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Mark G. Lefsrud and Dean A. Kopsell

Controlled plant growing systems have consistently used the standard earth day as the radiation cycle for plant growth. However, the radiation cycle can be controlled using automated systems to regulate the exact amount of time plants are exposed to irradiation (and darkness). This experiment investigated the influence of different radiation cycle periods on plant growth and carotenoid accumulation in kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala DC.). Plants were grown in a controlled environment using nutrient solutions under radiation cycle treatments of 2, 12, 24 and 48 hours, with 50% irradiance and 50% darkness during each cycle. The radiation cycles significantly affected kale fresh weight, dry weight, percent dry matter, and the accumulation of lutein, β-carotene, and chlorophyll a and b. Maximum fresh weight occurred under the 2-hour radiation cycle treatment, whereas maximum dry weight occurred under the 12-hour treatment. Maximum accumulation of lutein, β-carotene, and chlorophyll a occurred with the 12-hour radiation cycle at values of 14.5 mg/100 g, 13.1 mg/100 g, and 263.3 mg/100 g fresh weight respectively. Maximum fresh weight production of the kale was not linked to increases in chlorophyll, lutein, or β-carotene. Consumption of fruit and vegetable crops rich in lutein and β-carotene carotenoids is associated with reduced risk of cancers and aging eye diseases. Increased carotenoid concentrations in vegetable crops would therefore be expected to increase the value of these crops.

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X. Zhang, J.W. White, and D.J. Beattie

Aquilegia × hybrida Sims `Purple' and `Dove' initiated flower buds 5 months after seeding without being exposed to low temperatures. Four experiments were conducted to test the effects of gibberellic acid (GA3), long photoperiod, long photoperiod with a high level of irradiance, and cold treatments on forcing of the two cultivars. Time from treatment to anthesis was reduced by 9 days for defoliated `Purple' plants treated with 250 mg GA3/liter, and by >14 days for defoliated `Dove' plants treated with 125 mg GA3/liter. Defoliated `Purple' or `Dove' plants treated with 18 hours of supplemental high pressure sodium (HPS) light at 250μl mol·m-1·s-2 (18 SH) reached anthesis 14 or 10 days earlier, respectively, after treatment than plants grown under natural daylight (Nat). The 18 SH treatment increased the number of flowers from eight and nine per plant on Nat plants for defoliated `Dove' and `Purple', respectively, to 16 flowers on 18 SH plants. Cold treatments at 4 ± lC did not shorten the interval between treatment and anthesis, but decreased the number of flowers per plant in both cultivars. Chemical name used: gibberellic acid (GA3).

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Catherine M. Whitman, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

The effectiveness of cool-white fluorescent, high-pressure sodium, incandescent, and metal halide lamps for inducing flowering through daylength extensions in Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips', Coreopsis grandiflora Hogg ex Sweet `Early Sunrise', and Coreopsis verticillata L. `Moonbeam' was compared. Lighting was delivered as a 7-hour day extension with photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) ranging from 0.05 to 2.0 μmol·m-2·s-1 following a 9-hour natural daylength. Threshold irradiance values for flowering ranged from <0.05 to 0.4 μmol·m-2·s-1, depending on species. Saturation irradiance values for Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips' and C. grandiflora `Early Sunrise' were between 0.2 ± 0.2 and 0.7 ± 0.5 μmol·m-2·s-1, and did not differ between lamps. An irradiance of 1.0 μmol·m-2·s-1 from any lamp was adequate for flowering in Coreopsis verticillata `Moonbeam'. Time to flower at irradiances above the saturation points did not differ significantly between lamp types for all species tested. Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips' and Coreopsis grandiflora `Early Sunrise' plants had significantly longer stems under incandescent lamps than in any other treatment. Coreopsis verticillata `Moonbeam' plants grown under cool-white fluorescent lamps had stems ≈10% longer than those grown under high-pressure sodium or incandescent lamps.

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Elise A. Konow and Yin-Tung Wang

Presently, there are no standards for producing Phalaenopsis Blume (the moth orchids) as a flowering, potted crop. Determining optimal irradiance for in vitro and greenhouse production will help optimize growth and flowering. Four-month-old, aseptically propagated Phalaenopsis Atien Kaala seedlings with 1.0 cm leaf spread were transferred to a sterile agar medium in November 1995. They were placed under 10, 20, 40, or 80 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) from cool-white fluorescent lamps. In June 1996, plants grown under 40 or 80 μmol·m-2·s-1 in vitro PPF had 38% greater fresh weight (FW), wider leaves, and more roots than those under the two lower PPF levels. Plants from each in vitro PPF were then transplanted and grown ex vitro in a greenhouse (GH) under high, medium, or low PPF, representing 12.0%, 5.4%, or 2.6% of full sunlight, respectively. Full sunlight at this location was 2300 and 1700 μmol·m-2·s-1 in August 1996 and January 1997, respectively. In November 1996 and June 1997, plants that had received 40 μmol·m-2·s-1 in vitro PPF and then grown under the high or medium GH PPF had the greatest FWs. Overall, plants under the high, medium, or low GH PPF had average FWs of 61, 36, or 17 g, respectively, in June 1997. By mid-September 1997, plants had increasingly larger leaves and higher concentrations of malic acid, sucrose, and starch as GH PPF increased. Leaf glucose and fructose concentrations remained constant as GH PPF increased; however, sucrose level doubled and malic acid concentration increased by nearly 50% from the low to high GH PPF. Each doubling in GH PPF more than doubled plant FW. Plants grown under the high, medium, or low GH PPF had 98%, 77%, or 2% flowering, respectively, in Spring 1998. Anthesis occurred 2 weeks earlier under the high GH PPF. Plants grown under the high GH PPF had twice as many flowers and larger flowers than those grown under the medium PPF.

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E.D. Leonardos, M.J. Tsujita, and B. Grodzinski

The influence of irradiance, CO2 concentration, and air temperature on leaf and whole-plant net C exchange rate (NCER) of Alstroemeria `Jacqueline' was studied. At ambient CO2, leaf net photosynthesis was maximum at irradiances above 600 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), while whole-plant NCER required 1200 μmol·m-2·s-1 PAR to be saturated. Leaf and whole-plant NCERs were doubled under CO2 enrichment of 1500 to 2000 μl CO2/liter. Leaf and whole-plant NCERs declined as temperature increased from 20 to 35C. Whereas the optimum temperature range for leaf net photosynthesis was 17 to 23C, whole-plant NCER, even at high light and high CO2, declined above 12C. Dark respiration of leaves and whole plants increased with a Q10 of ≈2 at 15 to 35C. In an analysis of day effects, irradiance, CO2 concentration, and temperature contributed 58%, 23%, and 14%, respectively, to the total variation in NCER explained by a second-order polynomial model (R 2 = 0.85). Interactions among the factors accounted for 4% of the variation in day C assimilation. The potential whole-plant growth rates during varying greenhouse day and night temperature regimes were predicted for short- and long-day scenarios. The data are discussed with the view of designing experiments to test the importance of C gain in supporting flowering and high yield during routine harvest of Alstroemeria plants under commercial greenhouse conditions.

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David R. Dreesen and Robert W. Langhans

Abbreviations: CEGR, controlled-environment growth room; HI, high irradiance levels; LAR; leaf area ratio; LI, low irradianee levels; MHI, medium-high irradiance levels; MLI, medium-low irradiance levels; MRGR, mean relative growth rate; NAR, net

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Viviane de Oliveira Souza, Margarete Magalhães Souza, Alex-Alan Furtado de Almeida, Joedson Pinto Barroso, Alexandre Pio Viana, and Cláusio Antônio Ferreira de Melo

, requiring greater irradiance for increasing flower production. Passiflora subrotunda was selected for this study because of the intense color of their flowers, which means that they are used in ornamental plant agribusiness. In addition, there is no

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Jonathan N. Egilla

Four-week-old seedlings of Scarlet eggplant (Solanum integrifolium Poir.), a short-day fruiting vegetable, were grown for 20 weeks in a greenhouse (G/H) from 14 Mar. to 2 Aug. 2005. Mean daily photosynthetic photon flux in the G/H was about 480, 349 and 71 μmol·m–2·s–1 above-, within canopy; and at pot level, respectively in July. Seedlings were grown either in Turface® (fritted clay) or fine sand. Fertilizer treatment consisted of 5 g Osmocote® (18% N-6% P2O5-12% K2O) per pot, plus 100 mL of Peat-lite® (15% N-16% P2O5-17% K2O) solution at 200 mg·L-1 of N twice weekly, or Peat-lite only. Seedling growth (plant height, leaf number) during the first 12 weeks in both growing media was similar regardless of fertilizer treatment. The number of lateral shoots (not fruit number, FRN) increased from early fruit set (week 14) until termination (week 20), but there were no significant (P = 0.05) growing media or fertilizer treatment effects. While root dry mass was similar in both growing media, shoot dry mass was significantly (P < 0.0001) increased in fritted clay. Conversely, FRN and fruit dry mass (FDM) were, respectively, 8- and 11-fold greater in sand compared with fritted clay. Fertilizer treatment had no significant (P = 0.05) effect on both FRN and FDM either in fritted clay or sand. These trends indicate that S. integrifolium can produce limited amounts of fruit under the long daylength conditions of the summer at reduced irradiance, but factors determining shoot growth may have significant influence on fruit yield under this condition.

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A.M. Armitage

Various field-grown specialty cut-flower species were subjected to full sun or 55% or 67% shade treatments for 2 to 3 years. Plants grown in shade had longer flower stems than those grown in ambient irradiance; however, yield (flower stems per plant) was species-dependent. Yield of Centaurea americana Nutt. `Jolly Joker', an annual speices, and Eryngium planum L., a perennial, declined linearly with each reduction in irradiance. However, yield of Echinops ritro L. `Taplow Blue', a perennial species, was higher in 55% shade than in ambient irradiance. Yield of transplants and tubers of Anemone coronaria L. `De Caen' were not affected by planting material (transplants or tubers). Plants grown under 67% shade had the longest stems starting 3 weeks after the beginning of harvest and the difference persisted for an additional 4 weeks regardless of planting material. A quadratic decline in yield in three of four cultivars of Zantedeschia Spreng. occurred as shade increased, but yield was similar for ambient and 55% shade. Scape length and spathe width increased as shade increased, although some cultivars were more responsive than others.

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Candice A. Shoemaker and William H. Carlson