Agricultural Experiments

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    Abstract

    WISCONSIN Experiment Station Twenty-second Annual Report.—From the time of Thomas Andrew Knight onwards, hortioulturists have remarked the effects of an excessive food supply on variability in cultivated plants, but one seldom hears of a case in which such pronounced results have followed excessive feeding as those which occurred in an experiment described by Mr. E. P. Sandsten in the twenty-second annual report of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of Wisconsin. To a batch of tomato seedlings growing in a greenhouse a mixed manure consisting of Soo lb. nitrate of soda, 600 lb. sulphate of potash, and 1000 lb. bone per acre was applied. The seedlings soon began to vary, with the result that out of ninety-six plants scarcely any two were alike. Some plants were dwarfed, others developed internodes of abnormal length; the leaves varied in size and shape; the blossoms were abnormal in form; the stamens were much modified, and in one case became “almost aborted “; the pistils, on the other hand, were greatly overgrown, and some of the plants produced seedless fruits. Two seedless types, a large- and small-fruited, were specially noticeable, and cuttings of these and of some of the other marked variations were made. These were subsequently grown in an ordinary soil, and produced plants which retained all their abnormal characters.

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