The Effect of Light and Temperature on the Physiological Status of Bedding Plant Plugs during Short-term Low-temperature Storage

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506

Previous research has shown that low-temperature storage can be used to maintain bedding plants in plug trays when weather conditions in spring make scheduling of transplanting difficult. The objective of this study was to determine what physiological changes occur during the short-term, low-temperature storage of plug seedlings. Plants of two bedding plant species, Geranium and Vinca, were stored at 2, 6, or 10°C and under low light or dark conditions for 4 weeks. Data were collected at three sampling dates (0, 2, or 4 weeks after beginning of storage) and included dry and fresh mass, total leaf area, leaf chlorophyll content and chlorophyll fluorescence as well as electrolyte leakage and soluble sugar content of leaf and root tissue. The parameters will be discussed in relationship to plug seedling survivability, quality, and growth responses under the experimental storage treatments.

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