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  • Author or Editor: Beiquan Mou x
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Protein hydrolysates (PHs) are an important group of plant biostimulants that have received increasing attention in recent years because of their positive effects on crop performance and contribution to agroecological sustainability. The aim of the study was to determine the effects of fish-derived PHs on growth, chlorophyll content and fluorescence, and leaf gas exchange of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) grown in a growth chamber. Fish-derived PHs were drench applied (300 mL of 3 mL·L−1) three times at 0, 14, and 24 days after transplanting (DAT), and lettuce were evaluated 30 DAT. Application of PHs significantly increased the lettuce leaf number per plant from 22 to 28, stem diameter from 1.37 to 1.68 cm, shoot fresh and dry weight (FW and DW) from 59 to 89 g and 5.5 to 7.7 g, and root dry weight from 0.52 to 0.80 g. It also significantly increased the leaf relative water content (RWC) from 87% to 90% and succulence from 267 to 288 g·m−2 water, but had no effect on specific leaf area (SLA). PHs significantly enhanced chlorophyll content, photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rate although they did not alter chlorophyll fluorescence. Our study indicated that plant biostimulants and fertilizer PHs improved plant performance and might have potential to be used for sustainable production of lettuce.

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Leafminer (Liriomyza spp.) is a major insect pest of many important agricultural crops including lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). The goals of this study were to evaluate lettuce genotypes for resistance to leafminers and to estimate the heritabilities of leafminer-resistant traits in the field, to examine the association among different resistant traits, and to study the mechanism of leafminer resistance in lettuce. Seventy-eight lettuce accessions and 232 F2 plants of crosses were evaluated for leafminer stings and the production of pupae and flies in the field in 2001 and 2002, and resistant genotypes were subjected to no-choice test. Wild species (Lactuca serriola L., L. saligna L., and L. virosa L.) had significantly fewer stings than cultivated lettuces. Among cultivated lettuces, sting densities were lowest on leaf lettuce and highest on romaine types. The sting results from the field were highly correlated with the results from insect cages (r = 0.770 and 0.756 for 2001 and 2002 tests, respectively), suggesting that a cage test can be used to screen for resistance in the field. Broad-sense heritability estimates for stings per unit leaf area in the field were 81.6% and 67.4% for 2001 and 2002 tests, respectively. The number of pupae produced per plant or per leaf was moderately correlated with sting density but was not correlated with leaf weight. Results suggest that both antixenosis and antibiosis exist in lettuce germplasm and resistant genotypes from choice tests remain resistant under no-choice conditions. These findings suggest that genetic improvement of cultivated lettuce for leafminer resistance is feasible.

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Leafminer (Liriomyza langei Frick) is a major insect pest of many important agricultural crops including lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). The goals of this study were to evaluate lettuce genotypes for resistance to leafminer and to estimate heritabilities of three leafminer-resistant traits. Forty-six lettuce genotypes were evaluated in two tests in insect cages. Wild species (Lactuca serriola L., Lactuca saligna L., and Lactuca virosa L.) had significantly fewer leafminer stings than cultivated lettuce (L. sativa) in both tests. PI 509525 (L. saligna) had few leafminer stings and no flies emerged. Leaf (leaf and romaine) lettuce also showed significantly less stings than head (crisphead and butterhead) types, while differences between leaf and romaine lettuces, and between crisphead and butterhead types were nonsignificant. Broad-sense heritability for number of stings per unit leaf area was relatively high, averaging 65% over the two tests. Heritabilities for egg-hatching period and flies per plant were 10% and 15%, respectively. Stings per unit leaf area from the two tests were highly correlated (r = 0.828), suggesting that resistance was stable over different plant ages and against different pressures of leafminer. These results suggest that genetic improvement of cultivated lettuce for leafminer resistance is feasible.

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Leafminer (Liriomyza spp.) is a major insect pest of many important agricultural crops including lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). The goals of this study were to evaluate lettuce genotypes for resistance to leafminers and to estimate the heritabilities of leafminer-resistant traits in the field, to examine the association among different resistant traits, and to study the mechanism of leafminer resistance in lettuce. Seventy-eight lettuce accessions and 232 F2 plants of crosses were evaluated for leafminer stings and the production of pupae and flies in the field in 2001 and 2002, and resistant genotypes were subjected to no-choice test. Wild species (Lactuca serriola L., L. saligna L., and L. virosa L.) had significantly fewer stings than cultivated lettuces. Among cultivated lettuces, sting densities were lowest on leaf lettuce and highest on romaine types. The sting results from the field were highly correlated with the results from insect cages (r = 0.770 and 0.756 for 2001 and 2002 tests, respectively), suggesting that a cage test can be used to screen for resistance in the field. Broad-sense heritability estimates for stings per unit leaf area in the field were 81.6% and 67.4% for 2001 and 2002 tests, respectively. The number of pupae produced per plant or per leaf was moderately correlated with sting density but was not correlated with leaf weight. Results suggest that both antixenosis and antibiosis exist in lettuce germplasm and resistant genotypes from choice tests remain resistant under no-choice conditions. These findings suggest that genetic improvement of cultivated lettuce for leafminer resistance is feasible.

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Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is an essential salad crop in the American diet. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are required for successful lettuce production and can influence lettuce quality. The objective of the study was to evaluate changes in nutritional composition of romaine (`Green Tower') and iceberg (`Sharp Shooter') lettuce in responses to N, P and K fertilization during fall production in Salinas, Calif. Sixteen treatment combinations of fertilizer were selected to provide a range of treatments. N was applied at 0, 112, 225, and 338 kg·ha-1 as ammonium nitrate; P was applied at 0, 112, and 225 kg/ha as super phosphate; and K was applied at 0 and 112 kg·ha-1 as muriate of potash. Nutritional content of fresh tissue of two types of lettuce was analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Among the parameters analyzed were lutein, beta-carotene, chlorophyll a, and chlorophyll b. Yield was increased with increasing N fertilizer level, but was not affected by P or K application rates. The best post harvest quality, however, was at moderate P application rate. Increasing the N and P rates gradually increased glucose content in lettuce but decreased the shelf life. Significant differences between the two types of lettuce were found in chlorophyll, lutein and beta-carotene content. No significant correlations were found between soil fertilizer application levels and nutritional content of lettuce. However, the ratio of chlorophyll a and b were greater with the increase of fertilizer rate. Nutritional composition including vitamin C will be presented.

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Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is a cool season crop that is vulnerable to high temperature stress, which promotes bolting and decreases yield and quality. It is anticipated that climate change may lead to higher temperatures in current lettuce growing areas in the United States, thereby negatively affecting lettuce production and possibly resulting in adverse impacts on global food production. Therefore, it is important to identify lettuce germplasm with tolerance to temperatures higher than those that have occurred over the past century. We evaluated 25 crisphead lettuce cultivars for tolerance to high temperature stress in the San Joaquin, Imperial, and Salinas Valleys, CA. Genetic variation was identified for yield and horticultural traits, such as core length, head diameter, tipburn, bolting, and market maturity, of crisphead lettuce grown in warmer conditions. Significant genotype × environment interaction did not account for most of the variation; the main differences were found for environments and only a small proportion of the variation was due to genotypes. Cultivar Primetime is a good source of heat tolerance for crisphead lettuce, as it presented the best yield and exhibited other desirable characteristics across warmer conditions. These results provide insight into the cultivars that respond well to hot environments. Moreover, the data can be used by breeders to develop new heat-tolerant lettuce cultivars.

Open Access

Warmer temperatures during crop production are not desirable for a cool-season crop such as lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Lettuce is among the top 10 most consumed vegetables in the United States. Production of this vegetable is concentrated mostly in temperate areas of California, and during the wintertime in Arizona and Florida as a result of their mild climatic conditions. Heat-tolerant cultivars are needed for the leafy vegetable industry to continue thriving. However, there is very little information on heat-tolerant germplasms of lettuce that can be used as a source to improve heat tolerance in lettuce. This is particularly important in romaine and butterhead lettuce, which are two morphological types with increasing demand in the market. Therefore, research was conducted to identify germplasm that performs acceptably in warmer regions in the western United States. This investigation also aimed to understand the reaction of varieties to different environments, which could help plant breeders select and evaluate lettuce plants during the breeding process. Twenty-three and 25 accessions of romaine and butterhead lettuce, respectively, were planted in five trials near Holtville, CA, USA: Five Points, CA, USA, under warmer temperatures and Salinas, CA, USA, under cooler temperatures. Romaine genotypes Bambi, Blonde Lente a Monter, Medallion MT, and Red Eye Cos; and butterhead genotypes Butter King and Margarita had no bolting, an acceptable head weight, short cores, and acceptable head height. Head weight and related traits (including core length, height, width, etc.) and heat-related disorders were significantly different across multiple experiments, indicating genetic variation. The major component of the phenotypic variation in these experiments was a result of environmental factors. Therefore, plant breeders may still need to evaluate progeny in multiple trials and multiple locations to select heat-tolerant romaine and butterhead lettuce effectively.

Open Access

Target region amplified polymorphism (TRAP) markers were used to evaluate genetic variability among 48 accessions of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.), an economically important leafy vegetable crop in many countries. Thirty-eight accessions collected and preserved by the USDA National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) and 10 commercial hybrids were used in the current study. For assessing genetic diversity within accessions, DNA samples were prepared from nine to 12 individual seedlings from six germplasm accessions and two hybrids. Relatively high levels of polymorphism was found within accessions based on 61 polymorphic TRAP markers generated with two fixed primers derived from the Arabidopsis-type telomere repeat sequence and two arbitrary primers. For evaluating inter-accession variability, DNA was extracted from a bulk of six to 10 seedlings of each accession. Of the 1092 fragments amplified by 14 primer combinations, 96 (8.8%) were polymorphic and discriminated the 48 accessions from each other. The average pair-wise genetic similarity coefficient (Dice, Nei) was 57.5% with a range from 23.2 to 85.3%. A dendrogram was constructed based on the similarity matrix. It was found that the genetic relationships were not highly correlated with the geographic locations in which the accessions were collected. However, seven commercial hybrids were grouped in three separate clusters, suggesting that the phenotype-based breeding activities have effect on the genetic variability. This study demonstrated that TRAP markers are effective for fingerprinting and evaluating genetic variability of spinach germplasm.

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