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John Masiunas

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John B. Masiunas

Experiments determined the effectiveness of the bipyridinium herbicides paraquat and diquat and of the diphenyl ether herbicide lactofen to desiccate onion (Allium cepa L.) shoots without affecting bulb quality and storage life. Paraquat, applied once, desiccated 80% of onion shoots within 3 days. Diquat desiccated ≈ 60% of onion shoots within 10 days of treatment. Lactofen caused slight necrosis but did not adequately desiccate onion shoots. Diquat and paraquat reduced sprouting of `Red Wethersfield' more than of `White Portugal'. Chemical names used: 6,7-dihydrodipyrido[l,2 2',1'-c] pyrazinediium ion (diquat); (±)2-ethoxy-l-methyl-2-oxoethy1 5-[2chloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenoxyl] -2-nitrobenzoate (lactofen); 1,1'-dimethyl-4,4'-bipyridinium ion (paraquat).

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Vamsgita Kolasani and John Masiunas

Eastern black nightshade is one of the problematic weeds in vegetables and soybeans in the Midwest. It is representative of a rapidly growing complex of broadleaf weeds where herbicide resistance would be expected to occur. Eastern black nightshade calli lines that are resistant and susceptible to acifluorfen were maintained on the medium without the herbicide. After two years, these lines were tested for tolerance to acifluorfen and paraquat. Tolerance to acifluorfen was maintained in the previously selected lines. The lines were also cross tolerant to paraquat. Plants were regenerated from these calli lines and grown in the greenhouse. 14C-acifluorfen and 14C-paraquat uptake, translocation, and metabolism were studied.

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Chang-Yeon Yu and John Masiunas

The objective of this study was to investigate the chromosomal and genotypic variation in regenerated plants of Solarium and Lycopersicon. Calli of Lycopersicon peruvianum genotypes PI199380, PI126345, PI251301, and LA1373, along with Solanum ptycanthum were transferred onto media consisting of MS salts with Gamborg vitamins. The shoots formed were rooted in vitro and transferred to greenhouse soil. Actively growing root tips were harvested and pretreated, fixed, hydrolyses and stained. Pollen mother cells were fixed in propionic alcohol solution and stained with aceto-carmine. The number of chromosomes were counted. The greatest variation was in Solanum ptycanthum with chromosome numbers ranging from 18 to 60 (2n=24). Progeny analysis for 12 somaclones of Solarium ptycanthum was done by selfing for two generations. Morphology, shoot height, and weight were determined in each generation. The amount of variation differed among the somaclonal lines.

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Chang-Yeon Yu and John Masiunas

Friable callus of Solanum ptycanthum and L. peruvianum PI199380 clone 149 were subcultured on liquid Murashige and Skoog salts and Gamborg Vitamin medium with 2,4-D (1mg/l) until a fine suspension of cells was obtained. The suspension cultured cells were then plated on selection medium. Twenty-five acifluorfen-tolerant cell lines of Solanum ptycanthum and fourteen tolerant Lycopersicon peruvianum cell lines were obtained by a stepwise increase in concentration of acifluorfen. Acifluorfen-tolerant cell lines were transferred on to regeneration media with the herbicide. Shoot regeneration differed depending on the cell line and acifluorfen concentration, ranging from 0 to 37 plants per calli. As acifluorfen concentration increased in the regeneration media, the number of shoots and shoot height decreased. There was a wide range of variation in shoot morphology, which depended on the cell line.

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Chang-Yeon Yu and John Masiunas

Repeated callus sub-culture reduce the regeneration capacity in many species. Our studies determined the effect of genotype and medium on regeneration of several Solanum and Lycopersicon genotypes from long-term callus cultures. In the first study, 13 genotypes were transferred to regeneration medium, including: Murashige and Skoog plus Gamborg Vitamins (MG); Murashige and Skoog (MS); Gamborg (GM); and white (WM). The greatest shoot regeneration was on the MG medium, containing the highest levels of thiamine. Shoot differentiation was greatest with 0.2 mg/l IAA and 2 mg/l BA. No plants were regenerated on GM or WM medium. In a second study, the effect of thiamine (0 to 200 mg/l) on shoot regeneration of the L. peruvianum genotypes PI199380, PI126945, PI251301, and PI128652, along with Solanum ptycanthum, Solanum nigrum, and L. esculentum `Diego' was evaluated. Shoot regeneration of Solanum ptycanthum, Solanum nigrum, L. peruvianum PI 199380 and PI25301 was best with 20 mg/l of thiamine.

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Harry Bottenberg, John Masiunas, and Catherine Eastman

We compared soil quality, crop growth, and the incidence of pests in snapbean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) planted in conventional tillage, in rye (Secale cereale L.) mulch without strips and in strip-tilled rye mulch. On average, yield loss was 63% in rye mulch without strips and 20% in rye mulch with strips compared to yields in conventional tillage. Soil bulk density was higher in the rye mulch treatments than in the conventionally tilled plots and may have reduced plant growth. Leaf nitrogen content was lower in the rye mulch treatments 3 weeks after planting; this may be related to nitrogen tie-up during rye decomposition or to the negative impact of soil compaction on the soil nitrogen cycle. Insect damage to snapbean pods and leaves was not affected by rye mulching. Potato leafhopper [Empoasca fabae (Harris)] populations were significantly higher for conventional tillage than for rye treatments. The incidence of white mold [Sclerotina sclerotiorum (Lib.) deBary] was reduced by the rye treatments in 1997. Further studies are needed to determine optimal strip width and develop better techniques for creating strips.

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Vasey N. Mwaja and John B. Masiunas

A three-year study determined the effect of winter cover crops on weeds and vegetable crops in a vegetable production system. Winter rye and hairy vetch were interseeded in the fall of 1990, 1991 and 1992 at 112 and 34-kg ha-1, respectively. The cover crops were killed by ether applying glyphosate at 1.1 kg a.i ha-1 [reduced tillage(RT)] or mowing and disking the cover crop (Disked). The conventional tillage (CT) was bare ground with a preplant incorporated application of 0.84 kg a.i ha-1 of trifluralin. During the three years, the greatest snap bean yields were in the CT; total yields of cabbage and tomato varied between the years; and were not affected by management systems. Weed control was similar in the RT and CT treatments during the three years. Disked cover crop treatments tended to have greater weed numbers than either RT or CT treatments.

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Elizabeth A. Wahle and John B. Masiunas

Greenhouse hydroponics and field experiments were conducted to determine how nitrogen (N) fertilizer treatments affect tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) growth, yield, and partitioning of N in an effort to develop more sustainable fertilization strategies. In a hydroponics study, after 4 weeks in nitrate treatments, shoot dry weight was five times greater at 10.0 than at 0.2 mm nitrate. An exponential growth model was strongly correlated with tomato root growth at all but 0.2 mm nitrate and shoot growth in 10 mm nitrate. Root dry weight was only 15% of shoot biomass. In field studies with different population densities and N rates, height in the 4.2 plants/m2 was similar, but shoot weight was less than in the 3.2 plants/m2. At 12 weeks after planting, shoot fresh weight averaged 3.59 and 2.67 kg/plant in treatments with 3.2 and 4.2 plants/m2, respectively. In 1998, final tomato yield did not respond to N rate. In 1999, there was a substantial increase in fruit yield when plants were fertilized with 168 kg·ha-1 N but little change in yield with additional N. Nitrogen content of the leaves and the portion of N from applied fertilizer decreased as the plants grew, and as N was remobilized for fruit production. Both studies indicate that decreasing N as a way to reduce N loss to the environment would also reduce tomato growth.