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Yuefang Wang, S. Kristine Braman, Carol D. Robacker, Joyce G. Latimer and Karl E. Espelie

Epicuticular lipids were extracted from the foliage of six deciduous and one evergreen azalea genotypes (Rhododendron sp.) and identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The relationship of leaf-surface lipid composition with measures of resistance to azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides Scott, was evaluated. Each genotype had a distinct epicuticular lipid composition. The major surface lipid components from all test taxa were n-alkanes and triterpenoids. In the most resistant genotypes [R. canescens Michaux and R. periclymenoides (Michaux) Shinners] ursolic acid, n-hentriacontane, and n-nonacosane were the most abundant epicuticular lipids. The lipids present in largest proportion among all susceptible deciduous genotypes tested were α-amyrin, β-amyrin, and n-nonacosane. The proportions of the lipid components from the same plant of each genotype varied between spring and fall samples. Among classes of lipids, n-alkanes, n-1-alkanols, and triterpenoids had significant correlations with azalea lace bug behavior on host plants. Among individual components, heptadecanoic acid, n-hentriacontane, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid and one unknown compound (with major mass spectra 73/179/192/284/311) were significantly negatively correlated with host plant susceptibility to azalea lace bug, as measured by oviposition, leaf area damaged, egg and nymphal development, and nymphal survivorship. Triacontanol, α-amyrin, β-amyrin, and three unknowns were significantly positively correlated with host plant susceptibility. Acceptance or rejection by azalea lace bug to a particular plant may be mediated by a balance of positively and negatively interpreted sensory signals evoked by plant chemicals. This study indicated that the high levels of resistance observed in R. canescens and R. periclymenoides may be due to the lesser amount or the absence of attractants and stimulants for feeding or oviposition.

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M.C. Posa, J.D. Kelly, G.L. Hosfield and K.C. Grafton

Two recombinant inbred populations of kidney beans were developed and evaluated for canning quality. One population, composed of 75 recombinant inbred lines (RILs), was from a Montcalm/California Dark Red Kidney 82 cross. The second population, with 73 RILs, was from a Montcalm/California Early Light Red Kidney cross. RILs from both populations were planted in North Dakota in 1996 and Michigan in 1996 and 1997. Beans of each RIL were thermally processed using established procedures. Appearance and degree of splitting of each sample and the check varieties were scored subjectively on a 1-7 scale to represent the minimum and maximum acceptability levels of the traits, respectively. Genotypes and genotype × environment interactions were highly significant based on analyses of variance. In the 75 RIL population, seven lines, based on appearance, consistently appeared in the top 25% in all environments (mean = 4.5; range = 4.0-6.1), and four had consistently high acceptability scores (mean = 4.6; range = 4.0-6.3) for the degree of splitting trait. In the population with 73 RILs, nine lines consistently appeared in the top 25% in all environments based on appearance (mean = 4.6; range = 4.1-5.3). For degree of splitting, nine lines had consistently high acceptability scores (mean = 4.2; range = 3.7-5.1). Appearance and splitting of cooked dry bean are quantitatively inherited traits. The field experiments were useful to obtain RILs for screening to identify molecular markers associated with QTLs. Three primers—OQ11, ON186, and OF5—reported to be useful RAPD markers for processing quality in navy beans are of special interest in the current study.

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Alison R. Cutlan, John E. Erwin and James E. Simon

Parthenolide, a biologically active sesquiterpene lactone found in feverfew [Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz. Bip.], has been indirectly linked to the antimigraine action of feverfew preparations. Commercial products of feverfew leaves vary widely in parthenolide content (0-1.0%/g dwt). No comprehensive studies have quantified parthenolide variation among feverfew populations or cultivars, and whether morphological traits are correlated with this natural product. In this study, 30 feverfew accessions were examined for parthenolide content, morphological traits, and seed origin. Statistically significant differences in parthenolide levels were found among the populations studied. Parthenolide content ranged from (0.012% ± 0.017 to 2.0% ± 0.97 /g dwt) as determined by HPLC-UV-MS. Higher parthenolide levels tended to be in wild material (0.41% ± 0.27) as opposed to cultivated material (0.19% ± 0.09). Parthenolide levels correlated with flower morphology: disc flower (0.49% = B1 0.36), semi-double (0.38% ± 0.13), double (0.29% ± 0.16), and pompon-like flower (0.22 ± 0.14). Leaf color also appeared to be indicative of parthenolide levels, with the light-green/golden leafed accessions showing significantly higher parthenolide content than darker-leafed varieties, but whether this was due to inadvertent original selection of a high parthenolide-containing golden leaf selection is not yet known. This study does show that further selection for improved horticultural attributes and natural product content is promising to improve feverfew lines for the botanical/ medicinal plant industry.

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Yuri Nakamura and Shozo Kobayashi

Restriction fragment length analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) were carried out on 11 cultivars of Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) and five other Diospyros species. Total genomic DNA was digested with seven restriction endonucleases, Southern blotted, and hybridized with five mtDNA probes (PstI or SalI fragments of Brassica campestris L. mtDNA) and one cpDNA probe [pTBal, BamHI fragment of Nicotiana tabacum (L.) cpDNA]. All Japanese persimmon cultivars displayed identical mtDNA and cpDNA fragment patterns, while polymorphisms among species were observed using both mtDNA and cpDNA probes. A low degree of polymorphism was observed between D. kaki, D. oleifera Cheng., D. kuroiwai Nakai, D. virginiana L., and D. lotus L., suggesting that these species are closely related. A high degree of polymorphism was observed between D. rhombifolia Hemsl. and the other five species, indicating that this species is more distantly related to the other five.

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Michael N. Dana and Ricky D. Kemery

Interest in direct-seeding establishment of wildflowers as a component of landscape planting has continued to increase. Seed may be very expensive. Information is needed on the quality of seed available to consumers and the landscape industry. The goal of this work was to assess the level and consistency of seed quality available from the wildflower seed production/marketing industry. Eleven species of native prairie forb wildflowers and eight species of “garden” wildflowers from seven companies were purchased in 1992 and 1993 and subjected to germination testing. Germination procedures were those of AOSA where available, or generalized from the literature when no guidelines existed. Results showed significant variation among wildflower species, among companies supplying the same species, and over the two seed years tested in the study. These data reinforce the need for seed quality testing and reporting as a part of the sales of wildflower seed.

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Carlos Miranda, Luis G. Santesteban and José B. Royo

The influence of the species in spring frost sensibility was determined for the Prunus species peach (P. persica (L.) Batsch), sweet cherry (P. avium L.), almond (P. dulcis (Mill.) Webb/P. amygdalus Batsch), japanese plum (P. salicina Lindl.), and blackthorn (P. spinosa L.). The confidence intervals for lethal temperatures of 10% (LT10) and 90% (LT90) bud injury were also determined. In 2000 and 2001, seven frost treatments were made for each one of the phenological stages comprised between B (first swell) and I (jacket split) in two cultivars per each species. The relationships between frost temperature and the proportion of frost damaged buds for each cultivar, year, and phenological stage were adjusted to linear regression models. The 95% confidence intervals were also calculated. The spring frost hardiness order of the species, from the least to most hardy, was as follows: sweet cherry, almond, peach, japanese plum, and blackthorn. Despite the highly homogeneous nature of the frost and bud characteristics, the temperature range for a given injury degree was quite broad, since the confidence interval's breadth for LT10 was as high as about 3 °C and as high as about 6 °C for LT90. Consequently, when critical temperatures are used in making decisions as to when to begin active frost protection, a prudent measure would be to take the temperature references from the upper limits in the confidence intervals.

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A.J. Daymond, P. Hadley, R.C.R. Machado and E. Ng

Biomass partitioning of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) was studied in seven clones and five hybrids in a replicated experiment in Bahia, Brazil. Over an 18-month period, a 7-fold difference in dry bean yield was demonstrated between genotypes, ranging from the equivalent of 200 to 1389 kg·ha-1. During the same interval, the increase in trunk cross-sectional area ranged from 11.1 cm2 for clone EEG-29 to 27.6 cm2 for hybrid PA-150 × MA-15. Yield efficiency increment (the ratio of cumulative yield to the increase in trunk circumference), which indicated partitioning between the vegetative and reproductive components, ranged from 0.008 kg·cm-2 for clone CP-82 to 0.08 kg·cm-2 for clone EEG-29. An examination of biomass partitioning within the pod of the seven clones revealed that the beans accounted for between 32.0% (CP-82) and 44.5% (ICS-9) of the pod biomass. The study demonstrated the potential for yield improvement in cacao by selectively breeding for more efficient partitioning to the yield component.

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Heather L. Wallace, Don R. La Bonte and Christopher A. Clark

Virus infections and genetic mutations have been implicated in the decline of sweetpotato yield and quality. Virus-tested mericlones were derived from 12 infected clones of `Beauregard' sweetpotato by meristem-tip culture. Field studies were conducted to evaluate yield differences between the virus-tested and the virus-infected plants of each respective clone. After a 90-day growing period, the storage roots were harvested, weighed, and analyzed with a colorimeter to gauge color of skin and flesh. Yield was 7% to 130% greater in virus-tested mericlones compared to their respective virus-infected clone. Data also show these 12 virus-tested mericlones vary in yield by up to 118%. This suggests genetic differences between clones greatly affect yield. The virus-tested mericlones also show a more desirable darker-red hue for skin and flesh than the virus-infected clones. The incorporation of virus-tested material into foundation seed programs could potentially increase yield and quality with little added expense to growers, thereby netting a higher return on their crop.

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Ann Marie Connor, James J. Luby and Cindy B.S. Tong

Variation in antioxidant activity (AA), total phenolic content (TPH), and total anthocyanin content (ACY) was examined in 1998 and 1999 in fruit of 52 (49 blue-fruited and 3 pink-fruited) genotypes from a blueberry breeding population. The species ancestry included Vaccinium corymbosum L. (northern highbush blueberry), V. angustifolium Ait. (lowbush blueberry), V. constablaei Gray (mountain highbush blueberry), V. ashei Reade (rabbiteye blueberry), and V. myrtilloides Michx. (lowbush blueberry). Using a methyl linoleate oxidation assay (MeLO) on acidified methanolic extracts of the berries, a 5-fold variation was found in AA in 1998 and a 3-fold variation in 1999 among the blue-fruited genotypes. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) revealed variation among genotypes (P < 0.0001) in single and combined years, regardless of inclusion of pink-fruited selections and adjustment for berry size. While mean AA of all genotypes did not change between the 2 years, ranking of some genotypes for AA changed significantly between 1998 and 1999. Of the 10 genotypes that demonstrated the highest AA in 1998, four were among the 10 genotypes that demonstrated highest AA in 1999. Similarly, of the 15 genotypes with the highest AA, 10 were the same both years. As with AA, mean TPH of all genotypes did not change between years and ANOVA demonstrated genotypic variation regardless of adjustment for berry size/weight or exclusion of pink-fruited selections. Changes in genotype rank occurred between years. The difference in TPH between lowest- and highest-ranking blue-fruited genotypes was ≈2.6-fold in both 1998 and 1999. Seven of the 10 highest-ranking genotypes were the same both years and TPH correlated with AA (r = 0.92, P < 0.01) on a genotype mean basis for combined years. ACY correlated less well with AA (r = 0.73, P < 0.01 for combined years). When genotypes were categorized into six groups according to species ancestry, V. myrtilloides and V. constablaei × V. ashei crosses ranked highest and second highest, respectively, for AA in both years. The groups comprised of V. corymbosum genotypes, V. angustifolium genotypes, and those with both V. corymbosum and V. angustifolium in their lineage were indistinguishable from each other. Samples from some of the genotypes were analyzed for oxygen radical absorbance capacity and ferric-reducing antioxidant power, and these aqueous-based antioxidant assays correlated well with the lipid emulsion-based MeLO (all r ≥ 0.90, P < 0.01). The three antioxidant assays may be equally useful for screening in a blueberry breeding program and the choice of assay may depend on the goal of the program and the resources available.

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Jo-Ann Bentz

This study quantified how different shading levels alter the foliar nutrient, C:N ratio, chlorophyll content and key leaf characters in azalea `Delaware Valley White' Rhododendron mucronatum (Blume) (Ericales: Ericaceae), which influenced, in turn, feeding, oviposition, survival and development of the azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides (Scott) (Heteroptera: Tingidae). The mean contents of N, Ca, Fe, and Zn increased linearly with increases in the shading level, whereas P, K, B, Mn, and the C:N ratio of leaves were significantly decreased. Although injured leaves contained significantly less chlorophyll than uninjured leaves, the mean relative chlorophyll content of leaves increased linearly with the level of shading. Mean leaf area and moisture content of leaves increased linearly with increased degree of shading, while the mean trichome density decreased. The mean number of oviposited eggs and the percent of nymphs reaching adulthood increased linearly with the degree of shading. Azalea shoots suffered increased feeding injury as the season progressed, yet unshaded plants suffered more feeding injury than shaded plants. While the mean number of eggs laid, and the mean number of reared adults, were significantly and positively correlated with the mean leaf N, the mean feeding injury was negatively correlated with leaf N. Although these dependent variables were not correlated with K nor Ca, the mean number of eggs laid, and the mean number of reared adults were negatively correlated with the mean leaf P and with the mean C:N ratio. Mean feeding injury was positively correlated with leaf P and with the C:N ratio, but negatively correlated with N. This study shows that shaded plants are of better quality as hosts and that these plants can tolerate infestations by the lace bug.