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Hitoshi Ohara*, Marom Ungsa, Katsuya Ohkawa, Hiroyuki Matsui, and Martin J. Bukovac

The effects of ammonium nitrate (AMN) on the penetration of Gibberellin A3 (GA3) into berries of `Kyoho' (Vitis labruscana Bailey) grape during berry development were studied. Treatment solutions of GA3 (100 ng·μL-1) and GA3 + AMN (20 millimolar concentration) were applied to the surface of grape berries under field conditions. The amount of GA3 penetrated was assayed using dwarf rice (Oryza sativa L., cv. Tan-ginbozu). At full bloom, the addition of AMN significantly enhanced GA3 penetration 24, 48 ad 72 hours after application by 13%, 16% and 21% of the applied GA3, respectively, representing a 1.7- to 2.4-fold increase over GA3 alone. At 4 weeks after full bloom (WAFB) at 24 hours after application, 20% of the applied GA3 penetrated in the presence of AMN compared to 15% in the absence of AMN. From varaison (7 WAFB) to maturity (10 WAFB), GA3 penetration decreased, from 6% to 2%, respectively, in the presence of AMN, and from 3% to 1% in the absence of AMN. The addition of AMN to the GA3 solution increased GA3 penetration relative to GA3 alone at all berry developmental stages. On the other hand, Cuticular wax density on the berry surface at 4 WAFB was 1.10 μg·mm-2, 5.8-fold greater than at full bloom (0.19 μg·mm-2). The thickness of the epidermal tissue doubled during the first 2 WAFB, but was maintained almost constant over the next 6 weeks. GA3 penetration was more closely related to the cuticular wax levels than the epidermal tissue thickness.

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Steve J. Croker, Peter Hedden, and Wilhelm Rademacher

Prohexadione-Ca (BAS 125 W) is a new growth retardant for the inhibition of excessive vegetative growth in apple and other plant species. From work with enzyme preparations, it is known that prohexadione-Ca mimics 2-oxoglutaric acid, the co-substrate of dioxygenases, which catalyze late steps in gibberellin (GA) biosynthesis. As a result, the formation of growth-active GAs is reduced. In order to have a better understanding of its effects in intact plants, we have analyzed the GA status of treated and untreated apple plantlets. In a typical experiment, the following results were obtained: Plants (cv. Jonagold on M9 at 19 cm of new shoot growth) were sprayed until run-off with an aqueous preparation containing 25 ppm of active ingredient. After 22 days of cultivation under greenhouse conditions, total new shoot growth of the controls and the treated plants was 55 cm and 44 cm, respectively. In the apical part of this material the following GAs (roughly ordered in biosynthetic sequence) were detected at the following levels (control/treated in microgram per kilogram dry weight): GA19 (31/62), GA29 (24/36), GA20 (11/20), GA1 (4/3), and GA8 (8/3). These results clearly demonstrate that prohexadione-Ca blocks primarily the hydroxylation of GA20 into GA1. This leads to reduced levels of the highly active GA1 and of GA8, its inactive metabolite, whereas GA20 and the other inactive precursors accumulate. The data support older observations obtained in vitro, which indicate that GA20 3β-hydroxylase and related dioxygenases are the primary targets of prohexadione-Ca and similar compounds.

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Susan S. Han

The effects of the duration of cold storage, as well as the concentration, timing, and means of application of a solution containing 25 mg·L-1 each of benzyladenine (BA) and gibberellins (GA4+7) on the postharvest quality of cut Asiatic and Oriental lilies (Lilium sp.) were evaluated. Depending on the cultivar, lower leaves began to turn yellow between 1 and 2 weeks after placing non-cold-stored stems in a 20 °C room illuminated 12 h·d-1 with 8 μmol·m-2·s-1 from cool-white fluorescent lamps. Leaf yellowing continued to progress upward until the end of the vase life. Cold storage (3.3 °C) worsened the leaf disorder, particularly, on the Oriental lily `Stargazer'. The longer the duration of cold storage, the earlier the development of leaf yellowing and the higher the percentage of leaves that were chlorotic. In addition, cold storage induced bud blasting, inhibited flowers from fully opening, and reduced the longevity and fresh weight of open flowers and the vase life of cut stems. Spraying leaves with a solution containing 25 mg·L-1 each of BA and GA4+7 significantly reduced cold-storage-induced leaf yellowing, bud blasting, and vase life of three of the four cultivars tested. The development of leaf yellowing declined with increasing concentration of BA+GA4+7. The susceptibility of `Stargazer' to cold-storage-induced leaf yellowing and bud blasting can be counteracted by a concentration of growth regulators higher than that which was effective for the other cultivars. Timing of the BA+GA4+7 application was not critical, as there were no differences in leaf yellowing or bud development when the solution was sprayed before or after the cold storage. Addition of BA+GA4+7 (0.5 or 2.5 mg·L-1 of each) to the preservative solution or a pulsed treatment in solutions containing 25 mg·L-1 each of BA and GA4+7 for 4 hours prevented leaf yellowing, but increased bud blasting. For practical applications, growth regulators can be sprayed prior to or after cold storage in order to improve the postharvest leaf and flower quality of cut lilies.

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Jared Barnes, Brian Whipker, Wayne Buhler, and Ingram McCall

to ent -kaurenoic acid and thereby interrupts the synthesis of gibberellin, a plant hormone important for cell elongation and promotion of shoot elongation ( Rademacher, 2000 ; Sponsel, 2010 ). Recommended application concentrations have been shown

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Keith A. Funnell and Royal D. Heins

The postharvest quality of potted Asiflorum lily `Donau' (Lilium hybrid) was evaluated after plants were sprayed with 0, 50, 250, or 500 mg·L-1 (BA equivalent) of Promalin (GA4+7 to BA ratio was 1:1) or Accel (GA4+7 to BA ratio 1:10) and stored at 2 to 3 °C for 0, 10, or 20 days. As storage was prolonged, more leaves senesced once plants were removed for evaluation. Leaf senescence declined with increasing concentrations of either Promalin or Accel, but Promalin was more effective. Application of 250 mg·L-1 Promalin completely eliminated leaf senescence over the 20-day shelf-life evaluation period, irrespective of duration of cold storage. The treatments did not affect flower bud opening or plant height. Chemical names used: gibberellin (GA4+7); benzyladenine (BA).

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Stephen M. Southwick and Kitren Glozer

Many commercially grown stone fruit including apricots (Prunus armeniaca L.), peaches and nectarines [P. persica (L.) Batsch], plums (P. salicina Lindl., P. domestica L.), prunes (P. domestica L.), and pluots (P. salicina × P. armeniaca) have a tendency to produce high numbers of flowers. These flowers often set and produce more fruit than trees can adequately size to meet market standards. When excessive fruit set occurs, removal of fruit by hand thinning is necessary in most Prunus L. species to ensure that remaining fruit attain marketable size and reduce biennial bearing. Over the years there have been numerous attempts to find chemical or physical techniques that would help to reduce the costs associated with and improve efficiencies of hand thinning, however, alternate strategies to hand thinning have not been widely adopted for stone fruit production. In the past 10 years, several chemical treatments have shown promise for reducing hand thinning needs in stone fruit. Management of flowering by chemically reducing the number of flowers has been particularly promising on stone fruit in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys of California. Gibberellins (GAs) applied during May through July, have reduced flowering in the following season in many stone fruit cultivars without affecting percentage of flowers producing fruit. As a result, fruit numbers are reduced, the need for hand thinning is reduced and in some cases eliminated, and better quality fruit are produced. There are risks associated with reducing flower number before climatic conditions during bloom or final fruit set are known. However, given the changes in labor costs and market demands, the benefits may outweigh the risks. This paper reviews relevant literature on thinning of stone fruit by gibberellins, and summarizes research reports of fruit thinning with GAs conducted between 1987 and the present in California. The term thin or chemically thin with regard to the action of GA on floral buds is used in this paper, consistent with the literature, although the authors recognize that the action of GA is primarily to inhibit the initiation of floral apices, rather than reduce the number of preformed flowers. At relatively high concentrations, GA may also kill floral buds. Chemical names used: gibberellic acid, potassium gibberellate.

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Anil P. Ranwala, Garry Legnani, and William B. Miller

Several experiments were conducted to find effective ways of utilizing gibberellin4+7 (GA4+7) and benzyladenine (BA) to prevent leaf chlorosis during greenhouse production of Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) while minimizing the undesirable side effects on stem elongation. On an absolute concentration basis, GA4+7 was much more effective than BA in preventing leaf chlorosis. Excessive levels of GA4+7, however, tended to cause stem elongation. When applied at around the visible bud stage, if the foliage was well covered with the spray solution, 25 mg·L-1 of GA4+7 was adequate for maximum protection against leaf chlorosis. Increasing the GA4+7 concentration above 25 mg·L-1 gave no additional benefit on leaf chlorosis. Two possible modes of GA4+7 uptake during a foliar spray application (absorption through leaves and stems, and root uptake of the extra run-off) were studied in terms of their relative contribution to leaf chlorosis and stem elongation. Although both modes of uptake prevented leaf chlorosis, foliar uptake was much more effective than root uptake. However, GA4+7 taken up by the roots contributed mainly to stem elongation. When sprayed to leaves on only the lower half of the plant, a 10-mL spray of either 25 or 50 mg·L-1 of each GA4+7 and BA was enough for complete protection against leaf chlorosis. Increasing volumes had no additional benefit on leaf chlorosis, but increased the chances of unwanted stem elongation.

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Anil P. Ranwala and William B. Miller

Experiments were conducted to evaluate storage temperature, storage irradiance and prestorage foliar sprays of gibberellin, cytokinin or both on postharvest quality of Oriental hybrid lilies (Lilium sp. `Stargazer'). Cold storage of puffy bud stage plants at 4, 7, or 10 °C in dark for 2 weeks induced leaf chlorosis within 4 days in a simulated consumer environment, and resulted in 60% leaf chlorosis and 40% leaf abscission by 20 days. Cold storage also reduced the duration to flower bud opening (days from the end of cold storage till the last flower bud opened), inflorescence and flower longevity, and increased flower bud abortion. Storage at 1 °C resulted in severe leaf injury and 100% bud abortion. Providing light up to 40 μmol·m-2·s-1 during cold storage at 4 °C significantly delayed leaf chlorosis and abscission and increased the duration of flower bud opening, inflorescence and flower longevity, and reduced bud abortion. Application of hormone sprays before cold storage affected leaf and flower quality. ProVide (100 mg·L-1 GA4+7) and Promalin (100 mg·L-1 each GA4+7 and benzyladenine (BA)) effectively prevented leaf chlorosis and abscission at 4 °C while ProGibb (100 mg·L-1 GA3) and ABG-3062 (100 mg·L-1 BA) did not. Accel (10 mg·L-1 GA4+7 and 100 mg·L-1 BA) showed intermediate effects on leaf chlorosis. Flower longevity was increased and bud abortion was prevented by all hormone formulations except ProGibb. The combination of light (40 μmol·m-2·s-1) and Promalin (100 mg·L-1 each GA4+7 and BA) completely prevented cold storage induced leaf chlorosis and abscission.

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Anil P. Ranwala, William B. Miller, Terri I. Kirk, and P. Allen Hammer

The interactions of ancymidol drenches, postgreenhouse cold storage, and hormone sprays on postharvest leaf chlorosis and flower longevity of `Nellie White' Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) were investigated. Ancymidol drenches (0.5 mg/plant twice) during early growth resulted in leaf chlorosis in the greenhouse which intensified further during postharvest. Cold storage (4 °C) of puffy bud stage plants for 2 weeks also accelerated leaf chlorosis. The combination of ancymidol treatment with cold storage resulted in the most severe leaf chlorosis. Promalin (GA4+7 and BA each at 100 mg·L-1) sprays completely prevented postharvest leaf chlorosis, whereas ProGibb (GA3 at 1000 mg·L-1) was ineffective. Cold storage reduced flower longevity and increased bud abortion, however, the degree of bud abortion varied among experiments in different years. Both ProGibb and Promalin sprays increased flower longevity. Compared to positive DIF (difference between day and night temperature) grown plants, forcing under negative DIF (-8 °C) increased the severity of postharvest leaf chlorosis. Leaves were sampled from basal, middle, and upper sections of the stem after 4 and 12 days in a postharvest evaluation room, and analyzed for soluble carbohydrates and N. Total leaf soluble carbohydrates and N concentrations were less in basal and middle sections of negative DIF-grown plants than in positive DIF-grown plants. Leaf chlorosis was associated with depletion of soluble carbohydrates and N in the leaves. Chemical names used: α-cyclopropyl-α-(p-methoxyphenyl)-5-pyrimidinemethanol (ancymidol); gibberellic acid (GA3); gibberellins A4A7 (GA4+7); N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purine 6-amine (benzyladenine).

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Stephen M. Southwick, Kitren G. Weis, James T. Yeager, and Hong Zhou

Whole-tree sprays of Release LC [predominantly gibberellic acid] (GA,) were applied in a commercial peach [Prunus perisca (L.) Batsch.] orchard in the California Central Valley on three dates from mid-June (about 90 days after full bloom = 28 days before harvest) to late July (14 days postharvest) 1993 at 50, 75, 100, and 120 mg·liter-1. Gibberellin (GA) reduced the number of flowers differentiated in 1993, thereby reducing fruit density in 1994, when sprays were applied by early July 1993. Sprays in late July did not reduce flowering and fruiting density in the following year. In 1994, there were fewer fruit located on the proximal third of the shoot after GA sprays of 75,100, and 120 mg-liter' applied on 15 June compared to hand-thinned controls, and reduction was linear with increase in GA rate. Fruit numbers in the middle and distal sections of shoots were reduced by all 15 June and some 9 July GA sprays, with fewer fruit as concentration increased. However, the distribution of fruit within shoot sections, after GA treatments during floral differentiation, expressed as a percentage of the total number of fruit along fruiting shoots, showed even fruiting compared with hand thinning. Due to reduced flowering in response to GA treatments in June and early July 1993, the hand-thinning requirement was significantly reduced, with no thinning required in 1994 from 15 June 1993 GA sprays. All sprays applied in early July resulted in 40% to 60% fewer fruit removed during thinning than the nontreated controls. Sprays in late July were ineffective. Sprays of GA applied in mid-June at 50,75, 100, and 120 mg·liter and sprays of 120 mg·liter-1 GA applied in early July (4 days preharvest) increased the firmness of `Loadel' cling peach (about 26% improvement in June sprays) in 1993. The salable yield of fruit (after removal of the undersized fruit) was the same on hand thinned and on non-hand thinned trees treated with GA on 15 June at 50 mg·liter-1. The salable yield of fruit was increased by GA sprays of 50 and 75 mg·liter applied on 9 July 1993 compared to controls. There were no differences in fruit size (by weight or diameter) among the aforementioned treatments and hand thinning. GA sprays of 75,100, and 120 mg-liter' applied on 15 June 1993 tended to reduce salable yield, but fruit size increased with decreased yield. Based on the results obtained in 1993 and 1994, we believe that Release LC has good potential for chemically thinning peaches in California.