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  • Author or Editor: J.D. Norton x
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Graft compatibility was investigated for 15 Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima Bl.) cultivars, nine American chestnut [C. dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.] selections, six Japanese chestnut (C. crenata Sieb.) cultivars, and two putative Japanese hybrids on two known rootstocks of Chinese chestnut. Intraspecific grafting of Chinese chestnut resulted in 80% success after two growing seasons. An unusual anatomical structure of the chestnut stem had a significant effect on graft success. The phloem fiber bundles related to graft failure are described in the study. Interspecific grafts of seven American and five Japanese chestnut selections resulted in ≥70% success. The putative Japanese hybrids had a significantly lower success rate (<50%) regardless of rootstocks. A marked graft incompatibility was found in one Japanese/Chinese and two American/Chinese combinations. Graft incompatibility related to morphological abnormalities at the graft union was also observed in interspecific grafts. Comparisons of cambial isoperoxidase isozymes between successful and unsuccessful grafts did not support the hypothesis that peroxidase isozymes are indicators of rootstock-scion compatibility. The results suggest that genetic incompatibility is not a major cause of graft failure in Chinese chestnut.

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A field study was conducted to evaluate tolerance of pecan rootstocks to soil salinity and sodicity. Seven cultivars—Elliott, Giles, Ideal, Peruque, Riverside, ‘Shoshoni, and VC1-68—were selected from a range of geographic regions of origin. The soil of the experimental plot was a poorly drained, saline–sodic Pima silty clay variant. The irrigation water was a moderately saline mix of Gila River and local groundwater with an electrical conductivity of 2.8 dS⋅m–1, containing primarily ions of Na and Cl. Eighty seeds of each cultivar were planted in a greenhouse in late Feb. 2016; 48 seedlings of each cultivar were transplanted into field plots in Feb. 2017. Half the trees received a soil-based application of Zn–ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) at planting. The trees were observed and rated for both vigor and resistance to salt injury on seven separate occasions. Trunk diameter was measured each dormant season. Leaf samples were collected on 9 Oct. 2019 and 6 Oct. 2020, and were analyzed for nutrient content. Zn-EDTA was not found to have a significant effect on growth, vigor, or resistance to salt injury. ‘Elliott’ seedlings exhibited greater tolerance for the alkaline, saline–sodic soil conditions than other cultivars. ‘Giles’ and ‘Peruque’ were most severely affected. Resistance to salt injury (ranging from marginal leaf burn to necrosis of entire leaf), vigor, and growth correlated more strongly with foliar concentrations of Na than Cl or K during 2019. Vigor and growth were not significantly correlated with foliar Na, Cl, or K concentrations in 2020. The foliar K:Na ratio had a nearly equal correlation with resistance to salt injury and a greater correlation with growth than that of Na alone in 2019. However, although the correlation of the K:Na ratio with vigor was stronger than that of Cl or K, Na had the strongest correlation with vigor in 2019. In 2020, the only significant correlation of growth and vigor was with the K:Na ratio. The strongest correlation with resistance to salt injury in 2020 was with foliar Na concentration.

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