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  • Author or Editor: M.D. Dickson x
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Resistance to black rot of cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Group capitata), caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris in PI 436606, was conditioned by one recessive gene. The data suggested the occurrence of one or two modifying genes for tolerance to black rot in an unrelated line.

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Forty hybrid broccoli [Brassica oleracea L. (Italica Group)] accessions were screened for heat tolerance and holding ability over three planting dates in 1988 at the Long Island Horticultural Research Laboratory in Riverhead, N.Y. Holding periods were quantified using the number of consecutive days between the time individual heads reached 10 cm diameter and cutting, which occurred when the sepals had fully expanded and had just begun to separate. In 1989 and 1991, heat stress was applied at various weeks during maturation to determine the most sensitive stage or stages of plant development in terms of reduction in holding period and head weight. Field studies and heat stress experiments indicate that heat stress may be most critical during the time the immature inflorescence measures 5 to 10 mm in diameter. This stage corresponds to ≈ 3 weeks before harvest for summer plantings in the northeastern United States.

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Inbreds and hybrid cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) selected for resistance to diamondback moth (DBM, Plutella xylostella L.) were tested in the field in New York and Honduras for resistance. In New York, plants were inocrdated with up to 400 eggs per plant to enhance the severity of the tests. In Honduras, where natural populations of DBM were high, especially in the dry season, there were three distinct classes of susceptibility to DBM: the very susceptible controls or standard cultivars, the highly resistant glossy-leaved lines, and the intermediate selections with normal leaf bloom. Some normal-leaf hybrids were more resistant than either of their parents, which indicates the need to select for specific combining ability for high resistance levels. At maturity, the glossy-leaved hybrids produced marketable crops with: out aid of chemical sprays.

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Water is pervasively involved in the life cycle of seeds. Water in the environment, either as a vapor or liquid, directly affects seed moisture status. This article is devoted to the study of seed moisture status in postharvest events. Two topics are discussed: imbibitional chilling injury and upgrading of primed seeds. Imbibitional chilling injury is a physiological disorder that occurs in large-seeded legumes as well as other important agronomic seeds. Imbibitional chilling injury has been shown to reduce the survival rate of seedlings. Surviving seedlings have less emergence force per seedling and require a longer period to generate maximum force. Rapid hydration has been shown to induce injury at a particular seed moisture level. Methods of regulating the hydration rate were explored to alleviate chilling injury in snap beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Plant breeding lines with the semihard seed characteristic delayed the onset of imbibition when the initial moisture level was low (8%). Coating seeds with polymeric films to complement the permeable testa retarded the imbibition rates. Both approaches alleviated chilling injury and improved seedling establishment under stressful conditions. Seed priming is a technique for elevation of seed moisture content before sowing. Primed seeds generally emerge more quickly than nonprimed seeds, especially under stressful environmental conditions. An additional merit of this technique is that it gives access to seeds with elevated moisture content. Various approaches may be employed to condition seeds after priming, but before redesiccation. Discarding the low-density fractions of primed tomato and lettuce seeds improved the percentage of germination compared with nonprimed seeds. Physiological mechanisms are presented to explain the association of density with seed viability in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.).

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