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  • Author or Editor: Michele R. Warmund x
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Eastern black walnuts (Juglans nigra L.) were collected weekly in September and October to identify a method to determine the optimal harvest date and to develop a quantifiable color classification system for kernels. Husk hardness, measured by a durometer, decreased over a 5-week period. During the collection periods, the greatest percent kernel for ‘Emma K’, ‘Kwik Krop’, and ‘Sparrow’ was recorded when durometer values (i.e., force measurements) of husks were 5.2, 5.5, and 3.4 N, respectively. Husk softening was also detected using the denting method, but the perception of denting did not consistently correspond with a specific husk hardness value. Of the three cultivars, ‘Kwik Krop’ kernels were the most difficult to visually sort into light, medium, and dark colors. Kernel LCH sum (L* + chroma + hue angle values), measured by a handheld spectrophotometer, provided a reliable color classification for all black walnut cultivars in which light kernels had LCH sums ≥150, medium kernels had sums of 149 to 126, and dark kernels had values ≤125.

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Cryoprotectants were applied at labeled rates to primary flowers of `Honeoye' strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) plants at full bloom to determine their effects on the floral organs. Frostgard at 50 ml/liter or KDL at 22 ml/liter injured pistils and resulted in misshapened fruit. Floral buds that were closed when cryoprotectants were applied were uninjured. In other experiments, efficacies of cryoprotectants were determined after floral tissues of `Honeoye' strawberry plants were inoculated or not inoculated with the ice-nucleation-active (INA) bacteria, Pseudomonas syringae van Hall and subjected to sub-freezing temperatures. None of the products protected primary or secondary flowers against freezing injury regardless of the occurrence of INA bacteria. INA bacteria were not recovered from primary flowers of treated plants that were killed by low temperature exposure, indicating that non-bacterial nuclei may incite freezing in these tissues.

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Cane dieback and foliar necrosis caused by an unknown pathogen were observed in elderberry (Sambucus nigra subspecies) plantings in early Spring 2016. Studies were conducted to identify the causal organism and determine the effects of infection on vegetative growth and fruiting of selected elderberry cultivars under controlled conditions. A Heterophoma sp. was isolated from symptomatic ‘Ranch’ elderberry canes growing in a commercial planting in Missouri. In the subsequent 2017 experiments, all canes of ‘Bob Gordon’ plants inoculated with this Heterophoma isolate had reduced cane lengths, reduced numbers of leaves and leaflets, and failed to produce fruit. In a study using ‘Scotia’, none of the 32 inoculated canes had symptomatic tissue; but in a subsequent study, one of 16 inoculated canes had slight cane dieback, indicating a potential difference in cultivar susceptibility to the pathogen. In 2018, seven elderberry cultivars (‘Adams II’, ‘Bob Gordon’, ‘Marge’, ‘Ozark’, ‘Scotia’, ‘Wyldewood’, and ‘York’) were inoculated with the same Heterophoma isolate, which was subsequently reisolated from the boundary of symptomatic and asymptomatic tissue, thereby confirming pathogenicity of the fungus. The fungus was tentatively identified as H. novae-verbascicola (Aveskamp, Gruyter & Verkley) Q. Chen & L. Cai based on analysis of genomic DNA from the internal transcribed space (ITS) region. Only two of 16 ‘Scotia’ inoculated canes had cane dieback in 2018, whereas inoculated canes of all other cultivars developed symptoms. Cane and foliar growth of each inoculated cultivar was less than the associated noninoculated control at 14, 30, and 60 days after treatment (DAT). Among inoculated symptomatic plants, ‘Marge’ canes produced more vegetative growth than all other cultivars, and ‘Adams II’, ‘Ozark’, and ‘York’ canes generally produced the fewest number of leaves and leaflets at 60 DAT. Flowering was observed on canes of noninoculated control plants, but not on inoculated symptomatic canes by 60 DAT. Thus, the newly reported cane dieback disease of elderberry, caused by Heterophoma sp., adversely affected plant growth and fruiting of Sambucus nigra subspecies. However, ‘Scotia’ elderberry plants were less susceptible to the fungal infection than other cultivars, indicating that it may be possible to use ‘Scotia’ to develop new elderberry cultivars with improved resistance to infection by Heterophoma.

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“Ambers” is a term used to describe poorly filled, shriveled eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) kernels with a dark brown or black-colored pellicle that are unmarketable. Studies were conducted to determine the incidence of ambered black walnut kernels and to ascertain when symptoms were apparent in specific tissues. The occurrence of ambered kernels was evaluated in fruit harvested from mature ‘Football’ trees growing at three sites within a commercial black walnut orchard in 2008 to 2010. Mature walnut fruit sampled from trees at Site 2 had greater odds for ambered kernels than those on trees at two other sites within the same orchard with 27% of the walnuts sampled exhibiting symptoms when examined in October. Also, black walnut fruit in 2010 had more ambered kernels than those examined in Oct. 2008 or 2009. Cropload, soil type, ambient temperatures, or precipitation was not apparently associated with a high incidence of ambered kernels. When black walnut fruit from trees at Site 2 were examined from 25 June to 6 Oct. 2011, embryos were visible in 50% of the fruit without discoloration on the first date. Stenospermocarpy (e.g., aborted or rudimentary embryos after fertilization) was observed in fruit with discolored or ambered kernels as early as 7 July. Stenospermocarpic fruit with ambered kernels had shorter embryo axis lengths (root apex to shoot apex) than fruit with non-ambered kernels on 7 July and at successive sampling dates. Cotyledon widths of ambered kernels in stenospermocarpic fruit were narrower than those of non-ambered kernels on 21 July, but symptomatic cotyledons continued to enlarge until 15 Sept. All fruit enlarged during the growing season and nut diameters varied by only 3.4 mm at harvest. Thus, visible embryo degeneration, which was associated with ambered kernels in black walnut fruit, was detected in early July when shell hardening occurs and kernel tissues are enlarging.

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Rhizomes of `Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) were subjected to temperatures below 0 °C and were subsequently placed in a growth chamber with air at 34 °C day/28 °C night to determine the rate of shoot growth from nodes. Rhizomes exposed to subzero temperatures produced shoots steadily up to 16 days after freezing (DAF), but subsequent shoot growth from rhizomes was minimal. At 32 DAF, shoots were present on 68% and 44% of the nodes of unfrozen control (2 °C) rhizomes and those frozen to -7 °C, respectively. In another study, samples were frozen to a sublethal temperature (-7 °C) to examine the distribution of extracellular ice voids near the apical meristems of rhizomes and to characterize tissue recovery. Extracellular voids were present within the leaf tissue and between the leaves in samples prepared for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) immediately after freezing to -7 °C. By 12 DAF, most of the remaining voids were observed in older leaves. Nearly all extracellular voids in the leaves were absent by 20 DAF. However, by 28 DAF, some rhizomes still had small voids between leaves. Although the structure of zoysiagrass rhizomes subjected to -7 °C was temporarily disrupted, tissues recovered from extracellular freezing and new shoot growth was produced following exposure to warm temperatures.

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`Hull Thornless' and `Black Satin' blackberry (Rubus spp.) canes were collected from Sept. 1989 through Mar. 1990 to determine the hardiness and supercooling characteristics of buds at various stages of development. Anatomical studies were also conducted to examine the location of ice voids in buds frozen to -5 or -30C. Differentiation of the terminal flower occurred in `Black Satin' buds by 6 Nov., whereas `Hull Thornless' buds remained vegetative until early spring. As many as nine floral primordia were observed in both cultivars by 12 Mar. The hardiness of the two cultivars was similar until February. Thereafter, `Black Satin' buds were more susceptible to cold injury than those of `Hull Thornless'. Flora1 and undifferentiated buds of both cultivars exhibited one to four low temperature exotherms (LTEs) from 9 Oct. to 12 Mar. in differential thermal analysis (DTA) experiments. The stage of flora1 development did not influence the bud's capacity to supercool. The number of LTEs was not related to the stage of floral development or to the number of floral primordia. Extracellular voids resulting from ice formation in the bud axis and scales were observed in samples subjected to -5 or -30C.

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Abstract

Differential thermal analysis (DTA) experiments, viability tests, and anatomical studies were conducted to investigate the biophysics of freezing in ‘Darrow’ blackberry (Rubus spp.) buds at selected stages of development from Nov. 1985 through Sept. 1986. As many as four low-temperature exotherms (LTEs) associated with the crystallization of supercooled water were detected in DTA experiments on buds collected 16 Nov. 1985. Anatomical observations revealed seven to nine floral initials present at that date. On 16 Jan. 1986, buds were morphologically similar to those examined in November, with four to 10 LTEs per bud. By 2 Mar., the size of the floral initials increased and distinct floral parts were evident. One to 10 LTEs were observed per bud at this date. Five to seven floral initials were observed in buds collected on 23 Sept. 1986, but floral parts were not evident. DTA experiments conducted in September revealed one or no LTE per bud. The median LTEs for November, January, March, and September buds were −20.5°, −28.0°, −22.0°, and −16.5°C, respectively. T50 values calculated from viability tests were within 4.5° of the median LTEs at all test dates. These results indicate that injury to the entire floral region is associated with a single freezing event when ‘Darrow’ blackberry buds are at an early stage of development. However, as floral differentiation progresses, individual primordia supercool, freeze, and are injured independently.

Open Access

Abstract

Ten preemergent herbicides were applied to the medium surface of nursery containers 1 day after seeds of Gymnocladus dioicus (L.) K. Koch, Gleditsia triacanthos L., and Robinia pseudoacacia L. were planted to test herbicide effects on seedling survival and growth. Species varied in response to herbicides, with Robinia most affected by treatments. Most herbicides did not reduce seedling survival, plant height, or dry weight.

Open Access

A study was conducted to: 1) evaluate the use of a durometer for determining husk softening and the date of black walnut harvest and 2) elucidate the relationship between husk hardness, kernel color and weight, and date of harvest. Thirty nuts were randomly collected weekly from mature `Sparrow', `Emma K', `Kwik Krop', and `Football' trees from 1 Sept. to 13 Oct. 2004. Husk denting, hardness, and color measurements were recorded immediately after harvest. Husk denting is the method commonly used by growers to determine the optimum time of harvest. Nuts were then hulled within 48 hours and the in-shell fresh weights were recorded. After drying under natural conditions for 5 weeks, kernel color and weights were assessed. On 15 Sept., 99% of `Sparrow' husks dented with a mean durometer value of 54. On 29 Sept., ≥99% of `Emma K' and `Kwik Krop' husks dented with mean durometer values of 63 and 68, respectively. By 13 Oct., 80% of `Football' husks dented with a mean durometer value of 74. From the first harvest date to the time of maximum denting, kernel weight and color (L*, hue values) of `Sparrow' and `Emma K' generally increased. The L* and hue values of `Kwik Krop' were inversely related to increased kernel weight over time. Kernel color of `Football' remained relatively constant as kernel weight increased over time.

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