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The genus Allium is distributed worldwide and includes about 80 North American species, with at least 13 occurring in Utah. Our study focuses on the population dynamics of three Allium species native to Utah; Allium acuminatum, A. brandegei, and A. passeyi. In conjunction with our studies of life history, growth characteristics, demographics, and habitat, we are interested in determining the levels of genetic variation in these species. This study examines amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) within and among five Allium acuminatum, four A. brandegei, and three A. passeyi populations native to Utah. These species have contrasting abundance and distribution. The study populations were selected along an elevation gradient to represent within-species habitat differences. About 10–20 plants from each of the 12 populations were genotyped using six AFLP primer combinations, which detect DNA variation within and among all three species. These data will be used to compare levels of genetic variation and isolation among populations and species.

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Three wild onion species native to the intermountain west in the United States—Allium acuminatum, A. brandegei, and A. passeyi—show horticultural potential, but little is known about patterns of genetic diversity among localized populations and geographical regions. We examined amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) within and among five Allium acuminatum, four A. brandegei, and three A. passeyi collection sites in Utah. These three congeners with contrasting abundance and distribution patterns provide an opportunity to investigate the role of geographic distance, altitude, and rarity in patterns of genetic divergence. The collection sites were selected along an altitudinal gradient to reflect ecogeographic variation. Individual plants from each of the 12 sites were genotyped using six AFLP primer combinations detecting DNA variation within and among all three species. Genetic differences between species were high enough to render comparisons among species impractical, so each species was analyzed separately for differences between populations and variability within populations. Similarity coefficients were significantly greater within collection sites versus among collection sites indicating divergence between populations. Within-population genetic diversity was not correlated with elevation for any of the three species. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that 66% (A. acuminatum), 83% (A. passeyi), and 64% (A. brandegei) of observed variation is found within populations. Genetic divergence among populations (ФST) was higher in the widely distributed species, suggesting that interpopulation gene flow may be negatively correlated with range size. Allium acuminatum and A. brandegei individuals cluster into groups corresponding strictly to collection sites based on neighbor-joining analysis of the total number of DNA polymorphisms between individual plants. Allium passeyi populations, however, had less overall genetic variation between populations. Genetic isolation by distance appeared responsible for much of the variability among populations, although there was one notable exception showing significant differences between two geographically close populations in A. acuminatum.

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One-half (18 g·ha-1 a.i.) and three-fourths (27 g·ha-1 a.i.) rates of halosulfuron (Manage®, MON 12051) were combined with adjuvants and evaluated for effectiveness in controlling purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus L.) and for phytotoxic responses exhibited by two kinds of container-grown ornamental plants. Adjuvants included X-77®, Scoil®, Sun-It II®, Action “99”®, and Agri-Dex®. By 8 weeks after treatment (WAT), halosulfuron combined with X-77®, Agri-Dex®, or Action “99”® at the lower halosulfuron rate provided <90% purple nutsedge suppression. In contrast, Sun-It II® provided 100% control when combined with the higher halosulfuron rate. Nutsedge control persisted into the following growing season and halosulfuron combined with either Scoil® or Sun-It II® provided >97% suppression of nutsedge tuber production. Growth of liriope [Liriope muscari (Decne.) Bailey `Big Blue'] was not inhibited by Scoil® or Sun-It II® adjuvants in combination with the low rate of halosulfuron. However, regardless of the rate of halosulfuron or adjuvant used, initial foliar chlorosis was observed in both daylily (Hemerocallis sp. L. `Stella d'Oro') and liriope. All liriope receiving halosulfuron with X-77®, Scoil®, or Sun-It II® adjuvants recovered normal foliage by 8 WAT. By contrast, at 8 WAT some daylily still maintained a degree of foliar discoloration. In addition to chlorosis, all treatments reduced flower number in daylilies. The number of flower scapes produced by liriope was not affected by halosulfuron when in combination with either Sun-It II® or Scoil®. The high rate of halosulfuron combined with X-77® or Action “99”® improved control of purple nutsedge. However, this rate inhibited growth of both species, daylily flower numbers, and scape numbers of liriope, regardless of adjuvant. Chemical names used: halosulfuron (Manage®, MON 12051, methyl 5-{[(4,6-dimethyl-2-pyrimidinyl) amino] carbonyl-aminosulfonyl}-3-chloro-1-methyl-1-H-pyrozole-4-carboxylate); proprietary blends of 100% methylated seed oil (Scoil® and Sun-It II®); proprietary blend of 99% polyalkyleneoxide modified heptamethyl trisiloxane and nonionic surfactants (Action “99”®); alkylarylpolyoxyethylene, alkylpolyoxyethelene, fatty acids, glycols, dimethylpolysiloxane, and isopropanol (X-77®); proprietary blend of 83% paraffin-based petroleum oil, with 17% polyoxyethylate polyol fatty acid ester and polyol fatty ester as nonionic surfactants (Agri-Dex®)

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The most common rootstock for Juglans regia (Persian or “English” walnut) in California is Paradox, typically a hybrid of J. hindsii (Northern California black walnut) × J. regia. Unfortunately, Paradox is very susceptible to Armillaria root disease. The relative resistance to Armillaria mellea of six clonally propagated Paradox rootstocks (AX1, Px1, RR4 11A, RX1, Vlach, VX211) was evaluated and compared with that of clonally propagated J. hindsii rootstock selection W17, J. regia scion cultivar Chandler, and Pterocarya stenoptera (Chinese wingnut). In a growth-chamber assay, plants were micropropagated and rooted in vitro before inoculating the culture medium with A. mellea. At two months post-inoculation, the most resistant and susceptible Paradox rootstocks were AX1 and VX211, respectively, with 9% vs. 70% mortality, and this finding was consistent across three isolates of A. mellea and three replicate experiments. This broad range of resistance within Paradox is consistent with past field trials that tested other genotypes. Our finding of similarly high susceptibility of ‘Chandler’ and W17 (61% vs. 69% mortality) is in contrast to two field trials, in which other J. regia genotypes were more susceptible than those of J. hindsii. A third trial, however, identified some J. regia genotypes as more resistant than those of J. hindsii. Therefore, it is possible that W17, which was not previously tested, is an Armillaria-susceptible genotype of J. hindsii. Based on our findings of repeatable mortality levels across three isolates of A. mellea and three replicate experiments, the growth-chamber assay has promise, albeit with confirmed resistant and susceptible controls, for identifying putative resistant rootstocks (e.g., AX1) in preparation for a field trial with controlled inoculations.

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Seed germination timing strategies and seedling growth characteristics in wild populations have evolved in response to their life history, ecology, and habitat. In this study, we examined the ecophysiological aspects of seed germination and growth in three Allium species native to the Intermountain West (A. acuminatum, A. brandegei, and A. passeyi). Three populations of each species were studied along an elevation gradient resulting in low, mid, and high elevation sites for each species. We investigated seed dormancy patterns within and among species and their relation to habitat. Seeds collected at the study sites were subjected to cold (3 °C) moist stratification in low light to simulate the natural winter environment under snow. Stratification periods ranged from 0 to 24 weeks. After stratification, seeds were placed in lighted growth chambers at 8 °C to simulate the natural spring environment. Germination was observed for 4 weeks. Germinated seeds were then grown at either 12 °C or 16 °C until leaf senescence. Destructive sampling occurred at 2, 4, and 8 weeks. Bulb mass and water content were also assessed after leaf senescence. In the germination experiment, all species responded favorably to cold moist stratification, suggesting physiological seed dormancy. Germination percentages among species varied greatly with 98% germination in A. acuminatum, but only 33% in A. brandegei. Seedling survival and growth varied among species and in response to growing temperature. Observed patterns in seed germination and growth are typical of survival strategies in other spring ephemerals. Seed dormancy traits and seedling growth characteristics in these species have evolved to allow optimal success for their specific habitat.

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The genus Chionanthus, known as fringetrees, is a member of the olive family (Oleaceae). Chionanthus virginicus is an understory tree or shrub with a wide range in forests of the eastern United States and is used as an ornamental tree that is known to be free of insects and disease in the wild. The species is tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions, and there is interest in developing new cultivars with improved horticultural traits, such as tree form or upright growth habit and superior flowering display that are widely adapted. To identify genepools in the native range of C. virginicus for use in breeding programs, the genetic diversity and population structure were assessed for 274 individuals from 12 locations in four states (Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas) using 26 simple sequence repeats (SSRs). An average of 12.54 alleles/locus were detected, allelic richness averaged 2.80. Genetic differentiation was 0.11, indicating moderate differentiation among subpopulations. Despite the high genetic diversity and low population differentiation, Bayesian clustering analysis identified six genetic groups that match the geographic distribution of collection sites. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that most (82%) of the variation is explained within individuals, and 11% and 7% of the variation is due to differences among individuals within populations and among populations. Analysis of isolation by distance across all samples showed a weak positive relationship between geographic distance and genetic distance. The C. virginicus samples analyzed in this study indicate there is sufficient diversity for germplasm collection for use in breeding programs. Given the relatively moderate genetic differentiation, there are not likely to be unique islands of genetic diversity that may be missed when gathering parental materials for a breeding program

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Selective weed control in ornamental plant production can be difficult as many herbicides can cause unacceptable injury. Research was conducted to evaluate the tolerance of several ornamental species to applications of p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD)-inhibiting herbicides for the control of problematic weeds in ornamental production. Mestotrione (0.09, 0.18, and 0.36 lb/acre), tembotrione (0.08, 0.16, and 0.32 lb/acre), and topramezone (0.016, 0.032, and 0.064 lb/acre) were applied alone postemergence (POST) in comparison with the photosystem II-inhibiting herbicide, bentazon (0.5 lb/acre). All herbicide treatments, with the exception of the two highest rates of tembotrione, caused less than 8% injury to ‘Noble Upright’ japanese holly (Ilex crenata) and ‘Compactus’ burning bush (Euonymus alatus). Similarly, no herbicide treatment caused greater than 12% injury to ‘Girard’s Rose’ azalea (Azalea). Conversely, all herbicides injured flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) 10% to 23%. Mesotrione- and tembotrione-injured ‘Radrazz’ rose (Rosa) 18% to 55%, compared with only 5% to 18% with topramezone. ‘Siloam June Bug’ daylily (Hemerocallis) injury with topramezone and tembotrione was less than 10%. Topramezone was the only herbicide evaluated that provided at least 93% control of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) with all application rates by 4 weeks after treatment (WAT). Redroot pigweed was controlled 67% to 100% with mesotrione and tembotrione by 4 WAT, but this activity was variable among application rates. Spotted spurge (Chamaesyce maculata) was only adequately controlled by mesotrione applications at 0.18 and 0.36 lb/acre, whereas chamberbitter (Phyllanthus urinaria) was not controlled sufficiently with any herbicide evaluated in these studies. Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) was suppressed 72% to 87% with mesotrione applications at 0.18 lb/acre or higher and with bentazon at 0.5 lb/acre by 4 WAT. All other herbicide treatments provided less than 58% control of yellow nutsedge. In the second study, ‘Patriot’ hosta (Hosta), ‘Green Sheen’ pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis), autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora), ‘Little Princess’ spirea (Spiraea japonica), ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae (Thuja plicata), and ‘Rosea’ weigela (Weigela florida) displayed no response to topramezone when applied at 0.024 and 0.095 lb/acre. Since 10 ornamental species in our studies exhibited less than 10% herbicidal response with all rates of at least one HPPD-inhibiting herbicide then it is possible that these herbicides may provide selective POST weed control in ornamental production systems.

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Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) and kousa dogwood (C. kousa) are popular ornamental species commonly used in the horticultural industry. Both trees are valued for their beautiful floral display and four-season appeal. Species-specific simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were used to genotype and assess genetic diversity of 24 flowering dogwood cultivars and breeding lines and 22 kousa dogwood cultivars. Genetic diversity was determined by allele sharing distances and principal coordinate analysis and was high in both species. Molecular identification keys were developed for cultivars and breeding lines of each species using a few polymorphic SSRs loci (four in C. florida and five in C. kousa). Most (18 of 24) of the flowering dogwood and all (22 of 22) kousa dogwood accessions could be distinguished from each other using these SSRs; those that could not were resolved using DNA amplification fingerprinting. The reliability of both keys was assessed using five anonymous cultivars for each dogwood species, which were correctly identified using the molecular keys. The genetic information presented here will be useful for identification and verification of cultivars for nurseries and as molecular markers for breeders and researchers.

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