others (P < 0.05). A positive correlation (P < 0.01) between 1Cx vs. haploid chromosome length (HCL) and asymmetry coefficient of karyotypes (AsK%) was observed.

Open access

Chunxian Chen and William R. Okie

Peach (Prunus persica) cultivars maintained at the U.S. Department of Agriculture program at Byron, GA, have never been characterized with any molecular markers. In this study, 20 microsatellite markers were used to genotype 112 cultivars and the data were analyzed to discern their population structure and phylogenetic relationships. STRUCTURE simulations revealed four K clusters and broad genetic admixture among the cultivars. Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) showed the cultivar groups from western, northeastern, and southeastern U.S. states were adjacent to each other except cultivars from Michigan (close to most southeastern state groups) and Florida (most distant from the other groups). Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that these cultivars had no obvious PCA partitioning boundaries. The intertwined distribution in both PCoA and PCA partitions suggested many of them were genetically closely related to each other largely because most shared same ancestral parentages. Most pairwise distance means within and between the cultivar groups were relatively low, suggesting close phylogenetic relations among those cultivars, as were demonstrated in the phylogenetic tree. Limiting factors and perspectives relevant to peach breeding are discussed.