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  • Author or Editor: J.E. Thompson x
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Putative resistance to the blackmargined aphid (Monellia caryella Fitch) in `Pawnee' pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] was first noted in greenhouse tests by rating cultivars for relative amounts of honeydew on adaxial leaf surfaces. This resistance was confirmed in two field tests monitored from mid-June to mid-October. `Pawnee' supported significantly lower aphid populations during every rating period when relatively large numbers of these insects were present. `Navaho' also showed resistance, with `Desirable' having intermediate resistance and `Stuart' being very susceptible. Insect populations were also monitored on the four quadrants of each tree, with quadrant effect being significant in only one test. This test had the highest populations on the western quadrant and lowest populations on the eastern quadrant. In determining individual clone resistance, it is recommended that the general orchard aphid infestation level be determined so that only two or three well-timed clonal ratings are needed. We also recommend that all sides of the tree be monitored.

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Precocity of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] seedlings (year of first fruit production) was studied in relation to original seed measurements (nut weight, buoyancy, volume, and density) and in relation to growth index (GI) measurements of seedling trees for 4 years. A total of 2,071 pecan seedlings, representing nine controlled-cross families, were studied. Original seed measurements were not related to precocity of resultant seedling trees; but seed weight, buoyancy, and volume were significantly correlated with seedling growth rates. Nut density was negatively related to growth of seedlings. These relationships show the importance of original seed measurements and seed parentage in determining seedling growth, and have direct relevance in pecan nursery operations to increase general rootstock seedling vigor. Seedling growth rate was significantly correlated to precocity levels, with measurements taken in the later years of the study showing the highest correlations with precocity. This strong growth-precocity relationship may have negative genetic implications since a common breeding objective is to produce more precocious cultivars that maintain smaller tree size in mature orchards.

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Heritability estimates for pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] nut weight, nut buoyancy, nut volume, nut density, kernel weight, and percentage kernel were determined from 8748 nut samples representing 152 families collected during 25 years in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) pecan breeding program at Brownwood, Texas. Measurements were corrected for year-to-year environmental variability using least-squares constants of individual year effects. Adjusted values were then regressed on midparent means. Generally, heritability (h2) estimates were low to moderate: nut weight 0.35, nut buoyancy 0.18, nut volume 0.35, nut density 0.03, kernel weight 0.38, and percentage kernel 0.32. The low values are probably due to the extreme alternate bearing tendency of this species, since crop load affects pecan nut characteristics so directly. Phenotypic correlations among these traits showed that larger or heavier nuts had significantly higher kernel weight, buoyancy, and percentage kernel. Nut density increased with higher nut and kernel weight, but decreased with nut volume.

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Putative resistance to the yellow aphid complex (Monellia caryella (Fitch) and Monelliopsis pecanis Bissell) in the `Pawnee' pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] cultivar was first noted in greenhouse tests by rating cultivars for relative amounts of honeydew on adaxial leaf surfaces. This resistance was confirmed in two field tests monitored from mid-June to mid-Oct. `Pawnee' supported significantly lower aphid populations during every rating period when relatively large numbers of these insects were present. `Navaho' also showed resistance, with `Desirable' having intermediate resistance and `Stuart' being very susceptible. Insect populations were also monitored on the four quadrants of each tree, with this quadrant effect being significant in only one test. This test had the highest populations on the West and lowest populations on the East.

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Thirteen cultivars of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] were monitored for bud break, pollen shed and stigma receptivity for 4 years at LSU Pecan Station, Robson, LA. Cultivars were generally consistent in displaying clear patterns of protogyny or protandry, although patterns were uncertain for some cultivars in some years. Mean dates of cultivar phenology varied significantly by year. Years with warm winter and spring temperatures had earlier seasons of growth and flowering than years with cooler temperatures. The duration of pollen shed and stigma receptivity varied between years. Protogynous cultivars, as a group, had greater bloom overlap than protandrous cultivars, although overlap varied between years for both dichogamy classes. The sequence of cultivar flowering relative to other cultivars varied between years, resulting in variable amounts of bloom overlap between cultivars in different years.

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