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John T. A. Proctor

American ginseng is propagated by seed. In commercial practice ginseng seed is harvested in August or September, placed in a stratification box for about 12 months, and then direct seeded into raised beds. Germination takes place the following spring, some 18 to 22 months after seed harvest. Little is known about the dormancy-controlling mechanisms of ginseng seed. The objective of this study was to investigate seed development and temperature in the stratification box until it was removed 12 months later and seeded in the field. During stratification 3 embryo growth stages were identified. In Stage I of 250 days (September to mid-May) embryo length increased from about 0.5 to 1.0 mm, in Stage II of 100 days (mid-May to late August) length increased to 2.0 mm and in Stage III (late August to late November) length increased to 5.3 mm. Exocarp split width could also be placed in 3 stages. Changes in embryo length correlated with values for embryo: endosperm length ratio. The stratification box temperatures at all depths never exceeded -2°C even when the air temperatures dropped to -13°C and, therefore, were not damaging to the seeds.

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Jan Schooley and John T.A. Proctor

The Lake Erie counties of southern Ontario, Canada are the major producers of ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) in North America. In this area there is about 1740 ha (4299.5 acres) of ginseng and an annual production of 1455 t (1603.8 tons). Spring freeze damage to the crop is rare as the mean date of last freeze in spring is 12 May. On 21 May 2002, following three to six nights when air temperatures dropped below freezing, extensive damage to the crop was evident. A survey by the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association showed that 78% of growers had gardens showing freeze damage. The extent of the damage was variable across the growing area, and on individual farms. Most damage to plants occurred in low-lying areas where heavy cold air collected. Recently germinated seedlings that were exposed above the straw mulch were severely damaged, and many did not survive because they did not have leaves and no perennating bud was formed. Damage to 2-year-old plants was expressed as leaves wilting and turning black. In some cases stems froze and the plants toppled. In 3-year-old and older plants, damage was variable with some leaf collapse and stems broken, or damaged with corking-over taking place. Damage to inflorescences ranged from death and abscission, to distorted flowers and shriveled and split peduncles. Plant health was a concern following the freeze episode, and throughout the subsequent growing season. The fungicide fenhexamid received emergency registration to combat recurring problems in Botrytis control. The seed crop for 2002 was light. Damaged seedling gardens were replanted. Older gardens will undergo a period of adjustment. Root yield in 2002 was reduced by 30%, a 500 t (551.1 tons) loss. The full extent of the damage and associated financial implications are unknown and could impact the industry until 2005.

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J.T.A Proctor and J.W. Palmer

The development of a complete and healthy early season canopy of spur leaves, and later addition of bourse leaves, is essential for fruit set, fruit growth and quality in apple. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the temporal role of spur leaves and bourse shoots on fruit set, growth and return bloom in three apple cultivars and fruit Ca Level at harvest in two cultivars.

Individual flowering spurs on mature wood of “Cox's Orange Pippin”, “Golden Delicious” and “Crispin” apple trees were modified by removing the spur leaves, the bourse shoot, or both, at full bloom and two, four and eight weeks afterwards. Leaf removal reduced fruit set, yield (as fruit number and not size), fruit calcium level at harvest, and return bloom. Defoliationhad its greatest effect on fruit calcium level when done early in the season and plots of this against treatment time suggested a curvilinear relationship. Return bloom was dependent on the presence of the bourse shoots on the spur but not on spur leaves. Return bloom of all three cultivars declined with the number of fruitlets per spur four weeks after full bloom.

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John T.A. Proctor and Ido Schechter

`McIntosh', `Delicious', and `Idared' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) fruitlet ovaries were artificially damaged with a needle four times after full bloom to assess effects of such damage on fruit growth and development. The damage induced fruit drop, reduced fruit weight, and increased the incidence of fruit deformity, but had no effect on fruit length: diameter ratio. Fruit fresh weight and deformity were correlated with seed per fruit at harvest.

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David M. Hunter and John T.A. Proctor

Paclobutrazol applied as a soil drench at 0, 1, 10, 100, or 1000 μg a.i./g soil reduced vegetative growth of `Seyval blanc' grapevines (Vitis spp.). At all rates, there was a reduction in internode length, while at rates higher than 10 μg a.i/g soil, there was also a reduction in node count. Leaf area produced following treatment declined in response to increasing rates, but specific leaf weight increased. Treatment with paclobutrazol delayed senescence and increased the retention of basal leaves that were nearly fully expanded at the time of treatment. Paclobutrazol application had no effect on fruit set or berry size, but the reduction in vegetative growth following treatment decreased the ability of the vine to supply sufficient photoassimilates for fruit maturation. Chemical name used: ß[(4-chlorophenyl)-methyl]-a-(1,1-dimethylethyl)1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Christopher A. Proctor and Zachary J. Reicher

Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) can be problematic in thin turf, along sidewalks and drives, and especially during turfgrass establishment. Little published research exists evaluating herbicides that will control purslane and are also labeled for turfgrass. Thus, our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of preemergence (PRE) or postemergence (POST) herbicides labeled for use in turf for controlling purslane. Experiments were conducted once in 2011 and twice in 2012 to evaluate nine PRE herbicides at one-half maximum and maximum label rates applied over immature perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). The PRE herbicides isoxaben and simazine consistently resulted in the best purslane control for all three PRE experiments. Experiments in 2011 and 2012 evaluated 25 POST herbicides at full label rates applied to mature purslane plants. The POST herbicides fluroxypyr, triclopyr, and metsulfuron-methyl were most effective in controlling purslane.

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David M. Hunter and John T.A. Proctor

A system was developed to evaluate the response of grapes (Vitis spp. `Seyval') to soil-applied paclobutrazol. The youngest fully expanded leaf, and its axillary bud, on single shoots 6 to 9 nodes long developing on rooted softwood cuttings, were retained for use in a bioassay. The shoot that developed from the axillary bud exhibited a dosage-dependent growth inhibition following soil applications of paclobutrazol at 4 dosages between 1 and 1000 μg·g-1 soil. Other aerial components showed no response to paclobutrazol. This test plant system has potential for use in physiological studies with soil-applied plant growth regulators. Chemical name used: β -[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]- α -(1,1-dimethylethyl)1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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David M. Hunter and John T.A. Proctor

Paclobutrazol applied as a soil drench at 0, 1, 10, 100, or 1000 μg a.i./g soil reduced photosynthetic CO2 uptake rate of leaves formed before paclobutrazol treatment within 3 to 5 days of treatment and the reductions were maintained for 15 days after treatment. The percentage of recently assimilated 14C exported from the source leaf was reduced only at the highest paclobutrazol dose, and there was little effect of treatment on the partitioning of exported 14C between the various sinks. In response to increasing doses of paclobutrazol, particularly at the higher doses, an increasing proportion of recent photoassimilates was maintained in a soluble form in all plant components. Reduced demand for photoassimilates as a result of the inhibition of vegetative growth may have contributed to a reduction in photosynthetic CO2 uptake rate, but this reduction in photosynthesis rate could not be attributed to a feedback inhibition caused by a buildup of starch in the leaves. Paclobutrazol had only a minor effect, if any, on photosynthetic electron transport. Chemical name used: β-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Jean-Pierre Privé, J.A. Sullivan, and J.T.A. Proctor

`Autumn Bliss', `Heritage' and `Redwing' were grown in a controlled environment setting at three day/night temperature regimes (30/25, 25/20, 20/15C) at either 12 or 16 hour photo periods. Vegetative (height, diameter, node number, leaf area, leaf, cane and root dry weight) and reproductive (precocity, numbers of fruiting laterals, flower number and dry weight) parameters were analyzed. Optimum vegetative growth was obtained when plants were subjected to short photoperiods (12 hrs) and cool (20/15C) or moderate (25/20C) day/night temperatures. Reproductive characteristics were enhanced when grown under long photoperiods (16 hrs) and moderate temperatures. High temperatures (30/25) reduced cane height due to a decrease in internode length with the greatest reduction occurring under long photo periods. Precocity and flowering was enhanced by long photoperiods especially at cool and moderate temperatures. This may have implications for the reproductive potential of these cultivars when grown in north temperate areas where high temperatures are common for most of the summer.

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Annette M. Zatylny, J.T.A. Proctor, and J.A. Sullivan

Two selections and two cultivars of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) were evaluated for cold hardiness in vitro. Tissue-cultured shoots were exposed to temperatures from 0 to –18C and samples were removed at 2C intervals. Injury was assessed by a visual rating of tissue browning after freezing. Only shoots subjected to step-wise acclimation at low temperatures before freezing revealed significant differences among the four types in the lowest shoot survival temperature. Acclimation treatments increased the lowest survival temperatures of in vitro shoots by a mean of 3.1C. The hardiness obtained from this screening method agreed with that of winter survival in the field. Ranking, from the most to least cold hardy, was `Boyne', Gu 72, Gu 63, and `Comox'.