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Janet M. Batzli, William R. Graves, and Peter van Berkum

Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim. is a leguminous tree with potential for increased use in urban landscapes. Information on the nutrition of M. amurensis is limited. To our knowledge, modulation and N2 fixation have not been reported. Our objective was to examine M. amurensis for nodulation and N2 fixation. Soil samples were collected near legume trees at arboreta throughout the United States, with additional samples from Canada and China. Seedlings were grown for six weeks in a low-N, sterile medium and inoculated with soil samples. Upon harvest, small white nodules were found on the lateral and upper portions of the root systems. Bacteria were isolated from the larger nodules, subculture, and used to inoculate seedlings. Inoculated plants nodulated and fixed N2 as determined by the acetylene reduction assay. We conclude M. amurensis forms N2-fixing symbioses with Rhizobium.

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Janet M. Batzli, William R. Graves, and Peter van Berkum

Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim. is a leguminous tree with potential for increased use in urban landscapes. Information on the nutrition of M. amurensis is limited. To our knowledge, modulation and N2 fixation have not been reported. Our objective was to examine M. amurensis for nodulation and N2 fixation. Soil samples were collected near legume trees at arboreta throughout the United States, with additional samples from Canada and China. Seedlings were grown for six weeks in a low-N, sterile medium and inoculated with soil samples. Upon harvest, small white nodules were found on the lateral and upper portions of the root systems. Bacteria were isolated from the larger nodules, subculture, and used to inoculate seedlings. Inoculated plants nodulated and fixed N2 as determined by the acetylene reduction assay. We conclude M. amurensis forms N2-fixing symbioses with Rhizobium.

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Raymond Baptiste, Lurline Marsh, Dyremple Marsh, and Farideh Eivazi

There is an increasing number of tropical legumes presently grown under temperate conditions with varying amounts of success, This growth chamber study examines the germination, modulation and N2 fixation of two cowpea and one pigeonpea genotypes at two temperature regimes, 15/10° C and 20/10° C, day/night. Prior to planting, surface sterilized seeds were inoculated by soaking in yeast mannitol broth containing approximately 2 × 106 cells ml-1 Bradyrhizobium (USDA 3384). Uninoculated control seeds were soaked in sterile water before planting. Air temperature of 15/10°C, day/night delayed seed germination, nodule initiation, and seedling development. Inoculated cowpea seeds planted at the 20/10° C regime attained 50% germination within 9 days, while inoculated pigeonpea took 13 days under similar regime. Bradyrhizobium persistence was not significantly affected by low temperature. The results indicate that nodule development for both crops were inhibited chiefly by a lack of developing root hairs at low soil temperature,

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Raymond Baptiste, Lurline Marsh, Dyremple Marsh, and David Trinklein

Low temperatures adversely affect legume- Rhizobium symbiosis in the temperate regions. Plant growth and N-fixation of two pigeonpea and two cowpea genotypes were examined at three temperature regimes (20/10 C, 30120 C and 38/25 C day/night). Sterilized seeds were inoculated with broth culture containing approximately 1 × 109 cells ml-1 of Bradyrhizobium USDA 3278, 3458 and 3472. Nitrogen fixation by pigeonpea was inhibited at 20/10 C. Cowpea IT82E-16 inoculated with USDA 3458 at 20/10 C produced the greatest amount of nodules. Inoculation had no effect on Nitrogenase activity in pigeonpea. Pinkeye Purple Hull inoculated with USDA 3472 at 20110 C had the highest Nitrogenase activity. These results indicate a wide degree of variability among genotypes and Bradyrhizobium in their response to temperature.

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S.C. Phatak, D.R. Sumner, R.B. Chalfant, J.D. Gay, L.D. Chandler, R.L Bugg, and K.E. Brunson

Cover crops relay-cropped with vegetables with conservation tillage were compared with fallow conventional production for 10 years. Conservation till-relay received no pesticide and only one-quarter the recommended fertilizers. Winter cover provided significantly better weed control than conventional. Weed problems in relay occurred only in the rows where vegetables were planted. Legume winter covers increased soilborne organisms but did not influence root disease severity or postemergence damping-off. Thrips, aphids, and whiteflies were most frequent. These pests remained below the economic threshold with winter cover crop-relay. However, infestation of these pests and Colorado potato beetles was severe in conventional plots. Winter cover crops provided habitat for more than 14 beneficial insects.

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Michelle Hadawi-Broeske and Helen C. Harrison

Renewed interest in soil conservation over the past decade has led to greater research efforts in the area of living mulch cropping systems. However, crop/mulch competition continues to present challenges. The objective of this study was to determine what effect two types of chemical growth suppressants (Mycogen 6121—an herbicidal soap, and Royal Slo-grow—a soil plant growth regulator) had on the water-use efficiency, nutrient use, and soil-shading ability of two annual living mulches, ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) and crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum). Two greenhouse experiments were performed in sand culture using a modified Hoagland's soap, one rate of growth regulator, and a mechanical treatment of mowing. Significant differences in nutrient use and soil-shading ability were obtained. The second experiment (69 days) replicated the ryegrass treatments less one rate of soap and included the legume crimson clover with one rate of soap and one rate of growth regulator. Results from both experiments will be discussed.

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Roland E. Roberts, Kenneth Gray, and Joseph J. Bryant

Breedlove Dehydrated Foods (BDF), the largest charitable dehydration plant in the world, is capable of dehydrating 6,000 lb. raw product/hr. BDF dehydrates and distributes nutritious fruits, vegetables, and legumes to charitable organizations which feed hungry people. At least 35,617 people die from hunger in our world every day! Thousands of tons of nutritious but slightly imperfect horticultural products are wasted yearly in the United States. Donations totaling $7.8 million funded construction of BDF. Texas A&M and Texas Tech Universities provided expertise to plan and operate BDF. BDF dehydrated over 30 million lb. of fruits and vegetables in the initial two years of operation. BDF is a model of people focused on an unusually high goal and working together.

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Frank Kappel, Bob Fisher-Fleming, and Eugene Hogue

The relationship between the objective assessment of analytical measures of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) fruit quality and the corresponding sensory panel rating was studied. The optimum size, based on average fruit weight, for sweet cherries was 11 to 12 g. A nine-row or 29- to 30-mm-diameter sweet cherry would be the equivalent industry standard. When two separate panels were conducted with overlapping samples, panelists had similar results for optimum fruit size. The optimum color is represented by the #6 color chip of the prototype of the Centre Technique Interprofessionnel des Fruits et Légumes (CTIFL) scale (#5 in new commercial CTIFL chart). A fruit firmness between 70 and 75 using a Shore Instrument durometer was considered optimum. Minimum soluble solids concentration (SSC) for sweet cherries was between 17% and 19% and optimum pH of the juice was 3.8. The optimum sweet–sour balance was between 1.5 and 2 (SSC/ml NaOH).

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Mohanjeet S. Brar, Jameel M. Al-Khayri, Teddy E. Morelock, and Edwin J. Anderson

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) is an important grain legume, which in developing countries provides much of the protein in human diets. A plant regeneration system for cowpea was developed. Cotyledons were initiated on MS medium containing 15 to 35 mg·L-1 benzylaminopurine (BAP) for 5 to 15 days. For shoot regeneration, the explants were transferred to a medium containing 1 mg·L-1 BAP. Regeneration percentage (1% to 11%) and the number of shoots (4 to 12 shoots per explant) were significantly influenced by genotype. The duration of culturing and BAP concentration in the initiation stage significantly affected the regeneration capacity. Explants initiated on 15 mg·L-1 BAP for 5 days resulted in the highest regeneration percentage. Conversely, the highest number of shoots was obtained from explants initiated on 35 mg·L-1 BAP. This is the first report of plant regeneration of U.S. cowpea cultivars.

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Misty J. Moore, Mohanjeet S. Brar, Jameel M. Al-Khayri, Teddy E. Morelock, and Edwin J. Anderson

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) is an important grain legume that is grown extensively in Africa, South America, India, and in the United States. This study investigated the effects of silver nitrate (AgNO3) on regeneration of cowpea cotyledon explants. Silver nitrate at 50 μm significantly increased percent regeneration in comparison to the control. The effect of duration of exposure was also determined with the ethylene inhibitor AgNO3. By exposing explants to 59 μm AgNO3 during different stages of culture, significant increases were actualized in percent regeneration and shoot number. The greatest percent regeneration was obtained when 59 μm AgNO3 was augmented to both the initiation and regeneration media or to only the regeneration media. These results indicate that the low percentage of regeneration of this genotype may be related to ethylene biosynthesis or metabolism. This study resulted in an improved regeneration system for the commercial cowpea cultivar Early Scarlet, and will be useful in developing a cowpea transformation system.