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D. Michael Glenn, Amnon Erez, Gary J. Puterka, and Patricia Gundrum

Processed-kaolin particle films (PKPFs) are used commercially in large quantities on horticultural crops to repel insects, and reduce heat stress and solar injury of fruit. Our studies determined the effect of two processed-mineral particle film materials (kaolin and calcium carbonate), on whole plant carbon assimilation, water use efficiency, yield, mean fruit weight and quality in `Empire' apple [(Malus ×sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh Mansf.))] over a four-year period. The application of a PKPF reduced canopy temperature, and probably reduced environmental stress, resulting in increased mean fruit weight and red color in two of the four years of the study. Whole canopy carbon assimilation studies indicated increased carbon assimilation only under conditions of high air temperature. The PKPF sprayed leaves also had reduced water use efficiency; likely due to increased stomatal conductance associated with reduced leaf temperature. Calcium carbonate had none of the positive effects of PKPF and reflected more photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) than the PKPF.

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W. Todd Watson, David N. Appel, Charles M. Kenerley, and Michael A. Arnold

Effects of washing and storing soil core samples of apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. (syn. M. domestica Borkh. non Poir.)] roots were studied to determine root losses from processing samples. Root losses were assessed by measuring root lengths before and after elutriation and storage at 4 °C (39.2 °F). The accuracy of the automated root length scanner to measure individual fine roots [<1 mm (0.04 inch) diameter] of varying lengths was evaluated by first measuring roots, then cutting the roots into 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.18 inch) lengths and rescanning. There was a significant relationship between the measurement of cut and noncut roots (r 2 = 0.93). Losses from elutriating samples with cut and noncut roots indicated a mean loss of50% for samples with cut roots and 34% for samples with noncut roots (P ≤ 0.01). Total mean root loss (elutriation loss of noncut roots and degradation loss in cold storage) for the 12-month period ranged from 34% at month 0% to 53% at month 12 (P ≤ 0.01). Mean root degradation losses from long-term cold storage ranged from 6% at month 1 to 19% at month 12 (P ≤ 0.01). No losses were identified for roots with diameters of 1 to 5 mm (0.04 to 0.20 inch) and 5 to 10 mm (0.20 to 0.39 inch). A data correction curve was developed to correct root length data (<1 mm) for root losses associated with processing of soil cores.

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Wesley T. Watson*, David N. Appel, Michael A. Arnold, Charles M. Kenerley, and James L. Starr

Several techniques have been used to study root growth and pathogen movement along roots between trees, including profile walls, micro-rhizotrons, and soil cores. These assessments can be very time consuming, cost prohibitive, and ineffective when studying soilborne pathogen movement across overlapping roots between adjacent trees in an orchard. Three aboveground rhizotrons were designed and constructed to study the movement of Phymatotrichopsis omnivora (Duggar) Hennebert (syn. Phymatotrichum omnivorum Duggar) along overlapping apple roots [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. (syn. M. domestica Borkh. non Poir.)] in simulated orchard conditions. Two experiments involved boxes using either observation windows or micro-rhizotron observation tubes between trees. A third experiment utilized 45-gallon containers (171,457 cm3) joined by innovative observation windows. The container rhizotrons reduced labor and material costs, were more effective at monitoring roots, were more convenient than field measurements, and more closely simulated orchard growing conditions. This method provides several advantages to better study and manipulate the rooting environment of orchard-grown trees.

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Albert C. Purvis and James W. Gegogeine

The mechanism by which diphenylamine (DPA) controls superficial scald in apples and reduces chilling injury in green bell peppers [Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum (Grossum Group)] has been assumed to be related to its antioxidant activity. In the present study, DPA inhibited the respiratory activity of green bell pepper fruit as well as oxygen uptake by the mitochondria isolated from them. When the alternative oxidase was inhibited with n-propyl gallate or disulfiram during state 4 respiration, DPA did not further inhibit O2 uptake. Treating green bell peppers with DPA before storage did not alter the induction and abundance of the alternative oxidase protein in mitochondria which was maximally induced in peppers stored at 4 °C. Whether added before or after the uncoupler, 2,4-dinitrophenol, DPA negated the enhanced O2 uptake associated with uncoupling of electron transfer in isolated mitochondria. These observations indicate that DPA inhibits the flow of electrons through the cytochrome path, probably somewhere in the cytochrome bc 1 complex. Although the secondary amine function of DPA makes it a powerful antioxidant, the effectiveness of DPA in reducing chilling injury in green bell peppers and superficial scald in apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] also may be due, in part, to its inhibition of respiration.

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Moritz Knoche and Eckhard Grimm

Formation of microcracks in the cuticular membrane (CM) of epidermal segments (ES) of apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf., ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Braeburn’, ‘Idared’, ‘Jonagold’, and ‘Topaz’; all grafted on ‘Malling.9’ rootstocks] fruit was studied after exposure of the surface of the ES to water. Potential strain of the CM on the ES was preserved by mounting a stainless steel washer on the fruit surface using an ethyl-cyanacrylate adhesive. Subsequently, ES were excised by tangentially cutting underneath the washer. The number of microcracks in the CM was established by light microscopy before and after a 48-h incubation period in deionized water. Within 48 h, the number of microcracks rapidly increased when the outer surface of ES of ‘Golden Delicious’ apple was exposed to water, but there was essentially no increase in microcracks when exposed to the ambient atmosphere. The occurrence of microcracks depended on the region of the fruit surface and increased from the rim of the pedicel cavity to the calyx. Increasing the relative humidity (greater than 75% relative humidity at 22 °C) above the outer surface of the ES exponentially increased the number of microcracks. Water-induced microcracking was not limited to ‘Golden Delicious’, but also occurred in ‘Braeburn’, ‘Jonagold’, ‘Topaz’, and, to a markedly smaller extent, in ‘Idared’ apple. The mechanism of formation of microcracks in the CM of apple fruit and their role in fruit russeting are discussed.

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Renae E. Moran, Dennis E. Deyton, Carl E. Sams, Charles D. Pless, and John C. Cummins

Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] oil was applied to apple trees [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] as a summer spray in six studies to determine if it controls European red mites [Panonychus ulmi (Koch.)], how it affects net CO2 assimilation (A), and if it causes phytotoxicity. Sprays of 0.5%, 1.0%, and 1.5% soybean oil {TNsoy1 formulation [soybean oil premixed with Latron B-1956 (LAT) spreader-sticker at 10 oil: 1 LAT (v/v)]} reduced mite populations by 94%. Sprays of 1% and 2% soybean oil reduced mite populations to three and four mites per leaf, respectively, compared to 25 per leaf on water-sprayed plants. Soybean oil concentrations of 1.0% and 1.5% applied to whole trees reduced A for less than 7 days. Phytotoxicity did not occur when soybean oil was applied with an airblast sprayer at concentrations of 1.0% and 1.5% or with a mist bottle at 2%. Phytotoxicity occurred when soybean oil was applied with a mist bottle at 4% and 6%, which left soybean oil leaf residues of 0.22 to 0.50 mg·cm-2. No phytotoxicity occurred with 4% SunSpray, which resulted in a mean leaf residue of only 0.13 mg·cm-2. Spraying 1% soybean oil tended to give better mite control than 1% SunSpray Ultra-Fine oil, but caused greater oil residues and a greater reduction in A.

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Kathleen Delate, Andrea McKern, Robert Turnbull, James T.S. Walker, Richard Volz, Allan White, Vincent Bus, Dave Rogers, Lyn Cole, Natalie How, Sarah Guernsey, and Jason Johnston

The global market for total organic product sales was $20 billion in 2005, continuing an annual growth rate of 20% to 35%. In the United States, there were 937,000 ha of certified organic land in 2003 with 5626 ha of organic apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.]. Increases in organic fruit production have been associated with improved pest management methods, the use of disease-resistant cultivars, and organic-focused marketing schemes. Often constrained by lower apple yields and smaller fruit size compared with conventional counterparts, key challenges for organic growers include regulation of nutrient cycling processes to maintain crop yields while minimizing the need for external inputs. In local or regional organic markets, disease-resistant apple cultivars, such as ‘Enterprise’, ‘Liberty’, ‘Redfree’, and ‘Gold Rush’, have gained increased acceptance, whereas exporting countries have continued their use of cultivars susceptible to scab [Venturia inaequalis (Cooke)]. Integrated insect pest management approaches, including the use of kaolin clay, codling moth granulosis virus, and spinosad-based insecticides, have been successfully developed to comply with export standards and quarantines, and to meet market demand. Key pests, such as codling moth [Cydia pomonella (L.)], have been managed at damage levels less than 5% using these approaches. Future pest management strategies in organic apple production will focus on development of scab-resistant cultivars with enhanced storage capability and reduction in inputs associated with negative environmental and health effects.

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Wesley Autio*, LaMar Anderson, Bruce Barritt, Robert Crass-weller, David Ferree, George Greene, Scott Johnson, Joseph Masabni, Michael Parker, and Gregory Reighard

`Fuji' apple trees [Malus ×sylvestris (L.) Mill. Var domestica. (Borkh.)] on five semidwarfing rootstocks (CG.4814, CG.7707, G.30N, M.26 EMLA, and M.7 EMLA) were planted at nine locations (CA, KY MO NC OH PA SC UT and WA) under the direction of the NC-140 Multistate Research Project. After four growing seasons (through 2002), trees on CG.7707 and M.7 EMLA were the largest, and those on M.26 EMLA were the smallest. M.7 EMLA resulted in more cumulative root suckering per tree than did any other rootstock. Yield per tree in 2002 and cumulatively was greatest from trees on CG.4814, CG.7707, and G.30N and least from trees on M.26 EMLA and M.7 EMLA. The most yield efficient trees in 2002 and cumulatively were on CG.4814, and the least efficient trees were on M.26 EMLA and M.7 EMLA. Rootstock did not affect fruit weight in 2002; however, on average, CG.7707 resulted in the largest fruit, and CG.4814 resulted in the smallest. Limited data will be presented on CG.6210, G.30T, and Supporter 4, which are planted only at some locations. Data for the fifth season (2003) will be presented.

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Wesley Autio*, John Cline, Robert Crassweller, Charles Embree, Elena Garcia, Emily Hoover, Kevin Kosola, Ronald Perry, and Terence Robinson

`McIntosh' apple trees [Malus ×sylvestris (L.) Mill. Var domestica (Borkh.)] on five semidwarfing rootstocks (CG.4814, CG.7707, G.30N, M.7 EMLA, and Supporter 4) were planted at 10 locations (MA, MI MN NS 2 in NY ON PA VT and WI) under the direction of the NC-140 Multistate Research Project. After four growing seasons (through 2002), trees on CG.7707, G.30N, Supporter 4, and M.7 EMLA were significantly larger than those on CG.4814. Cumulative root suckering was most from trees on M.7 EMLA, and least from trees on CG.7707, G.30N, and Supporter 4. Yield per tree in 2002 and cumulatively was greatest from trees on G.30N and least from trees on CG.7707 and M.7 EMLA. In 2002 and cumulatively, CG.4814 resulted in the greatest yield efficiency, and M.7 EMLA resulted in the lowest. In 2002, fruit from trees on M.7 EMLA were largest, and those from trees on CG.4814 were smallest. On average, M.7 EMLA resulted in the largest fruit, and G.30N resulted in the smallest. Limited data will be presented on CG.6210, CG.8, G.30T, and M.26 EMLA, which are planted only at some locations. Data for the fifth season (2003) will be presented.

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Wesley Autio*, John Cline, Robert Crassweller, Charles Embree, Elena Garcia, Emily Hoover, Kevin Kosola, Ronald Perry, and Terence Robinson

`McIntosh' apple trees [Malus ×sylvestris (L.) Mill. Var domestica (Borkh.)] on 10 dwarfing rootstocks (CG.3041, CG.4013, CG.5179, CG.5202, G.16N, G.16T, M.9 NAKBT337, Supporter 1, Supporter 2, and Supporter 3) were planted at 10 locations (MA, MI MN NS 2 in NY ON PA VT and WI) under the direction of the NC-140 Multistate Research Project. After four growing seasons (through 2002), trees on CG.5202 and CG.4013 were significantly larger than those on all other rootstocks. Smallest trees were on M.9 NAKBT337. Trees on other rootstocks were intermediate. Rootstock did not influence cumulative root suckering. Yield per tree in 2002 was greatest from trees on CG.4013 and lowest from trees on M.9 NAKBT337; however, cumulatively, trees on M.9 NAKBT337 and CG.4013 yielded the most. Yield efficiency in 2002 was not affected by rootstock. Cumulatively, rootstock had very little effect, but trees on CG.5202 were the least efficient. In 2002, M.9 NAKBT337, CG.3041, and Supporter 2 resulted in the largest fruit, and CG.5179 resulted in the smallest. On average, M.9 NAKBT337 resulted in the largest fruit, and G.16T resulted in the smallest. Limited data will be presented on CG.5935 and M.26 EMLA, which are planted only at some locations. Data for the fifth season (2003) will be presented.