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  • Author or Editor: Barbara E. Liedl x
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Little is known about the mechanisms controlling interspecific barriers, unlike the well studied intraspecific barrier, self incompatibility (SI),. A unilateral crossing barrier (unilateral incongruity - UI) exists among the Lycopersicon species, in which crossing is impeded or prevented in one direction. Since both UI and SI can give unilateral differences in seed set, suggestions have been made that UI and SI are functionally related. L. pennellii LA716 is self-compatible, unlike the other accessions which are SI, but LA716 still exhibits UI with L. esculentum (esc). We observed the development of pollen tubes in self and cross pollinations of LA716, esc and SI accessions of L. pennellii (pen). Selfed pollen tubes in esc were at the ovary in 24 hours, while pen were 1/2 way down the style and in LA716 the pollen had not germinated. By 48 hours, the pollen tubes in LA716 were in the ovary and growth had halted in pen styles. Crosses with LA716 pollen on esc and pen resulted in pollen tube growth starting within 24 hours continuing to the ovary. Thus, UI is not a SI response and LA716 shows a delayed pollen germination and growth unlike the other Lycopersicon species examined.

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Fertilizer costs and increased awareness of point-source pollution are amplifying the pressures on farming, economics along with public demand for sustainable production methods and organically grown produce. Our research focuses on using effluent from thermophilic anaerobic digestion of poultry litter as an alternative fertilizer. Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) were grown hydroponically using a bato bucket system to evaluate the effects of liquid effluent as a nutrient solution versus a commercial nutrient solution. Seeds of the beit alpha cultivar `Manar' were started in Horticubes and transplanted into buckets containing a perlite/coir media. The effluent fertilizer consisted of effluent diluted to the same ppm nitrogen found in the commercial fertilizer based on ammonium measured in the effluent. Hydroponic solutions were monitored twice a day to maintain a pH of 5.6-6.0. Fruit was harvested three times a week and graded on size and shape. Fruit of each grade were counted, weighed, and recorded. Average fruit weight and fruit number produced was statistically significant between the two fertilizer regimes with the commercial fruit, averaging 84 g compared to 75 g for effluent fruit. The effluent treatment produced a greater percentage of grade 1 fruit (33%) compared to the commercial treatment (26% grade 1 fruit). Thus, 74% of the commercial harvest was grade 2 or cull fruit compared to only 66% of the effluent harvest. Correlating grade with average fruit weight analysis identified statistical differences between treatments for the grade 1 fruit, but not the grade 2 or the culls. While effluent from thermophilic anaerobic digestion shows promise as an alternative hydroponic fertilizer, it is not better than the commercial fertilizer regime.

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Fertilizer costs and increased awareness of non-point source pollution run-off amplify the pressures on farm economics. Intensive farming operations provided the impetus for our study using effluent from anaerobic thermophilically digested poultry litter as a potential fertilizer. Five fertilizer treatments were used: unfertilized control, pelletized municipal sludge, commercial crop specific products, 1x digested solids and 2x digested solids. All four applications of fertilizer were equalized for nitrogen based on commercial product recommendations. Beds treated with 2x solids accumulated higher percentage of organic matter over the 5-year period. A statistically significant increase in phosphorus was found in the solids beds in 2003. Beds with 2x solids showed statistical significance for Mg, Zn and Cu. Fertilizer trials included blueberries, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet corn. Potato fresh weight was not significantly different in 2002 or 2003, but was in 2001. Tomato fruit number was not significantly different in 2001 or 2003, but was in 2002. Tomato fresh weight for 2x solids was not significantly different from the commercial or pelletized sludge treatments in 2002 and 2003 suggesting that tomato may discriminate between treatments. Commercial and pelletized sludge fertilizers were statistically better for sweet corn fresh ear weight and number of ears in 2002 and 2003. Blueberry yields were not significantly different between treatments for any year. As this is a perennial crop, it may be several years before a significant difference is observed. While not a total solution, our research shows the effectiveness of digested poultry litter as part of a nutrient management program; making livestock residuals a nutrient resource which offers the potential for organic use.

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Increasing production of agricultural waste impacts health, economic, and environmental welfare. Thermophilic anaerobic digestion is a technology developed to treat these waste streams whereby the organic material is converted to biogas and effluent. The effluent, available in solid and liquid form, holds promise as a fertilizer. Digested (broiler litter) liquid effluent was compared to chemical and certified organic fertilizers with application rates based on soil analyses and crop recommendations. An unfertilized control and an effluent treatment at twice the recommended amount were also included. Beds treated with liquid effluent maintained higher levels of available phosphorus established from treatment in prior years with solid effluent. Beds treated with liquid effluent showed a significant increase in K, Mg, Cu, and Mn. Potato fresh weight and tuber number for 2× effluent beds were significantly better than the other treatments. Average tuber weight was also statistically significant, but organic, 2×, and 1× effluent were best. For tomato, the 2× effluent treatment was statistically better for fruit number, average weight, and total weight. In fact, the total weight per plant for the 2× effluent treatment was more than three times higher than the other fertilizer treatments. The chemical and effluent treatments were statistically better for broccoli than the organic or unfertilized control. Blueberry yields were not significantly different between treatments. As this is a perennial crop, it may be several years before a significant difference is observed. While not a total solution, our research shows the effectiveness of digested poultry litter as part of a nutrient management program, thereby making a safer, less-polluting alternative to raw livestock residuals.

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Mammoth™ ‘Twilight Pink Daisy’ (U.S. Plant Patent 14,455; Canadian Plant Breeders’ Rights Certificate No. 4192) is an interspecific garden chrysanthemum cultivar, Chrysanthemum ×hybridum Anderson (= Dendranthema ×hybrida Anderson) with common names of hardy mum, chrysanthemum, and garden mum. It is a new and distinct form of shrub-type garden mums in the Mammoth™ series with rosy-pink ray florets, a dark “eye” color in the center of the disc florets, frost-tolerant flower petals, and self-pinching growth. This cultivar is a butterfly attractant in the garden. Mammoth™ ‘Twilight Pink Daisy’ is a winter-hardy herbaceous perennial in USDA Z3b–Z9 (Southeast)/Zone 10 (West) with its cushion growth form displaying extreme hybrid vigor, increasing in plant height from 0.46 m in its first year to a shrub of 0.76 to 1.22 m in the second year and thereafter with greater than 3000 leaves/plant. Flowering is prolific, covering the entire plant at full flowering with as many as greater than 3500 flowers in the second year. Chemical abbreviations: ethanol (EtOH), indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).

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A new garden chrysanthemum with a shrub plant habit is released as a descendent of a cross involving two hexaploid species: Chrysanthemum weyrichii (Maxim.) Tzvelv. (female) × C. ×grandiflorum Tzvelv. (male). Chrysanthemum ×hybridum Anderson MN 98-89-7 [U.S. Plant Patent (PP) 14,495] is a vigorously growing shrub chrysanthemum for garden culture, exhibiting extreme hybrid vigor. Single daisy reddish-purple flowers cover the foliage in the fall, numbering >3000 on second-year plants. This selection displays excellent winterhardiness in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Z3b+ (–34.4 to –37.2 °C) as well as frost-tolerant flowers. In its second and subsequent years of growth after planting, MN 98-89-7 grows into a fall flowering (August–October), herbaceous shrub ranging in plant height from 61.0 to 91.4 cm with a diameter of 76.2 to 152.4 cm. Its spherical plant shape is achieved naturally with self-pinching, creating a highly manicured appearance; it also attracts honey bees and butterflies as pollinators. MN 98-89-7 is a vegetative product and this unnamed selection is being released for germplasm purposes as well as for potential licensing and naming.

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