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V.A. Khan, C. Stevens, J. Y. Lu, D. I. Collins, M. A. Wilson, J. E. Brown, M.K. Kabwe, and O. Adeyeye

A study was conducted in 1991 to determine the effect high soil temperatures would have on `Clemson Spineless' okra plants transplanted into field plots during 60 days of active soil solarization (solar heating of the soil using clear plastic during the summer period). Solarized plots were planted to a winter cover crop which served as an organic amendment, which was rototilled into the top 15 cm of the soil before solarizing. Okra transplants were planted on the outer edges of the plots one month after the solarization process commenced and drip irrigated. Three weeks (wk) after transplanting, a complete fertilizer at the rate of 200 parts per million was applied to the plots giving the following treatment combinations: solarized non-fertilized control (SNF), non-solarized non-fertilized control (NSNF), solar fertilized (SF). and non-solarized fertilized (NSF). Results showed that the increased soil temperature did not have any deleterious effect on the okra plants grown in SNF or SF plots. However, plants grown in SF plots suffered severe fertilizer bums which affected plant density and yield. This indicated a rapid breakdown of soil organic matter provided sufficient nutrients to sustain a late-season crop of okra. Plant height, marketable yield vegetative branching and income generated were greater in SNF compared to SF, NSF and NSNF plots, respectively.

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J. Liu, C. Stevens, V.A. Khan, J.Y. Lu, C.L. Wilson, O. Adeyeye, M.K. Kabwe, L. Pusey, E. Chalutz, T. Sultana, and S. Droby

The application of low hormetic low-dose ultraviolet light (WV-C, 254 nm) on fruits and vegetables to stimulate beneficial responses is a new method for controlling storage rots and extending the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables. The present study was aimed at treating tomatoes (lycopersicon esculentum) with different UV-C dosages (1.3 to 40 KJ/m2) to induce resistance to black mold (Alternaria alternata), gray mold (Boytris cinerea), and Rhizopus soft rot (Rhizopus stolonifer). Thesediseases were effectively reduced when tomatoes were artificially inoculated following UV-C irradiation UV-C treated tomatoes were firmer in texture and less red in color than the control tomatoes, indicating a delay in ripening. Slower ripening and resistsace to storage rots of tomatoes are probably related. The positive effect of UVC on tomatoes decreased as treatments were performed at stages of increased ripeness.

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C. Stevens, P. L. Pusey, V. A. Khan, J. Y. Lu, C. L. Wilson, E. Chalutz, M. K. Kabwe, Z. Haung, O. Adeyeye, and J. Lin

Low hormetic doses of ultraviolet light (UV-C) stress on exposed peaches (Prunus persica). reduced brown rot resulting from field and artificial inoculation from Monilinia fructicola. To test the hypothesis that UV-C induced resistance through host responses the following tests involving biochemical changes (phenlyalanine ammonia-lyase activity (PAL) and ethylene production (EP)), bioassay of antifungal activity of tissue extracts to the fungus, and latent infection of rot free peaches previously treated with and without UV-C were determined. Exposure of peaches to UV-C dose of 7.5×104 ergs/mm2 promoted an increase in PAL and EP compared to the control. As the PAL activity increased, percent storage rots decreased. Antifungal activity to the fungal conidia in UV-C treated peach extract showed that the percent conidia germination was reduced 3 folds. Preharvest infection of brown rot which indicated latent infection was significantly reduced. To test for the germicidal effect of UV-C on M. fructicola on the surface of peaches, an artificial epiphytic population of the fungus was deposited on the peaches. A negative relationship between UV-C dose of 1.3 to 40×104 ergs /mm2, colony forming units and number of decaying brown rot lesions were found.