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Kim D. Patten and John Wang

The relationships between canopy density of three perennial weed species (Potentilla pacifica Howell, Aster subspicatus Nees, and Lotus corniculatus L.) and `Mcfarlin' and `Stevens' cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) yield and fruit quality were evaluated. Yield was more severely affected by weed interferences than fruit size or color. Best-fit regression equations for the effects of weed density on yield, fruit size, and color were linear or quadratic polynomials with a strong linear component. For each bog, the slope of the linear relationship between yield and weed density was more negative as the mean yield of weed-free controls increased. `Stevens' fruit size and yield were more sensitive and fruit color was less sensitive to changes in P. pacifica population density than those of `McFarlin'.

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Zhaolong Wang, John Pote, and Bingru Huang

This study was designed to examine whether shoot injury induced by high root-zone temperature is associated with changes in shoot detoxifying metabolism and to determine the level and duration of high root-zone temperatures that would induce physiological changes in two cultivars of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris Huds) differing in heat tolerance. Plants of `Penn A-4' (heat tolerant) and `Putter' (heat susceptible) were grown in sand and exposed to root-zone temperatures of 20 (control), 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 31, and 35 °C in water baths while air temperature was maintained at 20 °C in a growth chamber. Turf quality, leaf cytokinin content, and antioxidant enzyme activities declined at increased soil temperatures and the duration of treatment for both cultivars. A decline in turf quality occurred following 40 days of exposure to 35 °C for `Penn A-4' and 26 days of exposure to 31 °C for `Putter'. The root-zone temperature causing the decline of isopentenyl adenosine and zeatin cytokinins was 25 °C at 37 d for `Putter' and 27 °C at 47 days for `Penn A-4'. The temperature causing the decline of superoxide dismutase and catalase activities was 25 °C and 27 °C at 33 days for `Putter' and 27 °C and 31 °C at 43 days for Penn A-4, respectively. Malondialdehyde content increased at 27 °C for `Putter' and 31 °C for `Penn A-4' at 43 days of treatment. The decline in cytokinin content and antioxidant enzyme activity occurred at a lower soil temperature and earlier during the treatment than the decline in turf quality, possibly contributing to turf quality decline. The root-zone temperatures causing the decline in turf quality, cytokinin content, and oxidative damage were higher in the heat-tolerant cultivar than heat-susceptible cultivar.

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John Pote, Zhaolong Wang, and Bingru Huang

Knowledge of the level of soil temperatures that is detrimental for shoot and root growth for cool-season grasses may help develop heat-tolerant plants and effective management practices to improve summer performance. The objectives of this study were to determine the level and duration of high temperatures in the root zone that will induce decline for various growth and physiological parameters and to compare the responses of different physiological parameters and cultivars to high root-zone temperatures. Nine creeping bentgrass [Agrostis stolonifera L. var. palustris (Huds.) Farw.] cultivars were subjected to eight root-zone temperatures (20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 31, 35 °C) in water baths while exposed to a constant air temperature of 20 °C for 54 days. Root number, dry weight, and depth, active root biomass, turf quality, leaf cytokinin content, and canopy net photosynthetic rate (Pn), decreased in all nine cultivars as root-zone temperature increased from 20 to 35 °C, but the time and temperature at which the decline occurred varied for each parameter measured. Pn, cytokinin content, root number, and turf quality declined at 23, 27, 27, and 35 °C, respectively, after 28 days of exposure. Active root biomass, root number, root dry weight, turf quality, and rooting depth declined at 23, 25, 25, 25, and 35 °C, respectively, at 54 days. At a 31 °C root-zone temperature the decline in root number, cytokinin content, and turf quality occurred at 19, 37, and 47 days, respectively. The results suggest that root-zone temperatures of 23 °C or above this level were detrimental to root activities, Pn, and overall turf growth. Root and Pn decline at lower temperatures and earlier in the study than turf quality suggest that the disturbance of physiological activities of roots and leaves could lead to turfgrass quality decline at high root-zone temperatures.

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Adamson D. Wang, John M. Swiader, and John A. Juvik

Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) has been identified as the compound responsible for the characteristic aroma of cooked sweet corn (Zea mays L.) and, along with sugar and water-soluble polysaccharides, is one of the main flavor components in the kernels. Because of the close relationship between DMS and its amino acid precursor S-methylmethionine, the premise was formulated that it might be possible to improve sweet corn aroma and overall eating quality through enhanced production of DMS from increased application of N and S to the crop in the field. Studies were conducted on a Plainfield sand and a Flanagan silt loam to evaluate the effects of N and S fertilization on kernel DMS production in several commercial sh2 hybrids; in the process, the effect of N and S fertilization on various yield and yield component parameters was also determined. Hybrid was the main factor affecting kernel DMS production, although in both soils kernel DMS levels were influenced by significant interactions between hybrid and fertilizer treatments. Kernel DMS content, in response to increasing N fertilization rates, increased by an average of 85% in three of six hybrids in the Plainfield sand and by 60% in two of three hybrids in the Flanagan silt loam. The effect of S fertilization on kernel DMS production was small, with only one hybrid on the sandy soil showing a positive response (38%) to S application, and then in combination with high N rates. Irrespective of N-S fertilization regime, kernel DMS concentrations decreased at both locations by an average of ≈8.5% per day as kernel maturity increased. The results showed that kernel DMS production may be enhanced by N nutrition, independent of N fertilization effects on ear and kernel yields.

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John L. Maas, Shiow Y. Wang, and Gene J. Galletta

Ellagic acid in tissue extracts of green and red-ripe strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) was detected and quantified by HPLC. Ellagic acid content of green fruit pulp ranged from 1.32 to 8.43 mg·g-1 of tissue dry weight (mean 3.36 mg·g-l) and in achenes of green fruit from 1.32 to 20.73 mg·g-1 (mean 7.24). Ellagic acid content of red fruit pulp at one location for 35 cultivars and selections ranged from 0.43 to 4.64 mg·g-1 of dry weight (mean 1.55) and from 0.43 to 3.47 mg·g-l (mean 1.45) for 15 clones at another location. Achenes from red-ripe fruit ranged from 1.37 to 21.65 mg·g-1 (mean 8.46) for 34 clones at one location and from 2.81 to 18.37 mg·g-1 (mean 8.93) for 15 clones at another location. Leaf ellagic acid content ranged from 8.08 to 32.30 mg·g-1 of dry weight (mean 14.71) for 13 clones examined. Large differences in ellagic acid content were found among cultivars, but tissue values were not consistent within cultivars. Values from one tissue type did not correlate consistently with values of the other tissues. Sufficient variation was found among cultivars to suggest that increased ellagic acid levels may be achieved in progeny from crosses with selected parental material.

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Shiow Y. Wang, Gene J. Galletta, and John L. Maas

Fruit quality of 24 selected strawberry cultivars and selections were evaluated. There were great variations in the contents of soluble solids, titratable acidity, carbohydrates, organic acids, and ascorbic acid among different cultivars, reflecting primary genetic differences. Fructose, glucose, and sucrose were found to be the three major sugars, comprising >65% of the total soluble solids in strawberry. Fruit contained lower sucrose compared to fructose and glucose, whereas leaves contained comparable amounts of fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Citric acid was the major organic acid in strawberries. Strawberries were also rich in ascorbic acid. Leaves were much higher in ascorbic acid than fruit. There appeared to be no correlation between fruit and leaves on carbohydrate, organic acid, and ascorbic acid contents.

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Youbin Zheng*, Linping Wang, Weizhong Liu, John Sutton, and Mike Dixon

Copper is one of the essential micro-nutrient elements for plants, but when in excess, is toxic to plants and other living organisms. Electrolytically generated copper and cupric sulphate are increasingly used by the greenhouse industry to control diseases and algae in hydroponic systems. However, there is little information regarding appropriate strategies for employing copper in greenhouse crop production. We investigated the physiological responses, growth and production of several ornamental crops (miniature rose, chrysanthemum and geranium) and greenhouse vegetable crops (pepper, cucumber, and tomato) with respect to Cu2+ concentration in the root zone. Tests were conducted using plants grown in nutrient solution, Promix and rockwool. Results showed that phytotoxic levels of Cu2+ were dependent on the crop species and growing substrate. Plants grown in nutrient solution exhibited symptoms of phytotoxicity at lower Cu2+ concentrations than those on the solid substrates. The ability of copper to control Pythium aphanidermatum and green algae was evaluated under both laboratory and greenhouse conditions. Copper was effective in suppressing green algae in nutrient solution, but did not control Pythium effectively. This presentation is a comprehensive summary of the research conducted over the last three years by our group on copper application in greenhouse systems.

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Gad G. Yousef, Shyh-Shyan Wang, and John J. Juvik

A segment from chromosome 7 of the wild tomato species, Lycopersicon chmielewskii has been introgressed through backcrossing into the processing cultivar, VF145B-7879. This segment was previously shown to carry a gene or genes that increase the soluble solids content in ripe red tomato fruits. To study the allelic interaction of this gene(s) and ascertain its performance in different genetic backgrounds, this line, homozygous for the L. chmielewskii segment, was crossed to its isogenic parent (VF145B-7879) and three other commercial cultivars (UC204c, E6203, and ChicoIII). The recurrent parent VF145B-7879 was also crossed to the other cultivars to generate two sets of hybrids, one heterozygous for the L. chmielewskii segment and the other homozygous for the L. esculentum segment on chromosome 7. Results from two years of field study revealed that the L. chmielewskii fragment, when either homozygous or heterozygous in the VF145B-7879 background, comparably increased soluble solids concentration in red fruit, suggesting dominant allelic interaction. This increase ranged from 8%–10% higher soluble solids content in these lines compared to the levels found in the recurrent parent (VF145B-7879). The F1 hybrids containing one dosage of this gene(s) showed a significant increase in the soluble solids content compared to the commercial parents. However, due to F1 heterosis observed in all the hybrid combinations, soluble solids content in the hybrids with this gene were not significantly greater than that of the hybrids without this gene. This gene was found to exert no significant influence on fruit pH, weight, and yield.

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Anne C. Kurilich, Shyh-Shyan Wang, and John A. Juvik

Inbreds IL451b sugary1 (su1) and IL678a su1 isogenic for the sugary enhancer1 (se1) gene mutation were used to analyze the relationship between se1 gene dosage and endosperm sugar content. Each line was self-pollinated and reciprocal crosses were made between the isolines of each genotype to produce se1 gene dosages of 0, 1, 2, and 3 in the triploid endosperm. Ears were harvested at 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, and 45 days after pollination (DAP). Whole kernels were freeze-dried, ground into powder, and stored at –80°C until subsequent chemical analyses. Sucrose, glucose and fructose were analyzed using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), the results of which indicated a significant increase in kernel sugar content when the se1 allele is homozygous.
\batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \[\begin{array}{lcl}&\underline{\mathrm{Sucrose\ content\ at}{\ }21{\ }\mathrm{DAP}(\%{\ }\mathrm{dry}{\ }\mathrm{wt})}&\\\underline{se1{\ }\mathrm{dose}}&\underline{\mathrm{IL}{\ }451\mathrm{b}}&\underline{\mathrm{IL}{\ }678\mathrm{a}}\\0&9.6&10.3\\1&8.0&10.7\\2&11.3&10.9\\3&15.8&12.2\end{array}\] \end{document}

Sucrose content at 21 DAP (typical maturity for harvesting) was observed to increase in the IL451b and IL678a backgrounds from zero to three doses of se1 by 65% and 18% respectively, indicating that this mutation varies in its expression in different genetic backgrounds. Associations between kernel phytoglycogen and starch content and se1 gene dosage are presented. The biochemical lesion associated with the se1 gene product is discussed.