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A commercially available serological assay kit (flow-through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Phytophthora F kit) was compared to a culture-plate method for detecting Phytophthora spp. in apparently diseased (phytophthora root rot) and apparently healthy red raspberry (Rubus idaeus subsp. strigosus Michx.) plants. During 4 years of testing, 46 tests were conducted on apparently diseased roots. All diseased plants gave a strong positive reaction, a result indicating that Phytophthora spp. were present. Of the 46 plants that tested positive, Phytophthora spp. were recovered from all but one using a selective medium for Phytophthora and the culture-plate method. When the same test was conducted on 27 apparently healthy plants, all had a negative reaction for the presence of Phytophthora except one sample, which had a slight positive reaction. No Phytophthora spp. were isolated from any apparently healthy plants. Our results indicate that the serological test kit enables rapid, dependable, on-site diagnosis of raspberry phytophthora root rot.

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Abstract

Four annual applications of Ca(NO3)2 were made to ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Delicious’ apple trees beginning in the second leaf at rates of 0.5 to 8 times the recommended rate (45 g/tree per year of age) in each of three soil management systems: cultivated, herbicide, and mowed sod. Soil samples were collected in Mar. and July 1983 (fifth leaf) to a 120-cm depth at the tree drip line. July samples were analyzed for available Ca, Mg, K, Mn, percentage of base saturation, NO3-N, and soil pH (0.01 m CaCl2); March samples only for NO3-N. The sod system had the highest soil pH, Ca level, and percentage of base saturation; the herbicide had the lowest, and the cultivated treatment was intermediate. The rate of Ca(NO3)2 had no measurable effect on these values except in the surface pH levels (030 cm), where sod was unaffected but the cultivated and herbicide systems had a significant reduction in pH with increasing levels of Ca(NO3)2. Soil Mn availability and leaf Mn increased with increasing Ca(NO3)2 levels in association with the decreasing pH levels. Available soil Mg and leaf Mg decreased with increasing Ca(NO3)2 due to Ca displacement of soil Mg on the cation exchange complex. Leaf Ca was unaffected by Ca(NO3)2 rate or the soil management system. During the growing season (Mar.-July 1983), the herbicide system accumulated significantly more of the applied Ca(NO3)2 than the cultivated or sod systems. No yield response and minimal leaf NO3 response suggested differences in NO3 accumulation were due to variation in leaching due to the soil management systems.

Open Access

Chambers were constructed to measure gas exchange of entire potted grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.). The plant enclosures were constructed from Mylar film, which is nearly transparent to photosynthetically active radiation. Maintaining a slight, positive, internal pressure allowed the Mylar chambers to inflate like balloons and required no other means of support. The whole-plant, gas-exchange chamber design and construction were simple and inexpensive. They were assembled easily, equilibrated quickly, and did not require cooling. They allowed for the measurement of many plants in a relatively short period. This system would enable the researcher to make replicated comparisons of treatment influences on whole-plant CO2 assimilation throughout the growing season. While CO2 measurement was the focus of this project, it would be possible to measure whole-plant transpiration with this system.

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Abstract

Application of a complete nutrient solution (CNS) on apple seedling leaves reduced stomatal conductance (gs). Tween 20 and CaCl2 were components of the CNS which induced gs reduction. Tween 20 alone, however, did not cause stomatal closure, but CaCl2 (24.8 mm) had a consistent, negative effect on gs when applied alone. Application of CaCl2 in combination with one of the other macrocomponents of the CNS (MgSO4, urea, or K2SO4 + KH2PO4) produced less consistent gs reductions indicating that the CaCl2 effect on gs can be modified by the presence of these compounds. Urea, MgSO4, or K2SO4 + KH2PO4 had little effect on gs when applied separately. Application of MgCl2 or KCl, which were not the CNS components, decreased and had no effect on gs, respectively. In addition to gs reduction, CaCl2 sprays reduced net photosynthesis (Pn). The equivalence of intercellular CO2 concentration in sprayed and unsprayed seedlings implied that the Pn drop following CaCl2 sprays resulted from decreased capacity of mesophyll for CO2 fixation and not from reduction in the stomatal aperture. Two possible explanations for stomata closure are discussed: a direct effect of CaCl2 on stomata and an indirect effect of CaCl2 spray through changes in mesophyll CO2 fixation capacity. Reductions in gs and Pn following treatments with different salts were not associated with visible leaf injury.

Open Access

As triploid watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) increase in popularity, production has shifted away from seeded watermelons. To achieve successful fruit set in triploid watermelons, a diploid watermelon cultivar must be planted as a pollen source. Three diploid cultivars in 2005 and seven diploid cultivars in 2006 were evaluated at one and three locations, respectively, to determine their effectiveness as pollenizers. Each cultivar was planted within plots of the triploid watermelons ‘Tri-X 313’ (2005) and ‘Supercrisp’ (2006) with buffers on all sides of the plots to contain pollen flow within individual plots. Performance of pollenizers was based on triploid watermelon yield, soluble solids concentration, and incidence of hollowheart. In 2005, there were no significant differences in total weight, fruit per acre, average weight, or soluble solids concentration among pollenizers. In 2006, significant differences in yield were observed, and plots with ‘Sidekick’ as a pollenizer yielded the highest but were not significantly different from ‘Patron’, ‘SP-1’, ‘Jenny’, or ‘Mickylee’. In 2006, there were no significant differences in fruit per acre, soluble solids concentration, or incidence of hollowheart between pollenizers. The experimental design was successful in isolating pollenizers and there was minimal pollen flow outside of experimental plots as indicated by minimal fruit set in control plots.

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Peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) thinning is a costly and time-consuming but necessary practice to produce a crop of marketable size fruit. A number of mechanical devices and methods have been developed and evaluated to reduce the cost and time required for hand thinning peach. This report provides additional evidence that a Darwin string thinner can effectively thin peach at bloom and a spiked drum shaker can thin at bloom or at the green fruit (pit hardening) stage. Five trials were conducted over 2 years in grower orchards with trees trained to a perpendicular V system. A Darwin string thinner at 60% to 80% full bloom (FB) reduced crop load (fruit/cm2 limb cross-sectional area) on scaffold limbs by 21% to 50% compared with a hand-thinned control. At the 60% FB stage, a USDA-designed double-spiked drum shaker reduced crop load by 27% and in another trial, a USDA prototype single-drum shaker reduced crop load by 9%. Across all trials, the spiked drum shakers (single or double units) removed an average of 37% of the green fruit. All mechanical devices reduced the time required for follow-up hand thinning. Follow-up hand-thinning costs (US$/ha) were reduced an average of 27% by mechanical thinning devices over hand-thinned control trees. Fruit size was increased over hand-thinned controls by mechanical thinning in most, but not all, trials. A combined treatment of the Darwin string thinner at bloom followed by a drum shaker (single or double unit) at the green fruit stage produced the greatest net economic impact in a number of the trials. Despite overthinning in some trials, the mechanical thinning devices described provide a potential alternative to hand thinning alone in peach production.

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Consumer demand for organic and sustainably produced products has increased the interest in organic wine grape (Vitis vinifera) production. However, organic production can be challenging, and weed management is a critical issue during the establishment of an organic vineyard. In 2009, the effectiveness of five cover crop treatments and cultivation regimes was evaluated for two years for weed control in a newly established organic vineyard of ‘Pinot noir précoce’ and ‘Madeleine angevine’ grape cultivars in northwestern Washington State. Alleyway management treatments were cultivation in alleyways with hand weeding in the vine row (control), grass cover crop which included perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne ssp. perenne) and red fescue (Festuca rubra ssp. arenaria) seeded in the alleyway and in-row tillage with a specialty offset-type cultivator, winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) cover crop with in-row string-trimming, austrian winter pea (Pisum sativum ssp. sativum var. arvense) cover crop with in-row string-trimming, and winter wheat–austrian winter pea cover crop mix with in-row string-trimming. In 2009, weed dry biomass was lowest in the alleyway of the control (0.8 g·m−2) and offset cultivator treatments (6.3 g·m−2) on 3 Aug. and tended to be lowest in the alleyway of the control (4.8 g·m−2) and offset cultivator treatments (16.0 g·m−2) on 27 Sept. In the second year of establishment (2010), winter wheat and austrian winter pea were eliminated from the plots by mid-July, and white clover (Trifolium repens) and perennial ryegrass were the dominant weed species and accounted for a majority of the total weeds. On average over the two-year period, the control treatment required the most time for alleyway management (92 h·ha−1) followed by the offset cultivator treatment (64 h·ha−1), while the winter wheat, austrian winter pea, and winter wheat–austrian winter pea mixture required 32 to 42 h·ha−1. ‘Madeline angevine’ produced more shoot growth than ‘Pinot noir précoce’ in Sept. 2010 (42.3 and 25.9 cm respectively), and shoot growth of both cultivars in the control treatment was significantly longer (125.0 cm) than under any other treatment (55.4 to 93.0 cm), illustrating the importance of weed control during vineyard establishment. In this study, the most effective weed management regime, although also the most time consuming, included a vegetative-free zone around the vines (e.g., in-row) maintained by hand weeding and a cultivated alleyway.

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Crosses were made between tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) inbreds susceptible to races T2 and T3 of bacterial spot (Xanthomonas vesicatoria and Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria, respectively) and accession PI 114490 with resistance to races T1, T2, and T3. Resistance to race T2 was analyzed using the parents, F1, and F2 generations from one of the crosses. The F1 was intermediate between the parents for disease severity suggesting additive gene action. The segregation of F2 progeny fit a two-locus model (χ2 = 0.96, P = 0.9-0.5) where four resistance alleles are required for a high resistance level, two or three resistance alleles provide intermediate resistance, and zero or one resistance allele results in susceptibility. The narrow sense heritability of resistance to T2 strains was estimated to be 0.37 ± 0.1 based on F2 to F3 parent-offspring regression. A second cross was developed into an inbred backcross (IBC) population to facilitate multilocation replicated testing with multiple races. Segregation for T2 resistance in the inbred backcross population also suggested control was by two loci, lending support to the two-locus model hypothesized based on the F2 segregation. To determine if the same loci conferred resistance to the other races, selections for race T2 resistance were made in the F2 and F3 generations and for race T3 resistance in the F2 through F4 generations. Six T3 selections (F5), 13 T2 selections (F4's that diverged from seven F2 selections), and control lines were then evaluated for disease severity to races T1, T2, and T3 over two seasons. Linear correlations were used to estimate the efficiency of selecting for resistance to multiple races based on a disease nursery inoculated with a single race. Race T1 and race T2 disease severities were correlated (r ≥ 0.80, P< 0.001) within and between years while neither was correlated to race T3 either year. These results suggest that selecting for race T2 resistance in progeny derived from crosses to PI 114490 would be an effective strategy to obtain resistance to both race T1 and T2 in the populations tested. In contrast, selection for race T3 or T2 will be less likely to result in lines with resistance to the other race. PI 114490 had less resistance to T3 than to T2 or T1. Independent segregation of T2 and T3 resistance from the IBC population derived from PI 114490 suggests that T3 resistance is not controlled by the same genes as T2 resistance, supporting the linear correlation data.

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A tissue culture protocol was developed that increased the germination percentage and decreased the lag time to germination for strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) achenes. This technique involved cutting surface-sterilized achenes across the embryo axis then placing the shoot apex/radicle-containing sections on semisolid Murashige and Skoog medium lacking hormones. Cut achenes began germinating 5 days after culture and achieved maximum germination (97% to 100%) in less than 2 weeks, compared to whole achenes, which began to germinate 7 to 10 days after sowing and required more than 7 weeks for maximum germination (<50%). Enhanced germination of cut achenes was a general phenomenon since achenes from 231 hybrid crosses responded similarly. Following placement on culture medium, cut achenes could be stored up to 8 weeks at 4C then removed to 27C, where germination and seedling development occurred at percentages and rates comparable to freshly cut achenes. Achenes did not require stratification before cutting to exhibit increased germination. Nearly 100% of the achenes from freshly harvested red-ripe, pink and white strawberries germinated after cutting and culture, although cut achenes from white and pink berries germinated more slowly than those from red-ripe berries. Achenes from green berries, whether whole or cut, did not germinate. This method of “embryo rescue” could be used to generate more seedlings from poorly germinating hybrid crosses, would considerably decrease the time from sowing to seedling production compared to traditional means, and would produce seedlings of uniform age for subsequent field evaluation.

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