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Chris Cooper, Daniel Struve, and Mark Bennett

Previous experiments showed that a 10 day aerated water soak (water priming) increased red oak (Quercus rubra) seed vigor. After water priming most seed had split pericarps. Seed with split pericarps were observed to be more visorous than water primed seed without split pericarps. An experiment was conducted to determine if pericarp splitting could be used as an indicator of red oak seed vigor. The following experiment was conducted. Red oak seed from three open pollinated, half-sib families, were water primed for 10 days. Seed were separated into two groups, seed with split pericarps and without split pericarps, and a germination test conducted. Unprimed seed were used as a control. There were significant differences among the families in seed vigor (germination completeness, uniformity and speed). Primed seed with intact pericarps had lower seed vigor than primed seed with split pericarps and unprimed seed. The results suggest that pericarp splitting following water priming is an indicator of high seed vigor.

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Stephen J. Tancred, Aldo G. Zeppa, Mark Cooper, and Joanne K. Stringer

A major objective of the apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) breeding program in Stanthorpe, Australia, is to develop early ripening, high-quality cultivars. The heritability and inheritance of ripening date was investigated. Regression of offspring on midparent harvest dates and estimation of best linear unbiased predictions for parents were used to demonstrate that apple harvest date is highly heritable. Predominantly, additive genetic components of variance are responsible for the variation. Despite the existence of some specific combining ability variance and some non-normal family distributions, the best strategy for a breeder to predict the harvest date of progeny is to calculate the mean harvest date of parents.