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Khalid M. Ahmad, Syed M. A. Zobayed, Praveen K. Saxena and David M. Hunter

Dionaeamuscipula Ellis commonly known as Venus fly trap is an important carnivorous plant with medicinal importance. It contains certain secondary metabolites like naphthoquinones and is used in anti-aid and anti-cancer drugs and other medicines like Cornivora. Increasing interest and use as an ornamental and medicinal plant, and dietary supplement have put it in an endangered state. Development of in vitro techniques for the preservation of germplasm that is on the brink of extinction is highly demanded. A regeneration protocol for the multiplication and micropropagation of Dionaeamuscipla Ellis was established. In vitro regeneration potential of leaf explants in different concentrations and combinations of plant growth substances was investigated in this study. Seeds were grown and leaf disc explants were excised and cultured under aseptic conditions on nutritional medium containing half strength Murashige and Skoog (MS) mix with combinations of 1.0–20.0 μm BA, 2.5.0 μm IBA, 1.0–10.0 μm 2iP and 0.1–0.5μm TDZ. The cultures were kept in growth cabinet with cool white light (40–60 μmol·m-2·s-1) under 16-h photoperiod. Regeneration was recorded after 60 days with the intervals of 15 days based on the degree of shoot organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis. 1/2 MS + 0.1 TDZ appeared to be efficient for somatic embryogenesis and simple MS for direct shoot organogenesis. 1/2 MS combined with 2iP appeared to be efficient for regeneration either by direct shoot organogenesis or by somatic embryogenesis. Plants were rooted well in Cape Cundew medium. These investigations will aid in the development of a model system for clonal mass propagation and in vitro regeneration of Dionaeamuscipla Ellis.

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Ashok K. Ghosh, Lewis N. Lukens, David M. Hunter and Judith N. Strommer

The genus Pyrus (pear) includes species and cultivars of great diversity. We have tested the feasibility of a polyacrylamide gel eletrophoresis (PAGE)-based +/– simple sequence repeat (SSR) screen as a means of defining relationships amongst pears of commercial importance in North America. The screen included 28 pear accessions, including economically important cultivars, numbered selections from breeding programs and interspecific hybrids. It relied on 18 SSR primer pairs, each of which produced polymorphic banding patterns in all the genotypes examined. Fragments were scored for presence or absence within genotypes. The results show that amplification and analysis of a small number of SSR loci enable identification of cultivars and reasonable definition of genetic relationships in North American pears. Seven primer pairs were sufficient to distinguish the 28 pear cultivars. Analyses using both distance and parsimony criteria grouped cultivars in a manner consistent with known pedigrees and sites of origin.

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David M. Hunter, Frank Kappel, Harvey A. Quamme, W. Gordon Bonn and Kenneth C. Slingerland

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Richard E.C. Layne, Chin S. Tan, David M. Hunter and Robert A. Cline

Seven treatment combinations of irrigation and fertilizer were compared in a high-density (606 trees/ha) management system for peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Harrow Beauty/Bailey] on Fox sand in southwestern Ontario. Each treatment combination had an irrigation component (N = nonirrigated, D = drip irrigated, or M = microsprinkler irrigated) and a fertilizer placement component (B = banded fertilizer, L = low fertigation, or H = high fertigation). NB and DB are commonly used systems in Ontario, while the other five treatment combinations were experimental. Total soil water in the top 110 cm of soil was lowest under NB but was never at the permanent wilting point. Trunk cross-sectional area was largest under DH and DB, smallest under ML and NB, and intermediate for the other three treatment combinations. No symptoms of N or K deficiency or toxicity were noted for any of the fertilizer treatments. Leaf analyses in July and September indicated that most major and minor elements were in the adequate to slightly excess range. However, there were no significant treatment effects on leaf nutrient concentrations in July or September when averaged over the five years, except for Mg in July. There were large and significant year effects on leaf nutrient concentrations but no significant treatment × year interactions. During the first four cropping years, there were no significant treatment effects, averaged over years, for total yield, marketable yield, or cumulative yield efficiency; however, there were large year effects but no treatment × year interactions for these factors. There was no detectable yield advantage for D vs. M irrigation. B application of N and K promoted no higher yields than fertigation equivalent to the B rate or 50% of this rate. Fertigation of N and K during the first 4 years of this experiment did not provide a detectable yield advantage to warrant the added cost and labor associated with this system compared with the B applications of N and K.

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David M. Hunter, Frank Kappel, Harvey A. Quamme and W. Gordon Bonn

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David M. Hunter, Frank Kappel, Harvey A. Quamme and W. Gordon Bonn

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Richard E.C. Layne, Chin S. Tan, David M. Hunter and Robert A. Cline

Seven high-density (606 trees/ha) management systems for peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Harrow Beauty/Bailey] were compared on Fox sand in southwestern Ontario. Each system had an irrigation component (N = none D = drip, M = microsprinkler) and a fertilizer placement component (B = banded, L= low-rate fertigation, H = high rate fertigation). NB (nonirrigated, banded fertilizer) and DB (drip-irrigated) are commonly used systems in Ontario, while the other five treatment combinations were experimental. Trunk cross-sectional area (TCA) was generally greatest for DH and DB systems, smallest for ML and NB systems, and intermediate for the other three. No symptoms of N or K deficiency or excess were noted for any of the fertilizer treatments. The seven management systems each had similar cumulative yield efficiencies for the first 4 cropping years However, total marketable yields for the 4 years were highest for MB (58.7 t·ha–1), followed in descending order by DB (56.8 t·ha–1), DH (56.6 t·ha–1), MH (53.9 t·ha–1), DL (50.6 t·ha–1), ML (49.8 t·ha–1), and NB (47.5 t·ha–1). Each of the irrigated treatments outyielded the nonirrigated check (NB) and ranged from 4.8% to 23.6%. Only one of the irrigated treatments (MB) outyielded the irrigated check (DB), and by only 3.3%. There was no clear advantage for either the drip or microsprinkler system of irrigation. Banded application of N and K appeared to promote higher yields than by fertigation equivalent to the banded rate, while yields at the low rate of fertigation were lower than for either the high rate of fertigation or the banded application. It appeared that banded fertilizer combined with either microsprinkler (MB) or drip irrigation DB provided the most-effective of the management systems in the first 4 cropping years.

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David M. Hunter, Phil Pinsonneault, Frank Kappel, Harvey A. Quamme, W. Gordon Bonn and Richard E.C. Layne

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J. Harrison Ferebee IV, Charles W. Cahoon, Michael L. Flessner, David B. Langston, Ramon Arancibia, Thomas E. Hines, Hunter B. Blake and M. Carter Askew

Chemical desiccants are commonly used to regulate tuber size, strengthen skin, and facilitate harvest for potato (Solanum tuberosum) production. Glufosinate is labeled for potato vine desiccation; however, limited data are available. Saflufenacil, a protoporphyrinogen oxidase–inhibiting herbicide, is an effective desiccant in other crops. Field research was conducted to evaluate glufosinate and saflufenacil as desiccants applied to ‘Dark Red Norland’ potato. Desiccants consisted of diquat, glufosinate, saflufenacil, glufosinate plus carfentrazone, and glufosinate plus saflufenacil applied at three timings, DESIC-1, DESIC-2, and DESIC-3, when size B potatoes averaged 43%, 31%, and 17% of total potato weight. Potato vine desiccation was more difficult at DESIC-1 and DESIC-2 because of immature vines. Diquat was the most effective desiccant 7 days after treatment (DAT), desiccating potato vines 88% at DESIC-1 7 DAT. Glufosinate alone desiccated potato vines 65% at the same timing; however, carfentrazone and saflufenacil added to glufosinate increased vine desiccation 8% and 16% compared with glufosinate alone, respectively. Vine desiccation by all treatments ranged 99% to 100% at 14 DAT. Desiccant and timing effects on skin set were determined using a torque meter before harvest. Skin set resulting from all desiccants and timings ranged between 1.88 and 2 lb-inch, and no significant differences were observed. No significant differences in yield were noted among desiccants. This research indicates that glufosinate and saflufenacil are suitable alternatives to diquat for potato vine desiccation; however, safety of saflufenacil applied to potatoes before harvest has not been determined.