In almond [Prunis dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb.], fungicide sprays are required to prevent blossom blight, which can infect open flowers. Numerous studies have reported detrimental effects of agrochemical sprays on pollination, fruit set, and yield in tree fruit crops. However, effects of fungicides on pollen germination and growth in almond are little known, particularly those from recently developed active ingredients. In this study we evaluated the effects of commercial formulations of 10 fungicides on pollen germination and tube growth in almond using in vitro assays. Assays conducted at 1/100 recommended field rates (RFR) were effective in delineating differences in almond pollen sensitivity to different fungicides. Captan and azoxystrobin were the most inhibitory, with germination percentages of less than 1% of the no-fungicide control. Germination was not significantly affected by propiconazole and benomyl. Intermediate inhibitory effects on pollen germination were observed with ziram, cyprodinil, maneb, thiophanate-methyl, iprodione, and myclobutanil. In contrast to germination, tube growth was less affected by the presence of fungicide. In pollen that germinated, tube elongation was the same as in controls in five of 10 of the fungicides evaluated. Nonetheless, azoxystrobin and captan reduced tube elongation by ≈90%. Some fungicide treatments also influenced tube morphology. In the absence of field evaluation studies, in vitro germination data may provide insight on how specific chemicals may impact pollination processes and further guide in vivo studies, particularly in the case of new chemical formulations.
Weiguang Yi, S. Edward Law, and Hazel Y. Wetzstein
M. Ahmedullah and P. Bristow
Concord blueberries treated with biocontrol fungi (Trichoderma and Gliocaladium) both at 1 and 2x rates and with fungicides benlate + captan + B 1956 and Tween for controlling botrytis flower blight were stored at 32F. Trichoderma (2x)-treated fruit was 71% without infection; Gliocaladium (2x)-treated fruit 69%, compared to 57% from untreated control. Momentum Transfer Generator (MTG) readings indicating fruit firmness ranged from 474 to 494 for the above treatments, indicating that fruit firmness was not affected by the treatments. Concord blueberries from bushes infected with blueberry scorch carla virus showed no difference in fruit firmness compared to healthy berries either before or after 7 weeks of storage at 32F.
Alan R. Biggs
The proportion of spurs blooming on `McIntosh' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) was reduced significantly in 1986 and 1988, but not in 1987, following seasonal programs of six bitertanol or flusilazole treatments applied at two and three rates, respectively. The fungicides were not associated with any visible phytotoxic effect nor was shoot length reduced by any fungicide treatment. In two of three experiments conducted in May and June 1986, transpiration was reduced by the low rate of flusilazole and the high rate of bitertanol relative to both the captan and nonsprayed trees. In all three experiments, flusilazole at 1.4 g a.i./100 liter was associated with transiently reduced transpiration rates, lasting a minimum of 48 hours, relative to the nonsprayed control. Fungicides affected the diffusive resistance of apple leaves in all three experiments; however, there were no consistent treatment effects on diffusive resistance among the three experiments.
Richard Marini, John Barden, and Donald Sowers
In 1993 a factorial experiment, involving nine apple cultivars on M.9 root-stock and six fungicide regimes, was established. The cultivars included `Delicious', `Golden Delicious', `York Imperial', `Redfree', `Freedom', `Liberty', NY 74828-12, NY 73334-35, and NY 74840-1. The fungicide treatments included earlyseason sprays of Bayleton or Dodine, separately or combined, and late-season sprays of Captan plus Benomyl alone or combined with early-season sprays of Bayleton plus Dodine. Non-sprayed trees served as a control. In 1995 leaves and fruits were evaluated for disease symptoms. Leaf spot (symptoms caused by black rot or alternaria leaf blotch) was most severe on `Redfree' and NY 73334-35, and least severe on `Delicious', `Golden Delicious', and `York'. By late summer NY 74828-12 had the most leaf abscission, whereas NY 74840-1, `Liberty', and `Delicious' lost the fewest leaves. Early-season fungicide sprays did not reduce early leaf abscission. Sooty blotch and fly speck, but not rots, were nearly eliminated by late-season applications of Captan plus Benomyl. Averaged over all fungicide treatments, more than half of the fruits from `Delicious', `Redfree', and NY 74828-12 were free of disease symptoms. Cultivars with <25% of the fruits without infection included `York', `Liberty', NY 74840-1 and NY 73334-35. `York' and `Redfree' had >25% of the fruits with rots, while all other cultivars had <9% fruits with rots. `Delicious' and NY 73334-35 had the fewest rotten fruits. Rots were not controlled by any fungicide treatment. `Liberty' and NY 73334-35 had the most flyspeck and `Redfree' had the least. `Liberty', NY 74840-1 and NY 73334-35 had the most sooty blotch and `Redfree' and NY 74828-12 had the least.
T.K. Hartz and J. Caprile
Sweet corn (Zea mays L.) cultivars carrying the sh2 mutation show poor seed vigor under stressful field conditions, requiring higher seeding rates to ensure stand establishment. The effects of sodium hypochlorite seed disinfestation, solid matrix priming (SMP), and seed-coating with Gliocladium virens Miller, Giddens & Foster to enhance emergence of sh2 sweet corn in controlled-environment cold stress tests and field trials were investigated. In combination with a chemical fungicide seed treatment (captan, thiram, imazalil, and metalaxyl), SMP significantly improved the percentage and rate of seedling emergence of `Excel' and `Supersweet Jubilee' in a cold stress test (in soil for 7 days at 10C, then 15C until emergence) but was inconsistent under field conditions, improving emergence in only one of four field trials. Sodium hypochlorite disinfestation was ineffective. Compared to a film-coated control, coating seeds with G. virens strain G-6 was highly effective in increasing emergence in two of three cultivars tested in cold stress tests in two soils, while strain G-4 was generally ineffective. In field trials, G-6 treatment significantly increased emergence over that of nontreated seed but was inferior to conventional fungicide treatment and conferred no additional benefit in combination with fungicide treatment. Overall, no seed treatment evaluated was an economically viable alternative for or supplement to chemical fungicide treatment. Chemical names used: cis-N-trichloromethylthio-4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboximide (captan); tetramethyl-thiuram disulfide (thiram); 1-[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-2-(2-propenyloxy)ethyl]-1H-imidazole (imazalil); N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-N-(methoxyacetyl)-alanine methyl ester (metalaxyl).
W.R. Jester, M. L. Adams, and G. J. Holmes
The experiment was conducted at the Cunningham Research Station in Kinston, N.C. (coordinates: N35 18.372; W77 34.937), on Goldsboro loamy sand. Three cultural systems (bare ground + overhead irrigation bare ground + drip irrigation, black plastic + drip irrigation) and seven fungicide treatments were evaluated in a split-plot design with cultural system as the main plot and fungicide treatments as subplots. The cultivar used was `Mickey Lee'. The trial was installed 18 July. Soil moisture was monitored in each of the cultural regimes using soil moisture sensors (Spectrum Technologies, Inc, Plainfield, IL) and rain gauges. The cultural systems using drip irrigation were irrigated to 10 cb starting when soil moisture reached 40 cb. Overhead irrigation was used to maintain at least 2 inches per week total precipitation beginning 12 Aug. Cultural systems and fungicide treatments were replicated 4 times. To prevent gummy stem blight and powdery mildew, Pristine (14.5 oz/acre) and Quintec (6 oz/acre) were alternated with Bravo Weather Stik (2 pt/acre) and Flint (4 oz/acre) on a 7-day interval, beginning 16 Aug. Experimental fungicide treatments were applied using a CO2 backpack sprayer equipped with a 3-nozzle (19-inch spacing) handheld boom with hollow cone nozzles (TXVS-26) delivering 40 gal/acre at 45 psi. Treatments were initiated when the largest fruit were about 6 inches in diameter. All treatments were applied on a 7-day interval with applications on 25 Aug. and 2, 9, 16, and 23 Sept. Plots were inoculated on 12 and 19 Sept. by hand-scattering 0.5 lb of 1-cm cubes of naturally P. capcisi-infected acorn squash fruit per plot. Disease severity was evaluated on 26 Sept. as fruit rot incidence and percent foliar necrosis. Captan was most effective in suppressing fruit rot regardless of cultural regime. Captan and NOA-446510 were both effective in reducing vine collapse across all cultural regimes. Incidence of fruit decay was significantly greater in the bare ground + overhead irrigation (overhead) cultural regime while plasticulture (plastic) and bare ground + drip irrigation (drip) resulted in similar levels of fruit decay and vine collapse. No interaction of cultural regime with treatment was detected. Watermelon stems and foliage are typically very resistant to Phytophthora blight, but significant vine collapse occurred in many plots. P. capsici was consistently isolated from diseased foliage and stems and is considered the primary cause of vine collapse.
Jocelyn A. Ozga and F.G. Dennis Jr.
Exposure of stratified apple (Malus domestics Borkh. cv. Golden Delicious) seeds to 30C induces secondary dormancy. To determine if an increase in abscisic acid (ABA) content was associated with the loss in germination capacity, stratified seeds (3,- 6, or 9 weeks at 5C) were held at 30C for 0, 3, or 6 days. Stratification at 5C either had no effect or increased ABA content in embryonic axes, cotyledons, and seed coats. Exposure to 30C after stratification either did not affect or decreased ABA content of embryonic axes and seed coats; in contrast, cotyledonary ABA was increased. Seed coats, cotyledons, and embryonic axes stratified for 3, 6, or 9 weeks at 20C contained the same or higher levels of ABA in comparison with nonstratified seeds or seeds stratified at SC. Changes in ABA levels were not consistently correlated with changes in germination capacity during stratification or after exposure to 30C. These data suggest that changes in ABA are not related to changes in dormancy. Chemical names used: abscisic acid (ABA); butylated hydroxy-toluene (BHT); n-(trichloromethyl) thio-4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboximide(Captan).
Greta Schuster, Roland E. Roberts, and David Bender
Rhizoctonia solani infection of potato causes seed piece decay and stem and tuber lesions, resulting in delayed emergence and uneven stands, low-vigor plants and unmarketable tubers. Rhizoctonia prevention effectiveness of three fungicide/fir bark dusts and nontreated tubers were compared on three varieties. Seedpieces of Viking, Atlantic and Norkotah 278 were treated and planted in separate commercial fields. A randomized complete-block design with four replications with four 26-foot rows per treatment plot included four treatments: 0.5 lb Maxim, 1.0 lb Tops MZ, and 1.5 lb Nubark Captan dust/100 lb seed. Plant stems, stolons and tubers were examined for Rhizoctonia infection at the tuber initiation stage and tubers were examined again at mature stage. Maxim and Tops MZ reduced stolon infection in Atlantic and Norkotah 278 and reduced stem infection in Norkotah 278. Plants from Maxim treated tubers produced more stems/plant in Norkotah 278 and produced more weight of tubers weighing less than four oz in all three varieties. Differences in seed tuber conditioning and mechanical damage in seed handling increase variability of treatment effects. Repeated testing of potato seed piece treatments in Texas High Plains conditions is the best way to confirm potential of beneficial effects of seed treatment.
The absence of red color in a streaked “Bleaching” pattern is periodically noted on late-season peaches in middle Georgia. The streaked pattern led to a hypothesis that accumulation of pesticides in the stem end of the fruit prevented anthocyanin formation. However, analysis of pesticide residues on affected and unaffected peel suggested this was unlikely. We observed that trees affected by fungal gummosis (caused by Botrysphearia dithodia) were most often affected by the “bleaching” phenomenon and that `Summer Gold', the most fungal gummosis–susceptible variety, had the greatest incidence of the disorder. In a preliminary trial, we tested the hypothesis that fungal gummosis mediates “bleaching” by interfering with anthocyanin color formation in the peel of developing fruit. Tree gum/resin and pesticides were tested for their effect on peel color development. The gum/chemical preparations were dripped onto fruit prior to anthocyanin or red pigment formation in peach peel. After the anthocyanescent period, fruit were observed for bleaching. The gum mediated a negative effect by sulfur, captan, and carbaryl in peel color formation in peach. Fenbuconizole and phosmet had a less negative effect on color formation, although the effect was noticeable. The gum alone, propiconizole, and chlorothalonil did little to effect on peel color formation.
Danny L. Barney
Seeds of V. membranaceum germinated in petri dishes fresh (undried), airdried for 7 days, or cold-stored for 1 or 6 years exhibited similar germination vs. time curves. Dry storage at 0–4°C for 1 or 6 years did not reduce the percentage of germination compared to fresh seeds. Cold stratification at 0–4°C slowed germination by extending the initial lag phase compared to unstratified seed. Stratification for 28 to 56 days delayed germination by ≈2 weeks. This pattern held true for fresh (undried) seed, seed air-dried for 7 days, and seed cold-stored for 6 years. Surface sterilization for 20 or 30 minutes with a 0.5% aqueous solution of sodium hypochlorite reduced fungal and bacterial contamination of germinating seeds without adversely impacting germination. Treatment of V. membranaceum seeds with captan or mancozeb fungicide inhibited germination by extending the lag phase and reducing the germination vs. time slope of the exponential phase. Mancozeb-treated seeds exhibited a lower percentage of germination than did controls, and often developed necrotic radical tips.