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Sanford D. Eigenbrode, John T. Trumble, and Richard A. Jones

Accessions of Lycopersicon esculentum var. cerasiforme (Dun.) A. Gray (cer) and L. pimpinellifolium (Jusl.) Mill. (pimp), sustained significantly less damage to fruit by beet armyworm [Spodoptera exigua (Hiibner)] than standard cultivars and breeding lines of L. esculentum Mill. (esc) under natural infestations in 1990 and 1991 in southern California. The dwarf vine cherry cultivar Tiny Tim also sustained less damage than the standards. Accessions of esc with various monogenic mutations sustained at least as much beet armyworm damage as did standard cultivars. The percentage of fruit damaged was significantly correlated with vine weight, weight per fruit, number of fruit, and the fruit-foliage weight ratio (Pearson's coefficients, respectively: -0.533, 0.450, -0.483, 0.390, n = 37). In laboratory assays, survival of beet armyworm was significantly lower (5% of susceptible& growth rates were significantly lower, and development time was significantly longer on the fruit of resistant `Tiny Tim' and LA 1320 cer than the fruit of 11 other test lines. There were no substantial differences in beet armyworm survival on the foliage of the test lines. In the field trials, there were also significant differences among the test lines in damage by Liriomyza species and hemipteran pests. Lines with genes for increased densities of nonglandular leaf trichomes (especially LA 1663) were generally less damaged by Liriomyza than other lines. Damage by hemipterans was correlated with vine and fruit size, fruit count, and fruit-foliage weight ratio in 1991, but high intraseason variability prevented clear identification of test lines resistant to these pests.

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Rhiana F. Jones, Paul W. Bosland, Robert L. Steiner, Richard W. Jones, and Mary A. O’Connell

Phytophthora capsici is responsible for multiple disease syndromes of Capsicum annuum but the resistance mechanism is still unknown. Evaluating gene expression during foliar blight can be used to identify expression patterns associated with resistance in Capsicum species. This study reports a direct comparison of gene expression changes during the foliar blight syndrome using two different races of P. capsici on C. annuum host plants with resistant and susceptible phenotypes to those races. Four genes were evaluated for differential expression following leaf inoculation with P. capsici. RNA isolated from leaves at three time points was used to quantify gene expression by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Of four genes tested, two had differential expression in response to P. capsici at 72 hours postinoculation, a xyloglucan-specific endo-β-1,4-glucanase inhibitor protein (XEGIP2) in susceptible cultivar New Mexico Heritage 6-4 (NMH6-4), and a C. annuum cell wall protein (CWP) in resistant Criollo de Morelos 334 (CM334). Both genes had a 5-fold increase in transcription in leaves over the control. These results suggest that both genes are playing a role in disease resistance to foliar blight.

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Brian K. Hamilton, Leonard M. Pike, Alton N. Sparks, David A. Bender, and Richard W. Jones

Thrips are the major insect pest of onions grown in South Texas. Four cultivars, `IPA-3', `TG1015Y', `1664' (glossy control), and `1900B' (waxy control), were grown in a split-plot design with insecticide sprayed or nonsprayed treatments as the main plots and cultivar as the subplots. The experiment was conducted at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Weslaco, Texas, in the 1995-96 season. The objectives of the study were to compare `IPA-3' and `TG1015Y' for thrips resistance and evaluate possible resistance mechanisms that may be present in `IPA-3'. The average number of thrips per plant and leaf damage rating were significantly higher for `TG1015Y', indicating that some resistance is present in `IPA-3'. However, there were no significant differences in yield between the two cultivars. A comparison of leaf wax characteristics indicated no significant difference between `TG1015Y' and `IPA-3' using gravimetric or gas chromatography techniques. However, scanning electron micrographs of `TG1015Y' leaves appeared more similar to `1900B' and `IPA-3' appeared more similar to `1664'. The insecticide spray treatment had significantly fewer thrips, less damage, and higher yield than the nonsprayed treatment.

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Ayman F. Abou-Hadid, Abo-Elfotouh M. Abd-Alla, and Richard A. Jones

Cucumber plants )Cucumis sativa cv. Beta-al-pha) were grown in a glasshouse in pots of sand with 3 NaCl levels in the nutrient solution (0.40 and 60 mM) and placed in four large water baths controlled at different temperatures (13, 18,23, and 28°C). The increase of NaCl levels decreased the vegetative growth, seed yield, and seed quality, while the increase of root zone temperature up to 23C° increased the vegetative growth, seed yield and quality. Whereas, 28°C showed lower effect than 23°C. Ethylene production and the content of proline and free amino acids were increased with increasing NaCl levels. The increase of root zone temperature till 23°C decreased ethylene production, proline, and free amino acids contents. Zero NaCl (as control) obtained with 23°C root zone temperature appeared to be the best for the over-all growth, seed yield and seed quality of cucumber plants.