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Thomas E. Marler and L.E. Willis

`Mauritius' lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) trees were planted in root observation chambers in July 1990 to determine the pattern of root and shoot growth during a 12 month period. Root and shoot lengths were measured at intervals ranging from 7-18 days, from Aug. 1990 until Aug. 1991. During each period of active canopy growth, up to six shoots were tagged and measured. Root growth was determined by measuring tracings the extension of each root in a visible plane from the glass wall of the observation chambers. Shoot growth was cyclic, with distinct periods of extension followed by no extension. Alternatively, root growth was fairly continuous with only a few periods of no apparent extension. There were no consistent relationships observed between root and shoot growth patterns.

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Chemda Degani, Ruth El-Batsri, Raphael A. Stern, and Shmuel Gazit

Fruits produced in two commercial lychee (litchi chinensis Sonn.) orchards consisting of adjacent blocks of `Floridian' and `Mauritius' were analyzed for pollen parentage by phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) isozyme system. 'Mauritius' and `Floridian' were found to possess distinguishable homozygous isozyme phenotypes in PGI, thus allowing the unequivocal identification of their progenies as originating from self- or cross-pollination. The rates of hybrids produced in the two orchards were 69% and 87% for `Floridian' and 17% and 65% for `Mauritius'. In both cvs a significant correlation was found between pollen parent and the weights of fruits and seeds. Fruits originating from cross-pollination were heavier and contained heavier seeds than selfed fruits. The most pronounced effect of the pollen parent on seed weight was found in `Floridian, which appears to exhibit inbreeding depression.

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R.A. Stern, J. Kigel, E. Tomer, and S. Gazit

Fruit development and abscission in `Mauritius' lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) were studied over three consecutive seasons. Each season, two distinct abscission periods were observed. The first started at the end of full female bloom and continued for ≈ 4 weeks. Of the initial number of female flowers, 85 % to 90 % abscised during this period. The second period began after a lag period of≈ 1 week and lasted ≈ 2 weeks. About half of the remaining fruitlets abscised during this wave. AU of these fruitlets contained an embryo. The second wave coincided with a period of rapid embryo growth and endosperm loss. Tipimon (a commercial product containing the triethanolamine salt of the synthetic auxin 2,4,5-TP) consistently and significantly increased marketable fruit yield when applied between the two abscission periods. Chemical name used: 2,4,5 -trichlorophenoxy propionic acid (2,4,5 -TP).

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Raphael A. Stern, Daniel Stern, Moshe Harpaz, and Shmuel Gazit

Application of TP as Tipimon® or TPA as Maxim® at the young fruitlet stage significantly increased yield in three lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) cultivars: `Mauritius', `Floridian', and `Kaimana'. Application of TP followed by TPA a week later increased yield more than did either substance alone. In all experiments, TPA increased fruit size and weight, relative to both controls and TP-treated trees. The increased yield did not prevent the increase in fruit size. Use of sprays of TPA may be an effective way of satisfying the market demand for large lychee fruit. Chemical names used: 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxypropionic acid (TP); 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridyloxyacetic acid (TPA).

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R.A. Stern, S. Gazit, R. El-Batsri, and C. Degani

Fruits produced in two orchards, each consisting of adjacent blocks of `Floridian' and `Mauritius' lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.), were unequivocally identified as selfed or outcrossed by phosphoglucose isomerase (PGP; EC isozyme analysis. The average rate of hybrid production in each orchard was 69% and 87% for `Floridian' and 17% and 65% for `Mauritius', respectively. The percentage of hybrids produced on trees adjacent to those of the other cultivar was invariably significantly higher than that produced on the more distant trees. However a significant correlation between hybrid percentage and proximity to the other cultivar, as well as between hybrid percentage and yield, was found only for `Floridian' in one of the orchards. A significant correlation was found between pollen source and the weights of fruits and seeds in both cultivars. Fruits originating from cross-pollination were heavier and contained heavier seeds than selfed fruits. The most pronounced effect of pollen parent on seed weight was found in `Floridian', which appears to exhibit inbreeding depression.

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R.A. Stern, M. Meron, A. Naor, R. Wallach, B. Bravdo, and S. Gazit

The effect of fall irrigation level in `Mauritius' and `Floridian' lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) on soil and plant water status, flowering intensity, and yield the following year was studied in a field during 2 consecutive years. At the end of the second vegetative flush after harvest (1 Oct. 1994 and 10 Oct. 1995), four irrigation treatments were initiated: 0.5, 0.25, 0.125, and 0 Class A pan evaporation coefficients designated 100%, 50%, 25%, and 0%. The three lower irrigation levels effectively stopped shoot growth, suggesting the 50% treatment to be the threshold for shoot growth cessation in both years. For both years, flowering intensity and yield in the 100% treatment were lower than those following the other three treatments. Soil and plant water-stress indicators responded to the water-stress irrigation treatments. However soil water-potential values were highly variable relative to plant water potentials. Stem water potential differed more markedly between treatments than leaf water potential. Midday stem water potential appeared to be the best water-stress indicator for irrigation control. Midday stem water potential in both years was correlated with midday vapor-pressure deficit, suggesting that the threshold for irrigation control should take into account evaporative demand.

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F. Zee, K.M. Aradhya, and R.M. Manshardt

A genetic diversity analysis involving 49 Iychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) accessions using eight enzyme systems encoding 12 loci (Idh-1, Idh-2, Mdh-2, Per-1, Pgi-2, Pgm-1, Pgm-2, Skdh, Tpi-1, Tpi-2, Ugpp-1, and Ugpp-2) revealed moderate to high levels of genetic variability. Cluster analysis of the isozyme data from 40 genetically different accessions of the total 49 identified three groups at the 50% level of genetic similarity, the largest of which contained 32 of the 40 accessions distributed in three sub-groups. The groups including the three subgroups differed in frequency and composition of alleles at different loci. Polymorphism was observed in 77% of the loci, with an overall mean of 2.2 alleles per locus and an observed heterozygosity of 0.387. The unbiased genetic identities (I) between groups ranged from 0.809 to 0.937. Summing over all 11 polymorphic loci, 16% of gene diversity was due to differentiation between groups and 84% within groups. Comparison of isozyme fingerprints revealed that some accessions with identical names, particularly of `No mai tsz', `Kwai mi', and `Hak ip', possessed different isozyme genotypes, while other accessions with different names displayed identical isozyme genotypes. Isozyme fingerprinting will be useful in revealing and resolving questions of clonal identity, which are common in Iychee germplasm collections.

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M.B. Thomas, H.W. Beck, J.H. Crane, J.J. Ferguson, and J.W. Noling

A computer-based diagnostic system that can assist commercial producers, extension agents, and homeowners in the diagnosis of diseases, disorders, and pest damage for citrus, avocado, `Tahiti' lime, mango, carambola, lychee, and papaya was developed. The program was written in C++ and runs under MS-DOS. The system design was based on the diagnostic reasoning process of experts by identifying the location of symptoms, tree vigor, and occurrence within a grove. Full-screen color images link symptoms to possible diseases, disorders, and/or pest damage. Users can also refer to expert knowledge, graphic displays, pop-up menus, dialogue boxes, and retrieve information via hypertext from extension publications as well as current control methods. The program is available on CD-ROM, contains over 800 digital color images, and includes a glossary of terms.

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Thomas L. Davenport

The reproductive phenology of temperate tree fruit species, such as apple and peach, will be briefly introduced and compared to the reproductive phenologies of several tropical and subtropical tree fruit species. Conceptual models of citrus and mango flowering will be described which help to understand the physiological mechanisms of flowering and vegetative flushes in trees growing in subtropical and tropical environments. Possible roles for auxin and cytokinins in shoot initiation and for gibberellins and a putative florigenic promoter in induction will be discussed as they relate to the physiology of flowering and vegetative flushes of tropical species. Successful application of these conceptual flowering models in controlling flowering of citrus, mango, lychee, and longan through the use of growth regulators and other horticultural management techniques will be described.

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Kanjana Mahattanatawee, Elizabeth Baldwin, Kevin Goodner, John Manthey, and Gary Luzio

Fourteen tropical fruits from southern Florida [red guava, white guava, carambola, red pitaya (red dragon), white pitaya (white dragon), mamey, sapodilla, lychee, longan, green mango, ripe mango, green papaya and ripe papaya] were evaluated for antioxidant activity, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), total fiber and pectin. ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) and DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl, radical scavenging activity) assays were used to determine antioxidant activity. The total soluble phenolics (TSP), ORAC, and DPPH ranged from 205.4 to 2316.7 μg gallic acid equivalent/g puree, 0.03 to 16.7 μmole Trolox equivalent/g puree and 2.1 to 620.2 μg gallic acid equivalent/g puree, respectively. Total ascorbic acid (TAA), total dietary fiber (TDF) and pectin ranged from 13.6 to 159.6 mg/100 g, 0.88 to 7.25 g/100 g and 0.2 to 1.04 g/100 g, respectively. The antioxidant activities, TSP, TAA, TDF and pectin appeared to be influenced by cultivar (papaya, guava and dragon fruit) and ripening stage (papaya and/or mango). Data demonstrate the potential benefits of several of these fruits for human health.