Browse

You are looking at 21 - 30 of 41,322 items

Mal secco, caused by the fungus Plenodomus tracheiphilus, is a xylem disease that is a limiting factor for lemon production in the Mediterranean. Resistance or field tolerance are major goals for lemon breeders; however, there is scant information regarding the heritability of mal secco resistance in breeding populations. As with other vascular diseases, phenotyping is the bottleneck for ascertaining resistance and susceptibility, and a validated protocol for greenhouse phenotyping would be valuable to accelerate the selection of tolerant trees before field evaluation. We report phenotyping of 148 hybrids of Khasi papeda (Citrus latipes; tolerant to mal secco) × lemon (susceptible to the disease) in field and greenhouse conditions. Field evaluation was performed on all hybrids for 2 to 3 consecutive years on trees subjected to high natural-pathogen pressure. Detection of the fungal infection was performed by visual observation and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The first infections occurred ≈6 months after planting, but 2 years of observations were needed for a reliable estimation of susceptibility. The spread of the disease did not occur uniformly throughout the plot, with patterns of spread within rows, probably resulting from infections from plant to plant. The possible errors in the estimation of susceptibility as a result of the uneven distribution of infections in the plot were reduced by using more than one replicate tree per hybrid. The correlation between phenotyping scores and cycle threshold values was weak (r = –0.48, P < 0.001). Three years after planting, hybrids clustered into three groups—susceptible, tolerant, and intermediate—based on symptom progression. A subset of 65 self-rooted hybrids was also subjected to stem inoculation in an unheated greenhouse, with two to seven biological replicates per hybrid. Three months after inoculation, the samples were monitored for symptoms appearance and subjected to real-time PCR pathogen quantification. We observed a weak (r = 0.41) but significant (P < 0.001) correlation between phenotypes in the field and the greenhouse, indicating that, in our conditions, field evaluation remains the best method for phenotyping. However, artificial inoculations might help to discard the highly susceptible hybrids before field evaluation.

Open Access

Early ripening [earlier than 1 Aug during fruit harvest time (FHT)], large fruit weight (FW; >1000 g), high sugar content [>17% soluble solids content (SSC)], and low acidity in fruit juice (<0.7%) are important breeding targets of pineapple for table fresh fruit use in Japan. We investigated the efficiency of primary selection based on the four fruit traits using 129 first-fruiting F1 offspring population of ‘Yugafu’ × ‘Yonekura’ without replicates. Separately, environmental variances were estimated by an analysis of variance using evaluation data from 50 or 49 offspring in three replicates and two-year repeats. The phenotypic distribution in the 129 F1 population approached a normal distribution (P > 0.05). The genotypic distribution was obtained as a normal distribution with the population mean as the mean and genotypic variance obtained by subtracting the environmental variance from the phenotypic variance. The target genotypes were estimated at 14.4%, 58.7%, 5.0%, and 50.0% of the F1 population for FHT, FW, SSC, and acidity, respectively. Critical phenotypic values were established as the upper (FHT and acidity) and lower (FW and SSC) limits of the critical genotypic values at the 95% probability level. The phenotypic selection was made based on the critical phenotypic value, resulting in 45.0%, 88.4%, 27.1%, and 79.1% of the offspring selected for FHT, FW, SSC, and acidity, respectively, and 12.4% simultaneously for all four fruit traits. The results showed that the phenotypic primary selection reduced the population size to 12.4%, avoiding the discarding of target genotypes with a low risk. If breeders intend to further reduce the population size, then increasing the number of traits subject to primary selection would be effective.

Open Access

This work assessed the alleviating effects of bacteria (Bacillus subtilis) and phosphorus as environmentally friendly materials on the cultivation of pepper plants in polluted soil with lead (Pb) in forms of PbSO4, and Pb(NO3)2 at rates of 0, 1000, 2000 and 3000 µg Pb/g soil. Pot experiments were conducted to study the growth parameters, some physiological factors, biochemical constituents, and yield attributes, as well as the tolerance index (TI), translocation factor (TF), bioconcentration factor (BCF), and health effects [daily intake of heavy metals (DIM), health risk index (HRI), and carcinogenic risk (CR)]. Increasing the Pb concentration of all Pb salt used in soil severely affected the plant vegetative growth parameters. In comparison with other Pb salt forms, Pb(NO3)2 salt had a strong inhibitory impact. Additionally, the photosynthetic pigments in leaves were negatively impacted by all Pb salt forms. The application of Pb in all salt forms led to changes in the leaf water deficit (LWD), osmotic pressure, and membrane integrity and decreased the total water content, relative water content (RWC), transpiration rate, and leaf succulence. Pollution with Pb salts considerably decreased the yield constituents and various chemical properties of pepper, more so in the presence of Pb nitrate than in the presence of Pb sulfate type. A comparison of the concentration of Pb presence of Pb nitrate was greatly increased than the Pb sulfate in the whole plants. The safe limit of 0.3 mg/kg was exceeded by the Pb concentration in pepper fruits (6.3 and 4.3 mg/kg) cultivated in Pb-contaminated soil [with Pb(NO3)2 and PbSO4, respectively]. Additionally, Pb sulfate had a greater detrimental effect on Pb uptake in several plant organs than other Pb salt forms. The TI of pepper plants treated with salt types was >60% with PbSO4 (75.6%), whereas it was <60% with Pb(NO3)2 (35.2%). The BCF values of pepper plants in the polluted Pb soils varied from 0.10 to 0.41, indicating a moderate accumulator plant. At every level of Pb contamination with all Pb salt types, the sequence of Pb TF values was as follows: roots (TFr) > shoots (TFsh) > fruits (TFf), with TF values < 1. When compared with TFr and TFsh, TFs for shoot to fruits (TFf) had the lowest values (range, 0.07–0.22). The DIM, HRI, and CR values of pepper plants revealed that the Pb of fruit of stressed pepper plants is within safe limits. In addition to reducing the detrimental effects of intolerable Pb levels (2000 and 3000 µg Pb/g soil) on the majority of the aforementioned characters, adding Bacillus bacteria as a bio-agent and phosphorus as a chemo-agent to Pb-polluted soils also stimulated growth, increased yield, controlled plant water relations, protected photosynthetic pigments, and sharply decreased the Pb accumulation in plant organs. The Bacillus bacteria application resulted in some superior characteristics, such as root length, leaf number, leaf length, leaf area, leaf area index, fresh biomass, dry biomass, photosynthetic pigments, quantity yield attributes, reduction Pb accumulation in all plant organs, TI, TFr, TFf, BCF, in health effects trials, whereas phosphorus application improved plant height, leaf width, RWC, LWD, osmotic pressure, total soluble solids, acidity, total carbohydrates, total protein, and TFsh.

Open Access

East African diploid cooking bananas, commonly called Mchare, are a staple crop for millions of subsistence farmers in Tanzania, particularly in the Pangani region in northern Tanzania. Several pathogens constrain Mchare production significantly and threaten food security. Sources of resistance to these pathogens have been identified; however, partial male and female sterility impedes successful resistance introgression, complicating the breeding process. Mchare cultivars are also the only known surviving representatives of a diploid banana subgroup that contributed unreduced gametes to many of the most widely grown and successful triploid dessert bananas (‘Cavendish’, ‘Gros-Michel’, ‘Silk’, and ‘Prata’). As such, they represent an essential intermediate step in the conventional improvement of bananas worldwide. We assess the amount and viability of pollen among Mchare and wild genotypes to identify the most fertile Mchare cultivars that can be used in conventional banana improvement. Pollen was collected from 14 banana genotypes for quantification and viability testing over 7 months, and the optimal time for pollen collection was determined to be 0800 HR. Significant variation among banana genotypes in terms of both overall pollen production and percentage of pollen viability was observed. The wild-type bananas ‘Calcutta 4’ (International Musa Germplasm Transit Center (ITC) 0249] and ‘Borneo’ (ITC0253) had the greatest overall pollen production (> 31,000 pollen grains/anther) and viability (∼74%), whereas ‘Ijihu Inkundu’ (ITC1460; Mchare genotype) was the least productive (almost completely sterile), with an average pollen production of a few hundred grains per anther and a viability of 7%. There were significant differences among months in terms of pollen viability, with the greatest average viability observed in May, April, and February (> 51%), and the lowest average pollen viability in July (41%). Significant differences were observed among the Mchare genotypes, with ‘Huti-White’, ‘Huti green bell’ (ITC1559), and ‘Mchare Laini’ consistently producing more substantial amounts of total pollen and an overall more significant proportion of viable pollen. This information is vital to improve Mchare bananas and the global breeding of dessert bananas. The choice of Mchare banana used in improvement programs could affect fertility and the likelihood of breeding success.

Open Access

Specialty eggplants (Solanum melongena L.), cultivars with fruit shapes, sizes, and colors different from the typical teardrop-shaped, dark purple eggplant fruit, are an underproduced vegetable commodity in the southeastern United States. Seven cultivars representing seven different fruit types were grown in Charleston, SC, USA, in Spring and Fall 2018 and 2019 to assess cultivar productivity and net return. Despite year-to-year variability, Hansel (Chinese type), Millionaire (Japanese type), and Gretel (white fruit) generally had greater weights of both marketable (US Fancy and No. 1 fruit) and edible (US Fancy, No. 1 and No. 2) fruit than Fairy Tale (Sicilian type) and Patio Baby (Indian type), whereas the globe-fruited cultivars Black Beauty (heirloom) and Rosa Bianca (Italian type), had intermediate yields. Yields of plants after ratooning in the fall were lower than in the spring before ratooning. Prices per carton paid by local food hubs for US Fancy, No. 1, and No. 2 fruit were two to three times greater than wholesale terminal market prices. Nevertheless, fruit weights were a greater determinant of net returns than prices were. Growers in the southeastern coastal plain can maximize net returns from specialty eggplant crops by choosing cultivars that produce high fruit weights.

Open Access

Huanglongbing (HLB), which is associated with the phloem-limited bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), is a devastating disease that affects citrus trees worldwide. Because of the pervasiveness of the bacteria and psyllid vector, the disease is considered endemic in Florida. Although the effects of CLas on tree growth and physiology have been investigated for decades, most studies compared infected and noninfected trees under greenhouse conditions. This study used newly planted field-grown ‘Valencia’ sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) trees on two different rootstocks to monitor the distribution and accumulation of CLas in aboveground and belowground tissues following natural psyllid colonization and assess tree physiological responses and biomass reductions under HLB-endemic conditions. Trees were transplanted into the field with individual protective covers (IPCs), which are used to exclude psyllids and prevent infection. Openings were cut in the IPCs of half of the trees; to promote infection, these IPCs were temporarily removed during the main vegetative flushing period when psyllid populations were high. All trees that were exposed to psyllids became infected and displayed the symptoms typically associated with HLB. Throughout the study, higher levels of CLas were detected in the leaves compared with those in the fibrous roots. Trees that were not exposed to psyllids remained noninfected and healthy. After 18 months, a subset of trees was excavated to assess biomass differences between infected and noninfected trees. Infected trees had root system reductions of 37% and shoot system reductions of 20%, thereby significantly reducing the belowground-to-aboveground biomass ratio. Fibrous root loss was 49% and more severe than the loss of the rest of the root tissue. This study is the first to demonstrate the full extent of damage caused by CLas infection under natural HLB-endemic conditions. The results confirm previous observations that suggested fibrous root loss as one of the major consequences of infection and colonization with CLas. They also reinforce the benefits of using IPCs to prevent infection of young citrus trees during the first years of growth in the field.

Open Access

Like everything for the past 2 centuries, agriculture has depended increasingly on fossil fuel energy. Pressures to shift to renewable energy and changes in the fossil fuel industry are set to massively alter the energy landscape over the next 30 years. Two near-certainties are increased overall prices and/or decreased stability of energy supplies. The impacts of these upheavals on specialty crop production and consumption are unknowable in detail but the grand lines of what will likely change can be foreseen. This foresight can guide the research, extension, and teaching needed to successfully navigate a future very unlike the recent past. Major variables that will influence outcomes include energy use in fertilizer manufacture, in farm operations, and in haulage to centers of consumption. Taking six increasingly popular fruit and vegetable crops and the top two horticultural production states as examples, here we use simple proxies for the energy requirements (in gigajoules per ton of produce) of fertilizer, farm operations, and truck transport from Florida or California to New York to compare the relative sizes of these requirements. Trucking from California is the largest energy requirement in all cases, and three times larger than from Florida. As these energy requirements themselves are all fairly fixed, but in future will likely rise in price and/or be subject to interruptions and shortages, this pilot study points to two commonsense inferences: First, that fruit and vegetable production and consumption are set to reposition to more local/regional and seasonal patterns due to increasing expenses associated with fuel, and second, that coast-to-coast produce shipment by truck will become increasingly expensive and difficult.

Open Access

Northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) often requires frequent irrigation for commercial production, but irrigation is becoming increasingly challenging for many growers because of warmer and drier weather conditions, increased water regulations, and other water-use limitations. The purpose of this study was to develop improved methods of irrigation to prepare the industry more effectively against future water uncertainties. Treatments were applied for 2 years (2021 and 2022) and included a combination of weather-based or fixed irrigation schedules using continuous or pulse irrigation in a commercial field of ‘Draper’ blueberry in eastern Washington, USA. The soil at the site was a silt loam, and irrigation was applied using two laterals of drip tubing per row. Plants on a fixed schedule were irrigated for 12 to 13 hours per application (set by the grower), whereas those on a weather-based schedule were irrigated according to daily estimates of crop evapotranspiration (downloaded from an automated weather station). In both cases, irrigation was applied every 2 to 4 days as a single, continuous application or in 30- to 50-minute pulses every 2 hours (up to nine times per day) with the same amount of water as the continuous treatment. During the first year of the study, weather-based scheduling maintained greater stem water potentials in the plants and, on average, increased yield by 3.4 t⋅ha–1, berry weight by 0.14 g/berry, berry diameter by 0.4 mm, and fruit bud set by 4.3% when compared with fixed scheduling. Likewise, pulse irrigation maintained greater stem water potentials and, on average, increased berry weight and diameter by 0.10 g and 0.4 mm, respectively, fruit bud set by 3.3%, and canopy cover by 2.4% relative to continuous irrigation. Yield and canopy cover were unaffected by any treatment in the second year, which was likely a result of uncharacteristically cool, wet weather in the spring. However, weather-based scheduling continued to maintain greater stem water potentials and, when combined with pulse irrigation, increased berry weight and diameter by 3.7 g and 1.0 mm, respectively, relative to continuous irrigation on a fixed schedule. Pulse drip irrigation also increased fruit bud set by 5.1% during the second year. These results demonstrate the potential benefits of using weather-based scheduling and pulse drip in northern highbush blueberry, especially when the plants are grown on light-textured soils in hot, dry climates.

Open Access