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  • Author or Editor: J.L. Chandler x
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Protoplasm culture following polyethylene glycol (PEG) -induced fusion resulted in the regeneration of somatic hybrid plants from the following six parental combinations: Citrus sinermis (L.) Osbeck cv. Hamlin + Severinia buxifolia (Poir.) Tenore (Chinese box-orange); C. reticulate Blanco cv. Cleopatra + Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf. cv. Flying Dragon; C. reticulate cv . Cleopatra + Swingle citrumelo (C. paradisi Macf. × P. trifoliata); C. sinensis cv . Hamlin + C. jambhiri cv . Rough lemon; C. sinensis cv . Valencia + C. jambhiri cv . Rough lemon; and C. paradisi cv . Thompson + `Murcott' tangor (purported hybrid of C. reticulate × C. sinensis). Diploid plants were regenerated from nonfused embryogenic culture-derived protoplasts of `Cleopatra' mandarin and `Hamlin' and `Valencia' sweet orange, and from nonfused leaf-derived protoplasts of Rough lemon and `Mnrcott'. Regenerated plants were classified according to leaf morphology, chromosome number, and isozyme analyses. All of the somatic hybrids reported herein are tetraploid (2n = 4x = 36), with the exception of the `Hamlin' + S. buxifolia hybrid, which was unexpectedly found to have a chromosome number of 2n = 27. These six new somatic hybrids have potential in citrus scion and rootstock improvement for commercial use.

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Seedlessness is an important breeding objective of most citrus scion improvement programs, but production of quality seedless triploid citrus via interploid crosses has historically been limited by the low quality of available tetraploid parents. Production of tetraploid hybrid parents from elite diploid scion cultivars via protoplast fusion is now a practical strategy, and numerous hybrids can be produced on a timely basis from a wide range of parents. Such hybrids can be used as pollen parents in interploid crosses to generate improved seedless triploid fresh fruit cultivars. Herein we report the production of 15 such hybrids from 17 different parents, including sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck], mandarin/tangerine (C. reticulata Blanco), grapefruit (C. paradisi Macf.), pummelo [C. grandis (L.) Osbeck], tangor (C. reticulata × C. sinensis), and tangelo (C. reticulata × C. paradisi) germplasm. All hybrids were confirmed by cytological and RAPD analyses, and have been budded to selected rootstocks to expedite flowering.

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Cover crops relay-cropped with vegetables with conservation tillage were compared with fallow conventional production for 10 years. Conservation till-relay received no pesticide and only one-quarter the recommended fertilizers. Winter cover provided significantly better weed control than conventional. Weed problems in relay occurred only in the rows where vegetables were planted. Legume winter covers increased soilborne organisms but did not influence root disease severity or postemergence damping-off. Thrips, aphids, and whiteflies were most frequent. These pests remained below the economic threshold with winter cover crop-relay. However, infestation of these pests and Colorado potato beetles was severe in conventional plots. Winter cover crops provided habitat for more than 14 beneficial insects.

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Systemic acquired resistance is a broad spectrum inducible defense response that is associated with the expression of a set of genes (SAR genes). Expression of one of these genes (PR-1a from tobacco) in transgenic tobacco confers increased tolerance to two oomycete pathogens.

A direct role for salicylic acid (SA) in signaling SAR has been established in tobacco by analysis of transgenic tobacco expressing salicylate hydroxylase (SAH, an enzyme that inactivates SA by conversion to catechol). Tobacco plants that express SAH are blocked in the accumulation of SA and the development of SAR when responding lo TMV. Furthermore, both Arabidopsis and tobacco expressing SAH have altered pathogen induced lesion morphology, exemplified by larger spreading lesions.

Putative mutants in SAR gene expression were isolated by screening M2 Arabidopsis plants for altered expression of PR-1 and PR-2 or for sensitivity to pathogen infection following INA treatment. The putative mutants all into two major classes,constitutive (cim, constitutive immunity) and non-inducible (nim, non-inducible immunity). Several cim mutants exhibits a disease lesion phenotype in the absence of pathogen.

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Protoplast culture following polyethylene glycol-induced fusion resulted in the regeneration of vigorous tetraploid somatic hybrid plants from eight complementary parental rootstock combinations: Citrus reticulata Blanco (Cleopatra mandarin) + C. aurantium L. (sour orange), C. reticulata (Cleopatra mandarin) + C. jambhiri Lush (rough lemon), C. reticulata (Cleopatra mandarin) + C. volkameriana Ten. & Pasq. (Volkamer lemon), C. reticulata (Cleopatra mandarin) + C. limonia Osb. (Rang-pur), C. sinensis (L.) Osb. (Hamlin sweet orange) + C. limonia (Rangpur), C. aurantium (sour orange) + C. volkameriana (Volkamer lemon) zygotic seedling, C. auruntium hybrid (Smooth Flat Seville) + C. jambhiri (rough lemon), and C. sinensis (Valencia sweet orange) + Carrizo citrange [C. paradisi Macf. × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.]. Diploid plants were regenerated from nonfused callus-derived protoplasts of Valencia sweet orange and Smooth Flat Seville and from nonfused leaf protoplasts of sour orange, Rangpur, rough lemon, and Volkamer lemon. Regenerated plants were classified according to leaf morphology, chromosome number, and leaf isozyme profiles. All somatic hybrid plants were tetraploid (2n = 4× = 36). One autotetraploid plant of the Volkamer lemon zygotic was recovered, apparently resulting from a homokaryotic fusion. These eight new citrus somatic hybrids have been propagated and entered into field trials.

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Ethylene is essential for the senescence process in many fruit and flowers. In the last two steps in the biosynthesis of ethylene in plants ACC synthase converts S-adenosyl methionine to 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid(ACC). ACC oxidase (ACO) then degrades ACC to ethylene. Inhibitors of ethylene synthesis, such as amino-oxyacetic acid, and of the response to ethylene, such as silver thiosulphate, delay or prevent senescence. By expression of an antisense version of ACO RNA, we have generated two varieties of transgenic carnation which produce flowers with an extended vase life. These were produced using the cultivars Red Sim and White Sim. Flowers from these plants produce very little ethylene and normally fail to display the inrolling phenotype typical of senescence in this species. At the time after harvest when inrolling would normally lake place (5 days), the antisense ACO flowers produce only barely detectable levels of endogenous ACO mRNA or ACS (ACC Synthase) mRNA. Exposure to exogenous ethylene(100ppm) induces inrolling and production of ACS and ACO mRNA species. Such carnations will be valuable both as a commercial product and as a tool for further exploring the role of ethylene in carnation flower senescence and leaf wound response.

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