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J. Thomas

In recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of commercial plant tissue culture (TC) units in India. More than 25 such companies have production capacity of two to five million plants per annum. Almost all units are export oriented, but the target crops are the same. Indoor foliage plants dominate the export market. Micropropagation industry in India is providing major support to Indian agriculture in four crop groups: Fruits, ornamentals, spices, forestry/plantation crops. Banana is the largest selling TC fruit crop. TC papaya plants are now marketed for extraction and processing of papain. TC anthuriums, orchids, and gerberas have attained commercial importance. TC rose plants are used as pot plants. Nearly 500 ha are under TC cardamom cultivation in southern India recording 20% to 30% increase in yield. Vanilla cultivation is expected to increase from the existing 50 ha to more than 400 ha in the coming years using TC plants. Sugar companies have in-house units for micropropagation of sugarcane. There is demand for bamboo and eucalyptus for selective reforestation. The TC Industry is constrained by the non-availability of international varieties, high infrastructure and electricity costs, and lack of managers with commercial experience. A shake-up is imperative, during which many of the existing TC units may not survive the year 2000.

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Cedric A. Sims and Srinivasa R. Mentreddy

Basil (Ocimum sp.), belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae (Labiatae), is a popular herb grown for the fresh market or for its dried aromatic leaves, which are used as a spice or in potpourris. In Asian countries, basil, particularly O. tenuiflorum, is better known as a medicinal plant species used for treating ailments ranging from colds to complex diseases such as cancers and diabetes. In the United States, however, it has a limited acceptance as a fresh-market herb. There is much potential for developing basil as a medicinal plant to cater to the growing herbal medicinal products industry. A field trial was therefore conducted to determine optimum date of planting basil in Alabama. Six-week-old seedlings were transplanted from the greenhouse into field plots arranged in a split-plot design with four replications. Planting dates at monthly intervals beginning in April were the main plots and three Ocimum accessions, Ames 23154, Ames 23155, and PI 288779 were sub-plot treatments. The accessions were compared for growth, leaf area development, light interception, canopy cover, and dry matter accumulation and partitioning pattern over planting dates. Ames 23154, with greater canopy cover (98.5%) and photosynthetically active radiation interception (96.1%), also produced higher total plant biomass than other accessions. Accession PI 288779 appeared to partition greater dry matter to leaves, which are the primary source of bioactive compounds in basil. Among planting dates, second (May) date of planting appeared to be optimum for both total biomass and leaf dry matter production. Genotypic variation f or dry-matter partitioning and relationships among agronomic parameters as influenced by planting date will be discussed in this presentation.

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Adel A. Kader

Postharvest losses of horticultural perishables between the production and retail distribution sites are estimated to range from 2% to 23%, depending on the commodity, with an overall average of about 12% of what is shipped from U.S. production areas to domestic and export markets. Estimates of postharvest losses in developing countries are two to three times the U.S. estimates. Losses in dried grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and herbs and spices range from 1% to 10%, depending on their moisture content, temperature and relative humidity of transport and storage facilities, and protection against pathogens and insects. Reduction of these losses can increase food availability to the growing population, decrease the area needed for production, and conserve natural resources. Strategies for loss prevention include use of genotypes that have longer postharvest-life, use of an integrated crop management system that results in good keeping quality of the commodity, and use of the proper postharvest handling system that maintains quality and safety of the products. Biological (internal) causes of deterioration include respiration rate, ethylene production and action, rates of compositional changes, mechanical injuries, water loss, sprouting, physiological disorders, and pathological breakdown. The rate of biological deterioration depends on several environmental (external) factors, including temperature, relative humidity, air velocity, and concentrations of carbon dioxide, ethylene, and oxygen. Socioeconomic factors that contribute to postharvest losses include governmental regulations and policies, inadequate marketing and transportation systems, unavailability of needed tools and equipment, lack of information, and poor maintenance of facilities. Although minimizing postharvest losses of already produced food is more sustainable than increasing production to compensate for these losses, less than 5% of the funding of agricultural research is allocated to postharvest research areas. This situation must be changed to increase the role of postharvest loss reduction in meeting world food needs.

Open access

Mary Ann D. Maquilan, Dominick C. Padilla, Donald W. Dickson, and Bala Rathinasabapathi

Bell and chili peppers are important vegetable and spice commodities worldwide. Significant yield reductions have been attributed to damage caused by root-knot nematodes (RKNs; Meloidogyne spp.). This study addresses the need for developing pepper varieties that have high resistance to RKN, which is now of increasing importance due to restrictions on the use of fumigant nematicides. Our goal is to provide a nonchemical alternative to sustain commercial pepper production in Florida, which is a major producer of peppers in the United States. We evaluated ‘UFRJ107(6)A3’, an advanced inbred line developed from a cross between Capsicum annuum L. ‘Jalapeno’ and ‘Round of Hungary’, for resistance against the nematode in comparison with the parental and three other Capsicum cultivars, namely, C. annuum ‘Charleston Belle’, ‘California Wonder’, and C. chinense Jacq. ‘Datil’ in two separate growth chamber experiments. Based on egg mass indices and reproduction factors, ‘UFRJ107(6)A3’ was significantly more resistant to M. incognita compared with the other five cultivars. When tested with five RKN species, ‘UFRJ107(6)A3’ showed comparably high levels of resistance to M. arenaria and M. floridensis as ‘California Wonder’ based on the nematode reproduction factor. In ‘UFRJ107(6)A3’, however, there were no detectable M. arenaria egg masses, and M. incognita reproduction was minimal compared with that of ‘California Wonder’; both cultivars supported the reproduction of M. enterolobii and M. javanica, although the reproduction factors of M. enterolobii were ≈10-fold higher than M. javanica. To characterize the mechanism of high resistance to M. incognita in ‘UFRJ107(6)A3’, we examined the extent to which infective second-stage juveniles (J2s) were able to penetrate its roots in comparison with the susceptible ‘California Wonder’ and ‘Datil’ in two independent experiments; we conducted RKN root penetration assays with a single plant in a pot and two plants in a single-pot choice test using ‘Datil’ and ‘California Wonder’, respectively, as susceptible standards. In both assays, M. incognita J2s were absent in the roots of ‘UFRJ107(6)A3’ 7 days after inoculation but were present in the susceptible cultivars, indicating that resistance has an effect at the root invasion stage. In growth chamber experiments, at constant temperatures of 28 and 30 °C, ‘UFRJ107(6)A3’ exhibited M. incognita resistance superior to its parents and to the standard resistant bell pepper ‘Charleston Belle’, thus offering the potential to enhance specialty pepper production and for use as a nematode-resistant rootstock for commercial bell peppers.

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Donald N. Maynard

specific underutilized crops, including six fruits, five vegetables, one root and tuber crop, two flowers, three trees, and two spices. Thus, there is something for horticulturists of every persuasion. One chapter is dedicated to the underutilized fruits

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Paul W. Bosland

ASHS (2002–2006); reviewer for all three ASHS journals; Vegetable Publication Awards Committee; Vegetable Breeding Working Group; Germplasm Working Group; Herbs and Spices Working Group; and he organized the ASHS symposium on “Chile Peppers as a Spice

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Sandra M. Reed and Margaret R. Pooler

populations. This article serves to describe this seedling, which was released under the name ‘Firefly’. Origin Controlled hybridizations were made in 1998 at the TSU-NRC between C. alnifolia ‘Tom’s Compact' and ‘Ruby Spice’. None of the F 1 progeny had the

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Weiguang Yi and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

Herbs and spices have been used not only as food preservatives and flavoring, but also as traditional medicines for thousands of years. Two-thirds of the world's population still relies on traditional medicines with herbal medicines the most common

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Stephanie J. Walker

In New Mexico, paprika is the term describing New Mexico-type red chile cultivars that are high in extractable pigment (greater than 180) American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) units and low in heat (pungency) [less than 700 Scoville heat units

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Stephanie J. Walker and Paul A. Funk

, 2004 ). The level of pigmentation, or extractable color, is measured through a spectrophotometric method developed by the American Spice Trade Association ( ASTA, 1985 ) and reported in ASTA color units. A red chile sample with 180 ASTA would exhibit a