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Xuan Wu, Shuyin Liang and David H. Byrne

organs ( De Vries and Dubois, 1996 ). For ornamental crops like roses, plant architecture is the key factor determining the appearance of the plant and its commercial value. In recent years, researchers have constructed models that describe the plant

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Brian A. Kahn

first flower ( Prohens et al., 2005 ). However, the spatial distribution of fruit yield within the shoots of eggplant has received little attention. Information on plant architecture is useful in developing simulation models of crop growth ( Barthélémy

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Kaori Ando* and Rebecca Grumet

Phytophthora capsici fruit rot is an increasingly serious disease affecting cucumber production throughout the Eastern U.S. The absence of genetically resistant cultivars and rapid development of fungicide resistance makes it imperative to develop integrated disease management strategies. Cucumber fruits which come in direct contact with the soil-borne pathogen are usually located under the canopy where moist, warm conditions favor disease development. We sought to examine whether variations in plant architecture traits that influence canopy structure or fruit contact with the soil make conditions less favorable for disease development. As a `proof of concept' to test whether an altered canopy could facilitate P. capsici control, we tested the effect of increased row spacing and trellis culture on disease occurrence in the pickling cucumber `Vlaspik.' Trellis plots indicated that removal of fruit contact from soil reduced disease occurrence. Currently available variation in plant architecture was tested using nearly-isogenic genotypes varying for indeterminate (De), determinate (de), standard leaf (LL), and little leaf (ll) traits. Although differences were observed in peak mid-day temperatures under the different canopies, there were not differences in disease occurrence among the genotypes. A collection of 150 diverse cucumber accessions identified to serve as a representative sample of the germplasm, was observed for possible variation in plant architecture. Variation was observed for an array of traits including main stem length, internode length, leaf length and width, and number of branches. Interesting types that may allow for more open canopies include reduced branching habit and compact/bushy growth.

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Yaying Wu, Brian A. Kahn, Niels O. Maness, John B. Solie, Richard W. Whitney and Kenneth E. Conway

Research was conducted to develop a cultural system that would permit a destructive mechanical okra [Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench] harvest. This paper reports on studies to determine the responses of okra plant architecture to various highly dense (HD) plant populations, and to consider the implications of those responses for destructive mechanical harvest. Growing okra in plant arrangements more densely planted than the control (which was spaced at 90 × 23 cm) did not affect overall plant heights. The position of the first bloom or fruit attachment and of the first marketable fruit attachment tended to become higher on the stem as plant population density increased, especially when comparing plants from the 15 × 15 cm spacing to control plants. The number of marketable fruit per plant was usually unaffected by plant population. Branch number and defruited dry weight per plant decreased as plant population density increased. Plant architecture did not affect the ability of an experimental mechanical harvester to recover marketable fruit from three different okra cultivars grown in a HD arrangement. The lack of concentrated marketable fruit set, rather than plant architecture, was the main limiting factor to the success of densely planted okra for destructive harvest.

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M.M. Gaye, G.W. Eaton and P.A. Joliffe

The effects of rowcovers and plant architecture on fruit development and spatial distribution were assessed in a study of field-grown bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L. cv. Ace Hybrid). A forced regression procedure indicated that rowcovers advanced anthesis and delayed harvest dates on the lower nodes and increased the duration of maturation (over all branches and nodes). Rowcovers did not influence total fruit yield. Fruit were obtained from as many as nine node locations, but the largest portion of the total yield was obtained from the first five nodes. Fruit frequency declined with later nodes and lateral branches, compared with the main branch. Fruit produced after lateral branch four on uncovered plants were below an acceptable market size. Marketable fruit were obtained from all nodes, with the exception of node six of covered plants.

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Thomas H. Boyle

Investigations were performed to determine the effects of timing of application and concentration of BA on the vegetative growth of Easter cactus [Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri (Regel) Moran `Crimson Giant']. BA was applied to rooted phylloclades at 27, 37, and/or 47 days after propagation (DAP) at 200 to 1000 mg·liter-1. At 80 DAP, the number and cumulative length of secondary (2°) phylloclades (those developing from the rooted phylloclade) of BA-treated plants exceeded those of the controls. Number and cumulative length of 2° phylloclades increased linearly with increasing BA concentration. At 316 DAP, there were no differences between BA-treated plants and controls in numbers of 2° and apical (terminal) phylloclades. BA also was applied to plants at either 95 or 187 DAP. Treatments included 10, 50, 100, and 200 mg BA/liter and an unsprayed control. Number of new phylloclades (those developing after treatments) and percentage of old phylloclades with new phylloclades increased linearly in response to increasing BA concentration. Relative to the controls, one application of BA at 50, 100, or 200 mg·liter-1 resulted in a ≈50% to 400% increase in total dry weight of new phylloclades accompanied by a ≈4% to 30% decrease in total dry weight of old phylloclades. Branching of mature plants, i.e., with three to five tiers of phylloclades, was significantly affected by timing of application and concentration of BA. BA may be useful for modifying plant architecture of Easter cactus to increase flowering and product marketability. Chemical name used: N- (phenylmethyl) -1H- purine-6-amine[benzyladenine (BA)].

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Israel S. Joukhadar, Stephanie J. Walker and Paul A. Funk

mechanism out of the several tested picking mechanisms ( Funk and Walker, 2010 ). During this research in 2010, yield differences were identified between several new mexico pod–type green chile cultivars. Anecdotally, it was observed that plant architecture

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Kaori Ando and Rebecca Grumet

Fruit rot induced by Phytophthora capsici Leonian is an increasingly serious disease affecting pickling cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) production in many parts of the United States. The absence of genetically resistant cultivars and rapid development of fungicide resistance makes it imperative to develop integrated disease management strategies. Cucumber fruit which come in direct contact with the soil-borne pathogen are usually located under the canopy where moist and warm conditions favor disease development. We sought to examine whether variations in plant architecture traits that influence canopy structure or fruit contact with the soil could make conditions less favorable for disease development. As an extreme test for whether an altered canopy could facilitate P. capsici control, we tested the effect of increased row spacing and trellis culture on disease occurrence in the pickling cucumber `Vlaspik'. Temperature under the canopy was lowest in trellis plots, intermediate in increased spacing plots, and highest in control plots. Disease occurrence in the trellis plots was significantly lower than in other treatments, indicating that preventing fruit contact with the soil reduced disease occurrence. The effect of currently available variation in plant architecture was tested using nearly-isogenic genotypes varying for indeterminate (De), determinate (de), standard leaf (LL), and little leaf (ll) traits. Plants with standard architecture had higher peak mid-day temperatures under the canopy and greater levels of P. capsici infection; however, levels of disease occurrence were high for all genotypes. Screening a collection of ≈150 diverse cucumber accessions identified to serve as a representative sample of the germplasm, revealed variation for an array of architectural traits including main stem length, internode length, leaf length and width, and number of branches; values for `Vlaspik' were in the middle of the distribution. Plant architectures that may allow for more open canopies, including reduced branching habit and compact growth, were tested for disease incidence. One of the compact lines (PI 308916), which had a tendency to hold young fruit off the ground, exhibited lower disease occurrence. The reduced disease occurrence was not due to genetic resistance, suggesting that architecture which allows less contact of fruit with the soil could be useful for P. capsici control for pickling cucumber.

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Rohini Deshpande, D. P. Coyne, K. G. Hubbard, J. R. Steadman, E. P. Kerr and Anne M. Parkhurst

The microclimate of Great Northern (GN) dry bean lines with diverse plant architecture was investigated in terms of white mold (WM) incidence and yield. A split-plot design was used with protected (3 weekly sprays of benomyl 0.9 KG HA-1 after flowering) and unprotected treatments as main-plots and GN lines as sub-plots in a WM nursery (1990, 1991). Canopy density, erectness, leaf area index, and plant characteristics were measured. `Starlight' (upright) and `Tara' (prostrate) were selected for detailed microclimate studies. An infrared thermometer, humidity sensor, and a thermistor were placed within the canopy at the advent of flowering. Leaf wetness and its duration were estimated by the leaf temperature in combination with air temperature and dewpoint temperature. `Starlight' showed later and shorter duration of leaf wetness, lower humidity, and WM and higher yield than `Tara'. Severe WM and reduced yields occurred also on all other susceptible entries with dense prostrate plant habits in the unprotected plots. Fractal analysis was done on the images of the canopy to quantify the light interception within the canopy.

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Zhi-Liang Zheng, Jyan-Chyun Jang, James D. Metzger and Zhenbiao Yang

Plant architecture is a major consideration during the commercial production of chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora Tzvelev). We have addressed this problem through a biotechnological approach: genetic engineering of chrysanthemum cv. Iridon plants that ectopically expressed a tobacco phytochrome B1 gene under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter. The transgenic plants were shorter, greener in leaves, and had larger branch angles than wild-type (WT) plants. Transgenic plants also phenocopied WT plants grown under light condition depleted of far-red wavelengths. Furthermore, the reduction of growth by the expressed PHY-B1 transgene did not directly involve gibberellins. The commercial application of this biotechnology could provide an economic alternative to the use of chemical growth regulators, and thus reduce the production cost.