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R.H. Bors and J.A. Sullivan

The potential of using Fragaria vesca L. as a bridge species for interspecific hybridization to F. nilgerrensis Schlect, F. nubicola Lindl., F. pentaphylla Losinsk, and F. viridis Duch. was investigated using a wide germplasm base of 40 F. vesca accessions. This study was successful in producing many hybrids between F. vesca and other diploid species indicating its value as a bridge species. Of the species used as males, F. nubicola, F. pentaphylla, and F. viridis accessions were more successful, averaging 8 to 16 fruit and 16 to 25 seeds/fruit. It was most difficult to obtain hybrids with F. nilgerrensis, which had only three seeds per fruit. Differences among pollen donors were minimal when hybrid seeds were germinated in vitro. For different species combinations, 75% to 99% of seeds had embryos and 77% to 89% of these embryos germinated. The lack of significant differences in crossability variables among the four F. vesca subspecies [i.e., ssp. americana (Porter) Staudt, ssp. bracteata (Heller) Staudt, ssp. vesca L., and ssp. vesca var. semper-florens L.] demonstrated the similarity between these species and the strong potential for gene flow between F. vesca and other diploid species. As European and North American F. vesca subspecies are not sufficiently divergent to differ in interspecific hybridization, F. vesca may be a younger species rather than an older progenitor species.

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Jean-Pierre Privé, J.A. Sullivan and J.T.A. Proctor

`Autumn Bliss', `Heritage' and `Redwing' were grown in a controlled environment setting at three day/night temperature regimes (30/25, 25/20, 20/15C) at either 12 or 16 hour photo periods. Vegetative (height, diameter, node number, leaf area, leaf, cane and root dry weight) and reproductive (precocity, numbers of fruiting laterals, flower number and dry weight) parameters were analyzed. Optimum vegetative growth was obtained when plants were subjected to short photoperiods (12 hrs) and cool (20/15C) or moderate (25/20C) day/night temperatures. Reproductive characteristics were enhanced when grown under long photoperiods (16 hrs) and moderate temperatures. High temperatures (30/25) reduced cane height due to a decrease in internode length with the greatest reduction occurring under long photo periods. Precocity and flowering was enhanced by long photoperiods especially at cool and moderate temperatures. This may have implications for the reproductive potential of these cultivars when grown in north temperate areas where high temperatures are common for most of the summer.

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Annette M. Zatylny, J.T.A. Proctor and J.A. Sullivan

Tissue survival assessments of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.), including cane dieback, bud death, time of cane leaf drop, and growth cessation, were compared to freezing tests of stem portions and buds. Four named cultivars and six Guelph (designated Gu) selections were assessed in the field at two locations in each of two winters and in concurrent controlled freezing tests at one location for one winter. The time of cane leaf drop and of cessation of cane extension growth in the fall were not correlated with field survival. Cane dieback as a percentage of cane length was a better estimate of winter survival than was bud number. Controlled freezing tests of stem portions and buds, and calculation of T40s and T50s indicate that genotypes differed in their relative hardiness throughout the winter. The different methods of field assessment of cold hardiness were well correlated, but not well correlated with controlled freezing tests (4.2% significant correlations). Exclusion of the genotype, Gu 75, which behaved differently in the field than in freezing tests, increased the number of significant correlations to 16.7%.

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David C. Percival, J.T.A. Proctor and J.A. Sullivan

Field experiments including supplementary trickle irrigation (IR), IRT-76 plastic film (PF), and straw mulch (STR) treatments were conducted during 1993 and 1994 to determine the influence of root-zone temperature and soil moisture status on carbon assimilation and dry mass distribution, and soil and plant nutrient content, during the establishment of Rubus idaeus L. `Heritage' primocane-fruiting raspberries. The IR, PF, and STR treatments were reapplied after the 1993 establishment year to examine their effects on an established, hedgerow planting. Physical environment, vegetative and reproductive data were collected. PF increased root and shoot mass, total flower number, and total berries harvested. Maximum leaf net photosynthetic (Pn) rates were observed under cool air temperatures and root-zone temperature of 25 °C. Field Pn measurements indicated that there was no seasonal decline in Pn. Mulch treatments however, were not beneficial to the established (i.e., 2-year-old) hedgerow planting. The root system of the 2-year-old planting was largely confined to an area within the foliage wall and also at a greater depth from the mulch treatments. Therefore, beneficial effects of mulch management on the growth and development of raspberries may be limited to the establishment year.

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Jean-Pierre Privé, J.A. Sullivan and J.T.A. Proctor

Leaf removal, cane girdling, and 14C translocation patterns were used to study source-sink relationships of primocane-fruiting (PF) red raspberries. Although the leaves in the reproductive zone were most important for vegetative and reproductive development, compensatory effects between the cane leaves were evident. When 14C translocation was studied in the reproductive portion of the cane, the lateral closest to the 14C-treated leaf was the major sink for carbohydrate from that leaf, independent of leaf position or reproductive development. Thereafter, partitioning to leaves and/or flowers or fruits above the 14C-treated leaf was related to leaf phyllotaxy 75% of the time.

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Annette M. Zatylny, J.T.A. Proctor and J.A. Sullivan

Two selections and two cultivars of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) were evaluated for cold hardiness in vitro. Tissue-cultured shoots were exposed to temperatures from 0 to –18C and samples were removed at 2C intervals. Injury was assessed by a visual rating of tissue browning after freezing. Only shoots subjected to step-wise acclimation at low temperatures before freezing revealed significant differences among the four types in the lowest shoot survival temperature. Acclimation treatments increased the lowest survival temperatures of in vitro shoots by a mean of 3.1C. The hardiness obtained from this screening method agreed with that of winter survival in the field. Ranking, from the most to least cold hardy, was `Boyne', Gu 72, Gu 63, and `Comox'.

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R. Thomas, J. O'Sullivan, A. Hamill and C.J. Swanton

Processing tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) are grown on ≈6000 ha in southwestern Ontario. Field experiments were conducted in 1998 and 1999 at two locations to explore the potential of alternative tillage practices (conventional, disked, zone-till, and no-till) on growth, development, yield and quality of tomatoes. Growth measurements of leaf number, plant height, stem diameter, total aboveground dry weight, and LAI did not differ with tillage system. Rye (Secale cereale L.) used as a cover crop did not influence tomato growth or development. Yield differences (P < 0.05) were not observed for red and green tomato fruit harvested in the conventional, disked or zone-tillage treatments. Yield reductions (P < 0.05) were observed however, for both red and green fruit with no-tillage. The delay in crop maturity associated with no-till reduced the potential for the application of this tillage practice for tomato production. Tomato postharvest quality did not differ among tillage systems. Zone-tillage was found to be a viable alternative to the moldboard plow as a primary tillage practice for the production of processing tomatoes.

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T.E. Young, J.A. Juvik and J.G. Sullivan

To identify qualitative and quantitative chemical variation in tomato fruit dry matter, crosses were made between the high soluble solids concentration (SSC) line LA 1501 (6.3% SSC when red-ripe) and the nearly isogenic commercial tomato cultivar VF 145B-7879 with a lower SSC (4.4% when red-ripe). Fruit samples from the parents and the reciprocal F1 hybrids were collected at 3-day intervals, from 25 to 52 days after anthesis, to evaluate the accumulation of various quality components throughout the development of the fruit from immature-green to red-ripe stage. Fructose and glucose concentrations, titratable acidity, pH, and percent dry weight (pulp and serum) were determined for each sample on a fresh basis. Fruit maturity was evaluated by puree color using Hunter `a' colorimeter values. Changes in most of the chemical constituents of the fruit were found to regress linearly with changes in fruit color. Regression of puree color against fruit SSC, and fructose, glucose, and total sugar concentrations described more of the observed variability in these components than days after anthesis, indicating that Hunter `a' colorimetric values provide a more precise measurement of fruit physiological age. The variation between the parents in fruit dry matter was found to be primarily due to differences in SSC. The ratio of fruit soluble to total solids concentration increased 23.7% in LA 1501 (from 61.6% to 85.3%) throughout ripening compared to-an increase of only 8.9% (from 66.3% to 75.2%) in `VF 145B-7879'. At the red ripe stage, LA 1501 possessed a 44% higher SSC than `VF 145B-7879'. Differences in fructose and glucose accounted for 41% of the variation in SSC between the two lines. An unidentified component(s) was responsible for the residual variation. Application of the genetic and physiological information generated from this study can be used to isolate and select for genes controlling accumulation of tomato fruit dry matter.

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J.A. Sullivan, Weikai Yan and J.P. Privé

Primocane-fruiting (PF) red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) cultivars are being grown in many regions as their popularity increases. However, testing of this perennial fruit crop is expensive and requires many years. Large genotype (G) × environment (E) interactions can make identification of superior genotypes difficult. The G/G × E (GGE) biplot can be used to measure cultivar performance and group locations into mega-environments. The GGE biplot was applied to yield trial data of three PF red raspberry cultivars Autumn Bliss, Heritage, and Redwing grown in 17 environments (year-location combinations). The 17 environments encompassed six locations in Ontario and Quebec, Canada between 1989 and 1996. `Autumn Bliss' produced the highest yields in 11 of 17 environments. `Heritage' was usually the lowest yielding cultivar. Two mega-environments were identified based on the performance of `Autumn Bliss' and `Redwing'. Some environmental variables were likely to be responsible for the discriminating ability of the test environments as they were correlated with the primary effects. The GGE biplot was an effective analysis to determine mega-environments and the cultivars best adapted to each.

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J.A. Sullivan, B.A. Hale and D.P. Ormrod

Factorial experiments in two growing seasons in open-top field chambers with two or three O3 concentrations and two primocane-fruiting raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) cultivars were used to obtain dose-response relationships describing the effects of seasonal O3 exposure on raspberry plant vegetative and reproductive growth. At the lower concentration (0.12 μl·liter-1), the response to O3 was nonsignificant. However, at 0.24 μl·liter-1, `Heritage' showed a significant decline relative to the control in cane height, node count, cane diameter, and dry weight. These changes were accompanied by a 52% decrease in yield, caused mainly by a reduction in fruit count. In contrast, vegetative and yield characters of the `Redwing' were not affected by O3.