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Lawrence R. Parsons, T. Adair Wheaton, and William S. Castle

Conversion of wastewater to reclaimed water for crop irrigation conserves water and is an effective way to handle a growing urban problem: the disposal of wastewater. Water Conserv II is a large reclaimed water project developed by Orlando and Orange County, Fla., that presently irrigates ≈1900 ha of citrus. The project includes a research component to evaluate the response of citrus to irrigation using reclaimed water. Citrus trees in an experimental planting responded well to very high application rates of reclaimed water. Irrigation treatments included annual applications of 400 mm of well water, and 400, 1250, and 2500 mm of reclaimed water. The 2500-mm rate is excessive, and since disposal was of interest, this rate was used to determine if citrus could tolerate such high rates of irrigation. The effects of these treatments were compared on `Hamlin' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] and `Orlando' tangelo (C. paradisi Macf. × C. reticulata Blanco) combined with four rootstocks: Carrizo citrange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb. × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.], Cleopatra mandarin (C. reticulata Blanco), sour orange (C. aurantium L.), and Swingle citrumelo (C. paradisi × P. trifoliata). Growth and fruit production were greatest at the highest irrigation rate. Concentration of soluble solids in the juice was usually lowered by the highest irrigation rate, but total soluble solids per hectare were 15.5% higher compared to the 400-mm rate, due to the greater fruit production. While fruit soluble solids were usually lowered by higher irrigation, the reduction in fruit soluble solids observed on three of the rootstocks did not occur in trees on Carrizo citrange. Fruit peel color score was lower but juice color score was higher at the highest irrigation rate. Crop efficiency (fruit production per unit of canopy volume) was usually lower at the 2500-mm rate and declined as trees grew older. Weed cover increased with increasing irrigation rate, but was controllable. Irrigation with high rates of reclaimed water provided a satisfactory disposal method for treated effluent, benefited growth and production of citrus, and eliminated the need for other sources of irrigation water. Reclaimed water, once believed to be a disposal problem in Florida, is now considered to be one way to meet irrigation demands.

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A.K. Alva and T.A. Obreza

Citrus trees planted in alkaline soils typically show iron (Fe) deficiency chlorosis. Currently, Fe-EDDHA (ethylenediiminobis-2-hydroxyphenyl acetic acid) chelate is the most effective source of Fe for high pH soils. Iron humate (FeH), a by-product of the drinking water decolorization process, was compared with Fe-EDDHA for Fe deficiency correction on nonbearing `Ambersweet' orange and `Ruby Red' grapefruit Citrus paradisi Macf., and bearing `Hamlin' orange Citrus sinensis and `Flame' grapefruit trees, all on Swingle citrumelo rootstock, planted on high pH (>7.6) soils. Iron humate was applied under the tree canopy in spring at rates from 2 to 200 g Fe (nonbearing trees), or 22 to 352 g Fe (bearing trees) per tree per year. Application of FeH to nonbearing trees decreased twig dieback rating and increased flush growth, flush color rating, tree size, and leaf Fe concentration. Addition of urea or ammonium nitrate to FeH did not increase Fe availability. Iron amendments (22 g Fe per tree per year) increased fruit yield after the 1st year of application. Further increases in the rate of Fe, from 22 to 352 g Fe per tree per year as FeH, did not significantly increase tree growth, fruit yield, or fruit quality. This study demonstrated that FeH was an effective Fe source for citrus trees planted on alkaline soils.

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Graham H. Barry, William S. Castle, Frederick S. Davies, and Ramon C. Littell

Sources of variation in juice quality of `Valencia'sweet orange [Citrus sinensis(L.) Osb.] were quantified and their relative contributions to variability in juice quality were determined, from which sample sizes were estimated. Commercial orchards of `Valencia' sweet orange trees on Carrizo citrange [C. sinensis × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] rootstock were selected at four geographic locations representing the major citrus-producing regions in Florida. Within- and between-tree variation in soluble solids concentration (SSC) and titratable acidity (TA) were estimated in two experiments over two or three seasons, respectively. Variance components for all treatment effects were estimated to partition total variation into all possible component sources of variation. Seasonal variation in SSC and TA was relatively small, but larger for TA than SSC. Variation in SSC among blocks within a location was intermediate to low, and was less than variation among locations. In contrast, tree-to-tree variation in SSC and TA was large, in spite of sampling from trees of similar vigor and crop load, and variation in SSC and TA among fruit was relatively large. Based on results of this study, samples consisting of 35 fruit are required to detect differences (P ≤ 0.05) of 0.3% SSC and 0.06% TA, whereas 20-fruit samples can be used to detect differences of 0.4% SSC and 0.08% TA. Seven replications are required to detect differences of 0.5% SSC and 0.1% TA, with small gains in precision when tree numbers exceed 10.

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D.M. Olszyk, G. Kats, C.L. Morrison, P.J. Dawson, I. Gocka, J. Wolf, and C.R. Thompson

Three-year-old `Valencia' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] trees were exposed to air pollutants for 4. years in open-top field chambers to determine the chronic effects of ambient oxidants (primarily ozone) or sulfur dioxide (SO2) on fruit yield and quality and tree growth. Ozone concentrations averaged 0.012,0.040, and 0.075 ppm for 0800 to 2000 hr during April to October for filtered, half-ambient, and full ambient oxidant chambers. Sulfur dioxide was applied continuously at 0.09 ppm. Oxidant and SO2 effects were only marginally significant, as there was considerable variability in response among individual trees and between years. Across two “on” production years, yields were 31% lower with ambient oxidants, 11% lower with half-ambient oxidants, and 29% lower with sulfur dioxide compared to filtered air. Number of fruit per tree was reduced by ambient oxidants and SO2. Individual fruit weights were reduced by ambient oxidants, but no other fruit quality characteristics showed definite responses to ambient oxidants or SO2. Ambient oxidants had no effect on yield or quality of fruit during one “off' production year. Neither ambient oxidants nor SO, affected tree growth.

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Rongcai Yuan, Ulrich Hartmond, and Walter J. Kender

Effects of NAA, TIBA, ethephon, and CMN-Pyrazole on fruit detachment force (FDF) of mature `Valencia' and `Hamlin' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] fruit were examined in 2000 and 2001. NAA effectively inhibited the reduction in FDF or fruit abscission caused by ethephon when applied to the abscission zone 24 hours before ethephon application, but had no significant effect when applied to the fruit without contacting the abscission zone, or to the peduncle ≈4 cm above the abscission zone. TIBA, an auxin transport inhibitor, decreased FDF of mature fruit and promoted fruit abscission when applied alone as a spray to the canopy or directly to the fruit peduncle. This response was dependent on TIBA concentration. TIBA was more effective when applied in combination with ethephon or CMN-Pyrazole than alone. These results are consistent with our previous data that endogenous auxin concentration in the abscission zone of mature `Valencia' orange fruit is one of the factors controlling the sensitivity and thus the responsiveness of the abscission zone of mature fruit to abscission chemicals. Chemical names used: 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-pyrazole (CMN-Pyrazole); 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon); naphthalene acetic acid (NAA); 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA).

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Craig Kallsen

Previous research has shown that nitrogen fertilization rates may influence fruit quality characteristics of navel oranges [(Citrus sinensis) (L.) Osbeck]. The objective of this study was to determine, for equal seasonal N applications, if the timing of the last seasonal nitrogen fertigation promotes early fruit maturity or affects fruit size. The study consisted of four treatments with the total seasonal allocation of nitrogen fertilizer applied by ≈1 May, 1 June, 1 July, and 1 Aug. in an experimental site in a commercial orange grove in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. The source of nitrogen was a liquid calcium ammonium nitrate injected through the irrigation system. No significant treatment differences in soluble solids concentration, titratable acidity, the ratio of soluble solids concentration to titratable acidity, percent juice, fruit color and fruit diameter were detected in fruit sampled in October. Similarly, in September, no significant differences in leaf nitrogen were found among treatments. These results do not support the hypothesis that applying the total seasonal application of nitrogen early in the season results in earlier orange maturity or larger fruit size, at least not for trees that have leaf N in the optimum range.

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Y.C. Li, A.K. Alva, D.V. Calvert, and M. Zhang

It is generally believed that the interception of rain by the citrus tree canopy can substantially decrease the throughfall under the canopy as compared to that along the dripline or outside the canopy (incident rainfall). Therefore, the position of placement of soil-applied agrichemicals in relation to the tree canopy may be an important consideration to minimize their leaching during rain events. In this study, the distributions of rainfall under the tree canopies of three citrus cultivars, `Marsh' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.), `Hamlin' orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck), and `Temple' orange (Citrus hybrid), were evaluated at four directions (north, south, east, west), two positions (dripline and under the canopy), and stem flow. There was not a significant canopy effect on rainfall amounts from stem flow or dripline, compared with outside canopy, for any citrus cultivar or storm event. However, throughfall varied significantly among the four cardinal directions under the canopy of all three citrus cultivars and was highly related to the wind direction. Among the three citrus cultivars evaluated in this study, throughfall, stem flow, and canopy interception accounted for 89.5% to 92.7%, 0.5% to 4.7%, and 5.8% to 9.3% of the incident rainfall, respectively.

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Paola S. Cotroneo, Maria P. Russo, Manuela Ciuni, Giuseppe Reforgiato Recupero, and Angela R. Lo Piero

Genes encoding chalcone synthase (CHS), anthocyanidin synthase (ANS), and UDP-glucose-flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UFGT), some of the enzymes of anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway, were assayed in two different experiments using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR, in order to test their transcription levels in the flesh of blood and common orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] fruit, and to investigate their role in anthocyanin accumulation in the same tissue. The first experiment compared a blood orange and a common orange cultivar during seven different fruit maturation stages. This was followed by the test of 11 different genotypes at the end of the winter season. Data collected from the first experiment, over the blood orange cultivar, were statistically analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient. Results show that CHS, ANS, and UFGT mRNA transcripts are up- and co-regulated in the blood orange cultivar, whereas they are down-regulated in the common orange cultivar. There is evidence of correspondence between the target genes expression level and the content of the pigment assessed. The second test confirms this correlation and shows that enzyme synthesis levels and pigment accumulation, in plants grown under the same environmental conditions, are dependent on the differences occurring among the genotypes tested. These results suggest that the absence of pigment in the common orange cultivars may be caused by the lack of induction on the structural genes expression. This is the first report on the characterization of the relationships between biosynthetic genes expression and fruit flesh anthocyanin content in blood oranges.

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R. Potjewijd, M.O. Nisperos, J.K. Burns, M. Parish, and E.A. Baldwin

Varying the cellulose component of coating formulations affected the survival of two yeast biocontrol agents, Candida guillermondii (Castelani) Langeron and Guerra strain US7 and Debaryomyces sp. strain 230, when these yeasts were incorporated into the coating. Using methylcellulose as the main film-former gave the most recovery of the yeasts after an incubation period for both strains. Significant control of decay on naturally infected `Pineapple' and `Valencia' oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] was demonstrated for US7 in a methylcellulose-based coating for the first 2 to 4 weeks of storage at 16C and 90% relative humidity. During this time, US7 in methylcellulose formulations was similar in decay control to a commercial shellac coating with imazalil at 2000 mg·liter–1. A US7 concentration of at least 105 colony-forming units/cm was maintained on the coated fruit surface of `Valencia' oranges for 3 weeks of storage. Suppression of decay by US7 was improved by the addition of glucose and calcium chloride to the coating formulation. Although nearly equal in concentration recovered, Debaryomyces strain 230 was not as effective as US7 in disease suppression of `Pineapple' oranges. The addition of US7 to Nature Seal, a coating material made with methylcellulose, had neither a quantitative nor a qualitative effect on the pathogen population compared to the same formulation without the antagonist. Chemical name used: 1-[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-2-(2-propenyloxy)ethyl]-1H-imidazole (imazalil).

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Mongi Zekri and Robert C.J. Koo

Controlled-release sources of N and K were compared with soluble sources on young `Valencia' orange trees (Citrus sinensis [L.] Osb.). The effects of these fertilizers on leaf mineral concentration, soil chemical analysis, and tree growth were evaluated for 3 years. Soluble fertilizers were generally more readily available but had shorter residual effects on leaves and soil than controlled-release fertilizers. In the top 30 cm of soil, the plots treated with controlled-release N had 23% more total N than those treated with soluble N sources, while the plots fertilized with controlled-release K contained 56% more extractable K than those that received soluble K. Different effects on leaf and soil N between the two controlled-release N sources, sulfur-coated urea (SCU) and methylene urea (MU), were also found. With the use of controlled-release fertilizers, application frequency was reduced from a total of 15 to six applications with no adverse effects on tree growth, leaf mineral composition, or soil fertility during the first 3 years. Combining soluble and controlled-release fertilizers in a plant nutrition program offers an economical and effective strategy for citrus growers.