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  • Author or Editor: Carl Sams x
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`Golden Delicious' apples were pressure-infiltrated (34 kPa) at harvest with 0, 20, 35, or 50 g·L–1 solutions of CaCl2 followed without and with a water rinse, a wax or shellac emulsion treatment, or a shrink-wrap packaging, and stored at 0°C. The CaCl2 treatments delayed senescent breakdown, but also caused superficial injury to the fruit. A water rinse in combination with a wax- or shellac-based coating or shrink wrap packaging reduced the appearance of superficial injury in fruit treated with 35 or 50 g·L–1 solutions of CaCl2 and eliminated it in fruit treated with a 20 g·L–1 solution of CaCl2. While reducing the risk of calcium-related injury to the fruit, the coating and film treatments maintained the beneficial effects of calcium on apples and reduced weight loss of the fruit during cold storage.

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Calcium has been linked to disease resistance in fruits and vegetables. The effects of calcium nutrition on six hydroponically grown tomato cultivars (`Switch', `Match', `Blitz', `Caruso', `Trust', and `Celebrity') were evaluated in the fall of 1996. Disease resistance and yield were measured for plants grown in either perlite or pine bark mulch. Plants were fertilized with a 5N–11P–26K water-soluble fertilizer solution containing micronutrients and either 60, 120, or 185 mg·L–1 calcium. Disease resistance was determined by measuring disease lesion diameters on mature green harvested fruit 3 to 5 days after inoculating with Botrytis cinerea Pers.: Fr. There was no significant difference in disease when evaluated by medium, cultivar, or calcium treatment. Foliar analysis by Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer (ICAP) indicated that leaf calcium content ranged from 27,000 to 54,000 μg·g–1 dry weight (leaf above fifth flower cluster), but was not significantly different when analyzed by medium, cultivar, or calcium treatment. There was no significant difference in marketable yield due to medium or calcium treatment. Among cultivars, `Trust' had the highest marketable yield at 2.7 kg per plant, which was significantly different from `Celebrity' at 1.6 kg per plant. This experiment suggests that a cheaper medium (pine bark) and lower calcium levels can be utilized in fall tomato production.

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Vegetable crops can be significant sources of nutritionally important dietary carotenoids and Brassica vegetables are sources that also exhibit antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activity. The family Brassicaceae contains a diverse group of plant species commercially important in many parts of the world. The six economically important Brassica species are closely related genetically. Three diploid species (B. nigra, B. rapa, and B. oleracea) are the natural progenitors of the allotetraploid species (B. juncea, B. napus, and B. carinata). The objective of this study was to characterize the accumulation of important dietary carotenoid pigments among the genetically related Brassica species. The HPLC quantification revealed significant differences in carotenoid and chlorophyll pigment accumulation among the Brassica species. Brassica nigra accumulated the highest concentrations of lutein, 5,6-epoxy lutein, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin. The highest concentrations of beta-carotene and total chlorophyll were found in B. juncea. Brassica rapa accumulated the highest concentrations of zeaxanthin and antheraxanthin. For each of the pigments analyzed, the diploid Brassica species accumulated higher concentrations, on average, than the amphidiploid species. Brassicas convey unique health attributes when consumed in the diet. Identification of genetic relationships among the Brassica species would be beneficial information for improvement programs designed to increase carotenoid values.

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Field-grown dogwood trees in a commercial nursery were sprayed with 0%, 1%, or 2% soybean oil emulsified with Latron B-1956 at 2-week intervals from 10 June until 19 Aug. 1998. In 1999, dogwood trees were sprayed with 0%, 1%, 1.5%, 2%, or 2.5% emulsified soybean oil at 2-week intervals from 22 June until 26 Aug. The trials had treatments arranged in randomized complete-block designs with eight trees per block and six and four replications in 1998 and 1999, respectively. Disease severity of powdery mildew was estimated using the following scale: 0 = healthy, 1 < 2%, 2 < 10%, 3 < 25%, 4 < 50%, 5 > 50%, and 6 = 100% of foliage with symptoms or signs of powdery mildew. In 1998, trees sprayed with soybean oil had higher net photosynthesis rates and more caliper and height growth than control trees. Untreated trees and ≈25% of foliage infected with powdery mildew on 8 July, while trees sprayed with 1% or 2% soybean oil had about 2% of leaves infected. In 1999, the powdery mildew was already present on foliage (wet spring) when the first application of oil was made. Repeated sprays of soybean oil did not reduce the incidence of powdery mildew. Thus, soybean oil appeared to provide protective control of powdery mildew but not curative control of a heavy infestation of the fungi. Photosynthesis was increased by soybean oil for the first month of spraying in 1999, but did not differ after that. Repeated applications of even the high rates of oil did not cause phytotoxicity.

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Glucosinolates (GS) are important secondary plant metabolites present in several plant species, including Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Although genotypic differences among a limited number of samples from a limited geographical range have been reported, there have been few studies exploring the variation from a wider genetic base. The objective of this study was to explore the genetic variation for GS in A. thaliana collected throughout the world. We screened 58 A. thaliana ecotypes collected from the geographic area of lat. 15° N to lat. 59° N and long. 137° E to long. 123° W. Elevation in these areas ranged from sea level to over 480 m. We believe that this study has covered a large geographical region and captured most of the available genetic variation in A. thaliana for GS. There was no geographical trend in A. thaliana shoot or seed tissue for GS concentration. Total shoot GS ranged from 1.1 to 52.8 μmol·g−1 dry weight (DW), averaging 9.3 μmol·g−1 DW among all ecotypes. Total seed GS ranged from 1.6 to 41.8 μmol·g−1 DW with an average of 16.8 μmol·g−1 DW among all ecotypes. Low and high GS-accumulating A. thaliana ecotypes identified in this study may provide a basis for further genetic analysis for GS metabolism. Information provided may also prove useful for improving concentrations of nutritionally beneficial GS in vegetable Brassicas.

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The use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for plant production is a new field of research that has great promise to optimize wavelength-specific lighting systems for precise management of plant physiological responses and important secondary metabolite production. In our experiment, hydroponically cultured kale plants (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala D.C.) were grown under specific LED wavelength treatments of 730, 640, 525, 440, and 400 nm to determine changes in the accumulation of chlorophylls, carotenoids, and glucosinolates. Maximum accumulation, on a fresh mass basis, of chlorophyll a and b and lutein occurred at the wavelength of 640 nm, whereas β-carotene accumulation peaked under the 440-nm treatment. However, when lutein was measured on a dry mass basis, maximum accumulation was shifted to 440 nm. Sinigrin was the only glucosinolate to respond to wavelength treatments. Wavelength control using LED technology can affect the production of secondary metabolites such as carotenoids and glucosinolates with irradiance levels also a factor in kale. Management of irradiance and wavelength may hold promise to maximize nutritional potential of vegetable crops grown in controlled environments.

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Treatments of single applications of 0%, 3%, 6%, 9%, or 12% dormant oil were sprayed on peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) trees on 6 Feb. 1990. A repeat application of 6% oil plus 6% oil applied 6 days later was also made. Internal CO 2 concentrations of oil-treated buds and twigs were higher than the control the day after treatment and continued to be higher for 6 days. The second application of 10% oil prolonged the elevated CO2 concentration. Applications of 9% or 12% oil delayed flower bud development and bloom. The repeated application of 6% oil delayed bud development and bloom more than a single application of 6% oil. Damage to fruit buds increased as oil concentration increased, but repeated application of 6% oil resulted in less damage than a single application of 12% oil.

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Foliar sprays of increasing concentrations (0, 75, 150, 300, 600, and 1200 mg·liter-1) of paclobutrazol were applied to `Cardinal' strawberry plants (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) 35 days after transplanting. The plants were established in August in cultivated plots for measurement of paclobutrazol effects on first year growth or in a double-row hill system on black polyethylene-covered raised beds for 2nd year measurements. Increasing the paclobutrazol concentration reduced the number of runners, decreased runner length, and limited biomass partitioned into daughter plants. By the end of the first growing season, paclobutrazol had increased lateral crown development but reduced leaf area per treated plant. Root growth was reduced by concentrations >600 mg·liter-1. Treatment with 75 to 300 mg·liter-1 increased total plant dry weight by 33% to 46%. The following spring, plant growth was decreased by ≥ 300 mg·liter-1. Yield was increased by all treatments, except 1200 mg·liter-1. Leaf net photosynthesis increased within 12 days after treatment with paclobutrazol and was higher than in the controls the next summer. Leaf stomata1 conductance also increased the first year and was significantly higher the 2nd year after treatment. The optimum concentration of paclobutrazol for strawberries appears to be between 150 and 300 mg·liter-1.

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Due to the declining availability of fungicides for use in commercial tomato production, there is a need to investigate alternative disease control methods. Several theories of disease resistance are associated with an increase in plant tissue calcium content, which has increased resistance of tomato seedlings to bacterial wilt and other diseases. Three tomato cultivars (`Mountain Supreme', `Sunrise', and `Celebrity') were grown in a greenhouse hydroponic system to study the role of Ca in reducing decay of fruit by Botrytis cinerea. Calcium treatments of 20, 200, or 1000 ppm were applied in a modified Hoagland's solution. A 3 × 3 factorial randomized complete-block design was used. Mature whole leaves were collected from immediately below the third flower clusters and the calcium content analyzed by inductively coupled plasma emission spectrophotometry. Harvested fruit were inoculated with a 5 × 105 spore/ml conidial suspension of B. cinerea and the decay lesion diameter measured once daily for 7 days. This was repeated for 8 consecutive weeks. Leaf Ca content significantly increased (P < 0.01) as the Ca treatments increased from low to medium (310%) and from medium to high (150%). The medium and high Ca treatments significantly reduced the area of decay caused by gray mold rot (P < 0.01). There were no differences in Ca content or decay among cultivars, and the Ca × cultivar interaction was not significant. It appears that leaf Ca content is negatively associated with resistance of greenhouse-grown tomatoes to gray mold rot, strengthening the hypothesized role of calcium in promoting disease resistance.

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