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John Norelli, JoAnn Mills, and Herb Aldwinckle

In vitro–grown leaves of Malus ×domestica Borkh. cv. Royal Gala were either crush-wounded with forceps, cut, or left whole, and then inoculated with A. tumefaciens strain EHA105 (p35SGUS_INT), with and without vacuum infiltration. Transformation was quantified 13 days after inoculation by determining the rate of β-glucuronidase (GUS) activity. Leaf wounding by crushing with nontraumatic forceps significantly increased transformation when compared with cutting leaves. Vacuum infiltration of inoculum had no effect on transformation.

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Wesley R. Autio, Duane W. Greene, Daniel R. Cooley, and James R. Schupp

Increasing the N application rate (in the form NH4NO3 to newly planted `Marshall McIntosh'/M.9 apple (Malus domestica, Borkh.) trees beyond 76 g N per tree per year reduced growth in the first two growing seasons. Peat moss or composted manure mixed into the planting hole of `Royal Gala'/M.26 increased growth in the first growing season after planting. The soil-active fungicides, fosetyl-Al and metalaxyl, increased trunk and shoot growth of `Royal Gala'/M.26 in the first season after planting. Mulching enhanced growth of `Gala'/M.26 only in the third season after planting, a season during which the region experienced a drought. Mulching significantly increased bloom on `Gala'/M.26 2 years after planting. The growth of `Royal Gala'/M.26, `Marshall McIntosh'/M.26, and `Ace Delicious'/M.26 was not affected by planting technique planting by hand in 61-cm augered holes vs. planting with a mechanical tree planter. Chemical names used N-(2,6-dimethyl-phenyl)-N-(methloxyacetyl)alanine methyl ester (metalaxyl); aluminum tris (O-ethyl phosphonate) (fosetyl-Al); 1,1'-dimethyl-4-4'-bipyridinium ion (paraquat); isopropylamine salt of N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine (glyphosate).

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Maria J. Sindoni V. and Frank B. Matta

Several cultivar/rootstock combinations were evaluated for overall performance in Mississippi. This study included postharvest fruit quality during storage as influenced by the various rootstocks. Parameters measured were fruit set, scion and stock trunk cross-sectional area, fire blight tolerance, fruit drop, and maturity indices such as fruit size, firmness, fresh fruit weight, soluble solids content, and juice pH. Cultivar/rootstock combinations were `Earligold'/EMLA 7, `Jonagold'/EMLA 111, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 7, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 111, `Scarlet Gala' /EMLA 7, `Jonafree'/Mark, `Macspur'/M 7A, `Royal Gala'/MM 111, and `Williams Pride'/M 7A. Cultivar and rootstock influenced fruit set. `Royal Gala', `Scarlet Gala', `Improved Golden', and `Earligold' showed maximum fruit set among the various cultivars. MM 111 and EMLA 7 rootstocks increased fruit set. Scion cultivars had the greatest trunk diameter on EMLA 111 and MM 111 and the smallest diameter on Mark. Scion cultivars on Mark and M 7A rootstocks showed less susceptibility to fire blight compared to MM 111 and EMLA 111. Cultivars on EMLA 7 showed moderate susceptibility to fire blight. Cultivars `Jonafree', `Williams Pride', `Macspur', and `Scarlet Gala' were least susceptible to fire blight compared to `Royal Gala'. The remaining cultivars were intermediate in susceptibility to fire blight. Fruit size, firmness, fresh fruit weight, soluble solids content, and juice pH were influenced by cultivar. `Jonagold' and `Williams Pride' produced the largest fruit, while `Jonafree' and `Macspur' yielded the smallest fruit. Total soluble solids were not influenced by cultivar and rootstock combinations. Sugar content of the juice increased as the apples matured and ranged from 12% to 14% among the cultivar/rootstock combinations. Firmness was influenced by cultivar but not rootstock. `Jonafree', `Macspur' had firm fruit, while fruit of `Scarlet Gala', `Williams Pride', and `Earligold' was not as firm. After harvest, the cultivars were stored at 2 °C for ≈4 months under controlled conditions and evaluated for soluble solids content, titratable acidity, pH, and firmness at monthly intervals. Overall, firmness, soluble solids content, and titratable acidity in all cultivars decreased with time in storage. `Improved Golden'/EMLA 7, `Royal Gala'/MM 111, and `Jonagold'/EMLA 111 maintained quality during storage, compared with the remaining cultivars/rootstock combinations, and had a longer storage life.

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Eugene J. Hague and Denise Neilsen

A system for the rapid production of Ottawa-3 (0.3) rootstock (Malus domestica Borkh.) and branched apple nursery stock in the greenhouse is described. The time required for production of a finished' tree, ≈1 year, compared favorably with traditional methods. Cuttings derived from tissue-cultured 0.3 rootstocks rooted well (up to 94% success rate), and the rooting effect persisted in cuttings from tissuecultured rootstocks grown for 1 year in the field. All combinations of two levels of N and P in a Long Ashton nutrient solution were applied weekly to pots containing either tissue-cultured rootstocks or cuttings. The growth rate of tissue-cultured rootstocks exceeded that of cuttings. The growth rate of both sources of rootstocks increased in response to added P and N. Growth of scion shoots (`Royal Gala') increased in response to N. Branch production of `Royal Gala' was greater for trees with the higher P and N rates. Trees on tissue-cultured rootstocks had more branches than those on cuttingderived roostocks at the higher level of N.

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Maria J. Sindoni and Frank B. Matta

Maturity indices such as fruit size, firmness, fresh fruit weight, soluble solids content, titratable acidity, and juice pH of `Earligold'/EMLA 7, `Jonagold'/EMLA 111, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 7, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 111, `Scarlet Gala'/EMLA 7, `Jonafree'/Mark, `Macspur'/M 7A, `Royal Gala'/MM 111, and `Williams Pride'/M 7A were monitored. Based on maturity indices analysis, the optimal harvest time for each scion rootstock combination was determined. `Scarlet Gala'/EMLA 7, `Williams Pride'/M 7A, and `Earligold'/EMLA 7 were early cultivars, while `Jonagold'/ /EMLA 111, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 7, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 111, and `Macspur'/M 7A were late cultivars. After harvest, all cultivars were stored for 3 months under controlled conditions. Changes in fruit appearance, flavor, sweetness, tartness, and firmness were recorded. Fruit size, firmness, fresh fruit weight, soluble solids content, and juice pH were influenced by the cultivar/rootstock combination. Results of the sensory evaluation indicated that medium and late cultivars were preferred by panelists compared to the early harvested cultivars. `Improved Golden'/EMLA 7, `Royal Gala'/MM 111, and `Jonagold'/EMLA 111 combinations maintained quality during storage, compared with the remaining cultivars/rootstock combinations, and had a longer storage life.

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Usman Siswanto and Frank B. Matta

This study was established to determine the influence of scion/stock combination on leaf area, yield efficiency, and fruit quality attributes in effort to identify the most suitable scion/stock combination for Mississippi. Twenty-nine scion/stock combinations were grown at the Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Research and Extension Center, North Mississippi. The treatments were arranged in a completely randomized design (CRD) with six single tree replications. `Jon-A-Red' on Mark produced the smallest leaf area, while the largest leaf area was produced by the combination of `Royal Gala' on MM106 and `Blushing Golden' on M7A. Scion/stock combinations significantly affected yield efficiency, fruit yellow pigment dvelopment, firmness and fruit mineral composition. Scion cultivars on Mark resulted in the highest yield efficiency, except `Empire'. `Ultra Gold' and `Braeburn' on Mark and `Blushing Golden' on MM111 led to yellow pigmentation in the highest category. Meanwhile, `Braeburn' on Mark was among the scion/stock combinations that produced the firmest fruit. And fruit from trees on Mark consistently had high calcium (Ca) levels. After 7 years, `Royal Gala' on Mark produced the highest yield efficiency. `Braeburn' on Mark resulted in both the firmest fruit and the highest fruit Ca concentration.

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Emily Hoover, S. McArtney, S. Tustin, M. White, and P. Hirst

Experiments were initiated to document the effect of cultivar, GA4+7, and number of fruit/spur on appendage number and flower bud initiation in apple. `Pacific Rose' is strongly biennial, `Braeburn' and `Fuji' are moderately biennial, and `Royal Gala' is not biennial. In the cultivar study, buds were sampled every 18 days starting at 50 days after full bloom and continuing through until leaf fall to determine the rate of appendage formation and appendage number in relation to doming. Because of the tendency for `Pacific Rose' to exhibit biennial bearing, the rate of appendage formation and the timing of doming were compared on nonfruiting trees, trees carrying a commercial crop, and trees sprayed with 300 PPM GA4+7 applied 14 days after full bloom. Number of appendages for the treatments were similar up to 100 days after full bloom. Presence of fruit on a spur has been demonstrated to inhibit flowering of apple. Spurs of `Pacific Rose', `Splendor', and `Royal Gala' were labeled with zero, one, two, and three fruit per spur and sampled three times during the season. As buds were harvested to count appendage number, the number of fruit per spur and the number of total seeds per spur were recorded. Correlation between number of seeds per spur and rate of appendage formation were done.

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Doron Schneider, Raphael A. Stern, and Martin Goldway

Apple (Malus domestica) has a gametophytic self-incompatibility (GSI) system. Consequently, fertilization is achieved by cross-pollination with a compatible pollinator. Compatibility is governed by a multiallelic S locus. Cultivars are fully compatible when both of their S-loci differ and are semi compatible when one locus is identical and the other differs. In a previous study we found that the fruit set and yield of the apple cultivar `Topred' was reduced when it was pollinated by a semi compatible cultivar. To examine if this occurrence is a general feature in apples grown under suboptimal conditions, three additional cultivars, `Golden Delicious', `Granny Smith' and `Royal Gala', were studied as pollen recipients of semi and fully compatible pollinators. Based on PCR analysis of the S-RNase allele, it was determined that the pollination rate of the semi compatible was significantly lower than that of the fully compatible pollinator in all cases. This was reflected by the lower fruit set and seed set of `Golden Delicious' and `Royal Gala', but not of `Granny Smith'. In hand pollination experiments, where pollen was in excess, no difference was found between the semi and fully compatible pollinators in all three cases. These results indicate that the low yield, conferred by semi compatible pollinators, is due to insufficient cross-pollination (and not to cultivar characteristics). Thus, low yields due to semi compatibility may be avoided by appropriate honeybee management that will increase pollination. Still, under suboptimal conditions, for growth and pollination, full compatibility is preferable.

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Hua Gao, Zheng-yang Zhao, Yu-miao Lu, Yi-zhen Wan, Lei-cun Wang, Jing-jun Yuan, and Peter M. Hirst

‘Qinyang’, an open-pollinated progeny of ‘Royal Gala’, is a new early-ripening apple cultivar with high fruit quality. Fruit of ‘Qinyang’ are very sweet, crisp, juicy, and attractive. Fruit size is large with average weight of 198 g, shape is

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F.A. Hammerschlag, R.H. Zimmerman, U.L. Yadava, S. Hunsucker, and P. Gercheva

A range of antibiotics was evaluated for their effect on eliminating Agrobacterium tumefaciens supervirulent strain EHA101(pEHA101) from leaf explants of `Royal Gala' apple (Malus domestica Borkh) and on regeneration. After long-term (38 days) exposure to 100-μgml–1 concentrations of either cefotaxime (cef), carbenicillin (carb), mefoxin (mef), or combinations of these antibiotics, only on carb or carb with mef was regeneration not inhibited. None of the above antibiotics or antibiotic combinations eliminated A. tumefaciens from leaf explants. Short-term (1-18 hours), vacuum infiltration with 500- to 1000-μgml–1 concentrations of either of the above antibiotics did not inhibit regeneration, but did not eliminate A. tumefaciens from leaf explants. After a 30-min vacuum infiltration with a 2000-μgml–1 concentration of either cef, carb, or mef, only cef reduced the number of leaf explants with A. tumefaciens.