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J. L. Jacobs and C. T. Stephens

Several growth hormone combinations and silver nitrate concentrations were examined for their effect on regeneration of different pepper genotypes. Primary leaf explants from in vitro seedlings were cultured on a revised Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with auxin, cytokinin and 1.6% glucose. Combinations of different concentrations of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), 0-5 mg/l, and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP), 0-5 mg/l, were tested to determine the most effective medium for shoot primordium formation. Experiments with IAA and BAP did not result in a specific growth hormone combination appropriate for regeneration of all genotypes tested. Of the silver nitrate concentrations tested, 10 mg/l resulted in the best shoot and leaf differentiation and reduced callus formation. Differences in organogenic response of individual genotypes were evaluated on a single regeneration medium. Whole plants were regenerated from 11 of 63 genotypes examined. Based on these experiments, a reproducible regeneration system for pepper was developed with a total of 500 plants regenerated to date.

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J. L. Jacobs and C. T. Stephens

Several growth hormone combinations and silver nitrate concentrations were examined for their effect on regeneration of different pepper genotypes. Primary leaf explants from in vitro seedlings were cultured on a revised Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with auxin, cytokinin and 1.6% glucose. Combinations of different concentrations of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), 0-5 mg/l, and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP), 0-5 mg/l, were tested to determine the most effective medium for shoot primordium formation. Experiments with IAA and BAP did not result in a specific growth hormone combination appropriate for regeneration of all genotypes tested. Of the silver nitrate concentrations tested, 10 mg/l resulted in the best shoot and leaf differentiation and reduced callus formation. Differences in organogenic response of individual genotypes were evaluated on a single regeneration medium. Whole plants were regenerated from 11 of 63 genotypes examined. Based on these experiments, a reproducible regeneration system for pepper was developed with a total of 500 plants regenerated to date.

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M.K. Hausbeck, C.T. Stephens and R.D. Heins

Two fungicides registered for the control of Pythium spp. were evaluated for their effects on size and time to flowering of seed-propagated geraniums (Pelargonium × hortorum L.H. Bailey). Fungicide drenches of fenaminosulf and metalaxyl were applied to geraniums grown in soilless root medium: 1) at seeding (S); 2) at seeding and transplanting (ST); 3) at seeding, transplanting, and 1 week after transplanting (ST + 1); 4) at transplanting (T); and 5) 1 week after transplanting (T + 1). Metalaxyl drenching schedules did not significantly influence plant size or time to flowering. Fenaminosulf drenching schedules 3 and 4 significantly reduced plant size, and drenching schedule 3 significantly increased days to flowering in comparison to control plants. Although fenaminosulf is used infrequently because of limited availability, the detrimental effects of this fungicide on plant size and time to flowering warrant similar investigations with additional fungicides and crops. Chemical names used: sodium[4-(dimethylamino) phenyl]diazenesulfonate (fenaminosulf); N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl) -N-(methoxyacetyl) -dl-alanine methyl ester (metalaxyl).

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Stephen C. Myers, Andrew King and Amy T. Savelle

Mature `Winblo'/Lovell peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] trees in Georgia were treated with five concentrations of D-88, a 79 % to 82 % active ingredient formulation of monocarbamide dihydrogensulfate: 0 (water only), 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, and 10.0 ml·liter-1. All treatments were made by airblast application at 1200 liters·ha-1 when trees were at 95% full bloom. The number of flowers on three limbs per tree was counted 3 days before and fruitlets 25 days following treatment. Regression analysis revealed a linear thinning response to concentration, with 10.0 m1·liter-1 reducing the number of flowers per limb cross-sectional area by 56% over the nonthinned control. Mature `Fantasia' nectarine trees in New Zealand were treated with four concentrations of D-88: 0 (water only), 2.5, 3.75, and 5.0 ml·liter-1. All treatments were made by handgun application to runoff when trees were ≈2 days past full bloom. The number of flowers per limb was counted 6 days before and fruit 62 days following treatment. Regression analysis revealed a linear thinning response to concentration, with 5.0 ml·liter-1 reducing the number of flowers per limb by 55 % over the nonthinned control. Total yield (kilograms of fruit) per tree was the same for all treatments, although fruit size on sprayed trees was larger. No phytotoxicity or fruit finish injury was observed.

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David Del Pozo-Insfran, Christopher E. Duncan, Kristine C. Yu, Stephen T. Talcott and Craig K. Chandler

The effects of cultivar, harvest date, and production year on the soluble solids and antioxidant phytochemical levels of 22 strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) genotypes grown in a winter annual hill (raised bed) production system were investigated. Fruit harvested in Jan. 2003 and 2004 were characterized by low polyphenolic content, but high concentrations of soluble solids and ascorbic acid; whereas fruit harvested in Feb. 2003 and 2004 generally had elevated polyphenolic concentrations, but lower levels of soluble solids and ascorbic acid. Annual variation in soluble solids and phytochemical composition was also observed among nine strawberry genotypes, which was likely attributable to variations in solar radiation and air temperature. `Earlibrite' was among the highest for soluble solids concentration on three of the four harvest dates, while `Carmine' was noted for its high phytochemical concentrations across harvest dates and years. The breeder selection `FL 99-117' emerged as a promising selection in terms of producing fruit with high concentrations of soluble solids and antioxidant phytochemicals.

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Stephen C. Myers, Amy T. Savelle, D. Stuart Tustin and Ross E. Byers

Partial thinning of peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) during bloom to 50% of the necessary level by hand, and followed by adjustment hand thinning at 42 days after full bloom (DAFB) was compared to a similar degree of thinning accomplished entirely at 42 DAFB by hand. Partial flower thinning altered the distribution of fruit by diameter, increasing the percentage of large diameter (≥62.0 mm) fruit harvested compared to unthinned trees or trees thinned entirely at 42 DAFB. Although shoot number per limb was not altered by thinning time, the distribution of shoots by length was affected, increasing the percentage of long shoots (≥20.0 cm). Compared to unthinned trees and trees thinned at 42 DAFB, partial flower thinning increased the subsequent development of flower buds per shoot and the number of flower buds per node. Number of flower buds on the proximal five nodes of shoots 15.0-30.0 cm in length was increased, although not on shoots 5.0-7.0 cm in length. Additional trials established that airblast spray application of AMADS was effective in achieving a similar level of thinning as that accomplished by partial flower thinning by hand in previous experiments. The degree of flower removal exhibited a linear response to chemical concentration. Fruit diameter on chemically flower-thinned trees was greater at adjustment thinning time, when compared to trees thinned by hand at 42 DAFB only. Distribution of fruit at harvest indicated a larger percentage of fruit >65.0 mm in trees which received partial flower thinning in comparison to trees thinned at 42 DAFB only. As a result, overall crop value was increased, based on the commercial processing peach price structure at the time of harvest. Chemical name used: 1-aminomethanamide dihydrogen tetraoxosulfate (AMADS)

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Maureen M.M. Fitch, Paul H. Moore, Terryl C.W. Leong, Leslie Ann Y. Akashi, Aileen K.F. Yeh, Susan A. White, Amy S. Dela Cruz, Lance T. Santo, Stephen A. Ferreira and Leslie J. Poland

Papaya seedlings segregate for sex expression as females or hermaphrodites. Typically only hermaphrodite fruit are marketed in Hawaii. The agronomic practice of growing multiple seedlings that are later thinned to a single hermaphrodite tree is wasteful of seed, labor, and resources, especially when seed is costly. We compared growth of plants propagated by the clonal methods of micropropagation or rooting vegetative cuttings versus plants initiated as seedlings and transplanted. The seedlings were either single-planted hermaphrodites as identified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or multiple-planted, thinned seedlings. The experiments were carried out in three different locations on two islands in Hawaii. Clonally propagated plants were significantly shorter than seedlings and bore flowers earlier and lower on the trunk at all locations. Stem diameter differences were not significant even though plant size was different at planting time. Percentage of trees in bud varied significantly in the third month after transplanting when about 90% of the rooted cuttings and large micropropagated plants had formed flower buds while only one multiple-planted seedling developed a bud. Overall, the clonally propagated plants were more vigorous and earlier bearing than were the seedling plants. There is good potential for adoption of clonal propagation when production becomes efficient enough to compete in price with the current practice of over planting and thinning.

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Maureen M.M. Fitch, Paul H. Moore, Terryl C.W. Leong, Leslie Ann Y. Akashi, Aileen K.F. Yeh, Susan A. White, Amy S. Dela Cruz, Lance T. Santo, Stephen A. Ferreira and Leslie J. Poland

Gynodioecious papaya (Carica papaya L.) seedlings in commercial cropping systems in Hawaii are typically multiple-planted and thinned upon flowering to a single hermaphrodite because seedlings segregate for sex expression. Use of clonally propagated hermaphrodites would eliminate the over-planting practice and may provide other advantages. Yields of clonally propagated hermaphrodites were compared with single- and multiple-planted seedlings in three fields on two islands in Hawaii. Cloned hermaphrodites were either rooted cuttings or in vitro micropropagated plants. Clonally propagated plants bore ripe fruit 1 to 3 months earlier than thinned seedlings and had significantly higher early and cumulative yields. At each site, cumulative yields of thinned seedlings never reached the same level as those of clonally propagated plants. The yield benefit from clonally propagated plants was greatest at Keaau, the lowest sunlight and least productive test site.