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Native plants are of great value in landscape maintenance. Despite their importance in the landscape, the salt tolerance of most native plants has received little attention. The present research was designed to assess morphological, physiological, and biochemical responses of four Utah-native plants [Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick), Cercocarpus ledifolius (curl-leaf mountain mahogany), Cercocarpus montanus ‘Coy’ (alder-leaf mountain mahogany), and Shepherdia ×utahensis ‘Torrey’ (hybrid buffaloberry)] at different salinity levels. Each species was irrigated with a nutrient solution at an electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.2 dS·m−1 (control) or saline solutions at ECs of 5.0 or 10.0 dS·m−1 for 8 weeks. The experiment was a randomized complete block design with 10 replications. At 8 weeks after the initiation of the experiment, A. uva-ursi and C. montanus ‘Coy’ had slight foliar salt damage with an average visual score of 3.7 (0 = dead, 5 = excellent with no sign of foliar salt damage) when irrigated with saline solution at an EC of 5.0 dS·m−1 and were dead at an EC of 10.0 dS·m−1. Similarly, C. ledifolius had an average visual score of 3.2 when irrigated with saline solution at an EC of 10.0 dS·m−1. However, almost no foliar salt damage was observed on S. ×utahensis ‘Torrey’ during the experimental period. In addition, the shoot dry weight of all species was reduced with elevated salinity levels in the irrigation water. Salinity stress also reduced gas exchange rates of plants and affected their mineral content. Proline accumulated in the leaves of native plants but was species-dependent. In conclusion, S. ×utahensis ‘Torrey’ was tolerant to salinity stress followed by C. ledifolius; A. uva-ursi and C. montanus ‘Coy’ were sensitive to salinity stress.

Open Access

Biological amendments, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal inoculant products, are increasingly incorporated into agricultural management plans as a way to improve plant productivity. However, the effects of mycorrhizal inoculants on plant growth are context-dependent and can vary with soil fertility and among plant cultivars. To optimize the use of mycorrhizal inoculant products on wine grapes at the nursery stage, we tested the effect of a mycorrhizal inoculant product with and without the addition of phosphorus (P) fertilizer on the growth and tissue nutrients of two popular Vitis vinifera cultivars, Merlot and Chardonnay. We rooted dormant cuttings in the following respective treatments: no AM fungal inocula or P fertilizer; AM fungal inocula; P fertilizer; and co-amendment of AM fungal inocula and P fertilizer. We grew the grapevines in pots for 5 months in a greenhouse. Growth responses to treatments differed between cultivars. ‘Merlot’ vines had a stronger growth response to the mycorrhizal inoculant product than ‘Chardonnay’, especially when no P fertilizer was added. The co-amendment of AM fungi and P fertilizer resulted in larger root biomass for ‘Merlot’, but there was no effect of any treatment on the root biomass of ‘Chardonnay’. ‘Merlot’ vines grown with the AM fungal inoculant product also had higher tissue P than uninoculated vines, but there was no effect of inoculation on tissue nutrients of ‘Chardonnay’. This study provides evidence of grapevine cultivar-specific responses to an AM fungal inoculant product in a greenhouse, which may be useful when planning nursery management strategies for the incorporation of biological amendments into grapevine production.

Open Access

Golf facilities require a large area and consume energy to operate. As such, golf facilities have the potential to influence ecosystems and contribute to national and regional energy demands. The objective of this study was to document the land-use and energy practices of US golf facilities in 2021 and to determine if changes have occurred since 2005. A survey was distributed via e-mail to 13,938 US golf facilities, with 1861 responding. From 2005 to 2021, the projected acres of maintained turfgrass declined by 14.2%, whereas the median maintained turfgrass acreage declined by 3.0% indicating the decline in projected acres was likely a result of facility closures. In 2021, water features, turfgrass, and natural areas accounted for 92% of the total projected facility acres. More golf facilities used cleaner energy sources, such as natural gas and solar-electric, and fewer golf facilities used gasoline and diesel in 2021 than in 2005. The percentage of golf facilities at which behavioral changes were implemented to decrease energy use declined but design changes increased from 2005 to 2021. Golf facilities became more land and energy efficient from 2005 to 2021 by reducing the acreage of maintained turfgrass and increasing the use of clean energy sources, but room for improvement still exists in human behaviors that affect energy use.

Open Access

Infection by root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.; RKN) leads to root galling and reduces the host plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients. Protected cropping systems, such as high tunnels, create conducive environments for RKN through increased soil temperatures and more intensive crop production. In Kentucky, high tunnel production has increased in the past 10 years, with tomato being the most cultivated high tunnel crop. This has contributed to a lack of rotation and increased pressure from RKN. Tomato grafting with RKN-resistant rootstock is a nonchemical management strategy that has shown promise in other regions of the United States. The primary objective of this 2-year, two-site study (Knox and Boyle Counties) was to determine whether using grafted resistant rootstock could be a viable management strategy in high tunnels naturally infested with Meloidogyne incognita. The rootstocks included ‘Arnold’, ‘Maxifort’, ‘Shin Cheong Gang’, and ‘Estamino’. ‘Primo Red’ and ‘Cherokee Purple’ were the scions and nongrafted controls in Knox and Boyle Counties, respectively. In 2020 and 2021 in Knox County, three of the four grafted treatments produced at least 38% higher yield than the nongrafted control. Grafted treatments had at least 44% fewer RKN eggs/g of dry root compared with the nongrafted control in both years. In 2021 and 2022 in Boyle County, tomato yield was at least five times greater in all four of the grafted treatments compared with the nongrafted control. In 2021, the nongrafted control had three times more RKN eggs/g dried root compared with three of the four grafted treatments. In 2022 in Boyle County, the nongrafted control had four times more RKN eggs/g of dried root than all grafted treatments. In both years and locations, ‘Arnold’ and ‘Estamino’ treatments had higher yield and lower RKN population densities in soil and roots compared with the nongrafted controls. Utilization of resistant rootstock will help Kentucky growers maintain crop productivity in soils infested with RKN, but should be combined with other management methods for long-term resiliency of the high tunnel system.

Open Access

In the midwestern United States, especially Missouri, winegrape (Vitis sp.) growers mostly plant interspecific hybrids, which are well adapted to the climate and pests of the region. ‘Chambourcin’ (an interspecific French-American hybrid) is one of the most widely planted winegrape cultivars in the area. It is usually grown as own-rooted (nongrafted) vines because the economic and horticultural benefits of grafting this cultivar to rootstocks have not been well developed. Further, few significant winegrape rootstock evaluations have been conducted in the midwestern United States, including evaluations of newer rootstocks developed and released by private and public breeding programs. The aim of this study was to assess the potential value of using rootstocks in ‘Chambourcin’ production in southern Missouri, with implications for the midwestern United States. Fruit yield, vine growth, and fruit composition metrics from ‘Chambourcin’ on 10 different root systems [own-rooted, and grafted to rootstocks ‘Couderc 3309’, ‘Couderc 1616’, ‘Paulsen 1103’, ‘Sélection Oppenheim 4’, ‘Millardet et de Grasset 420A’, ‘Millardet et de Grasset 101-14’, ‘Kingfisher’, ‘Matador’ (all Vitis sp.), and ‘Gloire de Montpellier’ riverbank grape (Vitis riparia)] in an experimental vineyard in southwest Missouri were compared. Following three establishment years (2008–10), data were collected across four growing and vintage seasons (2011–14). Yield components evaluated included total fruit production, clusters per vine, cluster weight, berry weight, weight of cane prunings, and crop load. Petiole mineral analysis was conducted in 2011, 2013, and 2014. Grape juice attributes measured were soluble solids concentration, juice pH, titratable acidity (TA), potassium (K), anthocyanins, tannins, phenolics, and organic acids. When simply comparing grafted vs. ungrafted vines, grafting generally induced higher plant vigor and a higher pH in the juice, whereas the other parameters did not differ. When the performances were compared among the 10 root systems, vines grafted to ‘Couderc 3309’ had higher yields compared with vines grafted to six other rootstocks and own-rooted vines. Grafting to ‘Millardet et de Grasset 101-14’ induced higher cluster weight compared with the other rootstocks. The ‘Millardet et de Grasset 420A’ rootstock promoted a higher pH and TA as well as a higher concentration of K in the juice, and ‘Paulsen 1103’ also promoted high pH, TA, and malic acid in the juice, and higher concentrations of phosphorous (P) and K in the petiole compared with most rootstocks. ‘Gloire de Montpellier’ induced a lower P content in the petiole and a higher tartaric/malic acid ratio. Rootstock use can strongly influence some vineyard production metrics as well as nutrient uptake and K levels in the juice (the latter further influencing juice pH). The results of this study provide insights into the complex viticultural and enological interactions resulting from the use of rootstocks in hybrid winegrape production in Missouri, USA.

Open Access

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a high-value crop cultivated worldwide. Harvested lettuce acreage in New Mexico, USA, trails the leading lettuce production states (California, Arizona), but growers in New Mexico are interested in expanding their production. For New Mexico farmers to increase lettuce production to reach new markets, information on heat-tolerant cultivar performance is needed. This study was conducted to evaluate six lettuce cultivars described as heat tolerant by seed suppliers or other sources. In 2020 and 2021, we assessed two butterhead types, ‘Anuenue’ and ‘Mikola RG10’; two green leaf types, ‘Muir’ and ‘Tropicana’; and two romaine types, ‘Parris Island Cos’ and ‘Sparx’, in the Jose Fernandez Garden at the New Mexico State University Heritage Farm in Las Cruces, NM. To determine which cultivars and types of lettuce are better suited for southern New Mexico, we measured these variables: marketable harvest weight, number of days from transplant to first bolt, and number of days from transplant to 50% bolted. In 2020, ‘Sparx’, a romaine-type lettuce, had, on average, 32% higher yield compared with the other lettuce types. In 2021 both romaine-type cultivars, Sparx and Parris Island Cos, produced 19% more marketable yield than the other lettuce cultivars. In 2020, ‘Sparx’ was the last to bolt and to reach the 50% bolted stage, whereas in 2021 ‘Mikola RG10’ and ‘Muir’ were the last cultivars to bolt and reach the 50% bolted stage. These results suggest that ‘Sparx’ would be a good potential candidate for farmers in southern New Mexico. ‘Mikola RG10’ and ‘Muir’, butterhead and green leaf type, respectively, demonstrated slower bolting in 2021, indicating they may be useful cultivars for extending lettuce harvest in New Mexico.

Open Access

Nutrient-depleted soil is a major constraint for crop production, particularly for fruits. Here, we investigated the different response of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) deficiency on the growth and development of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) in sand culture under greenhouse conditions. Compared with K, the lack of N or P is more unfavorable to strawberry growth and development. N deficiency affected shoot-root (S/R) ratio at different growth stages, and decreased the shoot biomass. P deficiency greatly increased the N content but decreased K content of the plants, which means P is of advantage to regulate the absorption and utilization of N and K nutrients in plants. Meanwhile, P has a profound influence on fruit quality, such as total soluble (TSS) sugar content. K deficiency is not conducive to fruit coloring and the formation of high-quality commercial fruits. The results contribute to a better understanding of the difference of N, P, or K deficiency on strawberry growth, nutrient absorption, and fruit quality during the whole growth period.

Open Access