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Ahmet Korkmaz, Wallace G. Pill, and Bruce B. Cobb

The effect of seed germination rate, or of seedling emergence rate, was studied in relation to subsequent plant growth of `Cortina' lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Seedling growth response to selection by time of germination was assessed by imbibing seeds at 5 °C to increase the time range for germination. Germinated seeds were removed daily and transferred to “slants” (germination paper held at 20° from vertical) at 15 °C. Five days after each transfer, root and hypocotyl lengths were measured. As days required for germination increased, root lengths decreased and hypocotyl lengths increased, resulting in no change in total seedling length. The relation between rate of seedling emergence from raw or pelleted seeds of the same lot and shoot fresh weight was examined using commercially practiced hydroponic techniques. Shoot fresh weight at 10 and 21 days after planting was related inversely and linearly to the day of emergence for both seed treatments. In the same study, the coefficient of variation of shoot fresh weight was positively related to time of seedling emergence only at 10 days. Germinated seeds were selected after 1 and 2 days of imbibition; subsequent seedling emergence rate and shoot fresh weight at 25 days were recorded. First-day germinated seeds had faster and more synchronous emergence, and produced heavier and more uniform shoots. Discarding slow-to-germinate seeds should enhance seedling emergence and growth.

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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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D.G. Mortley, C.K. Bonsi, P.A. Loretan, W.A. Hill, and C.E. Morris

Growth chamber experiments were conducted to study the physiological and growth response of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] to either 50% or 85 % relative humidity (RH). Vine cuttings of T1-155 were grown using the nutrient film technique in a randomized complete-block design with two replications. Temperature regimes of 28/22C were maintained during the light/dark periods with irradiance at canopy level of 600 μmol·m-2·s-1 and a 14/10-hour photoperiod. High RH (85%) increased the number of storage roots per plant and significantly increased storage root fresh and dry weight, but produced lower foliage fresh and dry weight than plants grown at 50% RH. Edible biomass index and linear growth rate (in grams per square meter per day) were significantly higher for plants grown at 85 % than at 50% RH. Leaf photosynthesis and stomatal conductance were higher for plants at 85 % than at 50% RH. Thus, the principal effect of high RH on sweetpotato growth was the production of higher storage root yield, edible biomass, growth rate, and increased photosynthetic and stomatal activity.

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Jeanine M. Davis

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) is a widely used medicinal herb that is commonly collected from forests in North America. An increasing demand for goldenseal has put intense pressures on wild populations and increased the interest in cultivation. Cultural information on goldenseal, however, is limited and contradictory. A 3-year study was initiated to examine the effects of soil pH (4.5, 5.5, 6.5, and 7.5) and four rates of P and N (0, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 kg P or N/m3 of soil) on growth and development of goldenseal. In Spring 1993, small rhizome pieces were planted in pots of forest soil and grown under a wood-lath structure. Plant growth, flowering, and fruiting are monitored throughout each growing season. The plants are brought into an underground storage facility for overwintering. In late winter, roots are weighed, evaluated, and replanted. After one season of growth, root weights were highest with pH 5.5 and 6.5 and no additional P or N. During the second season of growth, the greatest plant growth and fruiting were obtained with pH 5.5 and 6.5 and with the two highest rates of phosphorus.

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J.G. Williamson and D.C. Coston

Several planting treatments modified vegetative and reproductive growth of young, own-rooted peach (Prums persica) trees evaluated at two levels of irrigation in a high-density orchard (5000 trees/ha). Trees planted in auger holes, narrow herbicide strips, and in fabric-lined trenches, but not those from raised beds, were smaller than control trees set in holes dug with a shovel. After two growing seasons, trees planted in the fabric-lined trenches were smaller and had more flowers per node and greater flower bud densities than trees in other planting treatments. Yield efficiency was greatest for this treatment, although fruit size was small throughout the orchard. Irrigation rates did not affect fruit yield or size. The effects of irrigation rate on vegetative growth were small compared to differences among planting treatments.

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Smiljana Goreta, Slavko Perica, Gvozden Dumicic, Lovre Bucan, and Katja Zanic

Suggested watermelon planting densities and N rates vary on a large scale, indicating that there is insufficient knowledge about their effects. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of N rate and planting density on growth, yield and quality of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] grown on black polyethylene mulch. The field experiments with `Crimson Sweet' watermelon were conducted in two climatologically different growing regions. The treatments were factorial combinations of three in-row plant spacings (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 m) and three N rates (115, 195, and 275 kg·ha-1). Part of the N (35 kg·ha-1) was applied preplant and the remainder was fertigated. Vine length increased linearly up to 7 weeks after planting (WAP) as N rate increased from 115 to 275 kg·ha-1, and up to 9 WAP as plant spacing increased from 0.5 to 1.5 m. Total and marketable yields per ha or per plant did not increase with N rates above 115 kg·ha-1. Average fruit weight and fruit size distribution were generally unaffected by N rate. Leaf N concentration increased as N rate increased, although leaf N concentrations at the lowest N rate (115 kg·ha-1) even at 9 WAP were relatively high (43.3 to 47.3 g·kg-1). Total and marketable yields per ha were linearly decreased with an increase in plant spacing from 0.5 to 1.5 m, and the same was noticed with the total and marketable number of fruit per ha. With increased plant spacing average fruit weight increased and fruit size distribution shifted to larger categories.

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Tony K. Wolf and M. Kay Warren

Examination of `Riesling' grape (Vitis vinifera L.) in Virginia suggested that a high incidence of bud necrosis (BN) in some vineyards was associated with canopy shade and rapid shoot growth. BN appeared to originate as an abortion and dehydration of the primary, and occasionally secondary, buds of the developing dormant bud. BN frequency was lowest among the basal four nodes of a given shoot or cane, and increased in frequency through node 20. Experiments were conducted in 1991 and 1992 to evaluate the specific involvement of shoot growth rate and canopy shade on `Riesling' BN. Shoot growth rate (SGR), measured in a 17-day period around bloom, had a significant, positive relationship with BN in one of two vineyards. BN was positively associated with cane diameter and average internode length. Applying the growth retardant paclobutrazol significantly reduced SGR and BN incidence up to 80% among nodes 6 to 15 in two separate vineyards. Artificial shade (64% or 92% reduction in photosynthetic photon flux), suspended over vine canopies in the 3-week period before véraison, did not affect BN. Shoots of canopies that had been thinned before bloom to 10 shoots/m of canopy expressed slightly lower BN levels than shoots sampled from canopies that had been thinned to 20 shoots per meter. `Riesling' BN appeared more influenced by shoot vigor than shade under Virginia growing conditions. Chemical name β-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-α-(1,1-dimethyl-ethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Chieri Kubota and Toyoki Kozai

Growth and net photosynthetic rate of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) `Benimaru' plantlet in vitro were studied under a conventional photomixotrophic condition [with 20 g sucrose/liter in the medium and under 70 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF)] with minimal ventilation (MV) and under photoautotrophic conditions (without sugar in the medium and under 190 μmol·m-2·s-l PPF) with enhanced natural ventilation using an air diffusive filter (DV) or with forced ventilation (FV). Fresh weight of the plantlets cultured in the FV and DV treatments was 2.4 times that of the plantlets cultured in the MV treatment. Net photosynthetic rate and dry weight per plantlet were the highest in FV followed by DV. For photoautotrophic micropropagation, FV was superior to DV.

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Rebecca J. McGee and James R. Baggett

There was no difference in percentage in vitro germination of pollen from stringless pea (Pisum sativum L.) cv. Sugar Daddy and stringy `Oregon Sugarpod II' (OSP) and `OSU 705' (705). However, pollen tubes of `Sugar Daddy' grew more slowly in vitro than those of OSP or 705. Differences in pollen tube growth rate were demonstrated in vivo following time-course pollinations involving reciprocal crosses of `Sugar Daddy' with OSP and 705, along with the selfed parents. After 8 hours, pollen tubes from stringless peas (“stringless” pollen) had entered 13% of the ovules compared with 51% for those from stringy peas (“stringy” pollen). Stringless pollen tubes entered 29% and stringy pollen tubes 66% of the ovules after 10 hours. The slower growth of stringless compared with stringy pollen tubes is a plausible explanation for previously observed deficiencies of stringless plants in segregating populations.

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Ismail A. Hussein and Donald C. Slack

The effect of three vigor-control apple (Malus domestics Borkh.) rootstock (seedling, MM.106, and M.7a) on fruit diameter of three cultivars ('Red Delicious', `Granny Smith', and `Gala') was studied over two growing seasons (1990-91) in the arid climate of Willcox, Ariz. Daily fruit growth rate (DFGR) and effective fruit growth period (EFGP) data indicate cultivar differences in DFGR as well as EFGP. Cultivars with a high DFGR had a relatively shorter EFGP. Rootstock had no significant effect on EFGP. Cultivar x rootstock interaction on fruit diameter was significant for DFGR, but not for EFGP. `Red Delicious' and `Granny Smith' trees produced larger fruits on MM.106 and M.7a than on seedling rootstock. For `Gala', there was no significant effect of all rootstock on fruit diameter.