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Open access

Samantha R. Nobes, Karen L. Panter, and Randa Jabbour

The objective of this study was to determine best production practices for five different specialty cut flower species at an altitude of 7200 ft. Region-specific information about cut flower production is important because of unique environmental conditions. We grew five specialty cut flower species in two different growing environments: a greenhouse and a high tunnel. Flowers were grown year-round in the greenhouse and during late spring through fall in the high tunnels. We also used pinching as another production method for the potential increase in branching. The goals were to test the effects of species, growing environment, and pinching on the days from sowing to harvest, stem length, number of stems cut per plant, and marketable yield. Experiments were conducted at the University of Wyoming Laramie Research and Extension Center in Laramie, WY, to assess the potential for producing specialty cut flowers for local consumption. The species used in this study included ‘Princess Golden’ pot marigold (Calendula officinalis), ‘Lucinda Mix’ stock (Matthiola incana), ‘Double Mix’ strawflower (Helichrysum bracteatum), ‘Dara’ ornamental carrot (Daucus carota), and ‘Celway Mix’ cockscomb (Celosia argentea). Results showed significant species × environment and season interactions, indicating the importance of species and production practice selections. We successfully sold the cut flowers to the university student farm for community-supported agriculture shares and farm market sales, as well as to a local florist for use in floral arrangements. This study concluded that careful species selection for season and growing environment is essential for the successful integration of these niche cut flowers into current or future greenhouse and high-tunnel production in Wyoming.

Open access

Rachel Leisso, Bridgid Jarrett, and Zachariah Miller

Haskap (Lonicera caerulea), also known as honeyberry, is a relatively new fruit crop in North America. To date, most academic activity and research in North America involving haskap has focused on cultivar development and health benefits, with relatively few field experiments providing information to guide field planning and harvest management for the recently released cultivars. In 2020, we documented preharvest fruit drop (PHFD) rates for 15 haskap cultivars planted in a randomized block design at our research center in western Montana with the aim of preliminarily determining whether certain cultivars may be prone to this phenomenon. Additionally, we evaluated two plant growth regulators (PGRs) to reduce PHFD in two cultivars previously observed to have high rates of PHFD. Results suggest cultivar-specific variations in PHFD near berry maturation. Because haskap harvest indices are not well-defined and may be cultivar-specific, we share our 1-year study results as preliminary information and as a call for further research. Cultivars Aurora, Boreal Blizzard, Borealis, Indigo Gem, Kapu, and Tana all had PHFD rates less than 12% of yield, where yield is the weight of berries lost to PHFD plus marketable yield and marketable yield is fruit remaining on the shrub at harvest. Cultivars Chito, Kawai, and Taka had the highest rates of PHFD, although marketable yields were still relatively high, especially for Kawai. We note that ease of fruit detachment is an important consideration in mechanical harvest, and this characteristic could be advantageous if managed appropriately. The PGRs evaluated (1-napthaleneacetic acid and aminoethoxyvinylglycine) did not influence PHFD rates; however, our study was limited by the sample size and by the lack of information regarding haskap abscission physiology. In summary, the haskap cultivars evaluated exhibited variable PHFD rates in the year of the study, and further research is needed to understand haskap fruit maturation, harvest indices, and abscission.

Open access

José R. Bautista-Aguilar, Lourdes G. Iglesias-Andreu, Jaime Martínez-Castillo, Marco A. Ramírez-Mosqueda, and Matilde M. Ortiz-García

Vanilla planifolia Jacks. is a species of great economic importance, since vanillin, a compound highly valued in the food and pharmaceutical industry, is extracted from its pods. This species is in the category of special protection, so it is important to take actions for its conservation and to maintain the genetic stability of the conserved germplasm. An adequate way to achieve this is through the minimal growth in vitro conservation techniques. The present work aimed to establish an in vitro conservation protocol for vanilla germplasm that allows the genetic stability of the conserved material. For the establishment of the minimal growth in vitro conservation protocol: two concentrations of basal Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium (50% and 100%), two incubation temperatures (4 and 22 °C) and two concentrations of abscisic acid (ABA) (3 and 5 mg⋅L−1) were evaluated. To evaluate the genetic stability of the germplasms used in this study (cultivated, wild, and V. insignis morphotypes) by analyzing the profiles of molecular markers SSR (simple sequence repeats) and ISSR (inter simple sequence repeats). The MS medium (100%) supplemented with 3 mg⋅L−1 of ABA and incubated at 22 °C, was the best treatment for the in vitro conservation of Vanilla spp. Compared with the control treatment, it allowed us to obtain smaller shoots (1.17 × 0.17 cm), which showed high genetic stability, given by the low percentages of polymorphism detected in morphotypes cultivated and wild (SSR 0%, ISSR 2%) and V. insignis (SSR 0%, ISSR 0%). We conclude the usefulness of the established protocol to conserve the genetic variation of the evaluated Vanilla germplasm.

Open access

Hsuan Chen and Dennis J. Werner

Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis L.) is a commonly used small landscape tree. Compact growth, purple leaf color, and weeping architecture are three popular ornamental phenotypes. Inheritances of weeping architecture and purple leaves have been reported previously. Inheritance of compact growth habit and its genetic linkage with the weeping and purple leaf genes have not been reported. In the present research, the inheritance of compact growth derived from ‘Ace of Hearts’ was explored in the F1, F2, and reciprocal backcross families resulting from the controlled hybridization of ‘Ruby Falls’ (normal growth/weeping architecture/purple leaf) × ‘Ace of Hearts’ (compact growth/nonweeping architecture/green leaf). All 27 F1 individuals were nonweeping, green-leaved, and noncompact. A total of 572 F2 progeny were obtained, and subsequent analysis of segregation revealed a single recessive gene controlled compact growth habit. Analysis of reciprocal backcross families confirmed this result as well. Weeping architecture and purple leaf color were also controlled by single recessive genes, confirming findings presented in previous studies in another redbud family. No linkage between the three genes was detected. This research is the first to report the inheritance of compact growth in eastern redbud and confirms independent assortment between the compact, purple leaf, and weeping genes.

Open access

Tengfei Pan, Peibin Huang, Jianwen Ye, Dongming Pan, Zhijun Fu, Heli Pan, Zhixiong Guo, Wenqin She, and Yuan Yu

Open access

Stephanie J. Walker, Paul Funk, Israel Joukhadar, Tom Place, Charles Havlik, and Bradley Tonnessen

Open access

Emma K. Dawson, George E. Boyhan, Tim Coolong, Nicholas T. Basinger, and Ryan McNeill

Along with the many known benefits of cover crops, they may be an effective ecological weed management strategy in low-input agriculture. This research aimed to determine the effect of cover crops, combined with reduced-tillage and nitrogen inputs on sweet corn (Zea mays) yield and weed communities. During the 2-year study, the impact of the cover crop on yield varied. Yield within the no-till conventional treatment plots was not significantly different from the conventional treatment [6844 and 7721 lb/acre (P = 0.592)] in year 1 but differed in year 2 (P = 0.003). Weed density and experimental area covered by weeds were not significantly different between conventional and no-till conventional treatments. Multivariate analyses showed associations between specific weed species and management practices. Weeds were greatest in no-till organic treatments, and they had significantly lower yields, suggesting additional weed control beyond cover crops may be necessary for organic vegetable systems under reduced tillage.