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Kathryn L. McDavid, David L. Sanford, and Robert D. Berghage

Green roof construction is constrained by cost of labor to install the plant material. Optimizing seed germination and establishment could significantly reduce installation costs but would require specific growing conditions that are difficult to provide during installation. Plants of the stonecrop (Sedum) genus are commonly used for the roof top because they will tolerate the high temperatures. This study compared the germination rates of four stonecrop species {goldmoss sedum (Sedum acre), ‘Oracle’ sedum (Sedum forsterianum), blue spruce sedum (Sedum reflexum), and amur sedum [Sedum selskianum (synonm Phedimus selskianum)]} at two temperatures, 70 and 90 °F, following storage of seed in dry, cool (40 °F) conditions of different durations (54, 98, 157, 197, 255, or 343 days). At 70 °F seed of goldmoss sedum, ‘Oracle’ sedum, and blue spruce sedum produced minimum germination rates of 60% at 21 days in seed stored for 54, 98, 157, 197, 255, or 343 days. Goldmoss sedum, ‘Oracle’ sedum, and blue spruce sedum showed reduced germination in 90 °F, probably due to temperature-induced dormancy. Amur sedum had germination of at least 83% at 21 days in both temperatures tested. As amur sedum germination rates appear to be unaffected in the temperatures tested, it could provide an excellent seed for use on green roofs where ideal temperatures are rarely available.

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Ruth S. Kobayashi, Stephen L. Sinden, and Lind L. Sanford

Leptine glycoalkaloids found in certain genotypes of Solanum chacoense, a wild potato relative, are resistance factors against the Colorado potato beetle (CPB). To efficiently introgress CPB resistance through leptine production into the cultivated potato, an understanding of leptine inheritance is important. Analysis of sibs within PI lines revealed a wide segregation for level of leptines. Leptine levels ranged from not detectable to 120 mg/100 g fresh weight among six sibs in a PI line, suggesting leptine production may be controlled by a few major genes. TLC analysis of F2 and backcross progeny, however, indicated that several genes probably control leptine level. This apparent multigene control of leptine level may make it difficult to incorporate leptine synthesis into the cultivated potato. Therefore, we are presently identifying microsatellite and RAPD markers associated with leptine synthesis to enable marker-assisted selection and facilitate the incorporation of leptine synthesis into the cultivated potato.

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Catherine M. Ronning, Lind L. Sanford, and John R. Stommel

Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say., CPB) is a destructive pest of the cultivated potato, Solanum tuberosum L. Certain glycoalkaloids in potato leaves are effective deterrents to this insect; however, in tubers these compounds can be toxic to humans. Leptines are foliar-specific glycoalkaloids produced by the related species, S. chacoense. These compounds have been shown to confer resistance to CPB. We are studying the inheritance of leptine production in segregating F1 and F2 populations derived from two S. chacoense accessions, 55-1 and 55-3, which are (respectively) high and low leptine producers. The F1 segregates 1:1 for high (>70% of total glycoalkaloids) and low (<20% of TGA) leptine content. Segregation data from the F1 and F2 populations suggest a twogene model for leptine production: a dominant repressor and a recessive inducer. Using two bulked DNA samples composed of highand low-leptine individuals from the F1 population, we are using various types of molecular markers (RAPDs, SSRs, DS-PCR, and AFLPs) to search for markers linked to leptine production. We have identified a RAPD band that appears to be closely associated with low leptine content and supports the two-gene model. The use of such a marker in a breeding program will facilitate the development of CPB resistant potato varieties.

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A.R. Jamieson, N.L. Nickerson, C.F. Forney, K.A. Sanford, and D.L. Craig

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C.M. Ronning, S.P. Kowalski, L.L. Sanford, and J.R. Stommel

The Colorado potato beetle is a serious pest of the cultivated potato. Natural resistance has been found in a few wild species, including Solanum chacoense Bitter, in which resistance is attributed to the presence of foliar specific leptine glycoalkaloids. Production and accumulation of these compounds within S. chacoense varies widely and appears to be inherited in a quantitative fashion, but high leptine producing clones occur rarely. In the present study, 15 different accessions from various locations and altitudes of origination were analyzed for foliar glycoalkaloid content in order to determine the frequency and distribution of genes for leptine production/accumulation, and to see if we could find a center, or core, of leptine production. Leptines were detected in eight of the 15 accessions, and the amounts within each accession varied widely, but none of the individuals produced high amounts of leptine (defined as greater than 62% of total glycoalkaloids). All of the leptine-containing accessions originated from western Argentina. There was no relationship between elevational level and leptine, but there was a negative trend with total glycoalkaloids and elevation; this was due to levels of solanine and chaconine decreasing with increasing elevation. In addition, nine unidentified glycoalkaloids were detected, in very high proportions in some individuals and accessions. AFLP marker frequency and diversity were used to compare subpopulations of these accessions. AFLP markers revealed substantial diversity among clones. The relationship of marker distribution to glycoalkaloid content is discussed. The results raise interesting questions about glycoalkaloid biosynthesis and inheritance, and point the direction for new avenues of leptine and glycoalkaloid research.

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Michael A. Fidanza, David L. Sanford, David M. Beyer, and David J. Aurentz

Fresh mushroom compost is a byproduct of the edible mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) industry and represents the composted growing substrate that remains after a crop has been harvested to completion. Thirty samples were obtained from commercial mushroom farms in southeastern Pennsylvania and sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine plant nutrient content, bulk density, and particle size distribution of fresh mushroom compost. Fresh mushroom compost had an average pH of 6.6, with an average carbon:nitrogen ratio of 13:1. Organic matter content averaged 25.86% (wet weight), 146.73 lb/yard3 (wet volume) or 60.97% (dry weight). For the primary macronutrients, average total nitrogen content averaged 1.12% (wet weight), 6.40 lb/yard3 (wet volume) or 2.65% (dry weight), phosphorus measured 0.29% (wet weight), 1.67 lb/yard3 (wet volume) or 0.69% (dry weight), and potassium was 1.04% (wet weight), 5.89 lb/yard3 (wet volume) or 2.44% (dry weight). Average soluble salt content was 13.30 mmho/cm (wet weight basis). However, on a per acre basis, the calculated sodium absorption ratio of 0.38 was considered very low. The average bulk density of fresh mushroom compost was 574.73 lb/yard3 (wet volume basis), and 91% of the material measured ≤3/8 inch in diameter as determined on a wet weight basis. Overall, fresh mushroom compost is suitable as a natural organic fertilizer and soil amendment for agriculture and horticulture.

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A.R. Jamieson, N.L. Nickerson, C.F. Forney, K.A. Sanford, K.R. Sanderson, J.-P. Privé, and R.J.A. Tremblay

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A.R. Jamieson, N.L. Nickerson, C.F. Forney, K.A. Sanford, K.R. Sanderson, J.-P. Privé, R.J.A. Tremblay, and P. Hendrickson