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Swee-Suak Ko, Woo-Nang Chang, Jaw-Fen Wang, Shin-Jiun Cherng and S. Shanmugasundaram

In the tropics, onion (Allium cepa L.) bulbs are usually stored in shelters under ambient conditions resulting in severe storage losses. This study was aimed at determining whether variation in bulb storability exists among short-day onion cultivars and whether the trait can be improved through conventional breeding. Twelve onion cultivars with different degrees of storability were selected from preliminary experiments. Bulbs of selected cultivars were grown and stored for 3 months under ambient conditions. Observations were made on disease incidence at harvest, percentage diseased bulbs, and storage disease incidence of bacterial soft rot [BR (Pseudomonas gladioli pv. alliicola Burkholder)], black mold [BM (Aspergillus niger Tiegh.)], and fusarium basal rot (Fusarium oxysporum Schlechtend.:Fr. f. sp. cepae) after 3 months of storage. Data on bulb characteristics such as bulb fresh weight (FW), dry matter (DM) content, total soluble solids (TSS), and pyruvic acid content were recorded at harvest. Mean storage losses of cultivars ranged from 21% to 99% over 3 years. Diseases were the major causes of storage losses, with BR and BM being the most predominant. Performance of most traits (including storage losses) was significantly influenced by year (Y), cultivar (G), and Y × G interaction. Heavy rainfall during bulb development in 1997 may have contributed to higher disease incidence at harvest, higher percentage of diseased bulbs during storage, and lower DM, and TSS of the cultivars. Cultivars with good storability, such as `Red Pinoy' and `Serrana', were less sensitive to stressful environments and high disease pressure. Incidence of storage diseases was significantly correlated with DM (r = -0.65 to -0.84) and TSS (r = -0.66 to -0.87), as well as incidence of BR (r = 0.57 to 0.94) in each year. Thus, they could be good indicators for evaluating storability. Cultivars with good storability tended to have small bulbs, as average bulb FW was positively correlated with incidence of storage diseases. Disease incidences on `Red Pinoy' and `Serrana', both in the field and in storage, were significantly lower than in the other cultivars, indicating they are tolerant to major storage diseases and that they could be used as donor parents for genetic improvement of onion storability.

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George E. Boyhan, David B. Langston, Albert C. Purvis and C. Randell Hill

Five different statistical methods were used to estimate optimum plot size and three different methods were used to estimate optimum number of replications with short-day onions (Allium cepa L.) for yield, seedstem formation (bolting), purple blotch and/or Stemphylium (PB/S), botrytis leaf blight (BLB), and bulb doubling with a basic plot size unit of 1.5 × 1.8 m (length × width). Methods included Bartlett's test for homogeneity of variance, computed lsd values, maximum curvature of coefficient of variation plotted against plot size, Hatheway's method for a true mean difference, and Cochran and Cox's method for detecting a percent mean difference. Bartlett's chi-square was better at determining optimum plot size with transformed count and percent data compared with yield data in these experiments. Optimum plot size for yield of five basic units (7.5 m length) and four replications is indicated using computed lsd values where the lsd is <5% of the average for that plot size, which was the case in both years of this study. Based on all the methods used for yield, a plot size of four to five basic units and three to five replications is appropriate. For seedstems using computed lsd values, an optimum plot size of four basic units (6 m length) and two replications is indicated. For PB/S two basic units (3 m length) plot size with four replications is indicated by computed lsd values. For BLB a plot size of four basic units (6 m length) and three replications is optimum based on computed lsd values. Optimum plot size and number of replications for estimating bulb doubling was four basic units (6 m length) and two replications with `Southern Belle', a cultivar with a high incidence of doubling using computed lsd values. With `Sweet Vidalia', a cultivar with low incidence of bulb doubling, a plot size of four basic units (6 m length) and five replications is recommended by computed lsd values. Visualizing maximum curvature between coefficient of variation and plot size suggests plot sizes of seven to eight basic units (10.5 to 12 m length) for yield, 10 basic units (15 m length) for seedstems, five basic units (7.5 m length) for PB/S and BLB, five basic units (7.5 m length) for `Southern Belle' doubling, and 10 basic units (15 m length) for `Sweet Vidalia' doubling. A number of plot size-replication combinations were optimum for the parameters tested with Hatheway's and Cochran and Cox's methods. Cochran and Cox's method generally indicated a smaller plot size and number of replications compared to Hatheway's method regardless of the parameter under consideration. Overall, both Hatheway's method and computed lsd values appear to give reasonable results regardless of data (i.e., yield, seedstems, diseases etc.) Finally, it should be noted that the size of the initial basic unit will have a strong influence on the appropriate plot size.

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M. Damayanti, G.J. Sharma and S.C. Kundu

The application of gamma radiation for improving the storage of pineapple fruits [Ananas comosus (L.) Merr. cv. Queen] has been studied in an attempt to reduce decay caused by fungal pathogens such as Ceratocystis paradoxa (Dade)-Moreau and Penicillium purpurogenum Stoll. Gamma radiation at 50, 75, 100, 150, and 250 Gy improved shelf life. The maximum tolerable dose was ≈250 Gy. Fruits irradiated with up to 150 Gy and then stored at 25 to 28C maintained their texture better than did the controls. Radiation, particularly at doses >250 Gy, caused browning of the shin and softening of tissues. Browning increased with increasing radiation dose and storage duration. Excessively high doses promoted spoilage. Doses in the range of 50 to 250 Gy, in combination with storage at 11 to 13C, can be used to reduce postharvest losses in pineapple due to fungal diseases and senescence, thereby extending shelf life.

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Kathryn Pickle, Rajasekaran Lada, Claude Caldwell, Jeffrey Hoyle and Jeffrey Norrie

Consumer demand for chemically free produce has increased; however, producers have become increasingly dependent on unreliable chemical defenses for control of diseases and pests. These dilemmas, along with the desire to maintain healthy farmland, have led to the research and development of environmentally sound practices. It is hypothesized that predisposing plants to photo, physical, and mechanical (PPM) mechanisms can allow plants to better withstand stress. Plants exposed to one form of PPM mechanism could confer resistance to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses. Such cross-resistance is commonly seen, but not well-understood. In this study, various PPM factors, including UV-C radiation, leaf brushing, and canopy trimming, were applied to field-grown carrots (Daucus carotae L.). The degree of blight and white mold infection was measured. Preliminary analyses showed that UV-C radiation at 4 weeks post-emergence or brushing at 4 or 8 weeks significantly reduced carrot blight and/or white mold. This implies that certain PPM mechanisms may induce plant defenses, allowing the crop to better defend itself against future biotic stress.

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Michael Lay-Yee, Graeme K. Clare, Robert J. Petry, Robert A. Fullerton and Anne Gunson

Papaya fruit (Carica papaya L. cv. Waimanalo Solo), at color break ripeness, were either not heated (controls) or forced-air heated to center temperatures of 47.5, 48.5, or 49.5 °C, and held at these temperatures for 20, 60, 120, or 180 minutes. Following heat treatment, fruit were hydrocooled until reaching a center temperature of 30 °C, treated or not treated with prochloraz, allowed to ripen at 26 °C and then assessed for quality. Treatment at 48.5 °C or 49.5 °C for ≥60 minutes was associated with skin scalding. No significant scald was observed in other treatments or in the controls. Both control and heat-treated fruit had relatively high levels of decay. Heat treatment increased the incidence of body rots but did not affect the incidence of stem-end rots. Prochloraz treatment significantly reduced the incidence of decay. With the inclusion of a prochloraz treatment to control postharvest decay, fruit tolerated treatments of 47.5 °C for up to 120 minutes, and 48.5 °C and 49.5 °C for 20 minutes with no significant damage. Chemical name used: 1-N-propyl-N-(2-(2,4,6-(trichlorophenoxy)ethyl)-1H-imidazole-1-carboxamide (prochloraz).

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D.C. Ramsdell, V.A. Adler and C.R. Kesner

Twenty-one declining `Stanley' prune (Prunus domestica L.) commercial orchards in the southwestern, west-central, and northwestern regions of Michigan's lower peninsula were surveyed for prune brown line disease, associated with tomato ringspot virus (TmRSV). Fifty trees from each orchard were examined for a brown line and pitting-grooving symptoms beneath the bark at the graft union. Inner bark and cambium were taken at the graft union for ELISA testing for TmRSV. Dagger nematodes (Xiphinema americanum Cobb 1913) (the vector) were extracted from soil samples and enumerated. Dandelions (a TmRSV weed host) also were tested for TmRSV. Information on orchard cultural practices and orchard histories was compiled. The percentage of trees ELISA-positive for TmRSV ranged from 4% to 82%, with a mean of 27.9%. The percentage of orchards in the northwestern, west-central, and southwestern regions in which TmRSV was detected by ELISA was l8.0%, 32.3%, and 35.1%, respectively. There was a strong positive correlation between the percentage of trees with a brown line at the graft union and the percentage of trees in which TmRSV was detected at each location. The brown line symptom is a good indicator for the presence of TmRSV, but graft-union pitting and grooving did not correlate strongly with the presence of the virus. TmRSV was detected in dandelion plants in 63% of the orchards tested. Dandelion densities, which ranged from <0.5 to 10/m2, did not correlate positively with percentage of ELISA-positive trees. Numbers of dagger nematodes ranged from 0 to 132 per cm3 of soil. Vector nematode populations correlated positively with ELISA-positive trees from southwestern Michigan, but not in the other two regions. Orchard age, which ranged from 6 to 22 years, did not seem to relate to the percentage of trees in which TmRSV was detected, nor did the source of the plant material used to establish the orchards. Both `Myrobalan' and peach rootstocks were heavily infected. Preplant and at-planting applications of fenamiphos as a strip treatment were ineffective in preventing infection. We believe that TmRSV is endemic in Michigan orchard soils and that the virus is not being introduced to new orchards through the use of infected planting material.

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Neel Kamal, Ashish Saxena, Robert L. Steiner and Christopher S. Cramer

down ( Wall and Corgan, 1994 ). In New Mexico, onion harvesting often coincides with rainfall and higher temperatures, conducive for development of black mold. Disease incidence can vary from 11% to 50% for short-day cultivars. No resistance to black

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Oleg Daugovish, Hai Su and W. Douglas Gubler

. Foliar sprays of strobilurin fungicides and captan have suppressed disease incidence of fruit rot ( Black et al., 1990 ; Freeman et al., 1997 ; Su and Gubler, 2006 ). However, infections of the root system were not controlled by aboveground fungicide

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Norman Lalancette, Daniel L. Ward and Joseph C. Goffreda

relationship between disease incidence and severity was investigated. Materials and Methods Orchard site. The study was conducted during 2007 and 2008 in an experimental peach cultivar orchard located at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center

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Adam F. Wimer, Steven L. Rideout and Joshua H. Freeman

commercial fields can determine factors that affect the pattern and spread of disease. For example, aggregated incidence of bacterial wilt within the rows of a commercial field could indicate that irrigation is a factor contributing to the spread of the