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J.C. Rodriguez, D.J. Cantliffe, N.L. Shaw, and Z. Karchi

In the spring of 2001 and 2002, different combinations of media (coarse perlite, medium perlite, and pine bark) and containers (polyethylene bags and plastic pots) were used for hydroponic production of `Galia' muskmelons (Cucumis melo L.) to determine their effect on fruit yield and quality, and their influence on costs of production. Marketable yields obtained for `Gal-152' in the spring 2001 and 2002 were 25.5 kg·m–2 and 39.0 kg·m–2 respectively. When data were combined for 2001 and 2002, fruit yield and fruit quality were unaffected by any combination of media and container. Average soluble solids content was generally greater than 10° Brix. It was determined that the use of pine bark media and plastic pots instead of perlite and bags would save $18,200 per year (two crops)—a feasible option for reducing costs of producing `Galia' muskmelons in greenhouses using soilless culture without loss of yield and fruit quality.

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Chaim Kempler and Todd Kabaluk

Kiwifruit (A. chinensis, A. deliciosa) seedlings were propagated from seeds collected from their native habitat in China. They were planted at the Pacific Agri. Res. Center in 1988 for the purpose of selecting superior fruit. Out of 2212 Actinidia seedlings, 1425 flowered by 1994, with 794 being male and 631 female. Some selections flowered 1 month earlier and matured 3 weeks earlier than `Hayward' kiwifruit. One accession had fruit of comparable size to `Hayward' while maturing about 2 to 3 weeks earlier. Some hairless selections had an average fruit weight of 90 g, °Brix index of 18%, light flesh color, 207 mg/100 g of vitamin C, and early maturation. Most of the seedlings were hardy under a coastal British Columbia climate.

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S. Lius, R. Manshardt, D. Gonsalves, M. Fitch, J. Slightom, and J. Sanford

Twenty transgenic Carica papaya plants ('Sunset', Roclone 55-l) carrying the coat protein gene (cp) of papaya ringspot virus (PRV) strain HA 5-l have remained symptomless and ELISA-negative for 18 mo. after inoculation with Hawaiian PRV under field conditions. Control plants showed disease symptoms within 1 mo. after manual inoculation or within 4 mo. when aphid populations were the inoculum vectors. Trunk diameter was significantly greater in cp + plants (14.3 cm) than in PRV-infected controls (9.3 cm). Fruit brix, plant morphology, and fertility of cp + plants were all norm al. Segregation analysis in R1 seedlings indicated that 55-1 contains a single transgenic insertion site. PRV resistance in R1 plants was linked with the cp gene, although in some progenies, up to 50% of cp + plants developed mild PRV symptoms more than 3 mo. after inoculation. Preliminary tests suggest that this is not due to genesis of virulent mutant strains of PRV.

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Jon M. Clements and Joseph F. Costante

A randomized complete block study was initiated in 1991 in a fifteen year old `Rogers Red McIntosh'/9-106 interstem orchard to investigate the effect of three dormant pruning regimes- an unpruned control, selectively thinned, and heavily structured or “tiered”, on tree canopy light distribution and fruit and spur quality. Fruit quality parameters being measured for the 1991 and 1992 harvests include skin color (% red blush), weight (g.), flesh firmness (kg.), soluble solids concentration (% Brix), and packout (% fancy grade). Pruning treatment effect on fruit spur quality, in terms of spur bud diameter (mm.) and spur efficiency (leaf dry weight/spur), is also being evaluated at time of harvest. Light distribution is being measured (% PAR, umol/s/m2.) within the tree canopy from petal fall through harvest. Preliminary findings indicate there is a difference in tree canopy light distribution and some fruit quality measurements, including red skin color, between pruning regimes. Complete analysis of results from 1991 will be presented.

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Tommy E. Thompson

Variability in soluble solids concentration (SSC, °Brix) in liquid endosperm (LE) among individual pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] fruits and among fruits from different trees and cultivars using a sugar refractometer was determined at College Station, Texas, in 1997. Repeatability of readings from LE from the same fruit was excellent. Fruits from the same tree did not vary for SSC, but significant differences among clones were common. Soluble solids concentration appears to decrease as the fruit matures. The SSC values for two full-sib clones (one susceptible to water split and one resistant to water split) were similar. This information discounts the possibility that high osmotic water potential gradients alone induce the water split phenomenon. A wide range of SSC percents was recorded. A low of 0.5% was recorded for LE from a `Houma' fruit, while 6.1% was recorded for LE from a fruit from a drought-stressed `Burkett' tree.

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Thomas J. Zabadal, Gary R. VanEe, Thomas W. Dittmer, and Richard L. Ledebuhr

Growing conditions in Michigan can threaten the yield and acceptable fruit quality of `Chardonnay' grapevines. Three grapevine training systems, mid-wire cordon (MWC), umbrella kniffin (UK), and a combination of the two (MWC-UK) were evaluated under Michigan growing conditions to determine their influence on yield, fruit quality, cluster compactness, incidence and severity of Botrytis bunch rot, and trellis fill. Vines were grown on C3309 rootstock and pruned to 44 nodes per kilogram of cane prunings. The MWC-UK treatment had an additional 30 nodes per vine retained, and the crop level on these nodes was removed after fruitset. Over a 2-year period, UK and MWC-UK trained vines had fruit soluble solids about 1 °Brix higher and yields were 48% and 63% higher than MWC trained vines, respectively. MWC-UK trained vines consistently out-performed MWC trained vines for all variables measured, while UK-trained vines provided an intermediate response.

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Melissa Neal and Ellen B. Peffley

Over the past several growing seasons researchers at Texas Tech University have observed that certain onions appeal to rabbits more than other onions, meaning that rabbits tend to nibble on certain lines or varieties and leave other lines undisturbed. We were interested in determining the cahracteristics of the onions that rabbits seemed to like. Onions were planted at random in the TTU breeding nursery. During the growing season all onions were rated for rabbit appeal - those with chewed leaves and or bulbs were recorded as liked by the rabbits. All onions in each plot, whether disturbed or undisturbed by the rabbits, were tested for pyruvate concentration and soluble solids content after harvest. Pyruvates were measured by mmol/gram pyruvic acid and soluble solids content by °Brix refractometer reading. The most damage occurred in onion lines that had the lowest pyruvate levels. Soluble solids did not appear to affect the rabbits' nibbling.

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Raúl Leonel Grijalva-Contreras, Arturo López-Carbajal, Adán Fimbres-Fontes, Cristobal Navarro-Ainza, Rogelio Juárez-González, and Fabián Robles-Contreras

Apricot production in México is limited; actually, the area devoted to this crop is ≈880 ha, of which 230 ha are established in Sonora State. The main cultivar used is `Canino'. The fruit yield ranges from 15-20 t·ha-1. The present study tested 20 low-chilling (300 to 400 chill hours) requirments of apricot selections; `Nemaguard' was the rootstock used. On the 4rth production year from the 20 apricot selection tested, 7-23, 1-81, and 15-1 yielded 31.8, 20.2. and 15.5 Ton.Ha-1, respectively; all of these selections showed higher yields than the Canino cultivar (14.6 t·ha-1). The fruit of these apricot selectiosn ripened by mid-May, exhibiting all the tested selection a similar fruit quality (size, flavor, color, and °Brix). We have not recorded any important insect pests or diseases during this trial.

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Raúl Leonel Grijalva-Contreras, Arturo López-Carbajal, Adán Fimbres-Fontes, Cristobal Navarro-Ainza, Rogelio Juárez-González, and Fabián Robles-Contreras

Apricot production in México is limited; actually, the area devoted to this crop is ≈880 ha, from which 230 ha are established in Sonora State. The main cultivar is `Canino'. The fruit yield ranges from 15 top 20 t·ha-1. The present study tested 20 low-chilling (300-400 chill hours) requirements of apricot selections; `Nemaguard' was the rootstock used. On the fourth production year, from the 20 apricot selections tested, 7-23, 1-81, and 15-1 yielded 31.8, 20.2, and 15.5 t·ha-1, respectively. all of these selections showed higher yields than `Canino' (14.6 t·ha-1). The fruit of these apricot selections ripened by mid-May, exhibiting a similar fruit quality (size, flavor, color, and °Brix) in all the tested selections. We have not recorded any important insect pests or diseases during this trial.

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Ricardo Goenaga* and Edmundo Rivera

Nine carambola (Averrhoa carambola) cultivars grown on an Oxisol, Ultisol, and Mollisol were evaluated for 2 years under intensive management at Isabela, Corozal and Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, respectively. There were no significant differences in number and weight of marketable fruits per hectare between Corozal and Isabela; average values for both locations were 249,824 fruits/ha and 29,864 kg/ha. At Juana Diaz these values were 196,254 fruits/ha and 24,339 kg/ha, respectively. There were no significant differences in weight of marketable fruit per hectare among cultivars B-17, Thai Knight, B-10, Sri Kembangan, and Kajang between locations. The average marketable fruit weight for these higher yielding cultivars was 31,457 kg/ha. Cultivar Kari produced significantly longer fruits at all locations, whereas cultivar B-16 produced the shortest fruits. Significantly higher brix values were obtained from fruits of cultivar B-17 at all locations whereas lower values were obtained from those of Arkin.