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  • Author or Editor: E. Gomez x
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Agricultural databases have existed in one form or another from time immemorial. However, their usefulness to horticulturists has not been the greatest. Many databases exist today that one can use to research developments in agriculture. However, none exists that allow a horticulturist to rapidly focus on a subject with the assurance that the information is accurate. Accuracy of information, especially that which can readily be used by Extension horticulture specialists and agents, is not guaranteed. The Cooperative Extension System (CES) through several state specialist and the National Program Leader at USDA developed a list of current and available Extension literature on three distinct subjects during the early 1980s. These lists were compiled by the Specialists and were placed in an electronic format (bulletin board) available through the nascent CES electronic network. This effort was abandoned 3 years after inception due to lack of use by CES staff. One of the reasons for not using these lists so as not to reinvent the wheel was that electronic communication at that time was very expensive. Other reasons were that it was cumbersome and did not include text. There was no quality assurance of any kind. In the case of this primitive database in horticulture, personal contacts were much more useful and convenient. Indeed there are many databases that have horticultural subjects included and many more are being created. These are only marginally useful to us in horticulture. There is a shining nova in our horizon today. HortBase offers the best chance we in horticulture, and especially in Extension horticulture programs, have of being able to use data (written and hopefully in other media) that meet our specific requirements. HortBase will be a peer-reviewed accumulation of our experiences and experiments whether in the classroom or in the field. It has a great potential to become one of our best tools for program development and delivery. We in horticulture, whether at the society, national, state, region, or county level, must help in the development and maintenance of this rising star so that it truly reaches its full potential.

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The future competitiveness of any nation, including its agriculture, is inextricably tied to understanding and effectively participating in global markets. Major opportunities exist for farmers to produce, process, and export agricultural products, especially value added products, if they had knowledge of global opportunities. Most of the information and services are available for them to achieve this objective. The Cooperative Extension System (CES) can provide a mechanism to deliver educational programs on global marketing opportunities and training on procedures for capitalizing on these opportunities. County agents from Virginia and California working with their mushroom producers helped them respond to a year round shitake order from the United Kingdom. This has resulted in an ongoing market for these producers. Other similar examples in horticulture will be discussed.

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Abstract

Tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum L. cv. VF 145-21-4) in the greenhouse developed over a 5-week period from seedling to early bloom stage, increased in fresh and dry weight of shoots and roots, in plant height, and internal NO3-N concentration in relation to the NO3 supply of the culture solution. Increases in NO3-N varied among plant parts: roots < stem < petiole > blade. Growth of shoots was related to NO3-N concentration in plant parts. A petiole from a young mature leaf, leaf 2, was the best indicator of N status of the plant. Its critical value for N deficiency was 275 ppm of NO3-N (dry wt) when estimated at a 10% reduction in growth. A tentative critical value for use under field conditions was set at 500 ppm. Movement of NO3 was primarily unidirectional from the petiole to the blade, with little return movement to the stem and upward to younger petioles.

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Abstract

Two jicama (Pachyrrhizus erosus Urban) or yam bean cultivars were grown for 0, 30, or 65 days of natural daylength prior to placement under short days (9-hour natural light, 0800 to 1700 hours) and long days (short day plus 87 watts/m2 incandescent light, from 2200 to 0200 hours). After 10 weeks, fleshy root growth was more rapid and extensive under short days for both cultivars in all pretreatment exposures. After 20 weeks, the relative differences in root dry weight were greater for 0- and 30-day pretreatment and in ‘Cristalina’ than in ‘Agua Dulce’.

Open Access

Abstract

Basal pruning of piñon pine (Pinus edulis Engelm.) stems to a 1.5 m. height markedly increased nut size and percent full nuts but not percent kernel (weight of kernel/weight of nut × 100).

Open Access

Almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] breeding programs require successful techniques for pollen storage. We studied the pollen viability of two almond cultivars, `Ramillete' and `Desmayo Largueta', during 8 weeks of storage, in conditions that simulated standard situations including storage at 4, 22, and 4 °C alternating with 22 °C (4 °C/22 °C). Viability remained at 60% or more for 2 weeks under all three conditions. After the second week, germination capacity decreased rapidly at 22 °C, but remained above 50% for as long as 8 weeks at 4 °C or 4 °C/22 °C.

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The effect of pollinizer on sweet or bitter almond flavor was studied by tasting the seeds obtained from 32 crosses between sweet, bitter, and slightly bitter parents. Out of eight female parents, two were homozygous sweet (`Del Cid' and `Aï'); two were heterozygous sweet (`Marcona' and `Nonpareil'); one heterozygous with an almost undetectable slightly bitter flavor (`Ferrastar'); two heterozygous slightly bitter (`Garrigues' and `Marie Dupuy'); and one bitter homozygous (`S3067', self-compatible clone obtained in CEBAS). Each cultivar was hand-pollinated with four male cultivars: one homozygous sweet (`Ramillete'), one heterozygous sweet (`Atocha'), one heterozygous slightly bitter (`Garrigues'), and one homozygous (`S3067'). Since `Garrigues' is self-incompatible, the cross `Garrigues' × `Garrigues' was replaced by `Garrigues' × `S3065' (slightly bitter clone obtained in CEBAS). Tasting of the seeds resulting from each cross resulted in the complete absence of any influence of pollinizer on flavor, which only depended on the female parent.

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Aspergillus flavus Link. is a filamentous fungus affecting almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] kernels in the field and during storage. This fungus can produce afla-toxins (carcinogenic and immunosuppressive mycotoxins), which prevent the marketability of almond kernels. Aspergillus flavus resistance has not been an objective in conventional almond breeding programs. Because the importance of this disease is increasing, evaluations of cultivar susceptibility are being performed. In this study, the screening for A. flavus resistance in 40 almond genotypes has been carried out in controlled inoculation conditions at 26 °C. Eighteen days after the inoculation, kernels of all the almond cultivars assayed showed susceptibility to A. flavus. Nevertheless, differences among cultivars in the percentage of kernel surface colonized by the fungus were observed. The Spanish cultivar Ramillette was the least susceptible. Susceptibility was not related to the geographic origin of the cultivar.

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Pollen of the California almond cultivars Nonpareil, Ne Plus Ultra, Sonora, and Peerless was evaluated for viability following storage over 12 months at 4, 0, -20, and -80 °C. The proportion of viable pollen exceeded 80% for all cultivars and for all temperatures evaluated after 2 months of storage. Following 12 months of storage at 4 °C, germination decreased to 8% for `Nonpareil', 10% for `Ne Plus Ultra', 50% for `Sonora', with no germination observed for `Peerless'. Storage at sub-freezing temperatures maintained pollen viability above 70% in `Nonpareil', `Ne Plus Ultra', and `Sonora' and above 40% in `Peerless'. Cultivars differed significantly in their tolerance to low temperature pollen storage. Within cultivars, differences in pollen germination following storage at 0, -20, or -80 °C were nonsignificant.

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