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  • Author or Editor: Sharad C. Phatak x
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Fazal Sultanbawa and Sharad C. Phatak

A sterile (nonflowering) mutant pepper plant (Capsicum sp.) with large, purplish-green, leathery leaves and purplish-green stems was observed during a hybridization program for ornamental peppers. Propagation of this mutant was investigated using cuttings rooted in the greenhouse and in vitro cultures. The most suitable treatment for rooting of cuttings involved the use of two-node cuttings, 2 to 4 mm in diameter, treated with Rootone and rooted in Promix inside a humidity chamber kept in 60% shade. With this treatment, 40% of the cuttings had rooted after 8 weeks. Two-node shoot tips callused when cultured in vitro in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 4.9 or 9.8 μm IBA or 8.8 μm BA, but 60% had rooted after 8 weeks in half-strength MS medium without growth regulators. Chemical names used: 1 H -indole butyric acid (IBA), N -(phenylmethyl)-1 H -purin-6-amine (BA).

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Casimir A. Jaworski and Sharad C. Phatak

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Kathryn E. Brunson and Sharad C. Phatak

Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L., cv. Hiline) were planted following over-wintering cover crops. In replicated field trials, stand development for 7 different cover crops and their effects on incidence of weeds, insects, diseases, and nematodes was assessed. Effects of cover crops on yield and quality of cantaloupe were evaluated. Cover crops evaluated were rye, crimson clover, lentils, subterranean clover, `Vantage' vetch, mustard, a polyculture of all cover crops and control-fallow. No insecticides were applied and only two applications of fungicides were made. Fertilizer applications were significantly reduced. No differences among cover crops for any of pest nematodes were observed. Significant differences in populations of beneficial and pest insects were observed. Polyculture had the highest plant vigor rating. The highest marketable yield occurred following crimson clover.

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Casimir A. Jaworski and Sharad C. Phatak

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Casimir A. Jaworski and Sharad C. Phatak

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Zana C. Somda, Harry A. Mills and Sharad C. Phatak

As a result of long-term application, some fungicides may accumulate in the soil to levels that can affect soil N transformations and plant growth. Studies were initiated to compare benomyl, captan, and lime-sulfur fungicides with the biological nitrification inhibitors (NI) nitrapyrin and terrazole for their effects on biological nitrification and denitrification, and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) growth and N uptake. In laboratory studies, inhibition of nitrification was less than 5% in a Tifton l.s. soil incubated with 10 μg g -1 a.i. of benomyl but was about 51%, 72%, and more than 85% when amended with lime-sulfur, captan, and NI, respectively. Similarly, increased inhibitory effects on denitrification of NO3 were obtained in a liquid media incubated anaerobically with either NI (37%) than captan or lime-sulfur (25%) while benomyl had no significant effect. In greenhouse studies with tomato plants, weekly drench applications of 0.25 μg a.i. g -1 soil of the appropriate chemical for 4 weeks with three NH4:NO3 ratios showed that the NI and captan produced the greatest plant biomass and N uptake, but benomyl and lime-sulfur had no main effect while all fungicides interacted with the N ratio to affect plant growth and N uptake.

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Fazal Sultanbawa, Sharad C. Phatak and Casimir A. Jaworski

Caphea glutinosa is a herbaceous, low-growing annual, bearing numerous attractive purple flowers and has potential as an ornamental and as a ground cover. Plants exhibit winter hardiness in USDA plant hardiness zone 8. Tissue culture techniques were developed to obtain large numbers of uniform plants. Whole leaf explants (approximately 1.0 cm2) callused profusely in MS (Murashige and Skoog, 1962) medium containing 84 mM sucrose, 1% (w/v) Difco Bacto agar and 8.8 μM N6benzyladenine. Shoot formation from calli was observed in the same medium 4 weeks after explanting. Detached shoots were rooted (100%) in half strength MS medium and rooted shoots were transferred to Promix® in the greenhouse 2 weeks after rooting. Tissue cultured plants flowered after 60 days in the greenhouse and no phenotypic differences were observed in floral or foliar characteristics.

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Benjamin G. Mullinix, Sharad C. Phatak and Janet Cooper

Ten tomato cultivars (fresh market) were grown in a greenhouse using 30 cm or 45 cm in-row spacing with rows spaced 60 cm apart in 1979 from January through June. The cultivars were Big-O, Bigset, Hotset, Monte Carlo, Petra, Stella, Supal, Tropic, Wilters Villmarie, and WW200. Cultivars producing high number of fruit had lower fruit weight. Seven cultivars produced more fruit under the 30 cm spacing. Six cultivars produced slightly heavier fruit at 45 cm spacing and five cultivars produced larger class sized fruit at 45 cm spacing. Five cultivars had fruit by cluster distribution significantly higher up the plant at 45 cm spacing, while two were significantly lower. Three cultivars had greater production later in the growing period at 45 cm spacing, while two were greater at the beginning.

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Benjamin G. Mullinix, Sharad C. Phatak and Janet Cooper

Six tomato cultivars [Hotset, Petra, Stella, Big-O, Tropic, & Monte Carlo (fresh market)] were grown in a greenhouse in 1979 from July through November in 3 experiments. Exp. 1: The first two cultivars were used in a 15 cm, 30 cm, or 45 cm in-row spacing with rows spaced 60 cm apart. Cumulative fruit number and weight per unit area declined with increasing in-row spacing. Exp. 2: The first four cultivars were subjected to either cold or no cold treatment during germination before transplanting. No differences were found between the two treatments for mean fruit weight or total fruit number. Exp. 3: The last two cultivars were subjected to both the cold treatment and flower vibration. Cumulative fruit weight was greater for vibrated flowers. Greater mean fruit weight occurred earlier with cold treatment and declined significantly later in season, and was more pronounced in Tropic than Monte Carlo.