The effect of integrated applications of various irrigation and fertilization rates on productivity (yield and size) and returns of the `Hass' avocado (Persea americana Mill.) have been analyzed from 1987 to 1991 in western Riverside County. Eighteen treatment combinations comprised of three irrigation levels [80%, 100%, and 120% crop water use (ETc)], three N fertilizer levels (0.16, 0.7, and 1.4 kg/tree per year), and Zn (0 and 0.2 kg/tree per year) were included in the analysis. Using a partial budgeting procedure, returns after costs were calculated for each treatment combination. Costs of treatments, harvesting, hauling, and marketing were subtracted from the value of the crop. The value of the crop was calculated as the sum of crop returns in each size category. Three years of data on the relationship between irrigation and N showed 1) irrigating at 80% ETc would be ineffective even at very high water prices; 2) for groves where 100% ETc is sufficient, its application with either low or medium N would be beneficial; and 3) at higher irrigation (120% ETc), N application should be at or beyond the medium level.
Etaferahu Takele, Jewell L. Meyer, Mary L. Arpaia, David E. Stottlemyer, and Guy W. Witney
Nydia Celis, Donald L. Suarez, Laosheng Wu, Rui Li, Mary Lu Arpaia, and Peggy Mauk
Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is one of the most salt-sensitive crops and one of the highest value crops per acre. In the United States, avocados are grown primarily in California, in regions experiencing both scarcity of freshwater and salinization of available water supplies. Thus, our objectives were to evaluate avocado rootstocks for salt tolerance and evaluate the relationship between leaf ion concentrations, trunk diameter, leaf burn, and fruit yield. Our field experiment evaluated the salt tolerance of the Hass scion grafted onto 13 different avocado rootstocks using the Brokaw clonal rootstock technique. The experiment consisted of 156 trees arranged in a randomized complete block design with six replications of each saline [electrical conductivity (EC) = 1.5 dS·m–1, Cl– = 4.94 mmol·L–1] and nonsaline (EC= 0.65 dS·m–1, Cl– = 0.73 mmol·L–1) irrigation water treatment. We collected soil samples and leaves, then analyzed them for major ions. The rootstocks R0.06, R0.07, PP14, and R0.17, which had high concentrations of Cl and Na in the leaves, were the least salt tolerant, with 100% mortality in the rows irrigated with saline water for 23 months. The rootstocks R0.05, PP40, R0.18, and Dusa, which had low concentrations of Cl ions in the fully expanded leaves, were least affected by salinity, and these rootstocks exhibited the greatest yields, largest trunk diameters, and greatest survival percentages in the saline treatment. Yield and growth parameters correlated well with leaf Cl concentration, but not Na, indicating that salt damage in avocado is primarily a result of Cl ion toxicity. Under arid inland environments, no variety performed satisfactorily when irrigated with an EC = 1.5 dS·m–1 water (Cl– = 4.94 mmol·L–1). However, the more tolerant varieties survived at soil salinity levels that would apparently be fatal to varieties reported earlier in the literature.
Robert L. Heath, Michael V. Mickelbart, Mary Lu Arpaia, Claudia Fassio, and Ruby Miller
Vapor pressure deficit (VPD) is the driving force for plant water loss. However, air relative humidity (RH) can be used as a surrogate for VPD. While plants can adapt to environments with varying RH, little is known about how they respond to sudden shifts in RH. Areas of Southern California can experience drastic shifts in RH, from 60% or greater to less than 20% in just a few hours. The effect of these shifts on avocado (Persea americana Mill.) tree productivity is a major concern to growers. We studied the effect of shifts in RH on `Hass' avocado leaf stomatal conductance (g s) and branch sap flow in trees grafted on Duke 7 clonal rootstock. Under many conditions, the avocado assimilation rate is governed by g s. When g s is high in morning (>150 mmol·m-2·s-1), the water loss generally leads to some stomatal closure in the afternoon (50% or more). Conversely, low morning g s results in a higher g s rate in the afternoon (10% to 20% stomatal closure). This relationship between morning and afternoon g s is intensified by a shift from high to low RH in the afternoon. Therefore, in a drier atmosphere in the afternoon, the afternoon depression in g s is greater, leading to an impaired assimilation capacity. We hypothesize that the afternoon decrease in g s is due to low root/shoot hydraulic conductivity since soil water is readily available. While it is possible that low hydraulic conductivity on g s is exacerbated at the graft union, sap flow of grafted trees in greenhouse studies was nearly equal to trees on their own roots (ungrafted); in fact, often the depression in the afternoon was less on grafted trees. This suggests that while avocado is not suited to areas with low RH, water flow through the roots could be an additional criterion in selecting improved rootstocks.
Etaferahu Takele, John A. Menge, John E. Pehrson Jr., Jewell L. Meyer, Charles W. Coggins Jr., Mary Lu Arpaia, J. Daniel Hare, Darwin R. Atkin, and Carol Adams
The effect of various integrated crop management practices on productivity (fruit yield, grade, and sire) and returns of `Washington Navel' oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] was determined in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Seventy-two combinations of treatments comprised of three irrigation levels [80%, 100%, and 120% evapotranspiration demand (ETc)], three N fertilizer levels (low, medium, and high based on 2.3%, 2.5%, and 2.7% leaf N, respectively), gibberellic acid (±), miticide (±), and fungicide-nematicide (±) were included in the analysis. Using a partial budgeting procedure, returns after costs were calculated for each treatment combiition. Costs of treatments, harvesting, packing, and processing were subtracted from the value of the crop. The value of the crop was calculated as the sum of returns of crop in each size and grade category. The overall result indicated that returns after costs were higher for the +fungicide-nematicide treatment and also were generally more with increased irrigation. The combination of 120% ETc, +fungicide-nematicide, medium or high N, -miticide, and -gibberellin showed the highest return of all treatment combinations. Second highest returns were obtained with high N or with miticide and gibberellin used together.
Vanessa E.T.M. Ashworth, Haofeng Chen, Carlos L. Calderón-Vázquez, Mary Lu Arpaia, David N. Kuhn, Mary L. Durbin, Livia Tommasini, Elizabeth Deyett, Zhenyu Jia, Michael T. Clegg, and Philippe E. Rolshausen
The glossy, green-fleshed fruit of the avocado (Persea americana) has been the object of human selection for thousands of years. Recent interest in healthy nutrition has singled out the avocado as an excellent source of several phytonutrients. Yet as a sizeable, slow-maturing tree crop, it has been largely neglected by genetic studies, owing to a long breeding cycle and costly field trials. We use a small, replicated experimental population of 50 progeny, grown at two locations in two successive years, to explore the feasibility of developing a dense genetic linkage map and to implement quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for seven phenotypic traits. Additionally, we test the utility of candidate-gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms developed to genes from biosynthetic pathways of phytonutrients beneficial to human health. The resulting linkage map consisted of 1346 markers (1044.7 cM) distributed across 12 linkage groups. Numerous markers on Linkage Group 10 were associated with a QTL for flowering type. One marker on Linkage Group 1 tracked a QTL for β-sitosterol content of the fruit. A region on Linkage Group 3 tracked vitamin E (α-tocopherol) content of the fruit, and several markers were stable across both locations and study years. We argue that the pursuit of linkage mapping and QTL analysis is worthwhile, even when population size is small.