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Ahmet Korkmaz and Robert J. Dufault

Cantaloupe seedlings may be repeatedly exposed in the field soon after transplanting to temperatures alternating between almost freezing and optimal temperatures. In the first year of a 2-year study, `Athena' cantaloupe seedlings were exposed in walk-in coolers to temperatures cycling from 2 °C for 3, 6, and 9 hours daily to 25 °C for the rest of the 24-h period. Cold stress was repeated for 1, 3, 6, and 9 days before field planting. In the second year, transplants were exposed to 2 °C for 3, 6, and 9 hours for 3, 6, and 9 days before field transplanting. The objective of this study was to determine the long-term effect of early season cold temperature exposure on seedling growth, earliness, yield and quality by simulating the cold/warm alternations possible in the field in coolers. Cold-stressed transplants were planted in the field after all risk of ambient cold stress was negligible. In both years, exposure to cycling cold temperatures generally did not effect total productivity and fruit quality, although seedling growth characteristics were reduced in response to longer cold-stress treatments. In the second year, early yield was reduced by exposure to increasing hours of cold stress, but this was not significant in the first year. Therefore, cold temperature stresses occurring in the field at transplanting have negligible effect on yield potential of `Athena' cantaloupe.

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Susan L.F. Meyer, Inga A. Zasada, Mario Tenuta, and Daniel P. Roberts

The biosolid soil amendment N-Viro Soil (NVS) and a Streptomyces isolate (S 99-60) were tested for effects on root-knot nematode [RKN (Meloidogyne incognita)] egg populations on cantaloupe (Cucumis melo). Application of 3% NVS (dry weight amendment/dry weight soil) in the soil mixture resulted in significant (P ≤ 0.01) suppression of RKN egg numbers on cantaloupe roots compared to all other treatments, including 1% NVS and untreated controls. Ammonia accumulation was higher with the 3% NVS amendment than with any other treatment. Adjustment of soil pH with calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] to the same levels that resulted from NVS amendment did not suppress nematode populations. When cultured in yeast-malt extract broth and particularly in nutrient broth, S 99-60 was capable of producing a compound(s) that reduced RKN egg hatch and activity of second-stage juveniles. However, when this isolate was applied to soil and to seedling roots, no suppression of RKN egg populations was observed on cantaloupe roots. Combining S 99-60 with NVS or Ca(OH)2 did not result in enhanced nematode suppression compared to treatments applied individually. The results indicated that NVS application was effective at suppressing RKN populations through the accumulation of ammonia to levels lethal to the nematode in soil.

Open access

O. A. Lorenz, B. L. Weir, and J. C. Bishop

Abstract

In field studies with potatoes, cantaloupes, and tomatoes, using N sources banded in the soil, highest yields were obtained with (NH4)2SO4. Yields with urea-formaldehyde and sulfur-coated urea were similar to each other, and less than those from urea. Nitrogen absorption, as determined by NO3 - concn in the petiolar tissue or total N absorption by the entire plant, was in the same sequence as yields. Controlled-release fertilizers did not increase N absorption during late growth. About 90% of the N from (NH4)2SO4 and urea had nitrified and leached from the fertilizer band within 40 days after application. In contrast, about half of the N from urea-formaldehyde remained in the fertilizer band 120 days after application.

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Edmund J. Ogbuchiekwe, Mathieu Ngouajio, and Milton E. McGiffen

Field experiments were established at the University of California Desert Station in Coachella Valley from 1998 to 2000. The main plot treatments included: 1) summer cowpea used as mulch in the fall; 2) summer cowpea incorporated into soil in the fall; 3) summer sudangrass incorporated into the soil in the fall; and 4) summer fallow (bare-ground). An economic comparison of cover crop treatments and crop management programs vs. the effect on yield, crop value, value of hand weeding, costs of production and net return, and dollar investment from each treatment was determined. Among the cropping systems tested in 1999, lettuce following the incorporation of a cowpea cover crop produced the highest yield (1082.43 boxes/ha), with a net return of $883.04/ha. The return for each dollar invested in the cowpea-incorporated system was an additional $0.65 if cowpea-incorporated was chosen over cowpea mulch. In 2000, the net return from lettuce following cowpea-incorporated was much higher with 1294.23 boxes/ha and a net return of $1698.46/ha. In 1999, cantaloupe grown in the cowpea-incorporated system had the highest net return of $973.34/ha, with 874.58 boxes. An additional $0.93 was made for choosing cowpea-incorporated over sudangrass. In 2000, cantaloupe grown in the cowpea-incorporated system had even higher yields than in 1999, producing 1522.89 boxes/ha and returning over $3000.00. And an additional $0.93 was made for choosing cowpea-incorporated over sudangrass cover crop. Overall, the rate of return on investment favored cowpea-incorporated over all cover crops.

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Mario Orozco-Santos, Javier Farías-Larios, José Gerardo López-Aguirre, and Jaime Molina-Ochoa

In the Pacific Central region of Mexico, 17,000 ha are cultivated with cucurbitaceous crops. Most are affected with wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melonis. The use of fungicides, such as methyl bromide, for soil disinfecting is a common practice; however, this practice has adverse effects on beneficial microorganisms, and soil is rapidly infected again. Soil solarization is a sustainable alternative, and it is feasible to be integrated in production systems. It has been used to delay the establishment of symptoms and to reduce the incidence of fusarium wilt in watermelon fields. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of soil solarization and methyl bromide on control of fusarium wilt on cantaloupes in western Mexico. The experiment was conducted in the Ranch Fatima located in the municipality of Colima. Severe wilt incidence and damage were previously observed in the cantaloupe cultivar Impac. Dripping irrigation system was used. Treatments established were: 1) solarization; 2) solarization + vermicompost; 3) solarization + chemical products [methyl bromide + chloropicrine (98/2%)]; 4) methyl bromide; and 5) control (without solarization or chemicals). Soil solarization was done during the 6 months before planting using clear plastic mulching (110 thick). A completely randomized design with five treatments and four replications was used. Six beds, 10 m long and 1.5 m wide, were used as experimental unit. Variables registered were: leaf area, leaf number, dry and fresh weight, propagule number, soil temperature, number of diseased plants showing wilt symptoms, and yield. Treatments 1 and 3 exhibited the highest agronomic variable values, and best control of fusarium wilt and fruit yields.

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John Beaulieu and Jeanne Lea

Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo Var. reticulatus, Naudin) were evaluated during development and then fresh-cuts were stored after preparation from various maturities to track quality changes during storage. Flowers were anthesis tagged one morning and developing fruit were harvested weekly at 13, 20, 27–28, and 34–35 days after anthesis (DAA). Mature fruit were harvested at 37–38 DAA with five distinct maturities: 1/4-, 1/2-, 3/4-slip, full-slip and over-ripe. Hunter L* and a* color values indicated change from pale green to light orange that occurred after 28 DAA. There were significant decreases in L*, a* and b* by day 9 in storage as fresh-cuts. After 28 DAA, sucrose dramatically increased, and this was positively correlated with increases in both total sugars (r = 0.882, P = 0.084) and °Brix (r = 0.939, P = 0.041). Gradual subjective deterioration occurred during storage, which was independent of maturity. There was a negative linear trend over the length of storage in hand-held firmness for each maturity level and the slopes decreased significantly with increasing maturity; indicating the effect of storage duration decreased as maturity increased. Vitamin C had a significant increasing trend (P-value = 0.042) during development from 12 through 35 DAA, then losses were greater in fresh-cuts prepared from full-slip fruit (65%) than in less mature fruits, quarter-slip 40%, half-slip 48%, and three quarter-slip 50%. The pH of mesocarp tissue dropped to the lowest value (5.25) just prior to physiological maturity, then peaked after harvest (6.51–6.79), and generally declined by the end of freshcut storage. In sum, considering other publications on this study, and herein, fruit should be harvested at greater than or equal to 1/2-slip to attain optimum quality and storability.

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V. Esensee, D.I. Leskovar, and A.K. Boales

Nonomura and Benson (1992) reported that foliar applications of dilute solutions of methanol caused growth and yield increases and reduced water use in several crops. The request from commercial growers for explicit information regarding this report prompted our experiments using the same procedures. Growth of cantaloupe, pepper, cabbage, cauliflower and onion seedlings and mature plants were evaluated in the laboratory and greenhouse in 1993 and in the field in 1993 and 1994. Treatments of 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, or 40% methanol (v/v water) with 0.1% surfactant generally did not cause significant growth differences. Stem diameters or lengths, shoot fresh and dry weights, or root fresh and dry weights of seedlings were unaffected as a result of methanol treatment. In the field, cabbage head weight was slightly higher after methanol application only in 1993, whereas cantaloupe fruit weight and number were significantly lower in 1993, but not in 1994.

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Gorka Perpiñá, Jaime Cebolla-Cornejo, Cristina Esteras, Antonio J. Monforte, and Belén Picó

‘MAK-10’ is a new breeding line derived from a collection of introgression lines (ILs) developed from the cross between the Japanese cultivar ‘Ginsen makuwa’ PI 420176 ( Cucumis melo Group Makuwa) and the French cantaloupe variety ‘Vedrantais’ ( C

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Jiwon Jeong and Donald Huber

The present study was performed to characterize the physiological responses of cantaloupe [Cucumismelo (L.) var. reticulates`Athena'] fruit harvested at preripe (1/4 slip), half-slip, and full-slip stages of development and treated with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) prior to storage at 13 or 15 °C. Cantaloupe fruit (1/4 to full-slip stage) were treated with 1-MCP (0.01 and 1 μL·L-1) for 18 hours at 20 °C and then stored at 15 °C (pre-ripe fruit) or 13 °C (half- and full-slip fruit). The firmness of pre-ripe `Athena' fruit was significantly retained in response to 1 μL·L-1 1-MCP, but did not differ greatly from control fruit in response to 0.01 μL·L-1 1-MCP. Control fruit reached an edible condition (≈70 N) after 6 days of storage at 15 °C and persisted until day 12 (50 N), whereas 1 μL·L-1 1-MCP-treated fruit reached an edible stage after 17 days and persisted through 21 days (over 60 N). Fruit treated with 1-MCP exhibited slightly (0.01 μL·L-1) or dramatically (1 μL·L-1) lower electrolyte leakage throughout storage. 1-MCP (1 μL·L-1) significantly suppressed ethylene production and respiratory rates of pre-ripe cantaloupe during storage at 15 °C. Firmness retention was also highly significant for cantaloupe harvested and treated with 1-MCP (1 μL·L-1) at the half-slip and full-slip stages of development. 1-MCP treatment had a significant effect at reducing decay incidence and the occurrence of depressed or sunken regions of the fruit surface.

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Jiwon Jeong, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Donald J. Huber, and Steven A. Sargent

-MCP) for maintaining texture quality of fresh-cut tomato HortScience 39 1359 1362 Jeong, J. Lee, J. Huber, D.J. 2007 Softening and ripening of ‘Athena’ cantaloupe ( Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus