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Horticulturae, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Mechanism of the Alternaria alternata Pathogenicity in ‘Fortune’ Mandarin
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040054
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
Alternaria brown spot, caused by Alternaria alternata (Fr.) Keissl, is an important disease in tangerines and their hybrids, affecting leaves, twigs, and immature fruit. Differences in susceptibility to this pathogenic fungus have been described for different Citrus species. In this paper, the expression
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Alternaria brown spot, caused by Alternaria alternata (Fr.) Keissl, is an important disease in tangerines and their hybrids, affecting leaves, twigs, and immature fruit. Differences in susceptibility to this pathogenic fungus have been described for different Citrus species. In this paper, the expression of the mycotoxins alternariol and alternariol monomethyl ether in different A. alternata isolates was analyzed by HPLC-MS. A correlation was observed between the mycotoxins content and the pathogenicity of each isolated of A. alternata used, suggesting that the mycotoxins may be involved in the evolution of brown spot in ‘Fortune’ fruits caused by this fungus. The increased expression of the above mycotoxins was associated with the end of mycelia growth, high sporulation, and an increase in hyphal melanization in the fungus. On the other hand, the presence of laccase activity in the xylem of ‘Fortune’ fruits inoculated with A. alternata suggests that this is the way the fungus propagates in the plant. These results add to our knowledge of the pathogenesis of A. alternata in Citrus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Plant Pathology and Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle Plant Growth Promoting Effects of Nepalese Sweet Potato Endophytes
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040053
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
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Abstract
Endophytic bacteria form a symbiotic relation with plants and generally cause no harmful effects to the host plants. In a previous study, we isolated eight bacterial endophytes from sweet potato plants harvested in Salyan, Nepal. These endophytes showed plant growth-promoting properties as a
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Endophytic bacteria form a symbiotic relation with plants and generally cause no harmful effects to the host plants. In a previous study, we isolated eight bacterial endophytes from sweet potato plants harvested in Salyan, Nepal. These endophytes showed plant growth-promoting properties as a mixed culture. In this study, we evaluated the ability of these strains to produce indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and to fix nitrogen. Based on these results, we selected two strains, Klebsiella sp. Sal 1 and Enterobacter sp. Sal 3, and evaluated their ability to promote plant growth. IAA production activity peaked at 15–60 mg NH4NO3/L in plant-free medium. Similarly, acetylene reduction activity peaked at 0–6.25 mg NH4NO3/L. Both strains successfully colonized plants, promoted the growth of tomatoes, and induced phenotypes in plants consistent with IAA exposure. This suggests that these strains promote plant growth by producing IAA inside the plant, where nitrogen levels are expected to be low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Crop Microbiomes)
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Open AccessReview Mealybug Wilt of Pineapple and Associated Viruses
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040052
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
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Abstract
Mealybug wilt of pineapple (MWP) is a disease of pineapple that has a long history in Hawaii, but is present throughout the world where pineapples are grown in tropical regions. The disease has an interesting etiology that is poorly understood but involves an
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Mealybug wilt of pineapple (MWP) is a disease of pineapple that has a long history in Hawaii, but is present throughout the world where pineapples are grown in tropical regions. The disease has an interesting etiology that is poorly understood but involves an association with virus particles, mealybug vectors, and ants which spread the mealybug vectors. Several distinct pineapple mealybug wilt-associated virus (PMWaV) species have been identified thus far with potential further member species yet to be characterized. Pineapple mealybug wilt-associated viruses are member species of the Ampelovirus genus of the Closteroviridae family. Ampeloviruses are split into two subgroups, subgroup I and subgroup II. PMWaV-2 is a subgroup II member, and these have a longer and more complex genome with additional genes on the 3’ terminus of the RNA genome compared to subgroup I ampeloviruses. PMWaV-2, along with the presence of mealybug vectors, have been shown to be necessary factors in symptom development in Hawaii. Some of these extra genes in the 3’ of PMWaV-2 have recently been shown to function as silencing suppressors, and may play a role in the virulence of PMWaV-2 and symptom development. In other regions of the world, reports of symptomatic plants without PMWaV-2 infection, but with PMWaV-1, -3 or some combination, contradict the requirement of PMWaV-2 for symptom development in MWP. It is possible that further, uncharacterized PMWaVs may be present in symptomatic pineapple plants that test negative for PMWaV-2, explaining the inconsistency in symptom development. More research is necessary to explore the confusing etiology of the MWP disease, and to perhaps shed light upon the symptom development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Plant Pathology and Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle Ancient Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Varieties of Tuscany Have High Contents of Bioactive Compounds
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040051
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 22 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
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Abstract
The Tuscan Region has a vast repertoire of ancient plants that have been recovered across the territory over the years. These plants thrive in an environment characterized by minimal human intervention and are thus the result of the process of adaptation to the
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The Tuscan Region has a vast repertoire of ancient plants that have been recovered across the territory over the years. These plants thrive in an environment characterized by minimal human intervention and are thus the result of the process of adaptation to the territory of origin. In this work, we focused on the quantification of bioactive compounds in ancient tomato varieties. More specifically, we quantified polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C in eight local Tuscan tomato varieties and found higher contents with respect to those in commercial tomatoes Polyphenol and antioxidant compounds in ancient varieties reported a two- and, in some instances, three-fold increase in concentration, compared to the commercial counterparts. Interestingly, the data relative to the carotenoids did not show any significant differences when comparing the ancient varieties with the commercial ones, a finding confirming the market selection criterion based on color. On a longer-term perspective, this study aims at drawing attention to the importance of preserving autochthonous natural plant biodiversity and towards promoting research on local varieties. We believe that this study will pave the way to the valorization of local plant biodiversity and promote an extended use of products in the nutraceutical sector derived from vegetables. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Fruit Stem-End Rot
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040050
Received: 28 October 2018 / Revised: 22 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
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Abstract
After harvest, the fruit ripens and stem-end rot (SER) starts to develop, leading to significant fruit losses. SER is caused by diverse pathogenic fungi that endophytically colonize the stem during fruit development in the orchard or field and remain quiescent until the onset
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After harvest, the fruit ripens and stem-end rot (SER) starts to develop, leading to significant fruit losses. SER is caused by diverse pathogenic fungi that endophytically colonize the stem during fruit development in the orchard or field and remain quiescent until the onset of fruit ripening. During the endophytic-like stage, the pathogenic fungus colonizes the phloem and xylem of the fruit stem-end; after fruit ripening, the fungus converts to a necrotrophic lifestyle, while colonizing the fruit parenchyma, and causes SER. The fruit stem-end is colonized not only by pathogenic fungi, but also by various nonpathogenic endophytic microorganisms, including fungi, yeast and bacteria. However, little is known about the fruit stem-end endophytic microbiome, which could contain new and existing biocontrol agents. To control fruit SER, treatments such as ripening inhibition, harvesting with the stem, application of chemical or biological fungicides, or physical control such as heat treatments, cold storage, or exposure to light have been suggested. This review focuses on the characterization of SER pathogens, the stem-end microbiome, and different pre- and postharvest practices that could control fruit SER. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Disease Development: Pre and/or Postharvest Practices)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Impact of Reference Evapotranspiration Models on Decision Support Systems for Irrigation
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040049
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
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Abstract
Reference evapotranspiration (ET0) is a major estimator for crop water requirements predicted by decision support systems for irrigation. However, the impact of different ET0s on the predicted amount of water supply and counts of irrigation events
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Reference evapotranspiration (E T 0) is a major estimator for crop water requirements predicted by decision support systems for irrigation. However, the impact of different E T 0s on the predicted amount of water supply and counts of irrigation events has not been evaluated. Simulations of the Geisenheim Irrigation Scheduling (GS) for vegetable crops with two different E T 0s, P2-E T 0 and FAO56-E T 0, were evaluated to assess exemplarily the impact of E T 0s. The sensitivity of both E T 0s to local climate conditions was characterized through a random forest analysis, and a linear regression model was used to adjust the original GS by adapting K c-values to the exchange E T 0. For assessing the outcomes of GS irrigation decision, simulations of 173 individual cropping cycles including six vegetable crops over eight years were conducted. After adjusting P2-E T 0 K c-values to FAO56-E T 0 K c-values, there was no impact of the E T 0-model on the practical irrigation scheduling with GS. Finally, we discuss that any E T 0-model, if adjusted accordingly, might have little impact on similar irrigation systems and provide a method to exchange E T 0s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management of Horticultural Crops)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Environment and Nutrients on Hydroponic Lettuce Yield, Quality, and Phytonutrients
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040048
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
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Abstract
A study was conducted with green and red-leaf lettuce cultivars grown in a deep-water culture production system. Plants were seeded in rockwool and germinated under greenhouse conditions at 25/20 °C (day/night) for 21 days before transplanting. The experimental design was a randomized complete
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A study was conducted with green and red-leaf lettuce cultivars grown in a deep-water culture production system. Plants were seeded in rockwool and germinated under greenhouse conditions at 25/20 °C (day/night) for 21 days before transplanting. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of cultivar and nutrient treatments that consisted of six replications. Treatments consisted of two lettuce genotypes, (1) green (Winter Density) and (2) red (Rhazes), and three nutrient treatments containing electroconductivity (EC) levels of (1) 1.0; (2) 2.0; and (3) 4.0 mS·cm−1. After 50 days, plants were harvested, processed, and analyzed to determine marketable yield, biomass, plant height, stem diameter, phenolics, and elemental nutrient concentrations. An interaction between growing season and lettuce cultivar was the predominant factor influencing yield, biomass, and quality. Nutrient solution EC treatment significantly affected biomass and water content. EC treatments significantly impacted concentrations of 3-O-glucoside and uptake of phosphorous, potassium, iron, boron, zinc, and molybdenum. Effects of growing season and cultivar on leafy lettuce yield and quality were more pronounced than the effect of nutrient solution EC treatment. Thus, greenhouse production of green and red-leaf lettuce cultivars in the south-eastern United States should be conducted in the spring and fall growing seasons with elevated nutrient solution EC of ≈4.0 mS·cm−1 to maximize yield and quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Effects on Performance of Horticultural Crops)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Automation for Water and Nitrogen Deficit Stress Detection in Soilless Tomato Crops Based on Spectral Indices
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040047
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract
Water and nitrogen deficit stress are some of the most important growth limiting factors in crop production. Several methods have been used to quantify the impact of water and nitrogen deficit stress on plant physiology. However, by performing machine learning with hyperspectral sensor
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Water and nitrogen deficit stress are some of the most important growth limiting factors in crop production. Several methods have been used to quantify the impact of water and nitrogen deficit stress on plant physiology. However, by performing machine learning with hyperspectral sensor data, crop physiology management systems are integrated into real artificial intelligence systems, providing richer recommendations and insights into implementing appropriate irrigation and environment control management strategies. In this study, the Classification Tree model was used to group complex hyperspectral datasets in order to provide remote visual results about plant water and nitrogen deficit stress. Soilless tomato crops are grown under varying water and nitrogen regimes. The model that we developed was trained using 75% of the total sample dataset, while the rest (25%) of the data were used to validate the model. The results showed that the combination of MSAVI, mrNDVI, and PRI had the potential to determine water and nitrogen deficit stress with 89.6% and 91.4% classification accuracy values for the training and testing samples, respectively. The results of the current study are promising for developing control strategies for sustainable greenhouse production. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Postharvest Treatments with GRAS Salts to Control Fresh Fruit Decay
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040046
Received: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract
Control of postharvest diseases of fresh fruits has relied for many years on the continuous use of conventional chemical fungicides. However, nonpolluting alternatives are increasingly needed because of human health and environmental issues related to the generation of chemical residues. Low-toxicity chemicals classified
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Control of postharvest diseases of fresh fruits has relied for many years on the continuous use of conventional chemical fungicides. However, nonpolluting alternatives are increasingly needed because of human health and environmental issues related to the generation of chemical residues. Low-toxicity chemicals classified as food preservatives or as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) compounds have known and very low toxicological effects on mammals and minimal impact on the environment. Among them, inorganic or organic salts such as carbonates, sorbates, benzoates, silicates, etc., show significant advantages for potential commercial use, such as their availability, low cost, and general high solubility in water. Typically, these substances are first evaluated in vitro against target pathogens that cause important postharvest diseases. Selected salts and concentrations are then assayed as aqueous solutions in in vivo tests with target fresh fruit. Laboratory and small-scale experiments are conducted with fruit artificially inoculated with pathogens, whereas naturally infected fruit are used for large-scale, semicommercial, or commercial trials. Another approach that is increasingly gaining importance is evaluating GRAS salts as antifungal ingredients of novel synthetic edible coatings. These coatings could replace the fungicide-amended commercial waxes applied to many fruit commodities and could be used for organic or “zero-residue” fresh fruit production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Disease Development: Pre and/or Postharvest Practices)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Water Deficit during Fruit Development on Quality and Yield of Young Table Grape Cultivars
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040045
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 28 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract
Water limitation has a major effect on agricultural crop production, influencing yield as well as external and internal quality parameters of table grapes. Due to their high yield potential, table grapes have a particularly high risk for yield and quality losses when water
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Water limitation has a major effect on agricultural crop production, influencing yield as well as external and internal quality parameters of table grapes. Due to their high yield potential, table grapes have a particularly high risk for yield and quality losses when water is limited, but grapevines are known for high heterogeneity within cultivars. Therefore, we investigated the effect of prolonged water deficits (control, moderate, and severe deficit) during fruit development on yield and quality parameters of four different table grape cultivars (Vitis L.). Furthermore, we ranked their suitability for cultivation in areas suffering from water limitation. Up to 31% of irrigation water could be saved in comparison to the control, without significant negative effects on plant yield, berry size, or internal quality parameters, such as total soluble solids and total phenolic content. However, single bunch yield was highest at a moderate deficit and number of seeds in berries increased with the severity of deficit. Cultivar selection had the greatest influence on water consumption and mainly defined yield and quality parameters. The cultivar ‘Fanny’ produced the highest yields (195.17 g per plant), most bunches per plant (2.04), and biggest berries while cv. ‘Nero’ had the highest total soluble solids content (26.33 °Brix) and the highest total phenolic content (67.53 mg gallic acid equivalents per 100 g fresh weight). Overall, ‘Fanny’ was the most promising cultivar for cultivation under water-limited conditions during fruit development, without significant effects on yield and quality parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management of Horticultural Crops)
Open AccessArticle Large-Scale Spatial Modeling of Crop Coefficient and Biomass Production in Agroecosystems in Southeast Brazil
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040044
Received: 4 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
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Abstract
Sentinel-2 images at 10-m resolution were used for modeling crop coefficients and biomass production with the application of the so-called SAFER (Simple Algorithm for Evapotranspiration Retrieving) and Monteith model for biomass production in an area nearby the city of Águas de Santa Bárbara,
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Sentinel-2 images at 10-m resolution were used for modeling crop coefficients and biomass production with the application of the so-called SAFER (Simple Algorithm for Evapotranspiration Retrieving) and Monteith model for biomass production in an area nearby the city of Águas de Santa Bárbara, in the central-western part of São Paulo State, Brazil, which presents a vast agricultural landscape mosaic, to analyze the effects of the end of the recent ENSO’s (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) most active period (2016/2017) and its posteriori effects on vegetation (until early 2018). Surface albedo, temperature, net radiation, and NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) from the main land uses were extracted to process microclimatic comparisons. Crop coefficient (dimensionless) and biomass production (kg·ha−1·day−1) ranges for the period studied were 0.92–1.35 and 22–104 kg·ha1·day1 (in the area occupied by sugarcane crop), 0.56–0.94 and 15–73 kg·ha1·day1 (pasture), 1.17–1.56 and 25–210 kg·ha1·day1 (silviculture), and 1.05–1.36 and 30–134 kg·ha−1·day−1 (forest). According to the spatial and temporal consistencies, and after comparison with previous point and large-scale studies with similar climatic and thermal conditions, the SAFER and Monteith modelsshowed the ability to quantify and differentiate the large-scale crop coefficients and biomass production of different land uses in the southeast Brazil region. The SAFER algorithm with Sentinel-2 images obtained crop coefficients that indicated plant growth stages and local thermohydrological conditions at a 10-m resolution. The results are important for land use, crop yield and reforestation planning, and for water management plans for actual and future water demand scenarios, and this methodology is useful for monitoring rural and water parameters, and for precision agriculture applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management of Horticultural Crops)
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Open AccessArticle Host Tree Identity Influences Leaf Nutrient Relations of the Epiphyte Dendrobium guamense Ames.
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040043
Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 10 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
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Abstract
Epiphytic orchid species grow in stressful conditions that include nutrient deficiency. A greater understanding of the factors that influence epiphytic orchid nutrition may benefit conservationists and horticulturists. Green and senesced leaf nutrient concentrations of the epiphytic Dendrobium guamense were quantified among six host
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Epiphytic orchid species grow in stressful conditions that include nutrient deficiency. A greater understanding of the factors that influence epiphytic orchid nutrition may benefit conservationists and horticulturists. Green and senesced leaf nutrient concentrations of the epiphytic Dendrobium guamense were quantified among six host tree species to more fully understand the role of contrasting host identity. Green leaves for D. guamense plants on species with vertical stems contained greater nitrogen, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, and boron concentrations. Green leaves for D. guamense plants on species with horizontal stems contained greater phosphorus, magnesium, and copper concentrations. Senesced D. guamense leaves followed similar patterns among the host species for all elements except calcium, manganese, and boron. The stoichiometry among green leaf macronutrients indicated nitrogen was most limiting, and the limitation was more severe for plants on horizontal stems. Carbon:nitrogen of senesced leaves indicated D. guamense plants on vertical stems produced higher quality leaf litter, predicting slower decomposition of orchid leaf litter from plants growing on hosts with horizontal stems. The results may improve horticultural decisions to support conservation efforts and show that host identity is a variable that should be more fully studied to understand epiphyte biology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Farmers’ Knowledge, Perception and Practices in Apple Pest Management and Climate Change in the Fes-Meknes Region, Morocco
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040042
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 11 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
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Abstract
Apple production in the Fes-Meknes region of Morocco is highly affected by pests and adverse weather conditions. A survey of apple farmers’ knowledge, perceptions and practices (KPP) in pest management and climate change was conducted in spring 2018 in two major apple-producing provinces
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Apple production in the Fes-Meknes region of Morocco is highly affected by pests and adverse weather conditions. A survey of apple farmers’ knowledge, perceptions and practices (KPP) in pest management and climate change was conducted in spring 2018 in two major apple-producing provinces of the region. Each farmer reported three insect pests and two diseases on average affecting their orchards. Pest management was performed by a combination of cultural and chemical methods. All farmers used dormant chemical sprays. About 60% of the respondents adopted pest surveillance based on visual inspection and 41.9% chose their pesticides on the basis of the information received from pesticide sellers. An average of 20 treatments per year was applied in each orchard. Regression analysis showed that neither the age of apple trees nor the number of pesticide applications influenced yield. Adverse weather conditions affected all apple plantations and the most frequent problems perceived were frosts, hailstorms, hot winds and water shortage. Of the orchards reported, 51.3% were protected with anti-hail nets. In order to reduce the rate of pesticide applications, better information on integrated pest management is required. Introduction of organic farming is necessary as 40.5% of the farmers agreed to convert to this practice in the future provided that market facilitation is established. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring Dormancy Transition in Almond [Prunus Dulcis (Miller) Webb] during Cold and Warm Mediterranean Seasons through the Analysis of a DAM (Dormancy-Associated MADS-Box) Gene
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040041
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
For fruit tree (Prunus) species, flower bud dormancy completion determines the quality of bud break and the flowering time. In the present climate change and global warming context, the relationship between dormancy and flowering processes is a fundamental goal in molecular
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For fruit tree (Prunus) species, flower bud dormancy completion determines the quality of bud break and the flowering time. In the present climate change and global warming context, the relationship between dormancy and flowering processes is a fundamental goal in molecular biology of these species. In almond [P. dulcis (Miller) Webb], flowering time is a trait of great interest in the development of new cultivars adapted to different climatic areas. Late flowering is related to a long dormancy period due to high chilling requirements of the cultivar. It is considered a quantitative and highly heritable character but a dominant gene (Late bloom, Lb) was also described. A major QTL (quantitative trait loci) in the linkage group (LG) 4 was associated with Lb, together with other three QTLs in LG1 and LG7. In addition, DAM (Dormancy-Associated MADS-Box) genes located in LG1 have been largely described as a gene family involved in bud dormancy in different Prunus species including peach [P. persica (L.) Batsch] and Japanese apricot (P. mume Sieb. et Zucc.). In this work, a DAM transcript was cloned and its expression was analysed by qPCR (quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction) in almond flower buds during the dormancy release. For this purpose two almond cultivars (‘Desmayo Largueta’ and ‘Penta’) with different chilling requirements and flowering time were used, and the study was performed along two years. The complete coding sequence, designated PdDAM6 (Prunus dulcis DAM6), was subjected to a phylogenetic analysis with homologous sequences from other Prunus species. Finally, expression dynamics analysed by using qPCR showed a continuous decrease in transcript levels for both cultivars and years during the period analysed. Monitoring almond flower bud dormancy through DAM expression should be used to improve almond production in different climate conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Effects on Performance of Horticultural Crops)
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Open AccessArticle RNA Helicase Mediates Competitive Fitness of Listeria monocytogenes on the Surface of Cantaloupe
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040040
Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
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Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that is implicated in numerous outbreaks of disease (listeriosis) via fresh produce. The genetic features of L. monocytogenes that allow adherence and growth on produce remain largely uncharacterized. In this study, two non-motile transposon mutants were characterized
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Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that is implicated in numerous outbreaks of disease (listeriosis) via fresh produce. The genetic features of L. monocytogenes that allow adherence and growth on produce remain largely uncharacterized. In this study, two non-motile transposon mutants were characterized for attachment, growth, and survival on the surface of cantaloupe rind. One of the mutants, L1E4, harbored a single transposon insertion in a DEAD-box RNA helicase gene (lmo0866 homolog), while the other, M1A5, harbored an insertion in a gene from a flagellum biosynthesis and chemotaxis gene cluster (lmo0694 homolog). When inoculated alone, neither mutant was significantly impaired in growth or survival on the surface of cantaloupe at either 25 or 37 °C. However, when co-inoculated with the wildtype parental strain, the RNA helicase mutant L1E4 had a clear competitive disadvantage, while the relative fitness of M1A5 was not noticeably impacted. Genetic complementation of L1E4 with the intact RNA helicase gene restored relative fitness on cantaloupe. The findings suggest that the DEAD-box RNA helicase encoded by the lmo0866 homolog is critical for relative fitness of L. monocytogenes on cantaloupe. Mutant L1E4 was pleiotropic, being not only non-motile but also cold-sensitive and with reduced hemolytic activity, warranting further studies to elucidate the role of this helicase in the competitive fitness of L. monocytogenes on produce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety Pertinent to Fresh Produce)
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Open AccessArticle Yield, Quality, Antioxidants and Elemental Composition of New Leek Cultivars under Organic or Conventional Systems in a Greenhouse
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040039
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 31 October 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
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Abstract
Leek (Allium porrum) is known for its high antioxidant activity and the ability to accumulate significant amounts of potassium and iron. We assessed yield, quality indicators, antioxidants and elemental composition of nine leek cultivars grown in greenhouses under organic or conventional
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Leek (Allium porrum) is known for its high antioxidant activity and the ability to accumulate significant amounts of potassium and iron. We assessed yield, quality indicators, antioxidants and elemental composition of nine leek cultivars grown in greenhouses under organic or conventional systems in the Moscow region. The management system did not affect yield, which attained the highest value with the cultivar Giraffe and the lowest with Premier and Cazimir. Pseudo-stem dry matter and sugars were higher with organic management, whereas nitrate concentration was higher with conventional management. The cultivars Vesta and Summer Breeze showed the highest dry matter and total sugar content, whereas Goliath had the highest antioxidant, selenium and potassium concentrations. Among the antioxidants, ascorbic acid attained higher values with organic management. The antioxidant system of leek was characterized by highly significant positive correlations between: Se and polyphenols, Se and ascorbic acid, Se and K, ascorbic acid and polyphenols, ascorbic acid and K, polyphenols and K (r = 0.94, 0.94, 0.95, 0.94, 0.95, 0.96, respectively, at P ≤ 0.001). Negative correlations were recorded between leaf and pseudo-stem Se and between leaf and pseudo-stem polyphenols (r = −0.922 and −0.976, respectively, at P ≤ 0.001). Among the mineral elements, only K was significantly affected by the management system, showing a higher content in organically grown pseudo-stems. Varietal differences in pseudo-stem element composition showed strong positive correlations of: Al with As, Co, Li, Pb and V; Cr with I, Mg, Si, Ca; V with As, Co and Fe; negative correlations of Se with Cr and I. Compared to related species such as garlic (A. sativum), leek accumulated levels equal to garlic of K, Mg, P, Cd, Cu, Mn, Se, Zn, lower levels of Si and significantly higher amounts of Ca, Na, Al, As, Cr, Ni, Pb, Sr, V, Sn, B, Co, Fe, I, Li. The strong relationships between quality, antioxidant and mineral components in leek plants may give wide possibilities in breeding programs for both conventional and organic management systems in greenhouses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Performance of Two Citrus Species Grafted to Different Rootstocks in the Presence of Huanglongbing Disease in Puerto Rico
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040038
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 6 November 2018
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Abstract
Since Huanglongbing (HLB) disease was detected in 2009 in Puerto Rico, a steady drop in citrus production has been experienced, forcing farmers to abandon their land or switch to other crops. Between 2015 and 2016, we used grafted trees from two experimental orchards
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Since Huanglongbing (HLB) disease was detected in 2009 in Puerto Rico, a steady drop in citrus production has been experienced, forcing farmers to abandon their land or switch to other crops. Between 2015 and 2016, we used grafted trees from two experimental orchards (Tahiti lime and Nova mandarin), each on five rootstocks, to collect soil and plant tissue samples from each scion‒rootstock combination to determine soil fertility, tissue nutrient content, and yield. The tree growth parameters (height, diameter, and canopy volume) and efficiency of the two orchards were also measured. These orchards, growing in Coto series (Typic Hapludox), were planted in 2009 and reported as heavily infested with HLB by 2011. Our results showed that soil and tissue samples from the Tahiti lime orchard exhibited benefits for tree growth parameters when grafted on Carrizo and Cleopatra rootstocks. Lower tree mortality (13%) was observed for Tahiti lime grafted on Carrizo, HRS 812, Carrizo and Rough lemon rootstocks, while 25% of the Nova mandarin trees perished on the same rootstocks. Yield was higher for Tahiti lime grafted on Swingle rootstock (35.6 fruit m−3) as compared to the other rootstocks. In general, HLB appears to have caused poor development and low production in the Nova mandarin orchard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Plant Pathology and Prevention)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Use and Effects of Different Brassica and Other Rotation Crops on Soilborne Diseases and Yield of Potato
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040037
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 20 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
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Abstract
Soilborne diseases are persistent problems in potato production, resulting in reductions in tuber quality and yield. Brassica rotation crops may reduce soilborne potato diseases, but how to best utilize Brassica crops in potato cropping systems has not been established. In this research, two
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Soilborne diseases are persistent problems in potato production, resulting in reductions in tuber quality and yield. Brassica rotation crops may reduce soilborne potato diseases, but how to best utilize Brassica crops in potato cropping systems has not been established. In this research, two two-year trials were established at three different sites with histories of soilborne diseases, and up to six different Brassica crops (canola, winter rapeseed, yellow and brown condiment mustards, oriental mustard, oilseed radish, and a mustard blend) and standard rotation crops (ryegrass and buckwheat) were evaluated as rotation and green manure crops. Tuber yield did not vary substantially among the rotation crops, but rotation treatments significantly affected incidence and severity of soilborne diseases at all sites. However, results were variable among sites and years. Perennial ryegrass and mustard blend rotations reduced powdery scab disease by 31–55% relative to other rotations in the only field where powdery scab was a serious problem. Mustard blend, ryegrass, and other Brassica rotations also reduced common scab, silver scurf, and black scurf at various sites, but not consistently at all sites. At one site, mustard blend and barley/ryegrass rotations reduced black scurf (by 21–58%) and common scab (by 13–34%) relative to no rotation. Overall, disease control was not correlated with biofumigation potential or rotation crop biomass production. Although both Brassica and non-Brassica rotations provided disease reduction in potato cropping systems, no single rotation crop performed consistently better than several others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Plant Pathology and Prevention)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Effect of Light Intensity and Temperature on Flowering and Morphology of Potted Red Firespike
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040036
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 20 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
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Abstract
Red firespike (Odontonema strictum) is a tropical flowering plant that was selected as a potential flowering potted plant for its attractive red floral spikes. The objective of this study was to evaluate how light intensity, photoperiod, and temperature affect the growth
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Red firespike (Odontonema strictum) is a tropical flowering plant that was selected as a potential flowering potted plant for its attractive red floral spikes. The objective of this study was to evaluate how light intensity, photoperiod, and temperature affect the growth and flowering of firespike. In Experiment 1, plants were grown under 0%, 45%, or 65% shade and two photoperiod conditions; long-day (LD = ≥14 h) and short-day (SD = 9 h), for 16 weeks. Plants grown under 45% shade + LD were tallest at 35.9 cm, while plants grown under 65% shade + SD were shortest at 22.8 cm. During the finishing stage, the number of inflorescences increased when plants were grown under 45% shade + SD, 45% shade + LD, and no shade, with 6, 7, and 9 inflorescences, respectively. In addition, the first open flower was observed in the 0% shade group (control) 92 days after starting the experiment. The time to first open flower increased when the plants were grown under 65% shade, either under SD or LD. In Experiment 2, plants were grown in controlled environment growth chambers with average daily temperatures of 15, 25, or 35 °C and an irradiance of 200 µmol·m−2·s−1 for 9 h per day. Plants grown at 25 °C were the tallest and had the largest leaf area. Plants grown at 15 and 35 °C had 28% and 22% less leaf area, respectively. The average number of inflorescences in plants grown at 25 °C was 1.6, while no inflorescence development was observed in plants grown at 15 or 35 °C by the termination of the experiment. There were no differences between plant growth index or branch number in response to temperature. Under the experimental conditions tested, the most rapid and uniform flowering of firespike occurred when plants were grown under no shade or at 25 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Light Management for Ornamental Plants)
Open AccessArticle Growth Responses and Root Characteristics of Lettuce Grown in Aeroponics, Hydroponics, and Substrate Culture
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040035
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 24 October 2018
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Abstract
Aeroponics is a relatively new soilless culture technology which may produce food in space-limited cities or on non-arable land with high water-use efficiency. The shoot and root growth, root characteristics, and mineral content of two lettuce cultivars were measured in aeroponics, and compared
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Aeroponics is a relatively new soilless culture technology which may produce food in space-limited cities or on non-arable land with high water-use efficiency. The shoot and root growth, root characteristics, and mineral content of two lettuce cultivars were measured in aeroponics, and compared with hydroponics and substrate culture. The results showed that aeroponics remarkably improved root growth with a significantly greater root biomass, root/shoot ratio, and greater total root length, root area, and root volume. However, the greater root growth did not lead to greater shoot growth compared with hydroponics, due to the limited availability of nutrients and water. It was concluded that aeroponics systems may be better for high value true root crop production. Further research is necessary to determine the suitable pressure, droplet size, and misting interval in order to improve the continuous availability of nutrients and water in aeroponics, if it is to be used to grow crops such as lettuce for harvesting above-ground parts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing the Export Performance of the Horticultural Sub-Sector in Ethiopia: ARDL Bound Test Cointegration Analysis
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040034
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 7 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
High dependency on traditional primary agricultural commodities and recurrent world market price fluctuations had exposed Ethiopia to foreign earnings instability. To reduce the high dependence on primary agricultural commodities and the associated vulnerability of negative price declines, diversification of trade from primary agricultural
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High dependency on traditional primary agricultural commodities and recurrent world market price fluctuations had exposed Ethiopia to foreign earnings instability. To reduce the high dependence on primary agricultural commodities and the associated vulnerability of negative price declines, diversification of trade from primary agricultural commodities into high-value horticultural commodities has attracted the attention of policy makers. The developments made in this area have brought the sector to the position of fifth largest foreign revenue generator for the country. However, given the comparative advantage in marketing and the potential to achieve trade gains that the country possesses, the benefit from the horticultural sub-sector is far below its potential. In this regard, knowledge of the determinants of the industry’s development is very important. So far, no attempt was made to examine factors influencing the export performance of the sector, taking the long period performance of the sector into consideration. Consequently, this study was proposed to examine the factors that have influenced the horticultural export performance of Ethiopia for the period from 1985–2016. Secondary data collected from National Bank of Ethiopia, Ethiopia Horticulture Producer Exporter Association, Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia, FAOSTAT, UNCTAD, and the World Bank were used in this study. The short-run and long-run relationships among the series were investigated using the autoregressive-distributed lag (ARDL) bound test cointegration approach. The model result of the Error Correction Model (ECM (-1)) was revealed as negative and significant, whereby it confirmed the existence of cointegration among the series. Its coefficient value was 0.472, which showed 47% of the adjustment will be made in the first year and it will return to its long-run equilibrium after 2.12 years. The model results also showed that the real effective exchange rate, the real GDP of Ethiopia, foreign direct investment (FDI), prices, and the structural break had significantly influenced the horticultural export performance both in the short-run and the long-run. Foreign GDP and real interest rates were revealed significant only in the long-run. Finally, important policy measures deemed to improve the horticultural export performance of Ethiopia were recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing Strategies of Horticultural Production Chain)
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Open AccessCommunication Aerated Irrigation and Pruning Residue Biochar on N2O Emission, Yield and Ion Uptake of Komatsuna
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040033
Received: 2 September 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
After irrigation in intensive vegetable cultivation, the soil is filled with water leading to reduced oxygen content of the soil air which will affect vegetable growth and soil N2O emission. In this study, the effect of aerated irrigation and residue biochar
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After irrigation in intensive vegetable cultivation, the soil is filled with water leading to reduced oxygen content of the soil air which will affect vegetable growth and soil N2O emission. In this study, the effect of aerated irrigation and residue biochar on soil N2O emission, yield, and ion uptake of komatsuna grown in Andosol was explored. The experiment included four treatments; control (tap water irrigation), aerated water irrigation, pruning residue biochar with tap water irrigation, and a combination of aerated irrigation and biochar. The results showed that aerated irrigation had no effect on plant growth, but it also increased N2O emission by 12.3% for several days after planting. Plant ion uptake was not affected by aerated irrigation. Biochar amendment increased shoot dry weight and significantly reduced soil N2O emission by 27.9% compared with the control. Plant uptake of N and K also increased with biochar. This study showed that pruning residue biochar has the potential to mitigate N2O emission while increasing vegetable growth and plant nutrient uptake. However, the study soil, Andosol, already has high soil porosity with low bulk density. Thus, further injection of air through irrigation showed no effect on plant growth but increased N2O emission, hence soil aeration was not a limiting factor in Andosol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management of Horticultural Crops)
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Open AccessArticle Trends in the Use of New-Media Marketing in U.S. Ornamental Horticulture Industries
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040032
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 9 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 13 October 2018
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Abstract
Ornamental horticulture businesses in the United States (U.S.) face challenges to stay economically viable, particularly in rural areas. Marketing with new-media tools (e.g., websites, HTML newsletters, social media, and blogs) has the potential to increase sales over traditional methods of advertising. A survey
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Ornamental horticulture businesses in the United States (U.S.) face challenges to stay economically viable, particularly in rural areas. Marketing with new-media tools (e.g., websites, HTML newsletters, social media, and blogs) has the potential to increase sales over traditional methods of advertising. A survey was conducted to gauge the extent of the use of new-media marketing by ornamental horticulture businesses across the U.S. Responses from 161 businesses showed that marketing practices varied widely across business size in terms of expenses and the labor hours allocated. A majority of the sample (89%) were involved in new-media marketing, and all new-media users made use of at least one new-media tool. Facebook was used by more than 90% of new-media users, followed by the business’ own website, which was used by 82% of respondents. Respondents’ perception of how various new-media marketing tools affected sales followed the extent of use, in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing Strategies of Horticultural Production Chain)
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Open AccessCommunication Chitosan and Carnauba Wax Coatings Are Not Recommended for Yellow Carrots
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040031
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 2 October 2018 / Accepted: 6 October 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of different concentrations of carnauba wax and chitosan edible coatings for commercial quality preservation of ‘Yellow Stone’ carrots. Seven treatments were tested: Chitosan at concentrations of 1%, 3%, and 5%; carnauba wax at
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of different concentrations of carnauba wax and chitosan edible coatings for commercial quality preservation of ‘Yellow Stone’ carrots. Seven treatments were tested: Chitosan at concentrations of 1%, 3%, and 5%; carnauba wax at concentrations of 0.5%, 1%, and 12%, and a control treatment, without coating application. Carrots were stored at 2 °C, 95–100% RH, for 30 days, and were evaluated on the day of application (day 0) and at 7, 15, and 30 days. Indices of brown stains, coloring, and light microscopy analysis were developed. The use of edible coatings for yellow carrots was not viable, regardless of the treatment used, and carnauba waxes caused more severe brown stains. Higher concentrations of carnauba wax caused damage of the carrot periderm, generating, in addition to the stains, deep depressions and superficial viscosity. Only the control treatment showed no degradation in appearance. Treatments with the highest index scores presented lower luminosity, lower b color values, and higher a color values, which showed that the brown stains impacted carrot appearance and, therefore, their visual quality. The results showed that coatings based on chitosan and carnauba wax are not recommended for yellow carrots, since they negatively affected appearance of the product, leaving them unmarketable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Disease Development: Pre and/or Postharvest Practices)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Developmental Variation in Fruit Polyphenol Content and Related Gene Expression of a Red-Fruited versus a White-Fruited Fragaria vesca Genotype
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040030
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
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Abstract
Two cultivars of F. vesca, red-fruited Baron Solemacher (BS) and white-fruited Pineapple Crush (PC), were studied to compare and contrast the quantitative accumulation of major polyphenols and related biosynthetic pathway gene expression patterns during fruit development and ripening. Developing PC fruit showed
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Two cultivars of F. vesca, red-fruited Baron Solemacher (BS) and white-fruited Pineapple Crush (PC), were studied to compare and contrast the quantitative accumulation of major polyphenols and related biosynthetic pathway gene expression patterns during fruit development and ripening. Developing PC fruit showed higher levels of hydroxycinnamic acids in green stages and a greater accumulation of ellagitannins in ripe fruit in comparison to BS. In addition to anthocyanin, red BS fruit had greater levels of flavan-3-ols when ripe than PC. Expression patterns of key structural genes and transcription factors of the phenylpropanoid/flavonoid biosynthetic pathway, an abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthetic gene, and a putative ABA receptor gene that may regulate the pathway, were also analyzed during fruit development and ripening to determine which genes exhibited differences in expression and when such differences were first evident. Expression of all pathway genes differed between the red BS and white PC at one or more times during development, most notably at ripening when phenylalanine ammonia lyase 1 (PAL1), chalcone synthase (CHS), flavanone-3′-hydroxylase (F3′H), dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR), anthocyanidin synthase (ANS), and UDP:flavonoid-O-glucosyltransferase 1 (UFGT1) were significantly upregulated in the red BS fruit. The transcription factors MYB1 and MYB10 did not differ substantially between red and white fruit except at ripening, when both the putative repressor MYB1 and promoter MYB10 were upregulated in red BS but not white PC fruit. The expression of ABA-related gene 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase 1 (NCED1) was higher in red BS fruit but only in the early green stages of development. Thus, a multigenic effect at several points in the phenylpropanoid/flavonoid biosynthetic pathway due to lack of MYB10 upregulation may have resulted in white PC fruit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular, Genetic and Physiological Control of Fruit Quality)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Different Sulfur Dioxide Pads on Botrytis Mold in ‘Italia’ Table Grapes under Cold Storage
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040029
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
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Abstract
‘Italia’ grape is one of the most important table grape cultivars grown worldwide. Gray mold, caused by Botrytis cinerea Pers. Fr., is one of the most important causes of postharvest decay of table grapes, and the control of this disease is very difficult
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‘Italia’ grape is one of the most important table grape cultivars grown worldwide. Gray mold, caused by Botrytis cinerea Pers. Fr., is one of the most important causes of postharvest decay of table grapes, and the control of this disease is very difficult because postharvest treatments with synthetic fungicides are not allowed in many countries. The objective of this study was to compare different types of pads releasing different doses of SO2 during cold storage to control gray mold in ‘Italia’ table grapes grown under subtropical conditions. Grape bunches were harvested from a commercial field trained on an overhead trellis located at Cambira, state of Parana (PR), South Brazil. The grapes were packed into carton boxes (capacity, 4.5 kg) and subjected to the following SO2 pad treatments (Uvasys®, Cape Town, South Africa) under cold storage (1.0 ± 1 °C) for 50 days: (i) Control; (ii) SO2 slow release pad; (iii) SO2 dual release pad; (iv) SO2 dual release–fast reduced pad; (v) SO2 slow release pad with grapes inoculated with B. cinerea suspension; (vi) SO2 dual release pad with grapes inoculated with B. cinerea suspension; and (vii) SO2 dual release-fast reduced pad with grapes inoculated with B. cinerea suspension. After cold storage, the grape boxes were maintained for 7 days at room temperature (25 °C). The incidence of gray mold on the grapes, firmness, shattered berries, stem browning, as well as other physicochemical variables, such as bunch mass, bunch mass loss, skin color, soluble solids (SS), titratable acidity (TA) and SS/TA were evaluated. Both SO2 dual release pads were highly efficient in preventing the incidence of gray mold in ‘Italia’ grapes packed in clamshells during the 50-day period of cold storage and at room temperature, even with Botrytis-inoculated berries. The SO2 slow release pad showed lower efficiency, but was higher than the control. The SO2 dual release pad treatments provided the best results with respect to stem browning scores (fresh and green stems) during cold storage, and no differences were observed among the treatments with respect to the other physicochemical evaluations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Plant Pathology and Prevention)
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Open AccessEditorial Plant Production in Controlled Environments
Horticulturae 2018, 4(4), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae4040028
Received: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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Abstract
Crop production in open fields is increasingly limited by weather extremes and water shortages, in addition to pests and soil-borne diseases. In order to increase crop yield, quality, and productivity, controlled environment agriculture (CEA) can play an important role as an alternative and
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Crop production in open fields is increasingly limited by weather extremes and water shortages, in addition to pests and soil-borne diseases. In order to increase crop yield, quality, and productivity, controlled environment agriculture (CEA) can play an important role as an alternative and supplemental production system to conventional open field production. CEA is any agricultural technology that enables growers to manipulate the growing environment for improved yield and quality. CEA production systems include high tunnels, greenhouses, and indoor vertical farming, as well as hydroponics and aquaponics. Currently, ‘low-tech’ CEA techniques such as high tunnels (plastic greenhouses with minimum or no cooling and heating) are primarily utilized in developing countries where labor costs are relatively low, and China has by far the largest area covered by high tunnels or ‘Chinese-style’ solar greenhouses. The most control-intensive ‘high-tech’ CEA approach, namely indoor vertical farming, has gained tremendous attention in the past decade by researchers and entrepreneurs around the world, owing to advancements in lighting technology, including use of light emitting diodes (LEDs), and increasing urbanization with new market opportunities. This special issue covers some of the CEA topics such as LED lighting, substrate, and hydroponics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Production in Controlled Environment)
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