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G. W. Eaton and C. N. Meehan


Data from a 3-yr experiment on ‘Ben Lear’ cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait), by multiple stepwise regression at the 1% level, showed that N, P, and K applications increased their respective tissue levels. Tissue Ca and Mn were decreased by N applications in 1969; 1970 tissue Ca was decreased by applications of both N and P. Nitrogen, P, and K applications all tended to decrease 1969 tissue Mg.

Yield was increased by N applications in 1971. A cubic effect of N applications was noted in 1970 anthocyanin and soluble solids contents. Pooled data for 1970 and 1971 were fitted to linear and quadratic equations relating tissue levels to fertilizer applications and yield and quality measurements to tissue levels. Desirable tissue levels of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, and Mn are suggested.

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B.C. Strik, T.R. Roper, C.J. DeMoranville, J.R. Davenport, and A.P. Poole

Biennial bearing has long been thought to occur in cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait). Researchers have shown that percent return bloom on fruiting uprights can range from 12% to 65% depending on year, bed vigor and cultivar. Resource limitation and/or hormonal factors in a fruiting upright may be related to flower bud initiation and, thus, percent return bloom the following year. This research was undertaken to determine the extent of biennial bearing by cranberry cultivar and growing region. Seven cultivars were studied; three found in all states (MA, NJ, WI, OR), two common to MA and NJ, and two different cultivars in WI and OR representing cultivars commercially grown in these areas. In the fall or winter of 1989/1990 six 2-m transects were randomly selected within a cranberry bed for each cultivar. Along the transect, 60 uprights that fruited in 1989 were tagged. In the summer of 1990, fifty of the uprights will be sampled to determine percent return bloom and percent set.

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Kris L. Wilder, J. M. Hart, Arthur Poole, and David D. Myrold

Little work has been done to establish the rate and timing of nitrogen fertilizer applications to optimize return from fertilizer expenditures and minimize potential for ground and surface water pollution in Oregon cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.). Predicting cranberry N requirements is difficult because cranberries require little N and soil tests for N are not helpful for perennial crops, especially when grown in shallow sandy soils. We used 15N-labeled ammonium sulfate to measure both plant uptake and movement of fertilizer N in a south coastal Oregon cranberry bed. A bed planted to the Stevens variety was fertilized with 15N-labelled ammonium sulfate at two rates (18 kg/ha and 36 kg/ha) applied at five phonological stages: popcorn, hook, flowering, early bud, and late bud. Plant N uptake and translocation were measured throughout the growing season in uprights, flowers, berries, and roots, Initial results indicate that when N was applied at popcorn stage approximately 12% of the N was present in the above-ground vegetative biomass at harvest. Incorporation of fertilizer N into the duff and mineral soil was measured. An estimate of fertilizer N leaching was made by trapping inorganic N below the root zone using ion exchange resin bags.

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Marianna Hagidimitriou and Teryl R. Roper

Fruit set has been shown to be a major limiting factor in cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) productivity. Total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) content is lowest during the flowering and fruit set period. This research was undertaken to determine the potential sources of carbohydrates which are important to support fruit set and fruit growth in cranberry. Fruiting uprights had lower TNC content than vegetative uprights beginning at early bloom and continuing through harvest, largely due to lower starch content. Starch from fruiting uprights is apparently remobilized to support flowering and fruit set. This also suggests that uprights on which the fruit are borne are the primary source for carbohydrates for fruit set and fruit growth throughout the season. Net CO2 assimilation rates (NAR) were measured in the field on current season and one year old leaves on cranberry uprights. New leaves had higher NAR than one year old leaves throughout the season. Thus, newly formed leaves on uprights, appear to be an important source for carbohydrates for fruit set and fruit growth. On a diurnal basis NAR peaked at approximately 9:00 a.m. and gradually declined through the day.

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James J. Polashock and Nicholi Vorsa

Most varieties of the American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) cultivated today were selected from native selections or breeding progeny between the late 1800s and mid-1900s. We have previously shown using RAPDs that contamination, i.e., a mixture of genotypes, is common in commercial bogs. One source of contamination could be establishment of selfed progeny. The purpose of this study was to determine how effective RAPDs would be in distinguishing selfed progeny from the parent. Results suggest that the number of scorable polymorphic bands is low compared to outcrossed or unrelated progeny. Thus, five to nine primers were used as compared to the three primers normally required to separate outcrossed and unrelated clones. Segregation of some RAPD bands was not consistent with expected mendelian ratios. However, using 9 to 12 polymorphic bands, only 3% to 5% of the selfed progeny had fingerprints identical to the parent. Additional primers should further reduce this percentage. It was also noted that certain cultivars exhibited a large number of non-parental bands. The origin of the non-parental bands has not yet been determined.

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R.G. Novy, N. Vorsa, and K. Patten

Highly variable productivity among Vaccinium macrocarpon (Ait.) Pursh `McFarlin' bogs in Washington has been noted by growers. The fruiting habits of 12 Washington `McFarlin' bogs, ranging from 5.7-28.4 t/ha productivity were characterized. Uprights from each bog were characterized using RAPD markers, and then used in a greenhouse pollination experiment to determine if variation in fruiting and fertility phenotypes could be associated with RAPD profiles. Fifteen RAPD profiles were identified, and genetic heterogeneity was high among the 12 bogs. An association between RAPD profiles and reproduction characteristics was observed. The most frequent (30%) RAPD profile appeared to represent the `true' `McFarlin', since it was abundant in higher-yielding bogs and its profile was identical to `McFarlin' samples from other growing regions. A unique RAPD profile was also identified which exhibited high yield characteristics, but did not appear to be related to `McFarlin'. The Washington `McFarlin' bogs examined are composed of a diverse array of genotypes with variable fruiting phenotypes, indicating the variability in production has a genetic component.

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Nicole R. Gorman and Mark C. Starrett

Studies were conducted to examine the host range of a select isolate of the ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Hymenoscyphus ericae (Read) Korf and Kernan [American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) #32985]. Host status was tested for 15 ericaceous species, including: Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull, Enkianthus campanulatus (Miq.) Nichols, Gaultheria procumbens L., Kalmia latifolia L., Leucothoe fontanesiana Sleum., Oxydendrum arboreum (L.) DC.,Pierisfloribunda (Pursh) Benth. & Hook.,Rhododendron calendulaceum (Michx.) Torr.,Rhododendron carolinianum Rehd., Rhododendron catawbiense Michx., Rhododendron maximum L., Rhododendron mucronulatumTurcz., Vaccinium corymbosum L., and Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait. Arbutus unedo L., an ericaceous species that forms arbutoid, not ericoid, mycorrhizae, was used as a negative control. All of the species were colonized by the ericoid isolate with the exception of Enkianthus campanulatus and the negative control. Inoculation with this isolate of H. ericae resulted in a significant increase in shoot growth. However, intensity of root colonization was not correlated to amount of shoot growth. In fact, an increase in growth was observed in the two species that lacked fungal colonization.

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Justine E. Vanden Heuvel and Joan R. Davenport

Carbohydrate supply has been hypothesized to limit fruit set in cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.), however the limitations to carbon gain throughout the season are currently unknown. These experiments investigated the effects of light, temperature, fruit presence, and defoliation on carbon production and partitioning in potted cranberry. Fruiting and vegetative uprights (short vertical stems which bear fruit biennially) reached similar asymptotes with respect to light response, but fruiting uprights reached saturation at a lower light intensity than vegetative uprights. Runners (diageotropic vegetative stems) had a lower asymptote, higher light compensation point, and greater rate of dark respiration than uprights. Temperature had little effect on net carbon exchange rate of uprights or runners. Before new growth, defoliation did not affect the concentration of total nonstructural carbohydrates in the vegetative uprights, or the partitioning of soluble carbohydrates to starch, even though uprights with lower leaf areas had higher net CO2 assimilation. At fruit set and again at fruit maturity, defoliation reduced total nonstructural carbohydrate concentration, while net CO2 assimilation was not affected. Carbohydrate production and partitioning within an upright was unaffected by the presence of a single fruit throughout the experiment.

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Teryl R. Roper and J. Klueh

The sources of carbohydrate and other resources for fruit growth in cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) can be spatially partitioned into new growth, old leaves, and woody stems or other adjoining uprights. This research was conducted to determine which spatial source of resources was most important for fruit set in cranberry. At fruit set in late June, we removed the current season growth, one year old and older leaves, or both from 50 uprights per treatment plus a control at two locations. At harvest, fruit set, fruit number and size were determined. In all cases, removing the current season's growth significantly decreased fruit set. Removing both the current season's growth and old leaves produced an additional reduction in fruit set. Removing only old leaves reduced fruit set at one location but not the other. Fruit length, diameter or mean berry weight was not reduced by any treatment. The response of cranberry to resource limitation apparently is to reduce fruit numbers rather than fruit size. This research suggests that current season growth is the primary source of carbohydrates for fruit set in cranberry and that once the fruit are set they have sufficient sink strength to attract resources from a distance.

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Beth Ann A. Workmaster, Jiwan P. Palta, and Jonathan D. Smith

In Wisconsin, the cranberry plant (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) is protected from freezing temperatures by flooding and sprinkle irrigation. Due to the high value of the crop, growers typically overprotect by taking action at relatively warm temperatures. Our goal is to provide recommendations for improved frost protection strategies by studying seasonal hardiness changes in different parts of the cranberry plant (leaves, stems, buds, flowers, fruit). Stages of bud growth were defined and utilized in the hardiness determinations. Samples were collected from mid-April to mid-Oct. 1996 and cuttings were subjected to a series of freezing temperatures in a circulating glycol bath. Damage to plant parts was assessed by visual scoring and observation, ion leakage, and evaluation of the capability to regrow. The following results were obtained: 1) Overwintering structures, such as leaves, stems, and buds, can survive temperatures <–18°C in early spring, and then deacclimate to hardinesses between 0 and –2°C by late spring. 2) In the terminal bud floral meristems are much more sensitive to freeze–thaw stress than are the vegetative meristems. 3) Deacclimation of various plant parts occurred within 1 week, when minimum canopy temperatures were above 0°C, and when the most numerous bud stage collected stayed the same (bud swell). 4) Fruits >75% blush can survive temperatures of –5°C for short durations. By collecting environmental data from the same location we are attempting to relate plant development, frost hardiness, and canopy temperatures (heat units).