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Thomas M. Davis and James E. Pollard

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Karen L.B. Gast and James E. Pollard

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David T. Handley and James E. Pollard

Greenhouse experiments were designed to study conditions affecting strawberry malformation caused by the tarnished plant bug (TPB). Duration of blossom exposure to TPB affected the type of malformation. Exposure at anthesis for 8 hours caused visible deformity. Exposure for 48 hours caused some apical seediness, the malformation most commonly associated with TPB. Continuous exposure to TPB usually caused blossom death. Increased exposure to TPB caused a higher percentage of nonviable achenes per strawberry. Some effects appeared to be cultivar-dependent. Honeoye strawberries were less likely to show apical seediness than Redchief strawberries, but were more likely to experience blossom death. Malformation was also affected by strawberry development stage at the time of TPB feeding. Feeding at prebloom caused blossom death. Feeding at petal fall or achene seperation resulted in fruit malformation, about half of which was apical seediness. Feeding at pink receptacle stage caused little visible damage.

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David T. Handley and James E. Pollard

The tarnished plant bug (Lvgus lineolaris) is a serious pest of strawberries in North America, causing a severe malformation of the receptacle known as “apical seediness” or “buttoning”. Light and scanning electron microscopy were used to assess tarnished plant bug feeding on strawberries and to determine the nature of the injury. During early fruit development stages (anthesis to petal fall) the primary feeding sites were developing achenes. Feeding sites on more developed fruit changed to receptacle tissue, usually close to an achene. The “buttoning” malformation of strawberries associated with tarnished plant bug is most likely a result of the destruction of achenes during early fruit development stages. Feeding on receptacle tissue later in fruit development causes more localized damage, such as creases and indentations.

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John J. McCue, David T. Handley, and James E. Pollard

Rowcovers applied to strawberries have documented value for increased earliness and yield. The effect of rowcovers on insect damage to strawberries was investigated in this study. Nonwoven rowcovers were applied over strawberries in the fall with and without malathion to determine their effect on tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris) and strawberry bud weevil (Anthomonus signatus) injury over two harvest seasons. Rowcovers increased the “umber and weight of marketable fruit. Tarnished plant bug injury was reduced by the use of rowcovers in 1990, regardless of insecticide application. I” 1991, rowcovers reduced tarnished plant bug injury only when a fall insecticide was applied. Rowcovers increased the number of flower buds killed by the strawberry bud weevil where no insecticide was used in 1990, but had no significant effect on the number of buds killed in 1991. The effect of rowcovers on insect injury to strawberries appears to depend upon the overwintering habits of the insects, and the prevailing weather patterns during a given season.

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Victoria L. Davidson*, Dean A. Kopsell, and James E. Pollard

Experiments were conducted to investigate the potential effect on floral bud initiation in strawberry (Fragaria × ananasa, cv. Chandler) by interrupting inductive short day cycles with a day-length extension treatment. Vegetative plants were exposed to 10-, 15-, or 20-day cycles of inductive short days in growth chambers. After receiving an inductive short day treatment plants were transferred to a greenhouse where they were exposed to non-inductive long days, which stimulated panicle elongation. Dissections of apical meristems immediately following each cycle of short days revealed that cycles of 20 days resulted in detectable floral bud formation. After 15 days in the greenhouse, all short day treatments had initiated floral buds. In the greenhouse, under long days, subsequent flowering in cohorts of plants which had previously received inductive short days showed a positive correlation between interruption of short days with day length extension and reduction in the number of floral buds initiated on earliest emerging panicles. These results suggest potential for manipulation of floral bud induction and potentially fruit size in Chandler, and perhaps other cultivars by interruption of a cycle of inductive short days with a day length extension treatment.

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Thomas M. Davis, M. Sean Hill, Rebecca S. Gallien, and James E. Pollard

Strawberry flowering habit can be classified as either day-neutral (DN) or short-day (SD), depending on whether plants are insensitive or sensitive to photoperiod, respectively. Short-day (SD) cultivars produce mature fruit for just a few weeks in early summer. New floral initiation does not commence until triggered by the combination of short daylength and low temperature in the fall. Day-neutral (DN) cultivars do not require particular daylength conditions to initiate flowering, and so continue to produce flowers and mature fruit into late summer and early fall. We are using a map-based approach to characterize the genetic determinants of flowering habit in strawberry at both the diploid and octoploid levels. A recessive gene conferring DN flowering habit has been identified, and its position determined with respect to molecular markers on the Fragaria vesca genetic linkage map. We are using the technique of bulked segregant analysis (BSA) in an effort to find random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers linked to a putative dominant gene conferring the DN habit in the octoploid, cultivated strawberry, F. ánanassa.