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  • Author or Editor: Dale T. Lindgren x
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Documenting the successful interspecific crosses in a genus is a valuable tool in making decisions in developing strategies for plant breeding activities. However, summarizing the breeding and hybridization can be confusing because of incomplete or lost breeding records and the failure to register the parentage of new cultivar names. A summary of interspecific crosses in the genus Penstemon at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln West Central Research and Extension Center over 10 years provides insight into both successful and unsuccessful crosses. The results, based on seed production and percent of successful crosses, would suggest that interspecific crosses are more likely to be successful when the parent species are more closely related.

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Two studies in west-central Nebraska to determine the survival of wildflowers planted with buffalo grass [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] and blue grama grass [Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. ex Steud.)] were conducted in 6 and 10 year studies. In total, 19 forbs and 1 grass were transplanted with `Texoka' buffalo grass in the first study, and 16 forbs were planted in a split-plot design into 3 buffalo grass selections, blue grama or a clean cultivated plot in the second study. Survival between transplants in both studies varied significantly. In the first study, survival was significantly higher for little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium Michx.) (85%), bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis L.) (100%), and stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida L.) (100%) over the 6 years of the study. In the second study, there were significant differences between species for survival, with grayhead prairie coneflower [Ratibida pinnata (Vent.) Barnh.] (85%) and pitcher sage (Salvia azurea Lam.) (80%) having the highest survival at the end of the 10-year study. There were significant differences in height and number of flower stalks within S. rigida, R. pinnata, and S. azurea between years and between main plots. This study demonstrates differences in survival and growth of wildflowers when planted in conjunction with buffalo grass and blue grama grass.

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Excised roots were used for evaluating methods and in identifying differences in rates of P absorption by 59 lines of Phaseolus vulgaris. Large variations in P absorption rates between lines were noted. Although the P absorption rate was negatively correlated with root dry weight, it was possible to isolate lines with similar excised root dry weights which displayed large differences in P absorption rates. Rates of P absorption by the terminal 3.5 cm root segment satisfactorily expressed P absorption by other portions of the root system. The rate of P absorption by excised roots was influenced by the amount of P in the solution in which plants were cultured prior to root excision. As the pretreatment P level increased from 3 to 31 mg/plant, P absorption by excised roots decreased and as the P level increased from 31 to 62 mg/plant, P absorption by excised roots leveled off. Rates of P absorption by excised roots also varied with the age of the plant. However, relative values between efficient and inefficient lines remained constant at each plant age. Variance for P absorption by excised roots due to environment was high. Narrow sense heritability estimates derived from parent offspring regression in families of efficient × inefficient lines were estimated to be about 40%. Data on P uptake by excised roots did not predict P uptake and translocation in intact plants. A reliable standardized technique for intact plant ion absorption studies is necessary to make accurate comparisons between plants.

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Color (chlorosis) of eight dry bean cultivars was measured using a Chlorophyll Meter at 5 sites over 2 years in western Nebraska to determine color differences due to cultivars, site, year and iron treatments. There were significance differences between cultivars for color at all sites. However, cultivars were not consistent in color response to iron treatments across all sites. `Spinel' and `Othello' were classified as having darker green foliage while `Steuben Yellow Eye' and `Redkloud' were classified as having lighter green foliage. Correlations between foliage color and yield were greater on sites with higher pH. Selections can be made for bean lines which consistently have darker green foliage color. However, they are not always the highest yielding lines.

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Severity of rust (Uromyces appendiculatus) and yield of dry edible beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were recorded for 9 years in west-central Nebraska in fungicidal efficacy trials. A weighted analysis of covariance was used to estimate yield loss due to rust. The model fit the data well (R2 =0.94), and the slope over all years had a 19 kg.ha−1 decrease in yield for each 1% increase in severity of rust. Yield response within years occurred only through reduction of rust for most fungicide treatments.

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