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D.G. Mortley, J.H. Hill, C.K. Bonsi, W.A. Hill and C.E. Morris

Growth chamber studies were conducted to determine if inverse day/night temperature could control canopy height of sweetpotato without adversely affecting storage root yield. Four 15-cm-long vine cuttings of TU-82-155 sweetpotato were grown in rectangular nutrient film technique hydroponic troughs for 120 days. Two troughs were placed into each of six reach-in growth chambers and subjected to 24/18, 26/20, 28/22, 18/24, 20/26, and 22/28 °C, respectively. Growth chamber conditions included a 12/12-h photoperiod, 70% RH, and photosynthetic photon flux of 1000 μmol·m-2·s-1 at canopy level. Total and edible storage root yields were reduced by 50% among plants grown under cool days/warm nights regimes. Harvest index was similar among treatments except for the low value obtained at 22/28 °C. Canopy height was positively correlated with the change in temperature, and for every 2 °C decrease there was a 3.1 centimeter decrease in canopy height. Inverse day/night temperature effectively controlled canopy height but at the expense of storage root production.

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W.J. Hill, J.R. Heckman, B.B. Clarke and J.A. Murphy

Take-all patch, caused by Gaeumannomyces graminis (Sacc.) Arx. & D. Olivier var. avenae (E.M. Turner) Dennis (Gga), is a disease of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera Huds.), which most often is associated with golf courses. Synthesis of ligneous and phenolic compounds by plants requires adequate Mn+2 and Cu+2 nutrition and may be a factor in disease resistance. An experiment was conducted on a creeping bentgrass fairway naturally infested with Gga to determine if foliar applications of Mn+2 (1.02 and 2.04 kg·ha–1 per application) and Cu+2 (0.68 kg·ha–1 per application) would reduce take-all severity. Prior to initiating treatments, soil pH was 6.4 and Mehlich-3 extractable Mn+2 and Cu+2 were 5 mg·kg–1 and 1.7 mg·kg–1, respectively. Manganese and copper sulfate treatments were initiated in July 1995 and foliarly applied every 4 weeks through 1997 with the exception of December, January, and February. Disease incidence was decreased from 20% on untreated turf to 5% with the high rate of MnSO4. For both years, turf treated with the high rate of Mn+2 had less disease than turf receiving the low rate of Mn+2. The application of CuSO4, however, did not influence disease development.

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James Hill Craddock, R.J. Sauve, S.E. Schlarbaum, J. Skinner, R.N. Trigiano, M.T. Windham and W.T. Witte

Hand pollinations and honey bees were used to cross Cornus florida cultivars in a series of experiments investigating dogwood pollination biology from a breeding viewpoint and testing the use of insects (domestic honey bees and ladybug beetles as pollinators in dogwood breeding. Experiments were conducted to study possible incompatibility between dogwood cultivars and to determine if self-compatibility and self-fertility occur in Cornus florida. Since 1993, ≈200 seedlings have been produced by hand and insect-mediated pollinations. Honey bees can be used in dogwood breeding. Trees cross pollinated by ladybeetles had lower fruit set than trees cross pollinated by honey bees. Greenhouse forcing to accelerate anthesis and cold storage to delay the onset of bloom of container-grown trees can extend the dogwood breeding season effectively.

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P.J. Grant, J.Y. Lu, D.G. Mortley, P.A. Loretan, C.K. Bonsi and W.A. Hill

The sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] breeding clone TU-82-155 was grown during Spring 1990 and Summer 1991 in standard Tuskegee Univ. (Alabama) growth channels (0.15 × 0.15 × 1.2 m) for 120 days in a greenhouse using a hydroponic (nutrient film) system with a modified half-strength Hoagland nutrient solution. The nutrient solution was changed every 2, 14, or 28 days. Total N, oil, ash, amino acid, vitamin, and mineral concentrations in storage roots generally were higher and dry weight and starch concentration were lower with 2-day solution changes than with those less frequent.