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Peter C. Andersen, Brent V. Brodbeck, and Russell F. Mizell III

The xylophagous leafhopper Homalodisca coagulata Say is an important vector of diseases caused by the bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa (e.g., Pierce's disease, phony peach disease, plum leaf scald, etc.). Neither leafhoppers or X. fastidiosa can be controlled by chemical sprays. For many plant species there is no resistant germplasm. H. coagulata is highly polyphagous, and within Prunus spp. host preference ranges from moderate (plum) to low (peach). The abundance, feeding and performance of H. coagulata on many unrelated plant species have been previously correlated with the amino acid profile, and particularly the amides in xylem fluid. We tested Prunus scion/rootstock combinations, which provided for a range of xylem fluid chemistry, on the behavior (abundance, feeding) and performance (survivorship, fecundity, body weight and body composition) of H. coagulata. Leafhopper abundance on various rootstock/scion combinations was determined seasonally. During the period of peak abundance (June 14 to 30) feeding rates and performance indices were determined. Leafhopper abundance and feeding increased with an increased concentration of amino acids. Abundance and feeding rate were most highly correlated with the amides in xylem fluid; performance indices were influenced by the amides and certain essential amino acids. Lower consumption rates decreased survivorship, reduced body dry weight and the carbon concentration of surviving insects.

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J.D Norton, B.R. Abrahams, G. E. Boyhan, and Hongwen Huang

Forty eight cultivars, species, and their progeny including Prunus americana P. angustifolia, P. cerasifera P. munsoniona, P. salicina, P. simoni, and P. triflora were evaluated for resistance to Xylella fastidiosa based on percent of scalded leaves and tree longevity. Observations indicate that resistance is heritable and controlled by recessive genes. Further, X. fastidiosa transmission was evaluated in plum and peach by chip and slip budding. Transmission as measured by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbant assay indicated that chip budding resulted in a higher level of transmission over slip budding in plum but not in peach. Neither Lovell nor Nemaguard rootstock had an effect on transmission.

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Giorgio Bargioni, Giorgio Baroni, Pietro Tonutti, Andrea Pitacco, and Angelo Ramina

Effects of scion inclination on root growth and distribution were studied on INRA GF 677 (Prunus persica × Prunus amygdalus) and apple/M.9 trees. At planting, central leaders were positioned vertically (0°) or inclined 45° or 60° to the north and south. Three years after planting, root total dry weight of inclined trees was lower than that of the control (0°, vertical central leader). Five years after planting, the isotropic distribution of the normal root systems was distorted by inclination in both species. Roots were more numerous and more elongated in the direction of inclination. Statistical analysis of root density data, using a polar coordinate system, confirmed that the trunk inclination reduced root development and redirected root distribution. The major effect was induced on GF 677 by 60° inclinations. Tree orientation did not seem to influence root distribution.

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G.E. Boyhan, J.D. Norton, B.R. Abraham, and J.A. Pitts

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M.A. Moreno, M.C. Tabuenca, and R. Cambra

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K.A. Jacobs and G.R. Johnson

Seedlings of eight Prunus taxa were evaluated for variation in susceptibility to a single, 4- or 5-day flooding period and root rot caused by Phytophthora cryptogea Pethybr. & Lafferty. Survival, plant defoliation, disease severity index, root necrosis, and net photosynthesis indicated that the combination of flooding and pathogen was significantly more severe to all taxa than either individual treatment. Most response variables reflected early plant dysfunction but were not correlated with long-term survival. Long-term survival was 70% in the combination treatment compared to 99% in the control group. Flooding injured seedlings more than the pathogen in most taxa. Taxa differed only slightly in tolerance to the treatments, as measured by survival rate. Prunus takesimensis Nakai had the highest survival rate of 100% and along with P. mahaleb L. and P. yedoensis Matsum. showed some tolerance to flooding and the pathogen. Prunus sargentii Rehd. had the lowest survival rate of 81% and appeared to be least tolerant to the pathogen.

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M.A. Moreno, M.C. Tabuenca, and R. Cambra

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P. Martínez-Gómez, S. Arulsekar, D. Potter, and T.M. Gradziel

The genetic relationships among peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch], almond [P. dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb or P. amygdalus (L.) Batsch] and 10 related Prunus species within the subgenus Amygdalus were investigated using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. P. glandulosa Pall. was included as an outgroup. Polymorphic alleles were scored as present or absent for each accession. The number of alleles revealed by the SSR analysis in peach and almond cultivars ranged from one to three whereas related Prunus species showed a range of one to 10 alleles. Results demonstrated an extensive genetic variability within this readily intercrossed germplasm as well as the value of SSR markers developed in one species of Prunus for the characterization of related species. Mean character difference distances were calculated for all pairwise comparisons and were used to construct an unrooted dendogram depicting the phenetic relationships among species. Four main groups were distinguished. Peach cultivars clustered with accessions of P. davidiana (Carr.) Franch. and P. mira Koehne. The second group contained almond cultivars. A third group included accessions of P. argentea (Lam) Rehd., P. bucharica Korschinsky, P. kuramica Korschinsky, P. pedunculata Pall, P. petunikowii Lits., P. tangutica (Spach) Batal., and P. webbii (Spach) Vieh.. P. glandulosa and P. scoparia Batal. were included in a fourth group.

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Jerry K. Uyemoto, Bruce C. Kirkpatrick, and James N. Cummins

Prunus species, advanced rootstock selections, and named cherry cultivars and rootstock were bud-inoculated with the Western X-disease mycoplasma-like organism (X-MLO) and evaluated for host responses. Most accessions inoculated were susceptible to the X-MLO. Individuals from the species P. mahaleb L., P. maackii Rupr., P. serotina J.F. Ehrh., P. serrulata Lindl., and P. subhirtella Miq. did not become infected with the X-MLO despite being grafted on infected rootstock.

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G.E. Boyhan, B.R. Abrahams, J.D. Norton, and Hongwen Huang

Detection of Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al. by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay indicated that plums (Prunus hybrids) had higher absorbance values than peaches [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. The slip-budded trees had lower readings than those that were chip budded; however, the scion × method interaction was significant. Further comparison of slip vs. chip budding indicated that the lower absorbance value of slip budding occurred in plums only; there was no difference between budding methods in peach.