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W.M. Tilson and H.D. Stiles

The analog output of a portable battery-powered infrared pyrometer capable of nondestructive measurement of blackberry fruit temperatures was collected, formatted, and stored by a Polycorder in the field during the 1996 and 1997 harvest seasons. The program written for the data recorder allowed collection of ≈10 temperatures per plot per minute. Download and analysis of the information gathered during a typical survey of 24 rep × treatment combinations was easily completed prior to subsequent surveys in the field at noon and midafternoon.

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G.K. Panicker, G.A. Weesies, A.H. Al-Humadi, C. Sims, L.C. Huam, J. Harness, J. Bunch and T.E. Collins

Even though research and education systems have transformed agriculture from a traditional to a high-technology sector, soil erosion still remains as a major universal problem to agricultural productivity. The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and its replacement, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) are the most widely used of all soil erosion prediction models. Of the five factors in RUSLE, the cover and management (C) factor is the most important one from the standpoint of conservation planning because land use changes meant to reduce erosion are represented here. Even though the RUSLE is based on the USLE, this modern erosion prediction model is highly improved and updated. Alcorn State Univ. entered into a cooperative agreement with the NRCS of the USDA in 1988 to conduct C-factor research on vegetable and fruit crops. The main objective of this research is to collect plant growth and residue data that are used to populated databases needed to develop C-factors in RUSLE, and used in databases for other erosion prediction and natural resource models. The enormous data collected on leaf area index (LAI), canopy cover, lower and upper biomass, rate of residue decomposition, C:N ratio of samples of residues and destructive harvest and other gorwth parameters of canopy and rhizosphere made the project the largest data bank on horticultural crops. The philosophy and methodology of data collection will be presented.

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Jason Osborne and Eric Simonne

The challenges encountered and discussions generated during the review process of the manuscripts submitted to the Variety Trials category of HortTechnology have revealed the need to review issues encountered during manuscript preparation and to provide flexible guidelines for authors and reviewers. Using a question/answer format, this manuscript discusses issues related to data collection and statistical methods available to compare varieties. Clear objectives and conclusions, adequate plot size, careful selection of entries, and sound statistical procedures are considered essential. Several additional factors (following standard production practices, using multiple seed sources, reporting analysis of variance table and mean square error, reporting multiyear/multilocation trials) are regarded as desirable, with different degrees of desirability, depending on the crop. These flexible guidelines should be viewed as recommendations for authors and reviewers rather than requirements. While defining the state-of-the-art in variety trialing is of interest to all those involved, it may be difficult to achieve when resources are limiting. It is ultimately the prerogative and responsibility of the author(s) to ensure that the work is scientifically sound.

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Arthur Villordon, Jason Franklin and Don LaBonte

Handheld computing devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), can potentially reduce repetitive tasks that pervade data collection activities in horticultural research. PDA-collected records are electronically transferred to a desktop computer, eliminating manual reentry as well as the need of reviewing for incorrect data entries. In addition, PDAs can be enclosed in protective cases, enabling data collection in inclement weather. Visual CE-generated database forms installed on PDAs were used to electronically collect data from research trials conducted in 2003. The records were subsequently transferred to Microsoft Access desktop database tables for archiving and subsequent statistical analyses. Data for certain trials were also manually collected using paper forms to facilitate comparison between manual and PDA-assisted data collection methods under controlled conditions. Using paired samples analysis, we determined that electronic transfer of records reduced the time required to store the records into desktop computer files. Manual and PDA-based recording methods did not vary in the time required to enter numerical measurements. Our experience demonstrates that off-the-shelf software and consumer PDA devices are viable options for data collection in research. PDA-assisted data collection is potentially useful in situations where remote, site-specific records need to be merged into a central database and where standardized measurements and observations are essential for performing analysis.

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Jack E. Staub, Fenny Dane, Kathleen Reitsma, Gennaro Fazio and Anabel López-Sesé

Genetic relationships among 970 cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plant introductions (PIs) in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) were assessed by observing variation at 15 isozyme loci. Allozyme frequency data for these PIs were compared to allozyme variation in heirloom and modern (H&M) cultivars released from 1846-1985 (H&M cultivars; 178 accessions), and experimental commercial (EC) germplasm (EC germplasm; 82 accessions) in use after 1985. Multivariate analysis defined four distinct groups of accessions (Groups A-D), where Group A consisted of PIs received by the NPGS before 1992, Group B contained PIs from India and China obtained by NPGS after 1992, Group C consisted of EC germplasm, and Group D contained H&M cultivars. Morphological, abiotic stress (water and heat stress tolerance) and disease resistance evaluation data from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) for the PIs examined were used in conjunction with estimates of population variation and genetic distance estimates to construct test arrays and a core collection for cucumber. Disease resistance data included the evaluation of angular leafspot [Pseudomonas lachrymans (E.F. Smith) Holland], anthracnose [Colletotrichum lagenarium (Ross.) Ellis & Halst], downy mildew [Pseudoperonospora cubensis (Berk. & Curt) Rostow], rhizoctonia fruit rot (Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn), and target leafspot [Corynespora cassiicola (Berk. & Curt) Wei] pathogenicity. The test arrays for resistance-tolerance to angular leafspot, anthracnose, downy mildew, rhizoctonia fruit rot, target leafspot, and water and heat stress consisted of 17, 16, 17, 16, 17, 16, and 16 accessions, respectively. The core collection consisted of accessions in these test arrays (115) and additional 32 accessions that helped circumscribe the genetic diversity of the NPGS collection. The core collection of 147 accessions (115 + 32) represents ≈11% of the total collection's size (1352). Given estimates of genetic diversity and theoretical retention of diversity after sampling, this core collection could increase curatorial effectiveness and the efficiency of end-users as they attempt to identify potentially useful germplasm.

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Phil McInnis Jr. and Bruce I. Reisch

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Gayle M. Volk and Christopher M. Richards

collections and also observational data ( Edwards et al., 2000 ). These data include specimen occurrences, records of plants and animals in nature as well as curation institutions and projects. Taxonomic Data Working Group (TDWG) is the recommended format for

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Briana L. Gross, Gayle M. Volk, Christopher M. Richards, Patrick A. Reeves, Adam D. Henk, Philip L. Forsline, Amy Szewc-McFadden, Gennaro Fazio and C. Thomas Chao

representative subsets of larger collections. These collections could be given higher priority for evaluations and could be made widely available at multiple locations, thus increasing access to associated data for the gene bank user community ( Brown, 1989

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Gayle M. Volk, Christopher M. Richards, Adam D. Henk, Ann A. Reilley, Patrick A. Reeves, Philip L. Forsline and Herb S. Aldwinckle

within countries was estimated using the software package GDA ( Lewis and Zaykin, 2001 ). A core collection for M. orientalis was identified using the genotypic data for all M. orientalis accessions collected in Georgia, Armenia, Russia, and Turkey

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Matthew H. Kramer, Ellen T. Paparozzi and Walter W. Stroup

Design, Data Collection, and Analysis Pointers for Writing about Statistics for the Horticultural Sciences Literature Cited and Selected References Section 1: When Are Statistics Needed and What Is the Purpose of Statistics in a Research Paper? The scope