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Douglas A. Bailey and William B. Miller

Plants of Euphorbia pulcherrima Wind. `Glory' were grown under total irradiances of 13.4, 8.5, or 4.0 mol·m-2·day-1 and sprayed with water (control), 2500 mg daminozide/liter + 1500 mg chlormequat chloride/liter (D + C), 62.5 mg paclobutrazol/liter, or 4, 8, 12, or 16 mg uniconazole/liter to ascertain plant developmental and postproduction responses to treatment combinations. Anthesis was delayed for plants grown under the lowest irradiance. Anthesis was delayed by the D + C treatment, whereas other growth retardant treatments had no effect on anthesis date. Irradiance did not affect plant height at anthesis, but all growth retardant treatments decreased height over control plants. Inflorescence and bract canopy diameters were decreased at the lowest irradiance level. Growth retardants did not affect individual inflorescence diameters, but all, except paclobutrazol and 4 and 8 mg uniconazole/liter, reduced bract canopy diameter compared with control plants. Plants grown under the lowest irradiance developed fewer inflorescences per plant and fewer cyathia per inflorescence. Cyathia abscission during a 30-day postanthesis evaluation increased as irradiance was decreased; cyathia abscission was unaffected by growth retardant treatment. Leaf abscission after 30 days postanthesis was lowest for plants grown under the lowest irradiance. At 30 days postanthesis, all growth retardant treatments increased leaf abscission over controls. Results indicate that irradiance and growth retardant treatments during production can affect poinsettia crop timing, plant quality at maturity, and subsequent postproduction performance. Chemical names used: 2-chloroethyl-N,N,N-trimethylammonium chloride (chlormequat chloride); butanedioic acid mono (2,2-dimethyl hydrazide) (daminozide); β-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]- α -(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol), (E)-1-(p-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)-l-penten-3-ol (uniconazole, XE-1019).

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William B. Miller and Robert W. Langhans

Easter liliy (Lilium longiflorum Thunb. `Nellie White') bulbs were stored in moist peatmoss for up to 85 days at – 1.0 or 4.5C. Bulbs were periodically removed from storage and analyzed to determine levels of soluble carbohydrates and starch. Storage at – 1.0C induced large accumulations of sucrose, mannose, fructose, and oligosaccharide in both mother and daughter scales. Starch concentration declined substantially during this period. Storage at 4.5C resulted in less dramatic alterations in bulb carbohydrates, although trends toward increased soluble carbohydrates and reduced starch levels were seen. The accumulation of mannose suggests that glucomannan, a secondary storage carbohydrate, was also degraded during – 1.0C storage.

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Douglas A. Bailey and William B. Miller

Plants of Euphorbia pulcherrima Wind. `Glory' were grown under 13.4, 8.5, or 4.0 mol·m-2·day-1 and sprayed with water (control); 2500 mg·liter-1 daminozide + 1500 mg·liter-1 chlormequat chloride (D+C); 62.5 mg·liter-1 paclobutrazol; or 4, 8, 12 or 16 mg·liter-1 uniconazole to ascertain plant developmental and pest-production responses to the treatment combinations. Days to anthesis increased as irradiance was decreased. Anthesis was delayed by the D+C treatment, while other growth retardant (GR) treatments had no effect on anthesis. Irradiance did not affect plant height at anthesis, but all GR treatments decreased height over control plants. Bract display and bract canopy display diameters declined as irradiance was decreased. Growth retardants did not affect individual bract display diameters, but all GR treatments except paclobutrazol reduced bract canopy display diameter. Plants grown under lower irradiance had fewer axillary buds develop, fewer bract displays per plant, and fewer cyathia per bract display. Cyathia abscission during a 30 day post-anthesis evaluation was not affected by treatment; however, plant leaf drop was linearly proportional to irradiance. All GR treatments increased leaf drop over controls, and the D+C treated plants had the highest leaf loss. Results indicate the irradiance and GR treatments during production can affect poinsettia crop timing, plant quality at maturity, and subsequent post-production performance.

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Douglas A. Bailey and William B. Miller

Plants of Euphorbia pulcherrima Wind. `Glory' were grown under 13.4, 8.5, or 4.0 mol·m-2·day-1 and sprayed with water (control); 2500 mg·liter-1 daminozide + 1500 mg·liter-1 chlormequat chloride (D+C); 62.5 mg·liter-1 paclobutrazol; or 4, 8, 12 or 16 mg·liter-1 uniconazole to ascertain plant developmental and pest-production responses to the treatment combinations. Days to anthesis increased as irradiance was decreased. Anthesis was delayed by the D+C treatment, while other growth retardant (GR) treatments had no effect on anthesis. Irradiance did not affect plant height at anthesis, but all GR treatments decreased height over control plants. Bract display and bract canopy display diameters declined as irradiance was decreased. Growth retardants did not affect individual bract display diameters, but all GR treatments except paclobutrazol reduced bract canopy display diameter. Plants grown under lower irradiance had fewer axillary buds develop, fewer bract displays per plant, and fewer cyathia per bract display. Cyathia abscission during a 30 day post-anthesis evaluation was not affected by treatment; however, plant leaf drop was linearly proportional to irradiance. All GR treatments increased leaf drop over controls, and the D+C treated plants had the highest leaf loss. Results indicate the irradiance and GR treatments during production can affect poinsettia crop timing, plant quality at maturity, and subsequent post-production performance.

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Susan E. Trusty and William B. Miller

Exudation of phloem sap into EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) solutions has been found to be a successful technique for qualitatively determining translocated assimilates in many plants. Mature Chysanthemum leaves were excised under a solution of 10 mM EDTA (pH 7.0). The petioles of these leaves were placed in EDTA, and leaf exudate was collected at intervals for 24 h. Soluble carbohydrates were determined with HPLC. While numerous sugars were present in the leaf, sucrose was the only sugar found in the EDTA solutions. The greatest rate of sucrose exudation occurred in the first two h after excision. Diurnal fluctuations of soluble sugars in Chrysanthemum leaves were also monitored in greenhouse-grown plants (late winter in Arizona). Sucrose exhibited a clear diurnal fluctuation, and nearly doubled in concentration (to appx. 25 mg/g DWT) in the afternoon relative to the low in the morning. Other leaf carbohydrates, including glucose, starch, and fructans showed diurnal variations as well.

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Susan E. Trusty and William B. Miller

Exudation of phloem sap into EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) solutions has been found to be a successful technique for qualitatively determining translocated assimilates in many plants. Mature Chysanthemum leaves were excised under a solution of 10 mM EDTA (pH 7.0). The petioles of these leaves were placed in EDTA, and leaf exudate was collected at intervals for 24 h. Soluble carbohydrates were determined with HPLC. While numerous sugars were present in the leaf, sucrose was the only sugar found in the EDTA solutions. The greatest rate of sucrose exudation occurred in the first two h after excision. Diurnal fluctuations of soluble sugars in Chrysanthemum leaves were also monitored in greenhouse-grown plants (late winter in Arizona). Sucrose exhibited a clear diurnal fluctuation, and nearly doubled in concentration (to appx. 25 mg/g DWT) in the afternoon relative to the low in the morning. Other leaf carbohydrates, including glucose, starch, and fructans showed diurnal variations as well.

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Anil P. Ranwala and William B. Miller

In mature Lilium longiflorum flower buds, anther and stigma had the highest soluble acid invertase activity [3.29 and 2.31 μmol of reducing sugars (RS)/min per gram of fresh weight (FW), respectively] compared to style, ovary, petal, and filament with activities of 1.52, 1.08, 0.99 and 0.98 μmol RS/min per gram of FW, respectively. DEAE-sephacel chromatography revealed that invertase activity in petal, ovary, style, and stigma was composed exclusively of invertase II and III isoforms. Anther invertase was mainly invertase I with small amounts of invertase II and III. Filament tissue mainly had invertase II and III isoforms with a small amount of invertase I. Wall-bound invertases were extracted with 1.0 m NaCl. Anthers had the highest wall-bound invertase activity (4.42 μmol RS/min per gram of FW) followed by stigma (0.42 μmol RS/min per gram of FW). Other tissues had low wall-bound invertase activity (<0.1 μmol RS/min per gram FW). For further purification, the binding of soluble invertases to nine different reactive dyes was investigated. Invertase I was bound to Reactive Green 5, Reactive Green 19, and Reactive Red 120 columns and was eluted with 0.5 m NaCl, resulting in increase in specific activity ≈10-fold with ≈70% recovery. Invertase II and III bound only to Reactive Red 120. Elution with 0.5 m NaCl resulted in an ≈6-fold increase in specific activity.

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Joseph P. Albano and William B. Miller

Iron chelate photodegradation is a problem in tissue culture where limited soluble Fe in agar reduces callus tissue growth. Our objectives were to determine if Fe chelate photodegradation occurs in commercial fertilizers used in greenhouse plant production and, if so, the effects on plant Fe acquisition. Commercial 20N–10P–20K soluble fertilizers containing Fe-EDTA were prepared as 100x stocks based on a 100 mg N/liter (1x) concentration. A modified Hoagland's solution with Fe-DTPA was prepared as a 10x stock based on a 200 mg N/liter (1x) concentration. Samples then were kept in darkness or were irradiated with 500 μmol·m–2·s–1 from fluorescent and incandescent sources for ≤240 hours. Soluble Fe in the irradiated commercial fertilizer solutions decreased 85% in 240 h. Soluble Fe in the Hoagland's solution, prepared in the lab, decreased 97% in 72 h. There was no loss in soluble Fe in any dark-stored treatment; demonstrating photodegradation of Fe-chelates under commercial settings. Excised roots of marigold (Tagetes erecta L.), grown hydroponically in the irradiated solutions, had Fe(III)-DTPA reductase activity 2 to 6 times greater than roots of plants grown in solutions kept in darkness. Plants growing in irradiated solutions acidified the rhizosphere more than plants growing in solutions kept dark. The increase in Fe reductase activity and rhizosphere acidification are Fe-efficiency reactions of marigold responding to the photodegradation of Fe-chelates and subsequent decrease in soluble Fe in both commercial fertilizers and lab-prepared nutrient solution.

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Joseph P. Albano and William B. Miller

Irradiation of FeDTPA-containing nutrient solutions by a fluorescent plus incandescent light source resulted in the loss of both Fe-chelate and soluble Fe, the formation of a precipitate that was composed mostly of Fe, and a rise in pH. The rate of Fe-chelate photodegradation in solution increased with irradiance intensity and with solution temperature under irradiation, but irradiance had the greater effect. Fe-chelates absorb in the blue and UV regions of the spectrum. Removal of these wavelengths with a spectral filter eliminated photodegradation. Chemical name used: ferric diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (FeDTPA).

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Joseph P. Albano and William B. Miller

Marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) grown hydroponically in an irradiated nutrient solution containing FeDTPA had root ferric reductase activity 120% greater, foliar Fe level 33% less, and foliar Mn level 90% greater than did plants grown in an identical, nonirradiated solution, indicating that the plants growing in the irradiated solution were responding to Fe-deficiency stress with physiological reactions associated with Fe efficiency. The youngest leaves of plants grown in the irradiated solution had symptoms of Mn toxicity (interveinal chlorosis, shiny-bronze necrotic spots, and leaf deformation). Plants grown in irradiated solution in which the precipitated Fe was replaced with fresh Fechelate were, in general, no different from those grown in the nonirradiated solution. Chemical name used: ferric diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (FeDTPA).