The horticulture faculty at Texas Tech Univ. has developed an introductory horticulture laboratory course offered asynchronously through several media. A print version has been developed as a traditional correspondence course. Students can also choose to access the course over the World Wide Web with laboratory instruction provided from an accompanying CD-ROM. The course is based on an introductory horticulture textbook and is supplemented by additional information. Students conduct the laboratory exercises at a location of their choice and return photographs or video tapes of their results along with a formal lab report. Self-help exercises, worksheets, and proctored exams are submitted by correspondence or electronically via the World Wide Web. The most challenging aspect of this project was the development of laboratory exercises that ensured adequate experiential learning. This was accomplished by using easily accessible materials for laboratories that would allow students to apply the scientific method. A CD-ROM version of the lab includes compressed video segments used to demonstrate laboratory techniques. Details of these laboratory components and samples of student work will be presented.
The usefulness of isozyme banding patterns as genetic markers in peach [Prunus persica L. (Batsch)] was investigated using starch gel electrophoresis. Samples for electrophoresis included leaves of both juvenile and mature plants. A survey of 38 enzyme activity stains and five electrophoretic buffer systems was conducted. Only 12 staining systems produced well-resolved banding patterns; of these, nine were monomorphic among all genotypes surveyed and three showed some variation. Genetic analysis of the variable banding patterns observed for diaphorase, malate dehydrogenase, and peroxidase revealed the presence of single independently inherited loci, designated Dia-1, Mdh-1, and Per-1. These loci are inherited in a simple Mendelian manner and are useful as genetic markers in peach. Some possible applications to peach breeding are discussed.
Grapes grown in West Texas are especially susceptible to freeze damage during spring deacclimation and budbreak. This experiment was undertaken to evaluate whether refrigeration of the root zone would delay budbreak in two grape cultivars, `Chardonnay' and `Cabernet Sauvignon'. The experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions using 1-year-old grafted plants planted into containers in water bath chillers to cool the root zone. Three root-zone temperatures were maintained: 7.2 °C, 1.7 °C, and a nonchilled control. The experiment followed a randomized split plot, with main plots being temperatures and the sub-plots being genotype, and the experiment was repeated once. Evaluation of budbreak was performed on a daily basis. Other data collected included shoot dry weight and root dry weight with soil, water, and air temperatures recorded using type T thermocouples (copper-constantan) attached to a datalogger. The experiments indicated that budbreak could be delayed in both varieties by the refrigeration of the root zone by an average of 1 to 2 days when comparing the 1.7 °C treatment with the nonchilled control. The refrigerated treatments of `Chardonnay' also tended to show a prolonged budbreak over time. This finding may be significant since `Chardonnay' generally exhibits budbreak relatively early compared to other grape varieties and a prolonged budbreak may allow some buds to escape spring frost injury.
A home landscape integrated pest management (IPM) extension program has been initiated in the Univ. of Kentucky College of Agriculture. In order for this program to be effective, activities must integrate aspects of general landscape management with pest management. The main tenets of the project encompass four areas: making wise choices when selecting plants for the landscape; practicing proper planting and transplanting techniques; maintaining the health of the plant in the landscape using proper watering, fertilizing, and pruning techniques; and practicing an integrated approach to managing pests in the landscape. Outreach mechanisms for this project include the preparation and broadcast of radio scripts, the production of educational videos for use by county agents, print material, and addition of a home landscape IPM section to the Univ. of Kentucky IPM web page. Examples of these activities will be presented. The initial emphasis of the program is on woody landscape plants; however, other areas of landscape management, including annuals and perennials, turf, and home fruit and vegetables, will be added as time and funding allow. This outreach program may be the first exposure many people have to IPM principles and thus it will play an important roll in educating the public to integrated pest management practices that are a vital part of modern agriculture production.
Ovules of seedless bunch grapes (Vitis spp.) fertilized by controlled pollination increased in size during berry development. More ovules cultured 10 days or 60 to 70 days after pollination became brown compared to those cultured at 20 to 40 days. Cultured ovules developed with and without endosperm. Globular to torpedo stage embryos were recovered. More embryos and plants were recovered from ovules cultured at 40 or 60 days than at 10 or 20 days after pollination. Pollen parent significantly affected both embryo and plant recovery at certain sampling times. BA incorporated into medium significantly increased embryo germination percentage. Electrophoretic analysis of glucosephosphate isomerase in progeny showed that 67% to 88% were hybrids of controlled crosses. Of four vines that fruited thus far, two were seedless. Seedless progeny had smaller seed traces than either parent. Chemical name used: N-(phenylmethyl) -1H-purin-6-amine (BA).
Two isozyme systems, phosphoglucomutase (PGM) and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (PGD), were identified that permit the early verification of peach x almond hybrids as opposed to plants resulting from accidental self-pollination. Nondestructive samples for analysis can be taken from cotyledons or primary leaves. Isozymes of PGM-2, PGD-1, and PGD-2 were found to be monomorphic in the peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] cultivars studied. P. amygdalus Batsch ‘Nonpareil’ was found to be heterozygous at the PGM-2 banding region, bearing the peach allele and a slower migrating allele. This locus allows verification of 50% of the hybrids. ‘Nonpareil’ was homozygous for alleles contrasting to peach at the PGD-1 and PGD-2 banding regions, allowing the unequivocal verification of all hybrids.
Consumer horticulture encompasses a wide array of activities that are practiced by and of interest to the gardening public, garden-focused nongovernmental organizations, and gardening-related industries. In a previous publication, we described the current lack of funding for research, extension, and education in consumer horticulture and outlined the need for a strategic plan. Here, we describe our process and progress in crafting a plan to guide university efforts in consumer horticulture, and to unite these efforts with stakeholders’ goals. In 2015, a steering committee developed a first draft of a plan, including a mission statement, aspirational vision, core values, goals, and objectives. This draft was subsequently presented to and vetted by stakeholders at the 2015 American Society for Horticultural Science Consumer Horticulture and Master Gardeners (CHMG) working group workshop, a 2015 Extension Master Gardener Coordinators’ webinar, and a 2015 meeting in Washington, DC. Feedback received from these events is being used to refine and focus plan goals and objectives. The most recent working draft of the plan can be found on the website, where stakeholders and other interested parties can register to receive updates and to provide input into the process.