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Bin Cai, Cheng-Hui Li, Ai-Sheng Xiong, Ri-He Peng, Jun Zhou, Feng Gao, Zhen Zhang, and Quan-Hong Yao

DNA-binding domains ( Riaño-Pachón et al., 2007 ; Riechmann et al., 2000 ). For some families, a TF contains a single domain, which is sufficient to assign its membership. However, in other families, a TF may contain more than one DNA-binding domain

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Derek W. Barchenger, Joseph I. Said, Yang Zhang, Mingzhou Song, Franchesca A. Ortega, Yeasong Ha, Byoung-Cheorl Kang, and Paul W. Bosland

and mapping onto the genome) of the chile pepper PPR domains and to shed light onto the complex genetic mechanisms of restoration-of-fertility in this increasingly important crop. Materials and Methods The genome sequence of C . annuum was obtained

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Zhigang Ouyang, Huihui Duan, Lanfang Mi, Wei Hu, Jianmei Chen, Xingtao Li, and Balian Zhong

). Predicted structure analyses have revealed that RBPs contain several common motifs, including RNA recognition motifs (RRMs), double-stranded RNA-binding domains ( Tam et al., 2010 ), heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K homology domains ( Lorkovic and

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Julián Miralles-Crespo and Marc W. van Iersel

shown). Blonquist et al. (2005a) concluded that TDT sensors had the accuracy of time domain reflectometry sensors in determining θ under laboratory conditions and were less affected by bulk EC and temperature than other, lower frequency (50 MHz

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Genevieve Pelletier and C.S. Tan

A time domain reflectometry (TDR) technique was used to measure water in the soil profile to derive wetting patterns of drip and microjet irrigation systems in a peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] orchard. A distinct cone shape of >50% available soil water (ASW) extending from the emitter down to a depth of >45 cm was observed in the drip system. The 50% ASW zone in the microjet system was an elongated semicircle from the soil's surface down to a depth of 35 cm. TDR can be used successfully to determine wetting patterns of various irrigation systems to develop better irrigation scheduling.

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Arthur Villordon and Jason Franklin

Shape measurements in horticultural research have generally been expressed as ratios or indexes. Computer-based image analysis enables the objective quantification and statistical analysis of two-dimensional sample shape variability. In addition, the availability of public domain software facilitates the inexpensive but accurate quantification of object shape in horticultural research. We describe the procedures for measuring sample shape using the following publicly available software: ImageJ, ImageTool, and SHAPE. Using U.S. #1 sweetpotato storage root samples from plots subjected to various weed control treatments, we detected significant differences in elongation, compactness, as well as shape attributes. We also measured size and shape variability from representative fruit, leaf, and floral organ samples. The results demonstrate that, where possible, measurement of two-dimensional samples can be undertaken inexpensively and accurately using public domain software applications.

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Arthur Villordon, Wambui Njuguna, Simon Gichuki, Philip Ndolo, Heneriko Kulembeka, Simon Jeremiah, Don LaBonte, Bernard Yada, Phinehas Tukamuhabwa, and Robert Mwanga

Web-based information delivers real-time or near-real-time data to clientele and other stakeholders. Although proprietary methods are available for interactively searching and updating databases through web interfaces, these methods generally require varying costs to maintain licensing agreements. The availability of publicly available software that require minimal or flexible licensing costs provide a cost-effective alternative to institutions that are considering access to databases via a web-accessible interface. For example, if a current web server is already configured to support hypertext preprocessor (PHP) scripts and MySQL databases, all that needs to be installed is a form script to allow the searching, inserting, and deleting of records. We describe procedures, software, and other applications that we used to develop a publicly accessible web interface to an experimental database of representative sweetpotato accessions in Kenya. The web address of this database is This site also contains links to sweetpotato collection sites in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda graphically shown using a public domain GIS viewer. This demonstrates that public domain web-based tools can be configured not only to support collaborative activities among researchers in various locations, but also to provide relevant data to clients and other stakeholders.

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P. Parchomchuk, R.G. Berard, and C.S. Tan

We have found time domain reflectrometry (TDR) to be a rapid and effective method of measuring soil water content (SWC) in microirrigated orchards, particularly in applications where many sites are monitored frequently. With simple modifications to commercially available systems, it has been possible to measure up to 100 sites per hour. TDR SWC measurements have been successfully applied for scheduling irrigation and for in situ determination of SWC characteristics. The determination of plant water use from changes in SWC of microirrigated trees, however, requires that a sufficient number of probes be used to detect the spatial distribution of water within the root zone. Due to water redistribution in the soil following an irrigation, measurements made near drip emitters depend highly on the time after irrigation that the measurement is made. It is therefore important to be consistent in the timing of SWC measurements relative to irrigation events if the effects on SWC of different irrigation management practices are to be compared.

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Tomasz Anisko, D. Scott NeSmith, and Orville M. Lindstrom

The time-domain reflectometry (TDR) method of measuring water content has been applied to mineral soils but not to organic growing media. We investigated the applicability of TDR for measuring the water content of organic media in containers. TDR calibration was conducted for sand, peat, composted pine bark, sand and peat mix, sand and bark mix, and a commercial growing medium (Metro Mix 300). Regression analysis of volumetric water content was conducted with the ratio of apparent: physical length of the probe (La: L) as an independent variable. The calibration curve for Metro Mix 300 was compared to curves generated for a range of soils by other investigators. Additionally, water-content and La: L changes were monitored in Metro Mix 300 for 10 months and were compared to predicted values from the calibration curve. Organic media had a higher water content than sand for the same La: L value. Equations developed by previous authors generally underestimated water content when compared with the calibration curve for Metro Mix 300. We attribute this difference to a large fraction of highly decomposed organic matter or vermiculite and, thus, to the presence of more bound water. Specific calibration of TDR may be required to determine the absolute water content of organic growing media.

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Jason D. Murray, John D. Lea-Cox, and David Ross

The physical properties of soilless substrates used in the nursery industry vary widely throughout the US, and, as such, present problems for accurate irrigation water management. Water management in soilless substrates is also a key factor in reducing the loss of soluble nitrogen and phosphorus from the root volume. Automated irrigation control that maintains the substrate water content above levels of plant water stress, yet below the maximum water holding capacity of the substrate will serve several positive roles: water and nutrients will be conserved, and losses from run-off minimized. We investigated whether Time Domain Reflectrometry (TDR) moisture sensors can be effectively calibrated for a range of horticultural substrates in various container sizes. A series of water desorption curves and TDR wave-traces (n = 10) were simultaneously derived for six soilless substrate source materials (pine bark, hardwood bark, promix, perlite, rockwool and a sieved sand control), using a modified tension table with four column heights (7-, 15-, 20-, and 25-cm equating to rockwool, #1, #3, and #5 pot sizes). Modifying the tension table allowed for the replication of individual columns (n = 10) of each substrate. The volumetric water desorbed at increasing desorption (positive air) pressures from 0 through 100 KPa was collected for each treatment. Repeated measurements with this apparatus allowed us to plot standard TDR curves for each substrate that can be used to accurately schedule cyclic irrigations. Implementing automated cyclic irrigation strategies in container production will allow for better monitoring and control of irrigation applications, and help conserve water and nutrients in the nursery.