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C.J. Catanzaro and R.J. Sauve

A greenhouse study was conducted in Autumn 1998 using standard cultural practices for potted chrysanthemum [Dendranthema × grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura] to determine how fertilization affected plant growth and quality and nutrient leaching. Fertilization treatments included constant liquid fertilization until anthesis (LFA), constant liquid fertilization until disbud (LFD), slow-release resincoated fertilizer (SRF), and no-fertilizer control. Frequency of irrigation was determined gravimetrically, and leaching fractions maintained near 0.2. Plant growth and quality for LFA, LFD, and SRF met commercial crop standards. Nearly 60% of the total nitrogen applied with LFA was applied during the 4 weeks between disbud and anthesis, due to increased water demand. During the same period when liquid fertilization was discontinued for LFD, leachate electrical conductivity (EC) levels dropped from 4 to <1 dS·m-1. Leachate EC levels for LFA at anthesis remained high, but were <1 dS·m-1 for the other treatments. LFD and SRF drastically reduced the total amount of nutrients applied during the course of production compared with LFA. Use of an appropriate slow-release fertilizer or discontinued use of liquid fertilizer at disbud allow soluble salt levels to decrease during the latter weeks of the mum production cycle, when nutrient demand is low and water demand is high.

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C.J. Catanzaro, C.L. Fenderson and R.J. Sauve

The Dept. of Agricultural Sciences currently offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate programs in Plant Science, Animal Science, and Rural Development were consolidated within the Dept. of Agricultural Sciences in the late 1980s due to the declining number of graduates. However, no personnel turnover or course changes occurred due to consolidation. Enrollment at the undergraduate level has doubled within the past 5 years. Student enrollment for Fall 1995 included 127 undergraduates and 31 graduate students. Graduation figures projected for 1995–96 include 26 undergraduates and 8 graduate students. Horticulture and Agronomy are now two of the concentrations available for the BS degree in Agricultural Sciences, and Plant Science is an option for the MS degree in Agricultural Sciences. Presently in the plant sciences there are approximately 30 undergraduates and 20 MS students. Faculty and professional staff affiliated with the Cooperative Agricultural Research Program are encouraged to submit teaching proposals to the 1890 Institution Capacity Building Grants Program, a USDA-funded competitive program for the agricultural sciences. Awards enable grantee institutions to attract more minority students into the agricultural sciences, expand institutional linkages, and strengthen education in targeted need areas. The Grants Program supports teaching projects related to curricula design, materials development, and faculty and student enhancement. Current teaching grants address graduate and undergraduate education in molecular biology and undergraduate education in soil sciences.

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W.T. Witte, R.J. Sauve and P.C. Flanagan

Eighty-one accessions of oak species, hybrids, and cultivars from commercially available sources were established at TSU-NCRS in Fall 1993 and Spring 1994, using 10 single-plant replications in a randomized complete block. Drip irrigation was begun on a regular basis May 1994, and plants were fertilized regularly. Height and diameter was recorded Fall 1994 and 1995. Fastest growing oaks in order of cm height growth increment over the two growing seasons were nigra, phellos, texana nuttalli, cerris, macrocarpa, falcata pagodaefolia, macrocarpa `Maximus', acutissima, austrina, shumardii, muehlenbergi, falcata, robur fastigiata, lyrata, virginiana, palustris, acutissima `Gobbler', glandulifera, macrocarpa `Ashworth', gambelli ×macrocarpa, alba. Most evergeen oaks did not survive Winter 1995–96, and data will be reported on winterkill.

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W.T. Witte, R.J. Sauve and P.C. Flanagan

Commercially available Acer saccharum cultivars, and some closely related species accessions (floridanum, leucoderme, macrophyllum, and nigrum `Greencolumn'), were established as 10 single-plant replications in a cultivar trial at the TSU–NCRS in 1993 and Spring 1994. Plants were regularly fertilized and drip irrigation was begun Summer 1993. Growth data were recorded each fall and height and caliper increment calculated for the 1994 season. In the group with most height growth were: `Bonfire', `Majesty', nigrum `Greencolumn', leucoderme, `Sweet Shadow', `Fairview', and macrophyllum. These, except for `Fairview' and macrophyllum, differed significantly from a group of seven slower growing cultivars. With some exceptions, cultivars with the most height growth tended to have the most caliper growth, while those with the least height growth tended to have the least caliper growth. Data will also be presented on insect and disease ratings.

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W.T. Witte, R.J. Sauve and P.C. Flanagan

Commercially available Norway and sycamore maple taxa were established as 10 single-plant replications in a cultivar trial at the TSU–NCRS in 1993 and Spring 1994. Each plant was fertilized regularly and drip irrigation was begun Summer 1993. Vegetation within tree rows was controlled with preemergent and postemergent herbicides, while grassed middles were mowed. Growth data was recorded in Fall 1993 and 1994 and height and caliper increment calculated for the 1994 season. In this group of 29 taxa, 9 cultivars were in the group with most height growth: `Columnare', `Pond', `Deborah', `Crystal', `Parkway', `Columnarbroad', `Schwedleri', `Summershade', and `Fairview'. With some exceptions, cultivars with the most height growth tended to have the most caliper growth, while those with the least height growth tended to have the least caliper growth, with the notable exception of `Columnar'. Data will also be presented on insect and disease ratings.

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W.T. Witte, R.J. Sauve and P.C. Flanagan

Ten single plant replications of 11 taxa were planted 6 May 1994, fertilized regularly, and maintained under drip irrigation. Japanese beetle damage became apparent in mid-June. Sevin SL at 1 qt/100 gal was applied with a tractor-mounted mist blower on 22 June, and 7 and 19 July. Data on Japanese beetle populations were recorded using an arbitrary scale of 0 (no beetles) to 10 (heavy infestation). Damage on each tree was recorded using an arbitrary scale of 0 (no damage) to 10 (completely skeletonized). The annual increment in height and caliper growth was recorded for each tree in Fall 1994. Ulmus japonica and U. glabra `Pendula' had the most height growth (>60 cm increment) but were not significantly different from most other accessions, while NA 60070, U. crassifolia, and NA 60071 had significantly slower growth than the former group(<25 cm increment). Japanese beetles fed first on U. carpinifolia `Variegata', NA 60071, and 60070, skeletonizing most of the new growth before the first Sevin application, resulting in the most damage. This may have resulted in poor growth of the USDA/NA selections in 1994.

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Nick J. Gawel, Rory Mellinger, Eric Stout and R. Sauve

DNA from 27 Acer species was used for RAPD analysis. A relatively high number of phylogenically informative polymorphisms were detected, as would be expected in intraspecific comparisons. Principle coordinates analysis was used to discern groupings among the species and a RAPD-based phylogeny was constructed. As expected when making comparisons among species, very high levels of polymorphism were found. Cultivars that grouped together in the principle components analysis also grouped together in the phylogenic analysis. Parts of the phylogenic analysis do not agree with morphology-based phylogenies. This may be due to poor correlation between morphological and DNA markers, or perhaps RAPDs may be too discriminatory to be used for interspecies comparisons. The extremely high level of between-species variation coupled with the low level of within-species variation, indicates the potential of DNA-based identification and discrimination of Acer species is high.

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W.T. Witte, R.J. Sauve and P.C. Flanagan

Commercially available Acer rubrum and A. freemanii taxa were established as 10 single-plant replications in a cultivar trial at the TSU–NCRS in 1992 and Spring 1993. Plants were fertilized regularly and drip-irrigated as needed beginning Summer 1993. Growth data were recorded each fall and height and caliper increment calculated for the 1994 season. Ten cultivars were in the group with most height growth: `Armstrong', `Autumn Blaze', `Schlesingeri', `Olson', `Morgan', `Scarlet Red', `Embers', `Indian Summer', `Scarsen', and `October Glory'. These all differed significantly from a group of 11 slow-growing cultivars. With some exceptions, cultivars with the most height growth tended to have the most caliper growth, while those with the least height growth tended to have the least caliper growth. Data will also be presented on insect and disease ratings.

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W.T. Witte, R.J. Sauve and P.C. Flanagan

Several commercially available Acer saccharinum and A. negundo taxa were established with 10 single-plant replications in a cultivar trial at the TSU–NCRS in 1993 and 1994. Each plant was fertilized in spring and early summer with 100 gm 15–15–15 beginning Summer 1993. Drip irrigation was applied as needed beginning Summer 1993. Vegetation within tree rows was controlled with preemergent and postemergent herbicides, while grassed middles were mowed. Growth data were recorded in Fall 1993 and 1994 and height and caliper increment calculated for the 1994 season. In the silver maple group with most height growth were: `Silver Queen', `Skinneri', and `Silver Pyramid'. These differed significantly from a group of four slower growing cultivars. Cultivars with the most height growth also had the most caliper growth. Seedling boxelder grew faster than one accession of `Flamingo', while three other cultivars were intermediate. Data will also be presented on insect and disease ratings.

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J.H. Craddock, S.M. Reed, S.E. Schlarbaum and R.J. Sauve

A series of experiments was conducted with flowering dogwood (Cornus florida L.) to evaluate in vitro pollen germination both prior to and following storage at various temperatures. For all experiments, pollen was germinated on an agar-solidified medium containing 20% sucrose. Collection method had a significant effect on germination of `Cherokee Chief', `Cherokee Princess', and `Cloud 9' pollen. Pollen obtained from anthers that had been collected prior to dehiscence and allowed to air-dry for 24 hours had a higher germination rate than did pollen that had undergone a desiccation treatment. None of the treated pollen tested, however, had a germination rate >25% of that of freshly collected pollen. The deleterious effect of dehydration could not be reversed by rehydration. Pollen germination was tested after 1, 4, 7, and 108 days at 5, –20, and –196 °C. Pollen stored at –196 and at –20 °C had a better germination rate than that stored at 5 °C. Germination was not significantly affected by length of storage, nor was there any significant temperature × length of storage interaction.