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Leonard M. Pike

`BetaSweet' is a new “designer” carrot that was conceived as a research project with the objective to create a new high-quality vegetable with unique characteristics. The gene responsible for purple or maroon color in carrots is a natural one and has been around for many years. Carrot breeders have discarded carrots which occasionally segregated to this color because orange has been the preferred traditional color. In 1989, three carrots grown from Brazilian seed were observed to have a blotchy maroon color mixed with the normal orange. Within two generations of breeding effort I had obtained a few carrot roots with near complete maroon exterior color and orange interior. The contrast of orange and maroon was very attractive in carrots cut as coins or sticks. The maroon and orange color would serve as the perfect way to identify and promote this new variety. Several additional generations were required using extensive laboratory testing for low terpenoids (strong carrot flavors), high sugars, high carotene, and crispy texture. Thousands of carrot roots were analyzed and selected for those qualities and for the dark maroon exterior and orange interior colors. The few best for those characteristics were intercrossed, and reselected for their adaptation when grown under Texas climatic conditions.

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Bhimanagouda S. Patil and Leonard M. Pike

Representative varieties and genotypes of different colored onions were compared to determine the extent of differences in the distribution of quercetin and quercetin glycosides. The dry skins, outer rings, and inner rings were separated and extracted with ethanol to obtain quercetin glycosides that were then hydrolyzed to free quercetin, or aglycone. Free quercetin was used as the standard for quantification by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

Significant difference (P=0.05) in total quercetin content was observed between dry skin and inner rings (edible parts). A decrease in total quercetin content was observed from the dry skin to inner rings. The highest total quercetin content was observed in the dry skins of Red bone variety (30.74 g/kg dry weight) while Contessa variety contain the least amount (0.082 g/kg dry weight). Total quercetin content in outer scales (1-2 scales) in Kadavan variety is the highest (481 mg/kg fresh weight); however, trace amounts are observed in Contessa. Inner rings (5-6 and 7-10 scales) contain less amount of total quercetin in all the varieties.

Outer scales of all the varieties except 1015Y and Contessa contain moderate amount (2.5-16 mg/kg fresh weight) of free quercetin. Kadavan contain the highest amount of free quercetin (20.64 g/kg dry weight).

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Kil Sun Yoo and Leonard M. Pike

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Kevin L. Cook and Leonard M. Pike

An `intermediate leaf' hybrid pickling cucumber (TAMU 884304 X ARK H-19 `little leaf') was direct-seeded at four plant densities (94,570; 48,440; 32,290; 25,375 plants/ha) using four within-row spacings (15, 30, 45, 60cm) at two locations and two seasons. Optimum yield based on marketable fruit number, grade distribution and fruit quality occurred with 94,570 plants/ha. Optimum harvest time depended on location and season. Delayed harvest times were also evaluated. Harvests with fruit >5.1cm in diameter had severely reduced brining quality. Fruit did not enlarge or enlarged slowly to oversize. This resulted in a mixture of fruit ages within the largest marketable fruit grades. It is recommended that `little leaf' lines and their hybrids such as `intermediate leaf' be harvested when fruit 3.8 to 5.1cm in diameter appear and before oversize fruit are produced. Spacing did not significantly effect length/diameter ratio(LDR) but LDR was significantly greater for delayed harvests.

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Kil Sun Yoo and Leonard M. Pike

A 50 g sample taken as a horizontal section from the mid-height of an onion bulb was blended with 100 g water for 1 min in a closed plastic mason jar. A 0.5 ml of a headspace sample was drawn and injected into a Perkin Elmer 8500 GC equipped with FPD for detection of sulfur compounds. The major volatiles tentatively identified in onion were thiopropanal S-oxide, methyl propyl disulfide, dipropyl disulfide, and propyl allyl disulfide.

We observed significant variation of peak pattern and height depending on position in a bulb, among bulbs within variety, and between varieties. These results seemed to comply well with taste test. There were no significant correlations between total peak height and bulb weight, soluble solids, or pyruvate concentration in juice extract. Our investigation suggested that this procedure provided better understanding and measurement of onion pungency than pyruvate analysis.

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Gregory C. Peterson and Leonard M. Pike

Fruit of TAMU breeding line 830397 are green in contrast to the cream or orange fruit of commercial cultivars at the mature-seed stage (MS-S). Inheritance of this trait for green MS-S fruit color in Cucumis sativus was investigated. A new locus, gn, is proposed as well as the elimination of the C locus. MS-S fruit color is controlled by two major genes, R and Gn. Fruit is orange when the genotype is R_ _ and green when the genotype is rrgngn. The cream MS-S fruit color trait is incompletely dominant over green, as the genotype rrGnGn is cream while rrGngn produces mature fruit from cream to intermediate in color between cream-colored and green fruit. Spine color is pleiotropic with or very tightly linked to the R locus, but heavy netting from PI 165509 appears not to be linked with the orange genotype and is polygenic.

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Bhimanagouda S. Patil and Leonard M. Pike

The anti carcinogenic flavonol, aglycone, or free quercetin and quercetin glycoside content of seventeen onion varieties and 22 genotypes (Asgrow seed co.) and also 37 breeding lines (Texas A&M University) were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Quercetin glycosides were hydrolyzed into aglycones.

Total quercetin content in yellow and red onions varied from 80.34 to 286.4 mg/kg fresh weight in different varieties. Marked variation in total quercetin content between Texas A&M breeding lines (56-202 mg/kg fresh weight) and Asgrow breeding lines (54-287 mg/kg fresh weight) was observed. White onions contain trace amount of total quercetin. Free quercetin in Texas A&M breeding line 20272-G was 12.4 mg/kg fresh weight; however, other varieties and breeding lines contain negligible amount of free quercetin. It was concluded that the `designer' onion varieties with high quercetin content for health consciousness can be produced.

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Kil Sun Yoo, Leonard M. Pike and B. Greg Cobb

Inner scales excised from dormant bulbs of the short-day `Texas Grano 1015Y' onion (Allium cepa L.) were cultured in vitro and leaf growth was examined. Light promoted leaf growth, but no differences in leaf growth were observed for media pH between 4 and 7. Leaf growth rate in darkness was highest at 24C, reduced at 15C, and greatly reduced at SC. Kinetin promoted leaf growth at 1, 10, and 100 μm. IAA was effective at 1 and 10 μM, but not at 0.1 and 100 μm. GA3 promoted growth at 0.1 μM. No inhibitory effects of ABA on leaf growth could be detected. Chemical names used: 1-H-indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), abscisic acid (ABA), gibberellic acid (GA3), 6-furfurylaminopurine (Kinetin).