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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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rootstock liners from vegetative propagation have an inferior root system compared with liners derived from seed. In this study, we analyzed the root architecture and other plant traits of seven different rootstock genotypes, generated from seed, stem

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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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Abstract

Plant breeders have modified plant architecture to fit crop production systems, particularly for mechanical harvesting, but have given inadequate attention to the effects of architecture on yield. The development of high yielding dwarf wheat, rice and determinate tomato cultivars have emphasized the relation of plant architecture to crop yield. Delayed flowering of photoperiod sensitive dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) under long days produced more fruiting nodes per plant and increased yield 50 to 70%. The contributions of plant architecture components to yield and quality have been investigated with near-isogenic lines of various crops. Modifications of plant architecture have been adopted to alleviate heat and moisture stress, to confer insect resistance, and to avoid disease.

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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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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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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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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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assess the impact of ploidy and harvest date on fruit traits and evaluate how polyploidy influenced plant architecture. Materials and Methods Plant material. Tetraploids and mixoploids of normally diploid Vaccinium ovatum were developed by

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We thank the Pickle Seed Research Fund and MSU-GREEEN for support of this project. We thank Dr. Jack Staub, the Plant Introduction Station (Ames, Iowa), and Seminis Vegetable Seed Inc. for providing seed. We thank Steve Suzura and Dr. Mary Hausbeck

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