Rapid Flowering of Microcultured Cranberry Plants

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706

The capability to uniformlyinduce flowering in cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait. `Stevens') in < 1 year from microculture was investigated to accelerate cranberry breeding and to study woody plant reproductive biotechnology. Flower buds were induced on newly micropropagated cranberry plants during the first growing season. A treatment of 2.5 mg of paclobutrazol applied as a soil drench per 2- to 3-month-old potted plant in midsummer, when the plants were grown in coldframes under natural daylength and air temperatures, resulted in 70% of the plants flowering. Plants not treated with paclobutrazol did not flower. Reduced but significant flower bud set was observed on plants treated with paclobutrazol but grown in the greenhouse under natural daylength. Flowering was stimulated by cold treatment coupled with gibberellin sprays and/or repotting to nonpaclobutrazol-treated medium. Chemical name used: β -[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-ct-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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