2018 Research Highlights: Horticulture
MAES supports horticultural research for fruit, vegetables, and ornamental plants and turfgrasses. Research in these areas includes breeding new plant and crop varieties, exploring new management practices and technologies and studying pests and disease affecting the horticultural industry.
2018 highlights include:
• Researchers developed a technique to measure root respiration utilizing a novel oxygen sensor. This discovery will help increase containerized food production, reduce inputs, increase understanding of how high-temperature impacts plant growth and will help develop new heat-tolerant varieties.
• A study revealed Chewings fescues and strong creeping red fescues are better able to thrive under low light quality conditions. This information will be used to develop a high throughput phenotyping methodology that can be executed by other turfgrass breeders.
• A study on the transmission of Tomato mosaic virus found a farm where one variety of commercially purchased tomato seed was the source of the virus. Of the 100 seeds tested, 85 percent were infected. This study highlights the need for farmers to disinfect even commercially purchased seed.
• The RosBREED2 project led to the discovery of a new resistance gene for rose black spot, Rdr4.
• Comparative research plots were developed to determine if grit weeding within raspberry rows provides effective in-row weed control. After one year, grit weeding was found to be more cost-effective than hand weeding with little difference in plot growth of raspberries.
• The study found that queen bees with poor-brood patterns significantly improved after being placed in a good-brood colony after 21 days. These results show poor brood pattern is not sufficient alone to judge queen bee quality and that colony environment may play a role.