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Rebecca Darnell

Most Vaccinium species, including V. corymbosum, have strict soil requirements for optimal growth, requiring low pH, high iron, and nitrogen, primarily in the ammonium form. V. arboreum is a wild species adapted to high pH, low iron, nitrate-containing soils. This broader soil adaptation in V. arboreum may be related to increased efficiency of iron or nitrate uptake/assimilation compared with cultivated Vaccinium species. To test this, nitrate and iron uptake, and nitrate reductase (NR) and ferric chelate reductase (FCR) activities were compared in two Vaccinium species, V. arboreum and the cultivated V. corymbosum. Plants were grown hydroponically for 15 weeks in either 1.0 or 5.0 mm NO3 with 0.09 mm Fe. Root FCR activity was greater in V. arboreum compared with V. corymbosum, especially at the lower external nitrate concentration. However, this was not reflected in differences in iron uptake. Nitrate uptake and root NR activity were greater in V. arboreum compared with V. corymbosum. The lower nitrate uptake and assimilation in V. corymbosum was reflected in decreased plant dry weight compared with V. arboreum. V. arboreum appears to be more efficient in acquiring nitrate compared with V. corymbosum, possibly due to increased NR activity, and this may partially explain the wider soil adaptation of V. arboreum.

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J.M. Goatley Jr. and R.E. Schmidt

This study was conducted to determine the potential anti-senescence activity of certain chemicals by monitoring changes in gross. CO2 exchange with senescence of excised leaves of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). One day following foliar applications of benzyladenine (BA), triadimefon, and propiconazole, with and without chelated Fe (8% Fe phosphate citrate), Kentucky bluegrass leaves were excised, floated on distilled water in petri dishes, and placed in a darkened growth chamber. Gross CO2 exchange rates (CER) were recorded 1, 4, 7, and 10 days after excision (DAE). Foliar applications of Fe, BA, triadimefon, or propiconazole applied alone induced an anti-senescence response. Combinations of Fe with the chemicals delayed excision-induced leaf senescence, but no significant increase in anti-senescence activity was obtained from the Fe and chemical combinations as compared to the materials applied alone. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purin-6-amine (benzyladenine, BA); 1-(4-Chlorophenoxy)-3,3-dimethyl-1(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1yl)-2-butanone (triadimefon);1-[[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-propyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-yl]methyl]-1H-1,2,4-triazole (propiconazole).

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M.V. Bhaskara Reddy, Paul Angers, Francois Castaigne and Joseph Arul

Stem scar application of chitosan inhibited growth and production of pathogenic factors by blackmold rot [Alternaria alternata (Fr.:Fr.) Keissl.] in challenged tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit stored at 20 °C for 28 days. Blackmold lesions were visible within 4 days of inoculation in control fruit, compared with >7 days in chitosantreated fruit. Macerating enzyme activity (polygalacturonase, pectate lyase, and cellulase) in the tissue in the vicinity of the lesions was <50% in chitosan-treated fruit compared with control fruit. Chitosan also inhibited production of oxalic and fumaric acids (chelating agents) and host-specific toxins such as alternariol and alternariol monomethylether by the fungus. The pH of the infected tissue decreased from 4.7 to 4.0 in the control fruit, the optimum for polygalacturonase activity, while the pH of chitosan-treated fruit remained at 4.6. In addition, chitosan also induced production of rishitin (a phytoalexin) in tomato tissue. Such chitosan-pathogen-host interactions may be exploited in the control of postharvest pathogens of fresh fruit and vegetables.

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John Smagula* and Ilse Fastook

In a commercial lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) field with low leaf Cu (<7 ppm) and Fe (<50 ppm) concentrations, nine 1.8 m × 15 m treatment plots were established in a randomized complete block design with 6 blocks. Copper Keylate® (Stoller Enterprises, Inc.) containing 5% Cu was used as a foliar spray in a volume of 626 L·ha-1. In a similar volume, the Stoller Enterprises Inc. product Fe Keylate®, containing 5% Fe (5% chelated Iron), was used to provide Fe. Ammonium sulfate (0.7%) was added to the solutions to enhance uptake. Treatment plots received either Cu Keylate® at 0.6 kg·ha-1 Cu or Fe Keylate® at 0.6 kg·ha-1 or a combination of both nutrients in one spray. Treatments included a 19 June prune - or crop-year application of Cu, Fe, or Cu + Fe, and a prune-year Cu + Fe June 7 and June 19. A plot receiving no treatment served as a control. Leaf Cu and Fe concentrations were raised to above satisfactory leaf concentrations (Cu >7 ppm, Fe >50 ppm) by their respective treatments. Concentrations were significantly higher for each element when they were applied together. Two applications were not better than only one. No carry-over effect was seen in the crop year. Crop-year applications of Cu and Fe were effective in raising their respective concentrations. Stem density, length, number of branches or branch length was not affected by treatments at the end of the prune year. Flower bud density and average number of flower buds per stem were not meaningfully affected by prune year Cu or Fe treatments. Berry yield was not influenced by any treatment suggesting that the Cu and Fe standards are too high.

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Massimo Tagliavini and Bruno Marangoni

Most deciduous fruit crops in Italy are grown in the north and especially in the eastern part of the Po River Valley (mainly in the Emilia Romagna and Veneto regions) and in the Adige River Valley (South Tyrol and Trento provinces). Soils in the wide Po River Valley, where pear (Pyrus communis), peach and nectarine (Prunus persica), kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa), plum (Prunus domestica and P. insititia), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), cherry (Prunus avium), and apple (Malus domestica) are grown, are alluvial, generally fertile, fine textured, alkaline, often calcareous and well enriched with Ca. Apple plantings are concentrated in the Adige Valley and located on a variety of soil types, including sandy loam, loamy sand soils or sandy clay, sometimes calcareous. Integrated fruit production is gaining importance and represents more than 80% of apple production in South Tyrol and about 60% of peach and nectarine production in Emilia Romagna. Under these conditions, the main objectives of mineral nutrition are to reconcile production and environmental concerns (minimize nutrient leaching, soil pollution, volatile emissions). In particular, fertilization aims to improve external and internal fruit quality and storage ability, reduce production costs, maintain soil fertility, avoid nutrient deficiency and excess and control tree vigor. Nitrogen applications have strongly decreased in recent years and there is a need to improve the efficiency of N fertilizers while avoiding deficiencies. Research is focussing on application technology, timing of N uptake, internal cycling of N and methods for assessing the need for N application (e.g., using estimates of native soil N availability). Early diagnosis of bitter pit is recommended for guiding applications of Ca sprays. Iron deficiency and chlorosis is a major problem in pear, peach and kiwifruit grown in alkaline and calcareous soils and Fe chelates are usually applied annually to the soil or to the canopy. Current research is focused on agronomic means for controlling the problem and on developing rootstocks tolerant to Fe deficiency.

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Ed Stover, Michael Fargione, Richard Risio, Warren Stiles and Kevin Iungerman

This study was initiated to determine if prebloom sprays of B, Zn, and urea would enhance cropping of apple (Malus×domestica Borkh.) after cold injury, hypothesizing that they may accelerate recovery of damaged vascular tissue. The following foliar nutrient treatments were applied prebloom to `McIntosh' and `Empire' trees at two sites in 1994 and 1995: 1) control; 2) B (22.8 mm) at half-inch-green; 3) Zn-EDTA (0.75 mm) at half-inch-green; 4) B and Zn-EDTA at half-inch-green; 5) B, Zn-EDTA, and urea (59.4 mm) at half-inch-green; 6) B and Zn-EDTA at half-inch-green, followed by B, Zn-EDTA, and urea at pink. In 1994, following a very severe winter that caused visible damage to vascular tissue, `Empire' at both sites cropped more heavily following all treatments that included both B and Zn; such treatments increased cropload by an average of 22% and 35% at the two test sites. Despite a mild winter preceding the 1995 season, prebloom nutrient treatments again increased cropping of `Empire'. In 1996, treatments included a control and a single foliar treatment (B + Zn-EDTA at half-inch-green followed by B, Zn-EDTA, and urea at pink) on `McIntosh' and `Empire' at seven orchard sites. Treatment enhanced cropping in `McIntosh' at three of the seven sites, but there was no effect on `Empire'. Factors influencing differences in response were not apparent from this study, although a complex of factors may be involved. Data for all years indicated that prebloom nutrients did not enhance spur leaf development or fruit set; such treatments probably enhance cropping by increasing retention of flower buds that would otherwise abscise before anthesis. Where cropping was increased, mean fruit weight was not reduced at P ≤ 0.05 but fruit weight was significantly less at P ≤ 0.10 in 1995. Chemical names used: boron (Solubor, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate); zinc (Zn-EDTA, zinc chelate).

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David E. Crowley, Woody Smith, Ben Faber and John A. Manthey

Methods for Zn fertilization of `Hass' avocado (Persea americana Mill.) trees were evaluated in a 2-year field experiment on a commercial orchard located on a calcareous soil (pH 7.8) in Ventura County, Calif. The fertilization methods included soil- or irrigation-applied ZnSO4; irrigation-applied Zn chelate (Zn-EDTA); trunk injection of Zn(NO3)2, and foliar applications of ZnSO4, ZnO, or Zn metalosate. Other experiments evaluated the influence of various surfactants on the Zn contents of leaves treated with foliar-applied materials and on the retention and translocation of radiolabeled 65ZnSO4 and 65Zn metalosate after application to the leaf surface. In the field experiment, tree responses to fertilization with soil-applied materials were affected significantly by their initial status, such that only trees having <50 μg·g–1 had significant increases in foliar Zn contents after fertilization. Among the three soil and irrigation treatments, ZnSO4 applied at 3.2 kg ZnSO4 per tree either as a quarterly irrigation or annually as a soil application was the most effective and increased leaf tissue Zn concentrations to 75 and 90 μg·g–1, respectively. Foliar-applied ZnSO4, ZnO, and Zn metalosate with Zn at 5.4, 0.8, and 0.9 g·liter–1, respectively, also resulted in increased leaf Zn concentrations. However, experiments with 65Zn applied to leaves of greenhouse seedlings showed that <1% of Zn applied as ZnSO4 or Zn metalosate was actually taken up by the leaf tissue and that there was little translocation of Zn into leaf parenchyma tissue adjacent to the application spots or into the leaves above or below the treated leaves. Given these problems with foliar Zn, fertilization using soil- or irrigation-applied ZnSO4 may provide the most reliable method for correction of Zn deficiency in avocado on calcareous soils.

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Andreas Brune, Mathias Müller, Lincoln Taiz, Pedro Gonzalez and Ed Etxeberria

Vacuolar acidification was investigated in `Palestine' sweet (Citrus limmetioides Tanaka) and `Persian' acid lime [(Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle] (vacuolar pHs of 5.0 and 2.1, respectively) using tonoplast vesicles isolated from juice cells. The ATPase activity of tonoplast-enriched vesicles from sweet limes was strongly inhibited by bafilomycin A1 and NO3 -, but was unaffected by vanadate. In contrast, the ATPase activity in acid lime membranes was only slightly inhibited by bafilomycin A1 and NO3 - and was strongly inhibited by high concentrations of vanadate. The vacuolar origin of the acid lime vesicles was confirmed by immunoblotting. After solubilization and partial purification of the two enzymes by gel filtration, their inhibitor profiles were largely unchanged. Based on equal ATPase activities, vesicles from sweet and acid limes were able to generate similar pH gradients. However, in tonoplast vesicles from sweet limes, the maximum ΔpH was reached four times faster than in those from acid limes. Addition of ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) to chelate Mg+2 after the maximal ΔpH was attained resulted in collapse of the pH gradient in vesicles from sweet limes, whereas no change in ΔpH was observed in vesicles from acid limes, indicating a less H+ permeable membrane. Vacuolar ATPases from both cultivars exhibited identical pH optima and showed similar Mg+2 dependence, but only the acid lime ATPase activity was inhibited by Ca+2. These data confirm that the vanadate-sensitive form of the V-ATPase found in lemon and acid limes is specific to hyperacidifying tissues rather than to citrus juice cells. Sweet lime vacuoles bear the classical V-ATPase also found in vegetative plant tissues.

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Yousef I. Dlaigen, A. E. Said and M.A. El-Hamady

Several experiments were conducted in this investigation with the objective of determining the chemical components and the physical state of an optimal medium for the growth and elongation of excised date palm, cv Sukkari, roots. The chemical tests carried out included: Comparison of (MS)-salts with “White's”-salts mixture and different concentrations of (MS)-salts and its chelated iron; sugars; Modified White's Organics; inositol; adenine sulfate; growth regulators; and some antioxidants. The physical tests, on the other hand, included comparison of the growth and elongation of cultured roots in a liquid or on solidified nutrient media. The effects of various pH values were also tested. Roots were cultured in basal nutrient media composed of: (MS)-salts mixture, and (in mg·liter–1): NaH2PO4·H2O, 170; sucrose, 30,000; inositol, 200; Modified White's Organics; adenine sulfate, 120; activated charcoal, 1500; (2,4-D), 1; kinetin, 2. pH was adjusted at 5.7 ± 01. (MS)-salts mixture was found to be superior to “White's”-salts. No significant difference was observed between (1/2MS) and full-strength (MS)-salts. However, twice the concentration was found to be inhibitory. The normal concentration of (MS)-Fe was found to be optimum for root growth and elongation. The optimal concentration most suitable for the growth and elongation of excised date palm roots has been determined for each of: sugars; Modified White's Organics; inositol; and adenine sulfate. The only growth regulator that needs to be added to the nutrient medium is 2,4-D at 0.1–1.0 mg·liter–1. The study showed the importance of the inclusion of activated charcoal to the nutrient medium. The growth and elongation of roots were both stimulated at all concentrations tested. (PVP), on the other hand, was inhibitory at all concentrations tested. Shaken liquid media was recommended for better root growth and elongation at pH 7.0–8.0. Incidentally, the medium developed was found to support the growth and elongation of roots excised from two other cultivars, namely `Khudri' and `Khaias'.

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Esmaeil Fallahi and Thomas Eichert

described earlier for urea experiment. Two formulations of commercial foliar Ca fertilizers were sprayed at different frequencies during 2011. These formulations included calcium chloride (CaCl 2 ) and chelated calcium (Metalostae Calcium; Albion