Monosporascus root rot/vine decline (MRR/VD), caused by Monosporascus cannonballus, is a serious disease of the major melon production areas of Texas, California, and Arizona. We have previously identified differing levels of tolerance in melon germplasm based on vine disease symptoms. This study was conducted to evaluate the yield response of commercial and experimental cantaloupe and honeydew hybrids subjected to MRR/VD. Thirty-nine and six cantaloupe and honeydew hybrids, respectively, were transplanted into a field highly infested with M. cannonballus in March 1995 in a randomized, complete block with 4 replications. The field was highly infested with Monosporascus cannonballus. `Caravelle' (very susceptible) and `Deltex' (tolerant) were included as control entries. Fruit were harvested at maturity and sized. Any fruit that did not mature completely due to vine death were counted as culls (unmarketable). Marketable yield of the cantaloupe entries ranged from 26.74% to 67.35%. The most tolerant hybrids were `SR103654', `Don Carlos', `Explorer', and `Ovation'. Marketable yield of the honeydews ranged from 8.43% to 41.46%, with `Morning Ice' and `Creme de Menthe' showing the most tolerance. The best performing hybrids were evaluated again the Fall 1995 and Spring 1996 seasons. In general, genotypes which matured later, and had a more dispersed fruit set, were more tolerant to MRR/VD. This supports previous data showing that high physiological stress (heavy, concentrated fruit load) leads to more severe and rapid vine collapse.
The nature and magnitude of genotype × environment interactions will determine the extent of testing required (locations, years) to accurately evaluate a genotype's performance. Data from yearly T-AES muskmelon variety trials were analyzed to determine the level of variety (V) × year (Y), V × location (L), and V × Y × L interactions for yield and fruit size. Data analyzed were of nine hybrids grown at three commercial farms over two years. Fruits were harvested similar to grower practices, and were sorted into size classes (9 - 30) or culls. V × Y and V × L interactions for marketable yield and total yield were not significant. V × Y × L interaction was significant for marketable yield, but not for total yield. V × Y × L interactions were highly significant for percentage culls and percentage of fruit in each size class. V × L interactions were also significant for percentage of fruit in most size classes. Data indicate that specific location-year combinations differentially affect a genotype's fruit size, most likely due to weather, planting time, and stress factors. Multiple year and location testing of genotypes is therefore critical, particularly for evaluation of fruit size.
The effect of zero, one, and two fruits per vine on plant growth and reaction to Monosporascus root rot/vine decline were investigated. In the first study, four cultivars with differing levels of tolerance were evaluated (`Primo', `Deltex', `Caravelle', `Magnum 45'). Vine decline ratings were taken weekly during the harvest period for 4 weeks. Treatments with no fruit showed delayed and less-severe vine decline symptoms. Temperature also effected vine decline symptom expression. In a Fall test, with lower temperatures during fruit maturity, symptoms were delayed in all treatments and often absent in treatments with no fruit load. Vine decline symptom expression is greatly effected by physiological (fruit load) and temperature stress. A subsequent study was conducted to more precisely quantify the effect of various fruit loads on shoot/root partitioning and vine decline symptoms. In addition to growth parameters root disease ratings were taken. `Caravelle', the most-susceptible genotype, was grown under differing fruit loads as mentioned above in Weslaco and Uvalde, Texas. As fruit load increased, root size decreased. Increased vine decline symptoms were observed under higher fruit loads. The implications on germplasm screening and breeding for resistance will be discussed.
Baby-style carrot Daucus carota Mill. cv. Caropak was studied under four population densities, three different numbers of lines per bed, and harvested under three root size harvest parameters in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Four phases in the baby-style carrot process were evaluated. Length of the roots at harvest and projected values for total waste and marketable yield were estimated. Length was affected by root size at harvest, the most desirable root length occurred when harvested at 25%-35% roots diameter >2 cm. The longer roots (16.55 cm) were in the treatments with 6 seed lines per bed and 197 plants/m2. Population density affected the fresh and cut weight in the baby-style carrots process with the highest weight at 321 plants/m2. Percent of cut waste was the same at the three-root size at harvest with 21.65% of crowns and tips cut. The percent of graded waste was lowest when harvested at the biggest root size, 14.23% and four seed lines per bed produced the highest waste with 18.14. Seed lines per bed affected the quality of the roots in the graded step. Based on a 40% peeling waste projection the lowest total waste was estimated at 59.69% and the highest projected marketable yield of 19.4 t/ha of final product when roots were harvested using the 25%-35% root diameter parameter. Root size at harvest is the main factor affecting projected marketable yield of baby-style carrots in South Texas.
Carrot (Daucus carota Mill. cv. Caropak) was studied under four population densities, and three numbers of seed lines per bed, and was harvested under three root size harvest parameters. Four phases (cutting, grading, peeling, and marketable yield) in the cut-and-peel baby carrot process were evaluated. Root length was most desirable when plots were harvested when 25% to 35% of the roots measured > 2 cm in diameter. Roots were longest (14.7 cm) in the treatments containing six seed lines per bed. The harvest criteria of 25% to 35% root diameter >2 cm also produced the highest fresh mass (48.1 t·ha-1), and the highest cut and graded mass (37.7 and 32.3 t·ha-1, respectively). A population density of 321 plants/m2 produced the highest fresh and cut mass. Percent cut waste (21.6% crowns and tips) was not affected by root size at harvest, but percent graded waste was lowest (14.2%) when plants were harvested at the greatest root size. Four seed lines per bed produced the highest graded (18.4%), and total waste (61.2%), but not cut waste. The lowest total waste, estimated at 59.7% and the highest projeced marketable yield (19.4 t·ha-1) occurred when roots were harvested using the 25% to 35% root diameter >2-cm parameter. Total waste and marketable yield were obtained using a fixed waste value of 40% in the peeling phase (peeling, polishing, and grading before packing). This percentage could vary depending on the equipment specifications and quality control of a given processing facility. Root size at harvest proved to be the main factor affecting projected marketable yield of cut-and-peel baby carrots at the population densities used in this study.