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Sylvie Jenni, Daniel C. Cloutier, Gaétan Bourgeois and Katrine A. Stewart

Growth of `Earligold' muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.), expressed as plant dry weight from transplanting to anthesis, could be predicted using a multiple linear regression based on air and soil temperatures for 11 mulch and rowcover combinations. The two independent variables of the regression model consisted of a heat unit formula for air temperatures, with a base temperature of 14C and a maximum reduced threshold of 40C, and a standard growing-degree day formula for soil temperatures with a base temperature of 12C. Based on 2 years of data, 86.5% of the variation in the dry weight (on a log scale) could be predicted with this model. The base temperature for predicting developmental time to anthesis of perfect flowers was established at 6.8C and the thermal time ranged between 335 and 391 degree days in the 2 years of the experiment.

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Quan Liu, Yan Lan, Feng Tan, Yunbiao Tu, Yingying Sun, Gajue Yougu, Zeshen Yang, Chunbang Ding and Tian Li

length, number of shoots with inflorescences, and florets to inflorescence, were measured in preselected branches. From late April to late October, the growth of shoots was measured every month. During the flowering stage, the number of perfect flowers

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Elsa S. Sánchez, Ermita Hernández, Mark L. Gleason, Jean C. Batzer, Mark A. Williams, Timothy Coolong and Ricardo Bessin

effect was overcome once covers were removed and plants were exposed to cucumber beetles ( Mueller et al., 2006 ). Interestingly, delaying rowcover removal in IA until 10 d after perfect flowers appeared resulted in bacterial wilt incidence of <20% at

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James W. Borrone, Cecile T. Olano, David N. Kuhn, J. Steven Brown, Raymond J. Schnell and Helen A. Violi

which the male and female parts of the perfect flower are functional at different time periods ( Davenport, 1986 ; Ish-Am, 2005 ). Cultivars are classified based upon their flowering behavior as Flowering Type A or Type B ( Stout, 1933 ). Flowering Type

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D.L. Leite and M.J. Havey

Hybrid leek (Allium ampeloprasum) is significantly more uniform and higher yielding than open-pollinated populations. Because leek has perfect flowers, a male-sterility system is required to produce hybrid seed economically. No cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) has been described in leek. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) in the chloroplast and mitochondrial genome have correlated with the expression of CMS in many crops. We undertook restriction-enzyme analyses of the chloroplast and mitochondrial DNAs to identify polymorphic organellar genomes among 65 accessions of cultivated leek. Polymorphisms were detected in the chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes. Reciprocal crosses were generated to establish the transmission of the organellar genomes of leek.

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H.F. Rapoport and L. Rallo

The dramatic postanthesis flower and fruit abscission in olive was found to consist of two distinct but overlapping phases for ovaries following the abscission of imperfect flowers. Imperfect flower abscission peaked 8 days after full bloom (FB), while perfect flower and fruit abscission was greatest between 13 to 15 days after FB. Ovary abscission, expressed as percent ovaries abscising per day (relative abscission rate), peaked 15 and 21 days after FB. The first ovary abscission phase includes fertilized and unfertilized ovaries. The second phase occurs once early fruit growth is in progress, suggesting a possible role for substrate competition.

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S. Jenni and K.A. Stewart

As part of a program to develop a model for growth and development of muskmelon produced under various mulch and row cover combinations, all perfect flowers of five plants were tagged and measured on a daily basis. The polar and equatorial lengths of the inferior ovary were recorded from anthesis to fruit maturity. Mature fruits were harvested at full slip. The location of each flower on the plant was coded. Flowers and subsequent fruits were classified according to the following phenological stages: immature, close to mature, close to full bloom, full bloom, wilted, past full bloom, close to fruit, fruit. The netting was visually evaluated and rated on a scale of 0 to 5, the highest value representing maximum netting. At fruit maturity, the weight, polar and equatorial length of each fruit were measured and mature and immature seeds counted. The number of fruits that reached maturity was directly proportional to the total number of perfect flowers produced on a plant. Fruit weight during growth could be predicted from the polar and equatorial lengths.

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Slavko Perica, Patrick H. Brown, Joseph H. Connell, Agnes M.S. Nyomora, Christos Dordas, Hening Hu and James Stangoulis

A 2-year field study was conducted to determine if foliar B applications prior to flowering increased fruit set in olive (Olea europaea L.) cv. Manzanillo. Boron solutions were applied (935 L·ha-1) at four concentrations (0, 246, 491, and 737 mg·L-1) to trees exhibiting no vegetative symptoms of B deficiency. Foliar B application increased both the percentage of perfect flowers and fruit set, but no effect on pollen germination was observed in either year. The increase in fruit set was not accompanied by a reduction in fruit size. The beneficial effects of foliar B application varied between years and were greater when fruit set was low. The results obtained here are in agreement with those observed in other tree species, in which foliar B applications made immediately prior to flowering or during the period of floral bud initiation significantly increased fruit set and yield. The physiological basis for this effect, however, remains unclear.

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Sylvie Jenni, Katrine A. Stewart, Gaétan Bourgeois and Daniel C. Cloutier

A simple method to predict time from anthesis of perfect flowers to fruit maturity (full slip) and yield is presented here for muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) grown in a northern climate. Developmental time for individual muskmelons from anthesis to full slip could be predicted from several heat unit formulas, depending on the temperature data set used. When temperature at 7.5 cm above soil level was used, the heat unit formula resulting in the lowest coefficient of variation (cv=6.9%) accumulated daily average temperatures with a base temperature of 11 °C and an upper threshold of 25 °C. With temperatures recorded at a meteorological station located 2 km from the experimental field, the method showing the lowest cv (8.9%) accumulated daily maximum temperatures with a base temperature of 15 °C. This latter method was improved by including a 60-degree-day lag for second cycle fruit. The proportion of fruit volume at full slip of 22 fruit from the first cycle could be described by a common Richards function (R 2=0.99). Although 65% of the plants produced two fruit cycles, fruit from the first cycle represented 72% of total yield in terms of number and mass. The blooming period of productive flowers lasted 34 days, each cycle overlapping and covering an equal period of 19 days. Counting the number of developing fruit >4 cm after 225 degree days from the start of anthesis (when 90% of the plants have at least one blooming perfect flower) could rapidly estimate the number of fruit that will reach maturity.

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J. Lu, O. Lamikanra, Y. Wang, Z. Liu and D. Ramming

The grape is an important horticultural crop that is grown worldwide. Breeding a new grape cultivar by conventional means normally will take several generations of backcross, at least 15 years. The efficiency and speed of selection can be accelerated if genetic markers are available for early screening. This project is designed to generate RAPD markers linked to viticulturally important traits, including seedlessness and pistillate genes. A F1 population with 64 progenies of V. vinifera was used for the RAPD analysis. Bulked Segregant Analysis (BSA) method was used for RAPD primer screening. Three-hundred primers were screened between the two pairs of pooled DNA samples, seeded and seedlessness, pistillate and perfect flowers. At least 10 primers produced one polymorphism each between the pools. Further analysis revealed that one of these RAPDs cosegregated tightly with the seedlessness trait, while the others either had loose linkage or no linkage to the traits. To make the RAPD marker useful for breeding selection, an attempt was made to convert it into SCAR marker. The results demonstrated that the RAPD marker may be useful for grape breeding and interpreting inheritance of a particular trait in grapes.