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Keri L. Andersen, Susan L. Cuppett, Ellen T. Paparozzi, and Paul E. Read

Phenolic levels have been analyzed in several grape cultivars that are suited for growing in southeastern Nebraska. The phenolic levels of these cultivars are not known to have been previously published. The polyphenol content of fruits and fruit products such as wine have been shown to be directly correlated to the antioxidant potential of the product. Antioxidants help to prevent the effects of aging and age-associated diseases. The grape cultivars in the study are grown primarily for wine production, but also as fresh table grapes and for making juice and jellies. The total phenolic content is being analyzed by the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Of the red grapes, `St. Croix' and `Frontenac' have the highest levels of polyphenols, followed by `Chambourcin' and `deChaunac', with levels varying from 1.4–4.9 mg·g-1 (polyphenols/grape), measured as gallic acid equivalents (GAE). The white grapes `Vignoles' and `LaCrosse' have total phenolic levels of 1.4 to 2.2 mg·g-1 (polyphenols/grape), also measured as gallic acid equivalents (GAE).

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Ahmed El-Shiekh, David K. Wildung, James J. Luby, Kay L. Sargent, and Paul E. Read

Plants of `Northblue' blueberry, propagated in tissue culture (TC) or from softwood, single-node cuttings (ST), were evaluated in field plantings established in 1984 at Becker and Grand Rapids, in central and northern Minnesota, respectively. Plantings were observed from 1987 through 1994 to determine the persistence of such effects as increased vigor, more spreading growth habit, and higher yield observed for TC plants during the initial 3 years after planting. TC plants had significantly higher yields at Grand Rapids in 1989 and 1994. At Grand Rapids, the consistently greater plant spread (bearing area) of TC plants resulted in higher yields of TC plants over all years combined. At Becker, TC and ST plants did not differ for plant height or spread after 10 years and, in 2 of 5 years, ST plants had heavier average berry weights. At Grand Rapids, TC plants did not differ consistently in height, or subjective ratings of the amount of bloom or crop. The effects of propagation method on yield and growth habit of `Northblue' are limited to early years in warmer locations, but can be of longer-term significance in colder areas with shorter growing seasons and lower winter temperatures, where plant spread is a more important factor than plant height in determining yield.

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Weicheng Xu, Faxian Su, Guangchen Zhang, Jianwei Hou, Sheng Zhao, Yuan Deng, Paul E. Read, and Guochen Yang

Sodium hydrogen sulfate (NaHSO3) in aqueous solution was sprayed on bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) plants beginning at first anthesis to test its effects as a photorespiration represser and resulting effects on yield. NaHSO3 sprays promoted plant height, stem diameter, fruit number and plant weight and increased the net assimilation rate, thus increasing yield. Concentrations of 60, 100, 120, 130, 200, 240 and 300 ppm were all effective, with 200 ppm optimum. Sprays repeated for three times at 7 day intervals were more effective in increasing growth and yield of bell pepper than spraying once or twice. This technique has gained acceptance as a practical method for improving production of bell pepper in Northeast China. Additional research is underway to further refine this practice.