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Gene J. Galletta

This review briefly summarizes the status of the Southern strawberry industries during the 20th century. Objectives, contributions, and personnel of the Southern state and federal improvement programs are presented. The future of the southern strawberry industries and their reduced number of breeding programs are predicted, with emphasis on the objectives which may have to be altered to accommodate new and continuing problems.

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Shiow Y. Wang and Gene J. Galletta

The effect of silicon (Si) foliar applications on metabolic changes and powdery mildew infection in strawberry plants were determined. Silicon was used in the forms of potassium (K) and sodium (Na) salts. Foliar sprays containing 0, 250, 500, 750, and 1000 ppm of Si were applied. Strawberry plants showed no difference in response to the K or Na salts of Si during the seven weeks of experimental period. Plants treated with potassium and sodium silicate showed reduced severity of powdery mildew, increased chlorophyll content, and increased plant growth. Potassium and sodium silicate treatments also induced metabolic changes such as an increase in citric acid and malic acid levels, and a decrease in fructose, glucose, sucrose, and myoinositol content. The treated tissues also had higher ratios of (18:2 + 18:3)/18:1 in glycolipids and phospholipids and elevated amounts of membrane lipids in leaves and petioles. These results suggest that Si has beneficial effects on strawberry plants and may serve as an alternative to fungicides for controlling powdery mildew.

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John L. Maas and Gene J. Galletta

Bacterial angular leafspot disease (BALD) of strawberry, caused by Xanthomonas fragariae, a slow-growing and often difficult pathogen to isolate from infected plants, is most commonly manifested as small discrete, angular, translucent lesions on leaves and sepals. As the bacteria infect systemically, plants may wilt and die. BALD has become increasingly important in North America and other strawberry-growing areas of the world. The systemic nature of the pathogen also is cause for concern with international shipment of strawberry plants, especially because there is no practical method for determining the presence of the bacteria in symptomless, infected plants, nor is there a practical method of chemical control. All cultivars of Fragaria × ananassa (8×) are susceptible to BALD, although a range of susceptibility is often apparent in plantings. Resistant genotypes have been reported among clones of F. virginiana (8×), F. moschata (6×), and F. vesca (2×). A program has been initiated to evaluate native octoploid and diploid strawberry germplasm for resistance to BALD.

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Joseph A. Fiola, Gojko Jelenkovic, and Gene Galletta

The major objective of the NJUS Strawberry Breeding Program is the development of early ripening cultivars with excellent fruit flavor and size for production under conventional matted-row, and high density annual production systems. In the 1993 replicated Step 3 trials (1991; 1992 planted), sixteen selections had higher yield than `Earliglow' (8127, 11312 kg/Ha), ranging from 8433 kg/Ha to 13334 kg/Ha. Thirty-one had higher weighted average fruit weight (WAFW) over the season than `Earliglow' (8.8 g; 8.4 g), ranging from 9.0 g to 12.3 g.

Selection for phenotype best suited for annual stem includes: low runnering, strong vigor, earliness, and large fruit size. In 1993 harvested Step III, four selections had comparable or higher yield (range: 12,866 to 27,128 kg/Ha) than `Chandler' (12,950 kg/Ha), as well as larger primary and WAFW (range: 13.5 to 16.4 g). All selections were significantly earlier than `Chandler'. In summary, the NJUS Strawberry Breeding Program has selections for the matted-row and annual production systems which are early, with excellent fruit flavor, size, and firmness for fresh market production.

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James J. Luby, David K. Wildung, and Gene J. Galletta

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John L. Maas, Gene J. Galletta, and Barbara J. Smith

We have determined in tests conducted both at Beltsville and Poplarville that several strawberry isolates of Colletotrichum acutatum, C. gloeosporioides and C. fragariae produce toxin-like compounds in culture. Crude culture filtrates (CFI elicited general and specific responses in tomato and strawberry plants. Tomato plants initially were used because they are highly responsive to toxins in general, whereas the reaction of strawberry plants apparently is greatly affected by environmental and nutritional growing conditions of the test plant. Toxin symptoms included leaf chlorosis and wilting, leaf midvein darkening, and plant death when CF was applied to leaves or if seedlings or petioles were immersed into CF. Juvenile tissues appear to be more susceptible to the effects of the toxins than mature tissue. No differences in response to culture filtrates were apparent among those from the Colletotrichum isolates. The putative toxins appear to act differentially with susceptible or resistant strawberry germplasm.

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Arlen D. Draper, Gene J. Galletta, Nicholi Vorsa, and Gojko Jelenkovic

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John L. Maas, Gene J. Galletta, and Gary D. Stoner

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John L. Maas, Shiow Y. Wang, and Gene J. Galletta

Ellagic acid in tissue extracts of green and red-ripe strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) was detected and quantified by HPLC. Ellagic acid content of green fruit pulp ranged from 1.32 to 8.43 mg·g-1 of tissue dry weight (mean 3.36 mg·g-l) and in achenes of green fruit from 1.32 to 20.73 mg·g-1 (mean 7.24). Ellagic acid content of red fruit pulp at one location for 35 cultivars and selections ranged from 0.43 to 4.64 mg·g-1 of dry weight (mean 1.55) and from 0.43 to 3.47 mg·g-l (mean 1.45) for 15 clones at another location. Achenes from red-ripe fruit ranged from 1.37 to 21.65 mg·g-1 (mean 8.46) for 34 clones at one location and from 2.81 to 18.37 mg·g-1 (mean 8.93) for 15 clones at another location. Leaf ellagic acid content ranged from 8.08 to 32.30 mg·g-1 of dry weight (mean 14.71) for 13 clones examined. Large differences in ellagic acid content were found among cultivars, but tissue values were not consistent within cultivars. Values from one tissue type did not correlate consistently with values of the other tissues. Sufficient variation was found among cultivars to suggest that increased ellagic acid levels may be achieved in progeny from crosses with selected parental material.

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Shiow Y. Wana, John L. Maas, and Gene J. Galletta

Ellagic acid, a putative anticarcinogenic compound, was detected in plants of mayhaw (Crataegus spp.), false strawberry (Duchesnea indica), strawberry (Fragaria spp.), black currant (Ribes nigrum), thornless blackberry (Rubus subgenus Eubatus), red raspberry (Rubus subgenus Idaeobatus), and cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon). Large differences in ellagic acid contents have been found among species and cultivars and also among tissues. Ellagic acid content in plant tissues is also affected by environmental factors and shows a seasonal variation in strawberry leaves. A decrease in ellagic acid content of leaves was associated with seasonal decreases in photoperiod and temperature from September to December. Ellagic acid content in the leaves of red raspberry infected with orange rust showed more than a 3-fold increase compared to healthy leaves.