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  • Author or Editor: B. Scully x
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A diverse set of 112 common bean (Paseolus vulgaris L.) accessions were evaluated for variation in eight traits related to yield over a 2-year period. Days to flower, days of pod fill, and days to maturity ranged from 25 to 66, 44 to 83, and 70 to 133, respectively, in upstate New York: Yield and biomass ranged from 81 to 387 and 270 to 1087 g•m-2, respectively. Harvest index ranged from 12% to 65%. The biomass (biomass/days to maturity) and seed (yield/days of pod fill) growth rates ranged from 3.2 to 9.3 and 1.2 to 9.5 g•m-2 -day-1, respectively. The economic growth rate (yield/days to maturity) extended from 0.6 to 5.7 g•m-2 -day-1. The growth rates, biomass, and days of pod fill were linearly and positively related to yield. Biomass and the growth rates explained a large amount of the variation in yield, with r 2 values between 0.71 and 0.84; days of pod fill explained the least, with r 2 = 0.09. Yield followed a curvilinear relationship with days to flower and days to maturity; yield was maximized at 48.5 days to flower and 112.2 days to maturity. Yield was a quadratic function of harvest index and maximized at 57.2%. Among these three curvilinear traits, days to flower explained 80% of the variation in yield, while days to maturity and harvest index accounted for 25% and 12.5%, respectively. The “ideal” genotype for New York was defined at these maximum values for harvest index, days to maturity, days to flower, and at 63.7 days of pod fill. Additionally, a simple equation is proposed to aid breeders in the selection of common bean accessions with strong sink strength. It is defined as “relative sink strength”: RSS = seed growth rate/biomass growth rate. Values > 1.0 implied strong sink capacity in common beans.

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Purple blotch (Alternari a porri) and thrips (Thrips tabaci) can seriously reduce yields of short day onions in South Texas. The level of injury caused by these organisms is influenced by the concentration of nitrogen in leaf tissue. Lower levels of tissue nitrogen increase susceptibility to A. porri but decrease susceptibility to thrips. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of tissue N levels on joint susceptibility of 4 onion cultivars to A. porri and thrips. Foliage was fertilized at 0, 4, 8, 12 or 16 lbs N/ac/wk for 6 weeks. Nitrogen concentrations in onion leaves varied over time and by leaf age, but showed very little effect due to foliar fertilization. Significant differences in thrips were noted among cultivars, but not among leaf N concentrations with cultivars. Purple blotch outbreak occurred late in the growing season and was not related to leaf N levels. Total N uptake failed to respond to foliar fertilization, therefore overall use efficiency of the foliar N applied averaged only about 10% relative to the amount taken up in the check plots.

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