Plant growth and nitrogen (N) uptake of Encore® azalea ‘Chiffon’ (Rhododendron sp.) grown in a traditional plastic container or a biodegradable container made from recycled paper were investigated over the 2013 growing season. Three hundred twenty 1-year-old azalea liners, grown in two types of containers, were fertilized twice weekly with 250 mL N-free liquid fertilizer with no N or 15 mm N from ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3). Biweekly from 10 May to 3 Dec., five plants from each N rate and container type were selected randomly to measure plant height, widths, and leaf chlorophyll content in terms of soil–plant analysis development (SPAD) readings, and were then harvested destructively for nutrient analyses. Leaf SPAD readings and tissue N concentration were influenced mostly by N rate rather than container type, with 15 mm N producing greater values than the no-N treatment. Leaf SPAD readings increased from May to August and decreased from September to December. Using 15 mm N, plastic containers generally resulted in similar or increased plant growth [plant growth index (PGI) and dry weight] and N uptake from May to August as in biocontainers, with greater SPAD readings, leaf and root dry weights, stem and root N concentrations, and leaf and root N content than biocontainers at some harvests. However, biocontainers resulted in greater PGI, dry weights, and N content (in leaves, stems, roots, and total plant) than plastic containers later in the season, from September to December. These differences appeared in September after plants grown in plastic containers ceased active growth in dry weight and N uptake by the end of August. Plants grown in biocontainers had extended active growth from 13 Sept. to 9 Nov., resulting in greater tissue N content and greater N uptake efficiency. The biocontainers used in this study produced azalea plants of greater size, dry weight, and improved N uptake by increasing growth rate and extending the plants’ active growth period into late fall. The beneficial effects likely resulted from greater evaporative cooling through container sidewalls and the lighter color of the biocontainers, and therefore led to lower substrate temperatures and improved drainage.
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Tongyin Li, Guihong Bi and Richard L. Harkess
Huan Xiong, Feng Zou, Sujuan Guo, Deyi Yuan and Genhua Niu
Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima), which is native to China, has been cultivated as a nontimber forest tree species for 4000 years. This species has been found to display self-sterility, which results in a significantly lower seed set following self-pollination (SP) compared with that following cross-pollination (CP). Self-sterility can be induced by prezygotic or postzygotic late-acting self-incompatibility (LSI) or early-acting inbreeding depression (EID). To elucidate the causes of self-sterility in chestnut, we investigated pollen–pistil interactions, fertilization, and early ovule development following SP and CP by using a paraffin section technique and fluorescence microscopy. The fruit set percentage and seed characteristics also were evaluated among different pollination treatments. The results show that there were no significant differences in pollen tube behavior following SP vs. CP, regardless of the stigmatic or stylar level. Double fertilization was significantly greater following CP (18.09%) than SP (2.58%). The significantly lower percentages of ovule penetration and double fertilization in the selfed vs. crossed ovules support a prezygotic LSI mechanism in C. mollissima. The fruit set resulting from chase-pollination (CHP; 53.85% to 63.64%) was greater than that resulting from SP (12.12% to 14.00%). In addition, the distribution of aborted seed sizes after SP showed a widely clumped pattern. Abortion occurred at different stages during seed development rather than at a uniform stage, which supported the idea that EID was operating in C. mollissima. Levels of self-sterility in the chinese chestnut trees ranged from 88.2% to 90.5%. Thus, partial prezygotic LSI and EID contributed to self-sterility in the C. mollissima ‘Yanshanzaofeng’, with prezygotic LSI rejecting part of the self-pollen in the ovary and EID aborting part of the self-fertilized seeds.
Yuyao Kong, Ajay Nemali, Cary Mitchell and Krishna Nemali
High energy-use cost for electric lighting is one of the major issues challenging sustainability of the indoor lettuce-farming industry. Thus, maximizing electrical energy-use efficiency (EUE, g·KWh−1), defined as the ratio of dry matter production (g) to electrical energy consumption (EEC, KWh−1), is crucial during indoor production. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are energy efficient and highly suitable for indoor farms. Research on optimal spectral quality of LEDs for lettuce growth is extensive; however, there is limited research examining LED spectral quality effects on EEC and EUE. Photon efficiency, defined as the ratio of light output to electrical energy input (PE, µmol·J−1), generally is used for selection of LED fixtures. Because PE does not account for differences in emitted light spectrum, it is not clear whether light-fixture selection based on PE can maximize EUE in lettuce production. This study comprised two experiments. In Expt. 1, we used four “phosphor-converted” commercial LEDs with different light intensities and spectra to model the effect of light spectral quality on lettuce shoot dry weight (SDW), EEC, and EUE. We also evaluated relations between EUE vs. PE and EUE vs. PER (PE based on red light) for indoor lettuce production. Results indicated that light spectral quality affected SDW, EEC, and EUE in lettuce production. Fitted models indicated that EEC increased linearly with increasing percentage of red-light output and was unaffected by other spectral colors or ratios. However, EUE increased in a curvilinear fashion with an increasing ratio of red to blue (R:B) light and reached a maximum at a ratio of 4.47. Similar to EUE, SDW also responded in a curvilinear fashion to R:B. Results also indicated that EUE correlated poorly with PE but linearly to PER. In Expt. 2, we grew three lettuce varieties under two commercial LED fixtures. They had similar levels of PE but different percentages of red, R:B, and PER values. Regardless of the variety, fixtures with greater percentages of red, R:B, and PER significantly increased EUE. We conclude that red-light quality is an important determinant of EUE and growers should select fixtures based on R:B and high PER in indoor lettuce farming.
Nguyen Phuc Huy, Vu Quoc Luan, Le Kim Cuong, Nguyen Ba Nam, Hoang Thanh Tung, Vu Thi Hien, Dung Tien Le, Kee Yoeup Paek and Duong Tan Nhut
Paphiopedilum spp. is one of the most commercially popular orchids because of its variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. However, it is at risk for extinction because of its exploitation. Regeneration of orchid plants using internode segments is extremely difficult. In this study, young P. callosum plants (1.5 cm) were exposed to eight dark–light cycles (14 days of dark and 1 day of light) for stem elongation to increase the number of nodes to obtain internode tissues. After 75 days of culture, the highest callogenesis (31.25%) was achieved when internode tissue was cultured on liquid Schenk and Hildebrandt (SH) medium containing 30 g·L−1 sucrose, 1.0 mg·L−1 Thidiazuron (TDZ), 1.0 mg·L−1 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), and cotton wool as the support matrix. The optimal media for induction of protocorm-like bodies (PLBs) were the same compositions as previously mentioned and were supplemented with 9 g·L−1 Bacto agar as the gelling agent. PLB clumps (5–6 PLBs/clump) produced the best shoots on medium containing 0.5 mg·L−1 α-Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and 0.3 mg·L−1 TDZ. Among the organic substances tested, 200 g·L−1 potato homogenate (PH) added to Hyponex N016 medium supplemented with 1.0 mg·L−1 NAA, 30 g·L−1 sucrose, 170 mg·L−1 NaH2PO4, 1.0 g·L−1 peptone, and 9 g·L−1 Bacto agar resulted in the best rooting. The rooted plantlets with four to five leaves were acclimatized and had a 100% survival rate. The method presented in this research provides a strategy for the development of highly effective propagation of Paphiopedilum species using ex vitro explants for both conservation and horticultural purposes.
Deniz İnci, Liberty Galvin, Kassim Al-Khatib and Ahmet Uludağ
Glyphosate has been widely used to control annual, perennial, and biennial weeds including Conyza species. Conyza sumatrensis (Sumatran fleabane) is considered a highly invasive and troublesome weed worldwide, including in European and Mediterranean regions. In Turkey, the use of glyphosate in orchards has recently increased; however, extensive use of glyphosate has resulted in poor control of C. sumatrensis in several peach orchards. The objectives of this research were to determine if C. sumatrensis is resistant to glyphosate and identify alternative herbicides with different modes of action that can be used instead of glyphosate. Two dose response studies were conducted in the greenhouse to evaluate the response of four C. sumatrensis populations to glyphosate, chlorsulfuron, and metribuzin. Glyphosate isopropyl amine and glyphosate potassium was applied at 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 times the use rate of 1080 g a.e./ha (a.e. indicates acid equivalent) when the plants were at rosette (5–6 true leaves) and vegetative (20–22 cm tall) stages. Effects of both glyphosate formulations were combined. The resistant populations showed higher resistance 3.8 to 6.6 and 5.3 to 7.8 times at rosette stage and vegetative stage, respectively, compared with the susceptible population. Furthermore, glyphosate-resistant populations were treated with chlorsulfuron and metribuzin at 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 times use rate of 7.5 and 350 g a.i./ha, respectively at the rosette stage. The glyphosate-resistant populations exhibited 2.4 to 3.8 times more resistance to chlorsulfuron, but were adequately controlled with metribuzin.
Ian Lane, Eric Watkins and Marla Spivak
Lawns represent one of the largest cultivated areas in urban landscapes, and in the Upper Midwest of the United States, lawns are typically composed of a small number of cool-season turfgrass species. There is increased interest in enhancing areas dedicated to lawns using flowering species for conservation purposes—for example, to support pollinators. In this study we used a model flowering forb, Kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.), because—like many flowering species of conservation interest—it is slow to establish and is sensitive to grass competition. We varied the Kura clover seeding rate into four different turfgrass species treatments: kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), hard fescue (Festuca brevipila Tracy), tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.], and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) in two separate trials. Establishment and bloom of Kura clover was significantly greater in trial 1 for kentucky bluegrass and hard fescue than tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. In trial 2, Kura clover established significantly greater in kentucky bluegrass compared with tall fescue and perennial ryegrass, whereas Kura establishment in hard fescue was not significantly different from the other treatments. The seeding rate of Kura clover did not affect establishment in either trial. The results from this study suggest kentucky bluegrass and hard fescue are promising turf companion grasses for future forb/turf interseeding research.
Maria E. Cramer, Kathleen Demchak, Richard Marini and Tracy Leskey
Insecticides are the primary tool raspberry growers use to control Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica), but reliance on pesticides is costly and there are risks to nontarget species. Based on observations that Japanese beetles were less abundant on raspberries in high tunnels than in fields, we investigated the effects of plastic films that transmit different amounts of ultraviolet (UV) light to Japanese beetles. Many insects are sensitive to light in the UV-A range and use it for navigation. High-tunnel plastics that block varying percentages of UV radiation are increasingly available. We grew two primocane-fruiting red raspberry cultivars, Polka and Josephine, in tunnels with six different covering treatments. Five were plastics that blocked the UV range to varying degrees, and one was a no-plastic treatment. In 2016, beetles were counted and removed from the plants by hand daily. In 2017, beetles were removed by hand every 4 to 5 days. Foliage temperature was measured in each tunnel twice in 2017 with an infrared (IR) thermometer. Spectral transmittance characteristics of the plastics were measured with a spectroradiometer in 2015 and 2018. Mean beetle counts by date and for the whole season were compared for the plastics and cultivars. Japanese beetle numbers were significantly greater in the no-cover treatment than in all plastic treatments. The plastic that blocked more than 90% of the UV-A range usually had significantly lower beetle populations than the plastics that blocked the least UV-A. Overall, it appears that using a UV-blocking plastic can reduce Japanese beetle aggregation and feeding damage on raspberries, decreasing the need for other control. This could benefit growers by reducing the cost of insecticides and decreasing exposure risk for nontarget organisms.
Darren J. Hayes and Bryan J. Peterson
We assessed adventitious root formation on stem cuttings of mountain fly honeysuckle [Lonicera villosa (Michx.) Schult.] in separate experiments using overhead mist and subirrigation systems. The concentration of applied potassium salt of indole-3-butyric acid (K-IBA) and the proportions of coarse perlite and milled peatmoss in the propagation medium were varied within both systems. Across treatments, 98% of cuttings in the overhead mist system and 85% of cuttings in the subirrigation system produced roots. In the overhead mist system, root volume, root dry weight, and number of root tips were greatest among cuttings treated with 4000 to 12,000 mg·L−1 K-IBA and stuck into 100% perlite. In the subirrigation system, root dry weight was not significantly affected by K-IBA concentration, but the greatest root volume and number of root tips were produced by cuttings treated with 8000 or 12,000 mg·L−1 K-IBA and stuck into 100% perlite. Despite the natural affinity of mountain fly honeysuckle for moist, organic soils, all of the 18 rooted cuttings we planted in a landscape trial survived and grew appreciably with minimal care over 2 years in a mineral field soil. We conclude that cuttings of mountain fly honeysuckle can be propagated readily by overhead mist or subirrigation, that root system quality is improved substantially by increasing K-IBA concentration and using coarse perlite without peatmoss, and that mountain fly honeysuckle can be grown in typical horticultural landscapes.
Richard Martinson, John Lambrinos and Ricardo Mata-González
Efficient water use in urban landscapes is a common objective throughout the western United States. Vegetative species promoted for their drought tolerance characteristics are often included in landscapes designed for resource conservation. However, water requirements of most common landscape species have not been quantified. This is especially true for xerophytic species. This lack of landscape plant water requirement data is a significant constraint on the design of efficient irrigation systems and management practices affecting urban landscape water use. Current irrigation practices often fail to consider the unique physiology of xerophytic species, and irrigation scheduling models may not be appropriate for xeric landscapes using xerophytic vegetation as the primary method of reducing water use. This work describes the seasonal patterns of growth and xylem water status for four regionally native xeric shrub species planted in an unirrigated urban landscape in the semi-arid environment of central Oregon. The four species (Artemisia tridentata, Holodiscus microphyllus, Ericameria nauseosa, and Ribes cereum) exhibited substantial growth over the course of 18 months without irrigation in a heavily modified urban soil profile. Water potential of the four species was strongly correlated with surface (10 cm) soil moisture (r ≥ 0.90), less so with reference monthly evapotranspiration (r ≤ 0.55), and only weakly with water vapor deficit (r ≤ 0.22). In A. tridentata and H. microphyllus, xylem water potential became more negative during the growing season and tracked the seasonal decline in soil moisture. In contrast, the xylem water potential of E. nauseosa and R. cereum tracked soil moisture early in the season but became less responsive to soil moisture in the driest months, suggesting different drought adaptation strategies in these species. Three of the four species showed no visual signs of drought stress and maintained acceptable aesthetics even as soil moisture decreased to less than 10%. However, R. cereum exhibited a drought dormancy strategy that made it less aesthetically desirable. These results suggest that extreme xerophytic shrubs provide an opportunity for significant reductions in water use in urban landscapes.
Fengyun Zhao, Junli Sun, Songlin Yu, Huaifeng Liu and Kun Yu
Aeration through subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) can promote plant growth and increase crop yield; however, more research is focused on annual crops, and there are few studies on perennial crops. We have studied a new type of SDI (SDI with tanks) suitable for cultivation and production of perennial fruit trees and photovoltaic aeration device in greenhouse. The results showed that aeration irrigation promoted the growth of new leaves, fine roots, and new branches of grape, regulated O2/CO2 content in rhizosphere soil, and accelerated air exchange in rhizosphere soil. This study showed that aeration irrigation did not change the structure of bacteria and fungi but significantly increased the abundance of aerobic bacteria, such as Nitrospira and Cytophagia. Moreover, it promoted the increase of Pseudomonas and Aspergillus related to phosphate solubilization, that of Bacillus related to potassium solubilization, and that of Fusarium related to organic matter (OM) decomposition. This study shows that aeration irrigation through SDI with tanks can promote grape growth, which may be related to the ability of aeration irrigation to change the gas composition of rhizosphere soil, optimize the structure of rhizosphere soil microorganism.