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Abstract

Premature fruit drop by navel oranges at an early stage of development is indicated to be one of the effects caused by photochemical air pollutants in the Los Angeles Basin (9). Both “weather fleck” of tobacco and “stipple” of grape leaves have also been shown by Heggestad and Middleton (3) and Richards, Middleton and Hewitt (8), respectively, to be caused by ozone, one of the members of the photochemical oxidant complex.

Open Access

Abstract

The formation of ozone in Los Angeles type (photochemical) smog was recognized by Haagen-Smit et al (1) in 1952. It soon became apparent that this compound could cause plant lesions identical to those which were seen on economic crops growing in many areas of the Los Angeles Basin. A “stipple” of grape leaves which occurred in midsummer in the field and which became progressively more severe with the season, was shown by Richards et al (4) to be very similar to lesions produced by ozone fumigation. Additional work with conifers (5) showed that a severe needle mottle of Pinus ponderosa and related species was caused by ozone in photochemical smog. Peroxy-acyl nitrates and oxides of nitrogen axe present in this mixture and are toxic to plants, but the separate effects of these pollutants have not been studied on grapes in detail.

Open Access

Experiments at two commercial farms in Bermuda tested the effectiveness of solarization of narrow beds alone and together with metam sodium (MS) to enhance in-field production of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis L.) and kale (B. oleracea L. var. acephala DC.) transplants. Soil treatments of clear, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) mulch (25 μm), white LDPE mulch (25 μm) plus MS (702 L·ha-1), and clear mulch plus MS were compared to bare soil. Mulches were applied and MS incorporated through rototiller cultivation 20 cm deep into 1.2-m-wide, flat seed-beds in the last week of June 1995. Mulches were maintained for 8 weeks. Either Broccoli `Pirate' or kale `Blue Curled Scotch' were seeded into transplant beds in Warwick and Devonshire parishes, respectively. Stand data was obtained for broccoli and kale 25 and 35 days, respectively, after seeding. Transplants were rated for root infection and biomass at 11 days (broccoli) or 31 days (kale) after seeding. In general, solarization was as effective as MS in suppression of soilborne pathogens of broccoli and kale plants. An additive effect on plant biomass was observed when solarization and MS were combined. All treatments significantly increased the establishment of broccoli plants and decreased root infection by Rhizoctonia solani in both crops. The incidence of Fusarium sp. was significantly decreased by all treatments in kale roots, and in broccoli by MS alone and in combination with solarization. Shoot fresh weight was significantly increased in kale by all treatments and in broccoli by solarization plus MS.

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Eight plant bed fertilizer treatments (N–P–K) were evaluated for the effect on plant production and sweetpotato yield. The treatments ranged from 0–0–0 to 450–450–450 lb/ac. `Beauregard' roots were bedded. After the first plant cutting, 50 lb/ac 34–0–0 was applied to half of the beds. For the second cutting, the 0N–0P–0K treatment without additional N produced plants with less green weight compared to the other treatments; there were no differences between the other 15 treatments. For the first plant cutting, 150–150–150 and 150–300–450 lb/ac produced plants with less green weight compared to 0–0–0, 75–150–300, 300–450–600, and 450–450–450 lb/ac. There were no differences in sweetpotato yield due to plant bed fertilization.

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One hundred U.S. sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatus (L.) Lam.] plant introductions (PIs) and four control cultivars were screened for insect injury in 1993. Of the least injured by insects, 56 and 31 were tested again in 1994 and 1995, respectively. Among control cultivars, the most highly resistant was `Regal' (moderately resistant), followed by `Beauregard' (susceptible), `Centennial' (susceptible), and `Jewel' (susceptible). Stem and root injury by the sweetpotato weevil (SPW) [Cylas formicarius elegantulus (Summers)] and root injury by the wireworm (Conoderus sp.)–Diabrotica sp. (cucumber beetle)– Systena sp. (flea beetle) (WDS) complex were measured. SPW stem injury was less severe (P ≤ 0.05) in 1994 and 1995 in PIs 508523, 531116, and 564107 than in control cultivars. PIs 508523 and 531116 also suffered less SPW root injury than did `Regal'. In the six PIs with least SPW root injury, PIs 538354, 564149, 508523, 538286, 531116, and 564103, 70% to 85% of the roots were not injured compared with 36% in `Regal' and 6% in `Jewel'. SPW root injury scores (0 = no injury; 5 = severe injury) in those PIs averaged 0.5 vs. 2.3 for `Regal'. Only in PI 538286 was WDS injury to roots less than in `Regal' over 2 years. However, eight additional accessions suffered less WDS injury than `Regal' in 1995 and four of those were among the six with least SPW injury. The lower levels of combined insect injury found in these four PIs (compared to `Regal') show that PIs have potential use for increasing insect resistance in sweetpotato improvement programs.

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The flowering morphology of the erect, thorny, primocane-fruiting blackberry (Rubus L. subgenus Rubus, Watson) cultivars ‘Prime-Jan’ and ‘Prime-Jim’ were studied in 2005 and 2006 in Aurora, OR. Primocanes that were “soft-tipped” in early summer to 1 m were compared with untipped primocanes. In both years, soft-tipped primocanes developed two- to threefold more branches and almost twice the number of flowers as untipped canes. ‘Prime-Jan’ and ‘Prime-Jim’ began blooming on the branches of soft-tipped canes in mid-July, whereas untipped primocanes began to bloom in late July in 2005 and 2006. Within a primocane inflorescence, the terminal or distal flower was always the first to open followed by terminal flowers from axes located on the basal portion of the inflorescence. Flowers then opened acropetally within the inflorescence, with the exception of the most basal flower, which was typically the last to open. The blooming pattern within an inflorescence was similar for soft-tipped and untipped primocanes. Days from anthesis to black fruit for soft-tipped and untipped primocanes averaged 45 to 51 d in both years, depending on cultivar.

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Primocane-fruiting blackberries (Rubus subgenus Rubus Watson) may offer opportunities for season extension and off-season fruit production, particularly in mild climates with protected culture. In May 2005, plants of ‘Prime-Jan’® were established at the Oregon State University–North Willamette Research and Extension Center, Aurora, OR. Half of the planting was established under a high tunnel and the remainder planted in an adjacent open field. In 2006 to 2007, primocanes were subjected to four treatments to promote branching and/or delay harvest: 1) all primocanes within the plot were cut to the ground when averaging 0.25 m tall, then later emerging canes soft-tipped when reaching 0.5 m tall (C0.25m/T0.5m); 2) all primocanes within the plot were cut to the ground when averaging 0.5 m tall, then later emerging canes soft-tipped when reaching 0.5 m (C0.5m/T0.5m); 3) primocanes double-tipped: all primocanes within the plot were soft-tipped when averaging 0.5 m tall with subsequent lateral branches then soft-tipped when reaching 0.5 m long (T0.5m/Tb0.5m); and 4) primocanes were soft-tipped when averaging 0.5 m tall (T0.5m; control). The tunnel was covered with plastic from 5 Sept. 2006 and 31 Aug. 2007, ≈1 to 2 weeks before harvest until the end of harvest to protect fruit from inclement weather. On average, fruit harvest began on 12 Sept. in the open field and tunnel, but lasted ≈3 weeks longer in the tunnel, ending on 16 Nov., on average. Primocanes that were double-tipped had nearly twice the flowers and fruit than canes that were soft-tipped only once (T0.5m; control). In the tunnel, cumulative yield of double-tipped primocanes averaged 10.7 t·ha−1 in 2006 and 19.3 t·ha−1 in 2007, a 267% and 159% increase compared with the control, respectively. On average, cumulative yield for all treatments was less in the open field than in the tunnel, although cultural systems could not be compared statistically. Harvest was not delayed in the C0.25m/T0.5m treatment in 2006 compared with the control and the double-tipped treatments; however, in 2007, harvest was delayed by 2 weeks in C0.25m/T0.5m. In contrast, harvest was delayed by ≈4 weeks when primocanes were cut to the ground at 0.5 m (C0.5m/T0.5m). Primocanes that were double-tipped produced heavier fruit than other treatments (33% heavier than the control, on average). Double-tipped primocanes did not have more ovules per flower, but had significantly more drupelets set compared with the control. In addition, plants growing under the tunnel tended to produce heavier fruit (32%, on average) than those grown in the open field. Harvest date affected fruit pH in 2006, but not in 2007. In 2006, fruit pH was highest in the early season. All other differences in fruit chemistry were not significant. The pruning and tipping systems used here increased yield and offered options for season extension.

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Three-year-old `Valencia' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] trees were exposed to air pollutants for 4. years in open-top field chambers to determine the chronic effects of ambient oxidants (primarily ozone) or sulfur dioxide (SO2) on fruit yield and quality and tree growth. Ozone concentrations averaged 0.012,0.040, and 0.075 ppm for 0800 to 2000 hr during April to October for filtered, half-ambient, and full ambient oxidant chambers. Sulfur dioxide was applied continuously at 0.09 ppm. Oxidant and SO2 effects were only marginally significant, as there was considerable variability in response among individual trees and between years. Across two “on” production years, yields were 31% lower with ambient oxidants, 11% lower with half-ambient oxidants, and 29% lower with sulfur dioxide compared to filtered air. Number of fruit per tree was reduced by ambient oxidants and SO2. Individual fruit weights were reduced by ambient oxidants, but no other fruit quality characteristics showed definite responses to ambient oxidants or SO2. Ambient oxidants had no effect on yield or quality of fruit during one “off' production year. Neither ambient oxidants nor SO, affected tree growth.

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`Beauregard' storage roots which were discarded from the Mississippi sweetpotato foundation seed program because of the presence of flesh mutations were bedded in Spring 1991. After the plants were pulled from the roots, the roots were further examined, and the flesh mutations were characterized by size and frequency. The progency from the original roots were examined for flesh mutations for three generations in 1991, 1992, and 1993. The degree of mutation in the original root did not influence the degree of mutation in succeeding generations of storage roots. In 1992 and 1993, the degree of mutation in the third and fourth generation roots did not differ from that of storage roots grown from plants from the foundation seed plant beds.

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`Beauregard' and `Centennial' were planted in plots of four different topsoil thicknesses (0, 3, 6, and 9 inches) to evaluate the effect of topsoil thickness on sweetpotato production. In 1994, the 0-inch topsoil treatment produced a greater total marketable yield for `Beauregard' than did the 6- and 9-inch topsoil for `Centennial'. The 0- and 9-inch topsoil produced a greater total marketable yield than did the 3- and 6-inch treatment. When averaged over 2 years, 1993 and 1994, there were no differences in total marketable yield in either `Beauregard' or `Centennial' due to topsoil thickness. Averaged over both years, topsoil thickness had no effect on weight, diameter, or length of `Beauregard' roots.

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