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  • Author or Editor: Alan Chambers x
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Strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) is grown during the winter months in subtropical southern Florida and must thrive in higher than average temperatures and limestone soils. This is the first strawberry cultivar trial in southern Florida to include ‘Florida Beauty’, ‘Florida Brilliance’, ‘Strawberry Festival’, ‘Florida Radiance’, ‘Sensation FL127’, and ‘Winterstar’. Overall, ‘Strawberry Festival’ and ‘Sensation FL127’ were the top yielding cultivars, with the highest average total yields of 0.7 and 0.8 kg/plant fresh fruit, respectively. ‘Sensation FL127’ had a 36% greater late-season marketable yield compared with ‘Strawberry Festival’. ‘Sensation FL127’ consistently had the greatest soluble solids content (7.6% to 8.7%). Overall, this study demonstrates significant differences in yield and fruit quality among the cultivars tested in southern Florida.

Open Access

Endophytic fungi that are classified into the genus Neotyphodium have developed into a very unique niche. Their specific host plants are the fescues and ryegrasses. Through fungal biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, the host plant receives several benefits. These benefits include resistance to insects such as aphids, chinch bug, and argentine stem weevil, increased drought tolerance, and increased competiveness. These secondary metabolites comprise four groups of alkaloids. The alkaloids are loline, peramine, Lolitrem B, and ergovaline. The quantitative alkaloid profile is unique for each isolate. The characterization of these endophytes is necessary for identification of specific isolates. We report the characterization of ten endophytic strains Lp1, Lp2, Lp3, Lm4, Lm5, Fp6, Fp7 Fp8, Fp9, Fp10. The characterization of each isolate includes: morphology, sporulation, growth rates, microsatellite fingerprint, and alkaloid profile. The isolated colonies bear resemblance to raised brain-like structures and are yellow to tan in color. Growth rates range between 0.1 and 0.25 mm/day. No colonies produced any form of sporulation. Fp6 was found to have the highest loline concentration of any isolate. AFLP analysis was performed on the isolates to test for relatedness. Distinct clades were formed and grouped by host. The main groups were those isolated from Lolium or Festuca varieties. Isolates Fp8 and Fp9 were most related to each other, and have also been found to be doubly infected. The double infection is described to be Phialophora-like, due to the presence of thin highly branched hyphae when observed under light microscopy with aniline blue staining.

Free access

Fragaria vesca is a diploid strawberry species that produces gourmet, aromatic fruits with only limited commercial production because of its relative obscurity. Most F. vesca research focuses on genetics and fruit aroma, but yield and fruit quality data across diploid accessions are lacking. Sixteen F. vesca accessions were grown in replicated field plots in southern Florida to measure field performance and fruit quality over multiple harvests during a single growing season. Accessions ‘Reine des Vallees’, ‘Baron Solemacher’, ‘Fragolina di Bosco’, and ‘Reugen’ all had significantly higher yield (115–140 g/plot/week) and fruit number (117–139 fruit/plot/week) compared with ‘Bowlenzauber’, ‘Attila’, ‘Ali Baba’, and ‘Pineapple Crush’ (31–57 g/plot/week and 32–60 fruit/plot/week) during peak production. Total average yield ranged from 240 g (‘Pineapple Crush’) to 1194 g (‘Baron Solemacher’) per plot of 10 plants. Fruit number and fruit yield were highly correlated (R 2 = 0.96) for all accessions, and there was no significant difference in fruit weight among accessions through the entire season. Total soluble solids ranged from 10.9 to 13.5 °Brix, and fructose, glucose, sucrose, and total sugars ranged from 15.3 to 22.1, 13.5 to 20.0, 0.1 to 2.7, and 29.7 to 42.5 mg/g, respectively, fresh weight. Acidity ranged from 1.00% to 1.18% citric acid and was not consistently significantly different among accessions over multiple harvests. Forty-two aroma compounds were putatively identified over three harvests for each accession and included mostly esters and ketones with a few alcohols, terpenes, and aldehydes. The majority of these compounds were similarly abundant over harvests and among accessions with a few exceptions, including methyl anthranilate. These results are the first in-depth study of yield and fruit quality for a large number of F. vesca accessions that could lead to increased cultivation of this species for local markets.

Free access