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Gina E. Fernandez, Laura M. Butler and Frank J. Louws

Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) `Chandler' plants from three sources were grown in the annual hill plasticulture system during two growing seasons (1996-97 and 1997-98). These trials evaluated the yield and vegetative performance of bareroot plants from Prince Edward Island and Ontario, Canada, and plug plant tips that were rooted in North Carolina but obtained from Ontario Canada. At the end of the season, total and marketable yields and fruit weight were not different among the plant sources. In addition, plants from all three plant sources produced equivalent yields on a weekly basis. Monthly whole plant harvests revealed that plant source did not affect leaf area, root, crown, leaf, flower or fruit dry weight during most of the growing season. In addition, plant growth parameters (specific leaf area, leaf area ratio, leaf weight ratio, and root to shoot ratio) in general did not differ among plant source in any 1 month. Plant growth did show shifts in dry weight allocation and leaf area as the season progressed that were uniform among plant sources, with the majority of the growth occurring in the spring in the two months prior to harvest. This uniformity among plant sources will allow future research to emphasize plant production practices that may reduce the risk of pest and disease problems or optimize production practices favored by growers.

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Gina E. Fernandez, James R. Ballington and Susan J. Bryson

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Gina E. Fernandez, Laura M. Butler and Frank J. Louws

The growth and development of three strawberry cultivars commonly grown in a plasticulture system were documented. Strawberry plants were harvested monthly and divided by roots, crown, leaves, flowers, and fruit and then dried in an oven. The dry matter production and resource allocation proceeded along a predictable pattern of development. The establishment phase was characterized by an active period of growth of root, crown and leaves in the fall. Through the winter, the plants underwent slow growth, ending in a transition period in the late winter/early spring when resources were allocated to both vegetative and reproductive growth. In the spring, all plant parts received significantly increased allocation of, or redistribution of, resources. Cultivars of California origin, `Chandler' and `Camarosa', displayed similar trends in yield, dry matter production, seasonal resource allocation, and growth analysis variables throughout the season. `Sweet Charlie', a cultivar from Florida, showed lower dry matter accumulation and relative growth rate in the spring, higher harvest index and lower yield than the California cultivars.

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R. Thomas Fernandez, Robert E. Schutzki and Kelly J. Prevete

Responses of Magnolia ×soulangiana (Soul.-Bod.) `Jane' (`Jane' saucer magnolia) to consecutive short term pretransplant drought stresses and recovery after transplanting were evaluated beginning October 1997 and June 1998. Plants were subjected to one (mild) or two (moderate) 3-day drought stress periods or a two 3-day and one 4-day (severe) drought stress period, each separated by two rewatering periods over 24 hours. One day after each stress period, plants were transplanted into the field and well watered to monitor recovery from stress. Plant response was determined by measuring whole-plant CO2 assimilation, leaf gas exchange (CO2 assimilation, transpiration, stomatal conductance) and canopy growth throughout stress and recovery periods. Whole-plant and leaf CO2 assimilation were lower for the stressed treatments for most of the measurements taken during stress in the fall and spring. After release from stress and transplanting, leaf CO2 assimilation returned to control levels for mild and moderate fall stresses within 2 to 3 d by the next measurement, while it was over 3 weeks until recovery from the severe stress. There was no difference in leaf gas exchange following release from stress and transplanting during the spring stress. More rapid defoliation occurred for the severe fall-stressed plants compared to the controls after release from stress in the fall. Flower number was reduced in spring for the fall-stressed plants. At termination of the experiment, the growth index was lower for severe fall-stressed plants but there were no differences for other fall stress treatments. There was no increase in growth for control or stressed plants for the spring experiment.

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C.E. Greer, R.E. Schutzki, A. Fernandez and J.F. Hancock

Starch gel electrophoresis was used to fingerprint 55 Taxus plants, listed as 21 species and/or cultivars. Plants were analyzed for six enzymes, representing eight putative loci. Within many of the cultivars, different fingerprints were observed, indicating nomenclatural errors in Taxus.

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M.S. Hernandez, H.E. Arjona, O. MartÌnez, M.S. Hernandez and J.P. Fernandez-Trujillo

Araza (Eugenia stipitata Mc Vaugh) is a plant from the Myrtaceae family originated from Amazonia. The postharvest behavior of its promissory fruit has been sparingly studied. Weight loss, softening, decay, and chilling injury (skin scald) at temperatures below 10-12 °C limits its shelf-life to less than 10 days. The application of calcium pretreatments slightly improved flesh firmness after 7 days at 20 °C and resulted in skin injury, particularly at concentrations higher than 4% (w/v). A warming treatment of 6, 12 or 18 h at 20 °C was applied to fruit after 6 d storage at 10 °C. Treated fruit had less scald, suppressed decay, and ripened normally after a total of 2 weeks of storage and a shelf life of 3 days.

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Leonor F.S. Leandro, Lisa M. Ferguson, Frank J. Louws and Gina E. Fernandez

Strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duchnesne) growth and productivity were compared in fumigated and nonfumigated production systems. Strawberry transplants grown in potting mix amended with Trichoderma hamatum (Bonord.) Bainier, strain T382, Trichoderma harzianum Rifai, strain T22, or untreated, were planted in field plots treated with compost, compost amended with T. hamatum strain T382, Telone-C35, or not treated. Plants were sampled throughout the growing season, and dry weights of roots, crowns, leaves, flowers and fruit, leaf area, and total and marketable yield were determined. Trichoderma amendments to the potting mix improved plant dry weight and leaf area of strawberry transplants in the first year and suppressed root rot incidence in the second year but did not affect plant growth or disease incidence once the plants were set in the field. Field plants in fumigated plots had greater root, leaf, and crown dry weights, leaf area, and yield compared with plants in the other soil treatments. We conclude that Trichoderma amendments (1) alone had little benefit to plug plant growth and (2) in combination with compost, had no benefit to strawberry plant growth in the field. The task remains to develop a reliable and sustainable strawberry production system that does not rely on chemical fumigants.

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Ana Morales-Sillero, R. Jiménez, J.E. Fernández, A. Troncoso and G. Beltrán

We report the results of a study carried out in a ‘Manzanilla de Sevilla’ olive orchard near Seville, Spain, where the influence of different fertigation treatments on oil chemical composition was considered. Four treatments were established: control (no fertilizer) and T200, T400, and T600 in which each tree, respectively, received 200, 400, or 600 g N per irrigation season of a 4N–1P–3K complex fertilizer applied daily from 1999 to 2003. Results shown here correspond to the last 2 years of the experiment, 2002 and 2003. Fruits were sampled at the beginning of ripeness at the “green” stage. Fruit water content increased with the amount of fertilizer, probably because of the increase of potassium in the pulp. Oil content was unaffected by the treatments, but oil yield increased with the fertilizer dose in 2003 as a result of the number of fruits per tree. Polyphenol content, which is related to antioxidant oil capacity, K225 (bitterness), and oxidative stability were lower in the oils made from trees receiving greater fertilizer doses. The monounsaturated fatty acid content, in particular oleic acid, decreased with increasing amounts of applied fertilizers, whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular linoleic acid, increased with it.

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A. Morales-Sillero, R. Jiménez, J.E. Fernández, A. Troncoso and L. Rejano

Table olive quality was analyzed in adult ‘Manzanilla de Sevilla’ olive trees subjected to different N–P–K fertigation treatments through five years (1999–2003). A randomized block design with four fertigation treatments was established: irrigated without fertilizer (control), and T200, T400, and T600 treatments, in which each tree was respectively fertigated with 200, 400, and 600 g N per irrigation season of a complex 4N–1P–3K fertilizer applied daily. Fruit yield and fruit physical characteristics and chemical composition were studied in 2002 and 2003. Fruit analysis realized in 2002 showed that the fruit pulp/stone ratio and water content increased with the amount of applied fertilizer. In 2003, a similar trend was found for fruit yield, weight, pulp/stone ratio, volume, longitudinal and transversal diameters, and fruit water and potassium concentrations. On the contrary, the concentration of reducing sugars; Ca, Na, and B; and the fruit texture decreased linearly with the fertilizer dose in 2003. No differences between treatments in fruit and stone shape, or stone volume or polyphenols concentration were found. On the other hand, the effect of the treatments on fruit browning damage was studied in 2003, as well as the fruit quality after “Spanish-style” green processing. In spite of the differences in fruit composition and texture, the fertigation treatments did not affect browning damage. After Spanish-style processing, differences between treatments in fruit weight and texture were again observed, but color, brown spots, and blistering incidence were not modified.