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  • Author or Editor: Rachel P. Naegele x
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Botrytis cinerea, the causal agent of Botrytis bunch rot and gray mold, is the number one postharvest disease of fresh grapes in the United States. Fungicide applications are used to manage the disease, but fungicide-resistant isolates are common and postharvest losses occur annually. Host resistance is needed for long-term management of the disease. Sources of resistance in grape have been identified, but often have poor fruit quality. In this study, 27 grape lines (cultigens and species), including high fruit–quality Vitis vinifera, were evaluated for fruit and leaf susceptibility to two isolates of B. cinerea. No significant differences in virulence or pathogenicity were detected between the two isolates, but differences in disease incidence were evident among lines in leaves and berries. Most V. vinifera cultivars evaluated had high disease incidence in berries, whereas complex hybrids, Vitis aestivalus and Vitis arizonica, had low- to moderate disease incidence. Two V. vinifera breeding lines had moderate susceptibility (<50% disease) to Botrytis bunch rot when inoculated with either isolate. Only one V. vinifera line had little (<5%) to no berry or leaf disease when inoculated with either isolate. Moderate resistance (10% to 25%) was detected in Vitis spp., and a single V. vinifera line. Correlations were examined among soluble solids, leaf susceptibility, and fruit susceptibility. No correlations between soluble solids and disease susceptibility (leaves or berries) were identified, but moderate correlations between leaf and berry susceptibility were observed. Moderate resistance to Botrytis bunch rot and leaf spot were detected in Vitis breeding lines, suggesting these may be useful for developing grape cultivars with high fruit quality and resistance to B. cinerea.

Open Access

Phytophthora capsici causes root and fruit rot and foliar blight of pepper. Multiple sources of resistance to Phytophthora root rot have previously been identified, but most display only partial resistance. One source, CM334, has broad spectrum root rot resistance to multiple pathogen isolates but has only low to moderate fruit rot resistance. This study evaluated previously identified pepper lines for resistance to two P. capsici isolates, OP97 and 12889, and compared root rot resistance to fruit rot resistance and genetic structure. CM334 was confirmed as a broad spectrum resistance genotype, whereas all other sources of resistance evaluated were susceptible to infection by one or both isolates evaluated. Although not completely resistant, PI 566811 displayed moderate resistance to fruit and root rot to both P. capsici isolates. Fruit rot resistance had a significant but small to moderate positive correlation (r = 0.26–0.63) with root rot resistance depending on the isolate and length of exposure. Pepper accessions with resistance to Phytophthora root and fruit rot belonging to different genetic subpopulations were identified and could serve as candidates for partial-resistance loci to incorporate into pepper breeding programs.

Open Access

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is one of the most popular vegetable crops grown in U.S. home and urban gardens. The objectives of this study were to identify cultivars and planting densities for high yield of container-grown cucumbers. Additional objectives were to determine the value of field trials for predicting cucumber performance in containers and to evaluate different plant types (dwarf-determinate vs. tall-indeterminate, gynoecious vs. monoecious, pickling vs. slicing) for container use and disease severity across cultivars. Fourteen cultivars and breeding lines were tested at three planting densities in two seasons for yield, quality, and disease resistance in field and patio trials. Significant differences were detected for seasons, cultivars, and densities. Yields were highest in the spring season compared with the summer season, and the best performance was obtained using three plants per 12 L container. There was a high correlation between patio and field trials, allowing extension specialists to recommend cucumber cultivars with high yield, high quality, and disease resistance based on field trial data. Home gardeners who want space-saving, high-yielding cucumbers with tender skin should consider a dwarf-determinate, pickling type that is monoecious. With monoecious type, no pollenizer is needed, and the harvest will be spread over more weeks than would be for gynoecious types.

Free access

Phytophthora blight is a destructive disease of cucurbits affecting the fruit, leaves, crown, and/or roots. Ten cucurbit PIs with known partial resistance to Phytophthora capsici root and crown rot were evaluated for resistance to Phytophthora fruit rot. Unwounded fruit from field-grown plants of Cucurbita moschata and C. pepo were inoculated in a controlled environment at 7 to 10 or 21 to 24 days post-pollination (dpp) with virulent P. capsici isolates to examine the effect of fruit age on disease development. Inoculated fruit were rated for lesion area and pathogen mycelial growth 7 days post-inoculation (dpi); fruit length, diameter, and pericarp thickness were also rated. Two C. pepo accessions (PI 169417 and PI 181761) had significant resistance to Phytophthora fruit rot at both 7 to 10 dpp and 21 to 24 dpp. All accessions evaluated displayed reduced disease susceptibility as the fruit aged.

Free access

Citrulline, arginine, and lycopene are naturally occurring compounds found in watermelon, Citrullus lanatus (Thumb) Matsum & Nakai, with beneficial effects on plant growth and human health. This study evaluated seven commercial cultivars and one breeding line for citrulline, arginine, and lycopene content in mature fruit grown at two locations in North Carolina. Correlations among these compounds and fruit quality traits (percent soluble solids and flesh pH) were evaluated. Watermelon cultigens evaluated were chosen for their fruit trait diversity. ‘Yellow Doll’ and NC-517 possessed the highest citrulline and combined concentration of citrulline and arginine of all cultigens evaluated. Lycopene content was highest in ‘Dixielee’, followed by ‘Sugar Baby’, and ‘Allsweet’, each of which have different shades of red flesh color. Location and its interaction with genotype had no significant effect on arginine or lycopene concentration. Broad-sense heritability was estimated for each trait. Arginine content (89%) and lycopene content (99%) had very high heritability. Citrulline content (41%), percent soluble solids (46%), and flesh pH (61%) had moderate heritability. Lycopene was positively correlated with flesh pH (r = 0.517) and negatively correlated with percent soluble solids (r = −0.344). Arginine content had a weak negative correlation with flesh pH (r = −0.343) and was not correlated with percent soluble solids.

Free access

Open-pollinated seeds from grapevines in Parlier and Davis (in California) and Geneva (in New York) were collected in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Seeds were subjected to a series of cold stratification treatments of varying lengths and germinated in incubators to compare germination rates. Two V. vinifera cultivars (Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon) and three other cultivars (V. labrusca hybrids) with a similar genetic background were compared across three locations to test for maternal environmental effects on germination rates under different cold stratification durations. Two interspecific hybrids (‘Salamander’ and ‘Sovereign Rose’) and three genotypes each from two species, V. riparia and V. cinerea, were evaluated to compare germination rate variability at different cold stratification durations among and within species and hybrids. Large variability in germination rates was evident among and within grape species, with some accessions requiring little to no cold stratification, and others requiring 10 to 12 weeks. These differences could be useful for breeding grapevines with high or low dormancy requirements. The maternal plant environment impacted the seed weight and total seed germination across years and locations.

Open Access

Grape (Vitis) production and fruit quality traits such as cluster size, berry shape, and timing of fruit development are key aspects when selecting cultivars for commercial production. Molecular markers for some, but not all, of these traits have been identified using biparental or association mapping populations. Previously identified markers were tested for transferability using a small (24 individual) test panel of commercially available grape cultivars. Markers had little to no ability to differentiate grape phenotypes based on the expected characteristics, except the marker for seedlessness. Using a biparental interspecific cross, 43 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) (previously identified and new genomic regions) associated with berry shape, number, size, cluster weight, cluster length, time to flower, veraison, and full color were detected. Kompetitive allele-specific polymerase chain reaction markers designed on newly identified QTLs were tested for transferability using the same panel. Transferability was low when use types were combined, but they were varied when use types were evaluated separately. A comparison of a 4-Mb region at the end of chromosome 18 revealed structural differences among grape species and use types. Table grape cultivars had the highest similarity in structure for this region (>75%) compared with other grape species and commodity types.

Open Access