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Abstract

A shift from NO3 to NH4-N nutrition for tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plants resulted in a significant decrease in xylem exudation rate within 15 minutes. Ammonium treatment also decreased Ca and Mg concentration in exudate in the 1.5 to 2.5 hour interval after the shift, whereas free NH4 and amides increased in the same period. Potassium ion concentration did not change in the time interval from 15 minutes to 7 days following the change of N form. Reduced exudate concentration or reduced exudation rate resulted in large decreases in the total amount of K, Ca, and Mg delivered in the presence of NH4 relative to that of NO3, and offers a possible explanation for the observed deficiencies of these cations in shoot tissues of plants under conditions of NH4 toxicity.

Open Access

Abstract

The N form had a pronounced effect on the levels of free amino acids. When compared to NO3, NH4 brought about a several fold increase in free amino acids (dry basis) in the roots, while smaller increases were observed in mature, fully expanded leaves, in young growing leaves, and in tomato fruit. Plants fed a combination of the 2 N forms had intermediate levels. The pattern of response to NH4 indicated that aspartic and glutamic acids as well as their amides were predominantly snythesized in the roots when the N source was NH4. The site of synthesis shifted to the leaves when the N source was NO3. The amino acids arginine, serine, alanine, and γ-aminobutyric acid were predominantly synthesized in the leaves irrespective of N form. Topical application of Ca on fruit grown with NH4 resulted in amino acid levels in the fruit similar to those of NO3 fruit. Ammonium toxicity was found to be accompanied by large increases in the levels of GABA and serine in the leaves. It is suggested that ammonium toxicity is a manifestation of intracellular Ca deficiency.

Open Access

`Titan' red raspberry (Rubis idaeus L.), highly susceptible to root rot caused by Phytophthora fragariae Hickman var. rubi Wilcox & Duncan (syns. P. erythroseptica Pethyb., “highly pathogenic” P. megasperma Drechs.), was planted in June 1990 in a silt loam naturally infested with the pathogen. Raked beds (0.36 m high) dramatically reduced disease incidence and severity relative to flatbed treatments. In contrast, metalaxyl at 372 mg·m-1 of row provided little benefit when applied to flat beds and provided consistently moderate but statistically insignificant effects when applied to raised beds. Relative to the flat bed system, primocane vigor was increased in 1992 by 16%, 190%, and 224% in the flat bed plus metalaxyl, raised bed, and raised bed plus metalaxyl treatments, respectively; total yields were increased by 7%, 231%, and 272% with these same respective treatment. The results indicate that raised-bed planting systems can provide substantial control of phytophthora root rot of red raspberries even when highly susceptible varieties are grown on otherwise marginal sites. Metalaxyl appears more effective as a supplement rather than substitute for raised beds under such conditions. Chemical name used: N- (2,6-dimethylphenyl) -N- (methoxyacetyl)alanine methyl ester (metalaxyl).

Free access

A hydroponic method was developed and tested for screening red raspberry genotypes for resistance to Phytophthora fragariae var. rubi, the most common causal agent of Phytophthora root rot in raspberry. Plants of `Titan' and `Encore' exhibited typical disease symptoms, with the latter developing significantly smaller stem lesions and fewer petiole lesions. The resistant cultivar, `Latham', regenerated healthy root tissue from the crown and older-order roots after initial infection and necrosis of young roots and exhibited no other symptoms beyond minor leaf chlorosis. This component of the resistance reaction has not been documented previously. A segregating F1 population from the cross of `Latham' × `Titan' had a survival rate of 56% with 42% classified as resistant, exhibited minimal symptoms, and produced varying amounts of healthy root tissue. This screening method allows multiple observations of all plant tissues, including roots, under repeatable and definable growth chamber conditions. It should be useful for classifying the phenotype of individuals in segregating red raspberry populations to investigate the inheritance of Phytophthora root rot resistance using molecular markers.

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Abstract

Length of the fruit development period in Florida breeding populations of low-chilling peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) had estimated heritability values of 0.73 to 0.98. High genetic correlations were found between leaf color classes and length of fruit development periods.

Open Access

Four greenhouse leaf inoculation methods for screening Japanese plum (Prunus salicina L. and hybrids) for resistance to Xanthomonas campestris pv. pruni (Smith) Dye were compared for repeatability, ability to differentiate among plant genotype responses, and correlations with field ratings. Clonally propagated trees were inoculated artificially in a greenhouse by immersing leaves in 2.5 × 108 cfu/ml inoculum (DIP), rubbing the adaxial side of leaves with a slurry of 2.5 × 108 cfu/ml inoculum and Carborundum powder (CARB), infiltrating leaves with 5 × 105 cfu/ml inoculum using a needle-less syringe (INFS), and infiltrating with 5 × 106 cfu/ml inoculum (INF6). No greenhouse method was superior in all assessment categories. The CARB method was most repeatable (t = 0.78) but had a low Spearman's correlation (rs = 0.29), indicating that greenhouse rankings did not correspond closely with field rankings. The INF6 method was unsuitable because it did not differentiate between plant genotypes. The DIP method appeared most suitable, having moderate repeatability (t = 0.46) for four observations per leaf and moderate Spearman's correlation with field performance (rs = 0.56). The INF5 method may be appropriate for identifying bacterial spot resistance that is associated with resistance in the leaf mesophyll.

Free access

Twenty field experiments were conducted to evaluate the response of iceberg lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) to N and evaluate various diagnostic technologies as tools for assessing the N nutritional status of lettuce. Lettuce yields showed a curvilinear response to N in most experiments. Generally, the dry midrib nitrate-N test and the sap nitrate-N test appear to be sensitive indicators of the N nutritional status of lettuce after the folding stage of growth. The chlorophyll meter was not a sensitive indicator of the N nutritional status of lettuce. Preliminary data also show that canopy reflectance, including digital analysis of aerial photographs, is correlated to N nutritional status of lettuce. However, reflectance technologies do not readily distinguish between N deficiencies and other factors (insects, diseases, water stress, etc.) that affect plant biomass and color. Because plant tests do not appear to be sensitive indicators of N nutrition during early growth stages (before folding), a post-thinning (and pre-sidedress) soil nitrate-N test is currently being evaluated.

Free access

A management expert system that enables producers to fully assess the integrated resource requirements, management risks, and profit potential for growing muskmelon was developed. The expert system environment Guru was used as the development software.

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Intensive selection to improve vase life was performed on a sample population of Gerber ×hybrida Hort. from a broad source of germplasm. Progeny of a 5 × 5 diallel cross yielded estimates of narrow sense heritability (h2 = 0.28) and broad sense heritability (H2 = 0.28) for vase life based on a mean of 1.96 measurements per plant. Additive gene action is postulated to control this character since the difference between total genotypic variance and additive genetic variance components was small. Repeatability (r = 0.57) based on a single measurement per plant was moderately high. Heritability estimates were also determined based on 1, 2, 3, 5, and ∞ measurements per plant. Heritability ranged from 22% to 39%.

Free access