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Open access

Gustavo F. Kreutz, Germán V. Sandoya, Gary K. England, and Wendy Mussoline

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is planted in Florida starting late fall at the end of September and continuing through the last harvest in May. In recent years, the season has shortened because of warm temperatures and weather-related events, such as rainfall at the beginning and the end of the season. During the transition between summer production in the Western U.S. lettuce season and the beginning of Florida’s winter production, there may be shortages of lettuce and other leafy vegetables in U.S. East Coast markets. In this research, we evaluated a set of lettuce breeding lines and cultivars in both sand and muck soils and a subset of romaine lettuces to determine whether lettuce planted in Florida’s sandy soils could help meet the supply shortage in the delay between the Western and Eastern U.S. lettuce seasons. Significant genetic variation and genotype × environment (G×E) interactions were observed among lettuce genotypes when planted in both sand and muck soils, suggesting that lettuce cultivars should be adapted and bred specifically for sandy soils. Romaine and butterhead lettuce lines produced higher yield in sandy soils; a particular romaine breeding line (BG18-0588) had good yield and less heat-related disorders when planted in warmer temperatures. Producing lettuce in sandy soils may have a higher production cost because of additional specific practices such as transplant production, plastic mulch, and fertigation, but these costs may be offset by increased productivity due to better weed control and nutrient timing. However, a future analysis should be conducted to elucidate the economic feasibility of producing lettuce in sandy soils.

Open access

Paul Kusuma and Bruce Bugbee

Phytochrome, a well-studied photoreceptor in plants, primarily absorbs in the red (R) and far-red (FR) regions and is responsible for the perception of shade and subsequent morphological responses. Experiments performed in controlled environments have widely used the R:FR ratio to simulate the natural environment and used phytochrome photoequilibrium (PPE) to simulate the activity of phytochrome. We review why PPE may be an unreliable metric, including differences in weighting factors, multiple phytochromes, nonphotochemical reversions, intermediates, variations in the total pool of phytochrome, and screening by other pigments. We suggest that environmental signals based on R and FR photon fluxes are a better predictor of plant shape than the more complex PPE model. However, the R:FR ratio is nonintuitive and can approach infinity under electric lights, which makes it difficult to extrapolate from studies in controlled environments to the field. Here we describe an improved metric: the FR fraction (FR/R+FR) with a range from 0 to 1. This is a more intuitive metric both under electric lights and in the field compared with other ratios because it is positively correlated with phytochrome-mediated morphological responses. We demonstrate the reliability of this new metric by reanalyzing previously published data.

Open access

Rita de Cássia Félix Alvarez, Aline Cordeiro Taveira, Sebastião Ferreira de Lima, Larissa Pereira Ribeiro Teodoro, Job Teixeira de Oliveira, Adriano dos Santos, Erina Vitório Rodrigues, Gessi Ceccon, and Paulo Eduardo Teodoro

This study aimed to identify promising crosses to generate cowpea breeding populations for the Brazilian Cerrado region. The experiment was carried out during the two crop seasons. The experimental design used was a randomized block with four replications and 20 genotypes prostrate. The effect of genotypes was significant for all traits evaluated. The Mahalanobis distance and the Tocher’s cluster were used to estimate the genetic diversity. Singh’s criterion was used to quantify the contribution of each trait to genetic diversity. Mass of hundred grains and grain yield were the traits that most contributed to detect diversity among cowpea genotypes. The crosses between the G14 genotype with G2, G3, G4, G5, G6, G11, G16, and G20 are promising for the development of populations with variability and high genetic potential.

Open access

Eric T. Wolske, Bruce E. Branham, and Kevin J. Wolz

The shade tolerance of black currants (Ribes nigrum cv. Consort) was studied by measuring the growth and productivity of mature plants in the field for three seasons under full sun or artificial shade netting in Urbana, IL. Shade treatments reduced photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) from 37% to 83%. Yield was not reduced in shade levels up to 65% but decreased by as much as 66% under 83% shade. Shade had minimal effect on stem rejuvenation in the first 2 years, but reduced rejuvenation in the third year from 14 new stems in full sun to eight new stems in 83% shade. Stem diameter decreased 8% to 19% with 83% shade, whereas no changes were observed in up to 65% shade. Plant height increased 5% to 8% from open sun to 83% shade. Specific leaf weight decreased and leaf area increased with shade. Powdery mildew severity increased with shade, and disease-resistant cultivars should be considered for understory crops. Our results indicate that growth and productivity of black currants can be maintained in moderate shade but shade levels beyond 65% will significantly reduce agronomic performance.

Open access

Ivette Guzman, Krystal Vargas, Francisco Chacon, Calen McKenzie, and Paul W. Bosland

This study investigated the diversity of carotenoids and phenolics in germplasm from three Capsicum (chile pepper) species, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum baccatum, and Capsicum chinense. Lutein, a yellow-pigmented carotenoid, and phenolics, a group of secondary metabolites, are reported to have health-promoting properties. The germplasm studied matured to a yellow color. The hypothesis was that all yellow fruits would contain either the carotenoid lutein, a yellow pigment, or a large amount of phenolics, a group of secondary metabolites that may be yellow among other colors. Thirty-one Capsicum accessions were grown in the field over a period of two seasons. On a dry weight (DW) basis, lutein ranged from 0.14 to 94.2 μg·g−1, and total phenolics ranged from 5.79 to 15.01 mg·g−1. No lutein was detected in one accession and β-carotene, another health-promoting compound, was lacking in four accessions. Accessions were grouped into four groups according to a principal component analysis plot. Results from this study indicate that in only nine accessions, lutein represented at least 50% of the total carotenoid amounts in each accession. These accessions are desirable not only as a source of dietary lutein, a natural yellow pigment, but also as genetic material that can be used to breed for higher lutein Capsicum. Therefore, yellow color is not a good indicator of lutein content and phytochemical analysis is required to determine the content of health-promoting compounds.

Open access

Zena Rawandoozi, Timothy Hartmann, David Byrne, and Silvia Carpenedo

Ten phenological and fruit quality traits were evaluated in seedlings from nine F1 low to medium chill full-sib peach (Prunus persica) families and their parents over 2 years at two locations (Fowler, CA, and College Station, TX) to estimate variance components, genotype by environment interaction (G×E), and phenotypic correlations using restricted maximum likelihood mixed and multivariate models. The removal of nectarine [P. persica var. nucipersica (fruit without fuzz)] and pantao (flat shape fruit) seedlings from the analysis decreased the heritability for the fruit size, blush, tip, and soluble solids concentration (SSC), indicating the importance of taking the effects of the major gene of nectarine/pantao into account when assessing the heritability of traits. A strong correlation coefficient (r = 0.92) found between ripe date (RD) and fruit development period (FDP) and between fruit weight (FW) and fruit diameter (FD), indicates that either measure is equally effective, although the negative correlation between bloom date (BD) and FDP (r = −0.46) implies earlier blooming during cool temperatures tends to extend FDP. FW, FD, blush, and SSC had moderately weak correlations with RD (r = 0.56, 0.53, −0.41, and 0.48) and FDP (r = 0.57, 0.56, −0.50, and 0.39, respectively), which could be explained either by the presence of a strong link between quantitative trait loci of these traits and the ripening date locus or the pleiotropic effect of ripening date on many quantitative fruit characters. The traits RD, FDP, and titratable acidity (TA) had the highest broad-sense heritability (H2) and lowest G×E. FW, tip, and shape showed the lowest H2, the highest of G×E variance to the genetic F (G×E variance/total genotypic variance), and high G×E, whereas the other traits showed moderate G×E. For the traits that had a higher G×E interaction, selection for or against these traits should be done at the production location. A moderate narrow-sense heritability (h2) was estimated for BD, blush, fruit tip, and shape. FW and FD showed low to moderate h2 while H2 was high, whereas RD, FDP, SSC, and TA showed low h2 and high H2 estimates, indicating important nonadditive effects for these traits.

Open access

Renee T. Threlfall, John R. Clark, Aubrey N. Dunteman, and Margaret L. Worthington

Breeding and release of new fresh-market blackberries (Rubus subgenus Rubus Watson) is vital for competitive markets to address evolving changes and production challenges. Physical, composition, and sensory attributes of six University of Arkansas (UA) System Division of Agriculture blackberry cultivars (Caddo, Natchez, Osage, Ouachita, Ponca, and Prime-Ark® Traveler) were evaluated to identify marketable attributes. The consumer sensory study (n = 81) had two elements: a visual evaluation of displayed blackberries and an appearance, tasting, and firmness evaluation of the six cultivars using a 9-point verbal hedonic liking scale and a 5-point just about right (JAR) scale. Consumers preferred large blackberries when presented with individual berries of varying sizes and clamshells filled with equal weights of small or large blackberries. The largest of the six cultivars, Natchez and Caddo, were scored favorably for size and shape. Consumers also preferred clamshells with little to no red drupelet reversion, a postharvest disorder where black drupelets on the blackberry turn red during or after cold storage. Consumers did not detect differences in the appearance or firmness of the cultivars and rated the firmness of all cultivars favorably on the JAR scale. The physical and composition attributes of the six cultivars were within commercially acceptable ranges (soluble solids = 9% to 10%, pH = 3.1–3.8, titratable acidity = 0.6% to 1.4%, and berry weight = 6–10 g). ‘Ponca’, ‘Osage’, ‘Caddo’, and ‘Natchez’ were all rated highly for sweetness, sourness, overall flavor, and overall impression. ‘Ponca’ was rated high for sweetness, overall flavor, and overall impression and had 10.4% soluble solids, 0.82% titratable acidity, and a 12.8 soluble solids/titratable acidity ratio. The identification of these marketability attributes of fresh-market blackberries will provide information to advance breeding efforts for fruit with commercial potential.

Open access

Kim D. Bowman and Ute Albrecht

Modern citrus nursery production makes use of potted-tree propagation in greenhouses. Supplemental lighting is one method by which nursery tree growth and profitability may be significantly improved, but limited specific information is available. Five replicated experiments were conducted to determine the utility and effects of increasing daylength during the winter months by supplemental illumination from light-emitting diode (LED) or high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights in citrus nursery propagation. Studies used ‘Valencia’ sweet orange scion, the most common citrus cultivar grown in Florida, and the commercially important rootstocks sour orange, ‘Cleopatra’ mandarin, ‘US-812’, ‘US-897’, ‘US-942’, and ‘US-1516’. Comparisons used the three common types of citrus rootstock propagation: seed, stem cuttings, and micropropagation. Six responses were measured in the lighting experiments, including vegetative growth before budding, scion bud survival, and scion bud growth after budding. Supplemental HPS or LED light to extend daylength to 16 h in the citrus nursery during short-day winter months was observed to be effective in increasing unbudded rootstock liner growth and ‘Valencia’ scion growth on all rootstocks and propagation types. Generally, the positive effect on vegetative growth from an increased daylength was stronger with the HPS light than with LED light, while increasing daylength with LED light, but not HPS light, provided some increased bud growth initiation. Use of HPS or LED supplemental lighting to extend daylength offers significant growth advantage for the citrus nursery industry in winter.

Open access

Yulia A. Kuzovkina and Lorenzo Vietto

The International Poplar Commission, FAO UN, was appointed to serve as the International Cultivar Registration Authority for the genus Salix in 2013 (). Eight hundred and fifty-four cultivar epithets were included in the Checklist for Cultivars of Salix (Willow) to provide the baseline for the formal registration of new cultivars epithets (, ). Twenty-six new cultivar epithets have been registered since 2016 and included in the .

Open access

Wenwen Li, Liqiang Liu, Weiquan Zhou, Yanan Wang, Xiang Ding, Guoquan Fan, Shikui Zhang, and Kang Liao

The present study aims to reveal the karyotypic characteristics and genetic relationships of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) accessions from different ecological groups. Fourteen, 9, and 30 accessions from the Central Asian ecological group, North China ecological group, and Dzhungar-Ili ecological group, respectively, were analyzed according to the conventional pressing plate method. The results showed that all the apricot accessions from the different ecological groups were diploid (2n = 2x = 16). The total haploid length of the chromosome set of the selected accessions ranged from 8.11 to 12.75 μm, which was a small chromosome, and no satellite chromosomes were detected. All accessions had different numbers of median-centromere chromosomes or sub-median-centromere chromosomes. The karyotypes of the selected accessions were classified as 1A or 2A. Principal component analysis revealed that the long-arm/short-arm ratio (0.968) and the karyotype symmetry index (−0.979) were the most valuable parameters, and cluster analysis revealed that the accessions from the Central Asian ecological group and Dzhungar-Ili ecological group clustered together. In terms of karyotypic characteristics, the accessions from the Dzhungar-Ili ecological group and Central Asian ecological group were closely related.