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Orangemint leaf disks were infected with three strains of Agrobacterium tumefaciens: A281, a hyper-virulent strain containing plasmid pTiBo542; C58, a strain containing nopaline Ti plasmid pTiC58; and A136, a derivative of C58 lacking the nopaline Ti plasmid. After a 24 or 48 hr cocultivation, leaf disks were placed on a medium containing MS salts and vitamins, 2% sucrose, and 200 μgm l-1 cefotaxime. Callus formed only on those leaf disks infected with A281. Five callus lines (R-12, -71, -73, -81, -83) were putatively transformed based on succinopine production. Definitive transformations were confirmed via DNA slot blot analysis. All callus lines assayed (R-11. -12, -41, -73, -83) hybridized to a 7.7 KB fragment from the T-DNA region.

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Blueberry is widely grown around the world, and the United States is the leading producer. A strategy to maintain fruit quality during commercial handling is rapid cooling using the forced-air system. Hydrocooling (HY) is an effective cooling method widely used for many crops and has potential as a cooling method for blueberry. The objective of this study was to compare the cooling efficiency of conventional forced-air cooling (FA), the current commercial method, with immersion HY alone or HY in combination with FA (HY + FA), and to determine effects on blueberry fruit quality during subsequent cold storage. ‘Emerald’ and ‘Farthing’ southern highbush blueberry were commercially harvested and packed into plastic clamshell containers. FA was accomplished by simulating commercial conditions using a small-scale unit within a cold room at 1 °C/80% relative humidity (RH) until 7/8 cooling was achieved (27 minutes). For HY, fruit in clamshells (125 g) were immersed in chlorinated ice water (200 ppm free Cl−1, pH = 7.0) and 7/8 cooling occurred in 4 minutes. For HY + FA, fruit were 7/8 hydrocooled then transferred to FA for 30 minutes to remove free water from the fruit. After the cooling treatments, clamshells were evaluated weekly for selected quality parameters during 21 days storage at 1 °C. For HY treatment, the 1/2 cooling time was 1.13 minutes for ‘Emerald’ and 1.19 minutes for ‘Farthing’, whereas for FA treatment, the 1/2 cooling times were 4.5 and 6.8 minutes, respectively. For ‘Farthing’, cooling method did not affect fruit firmness; after 21 days, there was a slight softening in fruit from all treatments. However, ‘Emerald’ fruit cooled by HY + FA were softer than those from either HY or FA after 14 days of storage. For all cooling methods ‘Emerald’ was less acidic (0.3% citric acid) and was sweeter [10.2% soluble solids content (SSC)] than ‘Farthing’ (0.6% citric acid, 9.4% SSC). There were no differences in bloom among cooling methods. Bloom ratings for ‘Emerald’ remained >4.5 (70% to 80% coverage) whereas that for ‘Farthing’ cooled by HY or HY + FA was 3.7. Anthocyanin concentration in ‘Emerald’ fruit from HY + FA cooling method decreased by 33% during 21 days of storage, whereas that for ‘Farthing’ remained constant (8.3 mg cyanidin-3-Glicoside/g) irrespective of treatment during storage. Compared with ‘Farthing’, ‘Emerald’ was more sensitive to HY, where ≈15% of fruit developed visual skin breaks (split) after 7 days storage. HY shows potential as an alternative method to rapidly and thoroughly cool southern highbush blueberries such as ‘Farthing’, thus, maintaining fruit quality, while introducing a rinsing and sanitizing treatment. HY needs to be tested on commercial cultivars to determine the incidence of fruit splitting.

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Abstract

When given a choice, the cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni (Hübner), preferred lettuce for oviposition over chard [Beta vulgaris L. (Cicla group)], cabbage [Brassica oleracea (Capitata group)], broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. [Italica group)], and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Preference did not appear to be related to leaf area or to any factor that enhances the survival of progeny of a particular plant species. A 20- to 29-fold difference in oviposition was noted on lettuce grown under 2 environmental conditions.

Open Access

Shoot regeneration from apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) leaf explants following particle bombardment at various acceleration pressures was studied. Basal leaf segments of micropropagated `Royal Gala' apple were bombarded with 1 μm gold particles, accelerated using helium pressures of 4.5, 6.2, 7.6, 9.3, or 13.8 MPa (650–2000 psi), and cultured on shoot regeneration medium consisting of N6 salts supplemented with 10 μM TDZ for 5, 10, or 20 days in darkness. Bombarded and control explants exhibited 63% to 100% shoot regeneration. With a 5-day dark period, average shoot production per explant ranged from 6.1 to 14; bombardments of 4.5 and 6.2 MPa significantly increased shoot production over the controls. With a 10-day dark period, average shoot production per explant ranged from 9.1 to 22 following bombardment at 9.3 and 6.2 MPa, respectively. Following bombardment at 6.2 MPa, 75% of the explants produced more than 20 regenerants per explant. With a 20-day dark period, average shoot production per explant ranged from 8.9 to 19 following bombardment at 13.8 MPa and following no bombardment, respectively. Shoot production per explant was significantly less than the controls following bombardments ranging from 6.2 to 13.8 MPa. Shoot production was highest per explant with particle bombardment at 6.2 MPa followed by incubation in darkness for 10 days. Chemical name used: thidiazuron (TDZ).

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Three southern highbush blueberry cultivars (Vaccinium corymbosum hybrids) were mechanically harvested (MH) or hand-harvested (HH) and commercially packed before storage for 14 days at 1 °C in two successive years. MH fruit were softer, had lower ratings for overall appearance, and lost up to 20% more fresh weight than HH fruit after 14 days storage. MH ‘Meadowlark’ had fewer soft fruit (<35%) during storage than either ‘Sweetcrisp’ or ‘Farthing’; however, the latter two cultivars had lower incidences of shrivel and weight loss. Fruit in the 2010 season were more susceptible to bruising than those from the 2009 season; however, soluble solids content (SSC), total titratable acidity (TTA), and ascorbic acid concentration remained constant during storage and between seasons. ‘Meadowlark’ had the highest sugar to acid ratio (25.0). Successful implementation of MH of southern highbush blueberries for fresh market will only be commercially feasible if harvest impacts are further reduced.

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Two Guatemalan-West Indian avocado (Persea americana) hybrids (‘Monroe’ and ‘Booth 8’) were treated with an aqueous formulation of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) to determine effects on ripening and quality during storage simulating commercial shipping temperatures. Fruit harvested at preclimacteric stage were immersed in aqueous 1-MCP at 75 μg·L−1 (1.39 mmol·m−3) or in deionized water for 1 minute, stored at 10 °C for 14 days, and then transferred to 20 °C until ripe. Respiration rate, ethylene production, softening, and change in epidermal hue* angle were delayed and/or suppressed in both cultivars exposed to 1-MCP, although effects were less pronounced with Booth 8. Hue* angles for 1-MCP-treated ‘Monroe’ fruit had the highest values (darkest green peel color) of all treatments at full-ripe stage (hue* angle = 117). For control and treated ‘Monroe’ fruit respiration peaked on days 15 and 21, while ethylene production from both treatments peaked on day 16. Respiration and ethylene production peaked on day 16 for both control and 1-MCP–treated ‘Booth 8’ fruit. Fruit treated with 1-MCP consistently showed diminished respiration and ethylene peaks. Days to full-ripe stage were unaffected by treatment. ‘Booth 8’ fruit from both treatments were considered ripe (15 N whole fruit firmness) after 17 days; however, only 8% of control fruit were marketable, whereas 58% of 1-MCP-treated fruit were marketable, based on subjective appearance ratings using the Jenkins–Wehner score. The development of peel blemishes during storage was the primary cause of unmarketable fruit. ‘Monroe’ control and 1-MCP–treated fruit were soft after about 22 days and were significantly more marketable (control 70% and 1-MCP 85%). Avocados treated with 1-MCP ripened over a longer period than control fruit but maintained a higher percentage of marketable fruit.

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Particle bombardment has been shown to be useful for genetic manipulation of many plants; however, a critical component for successful transformation is the ability of transformed cells to regenerate plants. This study describes factors that affect the regeneration efficiency of apple leaf explants following particle bombardment. Basal leaf segments of micropropagated `Royal Gala' apple were treated with 1μm gold particles (0.5 μg/10μl), accelerated at either 4.5, 6.2, 7.6, 9.3 or 13.8 MPa, and cultured on N6 salts + l0μM TDZ regeneration medium for 5, 10 or 20 days in the dark. Both microprojectile-treated and control explants exhibited 85-100% regeneration. However, only 30-60% of the explants bombarded at 7.6, 9.3 and 13.8 MPa had more than 10 regenerants and 6-10% had more than 20 regenerants, whereas for control explants and those bombarded at 4.5 and 6.2 MPa, 70-90% had more than 10 regenerants and 30-50% had more than 20.

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Greenhouse experiments were conducted in 2005 and 2006 near Live Oak, FL, to develop fertilization programs for fresh-cut ‘Nufar’ basil (Ocimum basilicum) and spearmint (Mentha spicata) in troughs with soilless media using inputs compliant with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP). Four NOP-compliant fertilizer treatments were evaluated in comparison with a conventional control. Treatments and their analyses in nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) contents are as follows: conventional hydroponic nutrient solution [HNS (150 ppm N, 50 ppm P, and 200 ppm K)], granular poultry (GP) litter (4N–0.9P–2.5K), granular composite [GC (4N–0.9P–3.3K)], granular meal [GM (8N–2.2P–4.1K)], and GM plus a sidedress application of 5N–0.9P–1.7K fish emulsion (GM + FE). Electrical conductivity (EC) of the media, fresh petiole sap nitrate (NO3-N) and K concentrations, dried whole leaf NO3-N, P, and K concentrations, and yield and postharvest quality of harvested herbs were evaluated in response to the treatments. Basil yield was similar with HNS (340 g/plant) and GP (325 g/plant) in 2005 and greatest with HNS (417 g/plant) in 2006. Spearmint yield was similar with all treatments in 2005. In 2006, spearmint yields were similar with the HNS and GP yields (172 and 189 g/plant, respectively) and greater than the yields with the remaining treatments. In both years and crops, media EC values were generally greater with the GC than with the GP, GM, and GM + FE treatments but not in all cases and ranged from 1.77 to 0.55 dS·m−1 during the experiments. Furthermore, HNS media EC values were consistently equal to or lower than the GP media EC values except with EC measurements on 106 days after transplanting in both crops in 2005. Petiole NO3-N and K results were variable among crops and years, but provided valuable insight into the EC and yield data. We expected EC, petiole NO3-N, and petiole K to be consistently higher with HNS than with organic treatments, but they were not, indicating a reasonable synchrony of nutrient availability and crop demand among the organic treatments. The postharvest quality of both basil and spearmint was excellent with all treatments with few exceptions.

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