Hongwen Huang and Desmond R. Layne
The pawpaw is the largest tree fruit native to the United States and the only temperate member of the tropical Custard Apple family (Annonaceae). In 1995, Kentucky State Univ. was established as the USDA-ARS-National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Asimina spp. Seedling trees from 400 pawpaw accessions representing 70 distinct geographic regions from 17 states are currently being grown at our research farm. In a preliminary study, 18 pawpaw cultivars were assayed in 30 enzyme systems using an isoelectric focusing polyacrylamide slab gel system of pH 4-9. Twelve enzymes produced high resolution without tissue specificity and were further used for evaluation of allozyme diversity of geographic populations. Degree of genetic diversity within populations and differentiation between populations as evaluated by the expected heterozygosity (He), the proportion of polymorphic loci (P), the average number of alleles per locus (A), chi-squared analysis of allele frequency heterogeneity, Nei's standard genetic distance (D), and identity (I) will be discussed. Dendrograms were generated by cluster analysis using the unweighted pair group method to demonstrate the relationships of geographic populations in the 17 states evaluated. The strategy for germplasm conservation and cultivar development through breeding will also be discussed.
Desmond R. Layne and Guido Schnabel
In 2003, a replicated long-term research trial was established on a commercial peach replant site with a history of Armillaria root rot and other soilborne diseases. The objectives of the trial were to determine the short- and long-term effects of preplant fumigation, rootstock, and preplant root dipping with mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacteria on tree growth, productivity, and survival. Preplant fumigants included none (control), methyl bromide, Telone II, or Enzone. Rootstocks tested included Guardian, Lovell, and Halford. Root dipping (or not) was with MycorTree. The scion cultivar was Big Red. There were a total of 24 experimental treatment combinations and the trial site comprised more than 1500 trees on 11.5 acres. By 2 years after planting, fumigation with Enzone was disadvantageous when compared with no treatment at all. Enzone-treated blocks had higher tree mortality or were significantly reduced in growth compared to other treatments. Preplant fumigation with Telone II or methyl bromide, however, resulted in reduced tree stunting and phytotoxicity and increased tree growth when compared to the untreated control. After 2 years, 10% of the total trees planted were dead. Half of these were from the Enzone treatment. Enzone does not appear to be a viable preplant fumigation product for South Carolina peach growers, based on this preliminary data. Both Guardian and Halford rootstocks had performance superior to Lovell during the first 2 years. Although Guardian trees were smaller than Halford at the time of planting, by the end of the second growing season, their TCA was not significantly different. There was no benefit to preplant root dipping with MycorTree. Experimental results were not influenced by the location of trees on the site.
Desmond R. Layne and R. Neal Peterson
In 1993, PPF and KSU embarked on a joint venture to test within pawpaw's native range many of the commercially available named pawpaw cultivars and PPF's advanced selections. Orchards for RVT were planted in 17 locations from Fall 1995 through Fall 1996 (possibly into 1997) consisting of 300 trees each. At each RVT site, eight replicate trees of each of the 28 grafted scion varieties will be tested in a randomized complete-block design. Named varieties that are secured for testing include Middletown, Mitchell, NC-1, Overleese, PA-Golden, Sunflower, Taylor, Taytwo, Wells, and Wilson. The other 18 clones to be evaluated originated in PPF orchards at the Univ. of Maryland Experiment Stations at Wye and Keedysville. Seedling trees from local native sources were planted around the perimeter as a buffer against edge effects and to allow comparisons with local germplasm. Identical orchards of the RVT are located in the following states: Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky (two sites), Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee (two sites), and the Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China. An orchard of nonidentical design is located in Florida. Additional sites in Connecticut and Chile are contemplated. Variables being studied in the trial include climate, culture, pests, growth, flowering, yield, and fruit characteristics. Trees will be evaluated for several years for yield, year-to-year consistency, regional suitability, etc. At the end of the trial period, regional recommendations will be made. Scion–rootstock compatibility based on percent scion take, scion growth (scion height and cross-sectional area), and first year field data are presented and discussed.
Desmond R. Layne and W.R. Okie
White-fleshed peaches and nectarines are delicacies that have been enjoyed for centuries around the world. They are native to China and were introduced to the United States in the 1800s. Some white-fleshed peaches and nectarines are highly perishable and bruise easily, but are of very high eating quality. These are perhaps best suited for the local roadside market, where they can be sold and consumed more quickly. Others are much firmer at harvest, have a longer shelf life. and are suitable for long-distance transport to wholesale markets. White-fleshed peaches and nectarines may have some acidity or they may be very low acid with high sugar content (°Brix). Some novel flat (peento or donut) types also exist. Proximity to an urban market with a substantial Asian population is advantageous because Asians, in particular, often prefer the low-acid flavor and are willing to pay premium prices for high quality fruits. In our peach and nectarine cultivar evaluation program at Clemson University, we are currently evaluating 70 cultivars and advanced selections at four different locations in South Carolina. Several of these have been evaluated since 2000 and the “top performers” over the last six seasons by ripening date (earliest to latest) include the following: `Sugar May', `Scarletpearl', `Snowbrite', `Southernpearl', `White Lady', `Sugar Lady', `Summer Sweet', `Sugar Giant', `Stark's Summer Pearl', `Snow King', and `Snow Giant'. In general, most of the white nectarines and the flat/donut peaches and nectarines have serious problems with insect damage and brown rot. Complete details of our peach and nectarine (yellow- and white-flesh) evaluation work in South Carolina since 2000 will be noted by referring to my peach website (http://www.clemson.edu/hort/Peach/index.php).
W.R. Okie and Desmond R. Layne
W.R. Okie and Desmond R. Layne
Desmond R. Layne and L.N. Peters
This experiment was designed to determine the optimal light level for growing pawpaw seedlings in the greenhouse. In addition, we wanted to determine if modifying the root-zone would positively impact pawpaw seedling growth and development. Experimental treatments were imposed from seed sowing until the plants were destructively harvested. The experimental design was a split-plot, where blocking was done by position in the greenhouse. The main plot of the experiment was shade. This was accomplished by growing seedlings under a wooden frame covered with shadecloth to reduce incident light intensity received by the plant by 30%, 55%, 80%, or 95%. The control treatment was 0% shade or ambient greenhouse light level. The split-plot was root-zone modification. Half of all growing containers were untreated (control) while the other half were painted with SpinOut™, a commercially available product used to reduce root spiraling in nursery containers. There were 40 replicate seedlings per experimental treatment combination per block. Seedling shoot length and unfolded leaf number was recorded twice a week from seedling emergence until destructive harvest. Whole-plant leaf area was also determined. Leaves, stems, and tap and lateral roots were separated and dried to determine biomass partitioned to the respective organs. Up to 55% shade did not significantly reduce whole-plant biomass, while plants at 80% and 95% shade were stunted. Shade in the greenhouse is not required as was previously thought. Specific leaf mass and lateral root mass decreased as shade increased. Neither tap or lateral root dry weights were significantly affected by root-zone modification. New recommendations for container production of pawpaws in the greenhouse will be discussed.
Kirk Pomper, Sheri Crabtree and Desmond R. Layne
The pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal] is native to the southeastern United States and has potential as a new tree fruit crop. Clonal rootstocks are not currently available for pawpaw cultivars; therefore, nurseries graft cultivars onto rootstock derived from locally available seed. Great variation in rootstock vigor with this seedstock can result in grafted trees that lack vigor and have delayed fruit production. Pawpaw rootstocks that promote precocity would be desirable to growers. The objectives of this study were to determine if rootstock source and pruning system influenced precocity and field establishment of two pawpaw cultivars. In May 2004, a rootstock trial was planted at the Kentucky State University Research Farm that consisted of `Sunflower' and `Susquehanna' budded onto five seedling rootstocks (PA-Golden, Sunflower, Susquehanna, K8-2, and commercially available seed) with either a minimal or central leader pruning system. There were eight replicate blocks with each treatment combination, for a total of 160 trees. In Fall 2005, field mortality was greatest (58%) for `Susquehanna' budded onto Susquehanna seedling rootstock, whereas mortality was about 25% with other scion/rootstock combinations. The number of flower buds present on each tree was evaluated in Feb. 2006. Rootstock and pruning method did not influence the number of trees exhibiting flower buds. However, cultivar did influence the number of trees with flower buds; more trees of `Sunflower' (48%) had flower buds than `Susquehanna' (8%), and `Sunflower' (3.46) had more flower buds per tree than Susquehanna (0.43). Pruning system did influence the number of flower buds per tree; minimal pruned trees (2.65) had more flower buds per tree than central leader (1.21) trained trees.
Desmond R. Layne and J.A. Flore
A series of experiments were conducted with one-year-old potted sour cherry trees to evaluate the effects of source reduction (removal of 70% of the expanded leaves = Defol.) or source enhancement (continuous illumination = C.L.) on source leaf gas exchange. There was a significant increase in net CO2 assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance (gs) of Defol. within one day in contrast to the non-defoliated control (Cont.). Defol. had lower daily dark respiration rates (Rd) and higher A values throughout the 14 h diurnal photoperiod than Cont. Defol. had daily assimilation rates 50% higher than Cont. in as early as 3 days. One month later, specific leaf weight, leaf chlorophyll and A was higher in Defol. Non-defoliated plants were also placed under either a 14 h photoperiod (Cont.) or a 24 h photoperiod (24h). A of 24h was reduced from Cont. by 50% after one day. The diurnal response of A in Cont. was removed when plants were put in C.L. Following 7 days in C.L., 70% defoliation of 24h plants resulted in a complete recovery from photosynthetic inhibition within 48 hours. The short-term effects of source manipulation on photochemical and carboxylation efficiencies, photorespiration and stomatal limitations will also be addressed.