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Richard L. Bell*, Tom van der Zwet, and Diane D. Miller

`Shenandoah' is a new European pear (Pyrus communis L.) cultivar which combines resistance to fire blight with fruit of excellent quality. The original seedling tree was selected in 1985 from a cross of `Max Red Bartlett'× US 56112-146, and was tested under the original seedling number, US 78304-057. The fruit of `Shenandoah' is pyriform in shape, and moderately large in size, averaging 72 mm in diameter and 92 mm in height. Skin color at harvest is light green, turning yellow-green when ripe. The skin finish is glossy, and 10% to 20% of the fruit surface is blushed red. There is light tan russet at the calyx. Lenticles are slightly conspicuous, and are surrounded by small, light brown russet. The stem is medium to long (≈25 mm), of medium thickness, and slightly curved. Harvest maturity occurs about four weeks after `Bartlett', and the fruit will store in refrigerated (-1 °C) air storage for at least four months without core breakdown or superficial scald. The flesh texture is moderately fine, juicy, and buttery. Grit cells are moderately small and occur primarily around the core and in a thin layer under the skin. The flavor is aromatic, similar to `Bartlett', and is moderately acidic during the first two months of storage, becoming subacid after longer storage. The tree is moderate in vigor on `Bartlett' seedling and `OHxF 97' rootstocks, and upright-spreading in habit. Shenandoah' blooms in mid-season, similar to `Bartlett'. Yield has been moderately high and precocious, and with no pronounced biennial pattern. Fire blight resistance is similar to `Seckel', with infections extending no further than 1-year-old branches. Artificial blossom inoculations indicate a moderate degree of blossom resistance to fire blight infection.

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Gayle M. Volk, Christopher M. Richards, Adam D. Henk, Ann Reilley, Diane D. Miller, and Philip L. Forsline

The genetic diversity of a wild Malus population collected in the Kyrgyz Republic was compared with seedlings of Malus sieversii collected in Kazakhstan. Based on microsatellite marker results, we conclude that the population of 49 individuals collected in the Kyrgyz Republic includes private alleles and this population is assigned to a common genetic lineage with M. sieversii individuals found in the Karatau Mountain range of Kazakhstan. We recommend that a subset of these individuals be included in the National Plant Germplasm System Malus collection so they may be made available to breeders, physiologists, and other scientists for further examination.

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Joseph C. Scheerens, Todd E. Steiner, Artemio Z. Tulio Jr., Mustafa Ozgen, Diane D. Miller, R. Neil Reese, A. Raymond Miller, and David C. Ferree

Eight unique varietal grape juices were examined for their antioxidant characteristics and commercial potential compared to that of commercial `Niagara' and `Concord'. Grape juices were cold-pressed from mature grapes, clarified, preserved, analyzed for pH, soluble solid and titratable acidity levels, pasteurized at 73 °C for 12 seconds, and sampled for microbial testing. A preliminary panel of 41 routine evaluators assessed all juices for 18 quality characteristics against known and blind controls. Based on these results, `Reliance', `Traminette', and New York 73 juices were presented to a 107-member panel of untrained judges. Panelists rated experimental juices against commercial controls for color, appearance, aroma and flavor intensity, sweetness, tartness, overall quality, and preference. Among juices tested, `Reliance' and NY 73 offer the greatest potential as specialty grape juices. `Traminette', `Chardonel', `Chambourcin', and NY 62 may also have potential as grape juice cultivars, if processed to improve their color and clarity. Small juice lots were hand-pressed from mature grapes and examined for total anthocyanin and phenolic content, antioxidant characteristics (DPPH and FRAP) and levels of individual phenolic compounds via GC-MS. Total anthocyanin and phenolic contents of experimental juices varied from 0–1460 μg·gfw-1 and 1001–2850 μg·gfw-1, respectively, and were highest in NY 73. Estimates of antioxidant activity differed slightly among tests, but activity appeared highest in `Chambourcin' and NY 73 and lowest in `Reliance'. Levels of individual compounds varied substantially among juices.

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Emily E. Hoover, Richard P. Marini, Emily Tepe, Wesley R. Autio, Alan R. Biggs, Jon M. Clements, Robert M. Crassweller, Daniel D. Foster, Melanie J. Foster, Peter M. Hirst, Diane Doud Miller, Michael L. Parker, Gregory M. Peck, Jozsef Racsko, Terence L. Robinson, and Michele R. Warmund

Researchers have collected a considerable amount of data relating to apple (Malus ×domestica) cultivars and rootstocks over the past 30 years, but much of this information is not easily accessible. The long-term goal of our working group is to increase access to this information using online technology available through eXtension. In eXtension, researchers and extension personnel are developing a community of practice (CoP) to increase the quality and amount of online information for individuals interested in our work [referred to as a community of interest (CoI)]. For this project, our CoI is broadly defined as commercial apple producers, nursery professionals, county extension educators, Extension Master Gardeners, home gardeners, and consumers. Our CoP is developing diverse educational tools, with the goals of increasing productivity, profitability, and sustainability for commercial apple production. Additionally, we will provide other members of our CoI access to research-based, reliable information on the culture of apples. We chose to begin our focus on cultivars and rootstocks adapted to the eastern United States and will add other U.S. regions as our resources and interest in our project grows.