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- Author or Editor: Jeanine M. Davis x
The influence of flat cell volume (cavity containing growing medium) on transplant growth and development of NC 13G-1, a compact-growth-habit, fresh-market tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) breeding line, was compared to that of a normal growth habit line, NC 8288. Transplants of each line were produced in four cell volumes (3.3, 27, 37.1, and 80cm3) for 5 weeks, evaluated and then transplanted to larger containers, and grown until anthesis. During the first 5 weeks after seeding, plant dry weight did not differ between the lines; however, plant height of NC 13G-1 was ≈60% of the height of NC 8288. For both lines, number of days from sowing to anthesis decreased as root cell volumes increased. For space-efficient production of large quantities of compact-growth-habit tomato transplants, flats with root cell volumes as small as 27 and 37 cm3 can be used without greatly delaying anthesis.
We investigated patterns of variation in alkamides and cichoric acid accumulation in the roots and aboveground parts of Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench. These phytochemicals were extracted from fresh plant parts with 60% ethanol and quantified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. Concentrations of alkamides and cichoric acid were measured on a dry-weight basis (mg·g–1). For total alkamides, concentrations among individual plants varied from 5.02 to 27.67 (mean = 14.4%) in roots, from 0.62 to 3.42 (mean = 1.54) in nearly matured seed heads (NMSH), and 0.22 to 5.25 (mean = 0.77) in young tops (about ½ flower heads, ¼ leaves, and ¼ stems). For cichoric acid, concentrations among individual plants varied from 2.65 to 37.52 (mean = 8.95), from 2.03 to 31.58 (mean = 10.9), and from 4.79 to 38.55 (mean = 18.88) in the roots, the NMSH, and the tops, respectively. Dodeca-2E, 4E, 8Z, 10E-tetraenoic acid isobutylamide and dodeca-2E, 4E, 8Z, 10Z-tetraenoic acid isobutylamide (alkamides 8/9) accounted for only 9.5% of the total alkamides in roots, but comprised 87.9% in the NMSH, and 76.6% in the young tops. Correlations of concentrations of alkamides or cichoric acid between those of roots and those of the NMSH were not statistically significant, and either within the roots, the NMSH, and the young tops. However, a significant negative correlation was observed between the concentration of cichoric acid in the roots and in young tops, and a significant positive correlation was observed between total alkamide concentration in the roots and cichoric acid concentration in the young tops. These results may be useful in the genetic improvement of E. purpurea for medicinal use.
Boron deficiency in fresh-market tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is a widespread problem that reduces yield and fruit quality but is often not recognized by growers. Tomatoes were grown in field and hydroponic culture to compare the effects of foliar and soil applied B on plant growth, fruit yield, fruit quality, and tissue nutrient levels. Regardless of application method, B was associated with increased tomato growth and the concentration of K, Ca, and B in plant tissue. Boron application was associated with increased N uptake by tomato in field culture, but not under hydroponic culture. In field culture, foliar and/or soil applied B similarly increased fresh-market tomato plant and root dry weight, uptake, and tissue concentrations of N, Ca, K, and B, and improved fruit set, total yields, marketable yields, fruit shelf life, and fruit firmness. The similar growth and yield responses of tomato to foliar and root B application suggests that B is translocated in the phloem in tomatoes. Fruit from plants receiving foliar or root applied B contained more B, and K than fruit from plants not receiving B, indicating that B was translocated from leaves to fruit and is an important factor in the management of K nutrition in tomato.
Black cohosh [Actaea racemosa L. syn. Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nuttal] is a native North American medicinal plant traditionally harvested for its rhizomes and roots. Black cohosh products were listed in the top 10 selling herbal supplements from 2002 to 2005. As a result of increasing commercial demand, there is a need to develop propagation protocols suitable for production purposes to replace current methods of harvesting from wild populations. The objectives of this study were to 1) determine optimal rhizome propagule division size for successful regeneration, 2) analyze triterpene glycoside concentrations, 3) quantify survival rates after 3 years of production, and 4) evaluate net yield results. Experimental sites included a shade cloth structure in an agricultural research field, a shaded forest interior, and a shaded, disturbed forest edge. Plant emergence, growth, and survival were assessed at each site over a 3-year period. Optimal rhizome division size for propagation was a 10 to 30-g section originating from terminal rhizome portions. Rhizome survival averaged 97% among all treatments tested by year 3 at three sites. No differences in mean triterpene glycoside concentrations were detected between rhizome size classes or sites tested. Mean cimiracemoside concentrations ranged from 0.80 to 1.39 mg·g–1 d/w tissue, deoxyactein 0.47 to 0.92 mg·g–1, and actein 10.41 to 13.69 mg·g–1. No differences in triterpene levels were detected between flowering and nonflowering plants, nor were yields reduced. Net yields from a shade cloth production site were 9 and 17 times higher than a disturbed forest edge and forest site respectively. Black cohosh is a strong candidate for commercial propagation under adequate site selection.
A controlled environment study was conducted to determine if ‘Russet Burbank’ potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) were more tolerant of NH4-N as established plants than as young plants. When grown on one N source for 86 days, root and shoot growth were best with NO3-N, intermediate with NH4 + NO3, and least with NH4-N. Changing the N source from NO3-N or NH4 + NO3 to NH4-N at tuber initiation (58 days after planting) reduced both shoot and root growth. Conversely, changing the N source from NH4-N to NH4 + NO3 improved growth. The highest tuber weights were obtained with continuous NH4 + NO3 or when NH4-N was applied at tuber initiation to plants previously grown on NO3-N alone. Nitrogen source also influenced absorption of other nutrients. Changing the N source once plants were established, however, did not have a consistent effect on mineral composition. We conclude that when NH4-N is the sole form of N available to the plant, it is detrimental to potato growth regardless of stage of development.
Seed germination patterns were studied in Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench grouped by seed source, one group of seven lots from commercially cultivated populations and a second group of nine lots regenerated from ex situ conserved wild populations. Germination tests were conducted in a growth chamber in light (40 μmol·m–2·s–1) or darkness at 25 °C for 20 days after soaking the seeds in water for 10 minutes. Except for two seed lots from wild populations, better germination was observed for commercially cultivated populations in light (90% mean among seed lots, ranging from 82% to 95%) and in darkness (88% mean among seed lots, ranging from 82% to 97%) than for wild populations in light (56% mean among seed lots, ranging from 9% to 92%) or in darkness (37% mean among seed lots, ranging from 4% to 78%). No germination difference was measured between treatments in light and darkness in the commercially cultivated populations, but significant differences were noted for treatments among wild populations. These results suggest that repeated cycles of sowing seeds during cultivation without treatments for dormancy release resulted in reduced seed dormancy in E. purpurea.
Tomatoes and beans were grown in rotation for 4 years with three cover crop treatments (bareground, wheat, and crimson clover) and three nitrogen rates (0, 60, and 120 kg N/ha). Over the course of the study, when no additional N was provided, lowest yields of tomatoes and beans were obtained with the wheat cover crop. With the highest N rate, however, there was little difference in yields of beans or tomatoes with any of the cover crop treatments. Considering the benefits associated with the use of cover crops, it is encouraging to see that with proper N amendment, yields obtained with cover crop systems can be comparable to conventional bareground systems.