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  • Author or Editor: Christopher Vincent x
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Primed acclimation (PA) is a regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategy designed to improve or maintain yield under subsequent drought stress. A previous study showed photosynthetic increases in papaya in response to a PA treatment. The present study was undertaken to test the duration of the PA effect when papaya plants were challenged with severe drought stress. Potted plants were stressed at 1, 2, and 3 months after conclusion of a PA treatment consisting of 3 weeks at soil water tension (SWT) of −20 kPa. Measurements included leaf gas exchange, root growth, and organ dry mass partitioning. PA did not reduce net CO2 assimilation (A) during the deficit period. At the end of the PA period, total dry matter accumulation per plant and for each organ was unaffected, but proportional dry matter partitioning to roots was favored. After resuming full irrigation, A increased and whole plant water use was more than doubled in PA-treated plants. However, water use and A of PA-treated plants decreased to reconverge with those of control plants by 6 weeks after the PA treatment. Over the course of the study, PA plants maintained lower stem height to stem diameter ratios, and shorter internode lengths. However, these changes did not improve photosynthetic response to any of the water-deficit treatments. We conclude that papaya exhibits some signs of stress memory, but that rapid short-term acclimation responses dominate papaya responses to soil water deficit.

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The objective of this research was to quantify the effects of phosphorous (P) concentrations on the growth, development, and tissue mineral nutrient concentrations of four popular culinary herbs commonly grown in containers. Seedlings of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Italian Large Leaf’), dill (Anethum graveolens ‘Fernleaf’), parsley (Petroselinum crispum ‘Giant of Italy’), and sage (Salvia officinalis) were individually transplanted to 11.4-cm-diameter containers filled with soilless substrate comprising canadian sphagnum peatmoss and coarse perlite. Upon transplanting and throughout the experiment, seedlings were irrigated with solutions containing 0, 5, 10, 20, or 40 mg·L−1 P; all other macro- and micronutrient concentrations were the same across P concentrations. Plants were grown for 4 weeks in a greenhouse; after that time, data were collected. Relationships between height and width and P concentrations were nonlinear for all four species; height and width increased as P increased to more than 0 mg·L−1 until the species-specific maxima; after that time, no further increase occurred. The same trend was observed for the branch length of sweet basil and sage, and for internode length, leaf area, and shoot dry mass of all four species. Although visible P deficiency symptoms were observed for plants provided with 0 mg·L−1 P, there were no signs of P deficiency for plants provided with ≥5 mg·L−1 P, even though tissue P concentrations were below the recommended sufficiency ranges. As a result of this research, containerized sweet basil, dill, parsley, and sage can be provided with 5 to 10 mg·L−1 P during production to limit growth and produce plants without visible nutrient deficiency symptoms that are proportional to their containers.

Open Access

The broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) was found in association with leaf-curling symptoms on primocane-fruiting blackberry (Rubus rubus) in Arkansas in 2007–2009. Broad mite had not been previously reported on blackberry. The plots sampled in this study were part of a study comparing harvesting in the fall versus harvest in spring and fall, high tunnels versus ambient conditions, and three genotypes, all under organic production. Leaves were sampled, broad mites per leaf counted, and leaf area and trichome density measured. Results indicated that broad mite is capable of overwintering in a moderate temperate climate and that it reduces leaf area of primocane-fruiting blackberry. The fall-only harvest system had fewer broad mites than fall and spring harvest. There were a range of genotype effects on broad mite populations, including one genotype, ‘Prime-Jan®’, on which broad mite populations remained low, and one genotype, APF-46, on which mite populations grew significantly. Observations indicate that the broad mite may be a pest of ‘Prime-Ark® 45’, another primocane-fruiting cultivar.

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