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James E. Ells and Ann E. McSay

Growth chamber tests demonstrated that alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) residue is toxic to cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) seed germination and seedling growth. Ground alfalfa roots at 0.5% (w/w, dry weight) inhibited germination when added to the growing medium. Alfalfa roots at 0.5% were also toxic to pregerminated cucumber seed. However, cucumber seedlings grew normally if this same medium was watered and incubated for >1 day before planting. Alfalfa particle size in media influenced cucumber performance, with the intermediate size (1 to 2 mm) being lethal to cucumbers.

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James E. Ells, E. Gordon Kruse and Ann E. McSay

An irrigation scheduling program has been developed for zucchini squash that produced high yields and high water use efficiency with, a minimum number of irrigations. The irrigation program is based upon a soil water balance model developed by the USDA. This irrigation program is available in diskette form and may be used with any IBM compatible personal computer provided wind run, temperature, solar radiation, humidity and precipitation data are available.

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James E. Ells, E. Gordon Kruse and Ann E. McSay

Roots of acorn squash were washed from soil cores, dried and weighed. The cores were taken in a pattern about individual plants to reflect the roots present in each selected zone at different periods during the season. A different plant was sampled at each period so that there would be no effect from previous sampling. The root weights were multiplied by factors commensurate with the volume of soil represented by each core sample. Two years data have indicated that irrigation level effects the size of the root system but not its distribution. Density of roots was always greatest in the top 15 cm of soil and this zone of the greatest density progressively moved out from the center of the plant with time. Pattern of root distribution was not effected by plastic mulch, bare ground, trickle or furrow irrigation treatments. Root distribution was the same on all sides of the plant.

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E. Gordon Kruse, James E. Ells and Ann E. McSay

A 3-year irrigation scheduling study on carrots (Daucus carota L.) was conducted at the Colorado State Univ. Horticulture Research Center near Fort Collins to determine the irrigation schedule that produced the best combination of high water use efficiency and marketable yields with the least amount of water and fewest irrigations. This study used an irrigation scheduling program developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service with crop coefficients calculated for carrots. Maximum carrot production and water use efficiency were obtained when the scheduling program simulated a 30-cm rooting depth at planting, increasing linearly to 60 cm in 75 days. Best yields and water use efficiency were attained by irrigating whenever 40% of the available water in the root zone had been depleted. The computer program for irrigation scheduling is available on diskette from the authors.

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James E. Ells, Ann E. McSay and E.G. Kruse

Irrigation scheduling programs were developed for cabbage and zucchini squash that produced high yield and water-use efficiency with a minimum number of irrigations. The irrigation programs are based on a soil water balance model developed by the USDA. The procedure involved selecting irrigation programs developed for similar crops and using them as standards for cabbage and zucchini for three growing seasons. The treatments involved irrigation levels higher and lower than the standard. After the third year, the best treatment for each year was selected. Coefficients for the standard model then were adjusted by trial and error to produce a program that called for the same number of irrigations and the same amount of water as the best-performing treatment when using the same weather data. These revised programs for cabbage and zucchini squash are available on computer disks and may be used on any IBM compatible PC provided wind, temperature, solar radiation, humidity, and precipitation data are available,

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James E. Ells, Ann E. McSay, E. Gordon Kruse and Gregory Larson

Squash (Cucurbita pepo L. var. pepo) plants were grown on black polyethylene mulch or on bare ground, with trickle or furrow irrigation, and received only natural rainfall, or natural rainfall plus half or all of the estimated supplemental irrigation water required as determined by an irrigation scheduling program. The squash roots predominate in the upper 6 inches of soil throughout the season, with no less than 60% of the root mass located in this layer. The proliferation of roots increased as they extended horizontally from the vertical center line of the plant from 0 to 24 inches. Neither the irrigation treatments nor black polyethylene mulch had any influence on the pattern of root development. Water stress, however, reduced the size of the root system and the crop yield. Yields were not influenced by either furrow or trickle irrigation on the short rows that were used in this study. However, black polyethylene mulch and full irrigation offered the best chance of maximizing squash yields under the conditions of this study.

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Todd C. Einhorn, Cecil Stushnoff, Ann E. McSay, Phil L. Forsline, Sam Cox, Joel R.L. Ehrenkranz and Loretta Sandoval

Phlorizin is known for its role in reducing glucotoxicity and has a long history of use in diabetes research. In addition, its contribution to the pool of total phenolics adds to the overall health benefits attributed to fruit. Phlorizin is limited to Rosaceae family plants, of which apple comprises its current commercial source; however, limited information exists regarding its biodiversity among apple taxa. A subset of 22 taxa from a core collection of apple accessions representative of the global genetic diversity of apple was used to investigate the biodiversity of phlorizin present in apple shoots and in fruit relative to total phenolic content and free radical scavenging capacity. Fruit and shoots were harvested from the USDA Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva, N.Y. Validation and quantification of phlorizin was conducted using a rigorous high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) procedure. Total phenolics in fruit, assayed using a Folin-Ciocalteu method and expressed as gallic acid equivalents, ranged from 227 to 7181 mg·L-1

and were strongly related to 2,2' azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) antioxidant capacity for the core collection (r= 0.778). On a molar basis, phlorizin had lower antioxidant capacity than other major phenolic compounds present in apple fruit, but was more effective than ascorbic acid. Phlorizin yield in dormant apple shoots, expressed as percent weight, ranged from 0.9% to 5.5%. A rapid, 96 well micro-plate spectrophotometric assay was also developed to aid in the screening of multiple samples for selection of high phlorizin yielding apple taxa. Spectrophotometry overestimated phlorizin content as expected, but the calibration curve between HPLC and spectrophotometry was acceptable, r 2 = 0.88.