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S. Alan Walters, Scott A. Nolte, and Bryan G. Young

The influence of `Elbon', `Maton', and `Wheeler' winter rye (Secale cereale) with or without herbicide treatments on weed control in no-tillage (NT) zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo) was determined. `Elbon' or `Maton' produced higher residue biomass, greater soil coverage, and higher weed control compared with `Wheeler'. Although winter rye alone did not provide sufficient weed control (generally <70%), it provided substantially greater redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) and smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum) control (regardless of cultivar used) compared with no winter rye at both 28 and 56 days after transplanting (DAT). No effect (P > 0.05) of winter rye cultivar on early or total squash yield was detected. Although applying clomazone + ethalfluralin to winter rye residues improved redroot pigweed control compared with no herbicide, the level of control was generally not adequate (<85% control) by 56 DAT. Treatments that included halosulfuron provided greater control of redroot pigweed than clomazone + ethalfluralin, and redroot pigweed control from halosulfuron treatments was similar to the weed-free control. However, regardless of year or cover crop, any treatment with halosulfuron caused unacceptable injury to zucchini squash plants which lead to reduced squash yield (primarily early yields). Insignificant amounts of squash injury (<10% due to stunting) resulted from clomazone + ethalfluralin in no-tillage plots during either year. Treatments with clomazone + ethalfluralin had early and total yields that were similar to those of the weed-free control, although this herbicide combination provided less weed control compared with the weed-free control.

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Chien Yi Wang

The activities of catalase and superoxide dismutase decreased while peroxidase activity increased in zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L., cv. `Elite') during storage at 5°C. Preconditioning of squash at 15°C for 2 days prior to the cold storage reduced the decline of catalase activity and suppressed the increase in peroxidase activity. The superoxide dismutase activity remained higher in temperature conditioned squash than in untreated squash. These results indicate that acclimation to chilling temperature in squash may also involve modifications in the activities of catalase, peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase.

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Chien Yi Wang

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) and zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) were pressure-infiltrated (82.7 kPa for 3 min) with methyl jasmonate (MJ) in aqueous suspension and then stored at a chilling temperature of 5C. Control fruit were infiltrated with distilled water and handled in a similar manner. Treatment with MJ delayed the onset and reduced the severity of chilling injury symptoms in both cucumbers and zucchini squash. Analysis of polyamines in zucchini squash showed that putrescine increased with time in storage at 5C, while spermidine and spermine decreased during the same period. MJ treatment did not have an appreciable effect on putrescine, but the treated fruit maintained higher levels of spermidine and spermine than the control fruit throughout storage at 5C.

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J. R. Stansell and D. A. Smittle

Abstract

Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L. cv. Dixie hybrid) were grown in drainage lysimeters under closely controlled and monitored soil water regimes. Variables included three irrigation treatments, three growing seasons, and two soil types. Marketable fruit yield was greatest and production cost per kilogram of marketable fruit was least when squash was irrigated at 25 kPa of soil water tension. Yields were greatest for the spring season of production and least for the fall season. Regression equations are provided to describe the relationships of water use to plant age and to compute daily evapotranspiration : pan evaporation ratios (crop factors) for squash irrigated at 25, 50, and 75 kPa of soil water tension during the spring, summer, or fall production season.

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Brent Rowell, William Nesmith, and John C. Snyder

Virus and fungal disease pressures limit fall production of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) in Kentucky. Twenty-five summer squash cultivars (nine zucchini, eight yellow straightneck, and eight yellow crookneck entries) were evaluated for marketable yield, appearance, and disease resistance in a late summer planting. Genetically engineered virus-resistant materials and new conventionally bred resistant or tolerant cultivars were compared with popular susceptible hybrids. Virus incidence was determined visually before and after final harvest and was also determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) was most frequently detected and appeared to have caused most of the observed symptoms. Conventionally bred cultivars containing the precocious yellow gene and two transgenic lines were in the highest yielding group of yellow straightneck squash despite high virus incidence in precocious yellow cultivars. Among yellow crooknecks, transgenic cultivars were clearly superior for disease resistance and yields. Conventionally bred cultivars with virus tolerance were among the highest yielding zucchini types. Most transgenics were superior to their nontransformed equivalent cultivars for virus resistance and yield. Cultivars and breeding lines varied considerably in color, shape, and overall appearance. ELISA results revealed that some (but not all) transgenic cultivars tested positive for the coat protein corresponding to the virus resistance present in that cultivar. Also, mild virus-like symptoms were observed in transgenic squash plants after the conclusion of harvest.

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Jonathan R. Schultheis and S. Alan Walters

Yellow and zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultigens (breeding lines and cultivars) were evaluated over a 2-year (1995 and 1996) period in North Carolina. Yellow squash cultigens that performed well (based on total marketable yields) were `Destiny III', `Freedom III', `Multipik', XPHT 1815, and `Liberator III' in Fall 1995 and HMX 4716, `Superpik', PSX 391, `Monet', `Dixie', XPH 1780, and `Picasso' in Spring 1996. Some of the yellow squash cultigens evaluated had superior viral resistance: XPHT 1815, XPHT 1817, `Freedom III', `Destiny III', `Freedom II', TW 941121, `Prelude II', and `Liberator III' in Fall 1995 and XPHT 1815, `Liberator III', `Prelude II', and `Destiny III' in Fall 1996; all these cultigens were transgenic. The yellow squash cultigens that performed well (based on total marketable yields) in the Fall 1995 test had transgenic virus resistance (`Destiny III', `Freedom III', XPHT 1815, and `Liberator III') or had the Py gene present in its genetic background (`Multipik'). Based on total marketable yields, the best zucchini cultigens were XPHT 1800, `Tigress', XPHT 1814, `Dividend' (ZS 19), `Elite', and `Noblesse' in Fall 1995; and `Leonardo', `Tigress', `Hurricane', `Elite', and `Noblesse' in Spring 1996. The zucchini cultigens with virus resistance were TW 940966, XPHT 1814, and XPHT 1800 in Fall 1995 and XPHT 1800, XPHT 1776, XPHT 1777, XPHT 1814, and XPHT 1784 in Fall 1996. Even though TW 940966 had a high level of resistance in the Fall 1995 test, it was not as high yielding as some of the more susceptible lines. Viruses detected in the field were papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) and watermelon mosaic virus (WMV) for Fall 1995; while PRSV, zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), and WMV were detected for Fall 1996. Summer squash cultigens transgenic for WMV and ZYMV have potential to improve yield, especially during the fall when viruses are more prevalent. Most transgenic cultigens do not possess resistance to PRSV, except XPHT 1815 and XPHT 1817. Papaya ringspot virus was present in the squash tests during the fall of both years. Thus, PRSV resistance must be transferred to the transgenic cultigens before summer squash can be grown during the fall season without the risk of yield loss due to viruses.

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G.H. Clough, S.J. Locascio, and S.M. Olson

Squash (Cucurbita pepo L. var. melopepo) was grown at two locations with different soil types as a second crop in a succession cropping study that used previously cropped polyethylene-mulched beds. Squash was produced with drip or overhead irrigation and with concurrent N-K fertilization or residual fertilizer from the previous crop. Tissue mineral concentration responses to irrigation method were variable; in early fruit, N and K concentrations were higher with overhead than for drip, but leaf Ca and Mg concentrations were higher with drip than with overhead irrigation. Concentrations of N and K were higher with concurrent than with residual fertilization and increased with an increase in application rate. In contrast, concentrations of P, Ca, and Mg decreased with concurrent fertilization and an increase in application rate.

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James E. Brown, James M. Dangler, Floyd M. Woods, Ken M. Tilt, Michael D. Henshaw, Wallace A. Griffey, and Mark S. West

Silver reflective plastic mulches were compared with conventional bare-ground culture of yellow crookneck summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L. var. melopepo Alef.) for reducing aphids and the following mosaic virus diseases: cucumber mosaic, watermelon mosaic I and II, zucchini yellows mosaic, and squash mosaic. Plants grown on silver plastic mulch produced higher marketable yields than those grown on bare ground. Other colors (white, yellow, and black with yellow edges) of plastic mulch were intermediate in their effects on aphid population and virus disease reduction. Silver reflective mulch alone and silver reflective mulch with insecticide were superior to other colors of plastic mulch in reducing aphid populations. Silver reflective plastic mulch, with or without insecticide, resulted in 10 to 13 days delay in the onset of the mosaic diseases noted.

Open access

D. A. Smittle and E. D. Threadgill

Abstract

‘Dixie’ squash (Cucurbita pepo L. var. condensa) were subjected to factorial combinations of 2 irrigation levels, 4 N treatments, and 3 tillage methods on a Lakeland sand soil during 1978, 1979, and 1980. The greatest marketable fruit yield resulted from a combination of applying irrigation at 0.3 bar soil water tension, applying 22.5 kg N/ha through the irrigation system at 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 weeks after planting, and preparing the seedbed by moldboard plow tillage. Yields were reduced 3 to 16% by either reducing the N rate, allowing a greater soil water tension before irrigating, or by the use of subsoil-bed or disk-harrow tillage system. A combination of subsoil-bed tillage and application of irrigation at 0.6 bar soil water tension resulted in the greatest yield when squash received a single N application after planting.

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Timothy L. Grey, David C. Bridges, and D. Scott NeSmith

Field studies were conducted in 1993, 1994, and 1996 to determine the tolerance of several cultivars of zucchini and yellow crookneck squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) to various rates and methods of application of clomazone, ethalfluralin, and pendimethalin. Applying herbicides preplant soil incorporated (PPI), preemergence (PRE), at seedling emergence (SE), or early postemergence (EPOT) resulted in plant injury that varied from 0% to 98%. Ethalfluralin and pendimethalin (PPI) at 1.12 kg·ha–1 a.i. resulted in the greatest stand and yield reductions across all cultivars. Fruit number and weight declined for all cultivars in 1993 and 1994 as the amount of pendimethalin applied PRE was increased. Zucchini (`Senator') fruit size was significantly reduced for the first three harvests in 1993 by PRE application of pendimethalin or PPI application of ethalfluralin, at all rates. Yellow squash (`Dixie') fruit size was unaffected by herbicide treatment for any harvests during 1993 or 1996. Yellow and zucchini squash yield, fruit number, and average fruit weight were equal to, or greater than, those of the untreated control for PRE clomazone using either the emulsifiable concentrate formulation (EC) during 1993, 1994, and 1996 or the microencapsulated formulation (ME) during 1996. Foliar bleaching and stunting by clomazone was evident in early-season visual observations and ratings, but the effect was transient. Foliar bleaching by clomazone PPI (1.12 kg·ha–1 a.i.) was more evident in `Senator' zucchini, and yield was significantly reduced in 1993. These effects of clomazone PPI were not evident in 1994 for either `Elite' or `Senator' zucchini squash. Chemical names used: 2-[(2-chlorophenyl)methyl]-4, 4-dimethyl-3-isoxazolidinone (clomazone); N-ethyl-N-(2-methyl-2-propenyl)-2,6-dinitro-4-(trifluoromethyl) benzenamine (ethalfluralin); N-(1-ethylopropyl)-3,4-dimethyl-2,6-dinitrobenzenamine (pendimethalin).