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J.D. Hansen, M.L. Heidt, M.A. Watkins, S.R. Drake, J. Tang, and S. Wang

Quarantine regulations require domestic sweet cherries (Prunus avium) exported to Japan to be treated to control codling moth [Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)]. The current procedure, methyl bromide fumigation, may be discontinued because of health, safety, and environmental concerns. To examine a potential alternative method, `Bing' sweet cherries were each infested with a codling moth larva, submerged in a 38 °C water bath for 6 minutes pretreatment, then exposed to various temperatures generated by radio frequency and held at that temperature for different times: 50 °C for 6 minutes, 51.6 °C for 4 minutes, 53.3 °C for 0.5 minutes, and 54.4 °C for 0.5 minutes. Insect mortality was evaluated 24 hours after treatment and fruit quality was evaluated after treatment and after 7 and 14 days of storage at 1 °C. No larvae survived at the 50 and 51.6 °C treatments. Fruit color of non-infested cherries was darkened as temperature increased. Stem color was severely impacted after 7 days of storage, even in a warm water bath of 38 °C for 6 minutes, as was fruit firmness at the same treatment. Fruit quality loss increased after 14 days of storage, compared to after 7 days of storage. The amount of pitting and bruising of cherries increased with temperature and again this increase was more evident after 14 days of storage.

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Nancy Roe, Johnnie R. Schmidt, and Tobin Fojtik

Some possible alternatives to soil fumigation with methyl bromide include soil solarization and the use of composts to modify soil microorganism populations. We tested combinations of solarization and compost on a broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L.) crop on an organic farm. Treatments were: solarization with compost (SC); solarization without compost (SW); compost only (NC); and an untreated control (NW). Dairy manure compost was applied manually to compost plots at 22 Mg/ha, raised beds were constructed, and solarization plots were covered with clear polyethylene from 13 July to 26 Aug. Black polyethylene mulch was applied to all plots, covering the clear polyethylene. Broccoli, cv. Packman, transplants were planted into the beds and fertilized with fish emulsion fertilizer three times for a total of ≈22 kg/ha N. Broccoli heads were harvested on 1, 5, and 9 Dec., trimmed to 15 cm, weighed and counted. Marketable yields were 8704, 7117, 8169, and 8374 (kg/ha) and mean head weights were 353, 228, 286, 313 (g) for SC, SW, NC, and NW, respectively. Under these conditions, head weights were highest with compost and solarization, and marketable yields were similar.

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Judy A. Thies, Richard L. Fery, John D. Mueller, Gilbert Miller, and Joseph Varne

Resistance of two sets of bell pepper [(Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum (Grossum Group)] cultivars near-isogenic for the N gene that conditions resistance to root-knot nematodes [Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White, M. arenaria (Neal) Chitwood races 1 and 2, and M. javanica (Treub) Chitwood] was evaluated in field tests at Blackville, S.C. and Charleston, S.C. The isogenic bell pepper sets were `Charleston Belle' (NN) and `Keystone Resistant Giant' (nn), and `Carolina Wonder' (NN) and `Yolo Wonder B' (nn). The resistant cultivars Charleston Belle and Carolina Wonder were highly resistant; root galling was minimal for both cultivars at both test sites. The susceptible cultivars Keystone Resistant Giant and Yolo Wonder B were highly susceptible; root galling was severe at both test sites. `Charleston Belle' had 96.9% fewer eggs per g fresh root than `Keystone Resistant Giant', and `Carolina Wonder' had 98.3% fewer eggs per g fresh root than `Yolo Wonder B' (averaged over both test sites). `Charleston Belle' and `Carolina Wonder' exhibited a high level of resistance in field studies at both sites. These results demonstrate that resistance conferred by the N gene for root-knot nematode resistance is effective in field-planted bell pepper. Root-knot nematode resistant bell peppers should provide economical and environmentally compatible alternatives to methyl bromide and other nematicides for managing M. incognita.

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Chinthaka Karunaratne, Graham A. Moore, Rodney B. Jones, and Robert F. Ryan

Phosphine (PH3) is a potential alternative fumigant to methyl bromide for insect disinfestation of cut flowers. King protea (Protea cynaroides L.), tulip (Tulipa gesneriana `Apeldoorn'), kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos manglesii Hook.), and geraldton wax (Chamelaucium uncinatum `Purple Pride') were fumigated with PH3 at varying concentrations (100 to 8000 μL·L-1) for 2, 4, or 6 hours. Vase life was evaluated at 20 °C, 65% relative humidity, and constant illumination with a photosynthetically active radiation of 15 μmol·m-2·S-1. No significant change in vase life was observed for kangaroo paws after any of the PH3 fumigations. A 6-hour fumigation at 8000 μL·L-1 significantly reduced vase life in king protea, tulip, and geraldton wax flower. Geraldton wax flower and tulip were relatively sensitive to PH3, as they were damaged by 4000 μL·L-1 for 6 hours and 8000 μL·L-1 for 4 hours, respectively. Phosphine has potential as an insect disinfestation fumigant for king protea, tulip, and kangaroo paw at 4000 (μL·L-1 for 6 hours without affecting vase life or causing damage.

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Warren Roberts, Wayne Fish, Benny Bruton, Tom Popham, and Merritt Taylor

Grafted cucurbits are commonly grown in various Asian and European countries, but only rarely in North America. Disease control in fields where crop rotation cannot be practiced is a common justification for grafting cucurbits. In the present study, grafting is being examined as a methyl bromide alternative, which may allow cucurbits to be grown in fields where heavy disease pressure would make production of nongrafted cultivars impractical. A study with watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) grafted onto rootstocks of squash and gourd was conducted at Lane, Oklahoma in 2004. Treatments consisted of watermelon cultivars SF 800, SS 5244, SS 7167, SS 7177, and SS 7187 from Abbot & Cobb Seed Co., grown on their own roots, or grafted onto rootstocks of RS1330, RS1332, RS1420, or RS 1421. Controls consisted of nongrafted cultivars Sangria, Royal Sweet, Jubilee, and Jamboree. Two fields were planted, with three replications per field. Plants were grown on 1 m centers, with rows 3 m apart. Yields of grafted plants were generally equal to or greater than the nongrafted plants. Sugar content, measured as soluble solids, was affected minimally, if any, by grafting. Lycopene content of fruit from grafted plants was equal to, or marginally better than, fruit from nongrafted plants. Fruit firmness, as measured by a penetrometer, was significantly greater in the grafted fruit than in the nongrafted fruit. The firmest fruit occurred with SS 7167 scions, grafted onto RS 1420 rootstock, which had a value of about 2.0 × 105 Pascals. The nongrafted plants had values of about 1.0 × 105 Pascals, or less. Matching of scions with appropriate rootstocks was important, as interactions did occur. Certain combinations were significantly superior to other combinations. We estimate that the cost to purchase a grafted seedling plant from a seedling supplier would be $0.75 to $1.00, which would include the cost of the seed and the grafting operation. This cost would compare favorably with the cost of applying methyl bromide to the soil and then planting nongrafted seeds or transplants. Higher plant survival due to disease resistance along with planting fewer plants per hectare is anticipated with grafted plants. The high values in fruit firmness in grafted fruit should be of particular interest to the fresh-cut industry.

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Craig S. Charron and Carl E. Sams

The U.S. Clean Air Act bans the use of methyl bromide after 2005. Consequently, the development of alternative methods for control of soilborne pathogens is imperative. One alternative is to exploit the pesticidal properties of Brassica L. species. Macerated leaves (10 g) from `Premium Crop' broccoli [B. oleracea L. (Botrytis Group)], `Charmant' cabbage [B. oleracea L. (Capitata Group)], `Michihili Jade Pagoda' Chinese cabbage [B. rapa L. (Pekinensis Group)], `Blue Scotch Curled' kale [B. oleracea L. (Acephala Group)], Indian mustard [B. juncea (L.) Czerniak, unknown cultivar] or `Florida Broadleaf' mustard [B. juncea (L.) Czerniak] were placed in 500-mL glass jars. Petri dishes with either Pythium ultimum Trow or Rhizoctonia solani Kühn plugs on potato-dextrose agar were placed over the jar mouths. Radial growth of both fungi was suppressed most by Indian mustard. Volatiles were collected by solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) comprised >90% of the volatiles measured from `Florida Broadleaf' mustard and Indian mustard whereas (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate was the predominant compound emitted by the other species. Isothiocyanates were not detected by SPME from `Premium Crop' broccoli and `Blue Scotch Curled' kale although glucosinolates were found in freeze-dried leaves of all species. When exposed to AITC standard, P. ultimum growth was partially suppressed by 1.1 μmol·L-1 (μmol AITC/headspace volume) and completely suppressed by 2.2 μmol·L-1 R. solani was partially suppressed by 1.1, 2.2, and 3.3 μmol·L-1 AITC. Use of Brassica species for control of fungal pathogens is promising; the presence of AITC in both lines of B. juncea suppressed P. ultimum and R. solani but some Brassicas were inhibitory even when isothiocyanates were not detected.

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Kirk D. Larson

Replant soil fumigation with mixtures of methyl bromide (MeBr) and chloropicrin (trichloronitromethane) is a standard practice for pest and disease control in fruit crop nurseries in California. The proposed phase-out of MeBr by the year 2001 requires that alternative soil sterilants be studied for nursery use. Therefore, on 5 April, 1993, three preplant soil treatments were applied to new strawberry ground: 1) MeBr/chloropicrin (67:33) at 392 kg/ha: 2) chloropicrin, a possible MeBr substitute. at 140 kg/ha: and 3) nonfumigation. The experimental design was a RCB: there were two plots (each 10′ × 15′) for each of two cultivars (`Chandler' and `Selva') for the 3 soil treatments in each of 3 blocks. Mother plants were planted 26 April, and plots were machine-harvested in October, 1993. All plants from each plot were uniformly graded, after which mean stolon yield per mother plant, mean crown diameters, and crown and root dry wts were determined. Cultivar effects and cultivar × treatment interactions were not observed, so data for the two cultivars were pooled. Stolon production per mother plant was greatest for trt 1 (18.56 stolons), intermediate for trt 2 (15.75 stolons), and least form 3 (7.89 stolons). For trt 3, crown dieters. and crown and root dry wts were reduced relative to those of trts 1 or 2. Stolons from all trts were planted in a fruit production field on 13 October, 1993. After two months, canopy diameters were greatest for plants from trt 1 (27.1 cm), intermediate for plants from trt 2 (26.2 cm) and least for plants from trt 3 (24.9 cm). The results indicate that, compared to standard soil fumigation with MeBr/chloropicrin. small, but significant, reductions in runner production and plant vigor can be expected following nursery soil fumigation with intermediate rates of chloropicrin.

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Christina L. Pierson, Carl E. Sams, Dennis E. Deyton, and Craig S. Charron

Biofumigation is an alternative to traditional methods of soil sterilization such as methyl bromide. Biofumigation utilizes volatile, pesticidal compounds in soil incorporated plant material from various Brassica species. Three experiments were conducted to study the degradation of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) generated from the breakdown of glucosinolates present in Oriental mustard (Brassica juncea L. Czerniak). Mustard seed meal was incorporated into a sandy clay loam soil in all experiments. In the first experiment, samples were hydrated and then held in an incubator at 20 ± 0.2 °C. Samples were taken periodically for 7 days or until AITC was not detectable. For the second experiment, hydrated samples were removed from the incubator after 4 hours and 5 mL of ethyl acetate was added. The samples were then placed in a refrigerator at 4 ± 0.2 °C and samples were taken periodically over 77 days. For the third experiment, samples were taken from a strawberry plot experiment grown in a randomized complete block design. Samples were taken and 5 mL of ethyl acetate was added. Then samples were placed into a cooler until returning to the laboratory. The incubator experiment was repeated and showed that the highest concentration of AITC occurred between 2 and 8 hours after hydration. The storage experiment showed a stable relationship between time and AITC degradation. AITC was still present after 77 days. The strawberry plot experiment showed rapid AITC degradation similar to the incubator experiment. Future research will be done to confirm the effects of temperature and glucosinolate content on the amount of allyl isothiocyanate present.

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James P. Gilreath, Bielinski M. Santos, Joseph W. Noling, Salvadore J. Locascio, Donald W. Dickson, Erin N. Rosskopf, and Steven M. Olson

Field studies were conducted in three Florida locations (Bradenton, Gainesville, and Quincy) during 1998-99 and 1999-2000 to: 1) compare the performance of two transplant systems under diverse MBr alternative programs in `Chandler' strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa), and 2) determine the efficacy of these treatments on soilborne pest control in strawberry. Fumigant treatments were: 1) nonfumigated control, 2) methyl bromide plus chloropicrin (MBr + Pic) at a rate of 350 lb/acre, 3) Pic at 300 lb/acre and napropamide at 4 lb/acre, 4) 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) plus Pic at 35 gal/acre and napropamide at 4 lb/acre, 5) metam sodium (MNa) at 60 gal/acre and napropamide at 4 lb/acre, and 6) MNa followed by 1,3-D at 60 and 12 gal/acre and napropamide at 4 lb/acre, respectively. Strawberry transplants were either bare-root or containerized plugs. There were no significant fumigant by transplant type interactions for strawberry plant vigor and root weight per plant, whereas ring nematode (Criconema spp.) and nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus and C. esculentus) populations, and total marketable fruit weight were only infl uenced by fumigant application. The nonfumigated plots had the lowest strawberry plant vigor and root weight per plant in all three locations. In most cases, plant vigor and root biomass per plant increased as a response to any fumigant application. With regard to the transplant type, bare-root transplants had similar plant vigor as plugs in two of the three locations. Fumigation improved nutsedge and ring nematode control. All fumigants had higher early and total marketable yield than the nonfumigated control, whereas transplant type had no effect on total fruit weight.

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Shengrui Yao, Ian A. Merwin, and Janice E. Thies

Apple (Malu ×domestica) replant disease (ARD) is a soil-borne disease syndrome of complex etiology that occurs worldwide when establishing new orchards in old fruit-growing sites. Methyl bromide (MB) has been an effective soil fumigant to control ARD, but safer alternatives to MB are needed. We evaluated soil microbial communities, tree growth, and fruit yield for three pre-plant soil treatments (compost amendment, soil treatment with a broad-spectrum fumigant, and untreated controls), and five clonal rootstocks (M7, M26, CG6210, CG30, and G16), in an apple replant site at Ithaca, N.Y. Molecular fingerprinting (PCR-DGGE) techniques were used to study soil microbial community composition of root-zone soil of the different soil treatments and rootstocks. Tree caliper, shoot growth, and yield were measured annually from 2002–04. Among the five rootstocks we compared, trees on CG6210 had the most growth and yield, while trees on M26 had the least growth and yield. Soil treatments altered soil microbial communities during the year after pre-plant treatments, and each treatment was associated with distinct microbial groups in hierarchical cluster analyses. However, those differences among fungal and bacterial communities diminished during the second year after planting, and soil fungal communities equilibrated faster than bacterial communities. Pre-plant soil treatments altered bulk-soil microbial community composition, but those shifts in soil microbial communities had no obvious correlation with tree performance. Rootstock genotypes were the dominant factor in tree performance after 3 years of observations, and different rootstocks were associated with characteristic bacterial, pseudomonad, fungal, and oomycetes communities in root-zone soil.