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Open access

Salvatore Vitale, Laura Luongo, Marzia Scarpari, Lorenza Tizzani, Ivana Garaguso, Massimo Galli, Alessandra Belisario, Michele Scotton, Giovanni Mughini, Maria Gras, and Anita Haegi

A diverse collection of Juglans species and hybrids with potential to serve as walnut rootstocks was evaluated to identify resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi, a destructive pathogen affecting commercial production of Persian walnuts worldwide. A total of 35 Juglans genotypes, comprising hybrids and Juglans microcarpa, plus three Juglans regia genotypes as comparison, were inoculated during two seasons (spring and autumn) for 3 years, with two isolates of P. cinnamomi. Inoculations were carried out on excised shoots of the different genotypes by replacing a bark disk with a P. cinnamomi culture plug. After incubation, necrosis length caused by the pathogen was measured. Data were collected and statistically analyzed with generalized linear mixed models. This work pointed out a seasonal influence on some Juglans genotype response to P. cinnamomi: both hybrids and J. microcarpa groups were significantly less sensitive in autumn compared with spring (P = 0.0006), thus this condition must be considered when selecting Juglans for resistance to this pathogen. Three genotypes of J. regia, known for its susceptibility to P. cinnamomi, were used as comparison. Results show good levels of resistance to P. cinnamomi in J. microcarpa genotypes, confirming literature results. Among J. microcarpa genotypes, the Jmi03 is quite promising for its in vitro propagation. A number of Juglans hybrids, H5/18, 7/28,8/29, 10/43, and 6/22, showed significantly higher levels of resistance to P. cinnamomi, compared with susceptible J. regia genotypes. Evaluation, in naturally infected fields, of clonal genotypes and seedling-progenies of resistant genotypes, grafted with commercial walnut varieties, is currently under way and will provide additional information for successful usage.

Open access

Xu Zhang, Na Ta, Wei-ye Tian, Li-jun Gao, and Wei Jiao

The marginal soil temperature on the south side of a greenhouse remains at low temperatures in winter for long periods, which affects crop growth and land-use efficiency, it is of great significance to grasp the influencing factors of soil temperature change to improve the marginal soil temperature on the south side of the greenhouse. This study was conducted in at typical greenhouse in the cold and arid area of northern China and used the Grey Relational Analysis (GRA) method, the relational degree between the marginal soil temperature on the south side of the greenhouse and environmental factors under different lining structures was analyzed, and established the soil temperature transfer function. The results show that soil temperature had the greatest correlation with the soil humidity and air humidity inside and outside the greenhouse, and the second greatest correlation was the relation with the air temperature inside and outside the greenhouse and the outdoor soil temperature; the lining structure could effectively reduce the relation between soil temperature and humidity inside and outside the greenhouse. Polystyrene extruded board (PEB) had a greater degree of relational reduction than other lining materials in the test. Through verification analysis, the mean absolute error of soil temperature of 5 cm was less than 0.85 °C, the average absolute error of soil temperature at 15 cm was less than 0.57 °C, and the average absolute error of soil temperature at 25 and 55 cm was less than 0.2 °C. In conclusion, the constructed soil temperature transfer function could be used to predict the variation trend of soil temperature, and the PEB material lining structure had good thermal insulation.

Open access

Jonathan Ebba, Ryan W. Dickson, Paul R. Fisher, Crysta N. Harris, Todd Guerdat, and Sofia Flores

The overall goal was to evaluate fertilizer options for greenhouse producers, with or without a plant growth regulator (PGR) application, to improve subsequent performance of container-grown annuals. Petunia (Petunia × hybrida) was the model container-grown crop in simulated production and consumer environments. The first experiment at two locations (New Hampshire and Florida) compared strategies using water-soluble fertilizer [WSF (17N–1.8P–14.1K)], controlled-release fertilizers (CRF), and slow-release fertilizers (SRF) that were either applied throughout or at the end of the 8-week production phase [point of shipping (POS)] for petunia rooted cuttings grown in 8-inch azalea containers. In the subsequent simulated “consumer” phase, container plants were irrigated with clear water (no fertilizer) for 6 weeks. Plant performance [number of flowers, SPAD chlorophyll index, dry weight, and tissue nitrogen (N)] at the end of the consumer phase was improved by top-dressing at POS with either CRF or granular organic fertilizer (both at 2.74 g/container N), or preplant incorporation of either a typical CRF at 4.12 g/container N or a CRF with an additional prill coating to delay initial release (DCT) at 2.74 g/container. There was no carry-over benefit from applying a liquid urea-chain product (1.37 or 2.74 g/container N) or top dressing with granular methylene di-urea (2.74 g/container N), or 400 mg·L–1 N (0.2 g/container N) from a liquid organic fertilizer at POS. The consumer benefit of applying 400 mg·L–1 N (0.2 g/container N) from a WSF at POS was increased by supplementing with 235 mg·L–1 magnesium (Mg) and 10 mg·L–1 iron (Fe). A second experiment in 10-inch-diameter pots evaluated the effect on consumer performance from providing 200 or 400 mg·L–1 N of WSF with the PGR paclobutrazol, at the final 1 L/pot irrigation at POS. Application of 3 mg·L–1 paclobutrazol delayed leaf yellowing and reduced plant height, width, and shoot dry weight during the consumer phase, resulting in a more compact growth habit and higher plant quality compared with plants that received no PGR, regardless of WSF treatment. Addition of supplemental 235 mg·L–1 Mg and 10 mg·L–1 Fe to the high rate of WSF and PGR did not improve consumer performance compared with other treatments that included a PGR. Overall, the first experiment demonstrated that the most effective fertilizer strategies require a CRF or SRF that will release nutrients throughout the consumer phase, and that impact of liquid fertilizer options is limited because of lower N supply per container. A single application at POS of a high rate of WSF with supplemental Mg and Fe may have short-term benefits, for example while plants are in a retail environment. Growers should consider combining a residual fertilizer with a PGR application for premium, value-added container annuals.

Open access

Anne K. Logan, Justin A. France, James M. Meyers, and Justine E. Vanden Heuvel

To manage excessive vine vigor, Vitis vinifera L. ‘Cabernet franc’ grapevines were subjected to shoot wrap, shoot tuck, and hedge (control) techniques at one of two growth stages (shoot tips at 30 cm or at 90 cm above the top catch wire) in the Finger Lakes region of New York from 2016 to 2019. Shoot tuck and shoot wrap both reduced fruit zone lateral counts, with reductions up to 33% and 56% compared with the control, respectively. Shoot wrap reduced fruit zone lateral lengths by up to 50% and cluster compactness by up to 2.4 fewer berries per centimeter rachis. Although shoot wrap improved spray penetration to the clusters by up to 28% in one year of the study, enhanced point quadrat analysis indicated that occlusion layer number was not affected by the treatments. Shoot tip management treatments did not affect yield or fruit composition consistently. Phenological timing of shoot tip management had little impact on vine growth. Although the impacts of these modified shoot tip management practices on lateral emergence and cluster morphology were generally positive, the required hand labor to apply the treatments on a large scale may discourage the use of these management practices.

Open access

Shanthanu Krishna Kumar, Nathan Wojtyna, Laura Dougherty, Kenong Xu, and Gregory Peck

The organic acid concentration in apple (Malus ×domestica) juice is a major component of hard cider flavor. The goal of this study was to determine if the malic acid markers, Ma1 and Q8, could classify the titratable acidity concentration in cider apple accessions from the United States Department of Agriculture Malus germplasm collection into descriptive classifications. Our results indicate that for diploid genotypes, the Ma1 marker alone and the Ma1 and Q8 markers analyzed together could be used to predict cider apple acidity (P < 0.0001). Alone, the Ma1 marker categorized acidity into low (<2.4 g⋅L−1), medium (2.4–5.8 g⋅L−1), and high (>5.8 g⋅L−1) groups. The combination of Ma1 and Q8 markers provided more specificity, which would be useful for plant breeding applications. This work also identified a significant difference (P = 0.0132) in acidity associated with ploidy. On average, the triploids accessions had 0.33 g⋅L−1 higher titratable acidity than the diploid accessions. Based on the results of this work, we propose a genetics-based classification system for cider apples with the acidity component defined by the Ma1 and Q8 markers.

Open access

Ji-Jhong Chen, Shuyang Zhen, and Youping Sun

Commercial optical chlorophyll meters estimate relative chlorophyll content using the ratio of transmitted red light and near-infrared (NIR) light emitted from a red light-emitting diode (LED) and an NIR LED. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) sensors have red and NIR light detectors and may be used to estimate chlorophyll content by detecting the transmitted red and NIR light through leaves. In this study, leaf chlorophyll content of ‘Torrey’ buffaloberry (Shepherdia ×utahensis) plants treated with 0 mm [zero nitrogen (N)], 2 mm (medium N), or 4 mm (ample N) ammonium nitrate for 3 weeks were evaluated using two commercial chlorophyll meters and NDVI sensors. The absolute chlorophyll content was determined using chlorophyll extraction. Our results showed that plants receiving ample N and medium N had decreased transmitted red light (i.e., greater absorption in red light). Measurements of optical chlorophyll meters, NDVI sensors, and chlorophyll extraction similarly showed that plants receiving medium N and ample N had greater leaf chlorophyll content than those receiving zero N. Relative leaf chlorophyll content estimated using NDVI sensors correlated positively with those from the chlorophyll meters (P < 0.0001; r2 range, 0.56–0.82). Therefore, our results indicate that NDVI measurements are sensitive to leaf chlorophyll content. These NDVI sensors, or specialized sensors developed using similar principles, can be used to estimate the relative chlorophyll content of nursery crops and help growers adjust fertilization to improve plant growth and nutrient status.

Open access

Taku Shimizu, Kazuma Okada, Shigeki Moriya, Sadao Komori, and Kazuyuki Abe

The development of new high-quality apple (Malus ×domestica) cultivars that are resistant to flesh browning is needed to expand the use of apples in the food service and catering industry. However, conventional methods for evaluating apple flesh browning can be both time-consuming and costly, thereby rendering such methods unsuitable for breeding programs that must characterize a large number of product samples. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new, simple, and inexpensive methods. The aim was to develop a method for simultaneously measuring the color values of 42 apple samples using a digital camera. The processing time per sample was reduced to less than one-tenth of that of the conventional method. The measurement dispersion [sd of the color difference between two colors (ΔEab*)] of this system was less than 0.08, equivalent to the nominal value of a general colorimeter. Time-series analysis of six apple cultivars using this method showed that the calculated browning index values correlated well with the degree of browning judged by human perception. Further, the measurement data showed that the CIE L* a* b* value trends associated with browning in reddish- and watercored-flesh samples, was different from the corresponding trends in yellowish-flesh samples. This work reports the development of a high-throughput analytical system of apple browning and provides cautionary notes for evaluating reddish- and watercored-flesh browning, which should be measured on a different basis from that used for normal-flesh browning.

Open access

Renae E. Moran, Bryan J. Peterson, Gennaro Fazio, and John A. Cline

The goal of this research was to evaluate resistance of apple rootstocks to late winter deacclimation during a 2-day exposure to warm temperatures in Maine. We measured the cold temperature tolerance of xylem, phloem, and cambium from 0 to −40 °C in 1- and 2-year-old shoot pieces from apple rootstock cultivars and advanced selections ‘M.9 T337’ (M.9), ‘M.7 EMLA’ (M.7), ‘Budagovsky 9’ (B.9), ‘Geneva® 41’ (G.41), ‘Geneva 30’ (G.30), ‘Geneva 935’ (G.935), ‘Geneva 814’ (G.814), G.4013, G.5257, and Vineland 6 (V.6) after a 2-day exposure to warm (22 °C) or cold (2 to 4 °C) temperatures. Injury was measured on a 0 to 10 rating scale based on percentage of discolored cross-sectional xylem and phloem, and cambial length and circumference with brown discoloration, with 0 indicating no browning and 10 indicating browning in the entire tissue. Injury was also measured as intensity of browning on a scale of 0 (no browning) to 5 (dark brown to black). The weighted averages of the two ratings were used to calculate an index of browning. Genotypic variation occurred in the degree of deacclimation, which ranged from none to as much as 15 °C loss in hardiness. Two genotypes, ‘G.41’ and ‘M.9’, showed little change in hardiness in both years they were tested. Two genotypes, G.4013 and ‘G.814’, lost substantial hardiness in both years and may be vulnerable to late winter freeze-thaw events, but were among the hardiest before deacclimation. ‘G.935’ and G.5257 showed a small loss of hardiness, whereas ‘B.9’ lost hardiness in the cambium, but not the xylem, and V.6 lost hardiness after warm exposure, but showed almost no injury at temperatures as cold as −35 °C. The loss of hardiness of these four genotypes that were tested in only one year should be verified with additional testing because of the potential for yearly variation.

Open access

Merve Şekerli, Golnaz Komaei Koma, Jacob W. Snelling, and Shawn A. Mehlenbacher

Eastern filbert blight (EFB), caused by Anisogramma anomala, is a fungal disease threatening the european hazelnut (Corylus avellana) industry in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The pathogen is endemic to the eastern United States where it causes little damage to the wild Corylus americana but causes severe cankers on most cultivars of the commercially important european hazelnut. The host genetic resistance in ‘Gasaway’ is conferred by a dominant allele at a single locus on linkage group 6 (LG6), and resistance from several other sources has been mapped to the same region. Some fungal isolates can overcome ‘Gasaway’ resistance, prompting a search for other sources of resistance. Resistance from other sources has been mapped to LG2 and LG7, for which additional simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers would facilitate marker-assisted selection (MAS). In this study, an in silico approach was used to develop new polymorphic SSR markers in the EFB resistance regions on LG2 and LG7. Starting with a search of 17 contigs of the ‘Jefferson’ genome sequence, 45 new polymorphic SSR markers were developed, characterized, and placed on the linkage map. The new SSR markers had an average of 10.18 alleles per locus, and average values for expected heterozygosity, observed heterozygosity, polymorphism information content, and frequency of null alleles of 0.72, 0.65, 0.68, and 0.068, respectively. Of the 42 new polymorphic SSRs segregating in the mapping population, 24 were on LG2, 12 were on LG7, and six were placed on other LGs. The new and previously developed SSR markers were used to study six new sources of EFB resistance, four from Russia and two from Crimea. Six resistant selections were crossed with susceptible selections, resulting in 7 progenies. Phenotyping for disease response revealed that segregation in progenies of the two Moscow selections (#2 and #27), one Russian selection (OSU 1187.101), and one Crimean selection (H3R12P62) fit the 1:1 segregation ratio expected for control of resistance by a dominant allele at a single locus; but in progenies of the other Russian selection (OSU 1166.123) and the other Crimean selection (H3R07P11), there was an excess of resistant seedlings. Correlation of disease scores and alleles at SSR loci indicated that resistance from three Russian selections (Moscow selections #2 and #27 and OSU 1166.123) and the Crimean selection H3R12P62 was on LG7, while resistance from Russian selection OSU 1187.101 was on LG2. Resistance from Crimean selection H3R07P11 was not correlated with markers on LG6, or LG2, or LG7. These sources and new SSR markers will be useful in MAS and the pyramiding of resistance genes in the breeding of new EFB-resistant cultivars.