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Donglin Zhang, Allan M. Armitage, James M. Affolter, and Michael A. Dirr

Lysimachia congestiflora Wils. (Primulaceae) is a new crop for American nurseries and may be used as an annual in the north and a half-hardy perennial in the south. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of photoperiod, temperature, and irradiance on its flowering and growth. Three experiments were conducted with photoperiod of 8, 12, 16 hrs day-1, temperature of 10, 18, 26C, and irradiance of 100, 200, 300 μmol m-2s-1, respectively. Plant.9 given long day photoperiod (16 hours) flowered 21 and 34 days earlier, respectively, than plants at 12 sad 8 hour photoperiods. Plants under long day treatment produced more flowers than those at 8 and 12 hours. Plant dry weight did not differ between treatments, but plants grown in the long day treatment produced fewer but larger leaves. Total plant growth increased as temperature increased, but lower temperature (10C) decreased flower initiation and prevented flower development, while high temperature (26C) reduced the longevity of the open flowers. Flowering was accelerated and dry weight increased as plants were subjected to high irradiance levels. The results suggest that Lysimachia congestiflora is a quantitative long day plant. It should be grown under a photoperiod of at least 12 hours at a temperature of approximately 20C. Low light areas should be avoided and supplemental lighting to provide the long days may improve the plant quality.

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Hae Young Na*, Dong Jin Shin, and Changhoo Chun

Pimpinella brachicarpa (Chamnamul in Korean) is an indigenous plant that grows in Korean mountain areas. It has not been cultivated yet but is gathered to use as a vegetable. Its difficulty of propagation by seeds is one of the major reasons not to be cultivated as a horticultural crop despite its demand. As a promising propagation method for the Chamnamul, we have developed a micropropagation system using somatic embryogenesis. In the present study, induction of embryogenic callus of the Chamnamul affected by part of explants (leaf and stem) and concentration (0, 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 mg·L-1) of growth regulators (2.4-D, IAA, IBA, and NAA) was investigated to find the best conditions for embryogenic callus induction. A full strength of MS medium was used for a 50-day culture for all the treatments. The embryogenic callus was firm and light yellow in color and was distinct from the non-embryogenic callus that was friable and semitransparent. More embryogenic callus was induced in the treatments that the stem was used as an explant comparing with the treatments that the leaf was used. The 2.4-D treatments resulted in the better induction of embryogenic callus than other growth regulator treatments, and 1.5 mg·L-1 was the most effective among all the 2,4-D concentration treatments. Addition of 0.1 mg·L-1 BA to 2.4-D treatments retarded the induction of embryogenic callus of the Chamnamul, while the promotion of induction and multiplication of embryogenic callus was reported in many plant species by adding BA with low concentration to an auxin-base medium. The better induction was found in the treatments of darkness and dim lighting (10 μmol·m-2·s-1 of PPF) than in treatments of the higher PPF.

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Thomas H. Boyle

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of temperature, relative humidity (RH), and storage duration on moisture content and viability of Schlumbergera truncata (Haworth) Moran (Thanksgiving cactus) pollen. Pollen viability was assayed by the fluorochromatic reaction (FCR) test, percentage fruit set, and numbers of viable seeds per fruit. Pollen moisture content was ≈38% at anthesis but decreased to ≈12% by 1 day after anthesis and remained low (10% to 12%) until flowers senesced. Pollen viability was 85% on the day of anthesis, remained at ≈80% from 1 to 3 days after anthesis, and decreased to ≈65% when flowers began to senesce. When pollen was stored for 4 days at 21 °C, moisture content decreased to 1% for pollen stored at 1% RH but increased to 33% for pollen kept at 100% RH. Fruit and seed yields obtained with pollen stored for 4 days at 21 °C and 15%, 28%, or 52% RH did not differ significantly from those obtained with fresh pollen. Pollen stored for 4 days at 21 °C and 1%, 68%, or 90% RH produced fewer fruit and seeds than fresh pollen. Fruit and seed yields obtained with pollen stored 20 days at 21 °C and 15% or 28% RH were similar to yields obtained with fresh pollen. Pollen with ≤23% moisture content that was stored at -18 °C for ≥24 hours retained its original viability (≈85%) whereas pollen with a high (32% to 34%) moisture content exhibited low (≈22%) viability after storage at -18 °C for ≥24 hours. Pollen stored for 140 days at 4 or -18 °C and 13% to 51% RH yielded as many viable seeds per fruit as fresh pollen. Although S. truncata pollen is tricellular, it tolerates desiccation to a low (4%) moisture content and can be stored at temperatures below 0 °C.

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Jennifer Nelkin and Ursula Schuch

Fresh weight production of basil (Ocimum basilicum`Genovese') growing in a retractable roof greenhouse (RRGH) or outdoors was evaluated under different shade environments, cultural production systems, and roof control strategies in a semi-arid climate. Cultural production systems included raised beds and towers consisting of six pots arranged vertically and stacked on edge. The growing substrate in both systems was perlite. The three shade environments included a RRGH with either a clear woven roof (35% shade) or a white woven roof (50% shade), or outdoors in full sun (0% shade). Within the RRGH, three strategies of roof control were tested based on air temperature thresholds, quantum thresholds, and globe thermometer temperature thresholds. After establishment, plants were grown for 4 weeks, each under the three roof control strategies in each environment and in both cultural systems. New shoots were harvested weekly and fresh weights were determined. Overall, fresh weight per plant was significantly affected by cultural production system, and basil grown in raised beds produced twice the biomass compared to plants grown in vertical towers. Productivity of basil grown in raised beds was not affected by the three shade environments, but plants in vertical towers produced about 20% more when grown in full sun or under 35% shade compared to under 50% shade. Within the RRGH, roof control strategy significantly affected basil fresh weight per plant. Roof control, based on either a quantum sensor or globe thermometer, increased production by 31% compared to air temperature control. Greater productivity was related to higher cumulative light exposure of plants. Quality of basil grown in the RRGH was superior to that grown in full sun.

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Chieri Kubota and Toyoki Kozai

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. Botrytis Group `Ryokurei') plantlets, cultured photoautotrophically (without sugar in the medium) in vitro for 3 weeks at 23C and 160 μmol·m–2·s–1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), were stored for 6 weeks at 5, 10, or 15C under 0 (darkness) or 2 μmol·m–2·s–1 PPF (continuous lighting) supplied by fluorescent lamps (white light). Dry weight of the plantlets stored for 6 weeks at 5 or 10C in light was not significantly different from that of the plantlets before storage. Dry weight of the plantlets decreased as temperature increased and was maintained at higher levels in light than in darkness. Chlorophyll concentrations of the plantlets were higher at the lower temperatures. Chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics indicated higher activities of chlorophyll of the plantlets stored in light than in darkness. Lighting at as low as 2 μmol·m–2·s–1 PPF was important to preserve photosynthetic and regrowth abilities and dry weight of the plantlets during low-temperature storage.

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K.C. Ting

Availability and capability of labor have become dominating factors affecting agriculture's productivity and sustainability. Agricultural mechanization can substitute for human and animal physical power and improve operational uniformity. Automation complements mechanization by implementing the capabilities of automatic perception, reasoning, communication, and task planning. Fixed automation is traditionally cost-effective for mass production of standard items. In addition, flexible automation responds to make-to-order batch processing. The appropriateness of each automation type depends on the situation at hand. Because of their vast memory and high calculation speed, computers are highly effective for rapid information processing. Incorporating state-of-the-art hardware and software, computers can generate status reports, provide decision support, gather sensor signals, and/or instruct machines to perform physical work. It is no surprise, therefore, that computerization is essential to the evolutionary process, from mechanization through fixed automation to flexible automation. Fundamentals of agricultural mechanization, automation, and computerization applied to greenhouse production are discussed. Recent research activities conducted at Rutgers Univ. are presented for illustrative purposes.

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Byoung Kyong Jeong, Kazuhiro Fujiwara, and Toyoki Kozai

Autotrophic micropropagation has advantages over conventional micropropagation and can reduce costs of plantlet production. In this article, we describe advantages of autotrophic micropropagation and a practical and formulated method of enriching culture rooms with CO2.

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Eric A. Lavoie, Damien de Halleux, André Gosselin, and Jean-Claude Dufour

Computerization & Environmental Control

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Sylvain L. Dubé and John F. Allen

Computerization & Environmental Control

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Laurent Gauthier and Thierry Néel

Computerization & Environmental Control