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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.

Open access

Hong Jiang, Zhiyuan Li, Xiumei Jiang, and Yong Qin

Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt. (C. tinctoria) is used in composite tea material and has important medicinal functions. Soil salinization affects the growth and development of C. tinctoria in Xinjiang (China). Here, we discussed the changes in photosynthesis and physiological characteristics of C. tinctoria seedlings treated with different concentrations of NaCl [0 (CK), 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 mmol·L−1] for 12, 24, and 72 hours. The results showed that the net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (g S), transpiration rate (Tr), and stomatal inhibition rate (Ls) decreased significantly with increasing concentrations of NaCl. Salt stress promoted the accumulation of peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), soluble sugar, soluble protein, and free proline (Pro). A highly significant positive correlation was found between Ls and Fv/Fm; Ls and Fv/Fo; soluble sugar and CAT; soluble sugar and soluble protein. C. tinctoria was most sensitive to the concentrations of 150 to 250 mmol·L−1 NaCl, and its salt stress tolerance was increased by reducing photosynthetic fluorescence parameters, improving the antioxidant enzyme system, and regulating osmotic substances.

Open access

Rong Zhang, Zhubing Yan, Yikun Wang, Xuesen Chen, Chengmiao Yin, and Zhiquan Mao

A pot experiment was performed to investigate the effects of Trichoderma harzianum on the root morphology of Malus hupehensis Rehd. seedlings and their soil environment under replant conditions. The experiment consisted of four treatments: continuously cropped soil (CK1), methyl bromide fumigation (CK2), carrier substrate control (T1), and T. harzianum fertilizer (T2). Plant growth parameters, soil phenolic acid content, abundance of soil microorganisms, and root respiration rate were measured. Compared with CK1, plant height, basal diameter, and fresh weight were 34.58%, 27.55%, and 32.91% greater in T2; 11.35%, 12.10%, and 18.33% greater in T1; and 54.34%, 57.64%, and 45.74% greater in CK2. These metrics were significantly higher in the CK2 treatment than in the other treatments. The second highest values were recorded in the T2 treatment. Differences in root architecture were consistent with differences in biomass. Application of T. harzianum fertilizer was associated with increases of 45.45%, 120.06%, 86.44%, and 268.29% in the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), respectively, and there was little difference between T2 and CK2. The contents of phlorizin and phloretin were 39.39% and 51.70% less in T2, respectively, and 17.85% and 18.14% less in T1, respectively, compared with CK1. Trichoderma harzianum fertilizer increased the abundance of bacteria and actinomycetes while decreasing that of fungi. The gene copy numbers of Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium moniliforme were 64.30% and 49.35% less, respectively, in the T2 treatment. The fungus population and the gene copy number of Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium moniliforme was the least in CK2 because of the good sterilization effect. The T. harzianum fertilizer showed satisfactory effects in promoting the root growth of M. hupehensis, increasing the root resistance, decreasing the soil phenolic acid content, and significantly reducing the gene copy number of F. oxysporum and F. moniliforme. In summary, T. harzianum fertilizer is an effective and green alternative for the prevention and control of apple replant disease (ARD).

Open access

Laise S. Moreira and Matthew D. Clark

Seedlessness is one of the most desirable traits for table and raisin grapes. Stenospermocarpic cultivars are desirable because they have large berries with superior quality. Embryo rescue techniques have been widely used to get progeny seedling populations from crosses using seedless mother plants. Selection of the female parent, sampling time, and the growth medium are the most crucial to the success of this technique. This study investigated the effect of best sampling time and media composition on embryo rescue efficiency in a cold-hardy hybrid grape breeding program. We sampled ovules 5 to 9 weeks after flowering, and we tested four media compositions. The greatest percentages of embryo germination and normal seedlings were obtained when ovules were harvest at 8 weeks after flowering, indicating that it is suitable to harvest ovules at veraison, when the extraction of ovules is easier as a result of softer berry flesh. For the media composition experiment, all ovules were harvested at 8 weeks after flowering. Nitsch & Nitsch culture medium had very low germination, and the resulting seedlings performed the lowest compared with the other treatments. Lloyd & McCown Woody Plant Basal Medium (WPM) increased the number of embryos germinated significantly, and a number of normal seedlings and plantlets developed. Although there was no significant difference among the other three media containing WPM supplemented with different doses of plant regulators, the WPM Plus medium [with cytokinin (6-benzlaminopurine), indole-3-butyric acid, gibberellin, and casein hydrolysate] promoted the greatest percentage of established plants (46.98%). Therefore, the 8-weeks-after-flowering harvest time and the WPM Plus medium were selected for use in the embryo rescue protocol at the University of Minnesota grape breeding program.