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American Society for Horticultural Science

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New Study Informs Blueberry Flavor Selection

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Changes in volatile compounds, eating quality of berries correlated

New Study Informs Blueberry Flavor SelectionScientists measured characteristics associated with the blueberry eating experience by comparing the volatile profiles of five southern highbush blueberry cultivars using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Four stages of each cultivar were harvested for analysis: green, breaker, red, and blue. Results showed that soluble solids content and volatile production tended to increase with fruit maturity, whereas titratable acidity decreased. All volatile components were more variable than measures of sugars and acids during the harvest season.

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Defining the Iconic Flower

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Study of consumer preferences finds fragrance is key

The IdeaMap® software suite and the concept of Mind Genomics® were applied to analyze which features of flower products influence consumer perception. Researchers created a database to define how individuals perceive distinct components of an overall flower product. Results showed that the highest and lowest interest values were for elements in the "flower fragrance" category, indicating that fragrance is important with respect to consumer satisfaction.

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Ornamental Chile Peppers Tested for Salt Tolerance

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'NuMex Cinco de Mayo', 'NuMex Thanksgiving' most tolerant in experiments with saline irrigation water

Horticulturists studied the relative salt tolerance of 10 cultivars of ornamental chile peppers by irrigating mature plants with saline solutions and germinating seeds in saline substrate in a greenhouse. Experiments showed that 'NuMex Cinco de Mayo' and 'NuMex Thanksgiving' were the most tolerant of the cultivars in study, while 'NuMex Christmas' and 'NuMex Memorial Day' were the least salt-tolerant varieties. The eight other varieties tested were determined to be moderately salt tolerant.

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Soil Still Stable after Eight Years Under High Tunnels

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Soil quality "not adversely affected" in study of convention and organic vegetable production

A study compared soil under high tunnels with soil in adjacent fields over 8 years. The data showed elevated soil salinity under high tunnels, particularly with the organic management system, but the increase was not enough to be detrimental, even to sensitive crops. The researchers determined that overall soil quality was not adversely affected in the experiments with conventionally or organically produced vegetable crops.

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Organic Soil Amendments Improve Survival of Roadside Grasses

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Amendments of biosolids found more effective, longer lasting than yard waste compost

A study evaluated three approaches to improving the persistence of perennial turfgrasses on roadsides in Rhode Island. Researchers tested soil amendment with organic matter, the use of improved turfgrass cultivars, and the use of alternate turfgrass species. Soil amendment was more effective than either improved genetics or salt tolerance. Establishment, vertical growth, and persistence of vegetation cover were significantly improved by amendment with organic matter, particularly biosolids.

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Hazelnuts Susceptibility to Filbertworm Pest Linked to Shell Thickness

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Thicker basal scar contributes to resistance against pest infestation

A study of 25 hazelnut cultivars determined susceptibility to the insect pest filbertworm and correlated it to shell thickness. Data indicated that the degree of filbertworm infestation is correlated with shell thickness and that cultivars with thin shells, specifically at the basal scar, tend to have more infested nuts than those with thicker shells. The researchers indicated that filbertworm-resistant cultivars with thicker shells may benefit producers in terms of reduced pesticide use and environmental impact.

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