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  • Author or Editor: C. C. Reilly x
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The influence of stage of fruit development and plant growth regulators on somatic embryogenesis and the relation of cultivar response on somatic embryogenesis and subsequent plant development have been investigated in eight cultivars of pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch]. Explants from the micropylar region of the ovule were more embryogenic when removed from fruits in the liquid endosperm stage than were intact ovules from less-mature fruits or from cotyledonary segments of more-mature fruits. Explants conditioned on medium containing auxin alone or auxin + cytokinin produced more somatic embryos than medium containing cytokinin alone. Under the conditions of this study, frequency of embryogenesis, as well as the germination of somatic embryos leading to plant development, indicated appreciable variation among cultivars. Plant development was greatest by far from somatic embryos of `Schley' than other cultivars studied.

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Semi-parasitic evergreen mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescens Nutt.) is an increasingly serious weed causing loss of nut yield and tree vigor in pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] orchards of the southeastern United States. Several herbicides and growth regulators were evaluated for efficacy against mistletoe. The dimethylamine salt of 2,4-D proved to be an effective control agent. Ethephon, glyphosate, paraquat dichloride, and polyborate exhibited little or no long-term efficacy. The dimethylamine salt of dicamba also killed mistletoe, but exhibited potential for harming host trees. Dormant season treatment of mistletoe clusters with 2,4-D reduced photosynthesis by about one-third soon after treatment, and by ≈90% from 6 to 16 weeks posttreatment, but clusters did not die until ≈4 months posttreatment. Host limbs, less than ≈3 cm in diameter at the site of mistletoe attachment, usually died within 12 months of 2,4-D treatment of the associated mistletoe cluster. Treatment of entire host trees with 2,4-D did not harm trees if applied prior to ≈1 week of budbreak. Spot treatment of mistletoe clusters, with 2,4-D at 1.2 to 2.4 g·L-1 a.i. (plus 2% crop oil), ≈2 to 3 weeks before budbreak, gave effective long-term control of mistletoe. The inclusion of a crop-oil in the 2,4-D spray greatly increased efficacy. Chemical names used: (2-chloroethyl) phosphonic acid (ethephon).

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Abstract

Pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) Koch] kernel development is characterized by rapid accumulation of dilute acid and dilute alkali soluble proteins and decline of buffer and alcohol soluble proteins during embryo and cotyledon expansion. Mature kernels contained 7.8% protein, consisting of 51% acidic glutelins, 27% alkali glutelins, 9% concentration alkali, 7% prolamine, 4% albumin, and 1% globulin. Each fraction was composed of at least 2 proteins throughout kernel development. Proteins in each fraction were comprised primarily of neutral amino acids, but individual amino acid levels were highest for basic amino acids, with relatively high levels of lysine and sulfur containing amino acids. Electrophoresis of acid soluble glutelins revealed at least 7 subunits with molecular weights of 102, 58, 37, 30, 26, 19, and 16 (x 103). The data are considered in relation to alternate bearing and manipulations of fruit maturity.

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Abstract

‘Juneprince’ peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] has been released to extend the season in moderately low-chilling areas suc5as south Georgia and as a replacement for ‘Coronet’ in medium-chilling areas. ‘Fireprince’ peach has been released to provide a cultivar for the Southeast in the season preceding ‘Redglobe’.

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Abstract

Commercial and exotic cultivars and selections of peach and nectarine [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] were evaluated for reaction to gummosis caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea (Moug. ex Fr.) Ces & de Not. (B. ribis Gross & Dugg.). Commercial germplasm was susceptible. Mature trees of several exotic lines showed very little natural infection. ‘Eagle Beak’, Plant Introduction (PI) 43289 from China, was the most resistant to gummosis. Artificially inoculated twigs of this line gummed only slightly, although the fungus could still be isolated from some wounds after 16 months.

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Bearing pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] trees overly stressed by crop load and premature autumn defoliation either died or were severely damaged by -3°C in mid-November. Orchard damage was associated with death of tree roots during the dormant season. Exposure of stressed trees to -5°C in mid-March produced an atypical, but distinct, bottom-to-top-of-canopy gradient in bud death and reduced growth of shoots and foliage that was consistent with the pattern of reduced carbohydrate reserves of associated support shoots. Additionally, the foliage of damaged trees contained higher concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, and B. Trees did not exhibit traditional symptoms of cold damage, thus these findings extend cold injury diagnostic criteria to include both root and tree death during the dormant season and also a distinct gradient in shoot death during early spring. Damage by cold appears to be preventable by avoiding excessive tree stress due to overcropping and premature defoliation.

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This study reports on sudden death (or decline) of mature and apparently healthy pecan trees [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch]. Observations suggest that death and damage is due to winter cold injury (although the season's low was only -5 °C). The severity of this cold injury-like form of sudden death is closely associated with nut crop load (i.e., grams of kernels per square centimeter of trunk cross-sectional area) and premature defoliation. Both dead and declining trees not only produced relatively heavy crops, but also exhibited substantial premature pest-induced defoliation the previous autumn. The near absence of sugars and starch in roots and shoots of dead or declining trees at budbreak and the relatively high levels in healthy trees indicates that diminished assimilate reserves during the dormant season were the key factor causing death or decline. The diminished assimilate reserves prevented the accumulation of assimilate reserves necessary for maintaining live roots throughout the dormancy and prevented proper cold acclimation of shoot tissues. Distinct symptoms of sudden tree death or decline compared to typical cold damage are: a) a distinct top-to-bottom gradation of tree damage, with an increased proportion of dead shoots and shoots supporting abnormally small foliage being near the base of the canopy; b) dessicated and tan appearance of inner bark and phloem of the main trunk rather than brown coloration so typical of classical cold injury; c) death of roots by time of budbreak; and d) absence of resprouting from the trunk or root collar. These observations indicate that pecan trees can suddenly die due to being overly stressed for assimilates and that economic losses previously attributed to injury by severe winter cold sometimes may be due to depleted assimilate reserves during the dormant season as a result of overcropping and premature defoliation.

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Orchard trees of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] were subjected to combinations of cultural practices inducing differential physiological states so as to assess the potential for culture-related impact on damage to trees by key arthropod pests. Leaf N concentration, leaf water status, and crop load all affected foliar damage by black pecan aphids [BPA; Melanocallis caryaefoliae (Davis)] and pecan leaf scorch mite [PLSM; Eotetranychus hicoriae (McGregor)], as well as second-flush shoot growth. Damage to first-flush foliage in the late season by BPA generally diminished as leaf water status and leaf N concentration increased, but intensified with a reduction in crop load. Conversely, foliage damage by PLSM increased with elevated leaf water status and N concentration, but was unaffected by crop load. First- and second-order interactions for all combinations of cultural treatments conferring differential physiological states affected damage by pests and induction of second-flush shoot growth. Arthropod-induced defoliation on trees receiving highly favorable cultural practices—those producing high leaf N, high leaf water availability, and low crop load—was greater than on trees receiving minimal or lesser cultural inputs. Thus, cultural practices influencing leaf water status, N status, or crop load potentially act and interact to produce both desirable and undesirable side-effects on damage incurred by certain arthropod pests and therefore merit consideration in efforts to develop improved integrated pest management strategies.

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Foliar feeding by the black pecan aphid [Melanocallis caryaefoliae (Davis)] can cause tremendous economic losses. Evaluations of black aphids on pecan genotypes indicates that both antixenosis and antibiosis-like resistance mechanisms exists. Tests for antixenosis indicated that aphids possess clear preferences for certain genotypes over others and that this preference can be dependent on a water-soluble chemical component of the leaf surface. Aphids also exhibited a “conditioning preference,” in which they preferentially feed on genotypes from which they originated. Antibiosis tests indicated that pecan genotypes influence the reproductive success of aphids already possessing a feeding adaptation to those same pecan genotypes; therefore, an evaluation of 30 cultivars for antibiosis indicated that populations developed only 20% as fast on `Choctaw' and `Alley' as on `Desirable' and `Success'. No cultivar was observed to essentially prevent aphid reproduction.

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Propiconazole, a fungicide, suppressed leaf area of a wide variety of young pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] seedling genotypes but did not reduce leaf area of orchard trees. Leaf area declined linearly as dosage increased from 0.16 to 1.25 mL·L–1. Suppression of leaf area by propiconazole was inversely proportional to leaf age. No reduction of leaf area was detected in orchards where `Cheyenne', `Desirable', and `Pawnee' were treated with three applications (14-day intervals) of fungicide (either propiconazole, fentin hydroxide, or fenbuconazole) from budbreak to early May. Spring application of the three fungicides alone or in combination with zinc sulfate did not influence fruit set. Control of pecan scab [Cladosporium caryigenum (Ell. et Lang) Gottwald] was achieved with either fentin hydroxide or fenbuconazole for the full season, or with early season use of dodine, then propiconazole, and then followed by fentin hydroxide for late-season disease control. Fungicide treatments had no effect on nut weight. These data indicate that fungicides applied to pecan during pollination at commercially recommended dosages and intervals, with or without zinc sulfate, do not adversely influence leaf area or fruit set of orchard trees. Chemical names used: n-dodecylguanidine acetate (dodine); triphenyltin hydroxide (fentin hydroxide); 1-[[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-propyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-yl] methyl]-1H-1,2,4-triazole (propiconazole); α-[2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]-α-phenyl-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-propanenitrile (fenbuconazole).

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