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  • Author or Editor: W. A. Krueger x
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Abstract

(2-Chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon) increased the pistillate flowers and decreased the staminate flowers of summer squash, Cucurbita pepo L. Hermaphroditic flowers appeared when the effects of ethephon were declining. Ethephon-treated plants produced more pistillate flowers but also had more aborted flowers. No direct relationship of carbohydrate or other nutrient accumulations and flowering were established.

Open Access

Abstract

Seven inbred onion (Allium cepa L.) lines representing a range of responses for resistance to Fusarium oxysporum Schlect. emend. Snyd. and Hans. f. sp. cepae, the causal agent of fusarium basal rot, were mated in a complete diallel. The resultant inbred, F1, and reciprocal F1 progenies were evaluated for resistance in a greenhouse seedling test. Mean squares for general combining ability, specific combining ability, and reciprocal effects for resistance to fusarium basal rot were significant (P = 0.000). The parent with the highest general combining ability for resistance was W404, particularly when used as a seed parent. Reciprocal differences were significant in several hybrid combinations. The greenhouse screening procedure is described.

Open Access

Prunes trees are believed to be relatively tolerant of water stress, and because prune fruit are dried, a low fresh to dry weight ratio of the fruit will reduce energy requirements for fruit drying and will represent an economic benefit to the grower. In previous research, we found that, under some orchard conditions, irrigation deprivation was associated with a number of economically beneficial effects, including a lower fresh to dry weight ratio of the fruit, increased return bloom, and final saleable crop yield. Analysis of these results was complicated by the effects of irrigation on alternate bearing, and the fact that tree water stress could be substantially different under different soil conditions for the same level of irrigation deprivation. Taking these factors into account, however, indicated that economic yield in prune could be maintained or increased by managing trees at a moderate level of water stress. An experiment was established to determine whether midday stem water potential could be used to guide irrigation and achieve a target level of water stress during the growing season, and whether a moderate level of water stress would be economically beneficial to prune production. By managing prune trees at a moderate level of water stress (midday stem water potential reaching about –1.5 Mpa by the end of the season) over 3 years, an average savings of 40% in applied irrigation water was obtained. Modest increases in return bloom, and an improved fruit dry to fresh weight ratio, occurred in moderately water stressed trees, although overall yield was not changed. The substantial savings in water, without reducing yield, should represent a net economic benefit to growers, depending on the price they pay for water.

Free access

Abstract

The relationship between canopy position and foliage concentrations of several phloem-mobile and -immobile essential nutrients was determined over a 20-fold range of average incident photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) (50 to 1000 μmol·s−1·m−2) in 7-year-old prune (Prunus domestica L., syn. ‘Prune d’Agen’) tree canopies. Mineral weight per unit of leaf area (LA) increased with increasing PPF within the canopy according to the relationship N > Ca > Mg > K > P. Dry weight per leaf area (DW/LA) increased 3-fold over the range of light exposures sampled. Leaf nutrient concentration expressed as percent dry matter (DM) did not vary with PPF. Both DW/LA and leaf N/LA appear to integrate the light microenvironment at the canopy coordinates of leaves sampled and may be correlated with photosynthetic capacity. Thus, these parameters may have diagnostic value in orchard management and crop production.

Open Access

Leaf dry weight per leaf area (LDW/LA); weight of leaf N per unit leaf area (LN/LA); leaf dry weight (LDW); and fruit quality, particularly sugar per fruit (SF); fruit fresh weight (FFW); and fruit dry weight (FDW) were measured over a range of daily average incident photosynthetic photon flux values (PPF) (50 to 1000 μmol·s-1·m-2) in 7-year-old prune (Prunus domestics L. syn. `Petite d'Agen') tree canopies. Linear or curvilinear relationships between these leaf attributes and fruit characteristics were significant over the PPF range. Analysis of LDW/LA or LN/LA may be used to indicate tree canopy locations in which fruit size and quality is limited by suboptimal PPF.

Free access

To be useful for indicating plant water needs, any measure of plant stress should be closely related to some of the known short- and medium-term plant stress responses, such as stomatal closure and reduced rates of expansive growth. Midday stem water potential has proven to be a useful index of stress in a number of fruit tree species. Day-to-day fluctuations in stem water potential under well-irrigated conditions are well correlated with midday vapor-pressure deficit, and, hence, a nonstressed baseline can be predicted. Measuring stem water potential helped explain the results of a 3-year deficit irrigation study in mature prunes, which showed that deficit irrigation could have either positive or negative impacts on tree productivity, depending on soil conditions. Mild to moderate water stress was economically beneficial. In almond, stem water potential was closely related to overall tree growth as measured by increases in trunk cross-sectional area. In cherry, stem water potential was correlated with leaf stomatal conductance and rates of shoot growth, with shoot growth essentially stopping once stem water potential dropped to between −1.5 to −1.7 MPa. In pear, fruit size and other fruit quality attributes (soluble solids, color) were all closely associated with stem water potential. In many of these field studies, systematic tree-to-tree differences in water status were large enough to obscure irrigation treatment effects. Hence, in the absence of a plant-based measure of water stress, it may be difficult to determine whether the lack of an irrigation treatment effect indicates the lack of a physiological response to plant water status, or rather is due to treatment ineffectiveness in influencing plant water status. These data indicate that stem water potential can be used to quantify stress reliably and guide irrigation decisions on a site-specific basis.

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