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Bulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) online

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Biology and Control of the Grape Plume Moth. (W. D. Whitcomb and Wm.
E. Tomlinson, Jr., Waltham.) Experimental dormant applications of the com-
mercial DN product Elgetol confirmed previous experiments which showed that
a 3^ percent dilution did not give satisfactory control under the same conditions
where a 1 percent dilution was effective.

The effect of pruning in reducing infestation was studied on two vines. Heavy
pruning (removing 79 percent of the nodes and canes) destroyed 72 percent of
the eggs as compared with 55 percent destroyed by light pruning (ren:oving 50
percent of the canes and nodes).

New Vegetable Insect Pests. (W. D. Whitcomb, Waltham.) The snout beetle,
Baris scolopacea Germ., discovered at Arlington in 1941, was quite destructive
to Swiss Chard in the vicinity of Waltham. Typical injury cons'sted of egg cavi-
ties and feeding punctures in the stems of the chard, making the stalks unsightly
and unfit for market. Preliminary trials with applications of rotenone dust
indicated that this treatment will reduce the abundance and destructiveness of
this insect.

In the late summer and fall of 1942, several acres of celery, particularly in
Arlington, Belmont, WalthaiB, and Woburn, were severely damaged or destroyed



40 MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 398

by the plant bug, Lygus campestris L. Typical injury resulted from the punc-
tures by the bugs in the heart and new stalks of the celery. The punctures were
usually infected with a bacterial or fungus rot which turned the heart black,
making the celery unfit for sale and often useless for any purpose. Reports from
growers indicate that spraying with powdered derris and a wetting agent, prepared
bj' the formula recommended for spra\ing to combat the European corn borer,
is helpful and will give satisfactory control if the applications are started while
the infestation is light.

The Effects of Solar Heat on the Subcortical Development of Elm Bark Beetles.

(W. B. Becker.) In addition to laboratory and field work with Hyliirgopinus
rufipes in Amherst, field work with this species was also carried on in Pittsfield
this summer. Work on Scolytus multistriatus was carried on in Springfield and
Westfield.

Two brief tentative observations on the trend of the field work may be given
now. (1) Freshly cut elm logs, not 3'et infested with the beetles, which were
placed (in the early spring) in a north-south position where the sunlight could
strike them all day, did not seem to become infested with any elm Scolytids on
most of the uppef half throughout the season. This applied to logs up to 4 feet
4 inches in diameter with bark up to 2 3/16 inches thick. (2) When Scolytid
beetles were already in the bark before the logs were placed in the sun, the mor-
tality due to the high subcortical temperatures generated by the sun's rays varied
with the thickness of the bark, mortality being highest and including a broader
arc of the upper surface in logs with thin bark. Some factors to be considered
in this work are the weather, thickness of bark, and diameter of logs, as well as
the effects of heat on different species of bark beetles.

Some New Findings of Scolytus multistriatus Marsham in Massachusetts.
(W. B. Becker.) This species was found to be abundant at a locality in Spring-
field and was also found in Pittsfield. Federal scouts attached to the office of
the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine at Bloomfield, New Jersey,
uncovered infestations in Williamstown and North Adams.

Insect Pests of Wood and of Shade, Forest, and Ornamental Trees in Mass-
achusetts. (W. B. Becker.) During the year, 249 inquiries were received about
such insect pests, involving 72 species. Ants, termites, powder post beetles,
aphids, oak twig pruners, Japanese beetles, and secondary tree-boring insects
were received most frequently.



DEPARTMENT OF FLORICULTURE
Clark L. Thayer in Charge

Breeding Snapdragons for Varietal Improvement and Disease Resistance.

(Harold E. \\'hite, Waltham.) Two t>'pes of resistance to rust have been observed
in snapdragons. The first is inherited as a simple dominant factor which has been
reported previously. The second is a modified dominant type obtained from
progeny of crosses made with susceptible commercial varieties. The most promis-
ing rust-resistant strains are those developed by inter-crossing susceptible com-
mercial greenhouse forcing varieties. These strains are 80 to 100 percent resistant
to rust, free flowering in winter, and good seed producers. The plants can be
propagated from cuttings and such material has been highly resistant to rust
for three seasons in field and greenhouse tests.



ANNUAL REPORT, 1942 41

Resistance to other diseases, such as Verticillium Wilt and Powdery Mildew,
has not been conclusively determined, although in some seasons a few strains
have appeared somewhat less susceptible to these diseases than commercial
varieties.

Soilless Culture of Carnations. (Harold E. White, Waltham.) The use of
gravel as a cultural medium has been continued for demonstration purposes and
for comparison of the responses of carnations to various nutrient formulas. Four
formulas were used, which gave the following number of blooms per square foot:
Ball's, 14.80; New Jersey, 15.77; Ohio 2 WP Modified, 19.33; Ohio 2 WP Modified
plus Yi formula weights of phosphate and potash, 18.61; soil plot (checks), 17.44.

Plants grown in soil and transplanted to gravel require considerable time for
adjustment and development of a root system adapted to the gravel medium.
The most critical cultural period for the plants is after they are transplanted from
soil to gravel. Keeping the gravel too wet soon after planting will cause heavy
losses of even the most vigorous plants; and, contrary to what has been claimed,
observations show that weak plants give no better results in gravel than in soil.

A commercial grower should not find it difficult to grow carnations in gravel as
far as manipulation of the nutrients is concerned; but the costs of installation at
present are very high and it is impossible to obtain fertilizer salts or pumps for
the duration of the war.

Cultural Requirements of Freesias. (Harold E. White, Waltham.) Freesia
corms pre-cured for 2 to 11 weeks prior to planting lost from 3 to 24 percent of
their original weight — a greater loss than in the two previous years because of
differences in moisture content of the 1941 crop.

Corms planted August 17 to 25 required 173 days to flower; those planted Octo-
ber 20, 133 days; while those planted on November 1 flowered in 123 days.
Freesias bloomed earlier when grown in benches than when grown in bulb pans.
Increasing the growing temperature to 60°F. in mid-November hastened the
blooming of early planted corms by 3 to 4 weeks.

Disease Resistance and Heredity of Carnations. (Harold E. White, Waltham.)
Microscopic examinations and germination tests of pollen from 25 varieties of
carnations were started in September and continued through October and Novem-
ber. In the early September tests pollen from the four varieties, Johnson's Crim-
son, Olivette, Barbara Brlgham, and Peter Fisher, responded satisfactorily with
60 to 70 percent germination. Subsequent tests made at weekly intervals on
pollen from these same varieties yielded very poor results. Freshly collected
pollen dried in a temperature of 72°F. for 1 to 3 days and other samples exposed
to sunlight for 6 hours failed to germinate. Microscopic examination of pollen
did not reveal any morphological peculiarities which could be associated with
poor germination responses. A few imperfect or shriveled pollen grains were
common to all varieties but were not numerous enough to be considered a factor
in causing poor germination.

The size of pollen grains in the different varieties did not vary greatly, ranging
from 45 to 49 microns in diameter. A number of giant grains similar to those
characteristic of tetraploid plants were found mixed with pollen of normal size.
Typical pollen characteristics were spherical shape, external markings of extme
being punctate with distinct pores.

Only 5 out of 23 varieties produced seed with self-pollination. Seed production
was low, varying from 10 to 21 seeds per capsule. On the basis of observations
made on germination and fertilization, it would seem that the ability of pollen
to germinate is influenced by environmental conditions present at the time it
is formed.



42 MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 398

Packet Seed Studies. (Clark L. Thayer.) The Department of Floriculture
cooperated with the Seed Laboratory for the seventh season in conducting tests
to determine the quality of flower seeds sold in retail seed stores, chain stores,
schools, and other outlets. The seeds were tested for germination and performance
under field conditions. Results are reported in Control Series Bulletin 115.



DEPARTMENT OF HOME ECONOMICS NUTRITION
Julia O. Holmes in Charge

Vitamin Requirements of Older People. (A. \V. Wertz.) The urinary thiamin
excretion of three elderlj' women was followed for a period of 14 weeks. The
diet was supplemented with 3 mg. of thiamin chloride for the first half of the
period and then with 1 mg. thiamin plus enough yeast to bnng the total thiamin
to 3 mg. The excretion of thiamin in the urine was almost twice as much in the
latter period as in the first period, although the intake of thiamin was identical.
This might indicate that there is some factor supplied by the yeast which has a
definite effect on thiamin utilization in the body. There was no change in the
electrocardiograms from the first period. The hemoglobin values decreased.

The Effect of Temperature on Calcium Metabolism in Growing Rats. (Marie
S. Gutowska.) One series of experiments was conducted at temperatjures below
57° and above 9C°F. (approximately the limits beyond which the albino rat will
not breed satisfactorily); and another series at 73° and 83° (corresponding to the
normal range of breeding temperatures). In both series the calcium retention
was greater in the low-temperature group, whether determined by balance experi-
ments or by carcass analysis. Growth was slower at the low temperatures.
Food consumption was considerably larger in the groups of slow-growing rats
kept at the lower temperatures, but food utilization was noticeably lower than in
the groups kept at the higher temperatures. It was concluded that temperature
plays a much greater role in practical nutrition than is now realized.

It is hoped that these findings, if confirmed by tests on adult rats now in prog-
ress, may have some bearing on the food requirements of humans as influenced
by varying ranges in temperature.

The Effect of Temperature on the Cure of Rickets. (Marie S. Gutowska.)
Two groups of six rats each were depleted of their vitamm D and placed in closed
cabinets, one group at 66°F., the other at 82°. All received in three days 4 U.S. P.
units of vitamin D. Two rats from each group were killed on the fourth, sixth,
and eighth day from the beginnmg of the assay period. It was apparent, both
from photographs and from line tests, that the rats kept at the lower temperature
showed an earlier response to the treatment and an earlier healing of the rachitic
sections than the rats kept at the higher temperature. It was concluded that the
biological materials and the temperature at which the bioa.ssay is conducted must
be standardized in order to reduce the errors of the test; and that by lowering the
temperature, it may be possible to shorten the time of the assay.

Manganese Balance Experiments with Birds. (Marie S. Gutowska with the
cooperation of J. W. Kuzmeski of the Feed Control Service.) Manganese metab-
olism studies were conducted in two series of experiments. The first series was
conducted with two groups of laying hens fed for a period of three months on
rations varying only in mangenese content (76 p. p.m. and 21 p. p.m.). The drop-
pings were collected every three hours during a period of a week and five periods
of a week each formed the series. The second series consisted of the same number



ANNUAL REPORT, 1942 43

of experiments but was conducted with single hens, not with groups. The rations
and the droppings were analyzed and the balance of manganese calculated.

One hen on the low-manganese ration retained approximately one half of the
total available manganese daily. This suggests that even 21 p. p.m. manganese
in the ration was sufficient not only to keep the hen in a positive manganese
balance but also to provide a surplus so that it was not necessary to store all the
amount available. The hens fed for some months on the high-manganese ration
did not store any manganese, and the daily output was almost exactly' the total
amount of the daily intake. This means that the hens were in a complete man-
ganese balance and that the whole surplus of manganese added to this ration
was voided by the hens.

Manganese and Reproduction of Birds . (Marie S. Gutowska.) Three series
of experiments were conducted to observe the effects of different manganese in-
takes by poultry on reproduction. In the first series, there was no significant
difference in the fertility and hatchabilityofegg5fromhensfedatthelow(17p.p.m.)
and the high (61 p. p.m.) manganese rations. In the second series, it was found
that the hatchability and fertility of the eggs dropped significantly when the birds
were fed a ration containing 14 p. p.m. of manganese; but the differences were not
significant in the groups fed the rations containing 17 p. p.m. and 61 p. p.m. of
manganese, and the hatchability of eggs in these groups was normal.

It was concluded that 14 p. p.m. of manganese in a laying ration is a sub-
minimum quantity which affects reproduction unfavorably; but 17 p. p.m. is
probably not far from the threshold value needed, and 61 p. p.m. is ample. Be-
cause normal commercial rations usually contain over 40 p. p.m. of manganese,
they do not need, in most cases, to be supplemented with this element.

In a third series, there was a highh' significant increase in the volume of sperm
produced by cocks fed the high-manganese ration as compared with cocks fed the
low-manganese ration. The sperm count varied considerably in the two groups
of cocks and also in individual cocks on different days. However, no significant
difference between the sperm count of the two groups was found. Consequently
the increase in the volume of the semen in the group was due not to a change in
the density of the sperm but to improved functioning of the testes.

Effect of Dietary Manganese on the Mineral Content of Some Organs of the

Hens. (Marie S. Gutowska and Lewis L. Glow, of the Chemistr\- Department
cooperating.) An investigation was conducted to determine whether the manga-
nese content of the diet would influence the mineral contents of the bones, the
livers and the kidneys of the hens. One group received a high-manganese ration
(61 p. p.m.); the other, a low-manganese ration (17 p.p.m.).

The ability of individual hens to store or retain minerals in their bones, liver,
and kidneys varied considerabh^; therefore large groups of birds are needed in
this kind cf experiment. The ash content of the bones varied more between
individuals of the same group than between the averages of the two groups.

However, the hens on the high-manganese diet had a larger amount of man-
ganese in their bones and in their livers than did the hens of the low-manganese
diet; but there was no evidence that manganese could be stored in the kidneys.

The calcium and phosphorus content of the ash of the tibias and sternums of
the hens was almost the same for the two groups.

It was concluded that differences in the manganese content of the diet do not
influence the calcium and phosphorus content of the bones and the liver but do
influence the amount of manganese in these organs. The amounts of manganese
found in the bones and livers, after twelve months on a ration lower in manganese
than the average commercial ration for laying hens were considered subnormal.



44 MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 398

DEPARTMENT OF HORTICULTURAL MANUFACTURES

F. P. Griffiths in Charge

Cranberry Research. (\V. B. Esselen, Jr., R. S. Lubitz, C. R. Fellers, and H.
J. Brunell.) Cranberry juice was found to have a definite bactericidal action on
the oral flora and on pathogenic bacteria frequently associated with gastro-in-
testinal disturbances in man. This observed action appears to be due primarily
to the high acidity of the cranberry.

By means of chemical and microbiological assays, the amounts of several of
the vitamins of the "B-complex" present in 100 grams of fresh cranberries were
found to be thiamin (vitamin Bi), 4.5 international units; riboflavin (vitamin Be),
3 micrograms; nicotinic acid (niacin), 33 micrograms; pantothenic acid, 25 micro-
grams; pyridoxin, 10 micrograms; and biotin, a trace. There was little or no loss
of the "B-complex" vitamins in making cranberry sauce and since the cranberries
in whole cranberry sauce make up about 40 percent of the total weight of the
finished product, the amount of the above vitamins present in the whole sauce
was approximateh- 40 percent of the figures given for fresh cranberries.

Cranberries were found to contain approximately 10 micrograms of vitamin K
per 100 grams, by the chick test.

Domestic Refrigeration. (J. E. W. McConnell and C. R. Fellers.) In house-
hold refrigerators left-over vegetables kept better and retained more of their
vitamin C when stored in covered containers. The most rapid loss of vitamin C
occurred during the first day of storage.

Storage of frozen foods for one day in the freezing compartment of the domestic
refrigerator was found to be satisfactory. For storage periods of a week, a tem-
perature of 16°F. was necessary to prevent excessive loss of vitamin C. A marked
loss of this vitamin occurred at storage temperatures of 20^ to 32^.

Either defrosting of frozen foods at a high temperature or slow defrosting at
low temperatures resulted in a considerable loss of vitamin C.

The Nutritive Value of Mushrooms. (C. R. Fellers, E. E. Anderson, and A. S.
Levine.) Work conducted during the past year shows that fresh and canned
mushrooms {Agaricus campestris) surpass many of our staple fruits and vegetables
in nutritive value. The mineral or ash content of mushrooms ishigh, particularly
in Iron. Mushrooms have been found to be one of the best plant sources of thia-
min, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and nicotinic acid. They also contain signi-
ficant amounts of ascorbic acid and vitamin K.

Red Squill Research. (A. S. Levine, C. R. Fellers, and L. R. Parkinson.)
Work on the toxicity of red squill (a raticide) was continued, and a standardized
assay method has been developed.

Preservative Values of Organic Acids. (A. S. Levine, M. G. O'Connor, and
C. R. Fellers.) The bactericidal value of benzoic acid is somewhat greater than
that of several of its salts. Magnesium and ammonium benzoate compared
favorably with sodium benzoate in inhibitory properties. Calcium benzoate
was the least toxic of the several compounds tested. It is assumed that the undis-
soclated benzoic acid molecule is the active germicidal agent that represses yeast
growth.

Sodium chloride and ethyl alcohol in apple juices which were treated with
sodium benzoate markedly inhibited the growth of yeasts. The presence of 30
percent dextrose in apple juice caused some inhibition of yeast growth, its in-
hibitor}'* power being greater than that of sucrose under these conditions.



ANNUAL REPORT, 1942 45

Glass Container Research. (\V. B. Esselen, Jr., E. L. Moore, J. J. Powers,
and C. R. Fellers.) As previously reported it has been found that ascorbic acids
function effectively as antioxidants for glass-packed foods. Only that amount
of ascorbic acid needed to react with oxygen present within the sealed container
is beneficial as far as color and flavor changes are concerned.

The results to date indicate that the addition of ascorbic acid to fruits and
vegetables naturally- low in vitamin C protected them from discoloration and
flavor changes. Ascorbic acid functioned successfully as an antioxidant for
peaches, pears, plums, and carrots; was only moderately successful with apple-
sauce and beets; and had no effect on such products as snap beans and peas,
known to be moderate to good sources of vitamin C.

It was found that oxygen and the decomposition of ascorbic acid are the
principal factors involved in the darkening of packaged orange juice. The dark-
ening is accelerated by warm storage temperatures, but rate and intensity of
darkening were significantly afifected by exposure to intense light.

Deleterious flavor changes in canned and bottled orange juice occur very soon
after the juice is packed, and are associated with the methods used in the prepara-
tion of the juice rather than with the type of container or the vitamin C content
of the juice.

Tests conducted with glass-packed fruits and vergetables stored at room temp-
erature for one year showed that, under average commercial conditions, there is
no danger that light will cause the color to fade.

The Antioxidant Properties of D-Iso Ascorbic Acid. (F. J. Yourga, W. B.
Esselen, Jr., and C. R. Fellers.) Preliminary feeding tests indicate that d-iso
ascorbic acid has an antiscorbutic potency about 1 25 that of 1-ascorbic acid
(vitamin C).

Evidence has been obtained which indicates that d-iso ascorbic acid may be
used as an antioxidant to prevent or retard the oxidation of 1-ascorbic acid in
packaged foods.

Fruit Jellies and Jams. (A. S. Levine, S. G. Davis, \V. H. Fitzpatrick, and
C. R. Fellers.) The beach plum {Prumis maritima) is characterized by a dis-
tinctive astringent flavor. It is relatively high in ash and carbohydrates and
slightly low in pectin as compared with some other varieties of plums. A number
of highly desirable products can be m.ade from this fruit, among which jam, jelly,
and butter are the most popular. Generally the fruit is deficient in pectin for
jelly purposes, and addition of pectin was found necessary for the production of
a high-grade jelly. No added pectin was necessary for the jam or butter.

The substitution of pectin and corn sugar for cane sugar has been found feas-
ible in jelly making. While the jelly is of fair quality, it is somewhat higher in
cost and lacking in flavor when compared with jelly made with all cane sugar.

Apple Products. (A. S. Levine, F. P. Griffiths, S. G. Davis, C. R. Fellers, J.
J. Powers, and W. B. Esselen, Jr.) A cider apple jelly of highly desirable taste,
flavor, and color was prepared by adding sweet Baldwin cider, concentrated to
one-third its original volume, to the heat-extracted apple juice from an equivalent
weight of apples. The amount of dry sugar added was about 60 percent of the
apple stock used. The remainder of the sugar was naturally present in the
added cider. The mixture of concentrated cider, extracted apple juice, and sugar
was concentrated by boiling to a soluble solids content of 68 percent by the usual
jelly manufacture procedure. Cider apple jelly is a distinctive product of at-
tractive color and appealing flavor, superior in quality to either apple jelly or
cider jelly alone.



46 MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 398

Work has been done on the farm and home production of apple syrup to re-
place sugar and corn syrups. Partial neutralization of the acid in fresh apple
cider with baking soda and concentration of the cider approximately seven to
one produces a sweet, pleasant-tasting syrup which can be used on the table or
for making apple sauce, apple butter, mince meat, or other products. As most
fresh apple ciders contain between 10 and 13 percent of sugar it only requires
between six and seven quarts of cider to produce one quart of syrup. Clarifica-
tion of the syrup can be obtained by proper use of gelatine but for most home
uses it is not considered necesssary. Many New England farms having cull
apples, a cider press, and a maple sugar evaporator are in a position to make
large quantities of this syrup.

Marine Products Research. (C. R. Fellers and R. G. Tischer.) A successful
method for canning the blue crab {Callinectus sapidus) wh'ch is common along
the Central and Southern East Coast of this country has been developed in this
laboratory. A preliminar\' investigation has been made to find out whether this
method is equally satisfactory for the canning of the sand crab {Platyonichus
ocellatus Latreille), an edible crustacean which abounds in coastal waters from
New York to Nova Scotia. The aluminum dip method for preventing discolora-



Online LibraryMassachusetts Agricultural Experiment StationBulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) → online text (page 74 of 77)