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  • Author or Editor: James E. Simon x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Essential oils were extracted from leaves, flowers, and stems of Ocimum basilicurn, O. kilimandscharicum, and O. micranthum by solvent extraction, hydrodistillation, and steam distillation for essential oil content and the oil analyzed by GC and GC/MS for composition. While the yield of essential oil was consistently higher from steam distillation than hydrodistillation, a similar number of compounds was recovered from both hydrodistillation and steam distillation. Though the relative concentration of the major constituents was similar by both methods, the absolute amounts were higher with steam distillation. Essential oil content and composition varied by plant species and plant part. Essential oil content was highest in flowers for O. basilicum and in leaves for O. micranthum. No significant differences were observed in essential oil yield and relative concentration of major constituents using fresh or dry samples and using samples from 75 g to 10 g of dry plant tissue. While minor differences between hydrodistillation and steam distillation were observed, both methods resulted in high yields and good recovery of essential oil constituents. Hydrodistillation is a more-rapid and simpler technique than steam and permits the extraction of essential oil where steam is not accessible.

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Abstract

Somatic embryos of borage (Borago officinalis L., Boraginaceae) were induced directly from immature zygotic embryos and indirectly from callus. Embryogenic callus maintained on liquid basal medium supplemented with 4.5 μm 2,4-D and 10% (v/v) coconut water (CW) produced globular structures that became rhizogenic upon transfer to 2,4-D-free basal medium. Embryogenic callus maintained on semisolid basal medium supplemented with 4.5 μm 2,4-D and 10% CW continued to produce somatic embryos, but development was abnormal. Globular structures often failed to develop cotyledons, and those that developed were small and fused; hypocotyls tended to be large and elongated. Root meristems appeared normal, but shoot meristems were not formed. Carbon source (sucrose, glucose, or maltose) and ABA did not normalize somatic embryogenesis. A highly embryogenic, non-browning clone produced various tissue types when 2,4-D was withdrawn that varied in total fatty acids: white nodular structures (12.6%), cotyledonary structures (22.5%), white callus (5.0%), green leafy growth (3.1%), and translucent globular growth (5.1%). γ-Linolenic acid, as a percentage of total fatty acids, was highest in cotyledonary structures (19.9%) and lowest in white callus (10.2%). Chemical names used: abscisic acid (ABA); 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); coconut water (CW).

Open Access

Abstract

Embryo sac formation in borage (Borago officinalis L.) was of monosporic, Polygonum type. Zygotic embryogenesis resembled the Piperad type (Myosotis Variation) without a suspensor after the four-cell stage with free nuclear endosperm. Cotyledons were initiated 4 days after pollination (DAP) and grew rapidly until 12 to 14 DAP, with seed maturity at 18 DAP. There were two patterns of in vitro somatic embryo development from embryogenic callus: 1) from single cells, which proceeded through typical zygotic embryo stages; or 2) from groups of cells that developed as a meristem. The advanced stages of somatic embryogenesis were characterized by abnormal cotyledon and hypocotyl morphology and incomplete apical development.

Open Access

Three watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] cultivars with different ozone (O3) sensitivities were grown in a charcoal-filtered greenhouse and exposed in continuous-stirred tank reactor chambers to five levels (0, 100, 200, 300, or 400 nL·L-1) of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the presence (80 nL·L-1) or absence (0 nL·L-1) of ozone (O3) for 4 hours/day, 5 days/week for 22 days. In the presence of O3, SO2 increased foliar injury in all three cultivars, but the impact was greatest for the most O3-sensitive cultivar, `Sugar Baby,' moderate for `Crimson Sweet,' and least for the least O3-sensitive cultivar, `Charleston Gray.' For all cultivars, SO2 intensified O3 suppression of leaf area for the first seven mainstem leaves and of dry weights for aboveground and total plant tissues. Root dry weight was independently suppressed by both pollutants, and the root: top ratio was linearly suppressed by SO2 alone. Sulfur dioxide combined with O3 can be detrimental to crop species such as watermelon. Thus, the potential for SO2 phytotoxicity should not be summarily dismissed, especially in the vicinity of SO2 point sources where O3 co-occurs.

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Molecular markers were used to assess genetic diversity in basil (Ocimum L. spp., Lamiaceae). Using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis, 11 primers generated 98 polymorphic bands, ranging from 300 to 2,000 base pairs, that discriminated among 37 accessions across nine Ocimum spp. Means of genetic similarities within Ocimum spp. showed that the domesticated species, O. minimum L. (0.887), O. basilicum L. (0.769), and O. ×citriodorum Vis. (0.711) had highest similarity indices within species, while the nondomesticated, O. americanum L. (0.580), O. gratissimum L. (0.408), and O. kilimandscharicum Guerke (0.559) showed the lowest similarity. RAPD results indicated that O. minimum should not be considered a distinct species but rather a variety of O. basilicum. Consistent clusters among all but one of the O. ×citriodorum spp., all containing citral as the major constituent, were identified using bootstrap analysis. RAPD analysis was useful in discriminating among Ocimum spp., although within species resolution will require a higher number of polymorphic bands.

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Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the most economically important culinary herbs in the world, yet global production has become increasingly challenging due to the destructive disease downy mildew (Peronospora belbahrii). Although multiple sources of resistance have been identified, there are no resistant sweet basil cultivars with a commercially acceptable chemotype and phenotype available. The commercial basil cultivar Mrihani (MRI) was identified as resistant and crossed with a Rutgers University susceptible sweet basil inbred line (SB22) to generate a full-sibling family. To determine the mode of inheritance for resistance to downy mildew in basil, six related generations of the MRI × SB22 family were evaluated using a disease severity index (DSI) at northern and southern New Jersey locations over 2 years. All siblings in the F1 and BC1P2 generations were resistant (0.33 > DSI) providing strong evidence that inheritance of resistance from MRI was conferred by dominant alleles. Segregation ratios in the F2 and backcross to the susceptible parent (BCP1) generations demonstrated chi-square goodness of fit to the two-gene complementary (F2: P = 0.11, BC1P1: P = 0.04) and recessive epistatic (F2: P = 0.03, BC1P1: P = 0.63) models. Further analyses of gene effects using a weighted six-parameter scaling test provided evidence that nonallelic additive × additive and additive × dominant gene effects were highly significant (P < 0.001) and resistance reducing. This is the first report of heritable genetic resistance that can be introduced to sweet basil without the issue of sterility barriers. Plant breeding strategies using the MRI × SB22 family should exploit dominant gene action and remove recessive, resistance-reducing alleles from the population.

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Vegetable amaranth (Amaranthus sp.), a leafy vegetable crop consumed around the world, is actively promoted as a source of essential micronutrients to at-risk populations. Such promotion makes micronutrient content essential to the underlying value of this crop. However, the extent to which micronutrient content varies by effect of genotype is not clear, leaving breeders uninformed on how to prioritize micronutrient contents as the criteria for selection among other performance parameters. A total of 32 entries across seven Amaranthus species were field-grown and analyzed for Fe, Mg, Ca, Zn, yield, height, and canopy spread comprising 20 entries at New Jersey in 2013; 12 entries at Arusha, Tanzania, in 2014; and 20 entries at New Jersey in 2015. The genotype effect was significant in all trials for Fe, Mg, Ca, Zn, total yield, marketable yield, height, and canopy spread. The Fe content range was above and below the breeding target of 4.2 mg/100 g Fe in all environments except for New Jersey 2015, where all entries were found to accumulate in levels below the target. All entries in each of the environments contained levels of Ca and Mg above breeding targets, 300 mg/100 g Ca and 90 mg/100 g Mg. None of the entries in any environment met the Zn breeding target of 4.5 mg/100 g Zn.

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