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.
Weiting Huang, Xiaoyan Huang, and Zhongming Fang
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.
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.
Mishi Vachev, Jason Cavatorta, and Liza J. Conrad
For nearly three decades the ‘Athena’ melon (
Zilfina Rubio Ames, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Mercy A. Olmstead, Thomas A. Colquhoun, and Shea A. Keene
Although consumers are not very familiar with peach production in Florida, Florida peaches are the first domestic peaches produced in the United States, being available from mid-March through early May. Moreover, Florida peach acreage has increased 8.5-fold in the past 10 years. Using a conjoint-based experimental design and analysis, we measured U.S. consumer reactions to diverse groups of ideas describing peaches, including production regions, and identified attributes that positively and negatively influence consumer preference. The main objective of this research was to identify external and internal attributes that make the “ideal peach.” Are consumers willing to pay more for a locally grown peach? Will consumers prefer a Florida peach instead of a Georgia or California peach? The top three peach attributes identified were “juicy and fully ripe,” “strong peach aroma and sweet peach taste,” and “grown in Georgia.” Cluster analysis revealed two segments of consumers: consumers in the first segment focused on physical aspects of the peach, and consumers in the second segment were concerned with peach production regions and health benefits. The findings from this research will be helpful in developing marketing programs for Florida peaches as an item that is perfect for snacking because of their small size and desirable texture and flavor.
Chen Lian, Yuyan Li, Haiying Li, Yaxin Zhao, Juan Zhou, Sijie Wang, Jingran Lian, and Yan Ao
Hao Wang, Yuan-hao Su, and Jian-ping Bao
Korla fragrant pear is the main pear variety and one of the most famous fruits in Southern Xinjiang. The use of protective nets in fruit tree production is increasing; however, the cultivation of Korla fragrant pear in Xinjiang has yet to be developed. Therefore, we used the ground and underground microclimate anti-hail network and open-air conditions to determine the fruit quality and measure tree growth-related indicators. Additionally, we subsequently recorded the average yield of fragrant pear fruits to evaluate their economic value under the anti-hail net and open-air environments. Furthermore, we performed a correlation analysis to explore the correlation between environmental factors and fruit quality and growth under the two conditions. We found that the anti-hail net cover provided a conducive environment for the vegetative and reproductive growth of trees. Under similar fruit quality conditions, the average yield was markedly higher under the anti-hail net environment than under the open-air environment. Furthermore, the economic benefit under the anti-hail net was higher for all factors, except for the average facility cost during the previous year, than that under the open-air condition.
Neil O. Anderson
The advent of horticulture, backed by research, teaching, and extension in the State of Minnesota during the 1800s, had long-term ramifications for initiating opportunities for the newly formed University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Minnesota State Horticultural Society—all of which worked closely together. The founding of the horticulture department in 1888, then known as the Division of Horticulture and Forestry, provided long-term commitment to address the needs of the horticulture field. The integration of female students in 1897 provided inclusivity of gender perspectives in horticulture and enabled essential services during World War I (WWI), when male students, faculty, and administrators were drafted into military service. After the sudden death of Dr. Samuel Green, the first Department Head, in 1910, Dr. LeRoy Cady (who served as an Acting Department Head) instituted a novel idea at the time of having weekly departmental seminars. These formally commenced on 13 Jan. 1913, with the first seminar entitled “Organization of the Seminar.” A survey across the country of horticulture or plant science-based departments revealed its uniqueness as being the oldest seminar series in the country and, undoubtedly, the world. An early seminar tradition included taste-testing of fruit. Early seminars were conducted in the department office of the newly built Horticulture Building (opened in 1899). This idea of the seminar format—as a valuable mechanism of exchanging ideas and increasing department associations—was spread by faculty and Dr. Cady at national and regional meetings of the American Society for Horticultural Science. The seminar concept stretched across the country to other universities and colleges with horticulture programs to make such a forum commonplace to convey research, teaching, and outreach findings in academic settings. Knowledge of the history of the seminar series remained obscure until the record book was discovered in 2010, which provided documentation of its founding and the early years of knowledge-sharing in seminar format. To mark this unique event in horticultural science, a centennial celebration of the seminar series occurred on 13 Jan. 2013. An estimated total of 1899 seminars have been presented during this century-long period. However, a gap in the seminars during 1916 to 1925 was unexplained in the record book. Examination of the departmental, college, and university archives during this time period revealed two primary reasons for this: WWI and the 1918 influenza epidemic. The War Department’s takeover of all college and university campuses in 1918 resulted in the decimation of the faculty and student body by mandatory service (all males age 18–45 years), the institution of a wartime curriculum (which limited the number and types of horticulture classes), the takeover of essential departmental functions by nondrafted men and all female students/faculty, the building of barracks (many of which were on horticultural research plots), and the cessation of all activities, including the seminar. Concurrently, the 1918 influenza outbreak prohibited social gatherings, thus limiting interactions such as seminars. Only a few photographs exist of students wearing masks in 1918, but the impact of the flu seriously affected the ability of students to return to the University of Minnesota after WWI. One subtle benefit in 1918 was the first-ever admission of disabled students (veterans) to horticulture classes. The deaths of students, faculty, and administrators on WWI battlefields, in training camps, or by influenza, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, devastated the department for years. Lessons learned from these tragedies resonate with the modern-day continuation of the seminar series in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Sarah Cato, Amanda McWhirt, and Lizzy Herrera
Misinformation relating to horticulture can spread quickly among laypersons. Although some misinformation may be harmless, such as the myth that bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) fruit can be either male or female, other misinformation is generated to sway consumer decisions. The demand from Cooperative Extension Service (CES) agents for support to combat the spread of horticultural misinformation, horticulture specialists at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service (UACES) created a “Horticulture Fact or Fiction” series of blog posts that targeted common horticulture myths with science-based explanations and used graphics interchange format (GIFs) to promote the blog posts on social media. The integrated social media campaign was shared on the authors’ UACES Horticulture social media accounts and by eight UACES agents during 2021. The effort reached 13,397 social media users, and the blog posts had a total of 45,544 pageviews. Although social media was not the major driver of traffic to the blog post series, GIF-based outreach on social media did direct more than 1000 additional users to the blog posts. Through this integrated approach of using social media and GIFs shared by both specialists and CES agents, we were able to connect a large number of stakeholders to research-based content, resulting in higher average traffic to our webpage-based blogs than the average UACES webpage. This type of integrated approach using multiple online means of communication including GIFs, blogs, and social media to create a toolkit of resources for CES agents may be useful for extension professionals targeting stakeholders online.