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Prasann Kumar, Biswapati Mandal and Padmanabh Dwivedi

Department of Plant Physiology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, India. department of Soil Science and Agriculture Chemistry, BCKV, West Bengal, India.

Key words: Bougainvillea glabra, Croton spp., Toona ciliata, Quisqualis indica, Albizia lebbeck, Ficus benjamina Variegata, hyper-accumulation, heavy metals, phytoremediation, sewage treatment plants, sewage, sludge, scavenging capacity, woody plants.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 2, pages 144-146.

Abstract: The recent developments to identify or evolve high biomass crop plants having capabilities to accumulate heavy metals suggest that phytoremediation of metal contaminated soil can be a viable alternative to most conventional clean up technology. Comparative study of heavy metals concentration in the roots, shoots and leaves of different woody plants species e.g. Bougainvillea glabra, Croton spp, Quisqualis indica, Ficus benjamina Variegata, Toona ciliata, and Siris (Albizia lebbeck) indicated their high heavy metals scavenging capacity. For studying the heavy metal content of sewage sludge and plant species, solid sludge and plants were collected from seven Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) viz., Howrah, Garulia, Bhatpara, Nabadwip, Srirampur, Kona, Chandannager, and from the Periurban areas viz., Nadia/Chakdaha/Ektapur (N/C/E), Pumlia (N/C/P), Sikarpur (N/C/S), Tatla (N/C/T). Sludge samples were taken from heaps at various places in the pile of each plant, using an auger. Around 6-10 individual samples were mixed together and pooled sample were used for analysis. The concentration of Cd, Pb, Cr, and Ni in the roots of plants at STP ranged from 0.805 to 1.03, 9.24 to 32.6, 10.62 to 15.56, and <0.05 mg kg-1, respectively. Whereas, Cd, Pb, Cr, and Ni content in the shoots of plants at STPs ranged from 1.55 to 1.7, 9.27 to 22.6, 5.35 to 11.03, and <0.05 mg kg-1, respectively. In the leaves, Cd, Pb, Cr, and Ni content ranged from 1.76 to 3.58, 9.1 to 22.76, 8.76 to12.02, and <0.05 mg kg-1, respectively. Therefore, above mentioned plant species can be selected for scavenging heavy metals from soils and sludges.
Dilip Kumar Mishra and L.P. Yadava

K.V.K., Kasturbagram, Indore, M.P. -452020, Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture, Lucknow-227107, India.

Key words: Paclobutrazol, China aster, Callistephus chinensis (L.) Nees, flower quality, yield

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 2, pages 147-149.

Abstract: The effects of method of application and concentration of paclobutrazol on flower stalk length, flower size, flower longevity and yield of China aster were studied. Thiry five days old seedlings of China aster cv. Poornima were treated with paclobutrazol @ 0, 25, 50, 100 and 200 ppm through root dip, soil drench and foliar spray methods. Length of flower stalk and flower size significantly decreased with increased concentrations of paclobutrazol except in case of flower size when applied as foliar spray. Contrarily, flower longevity not influenced adversely with increased concentration of paclobutrazol, whether applied as root dip or soil drench or foliar spray. In each application method, flower yield was significantly higher at 25 ppm paclobutrazol. However, drench application of paclobutrazol was consistently more effective than foliar or root dip treatments with regard to length of flower stalk. Among the different levels and methods of paclobutrazol application, plants treated with 25 ppm as foliar spray proved to be superior over control and rest of the treatment combinations by increasing flower diameter and yield of cut flower as compared to control.
A.A. Waman, B.N. Sathyanarayana , K. Umesha, Balakrishna Gowda, T.H. Ashok, M. Rajesh and R.G. Guruprakash

Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory, Department of Horticulture, Department of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Department of Plant Biotechnology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bengaluru-560 065, Karnataka, India.

Key words: Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, In vitro, low cost options, medicinal plant, plant growth regulators, Withania somnifera

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 2, pages 150-153.

Abstract: Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal., one of the 32 prioritized medicinal plants of India, is well known for its importance in the Ayurveda system of medicine. Attempt was made to establish an efficient plant regeneration protocol for a commercial cultivar 'Poshita' and to acclimatize the plantlets ex vitro, so as to reduce the cost. Results revealed that shoot induction was possible only after an intervening callus phase, irrespective of the concentration of growth regulators present in the nutrient pool. Nodal explant cultured on MS media supplemented with 1 mg L-1 BAP + 0.5 mg L-1 NAA showed superiority in callus induction capacity over epicotyls and leaves. Nodal segments when cultured on a media containing BAP alone could induce shoots in cent per cent explants. Highest number of shoots (5.8) was obtained in media containing 2 mg L-1 BAP. Number of adventitious buds was found to be maximum (13) with epicotyl explant and 1 mg L-1 BAP combination. Nodal explants cultured on high concentration of BAP (4 mg L-1) showed highest incidence of malformed shoots (4.3). A total of 66.7 % plantlets could root and establish ex vitro even without auxin treatment and survival rate increased (87.5%) with increase in IBA concentration to 500 mg L-1. The present protocol can be exploited on a commercial scale to obtain maximum benefits from the improved cultivar. Furthermore, ex vitro hardening can help to reduce the cost of production and thereby make the tissue culture industry more profitable.
B. Anita, N. Selvaraj and R.M. Vijayakumar

Horticultural Research Station, Ooty, Nilgiris-643001, India.

Key words: Gerbera, Meloidogyne hapla, biofumigation, mustard, biocontrol agents

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 2, pages 154-156.

Abstract: Protected cultivation is an emerging technology in Nilgiris for raising cut flower crops. Due to controlled environmental condition and continuous growing of crops, the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne hapla has emerged as a major problem in gerbera cultivation causing enormous yield loss. The damage progressively increases if proper sanitation control measures are not followed during the polyhouse cultivation. In the absence of Methyl Bromide, it is necessary to use other options. Biofumigation was evaluated to control soil borne nematode parasites with the aim to develop bio-pesticides, which could be effective against root knot nematodes without deteriorating soil environment. Two field trials were conducted to study the effect of combined use of biofumigants and bioagents on the nematode population. Mustard crop was ploughed in situ before flowering and covered with a plastic mulch for one month in polyhouses. The biocontrol agents viz., Pseudomonasfluorescens and Trichoderma viride were tried either alone or in combination with biofumigation. The stem length, flower yield and nematode population in soil were recorded. The study conducted at two different locations indicated that biofumigation with mustard followed by soil application of P. fluorescens @1.25 kg/ha at the time of planting significantly suppressed the population of M. hapla in soil by 67.5 to 67.8% and enhanced the flower yield of gerbera by 41 to 44%.
K. Umesha, G.R. Smitha, B.S. Sreeramu and A.A. Waman

Department of Horticulture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Gandhi Krishi Vignan Kendra, Bengaluru-560065, Karnataka, India. Directorate of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research, Boriavi, Anand-387 310, Gujarat, India

Key words: Bio-fertilizers, glycoside content, green manures, organic manures, quality, stevia, yield.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 2, pages 157-162.

Abstract: The influence of different organic manures, bio-fertilizers and green manures on growth, yield and glycoside content of stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) was studied over a period of three years (2004-2007). Various organic supplements viz., farm yard manure (15 and 25 t ha-1), vermicompost (1 and 2 t ha-1), neem cake (0.5 and 1 t ha-1) and bio-fertilizers viz., Azospirillum, phosphorus solubilizing bacteria and VAM (each @ 0 and 10 kg ha-1) were applied. The results of eleven harvests revealed that all the growth parameters viz., plant height, number of branches and plant spread were influenced by various organics and bio-fertilizers and showed variation from season to season (harvest to harvest) and plants responses did not followed a definite trend. Dry leaf yield during first (6.16 t ha-1) and second year (4.34 t ha-1) of cropping was maximum with the treatment receiving FYM (25 t ha-1) + vermicompost (2 t ha-1) + neem cake (1 t ha-1) + bio-fertilizers (10 kg ha-1) and differed significantly. However, in third year of cropping the treatments had no significant influence on the dry leaf yield. Both the glycosides i.e., stevioside (7.8 %) and rebaudioside content (3.4 %), and glycoside yield were also highest in the above said treatment.
T Tworkoski, M. Wisniewski and T Artlip

USDA-ARS, 2217 Wiltshire Road., Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV25430, USA.

Key words: Abscisic acid, P-aminobutyric acid, dehydration, gas exchange, priming, water potential, Malus domestica

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 2, pages 85-90.

Abstract: Limited fresh water is a global problem that adversely affects crops, including young apple (Malus x domestica) trees. Innovative technologies will be needed to ensure tree survival and productivity. Recently, selected chemicals have been used to prepare plants for avoidance and recovery from water stress by a process termed priming. Two priming compounds, abscisic acid (ABA) and DL-P-aminobutyric acid (BABA) have been shown to confer plant protection against a range of biotic and abiotic stresses. Our objective was to determine the resistance to and recovery from dehydration of apple seedlings treated with s-ABA and BABA. Three greenhouse experiments were conducted in which combinations of s-ABA and BABA were applied as a root drench to one-year-old 'Royal Gala' apple trees and responses to dehydration were evaluated. Changes in leaf water potential (v|/w), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration (E), leaf ABA and growth were measured during dehydration and rehydration. In two experiments, pretreatment with BABA reduced early morning E but BABA was not as effective as s-ABA in delaying dehydration-induced wilt of shoot tips. In another experiment during the second week without water both BABA- and s-ABA-treated trees had 42 to 62% higher leaf Y|/w, respectively, and 45% lower leaf ABA than unwatered controls. Higher leaf Y|/w was not consistently associated with reduced gs and E suggesting that mechanisms other than increased stomatal resistance may provide drought resistance. Compared with control trees, there was nearly 80% more shoot growth following rewatering after dehydration in trees that were primed with BABA and s-ABA (1.0 mM each). Leaf senescence was more evident in s-ABA- than BABA-treated trees and, although growth resumed after dehydration, the amount of growth varied with concentration of the priming treatments. Both individual compounds provided dehydration protection to young apple trees but in combination they were not clearly superior to either compound alone.
Simon J. van Donk, Dale T Lindgren, Daniel M. Schaaf, James L. Petersen and David D. Tarkalson

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, West Central Research and Extension Center, 402 West State Farm Road, North Platte, NE 69101-7751, USA.

Key words: Wood chips, mulch thickness, 'Husker Red', Penstemon, soil water, soil temperature, weeds, neutron probe

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 2, pages 91-95.

Abstract: Wood chip mulches are used in landscapes to reduce soil water evaporation and competition from weeds. A study was conducted over a three-year period to determine soil water content at various depths under four wood chip mulch treatments and to evaluate the effects of wood chip thickness on growth of 'Husker Red' Penstemon digitalis Nutt. plants. The effects of four wood chip thicknesses (depth of application: 0, 2.5, 5, and 10 cm) on soil water content, weed numbers, soil temperature, and height, width, stalk number, and first flower date of 'Husker Red' Penstemon were investigated. The addition of mulch, at all mulch thicknesses, conserved soil water compared to when no mulch was used. The differences in soil water content likely influenced some of the plant growth factors measured. Weed numbers were significantly higher at 0 and 2.5 cm mulch thickness compared to 5 and 10 cm thickness. In general, mid-day soil temperatures were highest at the shallower soil depths in the unmulched plots. Flowering plants in 2008 in the unmulched treatment were slightly shorter than in the mulched treatments. There were no significant differences in the number of flower stalks per plant although there was a trend for a lower number of stalks with the mulched treatment. The time of first flower was, on an average, about 2 days earlier for the unmulched treatment compared to the 10 cm mulch thickness. Wood chip mulch helped conserve soil water, which in turn had some effects on plant growth.
Esmaeil Fallahi

University of Idaho, Parma Research and Extension Center, 29603. U of I Lane, Parma, ID-83660, USA.

Key words: Cold region table grapes, cultivar evaluation, grape genotype, grape adaptability, high desert table grape. Intermountain West region

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 2, pages 96-100.

Abstract: Long-term adaptability and feasibility of table grape production under the high desert conditions of southwest Idaho in the Intermountain West region of the United States were studied systematically in two phases. In the first phase, 'Alborz', 'Challenger', 'Italia', 'Emerald', 'Red Globe', 'Delight', 'Fantasy', 'Flame' and 'Fresno' (all Vitis vinifera L.) and NY36095, NY47616, 'Glenora', 'Reliance', 'Vanessa', 'Saturn', 'Jupiter' (hybrids of Vitis labrusca) had overall better berry quality and consumer preference than other tested grapes. In the second phase, 'Ralli' (also called 'Anahita' in the Intermountain West), 'Kashishi', and 'Autumn Royal' had excellent berry size and quality. 'Anahita' was harvested between Sept 1 and Sep 30. Both 'Kashishi' and 'Autumn Royal' were late-season grapes and matured between Sept 15 and Oct 15. 'Princess' was harvested between Sept 5 and Sept 30. This grape had outstanding flavour but the fruit set was low and clusters were small (268 g). 'Alborz' was harvested between Sept 1 and Sept 30, and with proper thinning, this cultivar had outstanding clusters and berries. Considering all viticultural and quality attributes, we recommend 'Alborz' as a potentially successful table grape for planting in small or large commercial scales under conditions of this study.
Lydia L.M. KitongaMwanza, John Swiader and Richard M.S. Mulwa

Egerton University, Department of Environmental Science, P. O. Box 536, Egerton, Kenya. Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana IL 61801. Egerton University, Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, P

Key words: Sweet corn, SPAD-chlorophyll, N-fertilizer, silking

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 1, pages 13-17.

Abstract: This study was conducted over two growing seasons to evaluate the potential use of the Minolta SPAD-502 chlorophyll meter for rapid onsite determination of plant N status in a drip-fertigated nitrogen cropping regime of sweet corn. Four N fertilizer rates (0, 84, 168, and 336 kg N ha-1) were applied to two sweet corn cultivars ('Kandy Plus' and 'Sugar Ace') in a factorial split-plot design. Leaf SPAD and leaf total N concentration were measured at 4 different growth stages (seventh leaf stage (V7), tenth leaf stage V10), silking (R1) and milking (R3) in season one and three sampling stages (V6, V10 and R1) in 2002. In season two, leaf N concentrations and leaf 'SPAD chlorophyll' measurements increased early in the season up to silking (R1 growth stage) and declined thereafter. Leaf N concentrations and leaf SPAD readings were positively correlated. Critical SPAD values (readings associated with the lowest N fertilizer rate and providing the highest marketable ear yield) were estimated as 52.8, 52.1 and 59.0 at V7, V10 and R1 in season one; in season two the values were 51.0, 49, and 56.5 receptively. Regressing N rate on yield placed maximum ear yields at 13.8 tons ha-1 with 174.8 kg N ha-1 in season one and 9.7 tons ha-1 with 306.2 kg ha-1 in season two. Increase in leaf SPAD readings at silking reflects a strong sink/source relationship among leaves for absorbed N. The positive relationship between leaf SPAD readings and leaf N status is due to the responsiveness of SPAD-chlorophyll to N fertilizer application. These results indicate that the SPAD meter can be used effectively to assess sweet corn N status early in the season, and at this time it is possible to correct any N deficiencies that might compromise yields.
Firdose Kolar, Nilesh Pawar and Ghansham Dixit

Laboratory of Cytogenetics and Plant Breeding, Department of Botany, Shivaji University, Kolhapur - 416 004.

Key words: D. malabaricum, mutagens: EMS, SA, gamma rays, chlorophyll mutants

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 1, pages 18-24.

Abstract: The phenotypic response of Delphinium malabaricum to chemical mutagens (EMS and SA) and physical mutagen (gamma rays) were studied. It was observed that D. malabaricum manifested specific reactions to the treatments with EMS, SA and gamma rays. Different mutation frequencies and width of mutation spectra were induced under the action of different concentrations of the applied mutagens. Eleven different types of chlorophyll mutants namely albina, albina-green, xantha, aurea, chlorina, viridis, yellow viridis, tigrina, striata, maculata and variegated type were identified in the treated populations and chlorophyll mutation frequency was calculated on plant population basis. Frequency of viridis mutants were highest followed by xantha and other types in all the treatments. The treatments of EMS were found to be more efficient than SA and gamma rays in inducing chlorophyll mutations. The highest frequency of chlorophyll mutations (9.74%) was reported in the 0.25% EMS. Quantitative estimation of chlorophyll pigments was also done in different kinds of chlorophyll mutants and chlorophyll content was found in the following decreasing order: chlorina > maculata> variegated> striata> tigrina> viridis> yellow viridis> albina green> aurea> xantha > albina. The study of induced genetic variability for frequency and spectrum of chlorophyll mutations is the first report in D. malabaricum.
Josef Bukac

Bulharska 298, 5102 Jaromer-Josefov, Czech Republic.

Key words: Walnut, nut size, powered nutcracker

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 1, pages 25-26.

Abstract: A powered walnut cracker is a device that does its job with a minimum of human effort. We offer a design consisting of an adjustable upper board, the lower board is replaced by chains or belts on which the nut is placed. The walnut moves, it touches the upper board and rotates while being cracked. The use of inexpensive bicycle parts is the advantage of this approach.
N. Kameswara Rao and Mohammed Shahid

International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, P.O. Box 14660, Dubai, UAE.

Key words: Arabian Peninsula, Asparagus officinalis, crop diversification, desert environment, vegetables

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 1, pages 27-29.

Abstract: The performance of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) under the desert conditions of the Arabian Peninsula was evaluated. Ten cultivars introduced from six countries were studied. Two months old seedlings were transplanted into field plots in February 2007 and spears produced in the second year were harvested over a period of four weeks. Significant differences were found among cultivars for the number and quality of spears. The average number of spears harvested per plant varied between 5.0 and 26.4 and the spear yield between 36.3 and 159.2 g plant-1. The spear number and yield were highest in cultivar PI 277824. Seed yields from the first year of harvest varied from 29.7 to 136.2 g plant-1 among cultivars. In many cultivars, spear yields obtained in the second year were comparable to the yields reported from the productive environments in the tropics. The results show that asparagus has considerable potential for cultivation under the desert conditions of the Arabian Peninsula.
M. Manamohan, M.N. Prakash, G. Sharath Chandra, R. Asokan and S.N. Nagesha)

Corresponding author : Division of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Hesaraghatta Lake PO. Bangalore-560089, Karnataka, India.

Key words: Agrobacterium mediated transformation, tomato transformation, hypocotyls, regeneration, transgenic tomato.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 1, pages 3-7.

Abstract: Transformation of tomato with heterologous genes requires rapid and efficient transformation protocols. Agrobacterium mediated transformation protocol of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cv. 'Arka Vikas' using dreb1A gene under Rd29A promoter in pCAMBIA 2301 binary vector was optimized by varying parameters such as type of explant, type and concentrations of hormones. Hypocotyls were found to be the best explants for shoot regeneration in tomato compared to cotyledons with 53.2 and 22.8% shoot regeneration, respectively. In the shoot regeneration medium, 0.1 mgL4 IBA as a source of auxin gave nearly 50% higher shoot regeneration than IAA at similar concentration. With this protocol it was possible to obtain transformed plants within a period of 77 days with a high regeneration and transformation efficiency (34%) compared to over 120 days using earlier published protocols. The T1 generation plants segregated in a 3:1 ratio for the transgene and Southern blot analysis of the selected plants had shown the transgene integration was at a single locus. With this method it is possible to rapidly and efficiently generate transgenic tomato plants.
T.S. Rahi and Bajrang Singh

National Botanical Research Institute, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow, U.P., India.

Key words: Chrysanthemum morifolium, 'Jayanti', 'Flirt', nutrient concentration, nutrient uptake, salinity levels

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 1, pages 30-36.

Abstract: The scarcity of fertile land for growing ornamental crops has received attention on the utilization of salt affected soils for floriculture. Two cultivars of Chrysanthemum morifolium viz. 'Flirt' and 'Jayanti' were evaluated under three salinity levels (EC 4, 6 and 8 dS/m) of irrigation water along with control (irrigating with non-saline water). The experiment consisting of eight treatments with three replications was conducted in earthen pots with randomized block design. The pots were filled with sandy loam soil and 20 days old rooted cuttings were planted @ three cuttings per pot. The growth parameters viz., plant height, number of buds and flowers per plant; fresh and dry weight as well as chlorophyll content increased significantly with increasing salinity levels. 'Jayanti' appeared to be more salt tolerant in comparison to 'Flirt' in their floral morphology as well as in productivity. Nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were reduced in plants as salinity increased. There was a relatively high N concentration in 'Flirt' cultivar. The concentration of other nutrients such as potassium, calcium and magnesium increased significantly with increasing salinity levels. This increase in nutritional uptake did not show any detrimental effect of Na toxicity in the salinized plants. As a result, nutrient use efficiency of nitrogen and phosphorus was enhanced with increasing salinity levels. Growth and flower yield both indicated that C. morifolium which is a plant of halophytic origin can be raised successfully as an ornamental cash crop in moderate saline environment, particularly 'Jayanti' cultivar. However, its critical limit to higher salinity tolerance is yet to be worked out.
Sunila Kumari, J.R. Desai and R.R. Shah

Department of Floriculture and Landscaping, ASPEE College of Horticulture and Forestry, Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari - 396 450. Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture, Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur-492 006, India.

Key words: 6-Benzyl amino purine, adenine, Anthurium andraeanum Hort., callus , callus index, in vitro regeneration, kinetin, leaf explant, micropropagation, photoperiod, shoot regeneration, thiazuron

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2011, volume 13, issue 1, pages 37-41.

Abstract: Plant regeneration of Anthurium andraeanum cultivars 'Pumasillo' and 'Corallis' has been achieved through adventitious shoots formation from callus. Young brown leaf lamina was used as explants for indirect organogenesis. These were disinfected using sodium hypochlorite (5%), ethanol (70 %) and HgCl2 (0.1%). The results showed that both the varieties responded differently to callus induction, callus proliferation and shoot initiation treatments. In 'Corallis', the maximum number of cultures initiated callus on Nitsch medium supplemented with 5 mgL-1 adenine and 2 mgL-1 BAP while in Pumasillo, maximum number of cultures initiated callus on modified MS medium supplemented with 5 mgL-1 adenine and 3 mgL-1 BAP. Maximum shoot regeneration was observed on modified MS supplemented with 0.01 mgL-1 TDZ in both the cultivars. Rooting medium was (modified half-strength MS salts) supplemented with 0.5 mgL-1 IBA and 0.04% active charcoals. The callusing frequency of 'Pumasillo' was higher as compared to 'Corallis'. Rooted plantlets were succesfully acclimatized in polythene covered plastic trays containing cocopeat. Later on the hardened plantlets were successfully transplanted to commercial potting medium (1:1:1:1 cocopeat: rice husk: sand: FYM ) and were transferred to poly house with survival rate of ninety per cent.

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