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Open access

Laban K. Rutto, Zelalem Mersha, and Mizuho Nita

The French American hybrid grape cultivars Corot noir and Arandell (Vitis sp.), and Vidal blanc and Petit Manseng (Vitis vinifera), along with different spray programs, were evaluated for potential organic production in Virginia from 2013 to 2014. Results obtained in the study demonstrate that organic wine grape production in Virginia can be achieved by using select grape cultivars and spray programs. With the exception of Vidal blanc, disease severity and disease incidence were below the threshold for maintaining healthy vines in all organically managed grape cultivars. ‘Vidal blanc’ was not sufficiently resistant to downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola), precluding it from potential organic management in Virginia. The study also demonstrated significant disease resistance in Virginia of the cultivar Arandell, released by Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in 2013. The results suggest that the organically registered fungicide Bacillus subtilis is effective in reducing the severity and incidence of black rot (Guignardia bidwellii) and phomopsis cane and leaf spot (Phomopsis viticola). The chemistry of organically managed berries harvested in 2014 met minimum requirements for wine production with soluble solids, titratable acidity, and pH ranging from 18.7% to 20.2%, 7.6 to 8.0 g·L−1, and 3.3 to 3.4, respectively, in ‘Arandell’ and ‘Corot noir’; and 21.0% to 24.4%, 7.8 to 9.6 g·L−1, and 2.7 to 2.9, respectively, in ‘Petit Manseng’ and ‘Vidal blanc’ juice.

Open access

Michael J. Havey, Derek J. Hunsaker, and Eduardo D. Munaiz

The amounts and types of epicuticular waxes on onion (Allium cepa) leaves affect the severity of feeding damage by onion thrips (Thrips tabaci), a serious insect pest of onion. Onion plants with light green leaves are referred to as “glossy” and accumulate less epicuticular wax relative to the blue–green (“waxy”) foliage of wild-type onion. The onion cultivar Odourless Greenleaf (OGL) has visually glossy foliage, shows resistance to thrips feeding damage, and has the unique profile of accumulating waxes with 28 or fewer carbons. Plants of glossy OGL were crossed with the glossy inbred B9885 and waxy inbred lines DH2107, DH066619, and B8667. Hybrid progenies from glossy OGL by waxy plants had waxy foliage, indicating recessiveness of the glossy OGL phenotype relative to the waxy phenotype. Hybrids from the cross of glossy OGL with glossy B9885 were also waxy, revealing different genetic bases for the glossy phenotype in these two onions. Hybrid plants were self-pollinated and segregations in F2 families from OGL × waxy crosses fit the expected 3:1 ratio for the single locus at which the homozygous recessive genotype conditions glossy foliage. Segregations in F2 families from crosses of glossy 9885 × glossy OGL fit the 9:7 ratio, supporting two independently segregating loci, where the recessive genotype at either locus conditions the glossy phenotype. Amounts and types of epicuticular waxes on leaves of F2 progenies from crosses of OGL × waxy B8667 and glossy B9885 × OGL were determined using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped and genetic maps were constructed. The visually glossy phenotype from OGL and its unique profile of epicuticular waxes were conditioned by one locus on chromosome 6, for which we propose the name gl ogl. Onion populations such as OGL with unique epicuticular wax profiles will be important germplasms for the development of onion cultivars that suffer less feeding damage from onion thrips compared with waxy onion.

Open access

Chao Zhou, Haide Zhang, Yixing Li, Fenfang Li, Jiao Chen, Debao Yuan, and Keqian Hong

The mechanism regulating procyanidin (PA) accumulation in banana (Musa acuminata) fruit is not understood. During this study, the effects of PA treatment on the activities of banana PA biosynthetic enzymes and transcriptomic profiles were investigated. The results showed that PA treatment delayed the decreases in leucoanthocyanidin reductase and anthocyanidin reductase activities, which affected the accumulation of PA. Furthermore, the peel samples of the control fruit and the PA-treated fruit on day 1 were selected for transcriptomic analysis. The results revealed that PA treatment induced 1086 differentially expressed genes. Twenty-one key genes, including those encoding biosynthetic enzymes and regulatory factors involved in PA biosynthesis, were validated using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The results showed that these genes were upregulated by PA treatment during banana storage. Taken together, our study improves current understanding of the mechanism underlying PA-regulated banana senescence and provide new clues for investigating specific gene functions.

Open access

Rongpei Yu, Ying Cheng, Yanfei Pu, Fan Li, and Shugang Lu

The resurrection plant Selaginella pulvinata (Hook. & Grev.) Maxim is used as an ornamental and medicinal plant. It is also a good candidate for exploring the desiccation tolerance of resurrection plants. However, there is not an efficient propagation method for S. pulvinata. In the present study, we evaluated the establishment of in vitro propagation of S. pulvinata using frond tips as explants. The original shoot induction, adventitious shoot proliferation and plantlet growth media, and substrate type of plantlet acclimatization were investigated. The highest induction rate of original shoots (61.77 ± 5.17%) was obtained on half-strength (1/2) MS medium supplemented with 0.1 mg·L−1 N6-benzylaminopurine (BAP). The 1/2 MS with 1.0 mg·L−1 BAP was the most effective medium for the adventitious shoot proliferation. The quarter-strength (1/4) MS containing 0.1% (w/v) active charcoal (AC) was optimum for plantlets proliferated from adventitious shoots and plantlet growth. Approximately 98 plantlets could be obtained from one single original shoot via one-time shoot proliferation cultivation and plantlet cultivation. The acclimated plants on a 5:1 (v/v) mixture of peat and perlite had the highest survival rate (92.13 ± 1.67%). The acclimated plants maintained excellent resurrection ability.

Open access

Derald Harp, Kevin Chretien, Mariah Brown, Curtis Jones, and Jose Lopez-Serrano

The Ebony series of crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) cultivars includes several (Ebony Embers, Ebony Fire, Ebony Flame, Ebony Glow, and Ebony and Ivory), marketed today under the Black Diamond® brand. These are relatively new crepe myrtle cultivars unique for their dark foliage, but with little information concerning their performance in north-central Texas, especially in low-input landscapes. The study was conducted from 2014 to 2017 at three locations in north-central Texas with three soil types, an acidic fine sandy loam, a neutral pH silt loam, and an alkaline heavy clay. Although soils and environmental conditions caused variations between sites, overall performance among cultivars was consistent across all study sites, with Centennial Spirit having better landscape performance than any of the Ebony cultivars tested. ‘Ebony and Ivory’ and ‘Ebony Blush’ had the overall lowest landscape performance. Ebony cultivars grew more slowly, had fewer blooms, and were more susceptible to powdery mildew than Centennial Spirit. While the trees may perform better in more intensively managed landscapes, the Ebony cultivars did not perform as well as Centennial Spirit in low-input landscapes in north-central Texas.

Open access

Seon-Ok Kim, Ji-Eun Jeong, Yun-Ah Oh, Ha-Ram Kim, and Sin-Ae Park

This study aimed to compare the brain activity and emotional states of elementary school students during horticultural and nonhorticultural activities. A total of 30 participants with a mean age of 11.4 ± 1.3 years were included. This experiment was conducted at Konkuk University campus in Korea. Participants performed horticultural activities such as harvesting, planting, sowing seeds, and mixing soil. Nonhorticultural activities included playing with a ball, solving math problems, watching animation videos, folding paper, and reading a book. The study had a crossover experimental design. Brain activity of the prefrontal lobes was measured by electroencephalography during each activity for 3 minutes. On completion of each activity, participants answered a subjective emotion questionnaire using the semantic differential method (SDM). Results showed that relative theta (RT) power spectrum was significantly lower in both prefrontal lobes of participants when engaged in harvesting and reading a book. The relative mid beta (RMB) power spectrum was significantly higher in both prefrontal lobes when participants engaged in harvesting and playing with a ball. The ratio of the RMB power spectrum to the RT power spectrum reflects concentration. This ratio increased during harvesting activity, indicating that children’s concentration also increased. The sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) from mid beta to theta (RSMT), another indicator of concentration, was significantly higher in the right prefrontal lobe during harvesting than during other activities. Furthermore, SDM results showed that the participants felt more natural and relaxed when performing horticultural activities than nonhorticultural activities. Horticultural activities may improve brain activity and psychological relaxation in children. Harvesting activity was most effective for improving children’s concentration compared with nonhorticultural activities.

Open access

Renjuan Qian, S. Brooks Parrish, Sandra B. Wilson, Gary W. Knox, and Zhanao Deng

Porterweed (Stachytarpheta spp.), a member of the verbena family, is frequently used in pollinator gardens to attract butterflies. This study was conducted to assess the morphological features, pollen stainability and morphology, nuclear DNA content, and chromosome number of five porterweed selections. Coral porterweed (S. mutabilis), ‘Naples Lilac’ porterweed (S. cayennensis × S. mutabilis ‘Violacea’), and nettleleaf porterweed (S. cayennensis) had the largest plant heights. Flower number was significantly higher in nettleleaf porterweed, jamaican porterweed (S. jamaicensis), and U*J3-2 porterweed (S. cayennensis × S. jamaicensis), with an average of 65–72 flowers per inflorescence. Internode length and flower width of jamaican porterweed had much lower values than the other selections. Coral porterweed recorded the lowest pollen stainability with only 10.6% stainability, but it had the largest relative pollen production. ‘Naples Lilac’ porterweed had the highest DNA content with an average of 3.79 pg/2C, like jamaican porterweed with 3.73 pg/2C. Ploidy levels varied between selections, and the basic chromosome number was x = 28. Coral, jamaican, and ‘Naples Lilac’ porterweed had 2n = 6x = 168 chromosomes, first reported in this genus. These results provide a guide and a new tool to distinguish native and non-native porterweed and may aid future breeding toward the production of noninvasive cultivars.

Open access

Paweł Petelewicz, Paweł M. Orliński, and James H. Baird

Decreased stand uniformity together with reduced aesthetics and playability caused by annual bluegrass (Poa annua) intrusion in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) putting greens is one of the major problems that golf course superintendents face with managing newer playing surfaces. Few herbicides are registered for selective control of annual bluegrass in creeping bentgrass greens, and the risk of herbicide resistance remains an issue, thus use of plant growth regulators (PGRs) is still the primary method of annual bluegrass suppression. This study was conducted to evaluate eight PGR treatments, employed as a series of 15 consecutive, biweekly applications to suppress annual bluegrass encroachment in ‘Pure Distinction’ creeping bentgrass maintained as a golf course putting green in Los Angeles, CA. Best annual bluegrass suppression was observed with products containing flurprimidol (FP) at 0.256 lb/acre, paclobutrazol (PB) at 0.119 lb/acre, or three-way mixture of FP, trinexapac-ethyl (TE), and PB (FP+PB+TE) at 0.055, 0.014, and 0.055 lb/acre, respectively. Although all treatments caused some significant creeping bentgrass injury, which increased over time, PB at 0.119 lb/acre and FP+PB+TE at 0.055, 0.014, and 0.055 lb/acre, respectively, appeared to be safest among effective treatments. Additionally, those treatments caused significantly darker green turf, which may be desirable on putting greens. This research confirms the potential of PGR use to limit annual bluegrass infestation on creeping bentgrass greens in a Mediterranean climate and reveals the most effective treatments that could be used in a putting green maintenance program.

Open access

Mark K. Ehlenfeldt and James L. Luteyn

Vaccinium meridionale (section Pyxothamnus), a tetraploid species native to higher altitude locations in Jamaica, Colombia, and Venezuela, is of considerable interest to blueberry breeders for its profuse, concentrated flowering and monopodial plant structure, both of which may be useful in breeding for mechanical harvest. In this study, tetraploid V. meridionale was successfully hybridized as a male with 4x V. corymbosum (section Cyanococcus, highbush blueberry). The first-generation hybrids with highbush blueberry selections were intermediate in morphology and notably vigorous. The 4x F1 hybrids displayed variable branching structure, dormancy, prolificacy, fruit wax, etc.; however, most appear to be deciduous to semi-evergreen, with small, dark-colored fruit. The F1 hybrids displayed good fertility as females in backcrosses to 4x highbush and these crosses have produced numerous offspring morphologically indistinguishable from 4x highbush at the seedling stage. Evaluations of male fertility found variation for pollen production and quality but, significantly, found some clones with very good shed, high stainability, and almost complete tetrad production. The fertility suggests that these hybrids, despite being derived from intersectional crosses, might be conventionally used without significant difficulty. These hybrids also have potential value for the nascent V. meridionale breeding efforts occurring in Colombia, South America.

Open access

Jennifer K. Boldt and James E. Altland

Silicon (Si) is a plant-beneficial element that can alleviate the effects of abiotic and biotic stress. Plants are typically classified as Si accumulators based on foliar Si concentrations (≥1% Si on a dry weight basis for accumulators). By this definition, most greenhouse-grown ornamentals are low Si accumulators. However, plants that accumulate low foliar Si concentrations may still accumulate high Si concentrations elsewhere in the plant. Additionally, screening cultivars for variability in Si uptake has not been investigated for low Si accumulator species. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess cultivar variability in Si accumulation and distribution in petunia (Petunia ×hybrida). Eight cultivars (Supertunia Black Cherry, Supertunia Limoncello, Supertunia Priscilla, Supertunia Raspberry Blast, Supertunia Royal Velvet, Supertunia Sangria Charm, Supertunia Vista Silverberry, and Supertunia White Improved) were grown in a commercial peat-based soilless substrate under typical greenhouse conditions. They were supplemented with either 2 mm potassium silicate (+Si) or potassium sulfate (-Si) at every irrigation. Silicon supplementation increased leaf dry mass (4.5%) but did not affect total dry mass. In plants not receiving Si supplementation, leaf Si ranged from 243 to 1295 mg·kg−1, stem Si ranged from 48 to 380 mg·kg−1, flower Si ranged from 97 to 437 mg·kg−1, and root Si ranged from 103 to 653 mg·kg−1. Silicon supplementation increased Si throughout the plant, but most predominantly in the roots. Leaf Si in the 2 mm Si treatment ranged from 1248 to 3541 mg·kg−1 (173% to 534% increase), stem Si ranged from 195 to 654 mg·kg−1 (72% to 376% increase), flower Si ranged from 253 to 1383 mg·kg−1 (74% to 1082% increase), and root Si ranged from 4018 to 10,457 mg·kg−1 (593% to 9161% increase). The large increase in root Si following supplementation shifted Si distribution within plants. In nonsupplemented plants, it ranged from 51.2% to 76.8% in leaves, 8.2% to 40.2% in stems, 2.8% to 23.8% in flowers, and 1.2% to 13.8% in roots. In Si-supplemented plants, it ranged from 63.5% to 67.7% in leaves, 10.5% to 22.6% in roots, 9.4% to 17.7% in stems, and 1.6% to 9.6% in flowers. This study indicates that petunia, a low foliar Si accumulator, can accumulate appreciable quantities of Si in roots when provided supplemental Si.