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Andrew G. Reynolds and Andrew P. Naylor

Glasshouse-grown `Pinot noir' and `Riesling' grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) were subjected to one of four water stress durations [no water deficit (control); and water deficits imposed postbloom, lag phase, and veraison] in combination with three soil water-holding capacities (0%, 26%, and 52% gravel, by volume). Vines subjected to increasing water stress duration had less cumulative lateral shoot length and lower shoot count, leaf size, and berry weights than those not stressed. Soluble solids concentration (SSC) during maturation and pH at harvest also increased with increasing water stress duration, but titratable acidity was not affected. Transpiration and stomatal conductance also were reduced with increased water stress duration, but soil water increased, reflecting the larger leaf surface on vines with veraison-imposed deficits. Reducing water-holding capacity (by increasing the percentage of gravel in the soil) tended to increase berry weight and SSC but reduced lateral shoot growth. The 52% gravel treatments increased transpiration rate and stomatal conductance for `Riesling' but reduced them slightly in `Pinot noir'. Percentage of soil moisture was reduced linearly with reduced water-holding capacity. These results indicate that early irrigation deficits may advance fruit maturity of wine grapes with concomitant reductions in vegetative growth. Differential responses of these cultivars to soil water-holding capacity also should help to identify suitable wine grape cultivars as the wine grape industry expands into areas with low water-holding capacity soils.

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Marvin D. Butler and Robert E. Rush

Early berry maturity with adequate size and sugar is a high priority for table grape producers in the desert southwest trying to capture the early fresh market, when prices are historically at their highest. Application of gibberellic acid is used, in combination with girdling to increase berry size. Research was conducted at Valley Grapes near Dateland, AZ on 1.5 hectare unreplicated plots in 1987 and 1988, and 0.2 hectare plots replicated four times in 1989 and 1990. The influence of 120g/h, 160gh and 200g/h of gibberellic acid, applied two to three times in various combinations, was evaluated on Thompson seedless grapes. Preharvest samples provided berry weight and soluble solids data. Yield and quality were determined from the number and grade of 10 kilogram boxes harvested for each pick. Berry weight tended to increase with increased rates of gibberellic acid while yield and quality were highest for more moderate rates. Three applications generally out-performed two applications with the same, or similar, total amount of gibberellic acid.

Open access

Andrew G. Reynolds


Three levels of NAA (0, 10,000, and 20,000 ppm) and paclobutrazol (PP333; 0, 250, 500 ppm) were applied in latex paint to suckered vine trunks of ‘Okanagan Riesling’ (Vitis spp.). NAA reduced suckers/vine and percentage of sucker regrowth in each of three seasons. Cluster weight, berries/cluster, and berry weight were increased with NAA in each season, whereas vine size, °Brix, and total acidity (TA) showed a similar trend 1 year following application and thereafter. PP333 reduced sucker number and regrowth, but not as effectively as NAA, and its effects were shorter-lived. No yield components were influenced by PP333 except berry weight, which varied linearly in 1984 and 1986 and quadratically with concentration in 1985. PP333 increased °Brix and TA linearly 1 year following application. Both chemicals tended to reduce pH in 1984 and 1985, but NAA increased pH in 1986 relative to concentration. Chemical names used: 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA); β-1[(4-chorophenyl)methyl]-α-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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David G. Himelrick and Robert C. Ebel

`Chandler' strawberry plants were established in a recirculating nutrient flow hydroponic system under six nutrient solution N levels (35, 70, 140, 210, 280, and 350 ppm). Various morphological and fruiting responses were measured. Average berry weight was greatest in the 280 ppm range and lowest in the 350 ppm solution N treatments. Percent soluble solids were greatest in the 35 ppm and lowest in the 140 ppm N treatments. Titratable acidity was greatest in the 75 and 210 ppm treatments and lowest in the 140, 280, and 350 ppm N treatments. Nitrate N was greatest in the juice of the 280 and 350 and lowest in the 35 ppm N treatment. Interior and exterior fruit firmness followed a general trend of the greatest firmness being found at 35 ppm and the least firm berries being from the 350 ppm treatment.

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R. Keith Striegler and Vidal Perez-Munoz

Crop control methods were evaluated for two seasons in a commercial Zinfandel vineyard. The vineyard was trellised using a vertical two wire system and cane pruned. Vines were third-leaf when the experiment began. Treatments included control, cluster thinning, and shoot thinning. Cluster thinning consisted of removal of all clusters except the oasal cluster, while shoot thinning consisted of removal of 50% of shoots on canes. Treatments were imposed two weeks postbloom. Yield was not significantly affected by crop control method. Cluster thinning tended to increase berry weight and cluster weight. Crop control method had little effect on fruit composition. Vine growth, as indicated by dormant pruning weight, was not influenced by treatment in 1990 but showed a significant increase during 1991 for cluster-thinned vines. These results indicate little negative effect of high crop level on young Zinfandel vines when intensive management is practiced. Treatments will be monitored until equalibrium treatment effects are observed.

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C. Gupton, J. Clark, D. Creech, A. Powell, and S. Rooks

Rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei Reade) and southern highbush (mostly V. corymbosum L.) type blueberry selections were evaluated in regional trials at five locations. Entry × location interactions (E × L) were significant for all traits in the rabbiteye type and all except plant productivity, plant volume, Julian date of 50% ripe fruit, and berry weight at harvest 3 in the southern highbush type. Despite the significant interactions, selection FL80-11 and `Gulfcoast' were the earliest flowering rabbiteye and southern highbush entry, respectively, at each location. Significant E × L for plant volume and yield suggests that adaptation to the local environment is important in the selection of potential cultivars. Fruit quality traits appear less affected by environment than fruit production traits for the entries tested.

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Richard E. Harrison, James J. Luby, and Peter D. Ascher

Pollination of the half-high blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L./V. anugustifolium Ait.) cultivars St. Cloud, Northsky, Northcountry, and Northblue with self, outcross, and outcross/self pollen mixtures suggests that outcross fertilization maximizes percent fruit set, berry weight, seeds per berry, and seeds per pollination while minimizing days to harvest. Based on these results, mixed plantings of at least two blueberry cultivars are recommended for these cultivars. Fruit and seed set were negatively associated with increased percentages of self pollen in outcross/self pollen mixtures. These responses were linear for `Northblue' due to a tendency to parthenocarpy, and nonlinear for `St. Cloud', `Northsky', and `Northcountry', due to low fruit set following self-pollination. These data indicate that post-fertilization abortion affected seed formation, which was, in turn, correlated positively with fruit set.

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J. Lu and O. Lamikanra

Gibberellic acid, a plant growth regulator commonly sprayed for seedless bunch grape cultivars, was used to spray on the seeded muscadine grape cultivars `Carlos', `Fry', `Higgins' and `Triumph'. GA3 at 100 to 300 ppm were sprayed on leaves and fruit clusters before and after anthesis. The flower/fruit clusters also were dipped into a much higher concentration (1000 ppm) in addition to the sprayed concentration of GA3. Berry weight significantly increased in all the sprayed vines, with a maximal increase up to 50%. Early and more uniform ripening was observed in the cultivar `Triumph'. More than 20% of seedless berries also were found on the GA3-sprayed `Triumph' vines. However, the latter two responses (early ripening and seedlessness) did not occur in other cultivars tested. Similar results also were obtained in the dipping treatments. The results indicated that the seeded muscadine grapes responded well to the GA3 treatments in general, but genotype variation is obvious.

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S.E. Garrison, J.M. Williams, and J.A. Barden

A greenhouse experiment was conducted to determine the effects of shade treatments (0, 30, 47 and 63%) on photosynthetic and growth responses of `Redchief' strawberries. Net photosynthesis (Pn) measured on plants under shade decreased as % shade increased. Pn of plants grown under shade but measured under saturating light intensities decreased after 30% shade. Light saturation curves of leaves allowed to expand in full sun and then placed under shade indicated a decrease in the saturation rate and point under 63% shade. Leaves which expanded under shade had decreased saturation rates and points at all levels. Specific leaf weight and total plant dry weight decreased linearly as % shade increased.

A field study in which plants were either shaded in the fall or in the fall and spring demonstrated a decreasing trend in berry number for plots which were shaded in the fall and spring. Berry number decreased in fall-shaded plants after 30% shade. In both cases, berry weight decreased with increasing shade.

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W. Keith Patterson

Five year old 'Bluecrop' blueberry plants were subjected to five irrigation regimes over a two year period to determine the influence on yield, berry weight, and plant growth. The plants were in 140 liter open-ended barrels to isolate different rates of moisture application. Ten plants/treatments were utilized in this study, with each plant considered a rep. Total yields did not follow a predictable pattern. Plants receiving 12 and 16 liters of water 3x per week produced larger berries, and resulted in larger dry weights at termination of this study. Plants receiving 20 liters 1x per week produced smaller berries than other treatments, lower yields in year 2, and smallest dry weight at end of the study.