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Charleen M. Baker and William E. Dyer

Our goal was to develop efficient regeneration protocols for safflower that could be used in conjunction with Agrobacterium tumefaciens -mediated transformation to introduce genes conferring economically important traits. Direct regeneration of whole plants has been achieved from cotyledon and hypocotyl explants of 30-day-old `Centennial' and `Montola' seedlings. Explants transformed with Ti plasmids containing NPTII and the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene produced kanamycin-resistant calli and shoots testing positive for GUS activity. Current work is incorporating the bar gene into appropriate Ti plasmids that will be used to confer glufosinate herbicide resistance to elite safflower cultivars. An esterase gene from Bacillus subtilis will be introduced to confer resistance to Alternaria carthami leaf spot disease.

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William J. Lamont Jr., Michael D. Orzolek, E. Jay Holcomb, Kathy Demchak, Eric Burkhart, Lisa White and Bruce Dye

At the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) High Tunnel Research and Education Facility, a system of production of high-value horticultural crops in high tunnels has been developed that uses plastic mulch and drip irrigation. The Penn State system involves small-scale, plastic-application equipment that prepares and applies plastic mulch and drip-irrigation tape to individual raised beds. It differs from the production system developed by researchers at the University of New Hampshire in which drip-irrigation tape is manually applied to the soil surface and then the entire soil surface in the high tunnel is covered with a black plastic sheet. An overview of the production system used in the Penn State high tunnels is presented in this report.

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Ana V. de Souza, José E.B.P. Pinto, Suzan K.V. Bertolucci, Ricardo M. Corrêa, Larissa C. do B. Costa and William E. Dyer

Lychnophora pinaster, known as arnica, is a medicinal plant of the Cerrado ecosystem in Brazil. It is widely used in the form of alcoholic extract for its anti-inflammatory and anesthetic and healing effects on sprains, bruises, and inflammation. Owing to the great difficulty of propagation, it is listed by the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis in the category of plants vulnerable to extinction. Micropropagation offers a solution to this problem by allowing the preservation and expansion of germplasm. The objective of this research was to establish a protocol for in vitro propagation of arnica. The best medium for germination of arnica embryos and plantlet growth was a quarter strength semisolid Murashige and Skoog medium (MS/4) containing 0.75% (w/v) sucrose. For shoot induction, the best results were obtained on MS/4 with 2.76 μm of benzylaminopurine. Maximum shoot elongation before rooting occurred in the presence of 8.67 μm of gibberellic acid for 19 d. Microshoots were successfully rooted in the presence of 10.7 μm of naphthalene acetic acid for 15 d. After rooted plantlets were acclimatized in a greenhouse for 20 d, the survival rate was 100% when planted in a soil from the area of occurrence of the species, whereas 0% survived when planted in Plantmax.

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William J. Lamont Jr., Michael D. Orzolek, E. Jay Holcomb, Robert M. Crassweller, Kathy Demchak, Eric Burkhart, Lisa White and Bruce Dye

The Center for Plasticulture's High Tunnel Research and Education Facility was established at Pennsylvania State University in 1999. Since its inception, applied research has been conducted at this facility by a team of researchers and extension specialists on the development of a new high tunnel design. The development of crop production recommendations for vegetables, small fruits, tree fruits and cut flowers grown in high tunnels has been a priority. To complement the applied research program, an aggressive extension education program was developed to extend information on the technology of high tunnels to county extension personnel, growers, industry representatives, students, master gardeners and the general public. The extension programming effort consisting of demonstration high tunnels, field days, tours, in-service training, publications and presentations made at winter meetings will be discussed in the report below.