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Mary H. Meyer and Helen C. Harrison

Using Native Plants is a 120-min videotape that was developed as a result of a Cooperative Extension Partnership Programming Grant between the Univ. of Minnesota, Minnesota Extension Service and the Cooperative Extension–Univ. of Wisconsin-Extension. The content covers woodland wildflowers, prairie establishment and maintenance, landscaping lakeshores, and using native plants in traditional gardens settings.Video segments include: Eloise Butler Wildflower garden, Minneapolis, Minn.; Curtis Prairie, Madison, Wis.; Big Sandy Lake, Minn.; and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen. Developed originally as advanced Master Gardener training, the program was a national satellite broadcast on 29 Feb. 1996. It was viewed by at least nine states and more than 500 participants. Video production costs, including a 20-page participant's handout with extensive references and plant lists, were just under $13,000. A cost analysis, evaluation, sample of the participant's packet, pictures from the videotape and an order form will be presented. Copies of the tape and print packet may be obtained for $50 from Minnesota Extension Service, 1.800.876.8636, or Univ. of Wisconsin-Extension, at 1.608.262.3346.

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C.L. Boehm, H.C. Harrison, G. Jung and J. Nienhuis

The magnitude of genetic differences among and the heterogeneity within cultivated and wild American ginseng populations is unknown. Variation among individual plants from 16 geographically separated, cultivated populations and 21 geographically separated, wild populations were evaluated using RAPD markers. Cultivated populations from the midwestern U.S., the southern U.S., and Canada were examined. Wild populations from the midwestern U.S., the southern U.S., and the eastern U.S. were examined. Polymorphic bands were observed for 15 RAPD primers, which resulted in 100 scored bands. Variation was found within and among populations, indicating that the selected populations are heterogeneous with respect to RAPD markers. The genetic relationships among individual genotypes were estimated using the ratio of discordant bands to total bands scored. Multidimensional scaling of the relationship matrix showed independent clusters corresponding to the geographical and cultural origins of the populations. The integrity of the clusters were confirmed using pooled chi-squares for fragment homogeneity. Average gene diversity (Hs) was calculated for each population sample, and a one-way analysis of variance showed significant differences among populations. Overall, the results demonstrate the usefulness of the RAPD procedure for evaluating genetic relationships and comparing levels of genetic diversity among populations of American ginseng genotypes.

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C.L. Boehm, H.C. Harrison, G. Jung and J. Nienhuis

Genetic differences among eleven cultivated and eight wild-type populations of North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium L.) and four cultivated populations of South Korean ginseng (P. ginseng C.A. Meyer) were estimated using RAPD markers. Cultivated P. ginseng population samples were collected from four regions of S. Korea. Cultivated P. quinquefolium population samples were collected from three regions in North America: Wisconsin, the Southeastern Appalachian region of the United States, and Canada. Wild-type P. quinquefolium was collected from three states in the United States: Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Evaluation of germplasm with 10 decamer primers resulted in 100 polymorphic bands. Genetic differences among populations indicate heterogeneity. The genetic distance among individuals was estimated using the ratio of discordant bands to total bands scored. Multidimensional scaling of the relationship matrix showed independent clusters corresponding to the distinction of species, geographical region, and wild versus cultivated types. The integrity of the clusters was confirmed using pooled chi-square tests for fragment homogeneity.

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F. Kultur, H.C. Harrison and J.E. Staub

Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) genotypes, Birdsnest 1 [`Qalya' (BN1)], Birdsnest 2 (BN2), and `Mission' (V) were used to determine the effects of differing plant architecture and spacing on fruit sugar concentration and yield. The BN1 and BN2 genotypes possessed a highly branched growth habit specific to birdsnest melon types, but not characteristic of standard indeterminate vining types (e.g., `Mission'). Experiments were conducted at both the Hancock and Arlington Experimental Farms in Wisconsin, where plant response to two within-row spacings [35 cm (72,600 plants/ha) and 70 cm (36,300 plants/ha)] in rows on 210-cm centers was examined. Genotypes were grown in a randomized complete-block design with four replications at each location and evaluated for primary lateral branch number, fruit number per plant and per hectare, average fruit weight, yield per plant (g), yield per hectare (t), and fruit sugar concentration. Yield, fruit number, and sugar concentration were higher for all genotypes at Arlington than at Hancock. The main effect of genotype was significant for all traits examined. Genotypes BN1 and V had higher mean fruit weight, yield per plant and per hectare, and fruit quality (fruit sugar concentration) than did BN2. Spacing affected all traits, except primary branch number and fruit sugar concentration. Fruit number and yield per plant and average fruit weight were higher with wider spacing, but yield (t·ha-1) and fruit number per hectare were lower.

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D.R. La Bonte, H.F. Harrison and C.E. Motsenbocker

The objective of this study was to identify a sweetpotato canopy type ideally suited to suppress weed growth. With this knowledge, breeders could select sweetpotatoes that require less weed control. Diverse canopy types, ranging from upright, short-internode bunch types to long-internode trailing types, were compared in a split-plot design (hand-weeded and weed treatments). We also included lines with deeply lobed leaves (palmate) and more entire-leaf types. Our results show no significant differences between lines for total ground surface area covered after 6 weeks of growth, no differences in weed dry weight at harvest and few differences in canopy dry weight at harvest. Total ground surface area covered correlated positively with total yield, and weed dry weight correlated negatively to total yield. We were unable to identify individual lines that yield better when pressured with weeds compared to the hand-weeded control, but we were able to identify lines that yield poorly when pressured with weeds compared to the hand-weeded control. These results demonstrate the difficulty in categorically identifying a superior canopy.

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F. Kultur, H.C. Harrison and J.E. Staub

Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) genotypes, Birdsnest 1 [`Qalya' (BN1)], Birdsnest 2 (BN2), and `Mission' (V) were used to determine the effects of plant architecture and spacing on fruit sugar concentration and yield. The BN1 and BN2 genotypes possessed a highly branched growth habit specific to birdsnest melon types but not characteristic of standard indeterminate vining types (e.g., `Mission'). Experiments were conducted at the Hancock (sandy soil, <1% organic matter) and Arlington (heavy, praire loam soil, >4% OM) Experimental Farms in Wisconsin. Plant response to two within-row spacings [35 cm (72,600 plants/ha) and 70 cm (36,300 plants/ha)] in rows on 210-cm row centers was examined. Genotypes were grown in a randomized complete-block design with four replications at each location and evaluated for primary lateral branch number, fruit number per plant, fruit number per hectare, average fruit weight, yield (g) per plant, yield (MT) per hectare, and fruit sugar concentration. All genotypes produced higher yield, fruit number and sugar concentration on the mineral soil at Arlington compared to the sands at Hancock. The main effect of genotypes was significant for all traits examined. BN1 and V genotypes had greater yield (gram per plant, yield per hectare, and average fruit weight) as well as higher fruit quality (fruit sugar concentration) than the BN2 genotype. Spacing affected all traits examined except primary branch number and fruit sugar concentration. As withinrow spacing increased from 35 to 70 cm, fruit number per plant, yield per plant and average fruit weight increased. However, yield (MT) per hectare and fruit number per hectare decreased. Fertility was adjusted according to soil tests for the two different soil types at the two farm locations.

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J.M. Quintana, H.C. Harrison, J.P. Palta, J. Nienhuis and K. Kmiecik

To measure the effect of added Ca fertilizer on the Ca concentration of snap bean pods, four snap bean cultivars were grown during Summer 1996 and 1997 at Hancock, Wis. Fertilizer treatments consisted of 80 kg of Ca per hectare applied as Ca sulfate (CaSO4·2H2O) or Ca nitrate [Ca(NO3)2], and the control (no Ca applied. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with a factorial set of treatments (4 × 3). Calcium sulfate was applied at planting, whereas Ca nitrate was split applied four times at weekly intervals starting 1 week before flowering. Yield and Ca concentration in pods were determined. The statistical analysis showed no significant effect of Ca fertilizers on pod Ca concentration or yield. A strong cultivar effect was detected for both parameters measured. `Evergreen' (5.47 mg Ca per gram dry weight) had the highest pod Ca concentration and `Labrador' (4.10 mg Ca per gram dry weight) the lowest. No significant fertilizer × cultivar interactions were observed. Results for pod Ca concentration remained consistent, even when significant year effects were found for both parameters.

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J.M. Quintana, H.C. Harrison, J. Nienhuis, J.P. Palta and K. Kmiecik

This study was designed to compare snap and dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) for pod Ca concentration, and to identify genetic resources that might be useful in breeding programs directed to increase Ca concentration in bean pods. Pods from eight snap bean and eight dry bean cultivars were evaluated for Ca concentration during 1995 and 1996 at Hancock, Wis. A randomized complete-block design was utilized with three replications in 1995 and six in 1996. Beans were planted in June and hand-harvested in August for both experiments. Soil Ca at planting time was 580 mg·kg–1 in 1995 and 500 mg·kg–1 in 1996. No additional Ca was added. Plots consisted of 10 plants each. At harvest, a pooled sample of 10 to 15 size no. 4 pods was collected from each plot. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry was used to determine Ca content. Significant differences (P ≤ 0.01) were detected among and within bean types (dry and snap). Although bean type × year interaction was nonsignificant, a strong year effect was observed (P ≤ 0.01). Snap beans (4.6 ± 0.7 mg·g–1 dry weight) had significantly higher pod Ca concentration than did dry beans (4.2 ± 0.6 mg·g–1 dry weight). Within snap beans, `Checkmate' had the highest pod Ca concentration (5.5 ± 0.3 mg·g–1 dry weight) and `Nelson' the lowest (3.8 ± 0.3 mg·g–1 dry weight). Within dry beans, `GO122' had the highest (5.1 ± 0.4 mg·g–1 dry weight) and `Porrillo 70' the lowest pod Ca concentration (3.6 ± 0.3 mg·g–1 dry weight). Six cultivars had pod Ca concentrations significantly (P ≤ 0.01) higher than the overall mean (4.4 ± 0.3 mg·g–1 dry weight).

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J.M. Quintana, H.C. Harrison, J. Nienhuis, J.P. Palta, K. Kmiecik and E. Miglioranza

To understand the genetics that control pod Ca concentration in snap beans, two snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) populations consisting of 60 genotypes, plus 4 commercial cultivars used as checks, were evaluated during Summers 1995 and 1996 at Hancock, Wis. These populations were CA2 (`Evergreen' × `Top Crop') and CA3 (`Evergreen' × `Slimgreen'). The experimental design was an 8×8 double lattice repeated each year. No Ca was added to the plants grown in a sandy loam soil with 1% organic matter and an average of 540 ppm Ca. To ensure proper comparison for pod Ca concentration among cultivars, only commercial sieve size no. 4 pods (a premium grade, 8.3 to 9.5 mm in diameter) were sampled and used for Ca extractions. After Ca was extracted, readings for Ca concentration were done via atomic absorption spectrophotometry. In both populations, genotypes and years differed for pod Ca concentration (P = 0.001). Several snap bean genotypes showed pod Ca concentrations higher than the best of the checks. Overall mean pod Ca concentration ranged from a low of 3.82 to a high of 6.80 mg·g-1 dry weight. No differences were detected between the populations. Significant year×genotype interaction was observed in CA2 (P = 0.1), but was not present in CA3. Population variances proved to be homogeneous. Heritability for pod Ca concentration ranged from 0.48 (CA2) to 0.50 (CA3). Evidently enhancement of pod Ca concentration in beans can successfully be accomplished through plant breeding.

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J.M. Quintana, H.C. Harrison, J.P. Palta, J. Nienhuis, K. Kmiecik and E. Miglioranza

Two commercial snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivars (Hystyle and Labrador) that differ in pod Ca concentration were grown aeroponically to assess physiological factors associated with these differences. Xylem flow rate, Ca absorbed, and Ca concentration in sieve sap and pods (all and commercial size no. 4) were measured. Flow rate, Ca absorption and pod Ca concentration, but not sap Ca concentration, differed between cultivars, and this suggests that genetic variability in pod Ca concentration is caused mainly by differences in flow rate, rather than differences in sap Ca concentration. `Hystyle' showed 1.6 times greater flow rate, 1.5 times greater pod Ca concentration, and 1.7 times greater Ca absorbed than `Labrador'. Flow rate correlated positively with Ca absorbed (R = 0.90), Ca concentration in pods of size no. 4 (R = 0.55), and total pods (R = 0.65). Plant maturity influenced sap Ca concentration and Ca translocated increased as plant matured. These results provide evidence that flow rate differences may cause variability for pod Ca concentration in snap beans.