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  • Author or Editor: Russell T. Nagata x
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Damage due to leaf mining by Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) is a major problem in many leafy vegetables, especially lettuce. A hierarchy of feeding preference of leafminer on lettuce, Lactuca sativa L. cultivars 'Valmaine', `Parris Island Cos', `Floricos 83', and `Tall Guzmaine' was determined. Leafminers were given a choice of two plants. Observations on the number of times that leafminers probed the leaf surface to feed or oviposit in each plant was counted. `Tall Guzmaine' was significantly preferred in all combinations. Probe ratio of `Tall Guzmaine' verses the other cos lines ranged from 4:1 to 90:1. There were no significant difference between the other three lines, although `Valmaine' had the lowest count in most cases. Based on the pedigrees of the cultivars tested, the observed preferences appears to be under genetic control.

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An-assay was developed to determine the level of resistance to the herbicide glyphosate in trangenic seedlings of lettuce. Results of the seedling assay were correlated to results of a similar assay using callus lines of the identical transgenic plants. Transgenic plants were found to be a 32-fold increase in tolerance to glyphosate when compared to wild type plants. This was similar to the response of these transgenic lines in the callus line assay.

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Thermotolerance in lettuce seed at high temperature was investigated using primed and nonprimed seed or seeds matured at 20/10°C and 30/20°C. During seed germination at 36°C, the structural changes of the seed coverings in front of the radicle tip were observed in an anatomical study. In all seeds during imbibition, regardless of seed maturation temperature or priming, a crack appeared on one side of the cap tissue and the endosperm separated from the integument in front of the radicle tip. Additional changes took place during imbibition: the protein bodies in the vacuoles enlarged and were gradually depleted, large empty vacuoles formed, the cytoplasm condensed, the endosperm shrank, the endosperm cell wall dissolved and ruptured, then the radicle elongated toward this ruptured area. The findings suggested that the papery endosperm layer presented mechanical resistance to lettuce seed germination and the weakening of this layer was a prerequisite to radicle protrusion at high temperature. Seeds of `Dark Green Boston', `Everglades', and PI 251245 matured at 30/20°C had greater thermotolerance than those matured at 20/10°C. Results of the anatomical study indicated that the endosperm cell walls in front of the radicle of seeds matured at 30/20°C were more easily disrupted and ruptured during early imbibition than seeds matured at 20/10°C, suggesting that these seeds could germinate quickly at supra-optimal temperatures. From anatomical studies conducted to identify and characterize thermotolerance in lettuce seed germination, it was observed that genotype thermotolerance had the ability to reduce physical resistance of the endosperm by weakening the cell wall and by depleting stored reserves.

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Twenty-five varieties of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) were transplanted in commercial pepper fields in Immokalee and Delray Beach, Fla., to evaluate horticultural characteristics and resistance to race 3 bacterial spot of peppers caused by Xanthomonascampestris pv. vesicatoria. All cultural and management procedures were based on commercial best management practices. Eighty to 90% of marketable fruits had three or four lobes. Total marketable fruit yield from three harvests ranged from 4596 to 7089 kg·ha-1 and marketable fruit number ranged from 20,571 to 31,224 fruit/ha. Most fruit were slightly elongated with length to diameter ratios between 1.1 and 1.2. Seminis 7602 had a ratio of one, while lines ACR 252, PRO2R-3, and PR99R-16 had ratios of 1.40, 1.36, and 1.28, respectively. Significant differences were observed for fruit wall thickness, with those grown in Delray Beach having thicker fruit walls that averaged 7.5 mm vs. 5.3 mm for the Immokalee site. Bacterial spot infection at both sites did not affect yield, due to late natural infection of the field. Susceptible control `Jupiter' had a mean foliage disease incident rating of 26% after the final harvest and was surpassed only by 7682 and 8328 from Enza. The most resistant lines with disease ratings of <3% were 5776, 7141, and 8302 from Seminis, and Telstar from Hazera.

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