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M.B. Fiely and T.E. Morelock

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) varies in tolerance to saturated soil conditions. Plant vigor was assessed for plants flooded in autoclaved and nonautoclaved field soil. Decline of vigor was more rapid for plants flooded in nonautoclaved field soil, indicating that flooding tolerance may be influenced by soil borne pathogens.

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C.H. Becker and T.E. Morelock

Southernpea (Vigna unguiculata) is a popular home garden, fresh-market, and processing vegetable in the southeastern United States. Processing schedules are normally controlled by planting the same variety at different dates. Difference in genetic maturity would allow growers to stagger harvest dates by planting different maturity peas on the same day and allow genotype to alter harvest dates. This procedure would allow growers to better utilize available soil moisture and optimum planting dates. Ten southernpea varieties and breeding lines representing early, medium, and late maturity were planted in Kibler, Ark., during the summers of 1994 and 1995. Five different planting dates were used. Flowering dates and days to maturity were recorded and plots were harvested for yield. Results indicate that relative days to maturity can be significantly shortened or lengthened by the time of planting. Varieties planted in early June or early August took longer to mature then when they were planted in late June or early July.

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M.B. Fiely and T.E. Morelock

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) varies in tolerance to saturated soil conditions. Plant vigor was assessed for plants flooded in autoclaved and nonautoclaved field soil. Decline of vigor was more rapid for plants flooded in nonautoclaved field soil, indicating that flooding tolerance may be influenced by soil borne pathogens.

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T.E. Morelock, P.W. Simon and C.E. Peterson

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L.P. Brandenberger, T.E. Morelock and J.C. Correll

Spinach germplasm (707 accessions) from collections from six countries were screened for resistance to race 4 of the downy mildew pathogen Peronospora farinosa f. sp. spinaciae; these collections contained germplasm that originated from 41 countries. The predominant species examined was Spinacia oleracea L., however, eight accessions of S. turkestanica Iljin and two accessions of S. tetrandra Stev. were also tested. About 40 seedlings of each accession were inoculated. The cultivar St. Helens was included as a susceptible control in each test. The majority of accessions tested (>98%) were susceptible to race 4. Nine accessions exhibited some resistance to race 4 (9% to 38% of the seedlings within an accession were resistant), and two accessions, CGNO 9546 and SPI 82/87, exhibited a high level of resistance (60% and 80% resistant, respectively). Resistance identified in several of the accessions in this study may be useful for breeding for race 4 resistance.

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Hallie G. Dodson, J.B. Murphy and T.E. Morelock

Anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant pigments that are classified as flavonoids. Anthocyanins have important antioxidant properties which may help in prevention of cancer, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. Finding common sources and possibly increasing levels of anthocyanins in food could be important to human health. This research project determined amount and type of anthocyanins in 16 cultivars and breeding lines of cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata). The information obtained from this research project will be used to improve anthocyanin content of cowpeas by breeding. Of the 16 cultivars and breeding lines, only a black cowpea breeding line, 95-356, contained measurable levels of 3 types of anthocyanins: delphinidin, peonidin, and an unknown anthocyanin. Total anthocyanin content was 0.00242 mg·g–1, which is equal to 0.21 mg per ½-cup serving. In another study with 95-356 Rabi A. Musah, found a total anthocyanin content of 121.26 mg per serving and also found three other types of anthocyanins. The difference in the studies could be explained by the storage time of two weeks after the anthocyanins were extracted, but before they were eluded in this study. Additional studies are needed to determine if cowpeas can provide anthocyanin levels comparable to other fruits and vegetables.

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T.E. Morelock, D.R. Motes and A.R. Gonzalez

Southernpea (Vigna unguiculata) is an important crop in the southern United States. The Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station announces the release of three varieties. `Excel' produces a compact bush plant, from 45–60 cm tall with no basal runners. Pods are deep purple, 20–25 cm long and shell easily at the green mature stage. Flowering and fruiting are concentrated, with the pods produced at the top of the plant on medium-length peduncles. Seed has a bright pinkeye and is similar in size to pinkeye purple hull BVR but matures 3–4 days earlier. `Early Scarlet' produces a medium sized plant, from 60–75 cm tall with no basal runners. Pods are light red, 20–25 cm long and shell easily at the green mature stage. Flowering and fruiting are concentrated at the top of the plant with pods produced on medium-length peduncles. Seed has a light pinkeye and is similar in size to `Pinkeye Purple Hull BVR' but matures 2–3 days earlier. `Arkansas Blackeye #1' produces a bush plant, from 50–65 cm tall with no basal runners. The pods are silver, 20–25 cm long and shell easily. Flowering and fruiting are concentrated with the pods produced in the top of the plant on medium-length peduncles. Seed has a distinct medium-sized blackeye and the seed are very similar in size, type and eye pattern to `California #5 Blackeye'. Maturity is normally 2–3 days earlier than `Pinkeye Purple Hull BVR'.

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L.A. Wasilwa, T.E. Morelock and J.C. Correll

Anthracnose of cucurbits, caused by Colletotrichum orbiculare, is composed of three races (race 1, 2, and 2B). The inheritance of race 1 in cucumber is reported to be controlled by a single recessive gene. Although the mode of inheritance to race 2 in cucumber has not been determined, it has been suggested that is quantitatively inherited. Four cucumber cultivars, H19 from two sources [the commercial seed (P1) and the breeders seed (P2)], Pixie (P3), and Marketer (P4), that were considered highly resistant, moderately resistant and highly susceptible, respectively, to race 2 were used as the parents in this study. Crosses between resistant × susceptible and resistant × moderately resistant were made. Some reciprocal crosses also were made. The F1 progeny were then evaluated for resistance to race 2 in a cotyledon assay. Disease severity was assessed 8 days after inoculation using a disease rating scale of 0–7, whereby 0 = healthy plant and 7 = 100% chlorosis or necrosis. All progeny from P1 × P1 were highly resistant (disease severity 19 < 2.5); P2 × P2 and P3 × P3 were highly moderately resistant (disease severity 2.6–4.9); and all P4 × P4 progeny were highly susceptible (disease severity > 5.0) to race 2. All F1 progeny showed a continuum of disease ratings from highly resistant to moderately resistant to race 2. The disease ratings of the F1 progeny would indicate that resistance to race 2 is controlled by multiple genes.

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T.E. Morelock, D.R. Motes and A.R. Gonzalez

Southernpea (cowpea), Vigna ungiculata L. Walp, is an important processing and fresh-market vegetable in the southern United States. While many of the newer varieties are early maturing, there is still a need for late-maturing, high-yielding varieties. Arkansas 92-552 fills this niche. It is a bush plant that produces silver pods in the upper portion of large plants that are free of basal runners. The seed are medium size with a bright pink eye. Maturity is 5 to 7 days later than `Coronet' under Arkansas conditions. The variety processes well and canned peas have been rated equal to `Coronet' by consumers panels. The yield potential is high and it has produced higher yield than `Coronet' in replicated trials in Arkansas. 92-552 is also resistant to rootknot nematode.

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J.A. Kirkpatrick, J.B. Murphy and T.E. Morelock

Interest in the health benefits of vegetables prompted an investigation of the levels of carotenoids in commercial varieties and UA breeding lines of spinach. Plant carotenoids perform a critical function as antioxidants, providing protection against a variety of reactive oxygen species generated primarily during photosynthesis. When ingested by humans, these compounds maintain their antioxidant activities and are receiving considerable attention in relation to multiple health benefits, including cancer prevention. While the best-known and most-studied carotenoid is beta-carotene, other carotenoids are now receiving attention due to their higher antioxidant activity compared to beta-carotene. Most dark-green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are relatively high in carotenoids, especially lutein. In this study, significant differences in average content of both lutein and beta-carotene were found between genetic lines of spinach. Some lines exhibited considerable variation between plants, while others were highly uniform. There was a very high correlation (r 2 = 0.96) between lutein content and betacarotene content. The significant difference between spinach lines suggests that improvement of general carotenoid antioxidants and lutein could be obtained through a breeding program.