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Invertase (INV) may influence sugar levels and assimilate transport in strawberry fruit. Several groups, including our own, have only detected acid INV (optimum pH 4.6) in strawberry fruit, however, recently Hubbard et al. (Physiol. Plant. 82:191-196, 1991) reported the presence of a neutral INV (pH 7.5). Since dissimilar isolation protocols may have contributed to the different findings, we re-examined our work with developing `Brighton' strawberry using the extraction procedure of Hubbard et al. Neutral INV activity per gFW (pH 7.5-8.0) increased many fold as fruit developed from green to the red ripe stage. Acid INV activity decreased markedly from green-white to the red stage. In addition, when fruit extracts were precipitated with cold acetone, a pellet contained 60% of the acid INV activity, and a surface coagulation of protein contained 60% of the neutral INV activity. This allowed easy separation of these two enzymes. Extraction methodologies affect isolation of neutral INV activity from strawberry fruit.

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Kentucky State Univ. (KYSU) emphasizes research on developing alternative, high-value crops and sustainable agriculture methods for use by limited-resource farmers. Since 1990, KYSU has maintained a research program to develop pawpaw into a new high-value tree fruit crop. With its high tolerance for many native pests and diseases, pawpaw shows great potential as a crop for organic and sustainable production. The objectives of KYSU's pawpaw research program include: 1) variety trials; 2) development of new or improved methods of propagation; 3) collection, evaluation, preservation, and dissemination of germplasm; and 4) sharing of information on pawpaw with scientists, commercial growers and marketers, and the general public. To aid in dissemination of information on pawpaw, a web site has been developed (http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu) that includes information on current and past pawpaw research at KYSU and information on the PawPaw Foundation. On this site, there are a selected bibliography of publications on pawpaw and related species; pawpaw recipes and nutritional information; a guide to buying and growing pawpaws; photos of pawpaw trees, flowers and fruit; and links to other web sites with pawpaw information. In the future, the site will include results from the pawpaw regional variety trials and the database for the National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Asimina spp., located at KYSU. The pawpaw information web site will be an increasingly useful aid in the introduction of pawpaw as a new, potentially high-value, tree fruit crop.

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The propagation of clonal rootstocks for the pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal] has been unsuccessful; therefore, nurseries currently graft cultivars onto rootstock derived from locally available seed of diverse genetic origin. Great variation in pawpaw scion growth and suckering is observed with this seedling rootstock and grafted trees are also slow to come into production, often producing fruit 5 to 6 years after planting. In an effort to develop superior seedling rootstocks for pawpaw cultivars, seedstock was evaluated from the cultivars PA-Golden (#1), Sunflower, Susquehanna, NC-1, K8-2, and commercially available seed (RVT). The objectives of the experiment were to determine if: 1) genotype and seed size influenced vigor of greenhouse-grown container seedlings; 2) graft compatibility and growth rate of scions would vary by rootstock; and 3) scion precocity was influenced by various seedling rootstocks in the field. Greenhouse experiments were conducted in 2002, 2003, and 2004, and each year all seedstocks had a high germination percentage (95%) and uniform size within each seedstock. Seed size was an important factor in determining vigor in container production. Seed of `Sunflower' was large (1.65 g/seed) and consistently produced vigorous seedlings that were able to be chipbudded within 6 months. Seed of the selection K8-2 was smallest (0.94 g/seed) and showed the least vigor. Bud take was similar for the scions `Sunflower' and `Susquehanna' on all rootstocks. Twenty-one weeks after budding, scions of `Sunflower' were about 30% larger than scions of `Susquehanna'; however, source of seedling rootstock did not affect growth of either cultivar. Field evaluations have begun with the two cultivars budded onto the six rootstocks.

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Kentucky has a rich history in viticulture. The Kentucky Vineyard Society was founded in 1798 and Kentucky was the third largest grape and wine producer by 1860. During Prohibition, however, vines were either uprooted or left unattended, and the grape industry essentially disappeared in Kentucky. Since 1990, the grape and wine industry has shown a resurgence; however, there are limited educational opportunities in viticulture in Kentucky. Kentucky State University (KSU) emphasizes the development of alternative high-value crops for sustainable agriculture production. In 2000, a viticulture program was initiated at KSU to develop cultivar, vine management, and pest and disease control recommendations. Aware of the fact that grape growers in Kentucky are mostly new to grape culture, KSU has developed a viticulture website (http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/viticulture/index.htm) to disseminate viticulture information. The website provides information that includes setting up a new vineyard, managing a “mature” vineyard (Vitis, Kentucky weather and climate, site selection, cultivars, rootstocks, trellising, care of young vines, canopy management, irrigation and nutrition, pest, and disease management), grape growers' corner (questions and answers, buy and sale, resources), and selected links. A monthly viticulture calendar is also available. In the future, the site will be updated with research results in viticulture from KSU and other southeastern institutions, growers' feedback, and information on wine making. The viticulture website will aid in the promotion of the grape and wine industry in Kentucky and states with a similar climate, and benefit grape growers from this profitable and expanding market.

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Pawpaw [Asiminatriloba (L.) Dunal] is a tree fruit native to areas in the Midwest and Southeast United States. Since 1994, Kentucky State University (KSU) has served as the USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository, or gene bank, for pawpaw; therefore, the assessment of genetic diversity in pawpaw is an important research priority for the KSU program. There are over 1800 pawpaw accessions (trees) from 16 different states and over 40 cultivars that are planted on 8 acres at the KSU farm. The objectives of this study were to develop microsatellite markers for pawpaw, and to then use those markers to evaluate 19 cultivars in the repository collection. Leaves of the pawpaw cultivar Sunflower were sent to Genetic Information Systems (Chatsworth, Calif.) for simple sequence repeat (SSR) primer and marker development. A total of 34 microsatellite primers were developed for pawpaw. These primers were then used in a preliminary screening with five pawpaw cultivars (`Sunflower', `Mitchell', `Sweet Alice', `Overleese', and `Prolific'). Results from this preliminary screening indicate that four of the primers failed to amplify any product, 12 primers were monomorphic, and 18 primers were polymorphic. Eleven additional cultivars were then screened, which produced numerous polymorphic products. For example, Primers B3 and B118 produced products ranging in size from 490 to 350 bp. Polymorphic products will be used to examine genetic variation among the pawpaw cultivars screened.

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The Japanese beetle is a major insect pest of grapes in the eastern United States. An examination of Japanese beetle preference for currently grown grape cultivars would be useful to growers in developing pest control strategies with reduced chemical inputs. The objective of this study was to examine grape cultivar preference of Japanese beetles for commercially available grape cultivars in both cage choice and field experiments. Outdoor cage choice screening studies included 32 grape cultivars from various Vitis species and were conducted at the Kentucky State University Research Farm in Frankfort, KY. Feeding preference was determined by examining incidence of damage (percent of leaves damaged per vine) and leaf area loss, which was rated as 0 pt, 0%; 1 pt, 1% to 10%; 2 pt, 11% to 20%; 3 pt, 21% to 30%; 4 pt, 31% to 40%; 5 pt, 41% to 50%; 6 pt, 51% to 60%; and 7 pt, more than 60%, by leaf position from the first (shoot tip) to 10th leaves. Analysis of variance indicated that there were significant differences in Japanese beetle leaf damage for cultivar and leaf position main effects. Leaf damage by Japanese beetles varied by leaf position on the shoot, with the fourth through sixth leaves from the tip with the most severe damage. Generally, cultivars showing an incidence of damage greater than 70% were either European or French hybrid cultivars, and those with less than 70% incidence of damage were either American cultivars or American cultivars with a V. labrusca background. The grape cultivars Marquis, Reliance, Catawba, Concord Seedless, Concord, Edelweiss, and Einset showed promise as selections for growers interested in reduced chemical inputs for control of Japanese beetles.

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Pawpaw (Asimina triloba L.), a species of the eastern United States, bears the largest edible fruit of all native trees. Relatively little is known about ripening of pawpaw, and several problems, such as short shelf life and duration of harvesting, hamper pawpaw production. While previous investigations have resulted in identifying physical properties associated with ripening, the effects on phenolic content and antioxidant capacity have not been investigated. The objectives of the study were to investigate changes in phenolic content and antioxidant capacity and to identify physical parameters of pawpaw pulp during ripening. Sample extraction of pawpaw was achieved by adding acetone (2 mL/1 g of sample) to pulp of a pawpaw cultivar, PA Golden, and then vortexing (30 s) and sonicating (15 min) the sample and solvent, prior to centrifugation (15 min) twice at 2987 × g. Folin-Ciocalteu assay and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay were used for the estimation of phenolic content and the antioxidant capacity, respectively. While soluble solid content increased during ripening, the hardness of the fruit decreased, confirming previous reports. The pulp of unripe fruits had the greatest phenolic content (gallic acid eq. 131.2 mg/100 g FW) and antioxidant capacity (Trolox eq. 22.7 μM/g FW), which decreased by about 20% as the fruit ripened. Of three color properties measured, chroma, an estimate of color saturation, increased with ripening, while lightness of pawpaw pulp remained the same. A high correlation was found between chroma and hardness of fruits (r = 0.62), and between phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of pawpaw pulp (r = 0.80), suggesting these parameters can be incorporated into methods to estimate the ripeness of pawpaw fruit.

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Pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal], a native species of the eastern United States, bears the largest edible fruit of all indigenous trees. Chemoprotective properties of fruits have been partly attributed to phenolics such as gallic acid and chlorogenic acid, and the phenolic content generally correlates with antioxidant capacity for various kinds of fruits. Despite many reports of commonly available fruits, little information is available on phenolic content or antioxidant capacity for currently underused fruits. The objectives of this study were to determine the phenolic content (PC) and antioxidant capacity (AC) in fruit of two pawpaw cultivars at different stages of ripening. Sample extraction of pawpaw was achieved by adding acetone (2 mL/1g of sample) to the pulp of ‘PA-Golden (#1)’ and advanced selection 1-23, and then vortexing (30 s) and sonicating (15 min.) the sample and solvent before centrifuging it (15 min) twice at 2987 g. Folin-Ciocalteu assay and ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay were used for the estimation of PC and AC, respectively. PC and AC tended to decrease with ripening of fruit. The highest AC was found in the semiripe ‘PA-Golden (#1)’ puree (22.06 μmol TE/g fresh weight), whereas the puree of ripe fruit contained the lowest AC (17.04 μmol TE/g fresh weight), about a 23% decrease. In contrast, the greatest PC and AC were observed in intermediate fruits for 1-23. A positive correlation was found between PC and AC of fruit of ‘PA-Golden (#1)’ (r = 0.62) and 1–23 (r = 0.82). These results suggest that phenolic components of pawpaw pulp have a major effect on AC, as reported for other fruits and vegetables. The relatively high AC found in pawpaw pulp may motivate more health-conscientious people to consume pawpaw fruit. The diversity in PC and AC between pawpaw cultivars emphasizes the need for additional screening to identify cultivars with high AC and health-promoting potential.

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Ripening pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal] fruit exhibit climacteric peaks of ethylene and CO2 production 48 to 72 hours after harvest, and thus may be considered climacteric. The development of desirable quality traits and the loss of fruit firmness during ripening is extremely rapid, and a variety of strategies to slow these processes via manipulation of ethylene production and/or response and by more direct techniques like postharvest heat treatment have been attempted. Fruit, branches with fruit, and/or whole trees have been sprayed with ethephon or aminoethoxyvinylglycine to hasten or delay ripening, respectively. After harvest, fruit have been treated with commercial and higher rates of 1-methylcyclopropene for various durations at ambient and cold storage temperatures. Fruit have also been heat-treated at various temperatures, using both brief “shock” treatments above 40 °C and longer periods at 35 °C to 40 °C. In addition, in an attempt to alleviate the loss of ripening capacity as well as the development of injury symptoms from cold storage for longer than 4 weeks, cold-stored fruit were warmed to ambient temperature intermittently and then returned to cold storage. While some effects of the treatments were noted, the responses to all of these treatment strategies have failed to appreciably alter fruit ripening, the rapid loss of firmness, or otherwise maintain fruit quality beyond that without treatment.

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The pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal] is a native American tree fruit with potential in edible landscapes and as a new fruit crop. A split-plot experiment (main plot: fertilizer level and subplot potting medium) was conducted in the greenhouse to identify the best growing medium for production of pawpaw seedlings. Seeds were sown in rootrainers containing one of the following media: 1) Promix (control); 2) 6 pine bark:1 mason sand (v/v); 3) 1 mason sand: 1 sphagnum peat; and 4) 4 pine bark:1 mason sand:1 sphagnum peat. When seedlings had at least two to three leaves, weekly fertigation of seedlings began, using 0, 250, or 500 ppm Peters 20N-20P-20K. Germination rate at 10 weeks was similar in all media, at about 80%. The plants were destructively harvested 10 weeks after imposition of fertigation treatments. Both potting media and fertigation influenced leaf number and height; however, there was a significant interaction between these main effects. Leaf number and height for plants in medium 3 were similar to those of the control (medium 1), at about 11 leaves and 18-cm plant height, respectively, at 500 ppm fertigation. Plants in media 2 and 4 were about half as tall and had about half as many leaves as control medium plants at 500 ppm fertigation. Plant leaf area and biomass data will be discussed.

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