Fruit and seed set in insect-pollinated agricultural crops rely primarily on honeybees because of their ease of management and transportation. In many fruit and vegetable crops, the number of bee visitations can be the limiting step in obtaining optimal yield. Increasing the attractiveness of flowers to honeybees could, therefore, provide a useful means of improving fruit yield and seed production. Genetic variability in attractiveness to honeybees was found within the genus Citrullus. The number of daily visits per flower ranged from six to 12 among cultivars. Moreover, most of the visits to the more attractive cultivars occurred in the first hour of bee activity, whereas visits to the less attractive cultivars started later in the morning. A positive relationship was found between the frequency of bee visitations and seed number per fruit. Analyses of floral attributes indicated no genetic variability in flower size, amount of pollen grains, or nectar volume; however, differences were observed in the concentration of sucrose and total sugars in the nectar. A positive relationship was found between attractiveness to bees and nectar sugar concentration, suggesting that this characteristic is one of the parameters responsible for variability in attractiveness to honeybees.
S. Wolf, Y. Lensky, and N. Paldi
I. Paran, M. Horowitz, D. Zamir, and S. Wolf
Michael W. Smith, Margaret E. Wolf, Becky S. Cheary, and Becky L. Carroll
Two studies were conducted to determine if selected grass and dicot species had an allelopathic interaction with pecan (Carya illinoinensis Wangenh. C. Koch). Leachate from pots with established grasses or dicots was used to irrigate container-grown pecan trees. Leachates from bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Shreb. cv. Kentucky 31), redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.), and cutleaf evening primrose (Oenothera laciniata Hill) reduced leaf area and leaf dry weight about 20% compared to the controls. Bermudagrass, tall fescue, and primrose leachate decreased pecan root weight 17%, trunk weight 22%, and total tree dry weight 19% compared to the control. In a second study, trees were 10% shorter than the control when irrigated with bermudagrass or pigweed leachate.
E.A. Wolf, J.M. White, R.S. Stubblefield, and B. Scully
W. Rademacher, J.B. Speakman, G. Krack, M. Scholtissek, R. Wolf, J.R. Evans, S. Roemmelt, and D. Treutter
Prohexadione-Ca (BAS 125 W) is currently developed as an inhibitor of excessive vegetative growth in apple. In addition to the control of shoot growth, pronounced effects on the incidence of scab (Venturia inaequalis) and fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) are observed that are not due to any fungicidal or bactericidal effect of the compound. Prohexadione-Ca induces marked changes in the metabolism of phenylpropanoids most likely by inhibiting distinct dioxygenases, such as flavanone 3-hydroxylase, which require 2-oxoglutarate as a co-substrate. The content of flavonoids such as luteoliflavan (which does not normally occur in apple tissue) and eriodyctiol is drastically increased reaching levels in the range of 50 mg per gram of dried young shoot tissue. Simple phenols, the identity of which is still unknown, also undergo intense changes. Since phenylpropanoids have often been found to be involved in defense mechanisms of higher plants, further studies on their role in pathogen resistance in apple are justified from these results.