The selection of olive (Olea europaea L.) cultivars goes back to early biblical times. The main objectives were high oil content and regional adaptability. Subsequently, olive cultivars were selected also on a size basis for table consumption. In the last hundred years, form and size of green table olives became even more important than their oil content, but still, the minimum oil content was not lower than 7 to 8% oil of fresh wt for green ripe fruit. Selection for low-oil-content olives has not been attempted in the past. However, with diet consciousness and increased awareness of public health, the development of low-oil-content olive, particularly for dietetic use is of interest. This release describes a new olive named ‘Kadesh’ with extrem ely low oil content, yield stability, and relatively easy rooting (1).
A laboratory procedure for assaying Lycopersicon spp. for resistance to the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta (L.) is described. Results from this procedure, which employed excised foliage from greenhouse grown plants and first instar hornworm larvae from a colony maintained in the laboratory on artificial diet, were similar to those obtained with intact plants, with field collected hornworm larvae, and with field grown resistant plants. The Lycopersicon hirsutum f. glabratum accessions PI 134417 and LA 407 were highly resistant to M. sexta. Resistance was manifest as a significant reduction in larval survival and in weight gained by survivors over a 72 hour period. The interplant variation in larval weight gains within accessions was highly significant, suggesting that most of the accessions tested were segregating for resistance to M. sexta.
Sesquiterpene carboxylic acids (SCA) are synthesized by leaf trichomes of a wild tomato species Lycopersicon hirsutum accession LA 1777 and confer resistance to the tomato pests Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) and Spodoptera exigua (Hubner). Larvae of both species exhibited a reduction in survival and growth rate with altered feeding behavior when exposed to SCA in choice and no-choice insect bioassays. Larvae of both species were reared on artificial insect diets with SCA added at 0, 10 and 60 mg SCA per g of diet. All larvae perished in the 60 mg·g–1 treatment which is comparable to the levels of SCA found on LA 1777. H. zea and S. exigua showed about 35% and 60% reduction in survival to adult and 38% to 22% increase in life cycle duration, respectively, in the 10 mg·g–1 treatment relative to the control. Similar reductions in growth rate and survival were observed when larvae were reared on leaves coated with SCA. Choice bioassays with control (0 mg SCA/g leaf) and 60 mg SCA/g treated leaf tissue demonstrated 2.3-fold increase in larval avoidance and 50% reduction in feeding on treated leaves. Our results suggest that breeding for SCA synthesis in tomato would produce lines with increased resistance to the tomato pests H. zea and S. exigua. Backcross breeding procedures using LA 1777 have initiated the introgression of the SCA genes into cultivated tomato germplasm. Studies of inheritance of genes coding for SCA synthesis are underway to reveal allelic interactions and facilitate there introgression into the cultivated tomato germplasm.
manuscript. The authors thank Mr. Yasuhiro Okuno for kindly providing the experimental materials. This research was supported by Diet and Cancer Prevention: Exploring Research Technology, Miyazaki Prefecture Collaboration of Regional Entities for the
Research Center, for kindly providing `Banpeiyu' pummelo and `Ruby Red' grapefruit. This research was supported by Diet and Cancer Prevention: Exploring Research Technology, Miyazaki Prefecture Collaboration of Regional Entities for the Advancement of
Plants are the foundation for a significant part of human medicine and for many of the most widely used drugs designed to prevent, treat, and cure disease. Folkloric information concerning traditional remedies for disease has had inestimable value in establishing familial and cultural linkages. During the 20th century, modern medical science in the U.S. and other developed countries ushered in a new era focused on synthetic medicines. Even though many of these compounds were based on natural compounds found in plants, the drive towards synthetic pharmaceuticals created a knowledge gap concerning the health functionality of plants, crops, and food. Paralleling this development, biochemists and nutritional scientists pioneered the discovery of vitamins during the early decades of the 20th century. This research paved the way for dietary guidelines based on empirical data collected from animal feeding trials and set the stage for the current emphasis on phytonutrients. Three primary stages characterize the use of fruits and vegetable in human health. The first stage concerns the observation that many fruit and vegetable crops were originally domesticated for their medicinal properties. Making their way into the diet for this purpose, fruit and vegetable crops remained on the fringe from a culinary point of view. The second stage began when the role of vitamins became more widely understood, and fruit and vegetable plants were quickly recognized as a rich source of certain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. At this point, they became more than just an afterthought in the diet of most U.S. citizens. Cartoon icons such as Popeye made the case for the health functionality of leafy greens, while parents schooled their children on the virtues of carrots (Daucus carota), broccoli (Brassica oleracea), and green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). This renaissance resulted in large increases in fresh fruit and vegetable consumption across the country, a trend that continues to this day. The third phase can be characterized by the recognition that fruit and vegetable crops contain compounds that have the potential to influence health beyond nutritional value. These so-called functional foods figure prominently in the dietary recommendations developed during the last decades of the 20th century. In recent years, surveys suggest nearly two-thirds of grocery shoppers purchase food specifically to reduce the risk of, or manage a specific health condition. Evidence abounds that consumers, including Baby Boomers, choose foods for specific health benefits, such as the antioxidant potential of vegetables, suggesting high levels of nutritional literacy. Clinical and in vitro data have, to some degree, supported the claims that certain foods have the potential to deter disease, however much research remains to be conducted in order to definitively answer specific dietary-based questions about food and health.
One of the major misconceptions in contemporary society is the widespread belief that our food supply is unsafe. The public's perception of risk is quite different than scientific assessment of risk. While scientists see microbial contamination as the key issue (100 to 10,000X greater risk than from exposure to pesticide residues), consumers appear to be most concerned about the effects of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in the food they buy. Consumers equate “synthetic” with harmful or bad and “natural” with safe or good, yet they ignore the fact that 99.9% of all pesticides humans are exposed to are naturally occurring. Americans eat approximately 1.5 g. of natural pesticides per person per day, or about 10,000 times more than synthetic pesticide residues. Although few plant toxins have been tested for carcinogenicity so far, of those tested about half are rodent carcinogens. Contrary to public perception, environmental pollution accounts for only 2% of all cancers. By contrast, smoking, diet and other personal lifestyle choices account for more than 75%.
European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner, can severely affect sweet corn quality. Selection techniques in field experiments have improved ear feeding resistance associated with morphological features and/or allelochemicals. The isolation and identification of allelochemicals that detrimentally affect O. nubilalismay improve breeder selection for host plant resistance, thus reducing the need for insecticide application. A laboratory bioassay was used to detect chemical resistance factors in silk and kernel tissues of 10 variously resistant sweet corn genotypes. Ground lyophilized tissue from field-grown plants was added to a nutritionally complete larval diet before infestation with O. nubilalis neonates. Larval weights on a 10-day basis and time to pupation were recorded to estimate larval development. Tissue and genotype main effects affected (P ≤ 0.05) 10-day larval weight and time to pupation. Silk tissue (P ≤ 0.05) reduced 10-day larval weight and increased the time to pupation compared with kernel tissue and the cellulose control, which did not differ. Silk tissue reduced larval weight by 65% and increased time to pupation by 4.0 days compared with the cellulose control. Genotypes variously affected (P ≤ 0.05) larval growth and development, reducing 10-day larval weight up to 51% and increasing the time to pupation up to 4.2 days when comparing the best genotype for each developmental stage with the cellulose control. Silk tissue of some genotypes may contain allelochemicals that decrease the rate of larval growth and development. The status of allelochemical detection in silk tissue will be discussed.
Students are often unable to relate the vegetables and fruits consumed as a snack or part of a meal to the plant parts discussed in botany class. Therefore, an exercise was developed for an introductory horticulture course to increase a student's awareness of botany in everyday life. Fresh produce was brought in from local gardens, grocery stores, or farmers markets. Vegetables and fruits were selected that are consumed for their roots, stems, leaves, flower, fruit, and seeds. As each vegetable or fruit was introduced, students named the plant and plant part. As each part was identified it was “dissected” to show the taxonomic features. The different fruit types, i.e., berry, hesperidium, pepo, drupe, and pome were explained. Students were encouraged to taste all vegetables and fruits as they were prepared. Most students sampled the produce as it was passed around the group. Students easily recognized much of the produce, i.e., carrots, asparagus, tomatoes, peas, oranges, and broccoli. The second part of the exercise exposed students to vegetables and fruits that were unfamiliar. Most of the students had little exposure to the more exotic fruits and vegetables that are now available. New vegetables and fruits that students said they would add to their diet include jicama, pomegranate, and star fruit.
Plant growing systems have consistently utilized the standard Earth day as the radiation cycle for plant growth. However, the radiation cycle can easily be controlled by using automated systems to regulate the exact amount of time plants are exposed to irradiation (and darkness). This experiment investigated the influence of different radiation cycles on plant growth, chlorophyll and carotenoid pigment accumulation in kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala D.C). Kale plants were grown in growth chambers in nutrient solution culture under radiation cycle treatments of 2, 12, 24, and 48 h, with 50% irradiance and 50% darkness during each time period. Total irradiation throughout the experiment was the same for each treatment. Radiation cycle treatments significantly affected kale fresh mass, dry mass, chlorophyll a and b, lutein, and beta-carotene. Maximum fresh mass occurred under the 2-h radiation cycle treatment. The maximum dry mass occurred under the 12-h radiation cycle treatment, which coincided with the maximum accumulation of lutein, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll a, expressed on a fresh mass basis. The minimum fresh mass occurred during the 24 h radiation cycle treatment, which coincided with the largest chlorophyll b accumulation. Increased levels of chlorophyll, lutein and beta-carotene were not required to achieve maximum fresh mass production. Environmental manipulation of carotenoid production in kale is possible. Increases in carotenoid concentrations would be expected to increase their nutritional contribution to the diet.