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  • Author or Editor: S. Edward Law x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Stigma characteristics and morphology can be useful in taxonomic and phylogenetic studies, indicate relationships in stigma function and receptivity, and be valuable in evaluating pollen–stigma interactions. Problematic is that in some taxa, copious stigmatic exudate can obscure the fine structural details of the stigmatic surface. Such is the case for Citrus, which has a wet stigma type on which abundant exudate inundates surface papillae. The components of stigmatic surface compounds are highly heterogeneous and include carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, glycoproteins, and phenolic compounds. This study evaluated the efficacy of several pre-fixation wash treatments on removing surface exudate to visualize the underlying stigmatic surface. Wash treatments included various buffer solutions, surfactants, dilute acids/bases, and solvents. Stigmas prepared using conventional fixation methods in glutaraldehyde had considerable accumulations of reticulate surface deposits with stigmatic cells obscured. Pre-fixation washes containing solvents such as methanol, chloroform, and ethanol left accumulations of incompletely removed exudate and crystalline deposits. Alkaline water washes produced a crust-like deposit on stigma surfaces. Buffer washes left residues of plaque-like deposits with perforated areas. In contrast, excellent removal of stigmatic exudate was obtained with a pre-fixation wash composed of 0.2 M Tris buffer, pH 7.2, containing 0.2% Triton X-100 surfactant and allowed clear imaging of the stigma and surface papillae morphology. A central sinus and radially arranged openings on the stigmatic surface were clearly visible and shown for the first time using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

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Use of electrostatic spray deposition for the control of insect infestation in broccoli (Brassica oleracea L., Italica group) resulted in equal or greater control in comparison to conventional methods, and utilized ½ to 1/3 the quantity of insecticide with an 8-fold reduction in application volume. Laboratory tests documented a 1.86-fold improvement in the quantity of spray tracer deposited electrostatically onto broccoli plants as compared with conventional application.

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