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R. J. Hutton

The Plant Patent Act of 1930 was a tremendous step forward in the development of new cultivars for ornamental horticulture and for the benefit of the American public. The `Peace' rose, PP 591, was the single breakthrough that had maximum impact. Prom the Plant Patent Act, other forms of breeders' rights were spawned worldwide, including our own Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA). Proof of the success has been the increasing use and acceptance of plant patents and the lack of challenges to the act and plant patent litigation.

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R.J. Hutton

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J. Brent Loy, R. Bruce Carle and Mark G. Hutton

A new leaf mutant, fused-vein, is described in Cucurbita pepo L. for use as a plant gene marker. Morphologically, the fused-vein trait is characterized by a partial fusion of the lateral leaf veins to the main central vein. Fusion begins at the distal point of the petiole and extends for 5 to 10 cm into the leaf blade, thereby delaying branching of the leaf veins and causing the dorsal leaf surface to appear puckered. The trait is expressed beginning at the fourth to sixth leaf stage and throughout vegetative growth. Preliminary inheritance data suggests a two gene, double recessive model. Data on segregation of the fused-vein trait in reciprocal F2 and backcross progenies will be obtained during the summer of 1990. This trait has been incorporated into hull-less seeded lines for use as a marker to identify rogue genotypes. Comparison of F5 sister lines with and without the fused-vein trait indicated that the trait does not affect fruit or seed yields.

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R.J. Hutton, A.B. Blakeney, G.D. Batten and L.A. Welsh

Fertilizers are an essential input for sustained high yields and quality of orange fruit. Monitoring leaf nutrient levels is desirable and procedures for using leaf analysis to make fertilizer recommendations are well established. Wider adoption of leaf analysis would result if more-convenient sampling and analytical techniques were available. Analysis using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR) offers many advantages, including accuracy, low cost, and short turnaround time, which should appeal to citrus producers. NIR analysis is currently being used to decide the appropriate fertilizer applications for local cereal producers. Samples were collected from a cross-section (7%) of the orange-producing farms in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) of New South Wales (lat.35, long.146). This semi-arid, winter-dominant rainfall region is a major citrus-producing area in Australia. Samples comprised the 2nd and 3rd fully expanded leaves from non-fruiting 4-month-old flush shoots of sweet orange trees `Late Valencia' on P. trifoliata rootstock. The microwave-dried and ground samples were analyzed by the traditional techniques, and the samples were then used to develop and verify calibrations for N, P, and K. These calibrations determine nutrients in leaves with error (SEP) values that are close to the errors associated with traditional methods.