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J. Scott Cameron and Peter R. Bristow

Gas exchange measurements were made on healthy and rose bloom infected branches of cranberry on 31 May 1991 during the middle of the sporing period. CO2 assimilation rates of infected branches were reduced 89% on a leaf area basis and 95% on a dry weight basis compared to healthy tissue. Stomatal conductance was 12× higher in infected tissue, while mesophyll conductance was reduced by 92%. Transpiration was 4× higher in diseased tissue reducing water use efficiency by 96%.

Total chlorophyll content of diseased tissue was 81% less than that of healthy tissue but chlorophyll a/b was unchanged. Fourth derivative profiles of chlorophyll action spectra were altered in diseased tissue. Rose bloom leaves were found to lack stomata and have no discernable mesophyll layer.

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Luping Qu, James Polashock, and Nicholi Vorsa

A very efficient adventitious regeneration (shoot organogenesis) system for cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) leaves was developed. A basal medium consisting of Anderson's rhododendron salts and Murashige and Skoog's (MS) organics, supplemented with 10.0 μm thidiazuron (TDZ) and 5.0 μm 2ip, was effective for adventitious regeneration from leaves for the five cranberry cultivars tested: `Early Black', `Pilgrim', `Stevens', `Ben Lear', and `No. 35'. Parameters examined included: 1) varying combinations of three plant growth regulators (TDZ, 2ip, and NAA); 2) explant orientation (adaxial vs. abaxial side in contact with the medium); and 3) leaf position relative to the apical meristem from the source plant. Cultivars varied in regeneration frequency, but cultivar × growth regulator interaction was nonsignificant. With optimal treatment conditions, regeneration occurred on more than 95% of the explants, with `Early Black' and `Pilgrim' producing as many as 100 shoot meristems per explant. At all concentrations tested, NAA (as low as 0.1 μm) increased callus formation and significantly reduced regeneration. Emerging adventitious shoots were always observed on the adaxial side of the leaves regardless of explant orientation on the medium. Regeneration was much greater when the abaxial side was in contact with the medium, and was not related to leaf position on the source plants. Elongation of adventitious shoots began ≈2 weeks after transfer to the basal medium without growth regulators. Cuttings of elongated shoots rooted 100% both in vitro in the basal medium and ex vitro in shredded sphagnum moss. The high regeneration efficiency achieved by using this system will be very useful in the application of techniques, such as Agrobacterium- and particle bombardment-mediated transformation. Chemical names used: 1-phenyl-3-(1,2,3-thiadiazol-5-yl) urea (thidiazuron, TDZ); N6-(γ-γ-dimethyallylamino) purine (2ip); α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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Justine Vanden Heuvel

Cranberry bogs are flooded for several purposes during the growing season, including pest control and harvest. A spring `late water' and a fall `harvest' flood were simulated on potted cranberry uprights (`Stevens'). The `late water' flood is a 1-month flood held on some Massachusetts bogs from mid-April to mid-May. The flood was simulated at 11 and 21 °C. Over the course of the 1-month flood, total non-structural carbohydrate concentration (TNSC) of the upright tissue decreased by 13% and 46% in the 11 and 21 °C treatments, respectively. Root TNSC was not affected by flooding in the 11 °C treatment, but was reduced by 39% in the 21 °C treatment. In the 1-week `harvest' flood simulated at 12 and 20 °C, TNSC of the upright tissue decreased by 47% and 59% in the 12 and 20 °C treatments, respectively. Root TNSC was reduced by 22% in the 12 °C flood, and by 41% in the 20 °C flood. Two weeks following removal from the 1-month `late water' flood, uprights in the 11 °C treatment contained 9% more TNSC than uprights in the 21 °C treatment, while root TNSC from the two treatments was similar. No treatment differences were evident in the uprights or roots of the vines subjected to the `late water' flood by harvest. Two weeks following removal from the 1-week `harvest' flood, uprights in the 12 °C treatment contained 20% more TNSC than uprights in the 20 °C treatment, while roots of vines in the 12 °C flood contained 17% more TNSC compared to vines in the 20 °C flood. Vines which were negatively impacted by the warmer `harvest' flood treatment likely had reduced energy available for winter survival, spring growth and fruit production.

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Carolyn DeMoranville, Irving DeMoranville, and Tom Bicki

Cold tolerance of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) flower buds (spring) and fruit had previously been investigated for the cultivars Early Black (EB) and Howes (H), leading to predictors of cold tolerance based on appearance of the buds (size and growth) and fruit (color). We studied these cultivars along with `Ben Lear' (BL) (buds only) and `Stevens' (S) using controlled temperatures to determine the accuracy of predicting cold damage. BL was the least cold-tolerant cultivar in early spring, both BL and S were less tolerant than EB and H during budbreak (-2.8C vs. -3.9C) and elongation (-2.8C vs. -1.4C), and all survived any exposure to -1.4C. EB fruit were tolerant of -5C once maximum color was achieved and 2 weeks later would tolerate short exposures to -6.5C or less. H fruit developed deep tolerance (below 6.5C) by November in only 1 year out of 2. S fruit were least tolerant: -5C for short periods at M maturity. The phenological model used to predict cold tolerance of flower buds was 48% accurate in our trials, generally overestimating bud tolerance, particularly for BL and S. EB fruit showed more tolerance than predicted, H less.

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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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Justine E. Vanden Heuvel and Joan R. Davenport

Five fertilizer treatments were applied to a `Stevens' cranberry bed in a 3-way split application (roughneck, 75% bloom, and 3 weeks after bloom) in Spring 2004 at State Bog in E. Wareham, Mass. Nitrogen rates were 0, 22, 45, 67, and 90 kg/ha; P was applied at 22 kg/ha, and K at 44 kg/ha. At mid-fruit development and again at preharvest, 20 vegetative and 20 fruiting uprights were collected from each plot in mid-morning. The N concentration per upright increased linearly with increased N application. Increased upright N concentration had no effect on soluble carbohydrate (sucrose + glucose + fructose) concentration, but decreased starch concentration, more so in vegetative uprights than in fruiting uprights on both sampling dates. Total nonstructural carbohydrate concentration (TNSC) was negatively impacted by increased N in vegetative and fruiting uprights at mid-fruit development, but N did not impact TNSC in either type of upright by harvest. Vegetative uprights contained greater concentrations of N, soluble carbohydrates, starch, and TNSC at both sampling dates, but contained lower concentrations of chlorophyll A and chlorophyll B.

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Nicholi Vorsa, James Polashock, David Cunningham, and Robin Roderick

A diversity of anthocyanins exists among angiosperm species. Studies indicate that various anthocyanins differ in antioxidant potential, their bioavailability, and stability during processing. The fruit of the American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait., is recognized as having six anthocyanins, composed largely of 3-O-galactosides and 3-O-arabinosides, and to lesser amount (≈6%), 3-O-glucosides of the aglycones cyanidin and peonidin. This study analyzed proportions of these six anthocyanins from >250 accessions of a germplasm collection over harvest dates. Fruit samples from 78 selected accessions, based on the first year analysis, were also analyzed a second year. Principal component analysis identified general negative relationships between the proportions of cyanidin versus peonidin, arabinosides versus glucosides, and galactosides versus arabinosides and glucosides. These relationships were consistent across the 2 years. Most variation in germplasm anthocyanin profiles reflected variation of cyanidin versus peonidin proportions, with cyanidin to peonidin ratios ranging from 3.6:1 to 0.5:1. Variation for glycosylation profiles was also evident, with galactoside proportions ranging from 64% to 75%, arabinoside proportions ranging from 20% to 33%, and glucoside proportions ranging from 3% to 9%. Evidence for both significant qualitative and quantitative genetic variation exists for the methoxylation of cyanidin to peonidin. Significant quantitative genetic variation is also apparent for glycosylation.

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Carolyn DeMoranville, Anne Averill, and Martha Averill

In commercial cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) production, flooding is used as a cultural practice for harvest and for winter protection. In addition, after the withdrawal of the winter flood, cranberry bogs may be reflooded in the spring, a practice known as holding “late water” (LW). This practice was used by early cranberry growers in Massachusetts to avoid spring frost and to promote keeping quality in the harvested fruit. Recently, LW has been “rediscovered” as a cultural tool with the potential for reducing inputs of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. We have begun to document the effects of LW on pest populations and on cranberry plants to provide growers with a solid basis for deciding whether to use this cultural practice. In 1993, 11 LW bogs were studied and compared to control bogs. All of the bogs showed acceptable levels of insect and disease damage on the fruit at harvest. The average number of pesticide applications for the LW bogs vs. controls was 0.9 vs. 2.6 for insecticides and 1.3 vs. 2.8 for fungicides.

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Mustafa Ozgen, Senay Ozgen, and Jiwan P. Palta

Recent studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that lysophoshatidylethanolamine (LPE) is able to accelerate fruit ripening while at the same time promoting shelf life. LPE is a natural lipid and is commercially extracted from egg yolks and soybeans. We studied the influence of LPE on the pattern of anthocyanin accumulation and storage quality of cranberry fruit (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait. cultivar Stevens). For this purpose 2 x 2-m plots were established in cranberry beds at two separate locations near Wisconsin Rapids. Experiments were conducted in 1997 and 1998 seasons. Plots were sprayed with LPE (extracted from egg yolk and soybean) 3 to 4 weeks before harvest. Spray solution included 200 ppm LPE, 3% ethanol, and 0.1% detergents (either Tergitol or Sylguard). Fruit samples were taken from a part in the plot periodically to determine the changes in the fruit. The rest of the plots were commercially wet harvested with a machine and stored in cold storage. Marketable fruit were counted at various times of cold storage to determine effect of LPE on shelf life of cranberries. In general, application of LPE from both sources resulted in 20% to 35 % increase in fruit anthocyanin contents. Also LPE treatment resulted in 10% to 20% increase in marketable fruit in cold storage. A postharvest dip of cranberry fruit with 50 ppm LPE solution for 15 min also resulted in about a 20% to 30% increase in marketable berries during cold storage. The results of this study shows that pre- and postharvest applications of LPE can add value to cranberry crop including better and more uniform colored fruit, enhance self life, and earlier harvest.

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Carolyn DeMoranville

Extensive study of the use of late water (LW, a 4-week spring flood used to control pests) in modern cranberry production systems began in 1993, focused on the effects of the flood on pests and the cranberry plants, and compared LW to companion early water (EW, no spring flood) bogs and to their own histories. In 1993 and 1994, LW bogs had yields comparable to EW controls with N fertilizer reductions of 35% and 60%. In the year following LW, N use returned to pre-LW levels. In 1995, N use was reduced by 65%. However, yield on LW bogs was reduced in 1995, at least in part due to anomalous winter weather and drought. Upright length and density did not differ between LW and EW bogs (1993–95). This may have been due to reduced N dose offsetting any growth-promoting effects of LW. In 1994 and 1995, LW bogs had fewer flowers than EW bogs, but increased fruit set compensated in 1994. LW may adversely affect yield in some years but this could be offset by reduced production costs or increased yields in following years. Cost/return budgets are being studied.