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Hazel Y. Wetzstein

Commercial pesticide formulations of triphenyltin hydroxide, benomyl plus triphenyltin hydroxide, and phosalone completely inhibited pollen germination of pecan [Carya illinoensis Wangenh C. Koch] when incorporated in in vitro germination media at one-fourth to one times the recommended rates. Scanning electron microscopic evaluations of spray effects on receptive stigmatic surfaces showed varying degrees of injury, ranging from minor surface wrinkling with triphenyltin hydroxide to severe collapse and degeneration of stigma papillae with phosalone treatments. Controlled pollinations 1 hour after pesticide sprays resulted in an inhibition of pollen germination and tube growth. Water sprays followed by pollination resulted in normal pollen adherence, hydration, and germination. Chemical names used: methyl[1-[(butylamino)carbonyl]-1H-benzimidazol-2-yl]carbamate (benomyl); S-[(6-chloro-2-oxo-3-(2H)-benzoxazolyl)methyl] 0,0-diethyl phosphorodithioate (phosalone).

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Ni Lee and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

Plantlets were recovered from axillary bud cultures of muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia, `Summit'). Nodal segments 0.5 to 1.0 cm long were cultured in Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium supplemented with 5, 10, 20, or 40 μm BA. Best total shoot production was obtained with 10 μm BA; with higher BA levels, shoots were unexpanded and exhibited high mortalities. MS medium supplemented with IBA enhanced rooting by increasing rooting percentage and number per plantlet. Shoots previously proliferated on medium with 5 μm BA rooted significantly better than those multiplied on 10 μM BA. Shoot vigor during rooting was greater in shoots proliferated on 5 vs. 10 μm BA. Root development was not significantly affected by liquid vs. agar-solidifted medium or shoot length. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl) -1H-purin-6-amine (BA), 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).

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Tehryung Kim and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

It has been shown that perennial woody plants exhibit marked seasonal changes in nutrient content, carbon metabolism, and organ development. A knowledge of seasonal nutrient allocation and temporal accumulation patterns can be useful in the development of fertilization regimes that reflect the biology of a tree crop. Maintenance of optimum leaf nutrient status is an important priority in pecan cultural practice. However, a systematic evaluation of nutrient resorption is lacking in pecan. In this work, seasonal changes in nutrients and carbohydrates were evaluated in pecan trees grown under orchard conditions. In addition, resorption efficiencies of eight pecan cultivars were evaluated. Significant levels of resorption were observed in all essential elements, but cultivar differences were not significant. Seasonal patterns of nutrient and carbohydrate content in leaf, stem, and shoot tissue, will be presented as well as a structural evaluation of abscission zone formation.

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Tehryung Kim and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

Zinc deficiency is a widespread nutritional disorder in plants and occurs in both temperate and tropical climates. In spite of its physiological importance, cytological and ultrastructural changes associated with zinc deficiency are lacking, in part because zinc deficiency is difficult to induce. A method was developed to induce zinc deficiency in pecan (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch) using hydroponic culture. Zinc deficiency was evaluated in leaves using light and electron microscopy. Zinc deficiency symptoms varied with severity ranging from interveinal mottling, overall chlorosis, necrosis, and marginal curving. Zinc deficient leaves were thinner, and palisade cells were shorter, wider, and had more intercellular spaces than zinc sufficient leaves. Cells in zinc deficient leaves had limited cytoplasmic content and accumulated phenolic compounds in vacuoles. Extensive starch accumulation was observed in chloroplasts. This work represents the first detailed microscopic evaluations of zinc deficiency in leaves, and provides insight on how zinc deficiency affects leaf structure and function.

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Hazel Y. Wetzstein and Amnon Levi.

Embryogenesis in higher plants follows a standard developmental program with sequential stages of histodifferentiation, maturation (reserve deposition), and postabscission (desiccation and rapid decline in metabolic activity). In this study, morphological, physiological and anatomical characteristics were integrated to demarcate the developmental stages of pecan embryos. Fruit were collected, morphological characteristics were recorded, fresh and dry weights, and water content of embryos were determined, and embryos were prepared for microscopic study. The procedures used here can be a useful guide for characterizing embryo development in pecan and related species.

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Weiguang Yi and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

Herbs have been long known to provide health-promoting benefits and are demonstrated to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, analgesic, and antitumor activities. This study evaluated the effects of drying conditions and extraction protocols on the biochemical activity of three culinary and medicinal herbs: rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), and peppermint (Mentha piperita). Leaf tissues were dried by sun, oven-dried at 40 °C, or oven-dried at 70 °C and extracted using 80% methanol or 80% ethanol. Total polyphenol (TPP) using the Folin-Ciocalteu reagent method and antioxidant capacity using the Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assay were determined. Both drying and extraction conditions significantly impacted TPP content and TEAC in the three herb species. Sun-dried or 40 °C oven-dried herbs exhibited significantly higher TPP content and TEAC capacity than fresh samples, suggesting low-temperature drying may be a good postharvest means to store medicinal/culinary herbs. Exposure to 70 °C oven-drying caused significant antioxidant loss. In addition, the current study showed that with fresh tissue, 80% ethanol extraction had significantly higher TPP and TEAC than 80% methanol extraction for all three herbs, yet for dried herbs, the efficacy of ethanol/methanol extraction varied with different drying treatments.

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Warner Orozco-Obando* and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

The general doctrine of flowering in Hydrangea is that floral induction occurs during the previous season on last year's growth and usually at the stem's terminal bud. However, Hydrangea cultivars widely differ in their relative abundance and duration of flower production. The objective of this study was to determine how developmental flowering patterns compare among different genotypes. Flowering was characterized in 18 H. macrophylla cultivars by assessing the extent of flower initiation and development in terminal and lateral buds of dormant shoots (i.e., after they have received floral inductive conditions.) Plants were managed under outdoor conditions. Dormant, 1-year-old stems were collected and characterized for caliper and length. All buds >2 mm were dissected and the vegetative or floral bud stage of development was categorized for each bud microscopically. Flower development occurred in 100% of the terminal buds for all the cultivars with the exception of `Ayesha' (33%). In contrast, lateral buds showed a wide variation in flower development. For example: `All Summer Beauty', `David Ramsey', `Kardinal', `Masja', and `Nightingale' showed high levels of floral induction (>92 % of lateral buds induced.) In contrast, `Ayesha', `Blushing Pink', `Freudenstein', and `Nigra' had 10% or fewer lateral buds with floral initials. Thus, the degree of floral induction in lateral buds varied tremendously among different cultivars. In addition, flower initiation and development were not related to the size (length and caliper) of individual buds. Thus, bud size does not appear to be a good indicator of flowering potential.

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Hazel Y. Wetzstein and S. Edward Law

Pollination is essential in the production of many agricultural crops. Insufficient pollination can lead to reduced yield and lower harvest quality in many fruit and vegetables. Recent declines in insect pollinators and the use of cultural systems where compatible pollen is limiting have caused pollen-related production problems in many crops. Supplemental mass pollination (SMP) may be beneficial in such cases. However, the high cost of pollen may prohibit its use unless pollen is efficiently and uniformly applied. Our objective was to evaluate the feasibility of using selected dry particulate materials as pollen diluents for SMP. Viability was assessed in apple pollen mixed and held with selected powders (i.e., two formulations of Rilsan® nylon, polyester resin, diatomaceous earth, wheat flour, and CaCO3). Also, an assessment of inhibitory substances was made using in vitro germination tests with extracts obtained from liquid suspensions of the different particulates. Several powders, viz., Rilsan® nylon formulations, polyester resin, and wheat flour were identified as nontoxic to pollen held for 1 h as dry pollen: particle mixtures. Likewise, leachates from these diluents had no significant effect on pollen germination. Diatomaceous earth exhibited slight, but statistically significant, inhibitory effects on germination, while CaCO3 completely inhibited germination. The morphology and size of particulates were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy and will be discussed vis-a-vis pollen dispersion and metering requirements.

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Hazel Y. Wetzstein and Choong-Suk Kim

Although somatic embryogenesis in vitro has been carried out successfully in a number of plants, a limiting factor in many somatic embryogenic systems is that plantlet regeneration is not obtainable or restricted to low frequencies. We have developed a repetitive, high frequency somatic embryogenic system in pecan (Carya illinoensis) and have identified effective treatments for improved somatic embryo conversion. A 6 to 10 week cold treatment followed by a 5 day desiccation, promoted enhanced root germination and extension, and epicotyl elongation. Light and transmission electron microscopic evaluations of somatic embryo cotyledon development will be presented and related to conversion enhancing treatments and their possible roles in embryo maturation.

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Hazel Y. Wetzstein and S. Edward Law

Ozone is a highly oxidizing phytotoxic air pollutant, whose effects are documented to adversely affect crop growth and productivity. In contrast to the large body of published work investigating the effects of atmospheric ozone on outdoor agronomic and forestry crops, relatively few studies have addressed the effects of ozone exposure on greenhouse-grown crops. Outdoor concentrations of ozone can commonly attain concentrations in the 50–150 ppb range, which are known to detrimentally impact plant growth. The objective of this study was to characterize ozone exposure in commercial greenhouses as a prelude to the determination of dose–response effects on specific greenhouse crops and the development of ozone abatement methods, if appropriate. This study documented the levels and diurnal fluctuations in atmospheric ozone concentrations over two annual June–October “ozone seasons.” Measurements were taken every 10 min. for both indoor and outdoor ozone concentration, solar radiation, and temperature. Unexpectedly, indoor ozone concentrations often exhibited elevated levels that were 25% to 35% higher than outdoor concentrations, even in well-ventilated houses. These findings suggest that additional ozone production may occur within the greenhouse environment. Evaluations of causative factors and ozone effects on commercial crop production are warranted.