This study aimed to identify the best method to improve poor branching of poinsettia ‘Orange Spice’. Treatments included pinched and unpinched alone and in combination with four different rates (3.9, 7.8, 11.7, and 23.4 mL⋅L−1) of Atrimmec. Pinching reduced plant height, as did unpinched + 11.7 mL⋅L−1 and unpinched + 11.7 mL⋅L−1 Atrimmec. Neither pinching nor Atrimmec had any effect on plant width, stem caliper, or shoot dry weight. Atrimmec did not increase the number of laterals in combination for pinched or unpinched treatments, but unpinched plants generally produced more laterals. Unpinched with any rate of Atrimmec resulted in tertiary shoots, which improved the visual appearance and quality.
Bruce L. Dunn, Stephen Stanphill, and Carla Goad
Edina Pászti Mendelné and Ákos Mendel
Robert Conway Hochmuth, Marina Burani-Arouca, and Charles Edward Barrett
Carrot (Daucus carota) production has increased in North Florida and South Georgia since 2015. Deep sandy soils, moderate winter climate, availability of irrigation water, and proximity to eastern markets are favorable for carrot production in the region. Nitrogen (N) is required for successful carrot production, and the current recommended N application rate in Florida is 196 kg·ha−1. The objective of this study was to verify the recommended N rate for the sandy soils of North Florida using current industry standard cultivars and practices. Carrot cultivars for the whole carrot fresh market, Choctaw and Maverick, and cultivars for the cut-and-peel market, Triton and Uppercut 25, were direct seeded on 102-cm-wide pressed bed tops on 29 Oct. 2016 and 2 Nov. 2017 in Live Oak, FL. Eight N application rates (56, 112, 168, 224, 280, 336, 392, and 448 kg·ha−1) were tested, and all N applications were placed on the bed top. N rates were split and timed to increase N use efficiency. Regression analyses were used to determine the optimal N rate for carrots in North Florida. A quadratic plateau regression for both seasons combined indicated 206 kg·ha−1 N was the optimal rate for carrots, with marketable yield of 71.3 Mg·ha−1, regardless of cultivar. All four cultivars attained acceptable yield including Uppercut 25, which exhibited significant foliage damage following freezing temperatures. This study resulted in updated information on best management practices for carrot production in Florida, especially nutrient stewardship.
Erin M.R. Clark, John M. Dole, and Jennifer Kalinowski
Six experiments were conducted using three cultivars to investigate the impact of water electrical conductivity (EC) and the addition of nutrients to vase solutions on postharvest quality of cut rose (Rosa hybrids) stems. Postharvest quality of cut ‘Freedom’ rose stems was evaluated using solutions containing either distilled water with sodium chloride (DW+NaCl) or DW+NaCl with the addition of a commercial floral preservative (holding solution containing carbohydrates and biocide) to generate a range of EC values (Expts. 1 and 2). The third experiment compared the effect of different EC levels from the salts NaCl, sodium sulfate (Na2SO4), and calcium chloride (CaCl2). The fourth experiment investigated EC’s impact on rose stems with the addition of two rose cultivars (Charlotte and Classy). When ‘Freedom’ stems were subjected to DW+NaCl, the longest vase life was achieved with 0.5 dS·m–1. The addition of holding solution not only extended vase life but also counteracted the negative effects of high EC with maximum vase life occurring at 1.0 dS·m–1. Furthermore, stems in the holding solution experienced significantly less bent neck and the flowers opened more fully than those in DW. Stems placed in DW with a holding solution also experienced more petal bluing, pigment loss, necrotic edges, and wilting than those held in DW alone. This effect was likely due to increased vase life. Salt solutions containing Na2SO4 and CaCl2 resulted in extended vase life at 1.0 dS·m–1, but increasing salt levels decreased overall vase life. As EC increased, regardless of salt type, water uptake also increased up to a maximum at 0.5 or 1.0 dS·m–1 and then continually declined. Maximum vase life was observed at 1.5 dS·m–1 for cut ‘Charlotte’ stems, and at 1.0 dS·m–1 for ‘Classy’ with the addition of a holding solution. Physiological effects were different based on cultivar, as observed with Charlotte and Freedom flowers that opened further and had less petal browning than Classy flowers. ‘Freedom’ had the greatest pigment loss, but this effect decreased with increasing EC. Further correlational analysis showed that in water-only solutions, initial and final EC accounted for 44% and 41% of the variation in vase life data, respectively, whereas initial pH accounted for 24% of variation. However, the presence of carbohydrates and biocides from the holding solution was found to have a greater effect on overall vase life compared with water pH or EC. Finally, in Expts. 5 and 6, cut ‘Freedom’ stems were subjected to DW solutions containing 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 mg·L–1 boron, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, or zinc. None of these solutions increased vase life. Conversely, 10 or 100 mg·L–1 boron and 100 mg·L–1 copper solutions reduced vase life. Finally, the addition of NaCl to a maximum of 0.83 dS·m–1 increased the vase life in all solutions. These analyses highlight the importance of water quality and its elemental constituents on the vase life of cut rose stems and that the use of a holding solution can overcome the negative effects of high EC water.
Killian Melsen, Mark van de Wouw, and Ryan Contreras
The promising possibilities of mutation breeding in ornamental plants have led to a great interest in effective mutagenic treatment protocols for various species. This review discusses mutagenic treatments of a large number of ornamental genera, the advantages and disadvantages of various techniques, and the possibilities of improving the associated protocols. A number of nontargeted mutagenesis methods are available, ranging from chemical treatment with alkylating agents to irradiation with X-rays, gamma rays, and neutron or heavy ion beams at various doses. These are all relatively inexpensive and have been proven to be effective mutagens in a large number of diverse species. Genetic engineering, however, remains mostly impractical for many ornamental breeding operations because of the high cost and lack of knowledge necessary to successfully transform and regenerate ornamental crops. Of the available nontargeted mutagens, irradiation with gamma rays is still the most popular. It provides high consistency compared with chemical mutagens, albeit at a seemingly lower mutagenic efficiency. Changes in the radiation dose rate may increase the efficiency, although chronic irradiation over a longer period causes fewer deleterious mutations than the commonly used acute irradiation protocols. Heavy ion beam irradiation may also provide highly consistent mutation induction at higher efficiencies because of the high particle energy associated with these treatments. There are also opportunities to improve chemical mutagenesis. Although the required knowledge of specific gene functions in many ornamentals is still lacking, combination mutagenesis with ethyl methanesulfontate with genetic screening in a process known as TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes) may lead to a powerful mutation breeding tool in the future. Mutation breeding is still very useful, and many opportunities are available to improve the existing methods.
Eduardo Esteves, Gabriel Maltais-Landry, Flavia Zambon, Rhuanito Soranz Ferrarezi, and Davie M. Kadyampakeni
The bacterial disease Huanglongbing (HLB) has drastically reduced citrus production in Florida. Nutrients play an important role in plant defense mechanisms and new approaches to manage the disease with balanced nutrition are emerging. Nutrients like nitrogen (N), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) could extend the productive life of affected trees, although interactions among these nutrients in HLB-affected citrus trees are still unclear. A 2-year study was established in Florida to determine the response of HLB-affected trees to applications of N, Ca, and Mg. The study was conducted with ‘Valencia’ trees (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) on Swingle citrumelo (Citrus paradisi Macf. × Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf.) rootstock on a Candler sand. Applications of N at 168, 224 (recommended rate), and 280 kg⋅ha−1 N were used as the main plots. Split-plots consisted of a grower standard treatment receiving only basal Ca (51 kg⋅ha−1) and Mg (56 kg⋅ha−1); supplemental Ca (total Ca inputs: 96 kg⋅ha−1) only; supplemental Mg (total Mg inputs: 101 kg⋅ha−1) only; and supplemental Ca (total Ca inputs: 73.5 kg⋅ha−1) and Mg (total Mg inputs: 78.5 kg⋅ha−1). The following variables were measured: tree size, fruit yield, and juice quality. Although some differences in tree growth among treatments were statistically significant (e.g., greater canopy volume with Mg fertilization at 168 kg⋅ha−1 N), there was no clear and consistent effect of plant nutrition on these variables. Fruit yield was higher with Ca and Mg relative to the grower standard at the lowest N rate in 2020, and there were no other statistically significant differences among treatments. Juice acidity was significantly higher with Mg fertilization relative to other treatments in 2019. As N rates had no significant effect in this study, unlike secondary macronutrients, N rates could potentially be reduced to 168 kg N⋅ha−1 in HLB-affected citrus without affecting vegetative growth, fruit yield, and juice quality. However, this will require optimizing the supply of secondary macronutrients and all other nutrients to develop a balanced nutritional program. Ultimately, the effects of N, Ca, and Mg obtained in this 2-year study should be confirmed with longer-term studies conducted at multiple sites.
Orville C. Baldos, Aleta Corpuz, and Lindsey Watanabe
David R. Coyle, Brayden M. Williams, and Donald L. Hagan
Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) is an invasive tree across much of the eastern United States that can form dense thickets, and tree branches and stems are often covered in sharp thorns. Landowners and land managers attempting to manage callery pear infestations are faced with the challenge of killing and/or removing the trees while also avoiding thorn damage to equipment, which can lead to wasted time and increased costs. We evaluated fire as management tool to reduce the likelihood of equipment damage from callery pear thorns. Branches were collected in the field from callery pear trees that were killed by herbicide, and also from untreated trees, and half the branches from each group were then burned with a propane garden torch to simulate a low-intensity prescribed fire. After treatment, all branches were returned either to an old field or forest floor for 1 year, after which thorn puncture strength was evaluated and compared with freshly cut thorns. Herbicide treatment and location did not affect thorn strength, but burning reduced the likelihood that thorns would puncture a tire. Fire increased tip width, which reduced thorn sharpness. Burning also reduced wood strength, and fungi proliferated on burned thorns after 1 year in the field or forest. Both factors likely contributed to decreasing thorn strength and probability of puncture. Our results show that using prescribed fire as a management tool can weaken callery pear thorns and dull their tips, reducing the chance of equipment damage and costs associated with clearing land of this invasive species. Leaving cut callery pear trees on the ground for 1 year increased fungal colonization, which may also reduce thorn damage. Prescribed fire can be part of an effective integrated management plan for this, and possibly other, thorny invasive flora.
Chunlian Jin, Dan Sun, Chang Wei, Zhenhua Guo, Chunmei Yang, and Fan Li
Gypsophila paniculata is an ornamental crop with medicinal value. To date, limited information has been reported about the natural products in G. paniculata to explain its medicinal function. The current study reports the natural products found in G. paniculata stem for the first time. Thirty-three compounds were isolated from the extract of G. paniculata stem and identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, 10 of which have contents >2%. These were 2-O-methyl-D-mannopyranose (37.4706%), glycerol (12.5669%), two tetratetracontane isomer (7.6523 + 3.5145%), tetrahygro-4-pyranol (5.3254%), 1,6-anhydro-beta-d-glucopyranos (4.7507%), palmitic acid (4.1848%), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxystyrene (3.7439%), methyl-octadeca-9,12-dienoate (2.7490%), and 2-deoxy-D-galactose (2.6193%). Another bioactive compound, condrillasterol, was identified with 1.3384% content. We also reported that G. paniculata possesses antioxidant activity possibly associated with the presence of a phenolic chemical 4-hydroxy-3-methoxystyrene. Our data collectively demonstrate that G. paniculata contains some bioactive compounds with high contents and antioxidants, consistent with its role as a medicinal herb.
Maheshwari Asha, Mmbaga Margaret, Bhusal Bandana, and Ondzighi-Assoume Christine
Bacterial endophytes selected for their capability to suppress diverse fungal pathogens in vitro and in greenhouse studies have been shown to promote plant growth. The effect of volatile compounds emitted by selected bacteria on plant growth in Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum), and cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) was evaluated on container-grown plants nested above bacterial cultures, with roots exposed to the volatiles without direct contact between bacterial cells and the plant roots. Significant increases in plant growth were observed in plant height, root length, leaf size, fresh weight, and chlorophyll content in all plants tested. Although diverse chemical compounds may be involved in promoting plant growth, including volatile and nonvolatile compounds, observations in this study have implications for the potential role of the selected bacteria in plant production as biofertilizers and biopesticides.