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  • Author or Editor: M. McNeil x
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A 4-year `Satsuma' mandarin cultivar trial was conducted on the California Central Coast in San Luis Obispo. Cultivars compared were Owari, Dobashi Beni, and Okitsu Wase, all on Carizzo citrange rootstock. Trees were from 3 to 6 years of age and in their first 4 years of production during the four seasons that data was taken. Data taken each year was fruit maturity, color, size, and yield. Tree size was measured in the fourth year. `Okitsu Wase' fruit were harvestable 2 to 4 weeks earlier than `Owari' and `Dobashi Beni' considering meeting both minimum soluble solids to acid ratio (6.5/1) and minimum color (75%). `Okitsu Wase' was more consistent as to time of maturity. Maturity time of all cultivars varied each season based on weather. `Okitsu Wase' first minimum internal maturity varied from 15 Oct. to 1 Nov. Minimum color varied from 1 Nov. to 1 Dec. Dobashi Beni first internal maturity varied from 15 Oct. to 31 Dec. Minimum color varied from 15 Nov. to 31 Dec. Owari first minimum internal maturity varied from 15 Nov. to 31 Dec. Minimum color varied from 15 Nov. to 31 Dec. `Owari' had the highest total yield for the 4 years, followed by `Dobashi Beni'. `Okitsu Wase' had a significantly lower total yield than the other two cultivars for the 4 years. `Okitsu Wase' had higher percentages of smaller fruit and lower percentages of larger fruit than the other two cultivars in the first and fourth crop year, but had comparable percentages of larger fruit in the second and third year. The `Okitsu Wase' was a smaller tree than both the `Owari' and `Dobashi Beni' in height, width, and canopy volume.

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Woody plants can be induced to cold-acclimate by exposure to sublethal low temperatures, but only after the onset of vegetative maturity. We monitored seven woody plant taxa, at monthly intervals, to determine the date of vegetative maturity, freeze-killing temperature, cell membrane electrolyte leakage, and the quantity and diversity of endogenous oligosaccharides. The freeze-killing temperature changed from -5 to -7C before vegetative maturity to -15 to -20C after vegetative maturity. There was a 10-fold increase in raffinose and about a 3-fold increase in endogenous stachyose in samples that were cold-acclimated under controlled conditions. In field samples, endogenous raffinose increased from <0.02% in August to 2% to 11% in cortical stem tissues of all cold-acclimated taxa. The tetrasaccharide stachyose increased from <0.02% to 0.25% to 2.5% for similar comparisons. None of the other sugars or polyols showed similar, consistent patterns during the onset of cold acclimation. In response to low temperature, raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) have previously been shown to increase substantially in cabbage, soybean, kidney bean, and Chlorella. RFOs also possess high water-binding characteristics and tend to enhance aqueous glass transitions. Accordingly, we hypothesize that the endogenous production of these oligosaccharides may play an important role in metabolic events associated with cryoprotection of critical cellular functions during low-temperature stress.

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‘DaisySL’ mandarins (Citrus reticulata Blanco) grafted to Schaub Rough lemon (C. jambhiri Lush; SHRL) Carrizo citrange (Citrus sinensis Osb. × Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf.; CARR), and Rubidoux Trifoliate [Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.; RUBT] rootstocks were measured to determine their liking by adults and children, sensory properties, and targeted metabolomics over the course of 2 consecutive years. Chemical measurements showed differences in sugars, acids, and ethanol content, whereas a descriptive analysis found variations in sweetness, mandarin flavor, juiciness, and peelability. During both years, adults significantly preferred ‘DaisySL’ mandarins grafted to CARR and RUBT over those grafted to SHRL (P ≤ 0.05). Children liked the fruit grafted to CARR and RUBT rootstocks significantly more than fruit grafted to SHRL during the first year, but they did not prefer fruit grafted to any rootstock during the second year. This research found that ‘DaisySL’ mandarins are a well-liked variety of mid-to-late season mandarin capable of filling the seasonal gap between clementine and W. Murcott varieties. We concluded that the rootstock can affect the chemical composition, sensory profile, and consumer preferences for ‘DaisySL’ mandarins.

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The U.S. nursery and landscape industry generates 1.9 million jobs and had an annual payroll of greater than $3 billion in 2002, yet little is known about nursery and landscape workers. This lack of information is even more pressing considering that labor generally accounts for greater than 40% of production costs and 31% of gross sales. Labor shortages, immigration reform, and legal status of employees are widely reported as the industry's most critical issues. We hypothesized that relevant data regarding the nursery industry workforce may raise an appreciation of the industry's diversity, increase political power and public awareness, and help stakeholders evaluate policy decisions and plan corrective strategies in a more informed manner. A total of 4466 self-administered questionnaires were sent in 2006, attempting to reach 30 nurseries in each of nine states with 1561 returned (35% response rate). Hispanics constituted 70% of the average nursery workforce, including general laborers (76%), crew leaders (61%), and sales/managers (others) (21%). Across firms, labor retention was less than 51% after 5 years and only 22% of employees understood English, raising questions regarding availability and access to training. Sixty percent of nursery employees had not received work-related training, although 81% of men and 72% of women were interested, and an association between training and employee retention existed. The highest rated training topic of interest was English/Spanish (respective of Spanish/English primary language respondents). There was a positive correlation between developing fluency and worker turnover, making the laborer attrition rate even more unfavorable for employers who not only lost employees with acquired experience, but also with acquired English skills.

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