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Articles by R.J. Howard
Total Records ( 2 ) for R.J. Howard
  S.F. Hwang , H.U. Ahmed , K. Ampong-Nyarko , S.E. Strelkov , R.J. Howard and G.D. Turnbull
  Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is a plant with adaptogenic properties and is suitable for cultivation in Alberta, Canada. Disease surveys indicated the occurrence of root rots in rhodiola plantations in the Province. A total of 74 fungal isolates were associated with discoloration and rotting in the crown and root regions of the plants. Among these, 15 isolates were identified as Fusarium sp., three as Pythium sp. and eight as Rhizoctonia sp. This is the first report of root rot in rhodiola in Alberta, Canada. These soil-borne pathogens are the potential threat to the quality and quantity of rhodiola production. Experiments were conducted to determine the effect of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and these soil pathogens on rhodiola growth and development under greenhouse conditions. Overall results indicated that Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia sp. are all capable of reducing rhodiola biomass. However, biomass was significantly higher when vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were applied in conjunction with these pathogens or in non-inoculated controls. This suggests that vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi could be used as a management tool for the control of seedling root rot diseases of rhodiola.
  M.W. Harding , N. Butler , W. Dmytriw , S. Rajput , D.A. Burke and R.J. Howard
  Background and Objective: Microorganisms can colonize or contaminate fruits and vegetables at virtually any point during production, distribution, processing, packaging or food preparation. Microbial contamination of fruits and vegetables can cause food spoilage and human infections. This study was undertaken to collect, isolate and identify commonly occurring food spoilage microorganisms from a wide variety of fresh, direct-market fruits and vegetable in Southern Alberta and to test for the presence of the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes on a few representative farm operation surfaces. Methodology: The naturally-occurring microorganisms present on produce were amplified by incubation in humid chambers. Microorganism cultures were obtained by aseptically isolating from produce surfaces and sub-culturing on agar petri dishes. Results: Approximately 950 microbial isolates, both bacteria and fungi were collected from fresh produce. Identities of 80 selected isolates were confirmed using molecular analysis. A number of well-known plant pathogenic taxa were identified along with a few species that have not previously been reported to act as spoilage organisms, namely Isaria farinosus, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Rahnella aquatilis and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus (syn. Micrococcus calcoaceticus ). Listeria monocytogenes was not detected at any of the Southern Alberta farms sampled. Conclusion: These results indicate that a wide array of microorganisms are capable of causing food spoilage and some have not yet been documented or characterized.
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