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D.J. Cantliffe

When lettuce seeds are imbibed and subjected to high temperature for periods of 72 h or more, dormancy known as thermodormaney is induced. Priming of three cultivars of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seeds in 1% (w/v) K3 P O4 for 20 h in the dark reduced thermodormaney. Addition of 100 mg 6-benzyladenine (BA)/liter to the priming solution increased germination in petri dishes at 35C in `Green Lakes' from 65% in seeds that were primed without BA, to 92% when BA was added to the priming solution. In `South Bay' these percentages were 24% and 86%, respectively. Seedling emergence was improved in other lots of `Green Lakes' and `Montello' using soilless mix.

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Mustafa M.A. Elballa and D.J. Cantliffe

The effect of temperature on seedstalk development, seed yield and quality in carrot (Daucus carota L.) was investigated in growth chambers at constant day/night temperatures of 33/28, 28/23, 25/20, 23/18, 20/15, and 17/12 °C. Days to flowering, seedstalk height, number of umbels, and seed yield decreased linearly with increasing temperature from 17/12 to 33/28 °C. Continuous high temperature (33/28 °C) had a detrimental effect on germination as measured by a standard germination test and an accelerated aging test. Optimum germination of the progeny occurred at 20/15 °C; however, germination rate was faster when seeds matured at 23/18 °C. Seeds that developed at 33/28 °C produced seedlings with the lowest vigor, while those which developed at 20/15 °C produced seedlings with the highest vigor. Brief exposure of plants to 33/28 °C during anthesis or early seed development was as detrimental to seed yield as continuous exposure to 33/28 °C. Exposure to high temperature (33/28 °C) during late seed development had less effect on seed yield, and seed quality was improved. Progeny vigor was reduced greatly by seed development at continuous high temperature (33/28 °C), but was unaffected by brief exposure to 33/28 °C at anthesis, early, or late in seed development. These results suggest that high (33/28 °C) day/night temperatures during pollination, fertilization, or early stages of seed development can greatly reduce carrot seed yield and seed quality.

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Yu Sung, D.J. Cantliffe, and R.T. Nagata

Lettuce seeds differentially fail to germinate at temperatures above 21C according to genotype. Twenty-one lettuce lines were screened for their ability to germinate at temperatures from 24C to 36C. Four cultivars, `Dark Green Boston', `Valmaine', `Floricos 83', and `PI251245', were selected for this study because of their range of ability to germinate at temperatures above 24C. Seeds of the four cultivars were collected from mother plants grown in growth chambers at 20/10C(day/night temperature), 25/15C, 30/20C and 35/25C. Seeds were germinated on a thermogradient table from 24C to 36C under light (12 h). Seeds from `Floricos 83' produced above 30C had higher germination percentage at 33C and 36C than those produced below 30C temperatures. At 30C germination temperature seeds of `Valmaine' produced above 30C had 98% germination compared to 45% of those produced below 30C. `Dark Green Boston' seeds produced at 35C had higher germination percentage(70%) at 30C than those produced at other temperatures. Seeds collected from the mother plant grown above 30C day temperatures had greater germination than those grown below 30C.

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Puffy Soundy, D.J. Cantliffe, G.J. Hochmuth, and P.J. Stoffella

`South Bay' lettuce transplants were grown in F392A styrofoam Speedling® flats at different levels of N to evaluate the effect of N on transplant quality and subsequent yield and head quality in the field. Plants were irrigated eight times over a 4-week growing period by floating flats for 30 min in nutrient solution containing eight 0, 15, 39, 45, or 60 mg·liter–1 N supplied from NH4NO3. Dry shoot mass, leaf area, and plant height increased linearly with increasing N rates and dry root mass and stem diameter increased in a quadratic fashion. Transplants with the greatest plant biomass were, therefore, produced with 60 mg·liter–1 N. Plants from the 15, 30, 45 and 60 mg·liter–1 N treatments were planted in sandy soil in plastic-mulched beds under drip irrigation. To optimize lettuce head maturity among the treatments, plants from the N treatments were harvest 53, 56, and 59 days after transplanting (DAT). The optimum time to harvest was determined to be 56 DAT. There was no yield response (measured in terms of head mass) or quality response (measured in terms of head height, head diameter, head compactness or core length) to N applied during transplant production. This indicated that transplants produced with 15 mg·liter–1 N gave equally good yield to those produced with 30, 45, or 60 mg·liter–1 N when N was applied via flotation irrigation.

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D. Kirschbaum, D.J. Cantliffe, C.K. Chandler, and R.L. Darnell

The present research was undertaken to examine carbohydrate composition and distribution patterns and induction of flowering and runner formation in attached and detached strawberry plants grown under varying temperature conditions. There was an interaction between attached mother and daughter plants. Daughter plants affected flowering in mother plants, and mother plants influenced vegetative growth in daughter plants. Attachment and high temperature decreased root soluble carbohydrate concentration and promoted runner formation in both mother and daughter attached plants, suggesting that changes in carbohydrate concentration in the roots may be correlated with changes in vegetative growth. According to the results of this research, high temperatures are likely to enhance vegetative growth, whereas lower temperatures are likely to enhance the floral response. Differential temperature regimes applied to the mother/daughter plant experimental system could be an alternative to photoperiod treatments as a tool to study the correlation between environmental conditions and changes in vegetative and reproductive growth in strawberry.

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J.C. Rodriguez, D.J. Cantliffe, N.L. Shaw, and Z. Karchi

In the spring of 2001 and 2002, different combinations of media (coarse perlite, medium perlite, and pine bark) and containers (polyethylene bags and plastic pots) were used for hydroponic production of `Galia' muskmelons (Cucumis melo L.) to determine their effect on fruit yield and quality, and their influence on costs of production. Marketable yields obtained for `Gal-152' in the spring 2001 and 2002 were 25.5 kg·m–2 and 39.0 kg·m–2 respectively. When data were combined for 2001 and 2002, fruit yield and fruit quality were unaffected by any combination of media and container. Average soluble solids content was generally greater than 10° Brix. It was determined that the use of pine bark media and plastic pots instead of perlite and bags would save $18,200 per year (two crops)—a feasible option for reducing costs of producing `Galia' muskmelons in greenhouses using soilless culture without loss of yield and fruit quality.

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Carlos A. Parera, Daniel J. Cantliffe, D.R. McCarty, and L. Curtis Hannah

The shrunken-2 (sh2) mutant of maize (Zea mays L.) increases sucrose and reduces starch in developing endosperm. An associated trait is poor seed and seedling vigor in seeds containing the mutation. The specific effects of sh2 mutant endosperm on embryo and seedling vigor were determined by analyzing seeds that contained either concordant wild-type or nonconcordant combinations of mutant and wild-type embryo and endosperm genotypes. The nonconcordant seed types that contained a wild-type embryo in association with a sh2 mutant endosperm or a sh2 mutant embryo in association with a wild-type endosperm were generated using the TB-3La translocation chromosome in which a wild-type Sh2 gene is attached to the centromeric portion of a B chromosome. Under stress conditions (complex stress vigor test), the seeds with mutant endosperm had lower germination, seedling fresh and dry weight, and index of conductivity than seeds with wild-type endosperm. Mutant endosperm and embryos excised from mutant endosperm imbibed more water than wild-type endosperm or embryos excised from wild-type endosperm. Because of the high concentration of osmotic solutes in the mutant endosperm, a rapid water uptake may induce a membrane disorganization. Leachate conductivities of seeds with mutant endosperm were higher than seeds with wild-type endosperm. In addition, a higher sucrose content and a lower raffinose to sucrose ratio were measured in the wild-type embryos associated with mutant endosperms than in the normal embryos excised from concordant wild-type seeds. These results suggest that a high rate of water uptake caused by the elevated concentration of osmotic solutes in seeds with mutant endosperms may affect membrane integrity during imbibition. Alternatively, the lower raffinose to sucrose ratio present in the mutant endosperm class might affect stabilization of cell membranes during seed desiccation. Embryos cultured in media containing 10% starch or no carbohydrate produced smaller seedlings than embryos cultured in 5% or 10% sucrose. Wild-type embryos excised from mutant endosperms exhibited lower germination in 0% and 5% sucrose media than embryos from concordant seed, indicating that reduced water uptake rates associated with lower external osmotic potential (10% sucrose) can improve vigor of embryos associated with sh2 mutant endosperm. The reduced vigor of embryos and seedlings that develop in association with sh2 mutant endosperm can be traced to the physiological and biochemical effects of the elevated sucrose levels present during seed formation and imbibition.

Open access

Elena E. Lon Kan, Steven A. Sargent, Daniel J. Cantliffe, Adrian D. Berry, and Nicole L. Shaw

Datil hot pepper (Capsicum chinense) has potential for increased production due to its unique, spicy flavor and aroma. However, few reports have been published related to postharvest handling characteristics. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of harvest maturity on fruit quality under simulated commercial storage conditions. ‘Wanda’ datil pepper plants were grown hydroponically under protected culture. Fruit were harvested at yellow and orange maturity stages, placed in vented clamshell containers, and stored at 2, 7, or 10 °C for 21 days. Peppers harvested at yellow stage maintained greater quality than orange peppers during storage at all temperatures. Marketable fruit after 21 days for peppers harvested at the yellow stage was 94% (2 °C), 88% (7 °C), and 91% (10 °C); that for orange-stage peppers was 68%, 74%, and 82% for the same respective temperatures. No chilling injury (CI) symptoms were observed in these tests. Initial pepper moisture content was 90%, decreasing only slightly during 21 days of storage; weight loss ranged from 2% to 8%. Soluble solids content (SSC) was greater for peppers harvested at the orange stage (9.5%) than for those at yellow stage (7.8%). Neither harvest maturity nor storage temperature affected total titratable acidity (TTA; 0.13%) or pH (5.3). Respiration rate varied with temperature but not by harvest maturity and ranged from 12 to 25 mg·kg−1 per hour after 8 days of storage. Peppers harvested orange contained double the amount of total carotenoids as yellow fruit. Carotenoid content for yellow and orange peppers was 58 and 122 µg·g−1, respectively. Capsaicinoid content ranged from 1810 to 4440 µg·g−1 and was slightly greater for orange-harvested peppers. Datil peppers harvested at the yellow stage and stored in vented clamshell containers had better quality than peppers harvested at the orange stage after 21 days at 2 °C.