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Anil P. Ranwala and William B. Miller

Three soluble invertase isoforms from Lilium longiflorum flower buds that had been separated by DEAE-Sephacel chromatography were purified to near homogeneity by further chromatography on hydroxylapetite, Con-A sepharose, phenyl agarose, and Sephacryl S-200 gel filtration. Nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) gave a single band in all three invertases that corresponded to a band of invertase activity in a duplicate gel. The SDS-PAGE of the purified invertase I resulted in a single band with apparent relative molecular mass of 78 kDa. Invertase II and III were resolved to a similar polypeptide pattern by SDS-PAGE with three bands of 54, 52, and 24 kDa. Antiserum of tomato acid invertase cross-reacted with all three invertase protein bands. Antiserum of wheat coleoptile acid invertase cross-reacted only with 54 and 52 kDa bands of invertase II and III but did not recognize invertase I protein. Con-A peroxidase was bound to invertase I protein and all three protein bands of invertase II and III, suggesting that all proteins were glycosylated. Invertase I protein could be completely deglycosylated by incubating with peptide-N-glycosidase F to result in a peptide of 75 kDa. Invertase II and III were partially deglycosylated by peptide-N-glycosidase F resulting proteins bands of 53, 51, 50, and 22 kDa.

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Jeff S. Kuehny and William B. Miller

The majority of Hippeastrum bulbs sold in the U.S. market are shipped from other countries. The shipping time and temperature varies by the country that the bulbs are shipped from and the storage time and temperature also varies by the company that packages the bulbs for retail sale. These packaged bulbs then sit on a shelf until they are purchased and forced by the consumer. These various storage times and temperatures can affect the longevity after packaging (premature emergence) and quality of the finished plant. The objectives of this research were to determine the effects of various storage temperatures and durations on emergence and forcing of Hippeastrum hybrids. Bulbs were stored at temperatures of 5, 9, 13, 21, and 29 °C for 6, 9, 12, and 15 weeks after which time one set was stored at 21 °C (packaged display temperature) and the other set forced in the greenhouse. Emergence of leaves and buds when stored at the 21 °C display temperature and during greenhouse forcing varied by specific hybrid according to storage duration at 5, 9 and 13 °C. Storage at 21 and 29 °C resulted in only leaf emergence and no flower bud emergence during the 21 °C display temperature and greenhouse forcing. Storage at 5 and 9 °C generally resulted in slower leaf emergence and quicker bud emergence. Results from this research can be used to help determine the best storage times and temperatures for preventing premature emergence of Hippeastrum based upon previous shipping times and temperatures.

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Joseph P. Albano and William B. Miller

We have shown previously that Fe-chelates incorporated into soluble fertilizers are vulnerable to photodegradation, and that such solutions can cause modifications in root reductase activity. The objective of this research was to determine the effects of Fe-chelate photodegradation under commercial production conditions. Marigolds were grown in a greenhouse and transplanted stepwise from #200 plug trays to 804 packs to 11.4-cm (4.5-inch) pots. Plants were harvested at the end of each stage, and treatments consisted of either irradiated (complete loss of soluble Fe) or non-irradiated fertilizer solutions ranging from 100-400 mg/L N (0.5–2 mg/L Fe). In the plug and pack stages, foliar Fe was significantly lower and Mn significantly higher in plants treated with the irradiated than nonirradiated fertilizer solutions, averaging 97 μg·g–1 and 115 μg·g–1 Fe, and 217 μg·g–1 and 176 μg·g–1 Mn, respectively. Fe(III)-DTPA reductase activity of roots of plugs treated with the irradiated fertilizer solution was 1.4-times greater than for roots treated with the non-irradiated fertilizer solution. Leaf dry weight in the plug and pack stages was not affected by treatment, and averaged 0.1 g and 1.2 g per plant, respectively.

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Joseph P. Albano and William B. Miller

Our objective was to determine the effects on plant growth and physiology that a photodegraded Fe-chelate containing lab-prepared nutrient solution would have when used in plant culture. Plants grown hydroponically in the irradiated Fe-DTPA containing nutrient solution had ferric reductase activity 2.2 times greater, foliar Fe level 0.77 times less, and foliar Mn level 1.9 times greater than in plants grown in an identical but non-irradiated solution, indicating that plants growing in the irradiated solution were responding to Fe deficiency stress with physiological reactions associated with Fe efficiency. The youngest leaves of plants that were grown in the irradiated solution had symptoms of Mn toxicity. Restoration of the irradiated solution by removing the precipitated Fe by centrifugation and adding fresh Fe-chelate resulted in plants that were, in general, not different from those grown in the non-irradiated solution (control).

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Susan S.C. Liou and William B. Miller

During transportation and storage of Dutch tulip bulbs, potential ethylene exposure could lead to flowering abnormalities, including accelerated flowering, shortened plant heights, and in the most extreme case, flower abortion. Sources of ethylene include Fusarium-infected bulbs, deteriorating tissues, and combustion engines. Treatment with 1-MCP (1-methylcyclopropene) may prevent ethylene action as 1-MCP occupies ethylene specific receptors on target tissue. Two aspects of this problem were quantified using four tulip cultivars: duration of ethylene exposure necessary to induce damage as well as the effective period of protection by 1-MCP against ethylene. Flower abortion appeared in susceptible cultivars after ≥9 days of ethylene exposure (10 ppm) and was only found in mature bulbs (late November). The effective protection period of 1-MCP against ethylene (2-week exposure of 10 ppm) was determined, using flowering percentages, to be as long as 4–7 days in young bulbs and 28 days for older bulbs. Effects of ethylene on other flower attributes and implications of these findings in industry practices will be discussed.

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Joseph P. Albano and William B. Miller

Marigolds under iron deficiency stress exhibited characteristics associated with iron efficiency (e.g. induced reductase and rhizosphere acidification). Ferric reduction rates for roots of the minus Fe-DTPA treatment group was 0.97 μmol·g FW-1·h-1, 14 times greater than the 17.9 μM Fe-DTPA treatment group. Excised primary lateral roots from the minus Fe-DTPA and 17.9 μM Fe-DTPA treatment groups embedded in an Fe reductase activity gel visually confirmed an increased Fe reduction rate for the minus Fe-DTPA treatment group. The pH of the nutrient solution one week after initiation of treatments indicated that the minus Fe-DTPA treatment group was 1 pH unit lower than the 17.9 μM Fe-DTPA treatment group at 4.1 and 5.1, respectively.

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Michael R. Mason and William B. Miller

Interactions of ethephon and irradiance reduction were investigated in terms of flower bud blasting in Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb. `Nellie White'). Silver thiosulfate (STS) was investigated as an inhibitor of ethylene-induced bud abortion. Fourteen days of 92% irradiance reduction significantly increased bud abortion when plants were exposed to 2.1 mm ethephon. Bud abortion was 39% and 60% for plants grown in ambient and reduced irradiance, respectively. Silver thiosulfate was applied to plants 2 or 3 weeks after the date of the first visible bud, followed by ethephon treatment 2 days later. Bud abortion was significantly reduced by 1 or 2 mm STS, without phytotoxicity. Pretreatment with 1 or 2 mm STS as early as 4 weeks before ethephon exposure significantly reduced ethephon-induced bud abortion. Silver thiosulfate application could inexpensively reduce flower bud abortion during latter stages of greenhouse forcing of Easter lilies.

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Anil P. Ranwala and William B. Miller

Our previous research has demonstrated preventive effects of foliar sprays of growth regulators containing GA4+7 (ProVide or Promalin) on cold storage-induced leaf yellowing and abscission in `Stargazer' hybrid lilies. Further research was conducted to investigate the effective concentrations of Promalin and appropriate timing of promalin sprays. Lilies at “puffy bud” stage were sprayed with promalin at concentrations of 10, 25, 50 or 100 ppm (each GA4+7 and BA) just before placing them at 4 °C for 2 weeks in darkness. Promalin concentrations of 25 ppm or above completely prevented cold storage-induced leaf yellowing occurring during the poststorage evaluation phase in a simulated consumer environment, whereas 10 ppm sprays only partially prevented it. Foliar spray of Promalin (100 ppm each GA4+7 and BA) just before storage at 4 °C for 2 weeks was compared with spraying 2 or 4 weeks before cold storage. While spraying 2 weeks before storage prevented leaf yellowing to the same extent observed in plants sprayed just before cold storage, spraying 4 weeks before storage had very little preventive effect on leaf yellowing. To investigate the effectiveness of promalin sprays with different cold storage durations, puffy-bud stage plants were stored at 4 °C for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 weeks in darkness with or without promalin sprays (100 ppm each GA4+7 and BA) before storage. Longer cold storage durations increased the severity of leaf yellowing occurring during poststorage phase. Although promalin was able to prevent leaf yellowing completely up to 2 weeks of cold storage, beyond 3 weeks of cold-storage, effectiveness of promalin diminished with no apparent preventive effect on plants stored for 5 weeks.

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Susan S.C. Liou* and William B. Miller

Tulip bulbs are produced in the Netherlands and are shipped to United States during the months of July and August in temperature-controlled shipping containers. Each shipment is often composed of a mixture of many cultivars. Mechanical failure of temperature controls may result in high temperatures that ultimately may reduce forcing quality of the bulbs. When such accidents occur, an immediate decision must be made about whether to invest more time and money on these potentially damaged bulbs. Such a decision is not easy because symptoms of heat damage are often delayed until months later. Research on a single cultivar, `Apeldoorn', has shown that heat stress can cause flower abortion and other abnormalities. However, cultivars undoubtedly vary in their response to heat stress. Thus in the 2002 and 2004 forcing seasons, ≈45 cultivars were screened for response to a standard heat stress of 4 days at 35 °C. Prior to the heat stress, bulbs were held at 17 °C or 9 °C for 4 weeks, mimicking conditions used for late and early forced bulbs, respectively. Flower and leaf height, percent flower abortion, and flowering date were evaluated. Heat stress caused flower abortion and reduced plant height in sensitive cultivars. Across all cultivars, cold storage prior to the heat stress significantly increased bulb's sensitivity to heat stress. Using percent flower abortion, cultivars were grouped into three categories: resistant, moderate, and susceptible. With this information, we hope that damage assessment may become easier and fewer bulbs wasted.

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Joseph P. Albano and William B. Miller

Our objective was to assess the susceptibility of seven marigold varieties to Fe toxicity. Marigold varieties included were one hedge type, `Orange Jubilee'; five semi-dwarf types, `First Lady', `Gold Lady', `Orange Lady', `Marvel Gold', and `Yellow Galore'; and one dwarf type, `Discovery Orange'. Plants were grown in a greenhouse in a soilless medium and treatments consisted of 0.018 mm (low) and 0.36 mm (high) Fe-DTPA incorporated into a nutrient solution. Plant height was not affected by Fe treatment and ranged from 32 cm in `Orange Jubilee', 13 to 14 cm in the semi-dwarf varieties, and 7.0 cm in `Discovery Orange'. Leaf dry weight per plant was not affected by Fe treatment and ranged from 1.15 g in `Orange Jubilee', 0.68 to 0.95 g in the semi-dwarf varieties, and 0.56 g in `Discovery Orange'. Symptoms of Fe toxicity only developed in the high Fe treatment, and the percent leaf dry weight separated at harvest as symptomatic ranged from 97% in `Orange Jubilee', 55% to 85% in the semidwarf varieties, and 15% in `Discovery Orange'. The Fe concentration in leaves in the high Fe treatment was 5.7-times greater in `Orange Jubilee', 2 to 3-times greater in the semi-dwarf varieties, and 1.6-times greater in `Discovery Orange' than in the low Fe treatment. Based on these findings, `Orange Jubilee' and `Discovery Orange' were the most and least susceptible varieties, respectively, to Fe toxicity of the seven marigold varieties evaluated in this study.