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C. Richer-Leclerc and J.-A. Rioux

174 ORAL SESSION 50 (Abstr. 353-359) Woody Ornamentals: Culture/Growth/Development

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Genhua Niu, Denise S. Rodriguez, Raul I. Cabrera, Cynthia McKenney, and Wayne Mackay

Oral Session 32—Ornamental/Landscape/Turf/Plant Breeding/Management 30 July 2006, 2:00–3:15 p.m. Oak Alley Moderator: Timothy Rinehart

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Chris A. Martin and Linda B. Stabler

Urban sprawl of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area is rapidly replacing agricultural and non-irrigated desert vegetation with an irrigated urban forest comprised of a mixture of woody ornamental plant materials. Our objective was to estimate and compare the carbon acquisition potential (CAP) of residential landscape plants to the dominate plant species found in adjacent agricultural and desert sites. Maximum shoot and leaf gas exchange measurements were made at monthly intervals for one year (Aug. 1998 to July 1999) using a portable photo-synthesis system. Concurrent diel gas exchange measurements were made seasonally. Gas exchange measurements were made on alfalfa at agricultural sites, blue palo verde, creosote bush and bur sage at desert sites, and on a mixture of 19 different woody ornamental tree, shrub and ground cover species at residential sites. A trapezoidal integration model was used to estimate daily CAP at each site based on maximum assimilation flux values and seasonally adjusted diel assimilation patterns. Annual landscape CAP was then calculated as the summation of estimates of daily CAP. Calculated annual CAP was highest at agricultural sites (159.0 mol/m2 per year), lowest at desert sites (35.3 mol/m2 per year), and intermediate at residential landscape sites (99.3 mol/m2 per year).

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Sandra M. Reed

Clethra alnifolia L., a native deciduous shrub cultivated as an ornamental, was recently hybridized with C. pringlei S. Wats. The purpose of this hybridization was to combine the cold hardiness and adaptability of C. alnifolia with the ornamental foliage of C. pringlei. While most of the C. alnifolia × C. pringlei hybrids more closely resembled C. alnifolia than the paternal species, a `Hokie Pink' × C. pringlei hybrid (NA71586) with foliage that flushes red like C. pringlei was recovered. The objectives of this study were to analyze cytologically the F1 and produce a F2 population from NA71586. Chromosome counts from root tips cells indicated that NA71586 has 32 chromosomes. Since the chromosome number of C. alnifolia is 2n = 32 and that of C. pringlei was found to be 2n = 16, NA71586 appears to have developed following fertilization of a C. alnifolia egg with an unreduced male gamete from C. pringlei. Both `Hokie Pink' and C. pringlei exhibited primarily bivalent pairing in pollen mother cells (PMCs). Over half of the PMCs from NA71586 contained 16 bivalents, indicating substantial homology within the C. alnifolia genome. It was theorized that C. alnifolia is either an autotetraploid that exhibits bivalent pairing or a segmental allotetraploid produced from hybridization of species with similar genomes. More than 700 F2 progeny were obtained from self-pollination of NA71586. Although many of the F2 progeny resembled NA71586, variation in foliage color, size and shape was apparent in the population.

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J.R. Ballington

The genus Kalmia L. is endemic to North America. Kalmia latifolia is the best known species in the genus. It is a rounded evergreen shrub to small tree that ranges from northern Florida to New England. Flower color varies from white to pink, but at lower elevations in the southeastern U.S., pink flowers quickly fade to white. It is a diploid species with 2n = 2x = 24 chromosomes. Kalmia angustifolia var. caroliniana only occurs in the southeastern US. It is a thin upright evergreen shrub to 1.5 m tall. Flower color is either light pink or rosy purple, and the flower pigments appear to be heat stable. It is also diploid. Kalmia latifolia has not crossed readily with any other Kalmia species to date, but a small number of hybrids have been produced. The objective of the present study was to intercross K. angustifolia var. caroliniana with K. latifolia to attempt to develop color stable pink flowered Kalmia hybrids for warm climates. The crosses were made at Cary, N.C., from late April through mid May and included two clones of each species. Only one parental combination was successful and involved a rosy purple form of the former species. With this cross 15 mature seed capsules resulted from 38 pollinations. Numerous seedlings initially germinated, of which about 15% were albinos. Only 38 seedlings survived to transplanting. Thirty seedlings remain relatively vigorous 8 months after potting and are phenotypically intermediate between the parents. Their potential will depend on their ornamental characteristics once they reach maturity.

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D. Sankhla, T.D. Davis, N. Sankhla, and A. Upadhyaya

This report describes an efficient in vitro regeneration protocol for H. patens (firebush), a heat-tolerant ornamental shrub native to tropical and subtropical America. Shoot cultures were initially established using shoot tips placed on MS-revised medium containing 2.3 μM 2,4-D, 2.3 μM kinetin, and 0.25% polyvinylpyrrolidone. Other types of explants (nodal and internodal segments, leaf pieces, floral buds) did not regenerate shoots when placed on this medium. Two-month-old plantlets derived from the shoot tips were subcultured on MS medium supplemented with 0.5 μM thidiazuron (TDZ), and within 3 to 4 weeks, some callus was produced at the root–shoot junction. When this callus, with a small portion of the root and shoots, was placed on MS medium with 0.05 μM TDZ and 0.01 μM ABA, prolific shoot formation occurred within 3 to 4 weeks followed by root formation. By regular subculturing every 5 to 6 weeks, hundreds of plantlets have been obtained over the past 3 years with no apparent decline in regeneration potential. Addition of activated charcoal (0.5%) to the culture medium has greatly improved growth of the plantlets.

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Rolston St. Hilaire and Carlos A. Fierro Berwart

Mussaendas (Mussaenda spp.) are ornamental shrubs, and some cultivars are difficult to root. This study was conducted to explore how adventitious roots initiate and develop in the cultivar Rosea, and to determine if anatomical events are associated with difficulty in rooting stem cuttings. Stem cuttings were treated with 5, 10, 15 mm 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), or distilled water, and sampled every 2 days over 26 days to observe adventitious root formation and development. For analysis by light microscopy, the basal 1 cm of cuttings was embedded in wax and stained with safranin-fast green. Adventitious roots initiated from phloem parenchyma cells and from basal callus in nontreated cuttings. Cuttings treated with 15 mm IBA had a mean of 18 root primordia per basal 1 cm of cutting after 10 days. Root primordia were not observed in non-treated cuttings at 10 days. Root primordia that developed in non-treated cuttings lacked clear vascular connections. These results suggest that non-treated cuttings are difficult to root because few primordia are produced.

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Jeff Gillman, Michael Dirr, and Kristine Braman

Floriculture/Ornamentals

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Keri D. Jones, Sandra M. Reed, and Timothy Rinehart

Poster Session 5—Ornamental Plant Breeding 1 27July 2006, 12:00–12:45 p.m.

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J. Ryan Stewart* and William R. Graves

Carolina buckthorn (Rhamnus caroliniana Walt.) is ornamental and could be promoted as a stress-resistant shrub for horticultural landscapes. Its status as a relative of invasive species, including common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.), raises concerns regarding the environmental consequences of planting Carolina buckthorn outside of its natural habitat. To assess the ease of propagating Carolina buckthorn from seed, and to gather data relevant to assessments of invasiveness, we compared seed-germination characteristics between the two species. Seeds of Carolina buckthorn were collected from native populations in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Seeds of common buckthorn were collected from populations in Iowa. We stratified seeds of both species for up to 112 days at 4 °C. Germination at 20 °C then was evaluated for 56 days. Over stratification durations, 40% and 71% of seeds of Carolina buckthorn and common buckthorn germinated, respectively. Stratification for 112 days optimized germination value for Carolina buckthorn, but stratification for 42, 56, 84, and 112 days evoked similar germination percentages. Seeds of Carolina buckthorn from Oklahoma germinated at a higher percentage (56%) than did seeds from Missouri (25%). Neither germination value nor germination percentage of common buckthorn was influenced by stratification. We conclude that seeds of Carolina buckthorn are more recalcitrant than are seeds of common buckthorn. This suggests that Carolina buckthorn, particularly those from Missouri with low reproductive success, may be less invasive than their Eurasian kin. Horticulturists can optimize germination percentage of Carolina buckthorn by cold-stratifying seeds for as little as 42 days, but 112 days optimizes germination value.