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  • Author or Editor: Craig K. Chandler x
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The objective of this study was to compare plant health and growth in Florida fruiting fields of `Sweet Charlie' plants from 10 different plant sources. Bare-root plants from Ontario, Nova Scotia, Massachusetts, Oregon, North Carolina, Alabama, and Florida and plug plants from North Carolina and Florida were compared in a RCBD of four replicates. Plants were rated for vigor, production, diseases, and pests throughout the 1995-96 season. Crown size of transplants ranged from 7 to 12 mm. Plants from northern sources exhibited angular leaf spot (Xanthomonas fragariae) and gnomonia (Gnomonia spp.) while southern-raised plants were infected with phomopsis (Phomopsis obscurans) and anthracnose (Colletoctrichum spp.). Initial ratings confirm the potential for aphids and two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) to be introduced on transplants. Plants from northern origins flowered 10-14 days earlier than plants produced in southern regions. Total season marketable fruit production was not statistically different among the eight bare-root treatments. Monthly fruit production was significantly different among treatments for all months except February. Performance of plug plants compared to bare-root plants of the same geographic origin were inconsistent. Initial crown size, average berry size, and cull fruit production were significantly different among the plant sources. In summary, clear differences in foliar diseases and monthly fruit production were strongly associated with transplant source. A strawberry farmer may maintain more stable production throughout the year by using transplants from several geographic origins.

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The use of locally grown transplants in Florida strawberry (Fragari×ananassa Duchesne) production has increased since the release of the cultivar Sweet Charlie by the University of Florida in 1992. Previous research has shown that nursery region can influence production patterns of other strawberry cultivars through differences in photoperiod and temperature exposure. Transplants of `Sweet Charlie' strawberry (bareroot and plug plants) from sources representing northern (Canada, Massachusetts, Oregon), southern (Alabama, Florida) and mid latitude (North Carolina) transplant production regions were compared for plant vigor, production, and pest incidence at Dover, Fla. in 1995-96 and 1996-97. Total fruit production was not significantly different forplants among the plant source regions in 1995-96, but total yield from southern source plants in 1996-97 was significantly lower than northern and mid latitude plant sources. Monthly production of marketable fruits varied among the three plant source regions in December, January, and February, during which time market prices fell 46% in 1995-96 and 56% in 1996-97. Plants from northern and mid latitude sources produced significantly greater fruit yield in December than plants from southern sources. Differences among plant sources were detected for early flowering, initial crown size, incidence of foliar disease, arthropod pests, mortality, and fruit weight. Geographic location of strawberry transplant sources influenced fruiting patterns and other components that may affect profitability of `Sweet Charlie' strawberry production in west central Florida.

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The effects of cultivar, harvest date, and production year on the soluble solids and antioxidant phytochemical levels of 22 strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) genotypes grown in a winter annual hill (raised bed) production system were investigated. Fruit harvested in Jan. 2003 and 2004 were characterized by low polyphenolic content, but high concentrations of soluble solids and ascorbic acid; whereas fruit harvested in Feb. 2003 and 2004 generally had elevated polyphenolic concentrations, but lower levels of soluble solids and ascorbic acid. Annual variation in soluble solids and phytochemical composition was also observed among nine strawberry genotypes, which was likely attributable to variations in solar radiation and air temperature. `Earlibrite' was among the highest for soluble solids concentration on three of the four harvest dates, while `Carmine' was noted for its high phytochemical concentrations across harvest dates and years. The breeder selection `FL 99-117' emerged as a promising selection in terms of producing fruit with high concentrations of soluble solids and antioxidant phytochemicals.

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Genotype × environment interaction for resistance to the twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) of eleven clones of Fragaria L. sp. (strawberries) grown in six environments throughout the United States was examined using two multivariate analysis techniques, principal coordinate analysis (PCA) and additive main effect and multiplicative interaction (AMMI). Both techniques provided useful and interesting ways of investigating genotype × environment interaction. PCA analysis indicated that clones X-11 and E-15 were stable across both low and high environments for the number of spider mites per leaflet. The initial AMMI analysis showed that the main effects of genotype, environment, and their first-order interaction were highly significant, with genotype × environment interaction due mainly to cultivar `Totem' and environment FL94. A second AMMI analysis, which excluded `Totem' and FL94, showed that the main effects of the remaining genotypes, environments, and genotype × environment interaction were also highly significant. AMMI biplot analysis revealed that FL93 and GH93 were unstable environments, but with opposite interaction patterns; and GCL-8 and WSU2198 were unstable genotypes with similar interactions that were opposite those of WSU 2202.

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