Salvia is the largest genus in the Lamiaceae with more than 1000 species. The species S. coccinea used in this study has naturalized in the southeastern United States and is an important plant for pollinators. This project aimed to improve phenotypic characteristics of S. coccinea for use in the landscape by selecting for increased petal size and unique petal color. Two elite accessions were selected for hybridization using the pedigree method. One selection displayed compact habit with bicolored coral and white flowers, while the other was slightly larger with solid red flowers. Selections were made based on improved flower color and larger petal size. The breeding program achieved a 25% increase in petal width and a more vivid petal color for the coral bicolored selections. Additionally, a 60% increase in petal width was achieved for red flowers. These novel selections are attractive plants for the landscape, displaying improved ornamental value and supporting local pollinator populations.
Rebekah C.I. Maynard and John M. Ruter
Weiting Huang, Xiaoyan Huang, and Zhongming Fang
Melatonin plays an important role in plant resistance to stress. The role of melatonin in the propagation of plant tissue, such as rhizome proliferation, differentiation, and seedling rooting in Cymbidium species, remains unknown. In this study, we selected C. goeringii and C. faberi as experimental materials and attempted to understand the effect of melatonin on this process. We found that 1.0 μM melatonin was beneficial for rhizome proliferation of C. goeringii, with a proliferation rate of 5.52. In terms of C. faberi, the highest proliferation rate of 8.29 was observed in the medium with 0.5 μM melatonin. In proliferation, the cut rhizome of C. goeringii is more likely to cause browning phenomenon than that of C. faberi. The addition of melatonin can significantly inhibit the browning phenomenon and improve the survival rate of C. goeringii rhizome. The highest number of shoot buds per explant (3.11 after 60 days) was observed in the medium with 1.0 μM melatonin. The number of shoot buds per explant (3.28 after 60 days) was significantly higher for C. faberi in the medium with 5.0 μM melatonin than that for the control. Furthermore, culture medium incorporated with 1.0 μM of melatonin had the best comprehensive effect of seedling height and root number and length of C. goeringii. By contrast, 0.5 μM melatonin significantly promoted root elongation of C. faberi, reaching 1.77 cm, whereas it was 0.28 cm in the control. We demonstrated that melatonin in specific concentrations effectively promote rhizome proliferation, differentiation, and seedlings rooting in the rapid propagation of C. goeringii and C. faberi.
R. Paul Schreiner and Tian Tian
Grapevines rely on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to obtain ample phosphorus (P) from soils with low to moderate P like the Ultisols of western Oregon. Prior research indicated that nine species, or virtual taxa, of AMF colonized the roots of ‘Pinot noir’ at greater than 1% abundance in a single vineyard. However, little is known about how different taxa within a community vary in their capacity to function as symbionts with grapevines. The effectiveness of five native AMF species representing five genera to promote growth and nutrient uptake of ‘Pinot noir’ was examined in a fumigated Ultisol soil under well-watered and periodically dry conditions. Plants were grown with each of the different isolates alone or without AMF. After 8 and 16 weeks, whole vines were destructively harvested and biomass and nutrients were determined. Results showed that four of the isolates colonized roots extensively, increased root and shoot biomass, and predominantly increased P uptake. A Claroideoglomus isolate was superior in promoting shoot growth as compared with Rhizophagus irregularis, even though both isolates increased P uptake to the same extent, suggesting a higher carbon cost for R. irregularis. Scutellospora calospora failed to colonize roots beyond a trace and had no impact on vine performance. The ability to increase P uptake among the four effective fungi was not related to the frequency of arbuscules in roots suggesting that some P exchange occurs via hyphae within the cortex, particularly for Funneliformis mosseae. Water limitation reduced P uptake as a main effect across all mycorrhizal treatments, suggesting that the native isolates studied here have similar functionality under well-watered and periodically dry conditions.
Michael J. Havey
The amounts and types of epicuticular waxes on onion (Allium cepa) leaves affect feeding damage by onion thrips (Thrips tabaci), a serious insect pest of onion. This study used gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) to measure amounts of epicuticular waxes on foliage of two plants from each of 50 plant introductions (PI) and inbred lines with high (waxy) and low (glossy) amounts of wax. Wax amounts on leaves of the same plants were measured twice (once in the greenhouse and once after moving plants outside) and were significantly (P < 0.01) correlated; however, wax amounts on leaves of plants grown in the greenhouse were approximately twice that of the same plants grown outside. Hentriacontanone-16 (H16) was the predominant wax on leaves of all PIs except PI 289689, and amounts of H16 were significantly correlated with amounts of fatty alcohols and total wax. Five plants from 17 of the PIs were grown in the greenhouse, wax amounts measured using GCMS, and results were significantly correlated with earlier evaluations. Results indicate that measurements of waxes on onion foliage should occur under protected conditions to better characterize phenotypic variation, and selection of higher amounts of waxes other than H16 may be effective toward the development onions suffering less thrips damage.
Andre Luiz Biscaia Ribeiro da Silva, Marcos Fabricio Landim de Barros, Wheeler Foshee, Joara Secchi Candian, and Juan Carlos Diaz-Perez
Parsley seeds are known for nonuniform and long germination; consequently, vegetable nurseries commonly use priming techniques to improve the production of parsley seedlings. The objectives of this study were 1) to characterize the imbibition curve of parsley seeds, 2) to evaluate the effect of different priming agents on parsley seedling production, and ultimately 3) to compare priming techniques for emergence and vigor of parsley’s seedlings, thus providing an optimal priming strategy for parsley seedling production. Using three priming agents—water (seeds imbibed for 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours), polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000) (seeds imbibed at –0.5, –1.0, –1.5, and –2.0 MPa for 29, 58, 87, and 116 hours), and gibberellic acid (GA) (seeds imbibed at 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 g·L−1 a.i. of solution for 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes), and two parsley cultivars (Krausa and Titan), three experiments evaluated parsley seedling parameters, including emergence speed index (ESI) and total emergence (TE) in a complete randomized block design (n = 4) each. In Expt. 1 (hydropriming), increasing water imbibition time (IT) reduced ESI on both parsley cultivars. In addition, the TE quadratically reduced with the increase of water IT. In Expt. 2 (osmopriming), there was no significant main effect or interaction of treatments on ESI. Regardless of PEG6000 concentration, the TE had a linear increase with the increase of IT for cultivar Krausa but not for cultivar Titan. In Expt. 3 (hormonal priming), there was a significant increase in ESI and TE with the increase in GA rate. Ultimately, strategies for analysis of best priming were water at 24 hours of IT, PEG6000 at –2.0 MPa for 116 hours of IT, and GA at 2.0 g·L−1 a.i. of solution for 15 minutes of IT. Once compared with an untreated seeds treatment, priming strategies of water imbibition for 24 hours and PEG6000 at –2.0 MPa for 116 hours had the highest ESI and TE.
Vedat Bedirhanoğlu, Hui Yang, and Manoj K. Shukla
Water scarcity is a major problem for crop production around the world including Southwestern United States and growers are increasingly using groundwater for agriculture in Southern New Mexico. Most of the groundwater in New Mexico is brackish and continuous long-term use could lead to salt accumulation in the soil. Reverse osmosis (RO) can desalinate brackish groundwater (BGW), however, environmentally safe disposal of RO concentrate is costly. This greenhouse study evaluated the effects of BGW and RO concentrate at various growth stages of two chile pepper cultivars, NuMex Joe E. Parker and NuMex Sandia Select. Five salinity treatments were applied to plants, three of them used saline waters of 0.6 (control), 4.0 (BGW), and 8.0 dS/m (RO) throughout the growing season, whereas the other two changed waters of 4.0 and 8.0 dS/m to waters of 2.0 and 6.0 dS/m from the beginning of the flowering stage. Number of flowers, days to flowering, relative plant heights, relative fresh biomass, fruit yields, photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductivity (g S), and actual evapotranspiration (ETa) significantly decreased with increasing irrigation water salinity levels. Concentrations of Mg2+, Na+, and Cl− in plants increased with increasing water salinity levels. Changing to irrigation with reduced salinity waters of 2.0 and 6.0 dS/m at the flowering stage initiated reproductive development more rapidly and alleviated the adverse influence of salinity on the number of flowers of chile pepper, plant height, Pn, as well as fresh shoot and fruit weight than that with continuous irrigation with electrical conductivity (EC) of 4.0 dS/m and 8.0 dS/m beyond the flowering stage. Irrigation that practices a change from high salinity to lower salinity at the flowering stage can optimize the use of saline irrigation water for growing chile peppers.
David Karp and Ksenija Gasic
Hunter Slade and Lenny Wells
Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) orchards in Georgia and throughout the southeastern United States are commonly established from land that had previously been used for row cropping systems. Soil quality is characteristically low in the loamy-sand, low pH soils of the southeastern Coastal Plain. Changes in land use are known to exhibit different effects on soil quality; however, no studies specifically address soil enhancement from converting row crop land to pecan orchards in this region. Sampling was conducted in eight counties throughout the coastal plain of South Georgia in 2020 and 2021. The objectives of this study were to analyze and compare soil quality indicators of pecan orchards of varying ages and adjacent row crop fields. Soil quality indicators analyzed include soil organic matter (SOM), active carbon or permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC), aggregate stability, cation exchange capacity (CEC), bulk density, porosity, Solvita CO2-Burst, SLAN (Solvita labile-amino nitrogen), pH, and total N. Results from this study demonstrate that pecan orchards under commercial management had higher soil quality compared with row crop fields based on the indicators measured. Active carbon and Solvita CO2-Burst measurements suggest that pecan orchards exhibited significantly higher rates of microbial activity and soil respiration. Indicators of soil microbial activity such as active carbon and Solvita CO2-Burst were strongly correlated with SOM, which explained much of the variation observed in these measurements of soil microbial activity. Selected soil quality indicators also provide evidence that the soil quality of commercial pecan orchards in this region improves with orchard age.