USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station

Puerto Rico

USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station

Puerto Rico

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Jenkins D.A.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Jenkins D.A.,Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Kendra P.E.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Bloem S.V.,University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Entomology | Year: 2013

McPhail-type traps baited with ammonium acetate and putrescine were used to monitor populations of Anastrepha obliqua (Macquart) and Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) in two orchards with hosts of these flies (mango, Mangifera indica L., and carambola, Averrhoa carambola L.), as well as in forest fragments bordering these orchards. Contour maps were constructed to measure population distributions in and around orchards. Our results indicate that Anastrepha populations are focused around host fruit in both space and time, that traps do not draw fruit flies away from hosts, even when placed within 15 m of the host, and that lures continue to function for 6 mo in the field. The contour mapping analyses reveal that populations of fruit flies are focused around ovipositional hosts. Although the trapping system does not have a very long effective sampling range, it is ideal, when used in combination with contour analyses, for assessing fine-scale (on the order of meters) population distributions, including identifying resources around which fly populations are focused or, conversely, assessing the effectiveness of management tools. The results are discussed as they pertain to monitoring and detecting Anastrepha spp. with the McPhail-type trap and ammonium acetate and putrescine baiting system and the dispersal of these flies within Puerto Rico. © 2013 Entomological Society of America.


Irish B.M.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Goenaga R.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Rios C.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Chavarria-Carvajal J.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan | Ploetz R.,University of Florida
Crop Protection | Year: 2013

In Puerto Rico, bananas (including plantains) are important agricultural commodities; their combined production totaled over 158,000 tons in 2011. Black leaf streak (BLS) and Sigatoka leaf spot diseases, caused by Mycosphaerella fijiensis and Mycosphaerella musicola, respectively, are responsible for significant losses of this crop, due to the high susceptibility of the most important cultivars. Diploid, triploid and tetraploid hybrids were introduced from international breeding programs for evaluation in Isabela, Puerto Rico. Accessions were established in the field in a randomized complete block design and were evaluated over two cropping cycles (2007-2010) for response to BLS and agronomic traits. Significant differences (P=0.05) in BLS severity were observed among accessions throughout both crop cycles and were most pronounced at harvest. When averaged across production cycles, severity indices at harvest ranged from very resistant (20% of the leaf surface affected) for 'FHIA 02' to extremely susceptible (97%)for 'Grand Nain'. Yield attributes varied widely among the accessions, including mean bunchweights (6.9-41.0kg), numbers of hands per bunch (6.6-13.4), and the numbers of fruit per bunch (57.0-239.2). Several accessions, mainly from the Fundación Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola (FHIA), were BLS resistant and had short pseudostems, and large bunches. They could potentially replace susceptible cultivars in commercial production or play roles in a nascent organic market. © 2013.


Jenkins D.A.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Hall D.G.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Goenaga R.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2015

Diaphorina citri Kuwayama is the primary vector of Huanglongbing, the most devastating disease of citrus. D. citri populations in Puerto Rico were monitored with yellow sticky traps on citrus trees or other psyllid host plants at different elevations, ranging from 10 to 880m above sea level. Trapping was conducted in March through May of 2013 and 2014 when psyllid populations usually are highest. Population levels of D. citri, based on the trapping data, varied among the sites, and there was a strong trend in both years for decreasing psyllid abundance with increased elevation based on the number of psyllids captured on traps and the proportion of trees shown to be infested. No psyllids were collected at an elevation of >600 m. Reduced populations at higher elevations could be a consequence of differences in temperature, air pressure, oxygen levels, ultraviolet light, or other factors alone or in combination. We discuss our results as they pertain to management of D. citri and Huanglongbing. © Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. 2015.


Cosme S.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Cosme S.,University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez | Cuevas H.E.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Zhang D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 2 more authors.
Tree Genetics and Genomes | Year: 2016

Identification of genetically diverse cacao with disease resistance, high productivity, and desirable organoleptic traits is vitally important to the agricultural crop’s long-term sustainability. Environmental changes, pests, and diseases as well as nation’s sovereign property rights have led to a decrease in accessibility and exchange of germplasm of interest. Having been introduced during colonial times, naturalized cacao in Puerto Rico could serve as an unexplored source of genetic diversity in improvement programs. An island-wide survey was carried out to identify naturalized trees and to determine their genetic associations to reference cacao accessions. Samples were genotyped with Expressed Sequence Tag-derived single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Principal coordinate, cluster, and population structure analysis using the genotype data for both local and reference samples assigned individuals into five distinct genetic backgrounds: Criollo, Trinitario, Amelonado, Upper Amazon Forastero (UAF), and Nacional. Puerto Rican cacao fit into four (Criollo, Trinitario, Amelonado and UAF) of the five genetic backgrounds, being mainly composed of individuals of Criollo ancestry. Based on historical evidence, cacao of Criollo background was probably brought to Puerto Rico from Venezuela and/or Central America during colonial times. Trinitario, Amelonado, and UAF genetic backgrounds are most likely products of more modern introductions. Genotyping cacao in Puerto Rico provides information on the history and possible origin of the naturalized trees on the island. In addition, the assessment has allowed the targeting of material for incorporation and long-term conservation filling gaps in the existing collection and providing new germplasm to be evaluated for agronomic performance. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA).


Nagoshi R.N.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Meagher R.L.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Jenkins D.A.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2010

Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is an important agricultural pest that is endemic to Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean islands. Relatively little is known about the population movements of fall armyworm in the Caribbean and the magnitude of genetic interactions, if any, with populations from North, South, and Central America. To address this issue, a novel method involving mitochondrial haplotype ratios currently being used to study the migration of fall armyworm in North America was applied to populations in Puerto Rico. The results indicate limited interactions between Puerto Rico fall armyworm and those from Brazil or Texas but the potential for significant exchanges with populations in Florida.


PubMed | USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station and U.S. Department of Agriculture
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of economic entomology | Year: 2015

Diaphorina citri Kuwayama is the primary vector of Huanglongbing, the most devastating disease of citrus. D. citri populations in Puerto Rico were monitored with yellow sticky traps on citrus trees or other psyllid host plants at different elevations, ranging from 10 to 880m above sea level. Trapping was conducted in March through May of 2013 and 2014 when psyllid populations usually are highest. Population levels of D. citri, based on the trapping data, varied among the sites, and there was a strong trend in both years for decreasing psyllid abundance with increased elevation based on the number of psyllids captured on traps and the proportion of trees shown to be infested. No psyllids were collected at an elevation of >600m. Reduced populations at higher elevations could be a consequence of differences in temperature, air pressure, oxygen levels, ultraviolet light, or other factors alone or in combination. We discuss our results as they pertain to management of D. citri and Huanglongbing.


Li D.,Northwest University, China | Li D.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Cuevas H.E.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Cuevas H.E.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | And 12 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2011

Background: Cucumber, Cucumis sativus L. (2n = 2 × = 14) and melon, C. melo L. (2n = 2 × = 24) are two important vegetable species in the genus Cucumis (family Cucurbitaceae). Both species have an Asian origin that diverged approximately nine million years ago. Cucumber is believed to have evolved from melon through chromosome fusion, but the details of this process are largely unknown. In this study, comparative genetic mapping between cucumber and melon was conducted to examine syntenic relationships of their chromosomes.Results: Using two melon mapping populations, 154 and 127 cucumber SSR markers were added onto previously reported F2- and RIL-based genetic maps, respectively. A consensus melon linkage map was developed through map integration, which contained 401 co-dominant markers in 12 linkage groups including 199 markers derived from the cucumber genome. Syntenic relationships between melon and cucumber chromosomes were inferred based on associations between markers on the consensus melon map and cucumber draft genome scaffolds. It was determined that cucumber Chromosome 7 was syntenic to melon Chromosome I. Cucumber Chromosomes 2 and 6 each contained genomic regions that were syntenic with melon chromosomes III+V+XI and III+VIII+XI, respectively. Likewise, cucumber Chromosomes 1, 3, 4, and 5 each was syntenic with genomic regions of two melon chromosomes previously designated as II+XII, IV+VI, VII+VIII, and IX+X, respectively. However, the marker orders in several syntenic blocks on these consensus linkage maps were not co-linear suggesting that more complicated structural changes beyond simple chromosome fusion events have occurred during the evolution of cucumber.Conclusions: Comparative mapping conducted herein supported the hypothesis that cucumber chromosomes may be the result of chromosome fusion from a 24-chromosome progenitor species. Except for a possible inversion, cucumber Chromosome 7 has largely remained intact in the past nine million years since its divergence from melon. Meanwhile, many structural changes may have occurred during the evolution of the remaining six cucumber chromosomes. Further characterization of the genomic nature of Cucumis species closely related to cucumber and melon might provide a better understanding of the evolutionary history leading to modern cucumber. © 2011 Li et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


McClean P.E.,North Dakota State University | Burridge J.,Pennsylvania State University | Beebe S.,Centro Internacional Of Agricultura Tropical Ciat | Rao I.M.,Centro Internacional Of Agricultura Tropical Ciat | Porch T.G.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station
Functional Plant Biology | Year: 2011

Climate change and global population increase are two converging forces that will jointly challenge researchers to design programs that ensure crop production systems meet the world's food demand. Climate change will potentially reduce productivity while a global population increase will require more food. If productivity is not improved for future climatic conditions, food insecurity may foster major economic and political uncertainty. Given the importance of grain legumes in general common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in particular a workshop entitled 'Improving Tolerance of Common Bean to Abiotic Stresses' was held with the goal of developing an interdisciplinary research agenda designed to take advantage of modern genotyping and breeding approaches that are coupled with large scale phenotyping efforts to improve common bean. Features of the program included a multinational phenotyping effort to evaluate the major common bean core germplasm collections and appropriate genetic populations. The phenotyping effort will emphasise the response of root and shoot traits to individual and combined stress conditions. These populations would also be genotyped using newly emerging high density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker arrays or next generation sequencing technology. Association analysis of the core collections aims to identify key loci associated with the response to the stress conditions. Companion bi-parental quantitative trait loci (QTL) experiments will act as confirmation experiments for the association analysis. The upcoming release of the genome sequence of common bean will be leveraged by utilising population genomic approaches to discover genomic regions that differentiate stress-responsive and non-responsive genotypes. The genome sequence will also enable global gene expression studies that will highlight specific molecular-based stress responses. This collective knowledge will inform the selection of parental lines to improve the efficiency of common bean improvement programs. © 2011 CSIRO.


Jenkins D.A.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Jenkins D.A.,Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services | Millan-Hernandez C.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | Cline A.R.,Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2015

Atemoya is a hybrid between Annona squamosa L. and Annona cherimola Miller (Annonaceae) and has potential to be an important fruit crop in tropical and subtropical areas. A major impediment to fruit production is low fruit set due to inadequate pollinator visits, typically, by beetles in the family Nitidulidae. We used Universal moth traps to monitor the attractiveness of two commercially available Nitidulidae lures in combination with various food attractants, including raw bread dough, apple juice, and malta beverage, a soft drink by-product of the brewing process. The most commonly trapped beetles were, in order of decreasing frequency, Carpophilus dimidiatus (F.), Brachypeplus mutilatus Erichson, Urophorus humeralis (F.) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), and Europs fervidus Blatchley (Coleoptera: Monotomidae). All traps, except the unbaited control traps, caught beetles. In a previous study, we found that combining two commercial lures had a synergistic effect on the attraction of these beetle species. In this study, the addition of food attractants increased the number of beetles trapped compared with traps baited with only the commercial lures. Also, food attractants appear to be key in attracting U. humeralis; only one U. humeralis individual of the 206 caught during the experiment was trapped without a food attractant. The variation between the number of beetles caught in traps containing the same treatments was high and may explain the erratic results reported in other studies of pollination in Annona spp. The results are discussed with respect to the use of nitidulid lures and food attractants to increase fruit set in atemoya and other Annonaceae. © Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2015.


PubMed | Plant Health & Pest Prevention Services, USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station and University of Georgia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of economic entomology | Year: 2015

Atemoya is a hybrid between Annona squamosa L. and Annona cherimola Miller (Annonaceae) and has potential to be an important fruit crop in tropical and subtropical areas. A major impediment to fruit production is low fruit set due to inadequate pollinator visits, typically, by beetles in the family Nitidulidae. We used Universal moth traps to monitor the attractiveness of two commercially available Nitidulidae lures in combination with various food attractants, including raw bread dough, apple juice, and malta beverage, a soft drink by-product of the brewing process. The most commonly trapped beetles were, in order of decreasing frequency, Carpophilus dimidiatus (F.), Brachypeplus mutilatus Erichson, Urophorus humeralis (F.) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), and Europs fervidus Blatchley (Coleoptera: Monotomidae). All traps, except the unbaited control traps, caught beetles. In a previous study, we found that combining two commercial lures had a synergistic effect on the attraction of these beetle species. In this study, the addition of food attractants increased the number of beetles trapped compared with traps baited with only the commercial lures. Also, food attractants appear to be key in attracting U. humeralis; only one U. humeralis individual of the 206 caught during the experiment was trapped without a food attractant. The variation between the number of beetles caught in traps containing the same treatments was high and may explain the erratic results reported in other studies of pollination in Annona spp. The results are discussed with respect to the use of nitidulid lures and food attractants to increase fruit set in atemoya and other Annonaceae.

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