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  • Author or Editor: R.L. Bell x
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No consistent trend towards increased inbreeding has existed within the U.S. Department of Agriculture pear breeding program over 17 years of crosses based on the mean inbreeding coefficient and the percentage of non-inbred progenies. Selections did not tend to be more or less inbred than the population of all seedings. There was consistent, but small, trend towards a reduction in seedling vigor with increased levels of inbreeding as measured by 5th year stem diameter. A significant positive, but small, association between increased inbreeding and improved flavor, grit, and texture were observed, even after correction for the effects of parental values for these characters. Limited inbreeding does not adversely affect improvement of fruit quality and appears to be of some benefit in facilitating selection of favorable alleles.

Open Access

Differences in soil microenvironment affect the availability of N in small areas of large turfgrass stands. Optical sensing may provide a method for assessing plant N needs among these small areas and could help improve turfgrass uniformity. The purpose of this study was to determine if optical sensing was useful for measuring turfgrass responses stimulated by N fertilization. Areas of `U3' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], `Midfield' bermudagrass [C. dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy], and `SR1020' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) were divided into randomized complete blocks and fertilized with different N rates. A spectrometer was used to measure energy reflected from the turfgrass within the experimental units at 350 to1100 nm wavelengths. This spectral information was used to calculate normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and green normalized difference vegetation index (GNDVI). These spectral indices were regressed with tissue N and chlorophyll content determined from turfgrass clippings collected immediately following optical sensing. The coefficients of determination for NDVI and GNDVI regressed with tissue N averaged r 2 = 0.76 and r2 = 0.81, respectively. The coefficients of determination for NDVI and GNDVI regressed with chlorophyll averaged r 2 = 0.70 and r 2 = 0.75, respectively. Optical sensing was equally effective for estimating turfgrass responses to N fertilization as more commonly used evaluations such as shoot growth rate (SGR regressed with tissue N; r 2 = 0.81) and visual color evaluation (color regressed with chlorophyll; r 2 = 0.64).

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