The Influence of Plant Growth Regulators on Budbreak and Shoot Growth from Large Stem Segments of Acer saccharinum L.

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  • 1 Southern Illinois University, Department of Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems, MC4415, Carbondale, IL, 62901

A factorial combination of gibberellic acid (GA3) and benzyladenine (BA) was applied in 20% white exterior latex paint to large (40 cm long, >2.5 cm diameter) stem segments of Acer saccharinum L. (silver maple) to determine the effects on forcing new softwood shoots in the greenhouse or laboratory and the subsequent growth of these new shoots in vitro. Stem segments were harvested from 10-year-old field-grown coppice shoots. The GA3/BA-paint mixes were applied to the entire stem segments that were forced in plastic flats filled with 1 perlite: 1 vermiculite (by volume) and watered with care so as not to wet the new softwood shoots. The flats and stem segments were drenched weekly with Zerotol (0.18% H2O2). The softwood shoots were harvested when they were at least 3 cm long. After disinfesting and rinsing, the nodal and shoot tip explants were established aseptically in vitro on DKW medium with no cytokinin or with 10-8M thidiazuron. Coppice shoots were harvested, cut, and painted on 9 Sept., 28 Oct., and 12 Dec. 2005. Although there were no significant differences in shoot production among stem segments painted with various combinations of GA3/BA, stems treated with plant growth regulators produced a mean of 2.7, 1.8, or 0.5 shoots for the three harvest dates compared to 0.5, 0.0, or 0.25 shoots on control stem segments. It is well-known that shoot forcing is poor from September through January; however, use of GA3/BA resulted in growth of dormant epicormic shoots. Shoot tip explants produced the most shoots in vitro after 8 weeks if they were harvested from stem segments treated with 0.03 mM GA3, whereas nodal explants produced the most shoots if harvested from segments that had been treated with 0.01 mM GA3.

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