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Michael D. Rethwisch

In 1991 and 1992, insecticide trials were conducted on onion and broccoli grown for seed, respectively, near Yuma, Ariz., to evaluate the effects of insects and insecticide treatments on seed production. Four insecticides (Agri-Mek, Ammo, Capture, Lorsban) were evaluated on onions where both western flower thrips [Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande)] and onion thrips (Thrips tabaci Lindeman) were present. Visual differences between treatment resultant from onion thrips damage were evident within 10 days after treatments were applied at flower opening. Lorsban, Ammo, and Capture treatments provided control of onion thrips based on condition of seed heads. Ammo and Capture were the only treatments that increased seed yield, as the Lorsban treatment was thought to repel bees needed for pollination. Pyrethroid treatments yielded 40% more seed than the nontreated check, which yielded more than Lorsban and Agri-Mek treatments. Four insecticide treatments (Thiodan, CGA-215944, and two rates of RH7988) were evaluated on broccoli seed where green peach aphid [Myzus persicae (Sulzer)] was present. All treatments reduced aphid numbers compared to the nontreated check, with RH7988 providing most control. Seed yields (g/plant) were reduced in all insecticide-treated plots compared with the nontreated plots, although percentage of seed sized larger than 4.5/64” was apparently correlated with increased aphid control. Seed yield per plant was higher from the lower rate of RH7988 than the higher rate. Plants treated with RH7988 had almost 0.5 g/plant more seed sized 5.5/64” than other treatments.

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Thomas H. Boyle

Flowers of two cacti [Hatiora gaertneri (Regel) Barthlott `Crimson Giant' and Schlumbergera truncata (Haworth) Moran `Eva'] were pollinated at different times between anthesis and senescence to determine the effect of floral age on seed production. Studies were conducted in a growth chamber (20 ± 0.5°C) to minimize temperature effects. Mean flower longevity (time from anthesis to first signs of senescence) was 4.7 days for S. truncata and 10.5 days for H. gaertneri. Stigmas of both species were receptive to pollination on the day of anthesis. The maximum number of viable seeds per pollinated flower was obtained when flowers of S. truncata and H. gaertneri were pollinated (respectively) on the second and fourth days after anthesis. For both species, the relationship between floral age and number of viable seeds per pollinated flower was described by a second-degree polynomial. The rate of pollen tube growth in the style was about 1.7 mm·h–1 for S. truncata and about 0.9 mm·h–1 for H. gaertneri. Some senesced flowers of H. gaertneri were capable of setting fruit with viable seed. Flowers of S. truncata did not set fruit when pollinated during the late phase of flower opening or after they had senesced. Senesced flowers of S. truncata failed to set fruit due to an insufficient number of pollen tubes reaching the ovary.

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Ebrahim M. Khah, Konstantinos A. Akoumianakis, and Harold C. Passam

As good quality irrigation water becomes increasingly scarce in the Mediterranean region, especially in coastal areas where greenhouses are located, methods of economizing water consumption are essential. Therefore, the effect of the duration of irrigation on the quality and yield of seed of two cultivars of dwarf green bean (`Larma' and `Montano', Phaseolus vulgaris L.) was studied during fall and spring in Greece. Seeds were sown on 11 Sept. 2000 (fall crop) and 23 Feb. 2001 (spring crop) in peat compost and when the plants had two expanded leaves (11 and 20 days after sowing, respectively), they were transplanted to the soil of an unheated, plastic-covered greenhouse. The following irrigation treatments were applied: 1) irrigation for the entire duration (control), 2) irrigation until the first pods were dry, 3) irrigation until ≈50% of the pods had filled, and 4) irrigation till flowering. Fall cultivation was not suitable for seed production due to low yield and reduced seed quality. By contrast, the spring crop had a higher yield, seed size and good germination. Stopping irrigation of the spring crop at the drying of the first pods achieved an ≈20% saving in water without significantly affecting seed yield or quality. Earlier discontinuation of irrigation to achieve greater savings of water caused a reduction in yield, but did not affect seed quality.

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J.J. Steiner and K. Opoku-Boateng

We investigated the effects of variation in ambient air temperature on seed production in the field during the reproductive development phase of `Salinas' head-type lettuce (Luctuca sativa L.) in the central San Joaquin Valley of California where daytime maxima may exceed 38C for many consecutive days during reproduction. Florets were tagged daily for 41 days and harvested seeds were sampled to determine temperature-sensitive periods during seed development. The number of seeds per inflorescence (NOS), seed mass (SM), and seedling root length (SRL) were reduced and percentage germination (GERM) increased with increasing minimum (LT) and maximum (HT) temperatures. Daily HT > 35C greatly reduced NOS. Increasing LT reduced SM and SRL, but to a lesser extent than NOS (r2 = 0.23 and 0.40; P = 0.01 and 0.001, respectively). The advantage of increasing HT on GERM (r2 = 0.20; P = 0.01) was overshadowed by the severe reduction in NOS and the vigor components SM and SRL. The periods of greatest sensitivity to high air temperature for NOS, SM, GERM, and SRL were - 1 to +1, - 4, +1, and - 4 to - 3 days from anthesis, respectively. The hours of peak sensitivity for these variables occurred during the same days at - 36, - 101, + 15, and - 83 hours from anthesis, respectively. Using Box-Jenkins time series analysis, diurnal periodicity in temperature sensitivity for the four variables was determined.

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Haim Nerson

Field experiments were conducted in 1996 and 1997 to examine the effects of plant density on yield and quality of fruit and seeds of muskmelons (Cucumis melo L.). Two open-pollinated cultivars, Noy Yizre'el (Ha'Ogen type) and TopMark (western U.S. shipper type), were grown at plant densities ranging from 0.5 to 16.0 plants/m2 under commercial conditions. The highest marketable fruit yields were achieved with plant densities of 2 to 4 plants/m2. In contrast, the highest seed yields were obtained at 8 to 12 plants/m2. Seed yield index [seed yield (g)/fruit yield (kg)] was used as a parameter to define seed production efficiency. High seed yield was closely related to high value of the seed yield index. High seed yield indexes resulted from high plant densities (up to 12 plants/m2), at which the crops produced many, but relatively small fruit. In all cases, the seed yield per fruit (seed number and seed size) increased with increasing fruit weight. However, the sum of the seed yield of two small fruit was always greater than the seed yield of one, double-sized fruit. There was a clear exception with extremely small fruit (<500 g), which produced both low seed yields and poor seed quality. A positive relationship was found between fruit size and seed size in both cultivars. Nevertheless, relatively small seeds (25 to 30 mg) extracted from relatively small fruit (500 to 1000 g) showed the best performance in terms of germination and emergence percentages and rates, and in the vegetative development vigor of the seedlings.

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J.O. Payero, M.S. Bhangoo, and J.J. Steiner

The effects of six applied N treatments differing by rates and frequencies of application on the yield and quality of pepper (Capsicum annuum var. annuum L. `Anaheim Chili') grown for seed was studied. The timing of N applications was based on crop phenology, leaf petiole nitrate-nitrogen concentrations (NO3-N) minimum thresholds, and scheduled calendar applications of fixed amounts of N. Solubilized NH4NO3 was applied through a trickle-irrigation system to ensure uniform and timely applications of N. Rate of mature (green and red) fruit production was unaffected by any treatment except weekly applications of 28 kg·ha-1 of N, which stopped production of mature fruit before all other treatments. Early season floral bud and flower production increased with increasing amounts of N. The two highest total N treatments produced more floral buds and flowers late in the season than the other treatments. Total fruit production was maximized at 240 kg N/ha. Differences in total fruit production due to frequency of N application resulted at the highest total N level. Red fruit production tended to be maximized with total seasonal applied N levels of 240 kg·ha-1 and below, although weekly applications of N reduced production. Total seed yield was a function of red fruit production. Pure-1ive seed (PLS) production was a function of total seed production. Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) for red fruit production also decreased with N rates >240 kg·ha-1, but PLS yield and NUE decreased in a near-linear fashion as the amount of total seasonal applied N increased, regardless of application frequency. Season average NO3-N (AVE NO3-N) values >4500 mg·kg-1 had total seed and PLS yields less than those treatments <4000 mg·kg-1. Six-day germination percentage was reduced with weekly N applications of 14 kg·ha-1. Seed mass was reduced with weekly N applications of 28 kg·ha-1. Final germination percent, seedling root length and weight, and field emergence were unaffected by any of the N treatments. These findings indicate that different N management strategies are needed to maximize seed yield compared to fruit yield and, therefore, there may be an advantage to growing `Anaheim Chili' pepper specifically for seed.

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Sandra B. Wilson, Gary W. Knox, Keona L. Muller, Rosanna Freyre, and Zhanao Deng

b). Specific objectives include: 1) assessment of plant performance, growth, and flowering among cultivars; 2) determination of seed production, viability, and germination among cultivars; and 3) confirmation of ploidy number and potential for

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Mou Zong-min, Yan Ning, Li Shu-yun, and Hu Hong

input is unnecessary for seed production of P. armeniacum . Other researchers working with other orchids have also showed the inhibitory effects of large quantities of N on reproductive development ( Duan and Yazawa, 1995 ; Lindhard and Hansen, 1997

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Derek W. Barchenger, Danise L. Coon, and Paul W. Bosland

across environments, suggesting that soil type and farm management strategies should be considered when applying ethephon. Nevertheless, ethephon can be effective for efficient breeder seed production in chile pepper crops by reducing, although not

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Edward C. Tigchelaar

The coupling phase linkages have been synthesized between the gene aw (without anthocyanin) and the male sterile gene ms15 (and its alleles ms26, ms47, and an Israeli source of male sterility). Less than 2 map units separate aw and ms15 on chromosome 2, providing a convenient seedling marker gene to rapidly identify male sterility for both inbred development and hybrid seed production. The seedling marker also provides a convenient marker to rapidly assess hybrid seed purity. Unique features of each of the alleles involved in male sterility and their use in inbred and hybrid development will be described.