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Open access

D. Allen Pattillo, Wheeler G. Foshee III, Eugene K. Blythe, Jeremy Pickens, Daniel Wells, Tyler A. Monday, and Terrill R. Hanson

Raised bed production trials were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of effluent from a biofloc-style recirculating aquaculture system producing nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as nutrient-rich irrigation water for fall ‘Celebrity’ tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) production. The objective of this study was to provide baseline vegetable production data and justification for using aquaculture effluent as a water and nutrient resource. The experiment was a split-plot, randomized block design with three treatments: aquaculture effluent, granular fertilizer, and fertigation. Tomato seeds were sown in June, transplanted in August, and grown until Oct. 2019 in nine replicated raised beds. Conventional field tomato production practices were followed throughout the trial, and data were collected for tomato fruit yield, market quality, size, leaf greenness (SPAD), and foliar nutrient analysis. Fruit yield was similar between fertigated and aquaculture effluent treatments, with granular fertilizer resulting in yield that was significantly lower (P ≤ 0.033). SPAD measurements were similar among treatments. All nutrients met or exceeded sufficiency ranges. Foliar nutrient analysis revealed no significant difference for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, boron, zinc, manganese, and iron among treatments. Sulfur and copper levels were significantly lower (P < 0.05) with aquaculture effluent treatment as compared with the granular and fertigated treatments. Overall, tomato production using aquaculture effluent as a water and nutrient supplement produced similar yields to commercial practices, making it potentially viable for producers.

Open access

Andrew L. Thomas, Jackie L. Harris, Elijah A. Bergmeier, and R. Keith Striegler

One of the most popular winegrapes (Vitis sp.) for red wine production in the midwestern United States is ‘Chambourcin’, a French-American hybrid. It is typically produced on own-rooted vines in the region, but the potential benefits of grafting it to improved rootstocks are becoming better-known. Nematodes present occasional serious winegrape production challenges in the midwestern United States, and are capable of transmitting pathogenic viruses. New rootstocks developed by University of California, Davis (UCD GRN series) are resistant to several species and races of nematodes, but have not been evaluated under midwestern U.S. production conditions. A study with ‘Chambourcin’ grafted to four of these new nematode-resistant rootstocks (‘UCD GRN-2’, ‘UCD GRN-3’, ‘UCD GRN-4’, and ‘UCD GRN-5’) and ‘Couderc 3309’, along with own-rooted vines was established in 2010 in southwest Missouri, and fruited in 2013–15. Three of the nematode-resistant rootstocks (GRN-2, 3, 4) performed as well as the standard ‘Couderc 3309’ and own-rooted vines, with yields among all rootstocks ranging from 10 to 13 kg/vine. The rootstock ‘UCD GRN-5’ generally performed poorly, however, manifested by low pruning weights and a high Ravaz index value (25) in 2013 that necessitated defruiting the vines in 2014. Fruit yields on ‘UCD GRN-5’ rootstocks were satisfactory in 2013 and 2015, but the vines eventually deteriorated, with 99% shootless nodes by 2017. Although more evaluations of these new rootstocks are needed in the midwestern United States, we conclude that ‘UCD GRN-2’, ‘UCD GRN-3’, and ‘UCD GRN-4’ show promise, whereas ‘UCD GRN-5’ does not appear suitable for growing conditions in southern Missouri.

Open access

Kai Jia, Cunyao Yan, Huizhuan Yan, and Jie Gao

Turnip (Brassica rapa L. subsp. rapa) is a type of root vegetable belonging to the Brassica subspecies of Cruciferae. Salt stress is one of the main abiotic stresses that causes water deficit, ion toxicity, and metabolic imbalance in plants, seriously limiting plant growth and crop yield. Two commercial turnip cultivars, Wenzhoupancai and Qiamagu, were used to evaluate the seed germination and physiological responses of turnip seedlings to salt stress. NaCl was used to simulate salt stress. Parameters of seed germination, seedling growth, osmoregulation substances content, chlorophyll content, antioxidant enzyme activity, and other physiological parameters of turnip seedlings were measured after 7 days of salt stress. The results showed that salt stress reduced the seed germination rate, and that the seeds of ‘Wenzhoupancai’ were more sensitive to salt stress. Salt stress inhibited the growth of turnip seedlings. With the increased NaCl concentration, the seedling dry weight, seedling fresh weight, and seedling length of turnip decreased gradually. Under the salt stress treatment, the osmotic regulatory substances and antioxidant enzyme activity in the seedlings of turnip increased significantly. The chlorophyll content increased at a lower NaCl level, but it decreased when the level of NaCl was higher. Growth parameters of turnip seedlings had significant negative correlations with the reactive oxygen content, osmoregulation substances, and antioxidant enzyme activities, but they had positive correlations with chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll content. These results indicated that salt stress-induced oxidative stress in turnip is mainly counteracted by enzymatic defense systems.

Open access

Lauren E. Kurtz, Mark H. Brand, and Jessica D. Lubell-Brand

To maximize yield, cannabidiol (CBD) hemp producers prefer female plants, and this is accomplished by using expensive feminized seed, vegetatively propagated female clones, or by removing male plants from dioecious seed lots. Hemp pollen drifts long distances on wind, and pollination of females reduces CBD content. Induction of triploidy is a common strategy used by plant breeders to produce sterile cultivars of agricultural crops. Triploid (3n) hemp, with three sets of chromosomes, was developed by crossing naturally diploid (2n) hemp with tetraploid (4n) hemp. Tetraploid plants used to create triploids were produced using pregerminated seeds and the mitotic spindle inhibitor colchicine. Seedlings from seeds of ‘Abacas’ × [(‘Otto2’ × ‘BaOx’) × (‘BaOx’ × ‘Colorado Cherry’)] treated with 0.05% colchicine or 0.02% colchicine for 12 hours and longer were significantly shorter than controls and ≤1 cm tall at 10 days after sowing. Surviving seedlings exhibited thickened cotyledons and hypocotyls, which indicated a potential change in ploidy. Tetraploid induction ranged from 26% to 64% for pregerminated seeds of five different hemp cultivars (Abacus × Wife, Cherry Wine, Mountain Mango, Wife, and Youngsim10) treated with 0.05% colchicine for 12 hours. Tetraploids had nearly twice the DNA content as diploids according to flow cytometric analysis. Tetraploid ‘Wife’ had larger stomates and reduced stomatal density compared with diploid ‘Wife’. Four triploid ‘Wife’ genotypes produced from crossing tetraploid ‘Wife’ with diploid ‘Wife’ were acclimated to greenhouse conditions after embryo rescue. DNA content and stomate size of triploid ‘Wife’ was intermediate between the parents. This is the first report of triploid plants of hemp. Future research will evaluate the sterility of triploid hemp.

Open access

Robert E. Paull, Gail Uruu, and Nancy Jung Chen

The sugar-to-acid ratio of pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) contributes toward giving the fruit its unique flavor. This ratio is an important indicator of both commercial and organoleptic ripeness, and it is useful in determining a harvest date. Citric acid is the major acid in pineapple and usually is determined by titration to a specific pH endpoint, while sugars are determined as total soluble solids by refractometry. Both acid and sugar levels vary with the season in the year-round production cycle. Acid titration is slow and difficult to perform in the field. A digital acidity meter based upon diluted juice conductivity was evaluated for potential field use. The readings obtained from the meter varied with clone and fruit potassium concentration. The meter had utility for field use to evaluate fruit quality and harvest date. Because fruit potassium levels can vary between harvests, the meter should be recalibrated on a regular schedule to adjust for potential crop management and seasonal effects.

Open access

Guang-Lian Liao, Xiao-Biao Xu, Qing Liu, Min Zhong, Chun-Hui Huang, Dong-Feng Jia, and Xue-Yan Qu

Jinyan (Actinidia eriantha × A. chinensis) is one of the gold-fleshed kiwifruit cultivars currently being promoted in south China. However, its fruit dry matter is usually less than 16%, which seriously affects fruit quality including taste and flavor. This causes a financial loss to growers: not only are the prices paid for the fruit low because of their bad reputation for quality, but some orchards have been removed. Improvement of fruit quality is essential. In this study, a method is described for squeezing and twisting flowering shoots before flowering and removing the distal vegetative parts of flowering shoots after fruit set. The effects on fruit quality were determined. The dry matter of fruit was increased by 6.6%. Fruit size also increased as did the chlorophyll a content and the chlorophyll:carotenoid ratio. The significantly increased fruit dry matter, resulting in significant increases in fruit soluble solids concentrations (P < 0.01), thereby possibly improving fruit taste. Fruit weight, fruit length, and carotenoid and ascorbic acid concentrations were significantly enhanced in comparison with controls (P < 0.01), increasing by 20%, 7%, 12%, and 19%, respectively. However, there was no significant difference in soluble sugar concentrations, titratable acid concentrations, and the reduced chlorophyll b concentrations. This research provides a practical method to increase fruit dry matter, and hence a way to allow fruit quality to reach commercial requirements for cultivars such as Jinyan, which under previous management systems had significant shortcomings in fruit flavor and taste.

Open access

Andrea C. Landaverde, Jacob H. Shreckhise, and James E. Altland

The pour-through (PT) method is used in greenhouse and nursery production to monitor nutrient availability in soilless substrates. Efficacy of this method is based on the assumption that chemical properties of extracted solutions remain stable from the moment of collection until analysis. Extracted substrate solution can be analyzed directly in the greenhouse or sent to laboratories for complete nutritional analysis; thus, proper sample preservation methods (e.g., filtration and low temperatures) are critical for reducing sample contamination or degradation during storage. However, evidence of how these preservation methods affect chemical characteristics of PT samples is limited. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of storage time, storage temperature, and filtration of PT samples on pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and nutrient concentrations from pine bark– and peat-based substrates. PT extracts were obtained from liquid-fertilized fallow pots of either 100% milled pine bark (Expt. 1) or a 4 sphagnum peat: 1 perlite (by volume) substrate (Expt. 2). Aliquots of PT extract were either filtered or nonfiltered and then stored in plastic bottles at −22, 4, or 20 °C. EC, pH, and nutrient concentrations were analyzed at 0, 1, 7, and 30 days after PT sample collection. EC and pH in PT extracts of peat and pine bark, respectively, changed 1 day after collection. Storage time had the greatest effect on nutrient concentrations of samples stored at 20 °C. However, at day 30, nutrient concentrations had also changed in samples stored at 4 and −22 °C. Analytes that fluctuated most in both experiments and across all preservation treatments were dissolved organic carbon, total dissolved nitrogen, NO3 -N, and PO4 3−-P, whereas Ca2+, Mg2+, and SO4 2−-S were more stable in PT samples. This research suggests EC and pH should be analyzed immediately, whereas samples requiring nutrient analysis should be filtered immediately after collection, stored at 4 or −22 °C (preferably −22 °C), and analyzed within 7 days of collection.

Open access

Jessa Hughes, Hamid Khazaei, and Albert Vandenberg

The horticulturally valuable traits of faba bean are poorly explored, including the available information on the genetics of flower color and pattern. This lack of understanding has reduced the inclusion of unique flower color into the horticultural-type faba bean market. The modes of inheritance of two flower colors (red petals and yellow spot on wing petals) were examined through the development of multiple F2 segregating populations. The inheritance of red flower was confirmed for two recessive genes and yellow wing spot inheritance was confirmed for a single recessive gene. These populations led to the discovery of combinations of red and yellow flower color that have not been previously reported. The solid wing petal color gene was confirmed as a single recessive gene. Understanding the inheritance of flower color in faba bean can lead to improvement of current vegetable types and opens up possibilities for ornamental markets.

Open access

Claudia Elkins and Marc W. van Iersel

Seedlings may be grown indoors where environmental conditions can be precisely controlled to ensure consistent and reliable production. The optimal spectrum for production under sole-source lighting is currently unknown. Far-red light (λ = 700–800 nm) typically is not a significant part of the spectrum of light-emitting diode (LED) grow lights. However, far-red light is photosynthetically active and can enhance leaf elongation, which may result in larger leaves and increased light interception. We hypothesized that adding far-red light to sole-source lighting would increase the growth of ‘Dalmatian Peach’ foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) seedlings grown under white LED lights, potentially shortening production times. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of far-red light intensities, ranging from 4.0 to 68.8 µmol·m−2·s−1, on the growth and morphology of foxglove seedlings. Foxglove seedlings were grown in a growth chamber with a photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) of 186 ± 6.4 μmol·m−2·s−1 and supplemental far-red light intensities ranging from 4.0 to 68.8 µmol·m−2·s−1. As far-red light increased, shoot dry weight, root dry weight, plant height, and plant height/number of leaves increased by 38% (P = 0.004), 20% (P = 0.029), 38% (P = 0.025), and 34% (P = 0.024), respectively, while root weight fraction decreased 16% (P = 0.034). Although we expected supplemental far-red light to induce leaf and/or stem expansion, specific leaf area and compactness (two measures of morphology) were unaffected. Because a 37% increase in total photon flux density (PPFD plus far-red light) resulted in a 34.5% increase in total plant dry weight, the increased growth likely was due to increased photosynthesis rather than a shade-acclimation response. The growth response was linear across the 4.0 to 68.8 µmol·m−2·s−1 range of far-fed light tested, so we were unable to determine a saturating far-red photon flux density.

Open access

Paige E. Boyle, Michelle M. Wisdom, and Michael D. Richardson

Most pollinating insects require a season-long succession of floral resources to fulfill life-cycle requirements. Incorporating forbs into turfgrass sites may create a season-long sequence of flowers to support foraging pollinators. However, persistence of forbs in warm-season turfgrasses such as bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) may be affected by the competitive nature of the turfgrass and routine management practices such as mowing. A 2-year study was conducted to evaluate seven forbs (Bellis perennis L., Lotus corniculatus L., Prunella vulgaris L., Trifolium fragiferum L. ‘Fresa’, Trifolium repens L. ‘Durana’ and ‘Resolute’, Trifolium subterraneum L.) for persistence and ability to produce floral resources for pollinating insects in a low maintenance bermudagrass lawn. Plugs of each species were incorporated into ‘Riviera’ bermudagrass in Apr. 2016. Vegetative cover, flower production, flowering period and pollinator foraging were assessed. Prunella vulgaris bloomed July through August and achieved 100% cover (0% bermudagrass) by 2017. Trifolium repens achieved a more balanced competitive density with the bermudagrass and produced flowers from June through August in both years. Trifolium fragiferum persisted over two growing seasons but only bloomed in 2017. Bellis perennis, Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium subterraneum did not persist. Pollinators were observed foraging on all persistent, flowering forbs, including Trifolium repens, Prunella vulgaris, and Trifolium fragiferum. Trifolium repens and Prunella vulgaris produced the most flowers and attracted the most pollinators.