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  • Author or Editor: Marisa Wall x
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Papaya (Carica papaya L.) cultivars and breeding lines were evaluated for resistance to Enterobacter cloacae (Jordan) Hormaeche & Edwards, the bacterial causal agent of internal yellowing disease (IY), using a range of concentrations of the bacterium. Linear regression analysis was performed and IY incidence was positively correlated with increasing inoculum concentrations for susceptible cultivars Kapoho Solo and Laie Gold but not for resistant cultivars or lines. It was determined that the inoculum concentration of 9 to 10 Log10 colony-forming units per milliliter (cfu/mL) was able to reliably differentiate resistant and susceptible papaya germplasm. Red-fleshed cultivars SunUp and Sunrise were the most resistant papaya groups evaluated at this dose concentration. Yellow-fleshed cultivars, Kapoho Solo and Laie Gold, were susceptible to E. cloacae. ‘Rainbow’, an F1 hybrid between ‘SunUp’ and ‘Kapoho Solo’ that is yellow-fleshed, was moderately resistant to E. cloacae, exhibiting limited symptoms of the disease. Yellow-fleshed I-Rb F5/F6, an advanced inbred line derived from ‘Rainbow’, is resistant and offers the potential of improving resistance of yellow-fleshed commercial cultivars. A colorimeter was used to objectively measure internal flesh color and distinguish between infected and non-infected tissue in red- and yellow-fleshed papayas using L*C*H* color space analysis. Symptomatic tissue (72.4 and 79.0°) had higher hue angle means than non-symptomatic tissue (62.8 and 75.0°) for all cultivars or lines in red- and yellow-fleshed papayas, respectively. Yellow (“Y”) hue color also distinguished infected tissue from non-infected tissue. Symptomatic tissue that had Y hue color resulted in 79 to 81° hue angle means among red- or yellow-fleshed papayas. Our results demonstrated the usefulness of colorimetry to help detect infected papaya tissue. In surveys of naturally infected papaya, high populations (8.57 × 107 cfu/g) of E. cloacae were recovered in infected fruit of ‘Kapoho Solo’ and represent a food safety concern for fresh and processed papaya. In isolations from inoculated fruits, we observed decreases of ≈1 to 2 Log10 cfu/g in final bacterial populations when high-dose range inoculum concentrations (9 to 12 Log10 cfu/mL) were used. This dose range may represent a saturation range for E. cloacae inoculation.

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Field studies were conducted in 1995 and 1996 at Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Alcalde, New Mexico, to compare direct seeding to transplanting for stand establishment and yield estimates of calendula (Calendula officinalis), catnip (Nepeta cataria), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), and globemallow (Sphaeralcea spp.). Calendula established well from seed or transplants at both sites. Transplanting increased establishment of lemon balm, catnip, stinging nettle, and globemallow. Lemon balm establishment was increased by 230% to 400% at Las Cruces, and catnip establishment was increased by 84% to 100% at Alcalde by transplanting. Direct seeding resulted in little or no stand establishment for stinging nettle and globemallow at Alcalde. In 1996, transplants increased lemon balm and stinging nettle dry weight yields by a factor of three or more at both sites. Dry weight yields of transplanted catnip were 4.86 t·ha−1 in 1995 and 7.90 t·ha−1 in 1996 in Las Cruces. Alcalde yields for transplanted dried catnip were 2.43 t·ha−1 in 1995 and 5.12 t·ha−1 in 1996. Transplanted globemallow dry weight yields were 6.04 t·ha−1 in 1995 and 9.17 t·ha−1 in 1996 for Las Cruces. Transplanted stinging nettle yield in Alcalde was 5.91 t·ha−1 for plants that overwintered and were harvested in the second season. Transplanting versus direct seeding medicinal herbs has the potential to substantially increase stand establishment and yield in New Mexico, particularly in the more northern and cooler part of the state.

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Field studies were conducted to determine the production potential of echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), valerian (Valeriana officinalis), mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica) medicinal herbs at two sites in New Mexico. Las Cruces, N.M., is at an elevation of 3,891 ft (1,186 m) and has an average of 220 frost free days per year, whereas Alcalde, N.M., is at an elevation of 5,719 ft (1,743 m) and averages 152 frost-free days per year. In-row plant spacings of 12, 18 and 24 inches (30.5, 45.7, and 61.0 cm) were compared at both locations. The corresponding plant densities for the 12, 18 and 24 inch spacings were 14,520 plants/acre (35,878 plants/ha), 9,680 plants/acre (23,919 plants/ha), and 7,260 plants/acre (17,939 plants/ha), respectively. Data were collected on growth rates, fresh yield, and dry yield for the herbs grown at each site. All crops at both sites had highest plot yields at the 12-inch spacing, suggesting that optimum in-row plant spacings are at or below the 12-inch spacing. Yields of 1.94 ton/acre (4.349 t·ha-1) of dried yerba mansa root, 0.99 ton/acre (2.219 t·ha-1) of dried echinacea root, and 2.30 ton/acre (5.156 t·ha-1) of dried mullein leaves were realized at the 12-inch spacing at Las Cruces in southern New Mexico. Yields of 1.16 ton/acre (2.600 t·ha-1) of dried valerian root, 0.93 ton/acre (2.085 t·ha-1) of dried echinacea root, and 0.51 ton/acre (1.143 t·ha-1) of dried mullein leaves were harvested at the 12-inch spacing at Alcalde in northern New Mexico. Yields of fresh echinacea flowers were 1.56 ton/acre (3.497 t·ha-1) in Las Cruces. Yields of dried mullein flowers were 0.68 ton/acre (1.524 t·ha-1) in Las Cruces and 0.66 ton/acre (1.479 t·ha-1) in Alcalde.

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Cost and return estimates are presented for selected medicinal herbs grown in a plant-spacing study at two sites in New Mexico. The selected herbs were echinacea [Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench], valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.), and yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica Nutt.). Significant returns to land and risk were observed in the crops grown at the closest plant spacing, 12 inches (30 cm). Return to land and risk after two growing seasons from echinacea was estimated for a 10-acre (4-ha) farm to be $16,093/acre ($39,750/ha) in Las Cruces and $14,612/acre ($36,092/ha) in Alcalde.

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