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  • Author or Editor: Leslie H. Fuchigami x
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Bench-grafted `Fuji'/M.26 trees were sprayed with 1% CuEDTA on 31 Oct., defoliated manually on 12 Nov., or allowed to defoliate naturally. Foliar urea at 3% was applied at 14 days and 9 days before CuEDTA treatment. Plants were harvested after natural leaf fall and stored at 2 °C. One set of the plants were destructively sampled for reserve N (expressed as total Kjeldahl N or soluble protein concentration) analysis, and the remaining plants were transplanted into a N-free medium in the spring without any N supply for 40 days after budbreak. CuEDTA resulted in >80% defoliation within 5 days of application. Trees defoliated with CuEDTA had lower reserve N content than naturally defoliated controls, but had higher N than hand-defoliated controls. Foliar urea application before the CuEDTA treatment significantly increased reserve N level in all tree parts, without affecting the efficacy of CuEDTA on defoliation. The extent of spring regrowth was proportional to the reserve N level of the tree. Urea-treated plants, whether hand- or CuEDTA defoliated, had more growth in the spring than hand- or naturally defoliated controls. It is concluded that CuEDTA, as combined with foliar urea, can be used to effectively defoliate apple nursery trees, and increase reserve N level and improve regrowth performance during establishment.

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Bench-grafted Fuji/M26 plants were fertigated with seven nitrogen concentrations (0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10, 15, and 20 mM) by using a modified Hoagland solution from 30 June to 1 Sept. In mid-October, half of the fertigated trees were sprayed with 3% urea twice at weekly intervals, while the other half were left as controls. The plants were harvested after natural leaf fall, stored at 2 °C, and then destructively sampled in January for reserve N and carbohydrate analysis. As N concentration used in fertigation increased, whole-plant reserve N content increased progressively with a corresponding decrease in reserve carbohydrate concentration. Foliar urea application increased whole-plant N content and decreased reserve carbohydrate concentration. The effect of foliar urea on whole-plant reserve N content and carbohydrate concentration was dependent on the N status of the plant, with low-N plants being more responsive than high-N plants. There was a linear relationship between the increase in N content and decrease in carbohydrate concentration caused by foliar urea, suggesting that part of the reserve carbohydrates was used to assimilate N from foliar urea. Regardless of the difference in tree size caused by N fertigation, the increase in the total amount of reserve N by foliar urea application was the same on a whole-tree basis, indicating that plants with low-N background were more effective in using N from urea spray than plants with high-N background.

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We propose that return flowering of `Fuji' apple can be improved if sufficient flower clusters are removed during or shortly after bloom. In this study conducted at Corvallis, Ore., we evaluated two synthetic auxins, MCPB-ethyl and the Na salt of NAA, each at 0, 4, 8 and 16 ppm, as blossom cluster thinners. Each auxin treatment was applied alone or with 100 ppm ethephon as a tank mix. Six-year-old `Fuji'/M.26 trees were sprayed at full bloom of the king flowers (≈85% of whole-tree full bloom). A follow-up treatment of Sevin XLR (800 ppm carbaryl) was made at 11-mm fruit diameter to determine if carbaryl's known effectiveness as a fruitlet thinner was influenced by the bloom-time auxin or auxin + ethephon treatments. MCPB-ethyl proved ineffective as a bloom-time thinner, whereas the NAA effect on cluster removal was linear with concentration, 16 ppm NAA completely defruiting 33% of initial flower clusters. On control trees fewer than 12% of flowering clusters failed to set fruit. Ethephon alone defruited 25% of the clusters and NAA+ethephon defruited 51% of clusters. It is notable that the NAA and ethephon + NAA treatments did not reduce fruit set on the remaining clusters, resulting in considerable need for hand-thinning. Carbaryl effectively reduced total crop load by increasing the number of defruited clusters and reducing the incidence of doubles and triples. There was evidence to suggest that its effectiveness was compromised by the bloom-time NAA and/or ethephon sprays.

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Near-infrared (NIR) reflectance spectroscopy was used to determine the chemical composition of fruit and nut trees. Potted almond and bench-grafted Fuji/M26 trees were fertigated during the growing season with different N levels by modifying the Hoagland to create different levels of nitrogen and carbohydrates in plant tissues during dormancy. Dried, ground, and sieved shoot, shank, and root samples were uniformly packed into NIR cells and scanned with a Foss NIRSystem 6500 monochromator from 400 to 2500 nm. Statistical and multiple linear regression methods were used to derive a standard error of performance and the correlation between NIR reading and standard chemical composition analysis (anthrone, Kjedahl and Ninhydrin methods for carbohydrate, total N, and amino acid analysis, respectively) were determined. The multiple determination coefficients (R 2) of apple and almond tissues were 0.9949 and 0.9842 for total nitrogen, 0.9971 and 0.9802 for amino acid, and 0.8889 and 0.8687 for nonstructural carbohydrate, respectively.

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Temperate woody perennials produce proteins in the stem for seasonal nitrogen (N) storage. In Populus species, this seasonal N storage occurs primarily as a 32-kDa Bark Storage Protein (BSP), which can accumulate to 50% of total bark proteins during the winter. Plants of the Populus tremula × Populus alba (clone 717) were transformed with the BSP cDNA in antisense orientation (fused to a constitutive promoter), and regenerated lines were screened. Several independent antisense-BSP (A-BSP) lines were selected, which, after 4 weeks of SD photoperiod, showed 70% to 90% reduction in total BSP accumulation compared to the wild-type (WT). A series of experiments were conducted to compare LD growth of one A-BSP line to that of the WT. A-BSP plants showed reduced growth at both 5 and 50 mM ammonium nitrate fertilization. However, the higher N rate eventually resulted in toxicity in WT, but not in A-BSP plants. A-BSP plants grown hydroponically (0.5x Hoagland1s) showed altered partitioning with reduced stem length and increased leaf area (Leaf:stem dry-weight ratios were 14.8 and 20.9 for ABSP and WT, respectively). Partitioning to the roots was not different between A-BSP and WT. Proposed functions of BSP in seasonal and LD nitrogen metabolism will be discussed.

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Effect of media containing processed fiber (methane digested cow manure) as a substitute for peatmoss, micronutrient application, and medium mixing ratios of processed fiber with perlite were investigated in pansy cv. Maxima mix plants (Viola ×wittrockiana). Neither medium components nor micronutrients significantly influenced plant growth and appearance when plants were potted in medium containing either 60% processed fiber and 40% perlite, 100% processed fiber, or 60% peatmoss and 40% perlite and supplemented with either N–P–K or N–P–K with micronutrients. The plant size and biomass production of leaves increased with increasing proportion of perlite in the mixtures containing processed fiber while the number and biomass of flowers were not affected. Water content of leaves or flowers was not influenced by mixes of processed fiber and perlite. The processed fiber, either alone or mixed with other media components, was satisfactory for the production of pansy plants with or without micronutrient application.

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Unsynchronized flowering and fruit ripening of coffee prohibits mechanical harvesting and results in high labor costs. Coffee (C.arabica c. Guatemalan) trees were sprayed at the beginning of the 1988 and 1989 flowering season with solutions of benzyladenine (BA), gibberellic acid GA3 (GA), and Promalin (PR) or were pruned in 1988 to determine effects on synchronizing flowering and ripening. Growth regulators affected the time to flowering and harvesting compared to the control, however, treatment effects were dependent on the time of growth regulator application. Application of PR and GA at 100 mg/l in Jan 1988 shortened the average days to flowering by 16 and 13 days, and the average days to harvest by 15 days compared to the control. Pruning of three apical nodes of primary lateral branches in Feb 1988 caused delays in flowering, reduced flower and fruit number per tree, and caused branch dieback.

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Floral initiation in coffee has been shown to be stimulated by short days in young plants, but the inductive stimulus for mature plants is still not clear. Experiments were conducted to determine whether floral initiation in immature and mature plants is promoted by short photoperiods, and delayed by long photoperiods. In a growth chamber study, 18-month-old coffee (Coffea arabica L. cv. Guatemalan) plants exposed to 8 hr photoperiods developed flower buds after 4 weeks, whereas no floral initiation was observed on the plants exposed to 16 hr photoperiods for ten weeks. Trees growing in the field were illuminated with incandescent light from midnight to 3:00 a.m. from July to December 1989. The control plants received no artificial light during the same time period. Night light interruption delayed flower initiation until the end of December on branches that were fully exposed to the light. On control trees, flower buds started to emerge at the beginning of November. These results indicate that in immature and mature coffee plants floral initiation is stimulated by short days, and delayed by long days.

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Dormant coffee (Coffea arabica L.) flower buds require water stress to stimulate regrowth. A xylem specific watersoluble dye, azosulfamide, was used to quantify the uptake of water by buds after their release from dormancy by withholding water. In non-stressed flower buds, the rate of water uptake was generally slower and variable. In stressed flower buds, the rate of uptake tripled from one day to 3 days after rewatering and preceded the doubling of fresh and dry weight of buds. Free, ester, and amide IAA levels of developing flower buds were measured by GCMS-SIM using an isotope dilution technique with [13C6] IAA as an internal standard. Throughout development, the majority of IAA was present in a conjugated form and the dominant form was amide IAA. The proportions of amide and free IAA changed rapidly after plants were water stressed until day 3, and preceded the doubling of fresh and dry weight. Correlation coefficients of 0.9, 0.7, and 0.7 (p<0.l) were found between auxin content and fresh weight, dry weight, and rate of water uptake, respectively.

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The accuracy of nondestructive optical methods for chlorophyll (Chl) assessment based on leaf spectral characteristics depends on the wavelengths used for Chl assessment. Using spectroscopy, the optimum wavelengths (OW) for Chl assessment were determined by using 1-year-old almond (Prunus dulcis), poplar (Populus trichocarpa × P. deltoides), and apple (Malus ×domestica) trees grown at different rates of nitrogen fertilization to produce leaves with different Chl concentrations. Spectral reflectance of leaf discs was measured using a spectroradiometer (300 to 1100 nm at 1-nm intervals), and total Chl concentration in leaf discs was extracted and determined in 80% acetone. The OW for nondestructive Chl assessment by reflectance spectroscopy was estimated using 1) the coefficient of determination (r 2) from simple linear regression; 2) reflectance sensitivity analysis (a measure for changes of spectral reflectance on unit change in leaf Chl concentration); and 3) the first spectral derivative method. Our results indicated that the first derivative method can be used only to identify OW in the red edge region of the spectrum, whereas r 2 and reflectance sensitivity analysis can be used to identify the OW in both the red edge and green regions. Our results indicate that using simple linear r 2 in combination with reflectance sensitivity and/or the first derivative analyses is a reliable method for determining OW in plant leaves tested. Two optimum wavebands with larger r 2, smaller root mean square error, and higher reflectance sensitivity were found in red edge (700 to 730 nm) and green (550 to 580 nm) regions, respectively, which can be used as common OW for Chl reflectance assessment in poplar, apple, and almond leaves tested. Single-wavelength indices if developed with OW were even more accurate than those more wavelength indices that developed without using OW. The accuracy of indices can be further improved if indices developed by using one OW and one Chl-insensitive wavelength from near infrared (NIR) (750 to 1100 nm) in the form of RNIR/ROW or (RNIR – ROW)/(RNIR + ROW).

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