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M.K. Ehlenfeldt, A.W. Stretch, and V. Brewster

The resistance of 48 highbush blueberry cultivars and selections to the blight phase of mummy berry disease, incited by the fungus Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi (Reade) Honey, was examined in relation to percent Vaccinium angustifolium Ait. ancestry, season of fruit maturity, and shoot growth during the primary infection phase. Correlations of percent blighting with percent V. angustifolium ancestry were significant across 3 years, but correlations with fruit maturity were significant in only 2 of 3 years. Correlations of percent blighting with early shoot growth were significant in both years measured, with r values of 0.54 in 1994, 0.83 in 1995, and 0.83 across years. A multiple regression found only shoot growth highly significant for susceptibility and rendered V. angustifolium ancestry and season of fruit maturity nonsignificant. Resistant cultivars exhibiting early shoot elongation suggest that resistance can be either biochemically or escape based.

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Issam A. Hassaballa, M.G. Moughieth, N.A. Hagagy, and N.S. Zayed

Shoot tip and single-node cutting explants of `Hamawy' and `El-Amar' apricot cultivars were initiated from forced shoots of field-grown, virus-free trees. Explants were cultured on Murashige & Skoog (MS) Nitsch & Nitsch and Anderson media. Different modifications of MS medium were also evaluated. Antioxidant pretreatment reduced phenolic compounds and decreased necrosis. Modified MS was the best medium for plantlets regeneration, with positive effectiveness of adenine sulfate addition to the modified MS. Shoot multiplication was best on 2.0 mg·L–1 BAP and 1.0 mg·L–1 thidiazuron (TDZ). Also, half-strength MS medium was superior for shoot elongation Surface coverage, 16 hours light/8 hours dark cycle, and 2.0 mg·L–1 IBA induced good rooting. Rooted plantlets were successfully acclimated ex vitro.

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Antonio Figueira, Anna Whipkey, and Jules Janick

Cacao (Theobroma cacao) has long been considered a recalcitrant species in regard to microproagation. Although axillary shoots from cotyledonary nodes will proliferate and grow in vitro provided either cotyledons or roots are attached, excised shoots fail to grow in spite of conventional medium and hormonal modifications. Charcoal supplemented medium and rapid medium change are only marginally effective in inducing shoot elongation. The recalcitrance of cacao appear to be due to the presence of gums which are produced from stem tissues in response to wounding. However, growth of axillary cotyledonary shoots as well as mature shoots was obtained under conditions of high CO2 (20,000 ppm) and high light (quantum flux of 200 μmol m-2s-1) with or without sugar. Under these conditions leaves develop and shoots elongate which can be subdivided and subcultured. Shoots root under these conditions in vitro. We hypothesize that growth of cacao shoots in response to high CO2 is due to translocation of metabolizes from photosynthesizing leaves and stems.

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Agustin Huerta and Ramon Dolcet-Sanjuan

Adventitious shoots and viable plants were regenerated from bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) cultivars and dihaploid lines (DHLs) obtained from F1 hybrids via androgenesis (Dolcet-Sanjuan et al., in press). Hypocotil and cotyledon sections from in vitro-germinated seeds were used as explants. A modified MS medium (Murashige and Skoog, 1962) supplemented with IAA (0 to 3.2 μM) and BAP (0 to 100 μM) was used in a 3-week-long shoot primordia induction phase. Shoot elongation was best performed in the same basal medium, but supplemented with silver thiosulfate and GA3. Shoots were regenerated from eight selected DHLs (`C213', `C215', `C218', `C2123', `C2125', `C3111', `C3113', and `P493') and two cultivars (`Padrón' and `Yolo Wonder'). The percentage of cotyledon sections with shoot primordia after the induction phase was not genotype-dependent and always higher than with hypocotil sections (93.4% and 17.9%, respectively). The number of shoot primordia per responsive cotyledon section was also higher than with hypocotil sections (3.3 and 1.7, respectively). The genotype had a significant effect on the number of shoots regenerated per responsive cotyledon (1.1 to 5.5) or hypocotil (0.5 to 3.5) section. All adventitiously regenerated plants were fertile. This adventitious shoot regeneration protocol is being used to obtain transgenic plants from sweet bell pepper genotypes.

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Charlotte M. Guimond, Preston K. Andrews, and Gregory A. Lang

Flower initiation and development in `Bing' sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) was examined using scanning electron microscopy. There was a 1- to 2-week difference in the time of initiation of flower buds on summer pruned current season shoots (P) compared to buds borne on unpruned shoots (U) or spurs (S). By late July, this difference was obvious in morphological development. The P buds had already formed floral primordia, while the S and U buds showed little differentiation in the meristem until early August. In general, buds from unpruned shoots were similar developmentally to spur buds. By late August, primordial differentiation was similar in the buds from all the wood types; however, buds from pruned shoots were significantly larger (838 μm) than buds from spurs (535 μm) and unpruned shoots (663 μm). Early summer pruning may shift allocation of resources from terminal shoot elongation to reproductive meristem development at the base of current season shoots. The similarity in reproductive bud development between spurs and unpruned shoots, given the difference in active terminal growth, might suggest that developmental resources are inherently more limiting in reproductive buds on spurs.

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Bin Liu and Royal D. Heins

Shoot elongation of `Stargazer' lily is rapid during the first 15 to 20 days after planting (1 to 2 cm·day–1 is common). Lower stem leaves are small, separated by long internodes. We determined if dipping `Stargazer' bulbs in uniconazole (5-, 10-, 20-, or 40-ppm solutions for 1 min) before planting would slow initial stem elongation, decrease final height, and improve appearance. Emergence, visible bud, anthesis dates, and flower bud count were recorded. Plant height was measured three times per week until anthesis. Uniconazole did not affect time to emergence, visible bud, anthesis, or flower bud count. Compared to the final height of 48 cm (untreated plants), height was reduced 7, 17, 22, and 30 cm (5%, 35%, 46%, and 62%) at anthesis for plants in the 5-, 10-, 20-, and 40-ppm treatments, respectively. The uniconazole bulb dips did not affect stem elongation rate for the first 10 days after treatment or from 45 days after treatment through anthesis (day 65). Relative to untreated plants, stem elongation rate of treated plants decreased linearly from 10 to about 35 days after treatment, with a maximum reduction of 55%, 75%, 85%, and 100% for plants in the 5-, 10-, 20-, and 40-ppm treatments, respectively.

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Richard K. Schoellhorn and A.J. Compton

Plants, which move directly from the wild into commercial propagation, without the benefit of extensive breeding and selection, often pose production-oriented problems for growers. Vigorous plant growth, especially during the propagation phase of production is a common problem. The purpose of this work was to determine the degree of efficacy offered by chemical control of stem elongation in propagation of Porter Weed [Stachytarpheta mutabilis, S. mutabilis var. violacea, and S. urticifolia]. Tip cuttings of three Stachytarpheta species were given a 10-s dip in the following treatment solutions: daminozide (2500 and 5000 mg·L-1), daminozide and chlormequat chloride tank mix (2000 mg·L-1 ea.), paclobutrazol (2 and 4 mg·L-1), uniconazole (2 and 4 mg·L-1), distilled water, and undipped controls. Cuttings were then treated with a 0.1% IBA rooting powder and placed under intermittent mist on the propagation bench. After 2 weeks in propagation, cuttings were harvested and shoot elongation, root development, and dry weights were evaluated. The interaction of chemical and species was significant for stem elongation and dry weight; chemical effect on root development was also significant. Paclobutrazol and uniconazole offered greater control of stem elongation than daminozide, daminozide-chlormequat chloride, water, or control treatments.

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Yin-Tung Wang and Thomas M. Blessington

Uniconazole and paclobutrazol were tested for their effects on greenhouse production of four foliage species. Soil drenches of uniconazole retarded shoot and petiole elongation of Brassaia actinophylla Endl. Paclobutrazol reduced shoot elongation, but required higher doses than uniconazole and did not reduce petiole growth. Foliar sprays with either retardant at 12.5 mg·liter-1 resulted in short stems on lateral shoots of Codiaeum variegatum (L.) Blume `Karen' after pinching, but soil drenches at low rates were less effective. Soil drenches of uniconazole or paclobutrazol were equally effective in reducing stem growth of Syngonium podophyllum Schott `White Butterfly' and increasing leaf width, but had no effect on the rate of leaf production or blade length. Both retardants induced short petioles in this species. Severe growth reduction occured on Plectranthus australis R. Br. even at the lowest rates of uniconazole and paclobutrazol (0.025 and 0.20 mg/pot, respectively) as soil drenches. Production of lateral shoots was inhibited for P. australis by both retardants. Chemical names used: (E)-1-(p-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethy1-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)-1-penten-3-ol (uniconazole); (2RS,3RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-(H-1,2,4-triazol-l-Yl-)Dentan-3-ol (paclobutrazol).

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Audrey I. Gerber, Karen I. Theron, and Gerard Jacobs

Inflorescence initiation in Protea cv. Lady Di (P. magnifica Link × P. compacta R. Br.) occurs predominantly on the spring growth flush when it is subtended by one or more previous growth flushes. Mature, over-wintering leaves are essential for induction of flowering in `Lady Di', and are also crucial to the early stages of inflorescence initiation and differentiation. Defoliation before elongation of the spring growth flush was complete prevented flowering, and shoots either remained vegetative or produced inflorescences that aborted. Levels of carbohydrates in the stem and leaves of overwintering shoots were low, and early growth and development of both the spring flush and inflorescence were, therefore, supported by current photosynthates from the mature leaves on the overwintering shoot. Likewise, reserve carbohydrates available in the flowering shoot were insufficient to account for the rapid increase in dry weight during the major portion of growth of the spring flush and inflorescence. This increase occurred after elongation of the spring flush was complete and was supported by current photosynthates from the leaves of the spring flush. Defoliation treatments that did not prevent inflorescence initiation had no effect on inflorescence development or on flowering time.

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Alvaro Standardi and Fausto Romani

In vitro-proliferated shoots of `Delicious' and `Starkspur Red' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) were submitted for 1 week to root induction in the dark with their basal parts in liquid medium containing 1.5 μm IBA and 43.4 mm sucrose. The shoots were transferred to root initiation and root elongation medium made up of plugs wetted with half-strength Lepoivre salts. When antioxidants, such as PVP, GH, 2-Me, and DIECA, were added to the liquid induction medium, the percentages of rooting usually decreased. In contrast, if the antioxidants PVP and citric acid were added in the initiation-elongation medium, the percentages of rooting increased. The results agree with the finding of other researchers who proposed a rapid increase in peroxidase activity during root induction followed by a fast decline during rooting initiation as a marker for good rooting responses. Moreover, the use of antioxidants both in induction and in initiation-elongation had no effect on number and length of roots. Chemical names used: polyvinylpyrrolidone-40 (PVP); glutathione reduced (GH); 2-mercaptoethanol (2-Me); diethyldithiocarbamic acid, sodium salt trihydrate (DIECA); N-(phenylmethyl) 1 H-purin-6-amine (BA); 1 H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA); gibberellic acid (GA3).