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  • Author or Editor: Joseph O. Kuti x
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The tree spinach (Cnidoscolus spp., Euphorbiaceae), called chaya in south Texas, is popular in Mexico and Central America and has been introduced into the United States (mainly Texas and Florida) for potential uses as a leafy vegetable plant. Nutritional composition of raw and cooked leaves of two chaya species (C. chayamansa and C. aconitifolius) were determined and compared with nutritional composition of spinach (Spinicia oleraceae). While the two chaya species contained substantially greater amounts of mineral nutrients and vitamins than spinach, no significant differences were found in the amounts of mineral nutrients and vitamins, except in relative compositions of fatty acids and amino acids, among the chaya species. Cooking slightly reduced nutritional composition of both chaya and spinach leaves. Because of the presence of toxic hydrocyanic glycosides in chaya leaves, cooking, which inactivates the toxic compound, is essential.

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This paper presents the results from a two-year study on fruit quality characteristics of prickly pear accessions belonging to five Opuntia species (O. ficus-indica, O. hyptiacantha, O. inermis, O. linderheimeri and O. megacantha) from a germplasm collection at Texas A&I University. Fruit soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity and ascorbic acid contents were determined using standard procedures. Significant differences in fruit soluble solids and ascorbic acid contents were observed. Accessions belonging to O. ficus-indica consistently had the highest soluble solids (> 12%) and ascorbic contents (>24mg/100g) while accessions belonging to O. lindheimeri consistently had the lowest soluble solids (<8%) and ascorbic acid contents (< 10mg/100g). Fruit acidity was generally low (<0.19%) for all the species. The results suggest potential for developing prickly pears for the fresh fruit market in south Texas.

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Prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) fruits (tunas) and leaves (nopalitos) are consumed in Mexico and in the United States especially among groups of Hispanic origin. The plant is a natural host for cochineal insects which cause extreme damage to the sterna of prickly pears. Fifteen accession of prickly pears belonging to O. ficus-indica, O. fusicaulis, O. inermis, and O. megacantha were screened for genetic resistance to cochineal insects infestation under greenhouse conditions. Plants were infested with newly hatched crawlers (25 crawlers/plant) and production of white waxy filaments was evaluated eight weeks after infestation. No accession exhibited complete immunity but 5 accessions had significant (P< 0.05) levels of genetic resistance when compared to other accessions. Accessions `belonging to O. ficus-indica and O. inermis had the lowest filament production and the highest percentage of resistant plants.

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Author:

This paper presents the results from a two-year study on fruit quality characteristics of prickly pear accessions belonging to five Opuntia species (O. ficus-indica, O. hyptiacantha, O. inermis, O. linderheimeri and O. megacantha) from a germplasm collection at Texas A&I University. Fruit soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity and ascorbic acid contents were determined using standard procedures. Significant differences in fruit soluble solids and ascorbic acid contents were observed. Accessions belonging to O. ficus-indica consistently had the highest soluble solids (> 12%) and ascorbic contents (>24mg/100g) while accessions belonging to O. lindheimeri consistently had the lowest soluble solids (<8%) and ascorbic acid contents (< 10mg/100g). Fruit acidity was generally low (<0.19%) for all the species. The results suggest potential for developing prickly pears for the fresh fruit market in south Texas.

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Abstract

Five parental cultivars of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) and 16 F1 hybrids, including six reciprocals, were evaluated in a diallel design for reaction to inoculations with Myrothecium roridum and its phytotoxic metabolite roridin E using a detached leaf screening test. Analyses of variance revealed genetic variability for tolerance to the fungus and to the toxin; the correlation coefficient between inoculations with the pathogen and the toxin was 0.94. Disease and toxin tolerance were associated with highly significant general combining ability (GCA) effects, but specific combining ability were significant only for inoculations involving the pathogen. The GCA component accounted for 95.8% of the genotypic variation for pathogen tolerance and 99.3% for toxin tolerance. Reciprocal effects were not present in either set of inoculations.

Open Access