‘Honeycrisp’ apple is susceptible to bitter pit, which is associated with fruit mineral nutrient composition. Rootstock genotypes can affect nutrient acquisition, distribution, and fruit yields, which all affect fruit nutrient composition and bitter pit susceptibility. However, the changes of these traits among different rootstock genotypes in response to abiotic stress under semiarid conditions are relatively unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of different rootstocks and irrigation on nutrient uptake and partitioning with ‘Honeycrisp’ apple grown in an irrigated, semiarid environment. ‘Honeycrisp’ apple trees were grafted on four different rootstocks, Geneva 41 (‘G.41’), Geneva 890 (‘G.890’), M.9-T337 (‘M.9’), and Budagovsky 9 (‘B.9’), and these were planted at high density (3000 trees/ha). Irrigation was applied as either a water-limited treatment where volumetric soil water content was maintained near 50% field capacity (FC) and a well-watered control where soil water content was maintained near 100% FC. ‘G.890’, the most vigorous rootstock, had lower nitrogen and higher potassium content in leaves, while ‘B.9’, the least vigorous rootstock, had lower potassium and higher nitrogen content. Rootstock genotype did not affect calcium uptake. Interestingly, water-limited conditions increased the nutrient content in root and stems but not in leaves. Water-limited trees partitioned more nitrogen and calcium to roots, while well-watered trees in the control partitioned more nutrients to the stems. Fruit size was the largest for ‘G.890’ and smallest for ‘B.9’. Both ‘G.41’ and ‘G.890’ had higher bitter pit incidence, which was associated with higher potassium content in leaves and fruit. These results suggest that rootstock-induced vigor and irrigation can both contribute to nutrient imbalances in leaves and fruit that could affect the development of physiological disorders in ‘Honeycrisp’ apple.
Nadia A. Valverdi and Lee Kalcsits
Nebahat Sari, Emily Silverman, Danny Reiland, and Todd C. Wehner
Bottle gourd [Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl.] is widely produced in some Asian and African countries as a fresh vegetable as well as for seed consumption. A major use of bottle gourd is for rootstocks in grafted watermelon production. There are several centers where bottle gourd genetic resources are maintained, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) germplasm collection being one of the most important. There is little published information on the relationship between seed morphology and the early establishment of seedlings in bottle gourd. The objective of this study was to determine seed characterization, morphology, and cotyledon shape in 163 Lagenaria spp. accessions and measure any relationship between seed and cotyledon characteristics. In USDA Lagenaria germplasm, it has been determined that the common character in seeds was medium in terms of seed size (53% of accessions), intermediate in seed surface lustre (39% of accessions), brown in seedcoat color (89% of accessions), thin and uniform in seed margin (35% of accessions), and tan in seed margin color (64% of accessions). According to the research results, seed weight ranged from 0.11 g (PI 500820) to 0.36 g (PI 675112), seed length from 13.17 mm (PI 500820) to 23.68 mm (PI 675112), and seed width from 5.86 (PI 500808) to 11.21 mm (PI 491274). Cotyledon length ranged from 5.46 cm (PI 368640) to 2.47 cm (PI 381850). The widest cotyledon was 3.00 cm (PI 534552), and the narrowest was 1.50 cm (PI 381831). Interesting correlations were observed for seed weight with seed length (R 2 = 0.259), and cotyledon length with cotyledon width (R 2 = 0.547).
Guohui Xu, Lei Lei, Hexin Wang, and Xin Lou
Khalid F. Almutairi, David R. Bryla, and Bernadine C. Strik
In many regions, water limitations are increasing because of frequent and persistent droughts and competition for water resources. As a result, growers in these regions, including those producing blueberries, must limit irrigation during drier years. To identify the most critical periods for irrigation, we evaluated the effects of soil water deficits during various stages of fruit development on different cultivars of northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.). The study was conducted for 2 years in western Oregon and included two early season cultivars, ‘Earliblue’ and ‘Duke’, a midseason cultivar, ‘Bluecrop’, and two late-season cultivars, ‘Elliott’ and ‘Aurora’. Volumetric soil water content and stem water potentials declined within 1 to 2 weeks with no rain or irrigation in each cultivar and were lowest during the later stages of fruit development. Water deficits reduced berry weight by 10% to 15% in ‘Earliblue’ and ‘Elliott’ when irrigation was withheld in the second year during early or late stages of fruit development and by 6% to 9% in ‘Aurora’ when irrigation was withheld in either year during the final stages of fruit development. However, water deficits only reduced yield significantly in ‘Aurora’, which produced 0.8 to 0.9 kg/plant fewer fruit per year when irrigation was withheld during fruit coloring. In many cases, water deficits also reduced fruit firmness and increased the concentration of soluble solids in the berries, but they had inconsistent effects on titratable acidity and sugar-to-acid ratios. As a rule, water deficits were most detrimental during later stages of fruit development, particularly in midseason and late-season cultivars, which ripened in July and August during the warmest and driest months of the year.
J. Scott Ebdon and Michelle DaCosta
Reestablishment of damaged golf greens and fairways planted to creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera), colonial bentgrass (A. capillaris), and velvet bentgrass (A. canina) is a common practice following winter injuries. Identifying bentgrass species (Agrostis sp.) and cultivars with the potential to establish under low soil temperatures would be beneficial to achieving more mature stands earlier in the spring. Twelve bentgrass cultivars, including seven cultivars of creeping bentgrass (007, 13-M, Declaration, L-93, Memorial, Penncross, and T-1), two colonial bentgrass cultivars (Capri and Tiger II), and three velvet bentgrass cultivars (Greenwich, SR-7200, and Villa), along with ‘Barbeta’ perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) were evaluated for grass cover in the field during early spring. Bentgrass species and cultivars were seeded in the field at the same seed count per unit area. Soil temperatures were monitored in unseeded check plots from initial planting date on 8 Apr. to termination on 29 May 2013. Soil temperatures increased linearly during the 52-day experimental period from 4.7 to 23.5 °C. All species and cultivars emerged at ≈10 °C soil temperature. Bentgrass species and cultivars varied only 2 to 3 days in their initial seedling emergence, while days varied among bentgrasses from 5.5 days (to 10% cover) to 8.6 days (to 90% cover). All velvet bentgrass cultivars required higher soil temperatures (13.6 °C) and more time (26 days) following initial seedling emergence to establish to 90% cover in the early spring. Creeping bentgrass cultivars 007, 13-M, and Memorial, along with colonial bentgrass cultivars Capri and Tiger II, were statistically equal to ‘Barbeta’ perennial ryegrass in their capacity after seedling emergence to achieve faster cover at lower soil temperatures. Heavier (larger) bentgrass seed was associated with faster cover during the early stages of establishment, but seed size was uncorrelated with establishment during later stages from 50% to 90% cover.
Huimin Zhang, Hongguang Yan, Cuixiang Lu, Hui Lin, and Quan Li
Solid-state 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR spectroscopy were used to investigate the chemical components of sweet cherry tree leaves under rain-shelter cultivation (RS) and open-field cultivation (CK). The 1H-NMR spectral chemical shifts of RS and CK showed differences in height and integral value. The δ 1–3, δ 3–4, δ 4–6, and δ 6–10 regions were attributed to the hydrogen signals of aliphatic compounds, unsaturated carbohydrate compounds, and aromatic compounds, respectively. Among the four regions, the percentage of signal strength and the integral value of hydrogen signals of RS and CK were 34.25% and 28.34%, 11.64% and 12.26%, 26.71% and 31.06%, 27.4% and 28.34%, respectively. The 13C-NMR results showed that the CK sample had slightly stronger spectral lines and contained slightly more carbon atoms than the RS sample. Sweet cherry leaves contain aromatic and carboxyl carbons, mainly from carboxylic acids, esters, and amides. The alkyl carbons exhibited the lowest ratio, whereas the alkyl and alkoxy carbons were mainly derived from carbohydrates (cellulose, polysaccharides).
Lakshmy Gopinath, Matthew Barton, and Justin Quetone Moss
The availability of freshwater is a growing concern throughout the world as it is an increasingly valuable and limited resource. Alternative water resources such as recycled water low in quality and high in salinity are now frequently used to irrigate turfgrass. However, irrigating with highly saline water can affect the growth, performance, appearance, and quality of turfgrass. Bermudagrass (Cynodon sp.) is the most commonly used turfgrass throughout the southern United States. In this study, the spectral reflectance and visual response of ‘Riviera’ common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) were evaluated by consecutively irrigating with 12 salinity concentrations (4–48 dS·m−1) in increments of 4 dS·m−1 via manual overhead irrigation for 30 days. The experiment was replicated in time in a controlled environment with four replications for each salinity treatment and control. ‘Riviera’ maintained a leaf firing (LF) value above 5 (rated on a scale from 1 to 9) when irrigated with 28 dS·m−1 for 30 days. Also, the LF value did not fall below 2 when irrigated with a salinity concentration of 48 dS·m−1 for 30 days, suggesting high salinity tolerance of ‘Riviera’. However, in this study, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) had a lower ability to detect the increase in salinity stress due to the limited area measured by the NDVI measuring device used. An increase in sodium ion concentration was observed in the shoot with increasing salinity concentrations. The NDVI was highly correlated (r = 0.93) to LF, indicating the usefulness of NDVI as a tool to measure the magnitude of salinity stress. The multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the data showed a linear response to salinity stress with LF (r 2 = 0.86) and NDVI (r 2 = 0.76) decreasing linearly as the salinity concentration and days of treatment increased. This study provides an accurate depiction of the spectral and visual responses of ‘Riviera’ when exposed to multiple salinity concentrations with narrow increments.
Wilfredo Seda-Martínez, Linda Wessel-Beaver, Angela Linares-Ramírez, and Jose Carlos V. Rodrigues
Infecting cucurbits around the world, Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) and Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) are members of the genus Potyvirus and family Potyviridae. Tropical pumpkin is grown globally in the lowland humid tropics. In Puerto Rico, tropical pumpkin is the second most important vegetable crop in economic value. In trials in Puerto Rico in 2016 and 2017, susceptible genotypes ‘Waltham’, Mos166, ‘Taína Dorada’ (2016 only), ‘Soler’ with moderate resistance to ZYMV, and resistant ‘Menina’ and ‘Nigerian Local’ were inoculated with PRSV and ZYMV and evaluated in the greenhouse and field. Mock-inoculated (buffer) controls were included. Puerto Rico strains of PRSV and ZYMV were originally collected from plants of Cucurbita moschata in Puerto Rico. Presence of virus was determined by Double Antibody Sandwich (DAS) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and symptom severity was evaluated on a 0 to 5 scale in both trials. Days to anthesis of first staminate and pistillate flower were recorded for each plot. Number of fruits, fruit weight per plant, average fruit weight, fruit and mesocarp diameter, mesocarp color, °Brix, and percentage dry matter were measured in 2017. ‘Waltham’, Mos166, ‘Taína Dorada’, and ‘Soler’ tested positive for PRSV when inoculated with PRSV and positive for ZYMV when inoculated with ZYMV. For both PRSV and ZYMV, symptom severity was less (severity = 0) in resistant genotypes ‘Menina’ and ‘Nigerian Local’ than in all other genotypes. ‘Soler’ inoculated with ZYMV exhibited less symptom severity than that of susceptible genotypes. The degree of symptom severity of ‘Soler’ inoculated with PRSV was similar to susceptible genotypes. Symptom severity in plants inoculated with ZYMV was generally greater than when inoculated with PRSV. Compared with controls, yield per plant was unaffected by inoculation with potyvirus in resistant cultivar ‘Menina’. Unexpectedly, yield in resistant ‘Nigerian Local’ was reduced an average of 45% over control plots. Yield loss was 100% in inoculated plots of susceptible ‘Waltham’. Yield reduction ranged from 35% to 80% for susceptible Mos166 and moderately resistant ‘Soler’. There was little evidence that days to anthesis, average fruit weight, fruit diameter, and fruit quality (mesocarp thickness, chroma, hue angle, °Brix and dry matter) of plants inoculated with virus were different from that of uninoculated control plants. The exception was moderately resistant ‘Soler’ where plants inoculated with ZYMV produced fruits with a 32% reduction in average weight, as well as reductions in diameter, mesocarp thickness, and color saturation (chroma) compared with controls. This was unexpected given that ‘Soler’ has some resistance to ZYMV. Greenhouse evaluations by ELISA or symptom severity were generally useful in predicting field resistance to PRSV and ZYMV. In summary, yield reductions of up to 100% can be expected in C. moschata genotypes susceptible to PRSV or ZYMV, but fruit quality traits are usually unaffected. Moderate resistance to ZYMV in ‘Soler’ was observed to reduced symptom severity but not negative effects on yield and other traits. ‘Soler’ was not resistant to PRSV. ‘Menina’ rather than ‘Nigerian Local’ appears to be the best source of resistance because yield of the former was not impacted by inoculation with either potyvirus.
Jesse Puka-Beals and Greta Gramig
Direct seeding into strip-tilled zones (STZs) of living mulches may require weed suppression tactics for soil surfaces exposed within the STZ. Three surface mulch options (hydromulch, compost blanket, and a no-mulch control) were evaluated for their ability to suppress weeds and improve crop performance when applied in STZs seeded to carrot (Daucus carota). These STZs were located within one of five living mulch options [red clover (Trifolium pratense), white clover (Trifolium repens), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), a weed-free control, and a weedy control]. From measurements spanning 2 years at two North Dakota locations, dry weed biomass was lower in STZs where hydromulch or compost blankets were applied compared with the no-mulch control (12, 13, and 82 g·m−2, respectively). The presence of a living mulch adjacent to the STZ reduced carrot root biomass by 49% to 84% compared with the weed-free control. Further research should 1) investigate methods for reducing yield loss from living mulches, and 2) develop biodegradable alternatives to plastic mulches.
Kaitlyn M. Orde and Rebecca Grube Sideman
Day-neutral (DN) strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) cultivars have potential to produce high yields in New England and greatly extend the period of regional strawberry production each year. However, DN strawberries have primarily been evaluated as an annual crop in cold climates; thus, winter hardiness and subsequent second-year spring yields are not well understood. Separate DN plantings were established as dormant bare-rooted plants in Durham, NH (U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 5b) in 2017 and 2018. During their first year of growth and fruit production, plants were grown under one of two cover treatments: a plastic-covered low tunnel or the traditional open field environment (open beds). In November, plants were covered with either straw much (Winter 2017–18) or rowcover (Winter 2018–19) for low-temperature protection during the winter months. In the spring of the second year when winter protection was removed, the same cover treatments (low tunnel or open bed) were re-administered to plants. Plant survival was affected by year and cultivar, with average survival rates of 82% and 98% in Spring 2018 and Spring 2019, respectively. Plant survival ranged from 34% (‘Monterey’) to 99% (‘Aromas’) in 2018, and 92% (‘Albion’) to 100% (‘San Andreas’ and ‘Seascape’) in 2019. Cultivar significantly affected total and marketable yields in both years, and marketable yields ranged from 35.8 to 167.3 g/plant in 2018 and 121.6 to 298.6 g/plant in 2019. The greatest marketable yields were produced by ‘Aromas’, ‘Cabrillo’, ‘San Andreas’, ‘Seascape’, and low-tunnel ‘Sweet Ann’. In 2019, ‘Cabrillo’, ‘San Andreas’, and ‘Seascape’ produced greater marketable yields during the 6-week second-year season than they had during the plants’ first year of fruit production the previous year, which spanned 18 weeks. Low tunnels hastened fruit ripening in the spring and result in earlier fruit harvests, and in 2019, marketable yields were significantly greater under low tunnels for the first 1 to 3 weeks, depending on cultivar. Total and marketable yields were unaffected by low tunnels in 2018, but were significantly greater under low tunnels in 2019. For cultivars in the 2019 experiment, the increase in marketable yield under low tunnels (compared with open beds) ranged from 92.3 to 166.5 g/plant, except for Sweet Ann, for which marketable yields were 256.6 g/plant greater under low tunnels than on open beds. Using a conservative direct market rate of $4.50/lb, the second-year spring yields produced in the present study had a direct market value of between $3899/ha and $95,647/ha, depending on cultivar and year. We demonstrate that it is not only possible to overwinter DN strawberry plants in northern New England, but that the second-year yield may even exceed first-year production. The results from the present study indicate great potential for profitability from an overwintered DN crop.