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Jane E. Lancaster, Julie Farrant, and Martin L. Shaw

Three onion (Allium cepa L.) cultivars, `Southport White Globe', `Grano', and `Pukekohe Longkeeper' were grown at low to high S (at 0.5, 1.8, 3.0 or 4.0 meq·L-1) in hydroponic culture. Differential solvent extractions of bulbs were used to isolate quantitatively cell contents, cell wall proteins, and cell wall residue. The weight of the cell fractions, their S content, and the S content of intact bulbs were determined. Bulb characteristics of fresh weight (FW), firmness, soluble solids concentration (SSC), and soluble sugars were also determined. For all three cultivars, bulb FW increased with S from 0.5 to 4.0 meq·L-1. Sulfur had a significant effect on bulb firmness. Onion bulbs grown with S at 0.5 meq·L-1, the lowest S concentration, were significantly softer than onion bulbs grown at the highest concentration of 4.0 meq·L-1. Varying the S supply had a major effect on dry weight (DW) allocation to the cell wall residue. Bulbs of all three cultivars grown at the lowest S had significantly less DW in the cell walls compared to S at 3.0 or 4.0 meq·L-1. In contrast to the effect of S supply on DW allocation, varying S supply had no effect on total bulb S, free SO4 -2, and on the S content of the cell contents and the cell wall residue and only a minor effect on cell wall proteins. There was no significant effect of S supply on either SSC or soluble sugars. At low S nutrition, which is limiting to the growth of onion bulbs, cell wall deposition is reduced, with a consequent decrease in bulb firmness. The S composition of the cellular components is maintained at the expense of bulb growth.

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William M. Randle, Jane E. Lancaster, Martin L. Shaw, Kevin H. Sutton, Rob L. Hay, and Mark L. Bussard

Three onion (Allium cepa L.) cultivars were grown to maturity at five S fertility levels and analyzed for S-alk(en)yl-L-cysteine sulfoxide (ACSO) flavor precursors, γ-glutamyl peptide (γ-GP) intermediates, bulb S, pyruvic acid, and soluble solids content. ACSO concentration and composition changed with S fertility, and the response was cultivar dependent. At S treatments that induced S deficiency symptoms during active bulbing, (+)S-methyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide was the dominant flavor precursor, and the flavor pathway was a strong sink for available S. As S fertility increased to luxuriant levels, trans(+)-S-(1-propenyl)-L-cysteine sulfoxide (PRENCSO) became the dominant ACSO. (+)S-propyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide was found in low concentration relative to total ACSO at all S fertility treatments. With low S fertility, S rapidly was metabolized and low γ-GP concentrations were detected. As S fertility increased, γ-GP increased, especially γ-L-glutamyl-S-(1-propenyl)-L-cysteine sulfoxide, the penultimate compound leading to ACSO synthesis. Nearly 95% of the total bulb S could be accounted for in the measured S compounds at low S fertility. However, at the highest S treatment, only 40 % of the total bulb S could be attributed to the ACSO and γ-GP, indicating that other S compounds were significant S reservoirs in onions. Concentrations of enzymatically produced pyruvic acid (EPY) were most closely related to PRENCSO concentrations. Understanding the dynamics of flavor accumulation in onion and other vegetable Alliums will become increasing important as the food and phytomedicinal industries move toward greater product standardization and characterization.

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Rolston St. Hilaire, Michael A. Arnold, Don C. Wilkerson, Dale A. Devitt, Brian H. Hurd, Bruce J. Lesikar, Virginia I. Lohr, Chris A. Martin, Garry V. McDonald, Robert L. Morris, Dennis R. Pittenger, David A. Shaw, and David F. Zoldoske

In the United States, urban population growth, improved living standards, limited development of new water supplies, and dwindling current water supplies are causing the demand for treated municipal water to exceed the supply. Although water used to irrigate the residential urban landscape will vary according to factors such as landscape type, management practices, and region, landscape irrigation can vary from 40% to 70% of household use of water. So, the efficient use of irrigation water in urban landscapes must be the primary focus of water conservation. In addition, plants in a typical residential landscape often are given more water than is required to maintain ecosystem services such as carbon regulation, climate control, and preservation of aesthetic appearance. This implies that improvements in the efficiency of landscape irrigation will yield significant water savings. Urban areas across the United States face different water supply and demand issues and a range of factors will affect how water is used in the urban landscape. The purpose of this review is to summarize how irrigation and water application technologies; landscape design and management strategies; the relationship among people, plants, and the urban landscape; the reuse of water resources; economic and noneconomic incentives; and policy and ordinances impact the efficient use of water in the urban landscape.