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Janel L. Giovannelli, Mark W. Farnham, Min Wang, and Allan E. Strand

Downy mildew, caused by the fungal parasite Peronospora parasitica (Pers.: Fr.) Fr., is a destructive disease of Brassica oleracea L. crops, including broccoli (B. oleracea, Italica Group). The development and deployment of downy mildew resistant broccoli cultivars is a priority for breeders and producers. Identification of genetic markers linked to downy mildew resistance genes should facilitate selection for resistance and pyramiding of resistance genes into cultivars. The objectives of this study were to 1) identify RAPD markers linked to a single dominant gene for resistance in broccoli, 2) clone and sequence the linked RAPD markers, and 3) develop and evaluate SCAR markers as screening tools for resistance. Bulked segregant analysis led to the identification of eight linked RAPD markers following a screen of 848 decamers. Two of the linked RAPD fragments, UBC359620 and OPM16750, were converted to dominant SCAR markers linked in coupling to the resistance locus at 6.7 and 3.3 cM, respectively. The SCAR marker based on UBC359620 sequence exhibited less accuracy (94%) than the original RAPD (96%) in differentiating resistant and susceptible plants, but the accuracy (97%) of the OPM16750-SCAR was not different than the original RAPD. These SCAR markers are among the first genetic markers found linked to a gene conferring cotyledon-stage downy mildew resistance in B. oleracea. Results of this work provide breeders with useful information and tools for the systematic development of resistant cultivars.

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Yifei Wang, Stephanie K. Fong, Ajay P. Singh, Nicholi Vorsa, and Jennifer Johnson-Cicalese

The flavonoid and organic acid profiles of one cultivated tetraploid and six wild diploid blueberry species (Vaccinium spp.) were systematically investigated using high-performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS-MS). Eighteen individual anthocyanins from five aglycone classes were characterized among species, with malvidin and delphinidin glycosides accounting for 31.4% and 29.1% of total anthocyanins. Twenty-three flavonol glycosides from six aglycone classes were identified, among which quercetin and myricetin glycosides accounted for more than 80% of total flavonols in most species. Both inter- and intraspecies differences in anthocyanin and flavonol composition were observed, as described by principal component analysis. Only B-type proanthocyanidins were found in blueberry species, and highly polymerized molecules with degree of polymerization greater than 10 appeared to be the most abundant fraction. Although overall proanthocyanidin levels varied from 27.7 to 146.3 mg/100 g fruit, all species exhibited similar proanthocyanidin composition. Citric, quinic, and shikimic acid were the major identified blueberry organic acids. However, their relative abundance varied across species. In certain species either citric acid (e.g., Vaccinium darrowii) or quinic acid (e.g., Vaccinium corymbosum) was lacking.

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Philip L. Forsline, Warren F. Lamboy, James R. McFerson, and Cecil Stushnoff

The USDA–ARS germplasm collection of cold-hardy Vitis held at the Plant Genetic Resources Unit, Geneva, N.Y., has over 1300 clonal accessions maintained as field-grown vines. Security back-up using field-grown or potted vines at remote sites or via in vitro methods is costly. Cryopreservation offers a safe, cost-effective alternative. While we routinely employ cryogenic storage of dormant buds of Malus, dormant buds of Vitis generally do not appear to tolerate the desiccation levels required by our current cryopreservation protocol. Since tolerance to desiccation and cold appear to be correlated in Vitis, we tested desiccation tolerance of 60 germplasm accessions selected from the core subset to represent a range of cold hardiness. Budwood was collected in December 1995 in Geneva, stored at –4°C in sealed bags, and systematically desiccated to 30% and 20% moisture. In some treatments, additional desiccation was imposed by slow freezing to –25°C. Microscopic examination of rehydrated buds indicated 60% of accessions tolerated desiccation as low as 20% moisture. Freeze-desiccation at –25°C after desiccation at –4°C neither increased nor decreased viability in these accessions. Only slight modification so current protocols should be necessary for cryopreservation of this class. Of the remaining accessions, 25% tolerated desiccation to 30% moisture, but 15% were intolerant to any desiccation level tested. Techniques must be developed to successfully cryopreserve both these classes of accessions.

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C. Richer-Leclerc and J.-A. Rioux

The “Réseau d'essais des plantes ligneuses ornementales du Québec” (REPLOQ) is a research project initiated in 1982 with the mandate to elaborate, develop, and coordinate a cooperative research project to evaluate the winter hardiness of ornamental plants. Systematic evaluation trials provided information on growth potential and hardiness of woody trees and shrubs evaluated over a 5-year period in the principal growing regions of Québec. Zonal range covered was 2 to 5b in the Canadian system. Adequate field testing is critical for new introductions and, since 1984, more than 400 species and cultivars have been introduced and eight evaluated in each climatic zone. Propagation methods, as well as their potential for ornamental purpose, were described. In the 1984 plantation, 30 ornamental species and cultivars were evaluated. Winter damage data observed on each plant during this period were analyzed by Clusters analysis and five groups of plants were determined. Trees, flowering shrubs, and foliage shrubs were discussed separately and winter damages of each group were submitted to “Correspondence analyses” to identify plant response to climatic conditions. Growth and production potentials were defined by SAS analysis. Hardiness zone of each species was detailed, established, or modified.

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Patrick J. Conner

Germination of muscadine seed has frequently been low and irregular in the University of Georgia breeding program. A systematic study was undertaken to determine the best seed treatments and germination conditions for muscadine seed. Open-pollinated seeds of ‘Fry’ muscadine were used for all treatments. Stratification of seeds was performed by placing dry seed in damp vermiculite at 4 °C for periods of 0, 30, 60, and 90 d. The 90-d stratification period gave the highest germination percentage, with successively lower germination in the shorter stratification treatments. Pretreatment of seeds before stratification with three rates (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 M) of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and four rates (1, 2, 4, and 8 g·L−1) of gibberellic acid (GA3) were used in an attempt to promote germination. Low rates of H2O2 (0.5 M) and GA3 (1 g·L−1) were beneficial in some instances, whereas high rates of GA3 were detrimental. Nicking the seedcoats before stratification and soaking seeds in running water after stratification were ineffective in promoting germination. Germination temperatures of 32/22 °C (8 h/16 h) were superior to 22/22, 27/22, and 37/22 °C.

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Xin Zhao, C.B. Rajashekar, Edward E. Carey, and Weiqun Wang

Demand for organically grown produce is increasing, largely due to concerns of consumers about health and nutrition. Previous studies have not shown a consistent difference of essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, between organic food crops and the conventional counterparts. However, to date, little consideration has been given to phytochemicals, secondary plant metabolites with potential health-promoting properties. We first discuss factors that can infl uence the levels of phytochemicals in crops, and then we critically review the results of published studies that have compared the effects of organic and conventional production systems on phytochemical contents of fruit and vegetables. The evidence overall seems in favor of enhancement of phytochemical content in organically grown produce, but there has been little systematic study of the factors that may contribute to increased phytochemical content in organic crops. It remains to be seen whether consistent differences will be found, and the extent to which biotic and abiotic stresses, and other factors such as soil biology, contribute to those differences. Problems associated with most studies tend to weaken the validity of comparisons. Given the limitations of most published studies, needs for future research are discussed.

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Sandra A. Balch, Cynthia B. McKenney, and Dick L. Auld

Oenothera biennis, common evening primrose, produces seeds that have a high oil content containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid of medicinal, and dietary importance. These plants are commonly found in sandy or gravelly soils and have the ability to tolerate hot, dry conditions. Plants containing economically important oils such as GLA are potential crops for arid environments with minimal irrigation. Many native species of evening primrose have not yet been evaluated for oil content. In this project, a systematic survey of native Onagraceae species was conducted in the Texas Panhandle and the Texas South Plains. Six species of Oenothera and two species of Calylophus were found. Locations were recorded with a Global Positioning System (GPS) to facilitate relocation and collection. Distribution maps were made for each species. The occurrence of species varied greatly from north to south, with the exception of one species that occurred throughout the area surveyed. Seeds were collected from each species and from various locations within the range of each species. Germination percentages were determined for each species and had a wide variation. Evaluation of the oil content of this native germplasm could possibly lead to development of new commercial sources of GLA.

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Douglas A. Hopper and Kevin T. Cifelli

Growth predictions derived from data collected in controlled-environment chambers would be expected to differ from growth responses observed in variable greenhouse conditions. ROSESIM was developed as a dynamic plant growth model based on `Royalty' rose (Rosa hybrida L.) response to 15 unique treatment combinations of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), day temperature (DT), and night temperature (NT) under constant growth chamber conditions. Regression coefficients for growth equations are read from an external ASCII file, thus permitting coefficients up to a full quadratic model form. Calibration coefficients (CC) were added to ROSESIM to enable predictions to be altered proportionally to permit improved prediction of specific growth characteristics. Numerator and denominator values for CC are adjustable for the first 10 days (initial) growth equations, subsequent growth until anthesis equations, and for the prediction of anthesis. Validation studies were used to set CC values; this enables the model based on growth in controlled environment chambers to be systematically calibrated on site to fit actual growth measured at a specific greenhouse location.

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Christopher M. McGuire

1 Current address: Section of Ecology and Systematics, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853. I thank Ian Merwin, John Ray, Marvin Pritts, and Mary Jo Kelly for advice and assistance, and my family for encouragement and

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Rebecca L. Loughner, Daniel F. Warnock, and Raymond A. Cloyd

Foundation. The authors would like to thank Stephanie Larsen and Andreana Lau for their assistance with this research and David A. Nickle, USDA Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., for the identification of thrips species used in this project