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  • Author or Editor: Anita Nina Azarenko x
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A situation-based or modified case study approach to learning has been adopted in an upper division fruit production course that is taught at Oregon State University in the Department of Horticulture. A new case study, which will have a high probability of generating discussion on key pomological themes, is developed each term. On the first meeting day of class, students identify relevant themes in the case study. A modified jigsaw cooperative learning strategy is then used to cover the relevant subject matter throughout the term. While using this strategy, groups of two to three students become experts on a theme and are responsible for sharing their knowledge with their peers. The instructor mentors the experts by reviewing assignments created by them, checking answers to assignments, and administering quizzes on the themes. About midterm, larger groups of six to seven students begin their preparation of an oral presentation and written synthesis of the goals and possible pathways for achieving the targets of the primary stakeholders (i.e., orchardists, field representatives, extension faculty, etc.) that are presented in the case study. The groups make their presentations to the stakeholders at the end of the term. Students are required to prepare an individual written report. This learning approach links theory with practice, gives students practice in extensively analyzing a situation, enables students to become conversant in and knowledgeable of basic pomology, builds positive relationships between fellow students, and provides multiple experiences for communicating information and student's discoveries.

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Pollen development is an important event in plant reproduction. Hazelnut (Corylus avellana) male flower differentiation starts in summer and pollen shed is in the winter. Hazelnut pollen shed can vary up to 3 months between early to late flowering genotypes. Microsporogenesis and microgametogenesis of hazelnut is not well understood. Pollen development and differentiation of nine genotypes, representing early to late blooming cultivars from the National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Ore., were studied. Catkins were collected weekly from Aug. to Nov. 2002. Tissue sections were examined under the light microscope. Microsporogenesis was divided into five stages: archesporial cells, sporogenous cells and parietal layers, pollen mother cells (PMC), tetrads, and microspores. Microgametogenesis was distinguished between young pollen grains (uninucleate) and mature pollen grains (binucleate). On 4 Aug., cultivars were at different developmental stages of microsporogenesis. Early blooming cultivars had PMCs present. Later-blooming cultivars only contained archesporial cells. PMCs were present in all cultivars by 22 Aug. Microspores were observed on 26 Sept. in all cultivars. This study contributes to a better understanding of male gametophyte development in hazelnut, which has increased our ability to correlate hazelnut pollen development with bloom phenology.

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`Lovell' peach seeds were stratified for 0 to 12 weeks at 4°C under moist conditions. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) was used to study the respiratory capacity for the cytochrome (CP) and alternative (AP) pathway of the embryos during this period. Azide and SHAM titration curves were obtained by measuring the heat of metabolism produced by the excised embryos after vacuum infiltration with appropriate combinations of the two inhibitors.

Uninhibited total respiratory activity increased steadily with the stratification treatment. AP capacity of the embryos was higher than CP capacity for the first 4 weeks of stratification. Between 4 and 6 weeks, CP capacity increased markedly and after 6 weeks was at least 40% higher than AP capacity. This rise on CP capacity coincided with the point at which an increase in seedling vigor and germinative capacity was observed and is in agreement with previous studies suggesting a change in respiratory efficiency as being responsible for the increase in seedling vigor.

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Au excised twig assay was developed to evaluate cherry rootstocks (hybrids of Prunus avium L.; P. canescens Bois.; P. cerasus L.; P. fruticosa Pall.; P. mahaleb L.; P. pseudocerasus Lindl.) for their tolerance to Pseudomonas syingae pv. syringae van Hall. Twigs of `Napoleon', `Corum', and F12/1 in 1988 and 10 more rootstocks in 1989 were inoculated with water, one avirulent (K4), or one of three virulent strains (W4N54, AP1, and B-15) of bacteria at 105, 106, and 107 colony forming units (cfu)/ml in 1988 and with 107 cfu/ml in 1989. Evaluation of browning and gummosis at the inoculation site after incubation for 4 weeks at 15C and high relative humidity revealed no gummosis or browning on twigs inoculated with water or the avirulent strain. The amount of browning and gummosis induced by concentrations of 106 and 107 cfu/ml of the virulent strains was, in general, not different within genotypes. `Napoleon' and `Corum' had significantly higher browning and gummosis ratings in 1989 than F12/1 and the 10 rootstock selections, most of which did not differ from F12/1. Rootstocks Gisela (Gi.) 172-9 and Gi. 169-15 had higher incision browning than F12/1 in some instances.

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The percentage of N from fertilizer removed from the field by fruit trees is low. Overapplication of N in orchards has been a common practice and is a concern due to environmental and tree growth problems caused by excess N. Orchard floor management practices (OFMP) can improve the physical and chemical properties of the soil and may alter the soil biological community. Biological activity can affect mineralization rate and thus nutrient availability. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of alternative OFMP on fertilizer N uptake. Research plots were located in Corvallis, Ore. (COR) (7-year-old `Fuji'), and Hood River, Ore. (HR) (3-year-old `Red Delicious'). Treatments were begun in 2001 in a split-plot completely randomized design with three replications. Main plot treatments were herbicide or cultivation. Subplot treatments were no amendment, bark mulch, compost, and barley/vetch mown and blown into the tree row. Depleted NH3SO4 was applied to single-tree replicates at budbreak. Trees were destructively harvested at harvest of 2003. At HR, the percentage of N derived from fertilizer (NDFF) was significantly lower in the whole tree, leaves, new wood, old wood, spurs, and roots of trees from compost than from unamended plots (P < 0.05). At COR, the NDFF in the leaves, fruit, new wood, spurs and roots was significantly lower in trees from compost plots than unamended plots (P < 0.05). The NDFF also tended to be lower in trees from bark mulch-treated plots than control plots, although differences were not always significant. Vetch/barley amendment resulted in NDFF similar to no amendment. There were no significant differences between the total N of trees from unamended and compost plots. Trees from compost-treated plots appear to be acquiring N from sources other than fertilizer.

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Flower bud growth and ovule longevity of plum (Prunus domestics L.) cultivars Italian and Brooks and the effects of fall-applied ethephon and of temperature were studied. Fresh and dry weights of terminal flower buds were measured at l-week intervals from 50 days to 1 day before bloom in 1988. Buds were also analyzed for N, P, K, Ca, and B. After bloom, ovule longevity was determined using a fluorescence method after staining with aniline blue. Ovule longevity was determined in 1990 using shoots excised at full bloom from untreated and ethephon-treated trees of both cultivars and held in growth chambers for 18 days at 5, 10, 15, or 20C. `Brooks' flower buds showed a higher accumulation of fresh and dry weight than `Italian', and ethephon reduced bud weights in both cultivars. Ethephon did not affect mineral content of flower buds of `Brooks', but `Italian' flower buds contained a higher concentration of Ca and a lower concentration of P when treated with ethephon. Boron content was higher in the ethephon-treated buds of `Italian' trees on some sampling dates. Ovule longevity was higher for `Brooks' than for `Italian' in both years. Ethephon treatment delayed ovule senescence in `Italian' flowers, but had little or no effect on `Brooks' flowers. Increasing temperatures induced faster ovule senescence in both cultivars. Chemical name used. 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon).

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Scanning electron microscopy was used to describe pollen-stigma interactions during compatible and incompatible pollinations of hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.), a species possessing sporophytic self-incompatibility. The stigmatic surface is of the dry type and was covered with elongated, rounded papillae. Compatible and incompatible pollen hydrated within 2 hours of pollination. Compatible pollen tubes emerged by 4 hours and grew into the style by 12 hours after pollination. Penetration of stigmatic papillae appeared to be intracellular in some cases. In incompatible pollinations, however, pollen tube emergence was delayed until at least 8 hours. The pollen tubes were distorted and did not penetrate the stigma.

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Organic growers are required to maintain or improve soil chemical, biological, and physical properties and thus need to integrate biological processes into fertility management. However, few guidelines exist for satisfying tree nutrient demands ecologically. Sound nitrogen (N) management is a key component for overall orchard productivity whereas poor N management may result in multiple environmental impacts, including runoff to surface or leaching to groundwater sources. Many growers substitute synthetic inputs with rapid-release, approved N fertilizers that have little effect on long-term soil health and fertility. The authors seek an alternative approach for synchronizing nutrient availability with tree demand that relies on managing soil biological communities to attain their maximum potential functionality and thus meet tree nutrient demand. This paper outlines a new conceptual framework with which to evaluate a variety of soil functions that are quantified using biological, microbial, and biochemical properties in relation to overall orchard performance. By combining information gathered from soil faunal indices (nematode community structure and diversity analyses) with data obtained by biochemical and microbial analyses of the soil samples, a new, in-depth view of soil communities and their response to management practices will be obtained. As a result, a better understanding of the effects of differing management practices on soil fertility and community structure will be gained. This approach is currently being investigated by our group in organic and integrative sweet cherry orchards. Our goal is to determine which soil parameters may be used to help orchardists optimize soil health while maintaining orchard productivity. Furthermore, we wish to validate a number of assumptions that are commonly made regarding each soil parameter tested across multiple management, soil, and climate types.

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Over-tree sprinkler irrigation cooling treatments were applied to `Sensation Red Bartlett' pear trees during the final 30 days of fruit maturity in 1992 and 1993 when orchard air temperatures were >29 °C. Fruit from cooled trees were more red and less yellow than fruit from noncooled trees, resulting in lower hue values by the middle of the harvestable maturity period in both years of study. In 1992, cooled fruit had a greater portion of the fruit surface covered with red blush than fruit that were not cooled. Fruit firmness decreased more rapidly in fruit from cooled trees than in fruit from noncooled trees, indicating advanced maturity. Accordingly, cooled fruit should be harvested earlier than noncooled fruit to maintain postharvest quality. Differences between cooled and noncooled fruit with respect to hue, surface blush, and rate of firmness loss were more pronounced in a warm season requiring frequent cooling than in a cooler season.

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