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  • Author or Editor: Justin Scheiner x
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Bunch grapes (Euvitis) are classified as moderately salt-tolerant. However, little is known about the salt tolerance of muscadine grapes (Vitis rotundifolia). The objective of this research was to evaluate the salt exclusion capacity of muscadine grapes relative to common bunch grape rootstocks and hybrid winegrapes using a greenhouse screening assay. In two separate experiments, 31 muscadine, six bunch grape rootstocks, and five hybrid winegrape cultivars were irrigated daily with a 25-mm sodium chloride salt solution for a period of 14 d, followed by a destructive harvest to determine sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) concentrations in root and shoot tissues. Generally, the muscadines studied exhibited a greater range of salt concentration relative to bunch grape rootstocks. Total tissue (shoot and root) salt varied by 250% and 430% across muscadines and by 180% and 190% across bunch grape rootstocks for Na and Cl, respectively. Despite the wider range, muscadine grapes expressed significantly less leaf necrosis than the bunch grape rootstocks. The most effective salt-excluding muscadines, ‘Janebell’, ‘Scuppernong’, ‘Late Fry’, and ‘Eudora’, were not distinguishable from the bunch grape rootstocks [‘Paulsen 1103’ (1103P), ‘Ruggeri 140’ (140Ru), ‘Schwarzmann’, ‘Millardet et de Grasset 101-14’ (101-14 Mgt.), ‘Millardet et de Grasset 420A’ (420A), and ‘Matador’]. Overall, there was no discernable difference between the salt exclusion capacity of muscadine and bunch grapes. The hybrid winegrape ‘Blanc Du Bois’ displayed poor Na and Cl exclusion properties but showed only moderate leaf necrosis symptoms. In both experiments, ‘Blanc Du Bois’ accumulated more than two-fold higher root and shoot concentrations of Na and Cl compared with the best-performing rootstocks (1103P, 140Ru, 101-14 Mgt.), suggesting that ‘Blanc Du Bois’ could benefit from grafting if salinity is a limiting factor.

Open Access

Warm temperature exposure during winter has reportedly resulted in the apparent negation of chilling in several fruit species. This study was conducted to investigate the floral and vegetative response of two pistillate kiwifruit cultivars to intermittent warm temperature interruption during chilling accumulation. Dormant 1-year-old canes of Actinidia chinensis ‘AU Golden Dragon’ and Actinidia deliciosa ‘AU Fitzgerald’ were collected in December 2018 and 2019 (334 and 360 chilling units, respectively), shortly after leaf abscission. Canes were cut to 10 nodes after removing the first six basal nodes, placed in jars filled with distilled water, and transferred to respective chilling treatments. Treatments included continuous chilling (CC) (in addition to base chilling) at 1-week (168 chilling units) increments (0–5 weeks) and chilling exposure at the same increments with intermittent warm temperature (WT). For the WT treatments, each week of chilling was followed by 3 days of exposure to warm conditions. Chilling and warm temperature exposure were simulated by 7/4 °C and 25/17.2 °C (day/night) air temperatures, respectively, using separate climate-controlled growth chambers. After treatments, canes were forced in a third chamber at 21.1 to 25.0 °C with light-emitting diode lighting. Vegetative budbreak, floral bud number (from here on defined as floral response), and floral development stage were recorded for each cane at 2-day intervals. For ‘AU Golden Dragon’, WT did not result in any reduced floral response at any of the observed chilling levels. However, lower mean floral response was observed with WT, as compared with CC for ‘AU Fitzgerald’ at 5 weeks of chilling over the 2 years (P = 0.05). WT also lessened the effect of apical dominance with respect to vegetative/floral response to node position for both cultivars. Chilling type had no significant effect on vegetative response in either cultivar. Estimated chilling requirements (CC) in this experiment were similar to those reported previously for these cultivars. Results suggest that A. chinensis cultivars may respond more favorably than A. deliciosa to the erratic winter temperature patterns experienced in the southeastern United States.

Open Access

Two-year-old, field-grown golden kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) and fuzzy kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) plants were evaluated for injury following an early freeze event of −4.1 °C on 14 Nov. 2018 in Burleson County, TX. Plant material included seven cultivars: one seed-propagated [Sungold™ (ZESY002)] and three cutting-propagated golden kiwifruit (AU Golden Dragon, AU Golden Sunshine, CK03), and one seed-propagated (Hayward) and two cutting-propagated fuzzy kiwifruit (AU Authur and AU Fitzgerald). Observations were made 5 weeks after the frost event. Base trunk diameter (BD) and maximum trunk diameter damaged (MDD) provided a reference of plant size and crude measurement of damage intensity, as evident by presence of water-soaked necrotic and/or dehydrated tissue following the removal of a thin slice of periderm, vascular cambium, phloem, and xylem. Percent of base diameter damaged (PBDD) was calculated as MDD divided by BD and provided an assessment of damage, unbiased by plant size. Percent of shoot damaged (PSD) was visually evaluated as the percentage of entire shoot system exhibiting damage. In addition, presence of basal damage (DB) and basal cracking (CB) were recorded. A strong cultivar response was observed for BD, MDD, PBDD, and PSD. Mean cultivar values for PSD ranged from 79% and 19% for AU Authur and Sungold™ seedlings, respectively, which represented extremes among cultivars. Fuzzy kiwifruit exhibited greater injury (PBDD, PSD, DB, and CB) as compared with golden kiwifruit cultivars. Basal damage and basal cracking proved unique to fuzzy kiwifruit, as DB ranged from 0% in Sungold™ seedlings to 100% in fuzzy kiwifruit ‘AU Authur’ and ‘AU Fitzgerald’. In spite of having greater vigor, golden kiwifruit plants sustained less injury. Method of propagation had no effect on injury. PBDD and PSD proved to be reliable field assays for documenting injury, based on their strong correlation value (r = 0.92). Greater relative autumn frost tolerance of golden kiwifruit over fuzzy kiwifruit cultivars is previously unreported.

Open Access