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Sabrina L. Shaw, William F. Hayslett, and Eddie B. Williams

A one-time application of fish emulsion 2 days before the application of plant growth regulators (PGR) showed an overriding effect on the growth of pansies. Blue/blotch shades of `Medallion' pansies were placed on a constant feed program of 100 ppm Peat Lite 20N–10P–20K, with half of the pansies receiving an additional one-time supplement of fish emulsion. PGRs and rates included B-Nine, 0.5% (used as the control); uniconazole, 2 and 4 ppm; and paclobutrazol, 16 and 25 ppm. Parameters taken included plant height, top fresh weight, top dry weight, days to anthesis, and visual appearance. Significant differences were noted in the plants receiving the supplement for plant dry weight, plant height, and visual appearance. Plants receiving fish emulsion grew taller and denser than those on constant feed alone despite the effects of the PGRs.

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Mélanie Leclerc, Claude D. Caldwell, Rajasekaran R. Lada, and Jeffrey Norrie

Field experiments were conducted in 2002 and 2003 to evaluate the effects of selected plant growth regulators on propagule production in Hemerocallis `Happy Returns' and Hosta `Gold Standard'. Benzyladenine (BA), chlormequat chloride (Cycocel), ethephon (Ethrel), prohexadione calcium (Apogee), and an experimental preparation of commercial seaweed extract (Acadian Seaplants Limited Liquid Seaweed Concentrate) amended with BA and IBA were tested at two times of application and three rates of application. Results with Hemerocallis showed that the application of the seaweed/PGR mixture at 3000 mg·L–1, Cycocel at 3000 mg·L–1 or BA at 2500 mg·L–1 applied at flowering, increased the number of plants producing two divisions compared to control plants. In Hosta, no increase in divisions under any treatments was observed.

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Raja Ram, Debasish Mukherjee, and Sandeep Manuja

The effects of BA, ethephon, and GA3 on freshly harvested cormels of three cultivars of Gladiolus sp. were studied for 3 years. The treatment with 400 mg·L-1 ethephon significantly reduced the dormancy period by 17.5 days as compared to control, while BA and GA3 were found to be less effective. Among all treatments, ethepon at 400 mg·L-1 was found to be the most effective in altering the days to sprout, sprouting percentage, corm size and production and development of cormels. While GA3 at 100 mg·L-1 increased growth of corms and cormels, BA at 25 mg·L-1 increased growth of corms and cormels. BA at 25 mg·L-1 only influenced the sprouting percentage of cormels. Along with reducing the dormancy period, the plant growth regulators stimulated growth and development of corms and cormels. Chemical names used: benzyladenine (BA); 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon); gibberellic acid (GA3).

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J. Pablo Morales-Payan

Field studies were conducted in the Dominican Republic to determine the effect of several plant growth regulators on the yield of `Jira' eggplant. Treatments consisted of aqueous solutions of folcysteine (25, 50, 75 ppm), giberellic acid 3 (10, 20, 30 ppm), kinetine (25, 50, 75 ppm), naphthalenacetic acid (NAA) (25, 50, 75 ppm), 2,3,4-dichloro-phenoxy-triethyl-amine hydrochloride (DCPTA) (25, 50, 75 ppm), triacontanol (5, 10, 15 ppm), ethanol (5, 10, 15%), and chlormequat (50, 100, 150 ppm) sprayed at early flowering, directed to the crop upper leaves and flowers. A control treatment (no plant growth regulators applied) was also included. A randomized complete-block design with four replications was utilized. Experimental units were two rows of 10 plants at a 1.0 × 0.4-m distancing. Eggplant fruit set and yield were determined after 10 harvests performed at 3-day intervals. Analysis of variance and mean comparison tests were performed on the resulting data. `Jira' eggplant fruit set and yield was significantly improved by folcysteine, giberellic acid 3, and NAA, but not by kinetine, DCPTA, ethanol, triacontanol, or chlormequat. Eggplant yield increased as folcysteine rate increased from 0 to 50 ppm, but no further yield increase was obtained when increasing the rate from 50 to 75 ppm. Similarly, eggplant yield significantly increased as gibberellic acid increased from 0 to 20 ppm, but not when rates increased from 20 to 30 ppm. With NAA, eggplant fruit set and yield significantly increased above that of control plants when 25 ppm was applied, with no significant yield increase at higher rates. Results indicate that the yield of `Jira' eggplants could be enhanced by the treatments with either folcysteine, NAA, or gibberellic acid hereby described.

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Guochen Yang and P. E. Read

Vanhoutte's spiraea has been propagated in vitro using explants from softwood growth of dormant stems forced in a solution containing 200 mg/l 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate (8-HQC) and 2% sucrose (Yang and Read, 1989). Objectives to further utilize this system were to determine the feasibility of applying plant growth regulators (PGR) via the forcing solution to softwood growth from forced dormant stems and to study the resulting influence on in vitro culture. BA and GA3 were placed in the forcing solution at various concentrations, including a zero PGR control. Explants were cultured on Linsmaier and Skoog (LS) medium containing zero PGR or different amounts of BA or thidiazuron (TDZ) or combinations of BA and IAA. Control explants placed on LS medium supplemented with 5uM BA with or without 1 or 5uM IAA, or with 0.5 or 0.75 uM TDZ alone produced the best shoot proliferation. BA in the forcing solution stimulated micropropagation, while GA3 caused less proliferation than explants from control solutions. Forcing solutions containing PGR are useful for manipulating responses of plant tissues cultured in vitro and for studying PGR influence on woody plant physiology.

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Song Ping and Ellen B. Peffley

Callus of five onion genotypes representing two species. Allium cepa and A. fistulosum, and their interspecific hybrid were used for establishing suspension cultures. Cultures were derived from callus that had been maintained on solid media and routinely subcultured for four years and from callus induced within six months of this experiment. Long-term callus from which plants were routinely regenerated and newly-induced callus were composed of cells which were, for the most-part, meristem-like with higher mitotic indices than cells from long-term callus which had been maintained as callus but had lost us capability to regenerate plants, these cells were large with small nuclei. Callus from newly-induced and long-term regenerable cultures were selected for further studies. Eight liquid media with factorial combinations of plant growth regulators were tested. Cells cultured in BDS liquid medium supplemented with 0.5 mg/l ABA and 1.0 or 2.0 mg/l 2,4-D without e-BA had higher mitotic indices and plant regeneration percentages than did cells cultured in the same media without ABA and with 6-BA. Suspension cultures from A. fistulosum and interspecific hybrids with A. fistulosum produced the highest numbers of plants regenerated.

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Guochen Yang and Paul E. Read

A forcing solution containing 200 mg 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate per liter and 2% sucrose has been demonstrated to extend the season for obtaining softwood growth suitable for use as explants in micropropagation (Yang & Read 1989). Forcing dormant woody stems in the off-season in this fashion also enhances the macropropagation of woody plant species by providing softwood outgrowth that can be rooted as softwood cuttings. GA3, IBA, IAA and NAA were incorporated into softwood growth which was later used as cuttings for rooting by adding plant growth regulators at various concentrations to the forcing solution. GA3 incorporated into the forcing solution hastened bud break, increased shoot elongation, but inhibited rooting of softwood cuttings taken from stems forced in this manner. IBA, IAA and NAA in the forcing solution exhibited typical auxin effects on rooting of cuttings by increasing root number per cutting and root elongation. In order to expedite macropropagation of woody plants, GA3 and IBA were added SEQUENTIALLY to the forcing solution. Addition of IBA to fresh forcing solution following initial use of GA3 in the forcing solution counteracted the negative effects of GA3 and stimulated rooting. This protocol is proposed as a method to assist propagation in rooting difficult species by softwood cuttings in the off-season.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala L.) plants of cultivars `Osaka White' and `Nagoya Red' were treated with paclobutrazol and uniconazole as foliar sprays or soil drenches. These treatments were compared to the industry standard of daminozide foliar sprays. Ten plant growth regulator (PGR) drench treatments (in mg a.i./pot) were applied 22 days after potting: paclobutrazol at 1 to 16 and uniconazole at 0.125 to 2. Thirteen PGR foliar sprays (in mg/L) were also applied: paclobutrazol at 5 to 80, uniconazole at 2 to 32, daminozide at 2500, 2500 (twice, with the second application occurring 14 days later), or 5000, and an untreated control. Applying drenches of paclobutrazol at 4 mg or uniconazole at 0.5 mg controlled height by 16 to 25%, but at the cost of $0.11 per pot would not be economically feasible for growers to use. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays at concentrations of up to 80 mg/L were ineffective in controlling plant height and diameter of either `Osaka White' or `Nagoya Red'. Uniconazole foliar sprays between 2 and 8 mg/L were effective in controlling height (by 19%) and diameter (by 15%) as daminozide foliar sprays of 2500 mg/L, sprayed twice, with a cost to the grower of $0.02 per pot.

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Wayne L. Schrader

Artichoke is a cool-season perennial crop that is grown as an annual from seed in southern California. Growing artichokes as annuals from seed allows growers to harvest during the winter from November to March. Artichoke seed is planted in May, transplants are moved to the field in July, and harvesting begins as early as November in years with relatively cool fall weather. Hot fall weather during September and October suppresses plant growth and causes premature flowering, which lowers yield and average bud size. Plant growth regulator (PGR) treatments were evaluated in annual artichokes to determine if they could reduce the adverse effects of hot weather during September and October. Treatments included multiple applications of apogee (gibberellin inhibitor), retain (ethylene inhibitor), apogee + retain, cytokinin, and control plots. Harvestable buds were counted as a measure of earlier flowering induced by hot weather. Apogee and cytokinin show promise in reducing heat stress during hot fall artichoke production. Other PGR treatments increased the number of harvestable buds compared to control plots.

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Jianjun Chen, Russell D. Caldwell, and Cynthia A. Robinson

Gynura aurantiaca is a colorful foliage plant with creeping stems and velvety purple hairs that cover the green leaves. It grows rapidly, but is cultivated primarily for those attractive purple leaves. Annually during the spring, this plant produces prominent flowers both in appearance and smell, gaudy and malodorous. Flowering coupled with acquiring an over-grown leggy appearance have been key limitations in its production and use in interiorscaping. This study was undertaken to determine if an available commercial plant growth regulator could inhibit flowering. A-Rest (ancymidol), B-Nine (daminozide), Bonzi (paclobutrazol), cycocel (chlormequat chloride) and florel (ethephon) each diluted to three different concentrations were sprayed in two applications in early spring at 2-week intervals. Flowering and bud numbers and plant growth (number of lateral shoots, vine lengths and internode lengths) were recorded. Results indicated that applications of A-Rest, B-Nine, Bonzi and Cycocel, regardless of treatment concentrations, were ineffective in suppressing the flowering of this plant; whereas, florel completely suppressed flowering at the three concentrations used. The florel-treated plants also grew more lateral shoots, which produced a compact and dense bush-look, indicating that appropriate concentrations of florel application not only will stop flowering of purple passion but can also improve and prolong its aesthetic value as a potted or hanging-basket interior plant.