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Daniel I. Leskovar

Daniel I. Leskovar
Texas A&M AgriLife Reserach, Texas A&M University · Horticultural Sciences

Ph.D.

About

241
Publications
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Introduction
Daniel I. Leskovar currently works at Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University. Daniel does research in Agronomy, Vegetable Physiology, Horticulture and Controlled Environment Agriculture, focusing on understanding plant morphological and physiological adaptation mechanisms to environmental stresses and in the development of sustainable vegetable cropping systems.

Publications

Publications (241)
Preprint
Cardoon is considered an interesting raw material to obtain second-generation biofuels, due to its perennial culture condition and its rare use as food. In addition, cardoon being a rustic species, requires few inputs, has fast growth and high lignocellulosic biomass production. However, despite its large genetic variability worldwide both cardoon...
Article
Full-text available
Polyethylene mulch is widely used for vegetable production in the United States as a tool to conserve water, control weeds, and produce earlier and cleaner products (i.e., less attached soil). However, the increasing labor costs for mulch removal and disposal after harvest and soil environmental pollution are major concerns. The objective of this s...
Article
The sensory and functional quality attributes of muskmelons (Cucumis melo L.), such as flavor, sweetness, color, and texture, determine consumer preferences. Genetic makeup primarily regulates these traits, but environmental factors such as soil type, irrigation, and temperature affects yields and quality. Here, we investigated variation in quality...
Article
Full-text available
Grafting using suitable rootstocks mitigates the adverse effects caused by environmental stresses such as water deficit in the tomato crop. Solanum pennellii and Solanum peruvianum, the wild relatives of tomato, are used as rootstocks due to their tolerance to water deficit and soil-borne diseases. This study focused on evaluating physiological and...
Article
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Demand for Asian vegetables is rising rapidly due to changing demographics and increasing consumer awareness of their health benefits. However, growers are not familiar with growing these “foreign” crops due to insufficient technical information regarding suitable cultivars for different regions, production schedules, disease and pest susceptibilit...
Article
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Remote-sensing using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) has the potential of rapidly detecting the effect of water stress on field crops. However, this detection has typically been accomplished only after the stress effect led to significant changes in crop green biomass, leaf area index, angle and position, and few studies have attempte...
Article
2021): Influence of nitrogen source on physiology, yield and fruit quality of young apricot trees, Journal of Plant Nutrition, ABSTRACT The objective of this two-year study was to assess the effect of N source on plant physiology, yield and fruit quality of apricot (Prunus armeniaca 'Mogador') trees. Parameters evaluated included: gas exchange [pho...
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The objective of this two-year field study was to assess the influence of stand establishment methods (direct seeding or transplanting) on root growth dynamics, shoot morphology, leaf physiology, yield, and quality of globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus). Three artichoke cultivars were evaluated, ‘Green Globe Improved’ (GGI), ‘Imperial Star’ (IS),...
Article
Full-text available
Texas tomato production is vulnerable to extreme heat in the spring-summer cropping period, which is exacerbated by the lack of superior genetic materials that can perform well in such environments. There is a dire need for selecting superior varieties that can adapt to warm environments and exhibit high yield stability under heat stress conditions...
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Grafting with vigorous rootstocks could offer tomato growers in Texas sustainable and efficient option to achieve reliable yield across a range of production systems and locations. Genotypes (G) of grafted and non-grafted tomato were grown in different environments (E) in the 2017 and 2018 spring seasons. The objectives of the study were to (i) eva...
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Vegetable growers require vigorous transplants in order to reduce the period of transplant shock during early stand establishment. Organic media containing solid humic substances (HS) are amendments that have not been comprehensively explored for applications in containerized vegetable transplant production systems. In this study, HS (1% v/v) were...
Article
The objective of this two-year study was to assess the influence of using a leguminous crop, Sesbania grandiflora, on soil nutrient levels (NO3, P, K, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na and S), pH, EC, soil organic matter (OM) and respiration. Sesbania seeds were planted in a certified organic field in March at a planting density of 50 kg ha-1 in 2015 and 90 kg ha-1 i...
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Healthy soil acts as a dynamic living system that delivers multiple ecosystem services, such as sustaining water quality and plant productivity, controlling soil nutrient recycling decomposition, and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Soil health is closely associated with sustainable agriculture because soil microorganism diversity and...
Article
Organic farming systems contribute to enhance food security and agricultural sustainability. with the potential to increase farmer’s income when external input costs are reduced. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the influence of organic farming on soil quality (respiration-CO2), yield and head quality (chlorogenic acid and cynarin concent...
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Soil organic matter degradation and water limitation caused by intense farming activities are some of the major threats affecting agricultural production. Accordingly, the concepts of sustainable agricultural systems with optimized irrigation and improved soil quality can be adapted to address these issues. During this 2-year field study, two manag...
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Seventy melon (Cucumis melo L.) accessions comprising of landraces, inbred lines, cultivars, wild relatives and exotic populations were characterized using fifteen fruit traits and 30 SSR markers. Overall, aim of this study was to investigate the genetic relatedness across origins, horticultural groups and accession categories. Significant differen...
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The stability of yield and quality traits in nine orange-fleshed melon (Cucumis melo L.) genotypes was studied over nine environments in south-central Texas (College Station, Uvalde, and Weslaco) over 3 years (2010, 2011, and 2012). Besides yield traits, fruit -quality components such as soluble solids content (SSC), β-carotene, and fruit firmness...
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Short-day onions (Allium cepa L.) grown in the southern regions of the United States are commonly undercut and then dried for a few days before the bulbs are clipped and harvested. We conducted a study to evaluate the effects of leaf cutting on bulb weight and pungency of short-day onions after plant lifting in ‘TG 1015Y’, ‘Legend’, and ‘Texas Earl...
Article
Roots strongly influence the growth and yield of field crops. We characterized root morphological traits of 10 winter wheat varieties in order to determine the extent they were influenced by the environments and impacted grain yield under two irrigation regimes at Bushland (a cooler, drier site with clay loam soil) and Uvalde (a warmer, wetter site...
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ALCACHOFA Sistema y prácticas de manejo para la producción orgánica de la alcachofa Impacto en la calidad y en el rendimiento Realizamos un estudio de 2 años para evaluar el rendimiento de la alcachofa (Cynara cardunculus), la calidad del capítulo (concentraciones de ácido clorogénico y cinarina) y las propiedades químicas del suelo bajo diferentes...
Article
Bulk leaf carbon isotopic composition (δ ¹³ C bulk ) has been widely used to investigate leaf level water use efficiency (WUE l ) in efforts to boost grain yield relative to crop water use. Although widely used for isotopic analyses, the bulk leaf represents a complex mixture of compounds. Single-compound isotopic analyses carry diagnostic advantag...
Article
Effects of environmental and management factors on the diversity and abundance of rhizosphere microbes in unmanaged ecosystems are well established. However, there is limited information about these interactions in vegetable cropping systems. In this two-year field study, we used organic amendments (humic substances, HS) and water supply (deficit i...
Article
Nitrogen (N) status in olive trees is critical to develop several developmental mechanisms that control shoot, root and nutrient uptake capacity. The objective of this field study was to assess the effect of N level and form on root growth dynamics, shoot growth, leaf-level gas exchange [photosynthesis (Pn), transpiration (E), and stomatal conducta...
Article
The impact of nitrogen application on the growth of olive trees has been well studied. However, little is known about the role of levels and forms of N on the development of roots and physiological traits during establishment of young trees. The objective of this 2-year study was to evaluate the influence of N source and level on shoot morphology (...
Article
Diesel fuels have an essential function in industrial economies. In the last decade, several studies were conducted in order to find alternative sources of vegetables oils suitable to biodiesel conversion. The present work aimed to characterize the oil chemical composition in eleven different accessions of domestic and wild cardoon (Cynara carduncu...
Article
The effect of different nitrogen (N) concentrations on growth changes, leaf N concentration and accumulation patterns, N nutrition index (NNI), fresh weight yield, and N use efficiency (NUE) was determined for lettuce grown over three consecutive seasons (fall, winter, and spring) in a recirculating hydroponic system, under unheated and naturally l...
Article
Full-text available
In the United States, most short-day onions are direct seeded. With this method, plant stands can be reduced because of extreme temperatures, weed pressure, and soil-borne diseases. Containerized transplants offer an alternative method of stand establishment with less seedling losses while producing uniform bulb sizes and high marketable yield. How...
Article
Pattern of vertical distribution of plant roots determines plant water and nutrient uptake and influences various soil processes under field conditions. However, information of root distribution in the whole rooting profile is rarely available in practice. This paper documents a method to quickly quantify root vertical distribution pattern using li...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf gas exchange and growth responses of three melon cultivars, i.e., Mission, Da Vinci (var. reticulatus), and Super Nectar (var. inodorus) to two irrigation regimes, 50 and 100% crop evapotranspiration (ETc) were investigated under water-limited conditions of southwest Texas. In 2012, deficit irrigation (50% ETc) significantly decreased above-gr...
Article
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Information on root growth patterns is crucial to understand cultivar adaptations to deficit irrigation, particularly for subsurface drip-irrigated crops, where root systems are more confined than furrow or sprinkler systems. A 2-year field experiment evaluated the effect of deficit irrigation (50% vs. 100% crop evapotranspiration, ETc) on root gro...
Article
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Information on root system architecture is critical to understand crop or cultivar adaptations to variable and dynamic soil environments. Breeders are searching for certain root traits associated with enhanced resource acquisition capacity and adjustments to stress environments. However, the selection for root architectural traits in breeding progr...
Article
Full-text available
Soil amendment using organic fertilizer has been used widely to dispose animal waste, reduce environmental pollution and improve soil and fruit quality. The objective of this two-year study was to assess the influence of organic and conventional systems on growth, marketable yield, head quality (chlorogenic acid and cynarin concentration) and soil...
Article
Increasing water productivity in semiarid regions is a critical sustainable production strategy to mitigate the challenges posed by depleting water resources and unpredictable climate change. Deficit irrigation has been a widely investigated practice to save water, improve water productivity, and maximize crop yield. A field experiment was conducte...
Article
Organic matter‐derived soil amendments containing humic substances (HS) have a functional role to improve plant growth and soil quality, but their response to water deficit stress is less reported, particularly in vegetable crops. This study assessed the impact of lignite‐derived HS on biota growth and evaluated their potential mitigative effects u...
Article
The ethylene inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is commonly used to increase the shelf life of fruits. However, the application of 1-MCP to modulate the shoot growth of vegetable transplants is unknown. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of 1-MCP on improving the growth and quality of tomato transplants. Eight tomato cultiv...
Article
The objective of this study was to assess the influence of plant- and animal-based soil amendments on soil nutrient availability, CO2 respiration, yield and phytochemicals of artichoke (Cynara cardunculus cv. 179) heads. Four certified organic fertilisers: fish meal, blood meal, alfalfa meal and chicken manure, were used as experimental treatments....
Article
Watermelon [. Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] and melon (Cucumis melo L.) are popular annual fruit crops of the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, drawing from discrete botanical backgrounds. For both these dessert fruits, quality is what mainly influences consumer behavior and formulates recurring purchasing habits and brand loyalty within re...
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Full-text available
Aim Ground penetrating radar (GPR) as a non-invasive technique is widely used in coarse root detection. However, the applicability of the technique to detect fine roots of agricultural crops is unknown. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of utilizing GPR to detect fine roots in the field. Methods This study was conducted in...
Article
Immersion treatment of a new 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) formulation has shown beneficial effects on post-harvest quality retention of several fruit commodities. We examined the effects of 1-MCP concentration (0.1–10 mg/L) and immersion time (0.5–5 min) on the shelf-life of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus L. Naud) fruit. Regardless of...
Article
Soil amendment using organic fertilizer has been used widely to dispose animal waste, reduce environmental pollution and improve soil and fruit quality. The objective of this two-year study was to assess the influence of organic and conventional systems on growth, marketable yield, head quality (chlorogenic acid and cynarin concentration) and soil...
Article
Onions (Allium cepa L.) are easily outcompeted by weeds because of slow germination and relative growth rates. Therefore, high percentage of seed germination and root vigor are important traits to improve field performance. The effects of exogenous plant growth regulators (PGRs), 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon, Eth), indole-3- acetic acid (...
Article
Plants perceive environmental stress and use this information to modulate their regular pattern of development. Abscisic acid (ABA) mediates plant responses to many abiotic stresses. This study investigated the efficiency of short- versus long-term ABA exposure on critical morphological and physiological responses linked to functional changes in st...
Article
Leaf wax forms the boundary between plant leaf and atmosphere. The properties of the wax layer reflect physiological and biochemical adaptation and response to environmental stress, including drought. Agricultural field cropping experiments provide an intermediary between complex natural ecosystems and controlled laboratory growth experiments, rout...
Article
In a two year minirhizotron study (2011 and 2012), the root growth, yield and fruit quality responses of six melon genotypes to two locations with different soil types were investigated. The field experiments were conducted in south Texas at two locations viz. Uvalde with clayey (hyperthermic aridic calciustolls) and Weslaco with sandy loam (hypert...
Article
High seed germination and root vigour are important traits to improve post-transplant performance of artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) under heat stress conditions. The effects of exogenous applications of five ethylene regulators each at different concentrations were evaluated on germination and early root growth of artichoke at 23°C in...
Article
Full-text available
Vegetable transplants grown in commercial high-density trays can quickly outgrow the optimal size for shipping and transplanting, limiting transplant performance, and marketing flexibility for commercial nurseries. Abscisic acid (ABA) and uniconazole can suppress shoot growth by inducing stress-adaptive responses and inhibiting gibberellin synthesi...
Article
Open field irrigated agriculture in arid to semi-arid regions of the world is seriously affected by frequent and severe droughts, limited water resources, and increased regulations restricting ground water use. Integrated strategies for melon (Cucumis melo L.) production can be applied to increase water savings without reducing marketable yields an...
Article
Tillage practices are critical for sustaining soil quality necessary for successful crop growth and productivity. A three-year study (2012–2014) was carried out to evaluate the influence of strip and conventional tillage practices and three water status levels [T1 = 100% of evapotranspiration (ET) demands, T2 = 0.75T1and T3 = 0.5T1] on plant morpho...
Article
Full-text available
Belowground properties strongly affect agri- cultural productivity. Traditional methods for quantifying below- ground properties are destructive, labor-intensive and point-based. Ground penetrating radar can provide non-invasive, areal, and repeatable underground measurements. This article reviews the application of ground penetrating radar for soi...
Article
Full-text available
High air temperatures during the crop growing season can reduce harvestable yields in major agronomic crops worldwide. Repeated and prolonged high night air temperature stress may compromise plant growth and yield. Crop varieties with improved heat tolerance traits as well as crop management strategies at the farm scale are thus needed for climate...
Article
Full-text available
Effective nutrition and irrigation are important nursery strategies to produce high-quality seedlings able to withstand heat and drought stress in the field. The objectives of this study were 2-fold, first to identify the influence of two nitrogen (N) levels (75 and 150 mg·L−1) and two fertigation (FR) methods, overhead (OH) and flotation (FL) of a...
Article
Full-text available
Melons (Cucumis melo L.) are among the most popular and nutritious fruiting vegetables in the United States, with the lowest cost per pound to the consumer. The high levels of vitamin C, carotenoids, folate, potassium, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) provide valuable antioxidant and other human health-promoting properties (Lester, 2008; Lester et al...
Article
Vegetable transplants quickly outgrow the optimal size for shipping and transplanting, limiting sales, and marketing flexibility in commercial nurseries. Abscisic acid (ABA) and uniconazole can suppress shoot growth by inducing stress-adaptive responses and inhibiting gibberellin biosynthesis, respectively. We evaluated the effectiveness of the two...
Conference Paper
Polyethylene mulch is widely used for vegetable production in the U.S as a tool to conserve water, control weeds and produce earlier and cleaner products. However, the increasing labor costs for mulch removal and disposal after harvest, and air and soil environmental pollution are major concerns. The objectives of this study were to assess yield, f...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this work was to determine how differences in lipids and starch content among diploid and triploid watermelon seeds affect respiration and the glyoxylate cycle during germination. In comparison to diploid watermelon seeds, the respiratory quotient (RQ) associated with CO2 release and O2 uptake in triploids was very high initially and dec...
Article
In the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway, lycopene beta-cyclase (LCYB) catalyzes the cyclization that converts lycopene into beta-carotene. Only a single copy of LCYB was identified and was suggested to encode a chromoplast-specific LCYB (CYCB type) in watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.), Matsum & Nakai]. Splicing variants in the 5'-untranslated r...
Article
Height control of vegetable transplants is important for improving their adaptability to shipping and transplanting operations. Abscisic acid (ABA) inhibits stem elongation but can also induce undesirable growth modification. To optimize its application timing for effective height control, we examined age-dependent sensitivity of various growth var...
Conference Paper
Texas A&M AgriLife Research announces the release of ‘TAM Hot-Ty,’ a new, heat-tolerant, virus-resistant, fresh-market tomato cultivar. The main impediments to tomato production in south and central Texas are high temperatures and virus infections. The Texas A&M AgriLife Research system has a long history of heat-tolerant tomato germplasm developme...
Conference Paper
In a two year (2011 and 2012) study three diverse melon (Cucumis melo L.) cultivars, Mission (cantaloupe; reticulatus type), Da Vinci (tuscan; reticulatus type) and Super Nectar (honeydew; inodorus type) were subjected to two irrigation rates (50% vs. 100% crop evapotranspiration, ETc) to investigate their leaf gas exchange and growth responses und...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Wintergarden is a semiarid region of southwest Texas known for its intensive irrigated vegetable crops. However, vegetable production in this region is experiencing an increasing scarcity of water resources and more frequent and severe drought events, which combined are greatly affecting total productivity and the overall economy of the region....
Article
Water scarcity associated with intense and frequent droughts has increased the need for the implementation of drought adaptation strategies that can save water and sustain crop productivity in water limited environments. A two season (2011 and 2012) study evaluated root growth, yield and fruit quality responses of cvs. Mission (muskmelon; reticulat...
Article
Full-text available
Height control is important to produce compact vegetable transplants that are suitable for shipping and transplanting. Although abscisic acid (ABA) inhibits stem elongation, it can also induce other growth modifications. To optimize its application timing for effective height control, we examined age-dependent sensitivity of various growth variable...
Article
In semiarid regions of the U.S., artichoke [Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus (L.) Fiori] seedlings planted in the field during late summer or early fall generally experience simultaneous high air temperatures and short drought episodes causing transplant shock and delay in root and shoot development. This experiment was conducted to determine th...
Article
Full-text available
Field experiments were conducted in two seasons to investigate growth, physiology and yield responses of cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. cvs Pennant and Rio Grande) to deficit irrigation. In 2012 season, 50% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) irrigation temporarily decreased plant size, reduced leaf area, fresh weight, relative water content, specific...
Article
Full-text available
Proper management of water is vitally important to maintain and sustain crop production in arid and semi-arid regions, where water is often a limiting factor of crop growth. Despite progress made in the past decade, accurate prediction of water flow in the soil-plant system remains challenging. This paper briefly reviews opportunities for improving...