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Chad Finn and Robert Martin

Cuttings from Rubus ursinus Cham. & Schlecht, the trailing blackberry, were collected in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia from 21 sites. The cuttings were rooted and placed in pots in the greenhouse. After the plants began to grow, leaves were harvested for ELISA testing using standard procedures. Each sample represented three clones from a site. Plants from 18 sites were represented by five samples and two sites were represented by three samples. None of the samples tested positive for the presence of raspberry bushy dwarf virus or tomato ringspot virus. Forty-four percent of the samples tested positive for tobacco streak virus. Only 33% of the sites on the Pacific coast tested positive for tobacco streak, whereas, 100% of the Cascade Mountain sites and 88% of the sites in the coastal range type environment tested positive. The only site in the Willamette Valley had no positive tests. With one exception, all of the sites that tested negative for the virus were also low elevation sites 0-90 m.

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Brent Black, Mark Ehlenfeldt and Robert Martin

Precocious varieties of highbush blueberry may over-crop during the first few seasons in the fruiting field, adversely affecting plant establishment. Reducing or preventing bloom in the nursery and during establishment would be beneficial in preventing early cropping and reducing the risk of infection by pollen-borne viruses. We investigated the efficacy of foliar applications of ProVide® (Valent BioSciences), a commercial GA4+7 formulation, for suppressing flower bud initiation in blueberry. One-year-old rooted cuttings of `Bluecrop' were obtained from a commercial nursery and established in 11-L pots at the Blueberry and Cranberry Research Center, Chatsworth, N.J. Dilute foliar applications of ProVide® were made at concentrations ranging from 50 to 400 mg·L-1 a.i., ranging from 7 July to 1 Sept. 2004, with 10 replicate plants per treatment. Floral and vegetative buds were counted the following spring. A separate experiment was initiated in 2005, with concentrations of 200 and 400 mg·L-1 a.i. applied in August and September. For the 2004 study, the greatest flower bud suppression resulted from repeat applications at 400 mg·L-1 a.i. Weekly applications from 7 July to 1 Sept. resulted in a 70% reduction in flower bud number, whereas three weekly applications from 18 Aug. to 1 Sept. reduced flower bud number by >88%. Neither treatment significantly reduced total bud numbers (vegetative + floral) compared to untreated and water-sprayed controls, indicating that the treatments did not reduce plant growth. Results for the 2005 treatments will also be presented.

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Martin R. McGann and Robert D. Berghage

The Pennsylvania State University Medieval Garden (PSMG) showcases varieties of medieval plants used as ornamentals, food crops, medicinal ingredients, and for household purposes in a stylized setting representing a medieval garden. Since its installation, various colleges within the university as well as community groups have used the garden as an alternative classroom for learning activities, educational demonstrations, and events related to the medieval period. This article focuses on the initial development of the garden design and how the installation and continued use as a classroom has contributed to meeting educational goals for students in the landscape contracting program at the Pennsylvania State University and the Pennsylvania Governor's School for Agricultural Sciences.

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Mark K. Ehlenfeldt and Robert B. Martin Jr.

Eighty-seven highbush blueberry and species-introgressed blueberry cultivars were evaluated for fruit firmness in the 1998-2000 growing seasons with a FirmTech 1 automated firmness tester. Significant differences were observed among cultivars. An average firmness of 136.1 g·mm-1 of deflection (g·mm-1 dfl) was observed across all studied cultivars, and a range of 80.4 g·mm-1 dfl (`Herbert') to 189.0 g·mm-1 dfl (`Pearl River'). Species ancestry was not consistently related to firmness; however, cultivars with higher firmness values often possessed a higher percentage of Vaccinium darrowi Camp and V. ashei Reade ancestry. Conversely, cultivars with softer than average fruit often possessed a higher percentage of lowbush (V. angustifolium Ait.) ancestry. This information may help to identify sources of breeding material for increased firmness in highbush blueberry hybrids.

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Gisele G. Martins, Robert Geneve and Sharon Kester

Quercus falcata acorns were cold-stratified for 120 days and then sown in vermiculite under greenhouse conditions. When radicles were 7 cm long, the root tip was either removed (physically pruned) or dipped in a copper hydroxide solution (copper-treated). Intact root systems were used as control. Seedlings were then moved to a root box to observe root system architectures. The box was built of clear plexiglass 2.5 mm thick, and each face was 25.7 × 35.7 cm. Styrofoam spacers were used to separate faces, and nuts and bolts were placed along edges to hold the root box together. To permit observation of the entire root system, plants were grown in a plane between the plexiglass surface and a nylon sheet that separated roots from the medium (MetroMix 510). At 7, 9, and 11 days after treatment, the entire root system was traced on an acetate sheet, and number of internal and external links and number of secondary and tertiary roots were recorded. Total length, internal and external root links length, were obtained using digital analysis (MacRhizo). Dry weight of roots and shoots was collected at the end of this experiment (day 11). Treatment effects were evident 11 days after treatment. Copper-treated plants had statistically more secondary roots and larger internal link length than control or physically pruned plants. Also, copper-treated plants had smaller mean external link length, showing a more branched root system. Root biomass was similar for all treatments; however, copper-treated plants had smaller root: shoot ratio. This suggests that copper was acting as more than a pruning agent because copper-treated plants showed a different root system architecture compared to physically pruned plants.

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Chris A. Martin, Jean C. Stutz and Robert W. Roberson

Effects of VAM fungal inoculum, Glomus intraradices Schenk & Smith, on the growth of Chilean mesquite in containers were investigated as part of a nursery container system for production of xeric trees. Seedling liners of Chilean mesquite were transplanted into 27-liter containers filled with a 3 pine bark : 1 peat moss : 1 sand medium. Before transplanting, 50% of the trees were band-inoculated at a depth of 8 to 12 cm below the growth medium surface with 35 g per container of Glomus intradices (Nutrilink, NPI, Salt Lake City, UT), approximately 1,000 spores g-1. All trees were top-dressed with 15 g Osmocote 18N-2.6P-9.9K (Grace-Sierra, Milpitas, CA) and 3 g Micromax (Grace-Sierra, Milpitas, CA) fertilizers and grown in a fiberglass greenhouse under 50% light exclusion. After 4 months, all inoculated tree root systems were colonized, and the percent infection was 47%. Noninoculated trees remained nonmycorrhizal. There were no differences in height, total shoot length, shoot dry weight, or root dry weight between inoculated and non-inoculated trees; however, total root length and specific root length of inoculated trees were less than those of noninoculated trees. These results suggest that the VAM fungi altered the root architecture of inoculated trees such that root systems of these trees had thicker roots with fewer fine roots elongating into the growth medium profile.

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Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Cynthia Haynes, Gail R. Nonnecke and Robert Martin

Globalization affects many aspects of American society, including higher education. Many institutions of higher education realize the need to help students become global citizens and thus require an international perspectives course as part of their undergraduate curriculum. The goal of this research was to evaluate the Horticulture Travel Course (Hort 496), which includes an international travel component, to determine whether it meets the university and College of Agriculture's expected learning outcomes and competencies in international and multicultural awareness. A 23-question survey instrument consisting of open- and close-ended questions was mailed to 116 former Hort 496 participants. Forty-three percent of the questionnaires were returned and were usable. Survey questions were designed to gather information on student demographics, previous international travel experience, learning outcomes achieved through participation in the pretrip preparatory class and the study abroad experience, and how these experiences influenced career development. Responses indicate that both the pretrip preparatory class and study abroad experience helped participants achieve the course learning outcomes. Furthermore, student presentations and guest speakers, and interacting with locals and planned tours immersed students the most in the pretrip preparatory class and study abroad experience, respectively. A majority of participants observed recognizable differences in agricultural management or production practices between the United States and the country visited. Participants also noted that Hort 496 had a positive affect on their communication skills, interpersonal skills, and personal growth.

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Kiyoshi Banno, George C. Martin and Robert M. Carlson

Citrate-phosphate buffer induced olive (Olea europaea L.) leaf abscission at pH 3, 5, or 7. Of several sources of P-induced leaf abscission, NaH2PO4 was the most effective. Sensitivity to P was shown by leaf abscission, leaf desiccation, or both among 32 species representing 22 genera. Applied P accumulates in petioles, but its effect on abscission does not seem to depend on ethylene production. The low P content in the ethephon molecule may have an additive effect in ethephon-induced abscission. Stem-fed NaH2PO4 or ethephon resulted in total leaf and fruit abscission. Of the chemicals applied as a foliar treatment, only NaH2PO4 caused fruit abscission with minimal leaf loss. Adding Al2O3 to adsorb P in treatment solutions delayed the abscission effect of ethephon and NaH2PO4. Adding glycerol to NaH2PO4 increased fruit abscission from 50% to ≈80% and leaf abscission from ≈9% to 18%. The presumed effect of glycerol is from slowing the drying rate and thereby increasing P penetration into the fruit abscission zone. The pedicel-fruit cavity is a collection basin for spray accumulation that is not present in the leaf petiole attachment to the stem. This morphological difference probably leads to greater absorption of abscission-inducing materials by fruit. Chemical name used: (2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon).

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Chris A. Martin, John M. Ruter, Robert W. Roberson and William P. Sharp

Hydration and elemental absorption of two commercially-available polyacrylamide gels (A and B) were studied in response to a 24-hr soak time in Hoagland's solution concentrations of either 2X, 1X, 0.5X, 0.25X, 0.125X or 0X (deionized water). Elemental absorption of gel specimens was observed and analyzed within the gel matrix on a Philips CM12S STEM equipped with an EDAX 9800 plus EDS unit for micro x-ray analysis. Thick sections were cut on dry glass knives using an RMC MT6000 ultramicrotome. Surface analysis of bulk specimens was made with an AMR 1000A SEM plus PGT1000 EDS unit. Overall, gel hydration decreased quadratically as solution concentration increased linearly; however, hydration for gel A was generally greater than for gel B. Surface analysis of gel samples revealed the presence Ca, K, P, S, Fe, and Zn for both gels. An analysis within the matrix of gel B revealed the presence of Ca, K, P, S, Fe, and Zn; however, an analysis within the matrix of gel A revealed the presence of Zn, and Fe only. The increased absorptive capacity of gel A appeared to be coupled to reduced migration of salts into the gel matrix.