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K.A. Malik, Christena Visser, and praveen K. saxena

In vitro regeneration by shoot organogenesis and-or somatic embryogenesis is accomplished by culturing the explants on a nutrient medium supplemented with phytohormones. Auxins in general, and 2,4-D in particular, have been shown to induce somatic embryogenesis whereas shoot regeneration is stimulated by cytokinins. In studying the morphoregulatory role of thidiazuron (TDZ) - a substituted urea with cytokinin-like activity - we found that it induces a high frequency of both organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis depending upon the plant species. For instance, whole seedlings of peanut developed somatic embryos and those of bean and pea produced shoots in response to culture on TDZ (1-40 μM)-supplemented media. In cultured explants of geranium, the use of TDZ (0.2-1 μM) effectively replaced the requirement of 2,4-D or BAP and IAA for obtaining somatic embryos. The frequency of regeneration was two to ten times higher than that achieved with auxin-cytokinin combinations. While no direct evidence is currently available to establish a relationship between TDZ and endogenous phytohormones, our results suggest that it may act by establishing endogenously the auxin:cytokinin ratio permissive of induction and expression of morphogenically competent cells.

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Richard L. Fery* and Judy A. Thies

Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are major pests of pepper (Capsicum spp.) in the United States, and parasitism of susceptible plants can result in severe yield losses. Although cultivars belonging to the species C. annuum account for most of the peppers grown in the United States. Habanero-type cultivars belonging to the species C. chinense are becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately, all commercial Habanero-type cultivars are susceptible to root-knot nematodes. In 1997, the USDA released three C. chinense germplasm lines that exhibit high levels of resistance to root-knot nematodes. The resistance in these lines is conditioned by a single dominant gene, and this gene conditions resistance to the southern root-knot nematode (M. incognita), the peanut root-knot nematode (M. arenaria race 1), and the tropical root-knot nematode (M. javanica). A recurrent backcross breeding procedure has been used to transfer the C. chinense root-knot nematode resistance gene in Habanero-type germplasm. Several root-knot nematode resistant, Habanero-type candidate cultivars have been developed. Each of these Habanero-type candidate cultivars has a compact plant habit and produces a high yield of orange-colored, lantern-shaped fruit.

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Yousheng Duan, Zhiqiang Ju, Liye Ju, and Aixin Guo

Effects of 10% plant oils (corn, soybean, peanut, canola, sunflower, safflower, rape seed, linseed, and cottonseed), 100 mg·L-1 chlorine, or 100 mg·L-1 chlorine plus 10% oil combinations on pathogen (B. cinerea, P. expansum, or G. cingulata) infection and fruit decay in `Delicious' apples and `Ya Li' pears were studied. None of the oils showed inhibition on spore germination of the three pathogens by in vitro test. In inoculated fruit, oil treatments did not affect incidence but reduced severity of decay after 6 months storage at 0 °C plus 7 days at 20 °C, but no difference was found among the oils at the same concentration. In non-inoculated fruit, oils reduced fruit decay to low levels (4%) even in the most severe season. Oils also maintained fruit quality attributes, reduced water loses, and controlled scald in apples and internal browning in pears. Chlorine reduced incidence but did not reduce severity in decayed fruit. Fruit first drenched with chlorine then dipped in oil emulsions without pathogen inoculation remained decay free, while control fruit developed 10% to 15% or 13% to 23% decay after 6 months at 0 °C plus 7 days at 20 °C in both apples and pears, respectively.

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Yousheng Duan, Zhiqiang Ju, and Zhiguo Ju

Effects of different plant oils (soybean, corn, peanut, cottonseed, conola, sunflower, safflower, rape seed, and linseed) on mealiness, leatheriness, and flesh browning (FB) in `Elegant Lady' peaches (Prunus persica Batsch) were studied. Fruit were harvested at three dates (10 days apart) with the second harvest concomitant to commercial harvest, dipped in a 5% or 10% oil emulsion for 3 min, and stored at 0 or 5 °C, respectively. After 6 weeks at 0 °C, fruit developed more leatheriness and FB but less mealiness in early harvested compared to late-harvested fruit. When stored at 5 °C, fruit did not develop any leatheriness regardless of harvest dates, but fruit from the last harvest developed high levels of mealiness and FB compare with fruit from the other two harvests. FB was found only, but not in all, leathery or mealy fruit. None of the oils affected leatheriness, but all reduced mealiness to the same extent at the same concentration. Oil treatments controlled FB completely in both leathery and mealy fruit. Oil at 10 % was more effective in controlling mealiness and FB than at 5%. Oil-treated fruit had higher flesh firmness and titratable acidity and developed less decay than the controls at removal from storage.

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Pierre C. Robert

The new agricultural system called soil/site specific crop management (SSCM), now more generally named precision agriculture (precision farming) is the start of a revolution in natural resource management based on INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND CONTROL: it is bringing agriculture in the digital and information age. New technologies in the early 80s, particularly the microprocessor, made possible the development in the United States of farm machinery computers and controllers, the electronic acquisition and process of spatial field data to build farm geographic record keeping systems, the production of soil/site specific condition and management maps using GIS, the positioning of machines using GPS, and the development of real-time soil and crop sensors, particularly yield sensors. The concept of precision agriculture originated from a better awareness of soil and crop conditions variability within fields. The variability of soil conditions within parcels in the U.S. has been demonstrated in many ways (soil survey, soil sampling, and remote sensing) for both soil nutrients and soil physical properties (e.g., available water and compaction). It is progressively found that the concept of precision agriculture can be applied to a variety of crops and practices; management technological levels; and farm types and sizes. For example, in addition to grain crops (corn, soybeans, and wheat), applications are now developed for sugar beet and sugar cane, potato, cotton, peanut, vegetables, turf, or- chard, livestock, tree plantation, etc. Precision agriculture is still in infancy but it is the agricultural system of the future because it offers a unique variety of potential benefits in profitability, productivity, sustainability, crop quality, food safety, environmental protection, on-farm quality of life, and rural economic development.

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Jose Linares, Johannes Scholberg, Carlene Chase, Robert McSorley, and James Fergusson

Lack of effective weed control may hamper organic citrus establishment. Cover crop/weed biomass (CCW) indices were used to assess the effectiveness of annual and perennial cover crops (CC) in reducing weed growth. The CCW values for perennial peanut (PP) were 0.06, 0.14, 0.4, and 0.5 during 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, respectively (very poor to poor weed control). Initial PP growth was slow and repeated mowing was required, but, over time, PP became more effective in controlling weeds. Weed biomass with sunn hemp was 0.3 Mg/ha in 2002 (CCW = 25, outstanding weed control) compared to 1.4 Mg/ha with use of cowpea (CCW = 1) in 2004. In 2004, the dry weights (Mg/ha) for different summer CC were: hairy indigo = 7.6, pigeon pea = 7.6, sunn hemp = 5.3, cowpea = 5.1, alyce clover = 2.9, velvet bean = 1.3, and lablab bean = 0.8. Corresponding 2005 values were: 9.5, 3.7, 12.6, 1.0, 1.9, and 1.4. Respective CCWI values were: 7, 4, 2, 16, 28, 0.6, and 0.3 (2004) vs. 17, 2, 64, 80, 0.5, 2, and 14. In 2004, winter CC production (Mg/ha) was radish (R) = 3.2, crimson clover (CR) = 1.7, oats (O) + lupine = 1.6, and rye (WR)/vetch (V) mix = 1.1. Results for 2005 were: CR + R + WR = 8.0, WR = 6.0; CR + WR = 5.3, CR = 5.0, CR + O + WR = 5.0, R = 4.3, and O = 3.6 Mg/ha. Corresponding values for CCW-indices were 15, 2, 1, and 3 (2004) and 100, 25, 76, 35, 62, 11, and 16 (2005). Although OMRI-approved herbicides showed up to 84% weed injury for selected species, none of these products provided long-term weed control. Combination of repeated tillage, use of compact/reseeding CC mixes in tree rows, more vigorous annual CC and/or perennial PP in row middle and repeated use of organic herbicides near sprinklers and tree trunks are thus required to ensure effective weed suppression in organic citrus.

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Richard L. Fery and Judy A. Thies

dominant gene conditioning a high level of resistance to the southern root-knot nematode [ Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White], the peanut root-knot nematode [ M. arenaria (Neal) Chitwood], and the tropical root-knot nematode [ M. javanica

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Judy A. Thies, Amnon Levi, Jennifer J. Ariss, and Richard L. Hassell

southern RKN ( Meloidogyne incognita ), peanut RKN ( Meloidogyne arenaria ), and Javanese RKN ( Meloidogyne javanica ). The watermelon plants grafted on ‘RKVL-318’ rootstock had considerable yield advantage over non-grafted watermelon plants in fields

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Lea Corkidi, Jeff Bohn, and Mike Evans

significant reduction on the mycorrhizal colonization of peanut ( Arachis hypogaea ), but high concentrations of fenvalerate did not affect the symbiosis and the percentage of mycorrhizal colonization increased when it was applied at concentrations of 5 and 10

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Geoffrey Meru and Cecilia McGregor

, 2012 ; Prothro et al., 2012 ) and a high protein content ( Gusmini et al., 2004 ). Whereas extensive research has been carried out toward improvement of the yield and quality of oil for the major oil crops such as soybean, sunflower, peanut ( Arachis