Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for

  • Author or Editor: Maria L. Mendes x
Clear All Modify Search

Interest in specialty melons (Cucumis melo) with distinctive fruit characteristics has grown in the United States in recent years. However, disease management remains a major challenge in specialty melon production. In this study, grafting experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of using Cucumis metulifer, a species known for its genetic resistance to root-knot nematodes (RKNs; Meloidogyne spp.), as a potential rootstock for managing RKNs in susceptible specialty melon cultivars. In the greenhouse experiment, honeydew melon ‘Honey Yellow’ was grafted onto C. metulifer and inoculated with M. incognita race 1. The grafted plants exhibited significantly lower gall and egg mass indices and fewer eggs compared with non- and self-grafted ‘Honey Yellow’. Cucumis metulifer was further tested as a rootstock in conventional and organic field trials using honeydew melon ‘Honey Yellow’ and galia melon ‘Arava’ as scions. ‘Honey Yellow’ and ‘Arava’ grafted onto C. metulifer exhibited significantly lower galling and reduced RKN population densities in the organic field; however, total and marketable fruit yields were not significantly different from non- and self-grafted plants. Although the improvement of RKN resistance did not translate into yield enhancements, incorporating grafted specialty melons with C. metulifer rootstock into double-cropping systems with RKN-susceptible vegetables may benefit the overall crop production by reducing RKN population densities in the soil. At the conventional field site, which was not infested with RKNs, ‘Honey Yellow’ grafted onto C. metulifer rootstock had a significantly lower total fruit yield than non-grafted ‘Honey Yellow’ plants; however, fruit yields were similar for ‘Arava’ grafted onto C. metulifer rootstock and non-grafted ‘Arava’ plants. Although no significant impacts on the fruit quality attributes of ‘Honey Yellow’ were observed, grafting onto C. metulifer decreased the flesh firmness of ‘Arava’ in both field trials and resulted in a reduction in total soluble solids content under conventional production. In summary, grafting RKN-susceptible melons onto C. metulifer rootstock offers promise for growing these specialty melons; however, more studies are needed to elucidate the scion–rootstock interaction effect on fruit yield and quality.

Free access

Citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis Starr and Garces pv. citri (Hasse) Vauterin et al., is one of the main problems affecting citrus production. In order to obtain resistance to phytopathogenic bacteria, insect genes, coding for antimicrobial proteins, have been used in plant genetic transformation. In this study, transgenic Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb. `Hamlin' plants expressing the antimicrobial insect-derived attacin A gene (attA) were obtained by Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Smith and Towns.) Conn-mediated transformation. Initially, the cDNA clone was used to construct a binary plasmid vector (pCattA 2300). The construction included the native signal peptide (SP) responsible for directing the insect protein to the extracellular space where bacteria is supposed to accumulate in vivo. In order to investigate the native SP effectiveness in a plant model system, onion (Allium cepa L.) epidermal cells were transformed, via biobalistics, using plasmids containing the attA gene with or without SP, fused with the green fluorescent protein gene (pattA 1303 and pSPattA 1303). Fluorescence accumulation surrounding the cells was observed only in tissues transformed with the plasmid containing the gene with SP, indicating the protein secretion to the apoplast. Citrus transformation was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot hybridization analysis in 12 regenerated plants. Transcription of attA gene was detected by Northern blot analysis in all transgenic plants. Eight selected transgenic lines were propagated and inoculated with a 106 cfu/mL suspension of the pathogen X. axonopodis pv. citri. Compared to control (non-transformed plant), seven transgenic lines showed a significant reduction in susceptibility to citrus canker. The results obtained here indicate the potential use of antibacterial proteins to protect citrus from bacterial diseases.

Free access