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G. Fernandez and M. Pritts

Seasonal changes in growth, photosynthetic rates, temperature, and light response curves of `Titan' red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) were obtained from potted plants grown under field conditions. Primocane dry weight accumulation underwent two phases of linear growth at the beginning and the end of the season, but growth slowed during fruiting. This slower rate of dry weight accumulation also coincided with an increase in root dry weight. Primocane NAR and SLA were highest early in the season. Light response curves differed depending on cane type and time of year. Floricane photosynthetic rates (A) were high during the fruiting period, while primocane A rates remained steady throughout the season. Both primocane and floricane leaflets displayed a midday drop in A rate, with a partial recovery in late afternoon. Photosynthetic rates of both primocane and floricane leaves were very sensitive to high temperatures. Temporal convergence of sink demand from fruit, primocanes, and roots occurs when plants experience high temperatures. This may account for low realized yields in raspberry and the high level of yield component compensation typical of source-limited plants.

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Geoffrey M. May and Marvin P. Pritts

The main effects and interactions of soil-applied P, B, and Zn on yield and its components were examined in the field at two pH levels with `Earliglow' strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.). Applied nutrients had significant effects on several yield components, but responses depended on the levels of other nutrients or the soil pH At a soil pH of 5.5, yield responded linearly to B and quadratically to P. At pH 6.5, P interacted with B and Zn. Fruit count per inflorescence was the yield component most strongly associated with yield followed by individual fruit weight. However, these two yield components responded differently to soil-applied nutrients. Foliar nutrient levels generally did not increase with the amount of applied nutrient, but often an applied nutrient had a strong effect on the level of another nutrient. Leaf nutrient levels were often correlated with fruit levels, but foliar and fruit levels at harvest were not related to reproductive performance. Our study identifies some of the problems inherent in using foliar nutrient levels to predict a yield response and demonstrates how plant responses to single nutrients depend on soil chemistry and the presence of other nutrients.

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Anne M. Socci, Marvin P. Pritts, and Mary Jo Kelly

A mixed cultivar blueberry planting was treated with a concentrated sucrose solution before fruit ripening and after episodes of rain during the harvest season. Fruit losses due to birds were monitored throughout the season in this planting and in the same cultivar in a separate nontreated planting ≈200 m (650 ft.) away. Fruit loss to birds was ≈50% greater in the nontreated planting over the first 3 weeks of harvest. In addition, bird activity was monitored between 0600 and 0700 hr on two occasions in each planting during the early harvest season. Bird activity was many times higher in the nontreated planting. These observations suggest that sucrose should be tested more widely for potential activity on bird feeding behavior.

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K.E. Maloney, M.P. Pritts, W.F. Wilcox, and M.E. Sorrells

Phytophthora is a severe root rot disease in most raspberry production regions throughout the world. Disease control options are limited to raised bed culture and fungicide applications. Few Phytophthora-resistant varieties are available that have commercial quality. Little is known about how soil amendments (i.e., composts, fertilizers, and limestones) influence Phytophthora control in raspberry. We evaluated the effects of preplant soil modification on the incidence of Phytophthora root rot in red raspberries. The experiment was conducted simultaneously at two sites to differentiate between the nutritional value of the amendments and the disease control value. One site has a known history of Phytophthora and a the second site is assumed to be free of the causal organism. Raspberry plant growth and fruit yield measurements were taken for all treatments. Preplant soil application of Gypsum (CaSo4) and post-plant applications of phosphorous acid sprays (H3PO3) had the greatest fruit yields compared to all other treatments in the Phytophthora-infested site. Gypsum-treated plots had greater cane diameter, cane height, and cane density compared to the control plots on the Phytophthorainfested site. A second experiment was conducted to further investigate the use of gypsum for control of Phytophthora in raspberries. Field soil was collected for use as potting medium from each of the aforementioned sites and pathogen free `Titan' plants were established in the greenhouse. After subsequent floodings, gypsum-treated soils delayed foliar disease symptoms compared to the control plots. At the end of the experiment, the control plants had 100% foliar disease symptoms and gypsum-treated pots had 33% disease symptoms. This study suggests that gypsum could be used in an integrated approach to Phytophthora management in raspberries. Future research should identify minimal effective rates of gypsum, examine other calcium sources, and determine effectiveness in other fruit crops.

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J.F. Hancock, P.W. Callow, S.L. Krebs, D.C. Ramsdell, J.R. Ballington, M.J. Lareau, J.J. Luby, G.P. Pavlis, M.P. Pritts, J.M. Smagula, and N. Vorsa

Flower bud and leaf samples collected from a wide range of native North American Vaccinium populations were tested for the presence of blueberry shoestring virus (BBSSV) using the enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay. The highest disease incidence was found in Michigan (14%), although a few positive samples also were found in Virginia, New Jersey, Maine, Ontario, and Quebec. Of seven species tested, only V. corymbosum L. and V. angustifolium Ait. were infected with BBSSV.