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Marsha Ann Bower, David H. Trinklein, and John M. Brown

Recent trends in greenhouse container production suggest using ebb and flow irrigation for water conservation and pollution control. A major problem in this system is management of soil borne pathogens. Some species of Trichoderma, a beneficial fungi, are known to control Pythium and Phytopthora in container production. This study investigates the potential of applying a Trichoderma conidial spore suspension in an ebb and flow irrigation system. Trichoderma conidia were collected from culture and placed in 101 l stock solution tanks at 10-2 and 10-4 colony forming units (CFU) per ml. Six inch container grown Dendranthema grandiflora `Delano', were irrigated as needed. To determine Trichoderma density in the root environment, soil samples were acquired from the container at 7 day intervals. Results showed that initial population densities of 10-4 CFU/ml were required to achieve adequate container populations to control disease after one irrigation. This study successfully demonstrated that Trichoderma could be dispersed through irrigation water into container plants in an ebb and flow system.

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Geno A. Picchioni, Steven A. Weinbaum, and Patrick H. Brown

Factors affecting the phloem mobility of foliar-applied B have received little study. The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate foliar retention of B solutions, foliar uptake kinetics, and phloem mobility of foliar-applied B among four tree fruit species. Leaves on current-year shoots of nonbearing 'Red Delicious' apple, 'Bartlett' pear, 'French' prune, and 'Bing' cherry were immersed in 1000 mg/liter B solutions (supplied as 10B-enriched boric acid) in midsummer. Export of the applied label from leaves was monitored between 0 and 24 h, and throughout the following 20 days by ICP-mass spectrometry. Uptake by leaves increased steadily in all species between 0 and 24 h, and reached 80% to 95% of the applied quantity within 24 h. By 24 h, 62% to 75% of the applied label, depending on species, had been exported from the treated leaves. Apple leaves retained, absorbed, and exported over twice the amount of labelled B as prune and pear leaves, and nearly four times the amount of cherry leaves. Foliar retention largely controlled the capacity for uptake and export.

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Patrick H. Brown, Hening Hu, and Rawia El-Mntaium

Excessive soil and water boron (B) occur widely in California, often in conjunction with high soil salinity. Descriptions of the symptoms of B toxicity and quantification of its impact on Prunus species are not available. In these experiments we describe the impact of high B and saline conditions on uptake, distribution and growth depression in almond, peach, plum and peach/almond hybrid rootstocks

A series of experiments are described that indicate an important additive effect of B on sensitivity of Prunus species to salinity. Boron concentrations in excess of lppm in the irrigation solution, significantly impair plant growth under moderate (non-limiting) salinity conditions and lead to plant death at higher salinity levels. Symptoms of B toxicity in Prunus include stem necrosis and vascular occlusion. Unlike most other species, B does not appear to accumulate in the leaf margins and leaf symptoms are generally not observed. Differences in sensitivity of a range of Prunus species to B toxicity are described.

Initial results suggest that differences in rootstock sensitivity to B and salinity are the result of differential uptkake and partitioning of B, Na and Cl within the plant.

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Agnes M.S. Nyomora, Patrick H. Brown, and Bill Krueger

Previous studies with tree species have demonstrated that foliar boron (B) promotes flowering, fruit set, and yield. However, for most species the optimum time for foliar B application has not been determined. This investigation was undertaken to study the effects of time and rate of B application on almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill D.A. Webb)] tissue B concentration, fruit set, and yield. Solubor (Na2B8O13.4H2O), a commercial product containing 20.5% B, was applied with a handgun sprayer either in September (3 weeks postharvest), December (dormancy), or February (budbreak) at rates of 0, 0.8, and 1.7 kg·ha-1 B to almond cv. Butte at one site (Parlier, Fresno County, Calif.), and of 0, 0.8, 1.25, 1.7, and 2.1 kg·ha-1 B on the same cultivar in August, September, or February at a second site (Orland, Glenn County, Calif.) using Borosol, a polyboronated commercial product containing 10% B. At site 1, September application was more effective in increasing tissue B concentration, fruit set, and yield than were December or February applications. The optimal rate was 0.8 to 1.7 kg·ha-1 B when applied in September. At site 2, application in 1996 and 1997 increased tissue B concentration almost linearly, especially when applied in August and February. Application at the highest rate (2.1 kg·ha-1 B) in September produced the greatest final fruit set and yield in 1996. February applications increased initial fruit set at both sites but were less effective than September applications in increasing yield. Application of B did not affect any yield variable in 1997. These results suggest that B should be applied immediately postharvest (September) for optimal effect on tissue B concentration, fruit set, and yield in almond.

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Farbod Youssefi, Patrick H. Brown, and Steve A. Weinbaum

It has been proposed that a pool of amino N, whose size is determined by aboveground N demand, cycles in the plant and regulates soil N uptake by exerting an inhibitory effect at the root level. Several experiments were carried out to study this hypothesis in almond trees [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb]. Based on the evidence found, there is an association, at the whole tree level, between sap N content and soil N uptake. The data are consistent with the possibility that increased phloem sap amino acids result in decreased uptake of soil N.

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Allan F. Brown, Elizabeth H. Jeffery, and John A. Juvik

A set of 216 polymerase chain reaction-based molecular markers was screened for polymorphisms using two morphologically dissimilar broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. ssp. italica Plenck) lines, ‘VI-158’ and ‘‘Brocolette Neri E. Cespuglio’. Fifty-nine of these simple sequence repeat (SSR) and sequence-related amplified polymorphic (SRAP) primer pairs generated 69 polymorphisms that were used to construct a linkage map of broccoli from a population of 162 F2:3 families derived from the cross between these two lines. Ten linkage groups were generated that spanned a distance of 468 cM with an average interval width of 9.4 cM. The map was used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with differences in harvest date maturity and head weight in the population grown in the same location over 2 years. Heritability estimates for days to maturity and head weight were 0.84 and 0.64, respectively. Four QTL for harvest maturity were identified that described 55.6% of the phenotypic variation in the first year with two of these QTL also detected in the second year of the experiment that described 29.2% of the phenotypic variation. Five QTL were identified as associated with head weight in 1999 and accounted for 71.8% of the phenotypic variability. Two of these QTL accounted for 24% of the phenotypic variability in head weight in 2000. To our knowledge, this is the first linkage map of broccoli and the first combined SSR and SRAP map of B. oleracea, which should provide a useful tool for the genetic analysis of traits specific to ssp. italica.

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D.S. Achor, H. Browning, and L.G. Albrigo

Young expanding leaves of `Ambersweet' [Citrus reticulata Blanco × C. paradisi Macf. × C. reticulata) × C. sinensis (L) Osb.] with feeding injury by third larval stage of citrus leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella) were examined by light and electron microscopy for extent of injury and tissue recovery over time. Results confirmed that injury is confined to the epidermal layer, leaving a thin covering over the mine tunnel that consisted of the cuticle and outer cell wall. Wound recovery consisted of two possible responses: the production of callus tissue or the formation of wound periderm. The production of callus tissue developed within 3 days of injury when the uninjured palisade or spongy parenchyma below the injured epidermis produced callus tissue through periclinal or diagonal cell divisions. After 1 month, the entire epidermis was replaced by callus tissue. In the absence of secondary microbial invasion, this callus tissue developed a thick cuticle, followed by development of a covering of platelet wax after 4 months. Alternatively, wound periderm formed if the outer cuticular covering was torn before the cuticle had developed sufficiently to prevent the exposed cells from being desiccated or invaded by fungi, bacteria, or other insects. The wound periderm consisted of a lignified layer of collapsed callus cells, a suberized phellem layer, and a multilayered phelloderm-phellogen. Since there were always cellular collapse or fungi and bacteria associated with wound periderm formation, it was determined to be a secondary effect, not a direct effect of leafminer feeding.

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Agnes M.S. Nyomora, Patrick H. Brown, and M. Freeman

Fruit set is the major determinant of productivity in almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill D.A. Webb)] where seed is the commercial product. Boron influences flowering and fruit set in a number of crops, but little has been reported on this subject in almond. Here, we investigated the effect of a fall foliar application of B on fruit set and tissue B concentration in open pollinated `Butte' and `Mono' almond over a 2-year period. Early fall B application significantly increased the vegetative, floral, and fruit tissue B concentration in the subsequent year. The greatest increase in organ B concentration was observed in flower buds, flowers, and hulls. Recent work has demonstrated that B forms a B-sorbitol complex in Prunus species. This B-sorbitol complex is phloem mobile and is transported to sink organs. Here we demonstrate that fall-applied B is absorbed by the leaf and is subsequently transported (presumably as the B-sorbitol complex) to floral buds where it is available to flowers and, hence, influences fruit set and yield. It is concluded that fall foliar-applied B is a useful fertilization strategy that can be used to optimize tissue B concentration in species in which B is phloem mobile. Boron applied at 245 and/or 490 ppm significantly increased fruit set in `Butte' and `Mono' and increased yield of `Butte' in 1994 on open-pollinated trees (yield was not determined in 1993). The highest initial and second fruit set was associated with either the 245 or 490 ppm B treatments in both cultivars and both years. This increased fruit set resulted in yield increases of 53% and 4%, respectively, for `Butte' and `Mono'. Of the two cultivars, `Butte', which had lower tissue B concentration before B application, responded more significantly in yield to B application. Application of 735 ppm B was less effective than either 245 and 490 ppm B; however, no visual symptoms of excess B were observed.

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Patrick H. Brown, Hening Hu, and Warren G. Roberts

The phloem mobility of boron (B) in plants varies dramatically among species. Variations in phloem B mobility occur as a consequence of the presence of sugar alcohols (polyols) in some species but not in others, and these differences in phloem B mobility profoundly affect the expression of B toxicity symptoms. Twenty-four species including common ornamental species varying in sugar alcohol content, were selected to test their response to B toxicity. Species that do not produce sugar alcohols exhibited previously described B toxicity symptoms that include accumulation of high concentrations of B in, and burning of, the tip and margin of old leaves. In the sugar-alcohol-producing species these symptoms were absent, and B toxicity was expressed as meristematic dieback and an accumulation of B in apical tissues. These symptoms have not previously been associated with B toxicity in these species and hence may have been frequently misdiagnosed.

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G.A. Picchioni, S.A. Weinbaum, and P.H. Brown

Leaf retention, uptake kinetics, total uptake (per unit leaf area), export kinetics, and the total export of foliage-applied, labeled B (]0B-enriched boric acid) were determined for apple (Malus domestics Borkh.), pear (Pyrus communis L.), prune (Prunus domestics L.), and sweet cherry (P. avium L.). Foliar uptake of labeled B by shoot leaves was 88% to 96% complete within 24 hours of application. More than 50% of the B retained on shoot leaf surfaces following application was absorbed and exported within 6 hours of application. Genotypic differences in shoot leaf surface characteristics among the species tested greatly influenced the amount of solution retained per unit leaf area. Leaf retention capacity was the primary determinant of the quantity of B absorbed by and exported from shoot leaves following foliar application. On average, apple shoot leaves retained, absorbed, and exported at least twice as much labeled B per unit leaf area as prune and pear shoot leaves and three to four times as much as sweet cherry shoot leaves. The sink demand of nearby, mature apples did not affect the export of labeled B when applied to adjacent spur leaves, but the fruit imported 16% of their total B from the applied solution during a 10-day period. Despite extensive documentation for the immobility of B accumulated by leaves naturally (e.g., from the soil), the B accumulated by leaves following foliage application was highly mobile in all four species tested.