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Dan Lineberger, David Reed, and Mary Rumpho

Camptotheca acuminata (Chinese happy tree, Nyssaceae) is a source of the anticancer phytochemical, camptothecin. An endangered species in its native China, Camptotheca has been grown in this country on an experimental basis, but the germplasm base is extremely narrow. As a prelude to the establishment of a plant improvement effort designed to increase the efficiency of camptothecin production, in vitro studies that will enable plant regeneration and shoot proliferation from selected clones have been undertaken. Shoot proliferating cultures were established from shoot tip explants and were maintained on WPM medium containing 4 μm BA. MS medium and nodal explants proved unsatisfactory. Shoot proliferation was highest when in vitro shoot tips were cultured on 4 μm BA compared to media containing no growth regulator or the cytokinins zeatin, thidiazuron, or kinetin. In vitro—produced shoot tips were rooted by direct sticking in plastic containers filled with RediEarth mix, and were successfully adapted to the greenhouse environment.

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Dan Lineberger, Frank Dainello, John Jackman, and Marvin Miller

Plant problems often are diagnosed by comparing the problem in hand to a set of color photographs of known symptoms. Color photographs are expensive and time consuming to publish and distribution of books and pamphlets is costly. Delivery of high resolution color photographs of common plant disorders via the World Wide Web is a cost-effective alternative. A web-based diagnostic resource has been created to assist problem identification of cucurbit disorders including nutritional, disease, and insect problems. The diagnostic tool consists of arrays of high resolution, color images grouped by similarity of appearance. The image arrays are clickable image maps, and the user is provided with increasingly detailed information and larger images as images are selected. At the final selection, the user is presented with a full screen image and text information describing the identity and control recommendations for the problem illustrated. This tool is intended to allow experienced diagnosticians to confirm a problem diagnosis, and to aid less experienced individuals in making proper diagnoses.

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Don C. Wilkerson, Dan R. Lineberger, and Priscilla J. Files

In response to the goals set forth in Target 2000, a long-range environmental plan for the Texas/Floral Industry developed by the TAMU Nursery/Floral Management Team in cooperation with the Texas Association of Nurserymen (TAN), an interactive, World Wide Web-based integrated pest management program (hortIPM) has been developed for commercial nursery and greenhouse growers. The objective of Target 2000 is to assist growers in initiation of innovative cultural and structural practices, which will result in the following changes by the year 2000: 1) reduce water consumption to 1990 levels; 2) reduce current fertilizer and pesticide usage by 50%; 3) lower current energy consumption by 25%; 4) reduce current solid wastes from agricultural plastics by 75%; 5) develop applications for municipal wastes and composted materials for nursery and floral crop production. More so than in any other cropping system, ornamental stock producers apply pesticides on a calendar basis regardless of pest damage to prevent cosmetic injury to their crops, thus reducing their marketability. As justification for this misuse of insecticides, growers cite the extraordinary low damage thresholds associated with their crops. Nursery and floral crops producers that have better access to educational resources and recommendations may be more inclined to follow biologically sound pest management principles. HortIPM is designed as a tool to facilitate access to pest management information and enhance IPM programs already in place. Currently, hortIPM is in the developmental phase, on the cusp of release to a number of sites for preliminary evaluation.

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Amy McFarland, Tina M. Waliczek, Jayne M. Zajicek, and R. Dan Lineberger

A survey was used to investigate gardeners’ and nongardeners’ nutritional attitudes, fruit and vegetable consumption, and nutritional knowledge. The survey was posted for 4 months on one of the largest online resources for Master Gardeners. During the 4 months, 402 responses were gathered. Additionally, identical “paper/pencil” format surveys were distributed to garden, church, and social and community groups with ≈400 responses received. In each group of participants, respondents differentiated themselves as gardeners or nongardeners by responding positively or negatively to the survey question, “do you garden?” No statistically significant relationships were found relating fruit and vegetable consumption to either income level or educational attainment status in the overall sample. Results indicated statistically significant differences in comparisons between gardeners and nongardeners with regards to nutritional attitudes and their consumption of fruit and vegetables where gardeners had more positive nutritional attitude scores and increased consumption of fruit and vegetables. However, no statistically significant differences were found between gardeners’ and nongardeners’ nutritional knowledge.

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Wayne A. Mackay, Steve George, Tim Davis, Mike Arnold, Dan Lineberger, Jerry Parsons, and Larry Stein

The Coordinated Educational Marketing Assistance Program (CEMAP) is one of the oldest marketing assistance programs for ornamentals in the United States. The goal of this program is to identify outstanding plants for Texas and to provide support for the nursery industry, thereby making plants with superior performance available to the people of Texas. The CEMAP program is a cooperative effort between the Texas nursery industry and Texas A&M Univ. The CEMAP Executive Board has eight individuals representing extension, research, and teaching plus two administrative liasions and the Industry Advisory Board has ≈50 members from all segments of the ornamentals industry in Texas. Funding for the CEMAP program comes from direct industry support and from the public through the sale of plant tags or other promotional materials which bear the Texas Superstars logo. The logo is trademarked and licensed to printing companies who handle the administration of royalties to the program. The Executive Board makes the final decision about which plants are designated Texas Superstars. Promotional support for the plants is provided by CEMAP through point of purchase materials and publicity through print, radio, and television. In addition, the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association in cooperation with the Texas Department of Agriculture are conducting a publicity campaign to inform the public about Texas Superstars.