765 PB 313 COLD STORAGE OF PLUG-GROWN PETUNIA AFFECTS PHOTOPERIOD RESPONSE

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

Seed of Petunia × hybrida `Ultra White' were germinated in #406 plug trays at 2.5 C and at a light intensity of 100 μ mol s-1m-2 using a 24 or photoperiod. At germination, seedlings were grown under natural light conditions for 8 hrs (SD) or for 8 hrs with the photoperiod extended to 16 hrs (LD) using incandescent bulbs. At approximately the 6th leaf stage, seedlings were stored at 5 C in the dark or at 12 μ mol s-1m-2 and a 24 hr photoperiod for 0 to 21 days. After storage, plants were potted n 10 cm pots and grown to flowering in a greenhouse. Plants grown under SD to the 6th leaf stage with no cold treatment were shorter. flowered later and had more lateral branching than unstored LD plants. Storage at 5 C decreased time to flower of SD plants and increased branching of LD plants regardless of photoperiod during storage.

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