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Gerardine Mukeshimana, Amy L. Lasley, Wayne H. Loescher, and James D. Kelly

traits are used to select drought-tolerant genotypes. For instance, maintenance of green stem was shown to be an important criterion for seedling stage drought tolerance in cowpea ( Muchero et al., 2008 ), whereas a slow wilting trait is associated with

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Waltram Ravelombola, Ainong Shi, Jun Qin, Yuejin Weng, Gehendra Bhattarai, Bazgha Zia, Wei Zhou, and Beiquan Mou

, the accession was considered slow wilting; otherwise, it was considered fast wilting ( Fig. 3 ). Fig. 2. Overall plant greenness assessed on a 1 to 5 scale: 1 = plants were completely green, 2 = plants began losing greenness, 3 = signs of chlorosis and

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Alfredo Reyes-Tena, Gerardo Rodríguez-Alvarado, José de Jesús Luna-Ruíz, Viridiana Arreola-Romero, Kirsten Lizeth Arriaga-Solorio, Nuria Gómez-Dorantes, and Sylvia P. Fernández-Pavía

P. capsici isolates. The slow progression of disease shown by our study is consistent with that during breeding studies of Cicer arietinum cultivars against wilting caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. pisi , a term called slow wilting

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Mohammed B. Tahboub, Soumaila Sanogo, Paul W. Bosland, and Leigh Murray

(very high heat). Chile pepper producers in New Mexico and Arizona observed that Phytophthora wilt symptoms develop slower and its incidence is lower in hot than in low-heat chile pepper cultivars. On a farm in South Carolina, Keinath (2007) observed

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John Sloan* and Wayne Mackay

Soils exhibit a degree of hydrophobicity and can repel water rather than absorb it. Surfactants lower the surface tension of water which may increase its infiltration into the soil and adsorption to soil solids. The objective of this study was to determine if water treated with a surfactant would increase conserve soil moisture and decrease the amount of water needed to sustain healthy plant growth. Clay and sandy loam soils were placed in 15-cm greenhouse pots. Impatiens seedlings were transplanted into each pot. All pots were fertilized equally and the Impatiens flowers were allowed to grow for 8 weeks. Then the pots were treated with tap water or tap water mixed with a commercial surfactant at one times (1×) or two times (2×) the recommended rate. After applying the water treatments, pots received no additional water. Each pot was weighed twice per day and the plants were observed for signs of wilting. Upon initial signs of wilting, each plant was rated on a scale of 1 to 3 with 1 = no wilting, 2 = leaves starting to droop, and 3 = wilting leaves and stems. Addition of the surfactant at the 1× and 2× rates slowed the loss of water from both the sandy loam and the clay soils. The effects of the surfactant were apparent within 3 to 5 days in the sandy loam soil and 6 to 10 days in the clay soil. The benefits of reduced water loss from soil were manifested by reduced wilting in Impatiens plants in soils treated with 1× and 2× the recommended rate of surfactant. In the clay soil, use of the surfactant increased the amount of time before Impatiens plants began to wilt. It appears that adding a surfactant to irrigation water can conserve soil moisture and extend the time between water applications.

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Cesar A. Martinez-Mateo and J. Pablo Morales-Payan*

Experiments were conducted to determine the effect of dipping open `Scania' carnation flowers in aqueous solutions of benzyl adenine (BA) (0, 13, 26, 39, and 52 mg·L-1) and gibberellic acid (GA3) (0, 10, 20, 50, and 100 mg·L-1) on flower vase life. Flowers were dipped for two minutes in BA or GA3 solutions, and visual symptoms of flower senescence were periodically recorded based on distortion, discoloration, and permanent wilting of the petals. In general, visual symptoms of senescence progressed more slowly in BA-treated flowers than in GA3 - treated and control flowers. One week after treatment, the only flowers with satisfactory appearance (slight or no petal distortion, wilting or discoloration) were those treated with BA at the rate of 13 mg·L-1 and GA3 at the rate of 50 mg·L-1.

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Kristian Borch, Kathleen M. Brown, and Jonathan P. Lynch

Bedding plants are frequently exposed to water stress during the postproduction period, resulting in reduced quality. We demonstrated that alumina-buffered P fertilizer (Al-P) provides adequate but much lower P concentrations than conventionally used in soilless mixes. When impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook. f. `Impulse Orange') and marigold (Tagetes patula L. `Janie Tangerine') plants were grown with reduced phosphorus using Al-P, P leaching was greatly reduced and plant quality was improved. Diameter of impatiens plants and leaf area of plants of both species were reduced by Al-P. Marigold plants grown with Al-P had more flowers and fewer wilted flowers. Flower wilting was also reduced for impatiens plants grown with Al-P. In marigold plants, roots were confined to a small volume beneath the drip tube in control plants, while roots of Al-P plants were well distributed through the medium. There was no obvious difference in impatiens root distribution. When plants at the marketing stage were exposed to drought, the Al-P plants of both species wilted more slowly than the conventionally fertilized controls. The reduced leaf area in both species and the improved root distribution of marigold may account for the improvement in drought tolerance of the Al-P plants.

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John L. Maas and Gene J. Galletta

Bacterial angular leafspot disease (BALD) of strawberry, caused by Xanthomonas fragariae, a slow-growing and often difficult pathogen to isolate from infected plants, is most commonly manifested as small discrete, angular, translucent lesions on leaves and sepals. As the bacteria infect systemically, plants may wilt and die. BALD has become increasingly important in North America and other strawberry-growing areas of the world. The systemic nature of the pathogen also is cause for concern with international shipment of strawberry plants, especially because there is no practical method for determining the presence of the bacteria in symptomless, infected plants, nor is there a practical method of chemical control. All cultivars of Fragaria × ananassa (8×) are susceptible to BALD, although a range of susceptibility is often apparent in plantings. Resistant genotypes have been reported among clones of F. virginiana (8×), F. moschata (6×), and F. vesca (2×). A program has been initiated to evaluate native octoploid and diploid strawberry germplasm for resistance to BALD.

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Emma L. Locke*, Cecil Stushnoff, Joyce C. Pennycooke, and Michelle Jones

Salinity, drought and temperature frequently limit crop productivity. Transgenic Petunia ×hybrida cv. Mitchell with altered endogenous raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFO) due to over-expression (sense) or under-expression (antisense) of the tomato α-galactosidase gene show that antisense increases in RFO are associated with greater tolerance to freezing stress (Pennycooke et al., 2003). Because vegetative propagules of these antisense lines rooted and established more quickly than their sense counterparts, we hypothesized that antisense lines would also respond to salinity and wilting stress. Salinity treatment plants were exposed to 50-200 mm NaCl graduated 25 mm every 3 days and held at 200 mm for 13 days. Dry-down treatments were watered to pot capacity, then not watered until the onset of wilting. This was repeated in cycles for 26 days. Data were collected on plant growth, root/shoot ratios, and leaf water potential. Fresh and dry weights in four of the six antisense lines exceeded the wild type and sense lines. Osmotic potential for salinity and dry-down plants was 160% to 220% higher than control plants. Pearson correlations revealed that higher osmotic potential was partially associated with higher fresh weight (r = 0.7214, P = 0.02) and root/shoot ratios (r = -0.7414, P = 0.02) in salinity stressed plants. In the dry-down drought stressed plants, osmotic potential was not associated with fresh weight (r = 0.3364, ns) nor root/shoot ratio (r = -0.0431, ns). Salinity stress reduced root mass compared to control and dry down plants. Sense plants grew slowly and were highly variable.

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Jingwei Dai and Robert E. Paull

The postharvest life of Dendrobium spp. flower sprays was limited by wilting and shedding of individual “flowers. Late-summer-harvested sprays had a reduced postharvest life compared to winter-harvested sprays. Cultivars differed in postharvest life in response to packing and storing for 2 days at 22C. Water 10ss rates of `Princess' sprays continuously held in deionized water declined from ≈ 1.25 g/day per spray 4 days after harvest to 0.35 g/day per spray 20 days later. Flower shedding occurred when the rate of water loss fell below ≈1.0 g/day per spray. Addition of a floral preservative to the vase water slowed the decline in water loss and increased postharvest life. Sprays packed and stored for 6 days at 22C had half the postharvest life of nonpacked controls held in deionized water or of sprays packed for 2 or 4 days at 22C. Submerging sprays in water immediately after harvest did not significantly increase postharvest life; submerging the sprays after harvest, before packing, and again after unpacking reduced postharvest life. Sprays could not be held for more than 4 days at 10C without suffering chilling injury. Silver thiosulphate (2 mm) and other silver preparations had no effect on postharvest life, although silver ions did reach the top flowers of the spray; thus, ethylene may play only a minor role in spray postharvest life. The postharvest life of sprays was increased by using boiled deionized water in vase solutions and by the continuous presence of chloramphenicol. Other antimicrobial agents, such as Physan, sodium hypochlorite, and sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dihydrate were without effect. Microbial growth in the vase solution and at the cut stem end mav have reduced water transport and induced subsequent flower wilting and shedding.