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Stephen L. Love, Asunta Thompson-Johns, and Timothy P. Baker

Eight hundred and fifty-three clones of Russet Burbank and 1012 clones of Lemhi Russet were obtained from Native Plants, Inc. in 1988. The clones were produced via a tissue culture system designed to produce somoclonal variants. Four cycles of selection were completed from 1988-1991. Selection was based on resistance to blackspot bruise, a tuber flesh discoloration caused by condensation of free tyrosine; or the ability to produce light french fry color following cold storage. At the end of the four selection cycles all but six Russet Burbank clones and seven Lemhi Russet clones were eliminated. ANOVA across years was completed for the eleven somaclonal variants and Russet Burbank and Lemhi Russet checks.

Of the Russet Burbank clones, three were significantly (p = .05) more resistant to blackspot bruise and one had significantly better fry color after cold storage. All four clones had significantly reduced yield in comparison to the check clones. Of the Lemhi Russet clones, three were significantly more resistant to blackspot bruise, and four had significantly better fry color than the check clone. Only one of the seven clones (one with superior fry color designated L1908) did not show a significantly lower yield potential.

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Xin Zhao, Edward E. Carey, and Fadi M. Aramouni

Consumers of organic food tend to believe that it tastes better than its conventional counterpart. However, there is a lack of scientific studies on sensory analysis of organic food. A consumer taste test was conducted to compare the acceptability of organically and conventionally grown spinach. Spinach samples were collected from organically and conventionally managed plots at the Kansas State University Research and Extension Center, Olathe. One hundred-twenty-two untrained panelists (80 female and 42 male) participated in this consumer study. Fresh and 1-week-old spinach leaves were evaluated by 60 and 62 consumers, respectively, using a 9-point hedonic scale (9 = like extremely, 5 = neither like nor dislike, 1 = dislike extremely). The ANOVA results showed that fresh organic spinach had a higher preference score than corresponding conventional spinach, although not at a significant level (P = 0.1790). For the 1-week-old spinach, the difference diminished, and instead, conventional spinach had a higher preference rating. Among 61 consumers who made comments regarding the sensory evaluation, 29 claimed that organic spinach was more tasty and flavorful; 19 consumers thought conventional spinach was better; 13 consumers could not tell the difference. Even though this consumer study did not reveal significant differences in consumer preference for organic vs. conventional spinach, further well-designed sensory tests are warranted given the trends indicated in our study. Assessment of sensory attributes of organic vegetables after storage also deserves further attention. Ideally, both consumer tests and descriptive analysis using trained panelists will be considered.

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Kathleen Delate

Organic farming has increased to a $4.2 billion industry in the U.S. and continues to expand ≈20% annually. In Iowa alone, organic acreage for all crops has increased from 13,000 in 1995 to 120,000 in 1998. Organic farmers have requested an unbiased analysis of natural soil amendments/fertilizers and compost products on the market for certified organic vegetable and herb production. In our first-year trials at the ISU Muscatine Island Research Farm in 1998, a total of 1,120 `Hungarian wax' pepper plants were transplanted into rows at 31 × 61-cm spacing. Four replications of seven fertilization treatments were planted within the field. The goal of the fertilization program was to obtain equivalent nitrogen and calcium rates in the organic and conventional systems. Leaf height was not significantly different in plants fertilized with organic compost (poultry litter-based) at 50 and 100 kg/ha N compared with conventional fertilizers (at 100 kg/ha N). All organic and conventional treatments had greater biomass than the organic and conventional controls (no fertilizer), respectively (ANOVA, P = 0.05). First harvest fresh weights were greater in the organic treatments, with the greatest number of peppers and greatest fresh weight in the compost plus Bio-Cal® (a liming industry by-product) treatment. Total pepper fresh weight over the five harvest periods was not significantly different among treatments, demonstrating to organic farmers that comparable yields can be obtained in systems employing alternatives to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

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Rebecca Grumet, Mary Barczak, Chris Tabaka, and Robert Duvall

A simple, aboveground method to study cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) root growth was developed using a subsurface herbicide banding technique. Those plants with roots that grow deeper or faster reach the herbicide sooner and exhibit herbicide injury symptoms sooner. Greenhouse pot trials showed that 0.25 or 0.50 kg simazine/ha could be used to produce distinctive symptoms; time to symptom expression increased with the depth of the band from the soil surface. Root washing experiments verified that root length was associated with response time. In field trials, response time and severity of symptoms varied with herbicide concentration, depth, and distance from the seed row, thereby providing an indication of where the roots were in the soil. About 100 diverse cucumber genotypes were tested for differences in root growth rate in the greenhouse and in the field. Time to symptom expression was normally distributed among the genotypes; analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated significant genotypic differences. This system can be used for cultural or physiological studies, or nondestructively for selection and breeding purposes. If the herbicide is placed sufficiently deep to prevent damage to the cotyledons, the plants are capable of flowering and producing fruit. Chemical name used: 6-chloro-N, N′-diethyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (simazine).

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Christina Wells, Karen Townsend, Judy Caldwell, Donald Ham, E. Thomas Smiley, and Michael Sherwood

Landscape trees are frequently planted with their root collars below grade, and it has been suggested that such deep planting predisposes trees to transplant failure and girdling root formation. The objective of the present research was to examine the effect of planting depth on the health, survival, and root development of two popular landscape trees, red maple (Acer rubrum) and `Yoshino' cherry (Prunus ×yedoensis). Trees were transplanted with their root flares at grade, 15 cm below grade or 31 cm below grade. Deep planting had a strong negative effect on the short-term survival of `Yoshino' cherries. Two years posttransplant, 50% of the 15-cm- and 31-cm-deep planted cherries had died, whereas all the control cherries had survived (P< 0.001; 2). Short-term survival of maples was not affected by planting depth. Deep-planted trees of both species exhibited little fine root regrowth into the upper soil layers during the first year after transplant. Four years posttransplant, control maples had 14% ± 19% of their trunk circumference encircled by girdling or potentially-girdling roots; this number rose to 48% ± 29% and 71% ± 21% for 15-cm- and 31-cm-deep planted maples, respectively (P< 0.01; ANOVA main effect). There were no treatment-related differences in girdling root development in the cherries.

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John D. Downes

Animal waste disposal from large operations is an increasing problem, and its value as a fertilizer needs to be determined. Strip tests often are unreplicated creating problems in analysis. In an unreplicated Georgia farm test involving a three manure (0, 1, 2 loads/acre) × 3 N (0, 70, 90 lb/acre) factorial on corn yield from the control plot was not included, making n = 8, and precluding the usual ANOVA and means comparisons. Partial budget analysis is compared to regression analysis and economic evaluation at varying input costs and corn prices. Best estimates were obtained by finding the N equivalent of manure [(56.4 lb N)/load] and regressing yield on sum of N (Nf + Nm), which estimated Y = –14.0 + 1.1724N – 0.00324NN, RR = .982, F = 136.38, P > F =.000, sye = 3.0 bushel/acre, from which Nmax = 181, Ymax = 92.1 bushel/acre. Nopt varied from 139 to 172 bushel/acre with cost N varying from $0.14/lb (manure cost) to $0.40/lb, and corn prices from $1.50 to $2.50/bushel. Manure thus valued at 16.92 per load when costing $8.00, assuming 56.4 lbs/load N. Major point was estimation N equivalent of manure from yield effects and then regression yield on N. Equation easily converted to one in M.

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Kathryn S. Orvis and Irwin L. Goldman

Heart attack and stroke, a leading cause of death in the United States, have been associated with blood platelet aggregation. Onion extract inhibits blood platelet aggregation both in vitro and in vivo. Current trends toward natural foods and health remedies may point to the importance of onion-induced antiplatelet activity (OIAA). The genetic control of OIAA has yet to be revealed. One-hundred-eighty-three F3 families were derived from a long-day mild inbred line crossed to a long-day pungent inbred line that differ by for OIAA by 67%. Families were grown in a RCB design with two replications in muck soil (Randolph, Wis.) in 1997. Extracts were made from crushing bulb tissue in a mechanical juicer. F3 families were evaluated for OIAA and soluble solids (SS). OIAA was measured by electrical impedance aggregometry using two human blood donors. Endpoint (ohms) and slope of the aggregation curve were recorded. SS were measured by refractometry. F3 families were significantly different for OIAA and SS (P < 0.0001) in the ANOVA. A strong positive correlation of 0.96 was revealed for slope of curve and endpoint across families, replications, and blood donors. This correlation has not been previously reported for onion and suggests that for these families, descriptions of OIAA based on either rate of aggregation or endpoint are functionally equivalent. Both SS and OIAA exhibit transgressive segregation in this group of F3 families. Twenty percent exhibit OIAA stronger than the pungent parent and 5% were less than the mild parent. The family with the highest OIAA was 4-fold higher than the pungent parent of the cross, which could be useful in future onion breeding efforts. In addition, transgressive segregation in these families aids in QTL investigations for OIAA, SS and other economically important traits.

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Shann Tanner, Christina Wells, and Gregory Reighard

The effectiveness of soil solarization as an alternative to methyl bromide (MBr) fumigation in replanted peach orchards was investigated at the Musser Fruit Research Farm near Clemson, S.C. A split plot experimental design was used, with soil treatment as the whole-plot factor and rootstock as the sub-plot factor. In Spring 2002, preexisting trees were removed from the study site, and six orchard rows were cultivated and subsoiled. In June, two rows were covered with clear polyethylene sheeting and solarized for the remainder of the summer. In November, two additional rows were treated with MBr (474.3 kg·ha-1), while the two remaining control rows received no soil sterilization treatment. In Jan. 2003, 36 `Redglobe' peach trees budded on Guardian™ or Lovell rootstock were transplanted to the site, and one minirhizotron was installed beneath each tree. Minirhizotron observations were made every 14–21 days from Feb. through Oct. 2003, and stem caliper measurements were taken on four dates during this interval. Trees grew significantly larger in the MBr and solarized rows than in the control rows (P< 0.1; Tukey's hsd), but there were no differences in stem caliper growth between MBr and solarization-treated trees. Reduced aboveground growth in control trees may have been related to greater carbon expenditure belowground: in the absence of soil sterilization, fine root median life spans were reduced by 27–28 days (P< 0.0001; proportional hazards regression) and rates of root production and mortality were significantly higher (P< 0.1; repeated measures ANOVA). Solarization and MBr fumigation appeared to provide similar benefits in reducing root turnover and improving aboveground growth at this site.

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Mondher Bouden and Jacques-Andre Rioux

The richness of the organic residues in certain fertilizing elements justifies their valorization in horticulture. However, their contents in pathogenic and toxic elements can restrict their use. In this context, this study was conducted in order to evaluate the effect of three organic residues on the environmental medium and the risks of water contamination by the release of heavy metals. Physocarpus opulifolius `Nanus' was transplanted into four substrates. The control substrate contained 4 peatmoss: 5 composted conifer bark: 1 fine crushed gravel (by volume). The three other substrates (25% of peatmoss was substituted by organic residue) contained 10% of fresh bio-filters (FBF), 10% of composted sewage sludges (CSS), or 10% of de-inking sludges (CDS). The pots (5l) were placed in plastic vats and the drainage water was recovered in vessels (17l). The experimental design was in complete blocks with six replications. Samples of the drainage water were collected every 2 weeks for analysis. The pots were fertilized every week (400 mg/Ll of N) and growth parameters were statistically analyzed by ANOVA. The chemical analysis of the residues proves that they contain weak concentrations in organic contaminants. There is an accumulation of \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} in drainage water following the fertilization; the same applies to sulfates and potassium. On the other hand, heavy metals are not released in important concentrations and so the lead, zinc, manganese, and copper contents do not exceed the desirable limits. Moreover, the Physocarpus plants produced in CSS substrates had a growth significantly larger than those plants produced in FBF or CDS substrates. The three organic residues do not constitute a risk of pollution for the environment.

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Rachel B. Elkins, Janet D. Turner, Steve Castagnoli, Clark F. Seavert, Elizabeth J. Mitcham, William V. Biasi, and Ann Colonna

Assessing consumer acceptance is an important aspect of cultivar evaluation. Since 2002, about 2700 consumers have participated in pear preference surveys. Surveys were conducted on multiple dates and at multiple venues from 2002 to 2005 in Oregon and northern California. Survey participants were asked to indicate their preference for pears based on size, appearance, taste, and overall preference. They were also asked to indicate what attributes they liked or disliked about their favorite and least favorite varieties and to indicate their level of purchase intent. Each survey consisted of four to six cultivars, including at least one standard commercial comparison; i.e., Bartlett, Bosc, or Anjou. Data was analyzed (RCBD; Friedman Analysis of Rank or ANOVA/Tukey's HSD) at the OSU Food Innovation Center Experiment Station using Compusense® five v.4.6 software (Guelph, Ont., Canada). Results indicated several alternative possibilities for both summer and winter sales. Among the most preferred cultivars (variable between states) were Anjou (commercial standard winter pear), Bartlett (commercial standard summer pear and most-consumed cultivar), Blake's Pride, Cinnamon, Concorde, and 71655-014. Other major findings were preference for large pears for adults and small for children, overall liking based on sweetness and flavor rather than skin color, and general lack of knowledge of many commercial pear cultivars. Sensory evaluation surveys will be continued in 2006 in California, with focus on differential harvest times for selected preferred cultivars. Consumer preference data is being combined with production and postharvest quality data in order to provide the pear industry a comprehensive data set on potential alternative cultivars.