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G.S. Banuelos, G. Cardon, L. Wu, S. Zambrzuski, and S. Akohoue

High concentration of boron (B) and selenium (Se) found in the environment may be detrimental to the sustainability of agriculture in regions of the western USA. Boron and Se uptake by wild mustard (Brassica juncea (L Czern & Coss.) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb. L.) was investigated under greenhouse conditions in thermic typic torriorthent soils containing naturally high levels of B and Se. The design structure was a randomized complete block with six 18-L plots per treatment, three blocks, and two treatments. After plants were harvested and separated into shoots and roots, tissues were analyzed for total tissue B and Se, and soils from each pot were analyzed for residual B and Se. The highest concentrations of B were recovered in shoots from wild mustard and roots from tall fescue. Tissue Se concentrations were generally similar in both plant species. Post-harvest soil B and Se concentrations were significantly lowered irrespective of the plant species and of the harvest. The effectiveness of using wild mustard and tall fescue for B and Se soil reclamation will be discussed.

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Hector R. Valenzuela, Joseph DeFrank, and Greg Luther

The diamondback moth (DBM). Plutella xylostella, is the number one pest of cabbage in the the world. The pest is resistant to most pesticides registered for its use, and resistance has also been detected in several areas for registered biopesticides. Four experiments were conducted to: 1) Determine the tolerance to DBM feeding among 20 commercial head cabbage cultivars, 2) Evaluate the effect of three nitrogen fertility levels on DBM numbers. and 3) Evaluate the effect of Indian mustard. Brassica juncea trap crops as a tool to manage DBM populations in head cabbage agroecosystems. Experiments were conducted at University of Hawaii experiment stations located in Kamuela. Hawaii, and in Kula, Maui. The trap crop treatments consisted of planting two border rows of Indian mustard in cabbage field borders. Three or 4 biweekly insect counts were conducted for each trial. Insect counts consumed of destructive sampling of 3-6 plants per plot and determination of larvae and pupae number and parasitation levels. The nitrogen studies found more DBM in monoculture cabbage receiving 300 kg Ha-1 N than in controls even though cabbage yields did not vary among treatments. A range of tolerance to DBM feeding was found among the cultivars tested. The trap crop system was shown to be more effective during the summer than in the winter months. Data indicates that the trap crop also acted as attractant for beneficial insects, which may aid in the biological control of DBM in cabbage

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P. R. Johnstone, T. K. Hartz, E. M. Miyao, and R. M. Davis

Mustard cover crop residue has been reported to have a “biofumigant” action when incorporated into the soil, potentially providing significant disease suppression and yield improvement for the succeeding crop. Such activity could be particularly useful in processing tomato rotations, where consecutive cropping invariably results in yield decline. Agronomic and environmental effects of growing over-winter mustard cover crops preceding tomato production were investigated in three field trials between 2002 and 2004. Two mustard cover crops [`Pacific Gold', a brown mustard (Brassica juncea), and `Caliente', a blend of brown and white mustard (Sinapis alba)] were compared to a legume cover crop mix, a fallow bed treatment (the standard grower practice in this region), and, in two of the three trials, a fumigation treatment using metam sodium. No suppression of soil populations of Verticillium dahliae or Fusarium spp. was observed with the mustard cover crops, nor was there any visual evidence of disease suppression on subsequent tomato crops. In these fields, the mustard either had no effect, or reduced tomato yield, when compared to the fallow treatment. At one of two sites, metam sodium fumigation significantly increased tomato yield. The presence of a cover crop, whether mustard or legume, reduced winter runoff by an average of 50% over two years of trials. No benefit of mustard cover cropping beyond this reduction in winter runoff was observed.

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Regina P. Bracy, J.F. Fontenot, and R.J. Constantin

Brassica juncea var crispifolia was stored in perforated polyethylene bags, polyolefin heat-shrinkable films, and nonbagged at 1, 4, or 15C during three experiments in the spring of 1989 and 1990. Bagging mustard in perforated polyethylene bags or polyolefin films of Cryovac D-955 60-gauge or Cryovac D-955 100-gauge significantly reduced weight loss over nonbagged mustard. Bag type had a highly significant effect on CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere within bags of mustard, with highest CO2 concentrations occurring in the bags made of Cryovac film. Mustard stored in all bags retained marketable quality significantly better than nonbagged mustard. Bagged mustard was stored for 12 days at 1 or 4C with excellent quality, whereas nonbagged mustard was unacceptable after only 5 days in storage. Color, turgor, and appearance of all mustard were poor after 5 days in storage at 15C. Sensory evaluations indicated bagging and storing mustard for 12 days at 1 or 4C did not affect the flavor and quality of cooked mustard.

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Ksenija Gasic and Schuyler S. Korban

Phytochelatins (PCs) are heavy metal binding peptides that play important roles in sequestration and detoxification of heavy metals in plants. To develop transgenic plants with increased tolerance and/or accumulation of heavy metals from soil, an Arabidopsis thaliana FLAG–tagged AtPCS1 cDNA encoding phytochelatin synthase (PCS) under the control of a 35S promoter was expressed in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea). Four transgenic Indian mustard lines, designated pc lines, with different levels of AtPCS1 mRNA accumulation and correspondent AtPCS1 protein levels were selected and analyzed for tolerance to cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn). Heavy metal tolerance was assessed by measuring root length of 10-day-old seedlings grown on agar medium supplemented with different concentrations of Cd (0, 100, 150, and 200 μm CdCl2) and Zn (200, 400, 600, and 800 μm ZnCl2). All transgenic lines showed significantly longer roots when grown on a medium supplemented with 100 μm CdCl2. No significant differences were observed between transgenic lines and wild type when plants were grown on higher levels of Cd. This indicated that only partial tolerance to Cd was observed in these transgenic lines. Similarly, partial tolerance for Zn was also observed in these transgenic lines, but up to levels of 400 μm ZnCl2. Expression levels of AtPCS1 protein were not related to tolerance responses for either Cd or Zn stresses in transgenic lines.

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Sanjeev K. Bangarwa, Jason K. Norsworthy, and Edward E. Gbur

increased over yellow nutsedge by amending soil with wild radish ( Raphanus raphanistrum ). Likewise, soil amended with rapeseed ( Brassica napus ) reduced weed density and biomass up to 85% and 96%, respectively, in the following potato ( Solanum tuberosum

Open access

Pablo S. Jourdan and Elizabeth D. Earle


More than 65 different genotypes, including cultivars and inbred lines, from five cruciferous species (Brassica oleracea L., B. campestris L., B. napus L., B. juncea L., and Raphanus sativus L.) were tested for their in vitro response of leaf protoplasts. Protoplasts were cultured in three liquid media and the resulting colonies were placed on seven test regeneration media. Significant differences among the species were found in plating efficiency in the frequency of shoot regeneration. Two broad response groups were identified: 1) Cultivars from B. oleracea and B. napus—these generally yielded protoplasts that were able to divide, form colonies at high frequencies, and regenerate shoots at variable frequencies; and 2) cultivars of the other species evaluated, which typically exhibited low plating efficiencies and little, if any, shoot regeneration. Evaluation for the effect of the cytoplasmic constitution of a few B. oleracea breeding lines on in vitro performance indicated that protoplasts carrying the Ogura (R1) male-sterile cytoplasm regenerated shoots at slightly lower frequencies than the corresponding alloplasmic-fertile lines. Genotypes exhibiting high frequency of shoot formation in one medium also had efficient shoot regeneration in other media as well, while genotypes with low shoot regeneration responded consistently in the different media used. This consistency in response indicates that genotype plays a critical role in determining the success of leaf protoplast culture in the crucifers.

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Ann Toren Seigies and Marvin Pritts

In July 2001, a study was established in a field with a 30-year history of perennial strawberry production to examine effects on replant disorder of 12 different species of preplant cover crops, soil fumigation (methyl bromide plus chloropicrin), and fallow management. In May 2002, strawberries (`Jewel') were planted into pots containing soils with the incorporated cover crops, grown for 1 year, and then fruited. Strawberry yields in 2003 were highest in pots containing indiangrass (Sorghastrum avenaceum) and brown mustard (Brassica juncea) -incorporated soils, resulting in 32% and 28%, respectively, higher yield than plants in pots containing untreated, bare fallow soil. Yield was lowest in fumigated soil or soil incorporated with sunnhemp (Crotolaria juncea), having 19% and 10% less yield than the fallow treatment, respectively. In Aug. 1999, a complementary study was established in a field with a 7-year history of continuous perennial strawberry production to examine the effects of single species and multiple species rotations on replant disorder, bacterial populations, and fungal pathogens over 2 fruiting years. Cover crop treatments included various monocultures and sequences of perennial alfalfa (Medicago sativa), brown mustard, kale (B. oleracea `Winterbor'), sweet corn (Zea mays `Saccharata'), rye (Secale cereale), hairy vetch (Vicia villosa), marigold (Tagetes patula `Nema-gone'), oats (Avena sativa `Newdak'), and sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor × S. sudanese). These rotations were compared with the effects of fumigation using methyl bromide with chloropicrin (99:1), continuous strawberry, and bare fallow. Symptoms of replant disorder developed in the continuous strawberry plots within a few months of planting. Plants in the fumigation treatment produced greater fruit yield than all other treatments in 2003, 139% more than plants from the continuous strawberry treatment. Strawberry plants grown in the kale/sweet corn/rye treatment had consistently high yield, and both the hairy vetch/marigold/rye and the oats/sudangrass/rye treatments led to marked improvement over the continuous strawberry treatment. Plants from the brown mustard treatment also were more vigorous and productive than plants from the continuous strawberry treatment during 2002 despite having relatively low foliar biomass and a relatively high level of fungal infection on strawberry plant roots. In the field, symptoms of replant disorder were best overcome by fumigation with methyl bromide or multiple species rotations, particularly that of kale followed by sweet corn and rye. Although Rhizoctonia levels were associated with poor root health, general fungal and bacterial root infection rates were not consistently associated with the presence of visible symptoms of replant disorder nor with strawberry plant growth and productivity.

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Richard Smith*, Krishna Subbarao, Steve Koike, Steve Fennimore, and Adelia Barber

Growers in the Salinas Valley are not able to rotate away from lettuce to other crops such as broccoli, as often as would be desirable due to economic pressures such as high land rents and lower economic returns for rotational crops. This aggravates problems with key soilborne diseases such as Sclerotinia minor, Lettuce Drop. Mustard cover crops (Brassica juncea and Sinapis alba) are short-season alternative rotational crops that are being examined in the Salinas Valley for the potential that they have to reduce soilborne disease and weeds. Mustard cover crops have been have been shown to suppress various soilborne diseases and there are also indications that they can provide limited control of some weed species. However, no studies have shown the impact of mustard cover crops under field conditions on S. minor. In 2003 we conducted preliminary studies on the incidence of S. minor and weeds following mustard cover crops in comparison with a bare control or an area cover cropped to Merced Rye (Secale cereale). There was a slight, but significant reduction of S. minor infection in one of three trials following mustard cover crops. Mustard cover crops also reduced emergence of Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) and Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) these studies. Mustard cover crops have distinct nitrogen cycling characteristics. They were shown to reach a peak of release of nitrogen in 30 to 50 days following incorporation into the soil. The levels of nitrogen that are released by mustard cover crops were substantial and could be useful in nitrogen fertilizer programs for subsequent vegetable crops.

Free access

Stephanie G. Harvey, Heather N. Hannahan, and Carl E. Sams

Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) is the predominant isothiocyanate produced by damaged tissues of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea (L) Czerniak). This study investigated Indian mustard and AITC mediated suppression of mycelial growth and sclerotial germination of Sclerotium rolfsii Saccardo, a common soilborne pathogen. Indian mustard (IM) treatments of 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.6, 1.0, 2.0, 4.1, 5.1, 10.2, 20.4, 40.8, 81.6, and 163.3 g·L-1 (weight of reconstituted mustard per liter of air) were evaluated for suppression of mycelial growth. Treatment effect was evaluated by measuring the radial growth of mycelia. Sclerotia were placed in culture tubes containing 18 g autoclaved soil and covered with an additional 5 g soil. AITC at concentrations of 0, 4.0, 16.0, 64.0, 256.0, 1024.0, or 4096.0 μmol·L-1 was injected into the tubes. Treated sclerotia were removed from tubes and plated on potato dextrose agar to determine viability. Mycelial growth was inhibited with IM treatments (P < 0.01). Inhibiting concentrations (IC) of IM for mycelial growth inhibition of 50% and 90% were 0.7 and 1.0 g·L-1, respectively, with death resulting with >2 g·L-1. Inhibition attributable to AITC alone was lower than that achieved by IM producing equivalent amounts of AITC. Germination of sclerotia was negatively correlated with AITC concentration (r = 0.96; P < 0.01). The IC50 and IC90, of AITC were 249.0 and 528.8 μmol·L-1, respectively, at 42 hours. The lethal concentration for sclerotia was not reached; only suppression occurred at the highest treatment concentrations. Sclerotium rolfsii mycelia were sensitive to the IM volatiles and were suppressed at low concentrations. Sclerotia were more resistant than the mycelia and required higher concentrations of AITC to suppress germination.