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Anthracnose, caused by the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum cereale Manns sensu lato Crouch, Clarke & Hillman, can be a damaging disease on many cool-season turfgrasses; however, it has not been reported as an aggressive pathogen on fine fescue species (Festuca spp.). Symptoms and signs associated with anthracnose disease were observed in fine fescues on the Rutgers University Plant Science Research and Extension Farm in Adelphia, NJ, in Jun 2014. The objectives of this study were to identify the causal agent, determine if the isolate of C. cereale (FF1A) obtained from symptomatic Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra L. ssp. commutata Gaudin) plants was pathogenic to Chewings fescue and hard fescue (F. brevipila Tracey) turfs, and whether cultivars and accessions collected from Europe varied in disease susceptibility. Pathogenicity of this fine fescue isolate was evaluated using four Chewings fescue and four hard fescue cultivars or accessions in a growth chamber. Disease symptoms were first observed at 5 days post-inoculation, and evaluations continued to 17 days post-inoculation. Infection was confirmed by morphological evaluations, re-isolation from symptomatic tissues, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Three noncommercial accessions (two Chewings fescues and one hard fescue) were very susceptible to the fine fescue C. cereale FF1A isolate, whereas ‘Sword’ and ‘Beacon’ hard fescues exhibited low susceptibility. In addition, an isolate of C. cereale (HF217CS) from annual bluegrass [Poa annua L. f. reptans (Hausskn) T. Koyama] was included, and our data demonstrated that this isolate was also able to infect Chewings fescue and hard fescue. This study confirmed that C. cereale can be a damaging pathogen of fine fescues, and that breeding for resistance to anthracnose should be considered when developing new cultivars.
Neck shrivel is a fruit disorder of european plum (Prunus domestica L.). We investigate whether an asymmetrical distribution of osmolytes might explain the observations of a turgid stylar end and a flaccid stem end, in a selection of 17 plum cultivars sourced from two sites. The osmotic potential (ΨΠ) of the juices expressed from stem or stylar end fruit samples decreased (became more negative) during development. The cell turgor (Ψ P ) slightly increased during development up to 352 ± 42 kPa at 78 days after full bloom (DAFB) in the stem end and up to 331 ± 51 kPa at 92 DAFB in the stylar end, and then decreased. At maturity, Ψ P averaged 22 ± 3 kPa in the stem end and 22 ± 4 kPa in the stylar end. These values are negligibly low compared with the very negative values of ΨΠ in the stylar end (−3188 ± 73 kPa) and stem end (−3060 ± 74 kPa). There was a transient gradient in ΨΠ between stylar end and stem end that almost disappeared by maturity. Marked differences in ΨΠ and its distribution were measured across 17 cultivars. In the majority (14), ΨΠ was more negative at the stylar end than at the stem end. A more negative ΨΠ in the stem was only detected in ‘Aprimira’, ‘Topfive’, and ‘Tophit’. Our results demonstrate that cell Ψ P is very low and is essentially independent of ΨΠ in developing european plums. In most cultivars, ΨΠ in the stylar end is more negative than in the stem end. The absence of an axial gradient in Ψ P and the small differences in ΨΠ between the stem and stylar end make both factors unlikely candidates for explaining neck shrivel.
Steam injected into the soil, raising soil temperatures to >70 °C for 15 to 20 minutes, will control weed seed and soilborne pathogens. The effect of this reduction in the weed seedbank viability results in weed control in the treated zone that can persist for several weeks or months. The effect of steam pasteurization of soil on weed seeds produces results similar to a preemergence herbicide. In our study, steam was applied to the soil to control weed seed and propagules of Sclerotinia minor and Pythium spp. Replicated field trials in carrot, lettuce, and spinach were conducted using two types of band steam applicators in 2020 and 2021. Data collected were soil temperatures after steam application, weed control, hand weeding times, diseased plant counts, pathogen populations in the soil, and crop yields. Post-steam soil temperature intervals >70 °C in the top 10 cm of the soil ranged from 67 to 176 minutes. Steam reduced weed densities by 64% to 100% and lowered hand weeding times by 23% to 91%. The reduction of S. minor sclerotia propagules after steaming was 69% to 95% compared with the no steam control. The percentage of lettuce plants infected with lettuce drop was reduced by 60% to 70% and the reduction of Pythium spp. propagules in the soil was reduced by 50% to 100% compared with the no steam control, respectively. Lettuce head diameters in steamed soils were 10% to 24% larger compared with the no steam control. Carrots grown in the steam-treated soil had a 10% greater root diameter than the no steam control. Steam increased lettuce yields in two of three trials 22% to 28% compared with the no steam control. Gross revenues for the steam-treated lettuce were $3231/ha higher than in the no steam control. The data suggest that band steam is a viable soil pest control treatment for vegetable crops.
State and federal policies in the United States focus on agricultural best management practices (BMP)—such as improving nutrient management—to address water quality issues. BMP development is a challenging process as a new BMP may also affect farm profitability. This article explores the economic feasibility of nitrogen (N) management programs, including nitrogen application rates (N rates), given alternative scenarios for current nitrogen use and producer risk perceptions of carrot production in Florida. In this study, eight alternative N rates are ranked to find the economically optimal BMP. Carrot profitability is determined based on carrot yields per hectare, input costs, and carrot sale prices, using data from a 2-year carrot production experiment. The analysis applied stochastic simulation to account for the uncertain factors by using Simetar Add-In for Excel. We found that 224 kg·ha−1 N fertilizer rate is the most preferred by the producers among the eight rates considered. According to Florida’s agricultural water policy, BMP recommendations should balance water quality improvements and agricultural productivity. We consider the potential reduction of nitrogen fertilizer rate BMP from 224 kg·ha−1 to 168 kg·ha−1 and show that the effect of such reduction depends on producers’ current fertilizer application rates and their risk aversion levels. For example, reducing the N fertilizer rate from 336 kg·ha−1 to 168 kg·ha−1 decreases mean net returns by only 2% ($49/ha). In contrast, reducing the nitrogen fertilizer rate from 224 kg·ha−1 to 168 kg·ha−1 reduces the mean net returns by $151/ha, with an almost 10% reduction in the certainty equivalent of the net returns (for extremely risk-averse producers). Overall, if most producers in the region are very or extremely risk-averse, and if most of them operate close to the optimal level of fertilizer use, then setting the more restrictive BMP of 168 kg·ha−1 N can be perceived as undermining their economic profitability and require significant cost-share incentives to ensure targeted 100% adoption of BMP recommendations.
Denphal-type Dendrobium is the most popular orchid for cut flower and potted plant trade. To improve commercial traits, many novel cultivars have been produced through hybridization by commercial breeders. However, the genetic relationship of most cultivars is unclear, thus hindering the progress of Denphal-type Dendrobium breeding programs. Therefore, the development of molecular markers is encouraged to identify different cultivars. In this study, based on the transcriptome database of the Denphal-type Dendrobium ‘Red Bull’, the polymorphisms expressed sequence tag-derived simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) were developed from 100 pairs EST-SSRs that were randomly selected from the EST-SSR database. The genetic relationship of 42 Denphal-type Dendrobium cultivars was analyzed according to the developed EST-SSRs. Then, the transferability of EST-SSRs was analyzed by performing a relationship analysis of 40 Dendrobium species. The results showed that a total of 5174 potential EST-SSR markers were identified with 4486 unigene sequences, and 5289 primer pairs were successfully designed. Of the selected 100 pairs of EST-SSRs, a total of 86 pairs produced the expected polymerase chain reaction products of the primary screening, 58 pairs produced the expected fragment size, and 20 pairs showed polymorphisms. Furthermore, the dendrogram of 42 cultivars showed that at a genetic distance of 0.15, the cultivars collected were grouped into five clusters of three major clusters and two minor clusters; all these clusters had the same characters of each cluster. The transferability analysis showed that 18 of the 20 EST-SSR markers among the 40 Dendrobium species were polymorphic. Overall, this study developed EST-SSR markers and will be valuable to facilitating genetic diversity in Denphal-type Dendrobium cultivars and Dendrobium species.