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Open access

Joseph Krystel, Huawei Liu, John Hartung, and Ed Stover

Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the bacteria responsible for citrus greening disease [huanglongbing (HLB)], has become a worldwide threat to citrus (Citrus sp.) production. HLB has proven difficult to study and treat because of the complex interactions between CLas, the citrus host, and insect vectors. We have selected for single chain fragment variable (scFv) antibodies from a specialized bacteriophage library for binding activity against CLas proteins InvA and TolC. Portions of each protein were chosen as antigens based on predicted binding availability and theorized necessary functions in pathogenicity. Binding affinity for individual scFv-expressing clones was confirmed by phage enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The scFv sequences were stably transformed under the control of a tandem Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S (CaMV 2x35S) promoter by Agrobacterium tumefacien–mediated transformation into ‘Carrizo’ citrange (Citrus sinensis × Poncirus trifoliate), a citrus rootstock cultivar. Replicated plants of single transformations were inoculated by infestation with CLas positive asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri), a CLas vector. Inoculation and disease progression was monitored through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Inoculated transgenic plants showed significantly reduced CLas titer compared with wild types. A subpopulation of transgenic plants displayed no measurable surviving bacteria after 12 months. Interestingly, individual replicated plants from the same transgenic events strongly segregated into two populations by resistance phenotype: a minority that were indistinguishable from wild-type plants and a majority that were highly resistant. Our results are the first step in developing a novel protection strategy for HLB.

Open access

This supplement contains the Abstracts of Presentations from American Society of Horticultural Science 2021 Annual Conference

Open access

Kaitlyn M. Orde, Rich Marini, Kathleen Demchak, and Rebecca Sideman

The impact of photoselective films on strawberry plants in a low tunnel system has not been well investigated in the northeastern United States, nor have there been studies looking at the effect of mulch color in a plasticulture system. During two separate years (2016 and 2017), we evaluated ‘Albion’ in an annual system with three ground mulch treatments (black plastic, white-on-black plastic, and no plastic) and under six cover treatments. Five of the cover treatments were low tunnel films that varied in their ultraviolet, photosynthetically active, and near-infrared radiation transmission profiles: Tufflite IVTM (TIV), KoolLite Plus (KLP), Trioplast (TRP), and custom-manufactured UV-transparent (UVT) and UV-blocking (UVO) films. The sixth cover treatment was the traditional open bed environment (no low tunnel). ‘Albion’ produced fruit for 18 to 19 continuous weeks during both years until as late as Thanksgiving (24 Nov.) in 2016. Overall, the average marketable yield was greater in 2017 (486 g/plant) than in 2016 (350 g/plant), and it was greater on black mulch than on no mulch (445 vs. 380 g/plant, respectively); white mulch was intermediate (419 g/plant) (P ≤ 0.05). There was not a significant increase in marketable yield under low tunnels compared with open beds. The average fruit mass was greater under KLP and UVO than open beds (TIV and UVT were intermediate), and greater on beds with no mulch than black mulch (white mulch was intermediate). Across cover treatments, plants on black mulch produced more runners than plants on white or no mulch, and the black mulch/open bed treatment generated the greatest number of runners in both years, more than double most other treatments in 2016. The present study demonstrates that mulch selection is important for maximizing the yield of ‘Albion’ in the Northeast region, and that both mulch and cover impact runnering and fruit size. For plant propagators producing ‘Albion’ tips in a field environment, the results of this study suggest they are likely to maximize runner quantity by cultivating plants on black mulch without low tunnel cover.

Open access

Young Soon Kwon, Soon-Il Kwon, Jeong-Hee Kim, Moo Yong Park, Jong Taek Park, and Jinwook Lee

Open access

Jiankun Ge, Linfeng Zhao, Xuewen Gong, Zhiqiang Lai, Seydou Traore, Yanbin Li, Hui Long, and Lei Zhang

Ventilation and soil moisture influence greenhouse cultivation. Experiments were conducted at Xinxiang Irrigation Research Base of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Henan Province, China, to identify how ventilation and irrigation affected the greenhouse microenvironment. To develop ventilation and irrigation protocols that increase crop yield and improve the quality of drip-irrigated tomatoes grown in the greenhouse, three ventilation modes (T1, T2, and T3) were developed by opening vents in different locations in a completely randomized pattern. T1 had open vents on the north wall and roof of the greenhouse. T2 had open vents on the north and south walls and the roof. T3 had open vents on the north and south walls. Three irrigation treatments (W1, W2, and W3) were designed based on the accumulated water surface evaporation (Ep) of a standard 20-cm evaporation pan. The irrigation quantities were 0.9×Ep (W1), 0.7×Ep (W2), and 0.5×Ep (W3). The spatial and temporal distributions of temperature and humidity were analyzed for different combinations of ventilation and irrigation to identify their effects on tomato yield and fruit quality. Major results were as follows: 1) In addition to solar radiation, ventilation had an important influence on Ep and, on a daily scale, ventilation had a significant effect on Ep (P < 0.05). 2) Ventilation had a significant effect on indoor wind speed, but the effect varied during different growth stages. During the flowering and fruit setting stage, wind speed for T2 significantly differed from those of T1 and T3 (P < 0.01). During the harvest stage, the three ventilation treatments had significantly different effects (P < 0.01). A correlation analysis showed high correlation between T2 wind speed and T3 wind speed (R = 0.831), but low correlation between T2 wind speed and T1 wind speed (R = 0.467). 3) The effect of ventilation on greenhouse humidity and temperature was greater than the effect of irrigation. The differences in air temperature among various combined treatments of ventilation and irrigation were significant for the flowering and fruiting stages (P < 0.05), but they were not significant for the late harvest stage (P > 0.05). There were significant differences in humidity on sunny days (P < 0.01), but no significant differences on cloudy or rainy days (P > 0.05). Air temperature at 2 m was greater than canopy temperature, but humidity at 2 m was less than that at canopy level. 4) Irrigation water quantity was positively correlated with tomato yield and negatively correlated with the fruit quality indicators total soluble solids, vitamin C content, organic acid content, and soluble sugars content. Ventilation had an effect primarily during the harvest period; it had no significant effect on yield (P > 0.05). However, it had a significant effect on vitamin C content and the sugar:acid ratio (P < 0.01). The combination treatment of T2W2 is recommended as the optimal treatment for greenhouse tomatoes using drip irrigation to produce an optimal combination of crop yield and fruit quality. This study provides theoretical and technical support for the improvement of greenhouse climate control by optimizing greenhouse ventilation and irrigation techniques to promote tomato yield and improve fruit quality.

Open access

Job Teixeira de Oliveira, Rubens Alves de Oliveira, Priscilla Andrade Silva, and Paulo Eduardo Teodoro

To contribute to commercial classification, this work sought to evaluate correlations between fruit mass and other physical characteristics of blackberry fruit, indicating direct and indirect effects of morphology and physical characteristics on blackberry fruit mass. The variables evaluated were the total mass of the blackberry fruit along with its physical components: fruit length, greater transverse diameter, smaller transverse diameter, fruit area, fruit perimeter, and fruit volume. Results of our analyses show that an increase in fruit length, fruit perimeter, and fruit volume reflects an increase in the total mass of the blackberry fruit. Indirectly, greater values of fruit length, greater transverse diameter, and smaller transverse diameter reflect an increase in the perimeter and volume of the blackberry fruit, thus contributing to larger, more attractive fruit.

Open access

Melike Cirak and James R. Myers

The persistent color (pc) trait in snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a member of the stay-green gene family and falls into the cosmetic subclass. Cosmetic stay-green variants remain green but lose photosynthetic competence during senescence. It is an economically useful trait in snap bean as a result of its effects on pod quality. The trait produces a dark-green, uniform appearance of fresh pods, but has other pleiotropic effects, including a light-green seed color, bleached-white cotyledons on emergence, and foliage and pods that remain green even while senescing. One additional pleiotropic effect is reduced field germination and emergence compared with white- and colored-seeded genotypes. Nevertheless, with the aid of seed-applied fungicides, pc types occupy ≈40% of commercial snap bean acreage in the United States. This research project was aimed at understanding why and how germination and emergence is affected in pc beans. The effect is thought to be related to soil-borne pathogens because fungicide treatment of pc seeds increases germination and emergence rates to levels comparable to treated white- and colored-seeded genotypes. For our experiments, we increased seeds of 45 experimental lines and commercial cultivars (25 of which were pc) under uniform growing conditions. Initial experiments documented that, in the laboratory, all seeds analyzed in a tetrazolium test had high viability. Furthermore, untreated seeds of pc and non-pc types germinated in the laboratory showed no difference in germinability, whereas in the field, germination of pc types was reduced significantly. In addition, pc types showed substantially greater infection rates of seeds and seedlings, with the main pathogen being Fusarium oxysporum Schl. f. sp. phaseoli Kendrick & Snyder. Water uptake by green pc seeds was significantly more rapid than white and colored seeds. Measurements of electrical conductivity revealed that pc types had greater solute leakage than other seed types. When seed anatomic structure was examined, pc types had a significantly thinner testa, especially the osteosclereid layer. The reduction in germination and emergence appears to begin with a thinner, more fragile testa showing increased cracking that may happen during seed harvest and conditioning (but certainly does happen during imbibition), allowing more rapid water uptake during germination that leads to testa rupture. Increased and rapid solute diffusion into the surrounding spermosphere stimulates and attracts pathogens to colonize the seeds before seedlings can become established. Seed handling and conditioning processes before planting could be modified to improve field emergence and stand establishment. Selection for thicker testa may also mitigate some of the damage observed during germination of pc cultivars.

Open access

Thierry E. Besançon

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) cultivars are clonally propagated. Germination of cranberry seeds produces off-type varieties that are generally characterized by lower fruit productivity and higher vegetative vigor. Over time, the productivity of cranberry beds decreases as off-type frequency increases over time. Improved knowledge of cranberry germination biology would facilitate the use of targeted agronomic practices to reduce the emergence and growth of less productive off-types. The influences of light, temperature regime, pH, and water potential on cranberry seed germination were assessed in a growth chamber, whereas the effect of seeding depth on seedling emergence was evaluated in a greenhouse. Seeds stratified for 6 months at 3 °C were used for these experiments. Cranberry germination was influenced by light quality, with maximum germination reaching 95% after 15 minutes of exposure to red light but decreasing to 89% under far-red light. However, light was not required for inducing germination. Cranberry seeds germinated over a range of alternating diurnal/nocturnal temperatures between 5 and 30 °C, with an average maximum germination of 97% occurring for diurnal temperatures of 20 to 25 °C. The length of emerged seedlings was reduced by an average of 75% for pH 6 to 8 compared with pH 3 to 5. Seedlings that emerged at pH greater than 5 showed increasing chlorotic and necrotic injuries and were not considered viable at pH 7 or 8. Germination at 15 °C was reduced when seeds were subjected to water stress as low as −0.2 MPa, and no germination occurred below −0.4 MPa. Seeds incubated at 25 °C were more tolerant to water stress, with at least 70% maximum germination for osmotic potential (ψS) −0.6 MPa or greater. The average seedling emergence was 91% for seeds left on the soil surface or buried at a maximum depth of 1 cm; however, it was null at a burying depth of 4 cm. These results indicate that germination of cranberry seeds in cultivated beds in the northeastern United States likely occurs during the summer months, when temperatures are optimal and the moisture requirement is supported by irrigation. However, timely application of residual herbicide or sanding (a traditional cranberry agronomic practice) of open areas in cranberry beds could help prevent seed germination and reduce minimizing the onset of off-type varieties.

Open access

Joanne A. Labate

A diversity panel of 190 National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) accessions was genotyped using genotyping by sequencing. These originated from 31 countries and included fresh market, ornamental, processing, breeders’ lines, landraces, and home gardening types, as well as six different accessions of the economically valuable cultivar San Marzano. Most of the 34,531 discovered single nucleotide polymorphisms were rare and therefore excluded from downstream analyses. A total of 3713 high-quality, mapped single nucleotide polymorphisms that were present in at least two accessions were used to estimate genetic distances and population structure. Results showed that these phenotypically and geographically diverse NPGS tomato accessions were closely related to each other. However, a subset of divergent genotypes was identified that included landraces from primary centers of diversity (South America), secondary centers of diversity (Italy, Taiwan, and France), and genotypes that originated from wild species through 20th century breeding for disease resistance (e.g., ‘VFNT Cherry’). Extreme variant accessions produce cultivated fruit traits in a background that contains many wild or primitive genes. These accessions are promising sources of novel genes for continued crop improvement.

Open access

Nan Tang, Rulong Jia, Jicheng Yin, Yan Wang, and Daocheng Tang

For Lilium davidii var. unicolor bulblets produced by scale propagation, the effects of cold treatments on the sprouting and development of bulblets were studied. The results showed that 5 °C was a more suitable temperature than 2 or 10 °C. Bulblets treated at 5 °C for 3 weeks presented the best uniformity of seedling emergence, and the sprouting rate was 100%. Moreover, the largest bulbs were observed in this treatment after a growing season. It was found that long storage at low temperatures is unfavorable for bulb development. The weight and circumference of bulbs from bulblets that were cold-treated for more than 5 weeks were significantly less than those treated for 1 to 4 weeks. During the first 4 weeks of cold storage, the starch content of bulblets decreased significantly, coinciding with an increase in soluble sugars. The starch and soluble sugar contents in bulblets stored at 2 and 5 °C changed faster than those in bulblets stored at 10 °C. However, the effect of temperature on carbohydrates diminished gradually as the storage time increased. Long storage of bulblets at low temperatures is not good for subsequent growth and development. The results of this study provide important information for accelerating the scale propagation of L. davidii var. unicolor and maximizing bulb yield.