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  • Author or Editor: Hazel Y. Wetzstein x
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The general doctrine of flowering in Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb.) Ser. is that floral induction occurs during the fall months with the flower appearing the following spring or summer. However, hydrangea cultivars differ widely in their relative abundance and duration of flower production. The objective of this study was to determine how developmental flowering patterns compared among different hydrangea genotypes. Flowering was characterized in 18 cultivars by assessing flower initiation in dormant buds of 1-year-old stems that received natural outdoor inductive conditions. Terminal and lateral buds were dissected and floral developmental stage categorized microscopically. In terminal buds, flower development was very consistent and occurred in 100% of buds for all cultivars except `Ayesha' (33%). In contrast, lateral buds showed a wide variation in flower induction among genotypes. `Ayesha', `Blushing Pink', `Freudenstein', and `Nigra' had 10% or fewer lateral buds with floral initials. `All Summer Beauty', `David Ramsey', `Masja', `Nightingale', and `Penny Mac' showed high levels of floral induction (>92%). Within a cultivar, flower development was more advanced in terminal than lateral buds. In several cultivars, a significant correlation between bud size (length) and floral stage was found. However, low r-square values indicated that flower stage was explained largely due to factors other than bud length. This study shows that floral induction patterns vary markedly among hydrangea cultivars and provides insight into why cultivars differ in the extent and reliability of seasonal blooming. Genotypes that possess floral primordia in lateral buds would be amenable to cultural practices that enhance lateral budbreak and recurrent blooming.

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Accurate mapping, inventory assessment, and habitat descriptions are critically important for the development of plant conservation strategies of rare plants. Georgia plume, Elliottia racemosa (Ericaceae), is a rare threatened plant endemic only to the state of Georgia. In this study, census and distribution data were collected and the ecological habitat characterized for all known populations of georgia plume using geographic information system/global positioning system (GIS/GPS)-based methods. Causes for population losses and decline were assessed by evaluating both extant populations and historically reported but currently inactive sites. Landowner permission was obtained to visit 56% (32 of 57) of all known recorded populations. Over 40% of visited locations no longer contained georgia plume; 58% of inactive sites were associated with anthropogenic disturbances including farming and timber. Populations not visited by ground were evaluated using aerial photographs: of 29 putative populations, 66% were judged highly unlikely to contain georgia plume based on current land use. Census data verified that many populations have few individuals: 75% contained less than 45 individuals; over one-third contained 12 or fewer individuals. Over 80% of extant populations had an area of less than 0.3 ha. Field and aerial assessments of recent and historically noted populations confirm that georgia plume has disappeared from many previously reported locations and that fewer than two dozen populations may remain.

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Effects of autoclaving volume, gelling agent (Bactoagar, Gel-gro, Phytagar), and basal salts [Murashige and Skoog (MS); Woody Plant Medium (WPM); Gamborg B5 (GB)] on gel strength and pH of tissue culture media were tested. Gel strength was significantly affected by gelling agent and basal medium. MS media were generally softer than comparable WPM or GB media. As the vessel volume during autoclaving decreased, gel strength significantly decreased with Phytagar and Bactoagar gelling agents; Gel-gro had greater gel strength at the intermediate volume of medium autoclave. In all cases, autoclaving resulted in a pH decrease of 0.2 to 0.5 pH units. Lower pH values were associated with softer gels. The type of gelling agent did not greatly affect the postautoclave pH; mean values among gelling agents were within 0.05 pH units. Postautoclave pH of MS medium was lower than that of WPM or GB. This study verifies the need to observe uniform sterilization protocols to maintain consistency in the chemical and physical properties of media.

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Abstract

The cotyledons of pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wang.) K. Koch] seed remain fleshy and turgid throughout an attachment period of several weeks after germination. The growth (dry weight) of the developing seedling was dependent on the cotyledons for the first 3 weeks of the 6–10 week attachment period.

Open Access

Abstract

It is increasingly evident that the concentration and type of matrix used in nutrient media can profoundly influence the response of tissues cultured in vitro. Picea abies shoot cultures exhibited increased dry weight yields (4) and increased shoot growth (9) with decreasing agar concentrations. Singha (5) compared shoot proliferation of crabapple and pear in Phytagar concentrations ranging from 0% to 1.2%. Optimal proliferation and growth occurred in crabapple on 0.3% agar, with higher concentrations decreasing these growth characteristics. In pear, increasing agar concentration also decreased shoot growth, but shoot proliferation was greatest at 0.6% or higher agar concentrations. Rooting has been promoted without or with lower agar concentrations in grape (1), Norway spruce (9), and apple (10). However, vitrification (glassiness or waterlogging) has been shown to increase with lower agar concentrations (9) and limits the use of liquid culture in some species.

Open Access

Abstract

Tissue cultures of pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] were initiated from embryo explants collected weekly from 12 weeks post-pollination until fruit maturity. Three cultures derived from immature embryos collected 14 weeks postpollination produced primary somatic embryos within 1 month following transfer from modified woody plant medium (WPM) with 2.0 mgliter−1 2,4-D and 0.25 mg liter−1 BA in the light to hormone-free medium in the dark. Scanning electron microscopy documented the development of secondary embryos, which followed a globular, heartshaped, and torpedo-stage developmental sequence. Chemical names used: (2,4-di-chlorophenoxy) acetic acid (2,4-D), N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purin-6-amine (BA), and 1H-indole-3-butanoic acid (IBA).

Open Access

A simple and efficient protocol is reported for the isolation of RNA from embryos and leaves of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch]. The method relies on suppression of the polyphenols from interaction with the RNA and their rapid removal from the homogenate by chloroform extraction. This method produced abundant amounts of high-quality RNA. This protocol is likely to be useful for Juglandaceous species and other recalcitrant plants with high levels of phenolic compounds.

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The coordinate expression of mRNA classes in pecan (Carya illinoensis) zygotic and somatic embryos has been studied. MRNA was isolated from zygotic embryos at early and late maturation stages (12 to 22 weeks post-pollination) and during germination. Additionally, mRNA was isolated from somatic embryos derived from a repetitive embryogenic system prior and after cold (6 weeks at 4°C) and desiccation treatments (5 days). These treatments have been determined to enhance somatic embryo conversion. The abundance of embryogenic mRNA classes was determined using various cloned cotton mRNA probes (Hughes and Galau, 1989). This study is a part of our efforts to elucidate the developmental and physiological differences between zygotic and somatic embryo systems in pecan.

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In almond [Prunis dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb.], fungicide sprays are required to prevent blossom blight, which can infect open flowers. Numerous studies have reported detrimental effects of agrochemical sprays on pollination, fruit set, and yield in tree fruit crops. However, effects of fungicides on pollen germination and growth in almond are little known, particularly those from recently developed active ingredients. In this study we evaluated the effects of commercial formulations of 10 fungicides on pollen germination and tube growth in almond using in vitro assays. Assays conducted at 1/100 recommended field rates (RFR) were effective in delineating differences in almond pollen sensitivity to different fungicides. Captan and azoxystrobin were the most inhibitory, with germination percentages of less than 1% of the no-fungicide control. Germination was not significantly affected by propiconazole and benomyl. Intermediate inhibitory effects on pollen germination were observed with ziram, cyprodinil, maneb, thiophanate-methyl, iprodione, and myclobutanil. In contrast to germination, tube growth was less affected by the presence of fungicide. In pollen that germinated, tube elongation was the same as in controls in five of 10 of the fungicides evaluated. Nonetheless, azoxystrobin and captan reduced tube elongation by ≈90%. Some fungicide treatments also influenced tube morphology. In the absence of field evaluation studies, in vitro germination data may provide insight on how specific chemicals may impact pollination processes and further guide in vivo studies, particularly in the case of new chemical formulations.

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Repetitive somatic embryogenic lines of pecan (Carya illinoensis) were obtained and subcultured on basal WPM, following a one week induction of zygotic embryo tissue on modified WPM with 6 mg/L NAA. Gene expression of somatic embryos has been studied and compared with that occurring in zygotic embryos. Somatic embryos simultaneously expressed mRNA classes that are specific to each of the zygotic embryo cotyledon (Cot), maturation (Mat), and post abscission stages (Late embryogenesis, Lea). Somatic embryos exhibiting such multiple, nonregulated gene expression patterns have a low germination rate. Treatments found to enhance embryo germination (cold and desiccation) may be effective in part, by modifying gene expression patterns. Some of the Cot and Mat mRNA classes decreased following such treatments, while Lea mRNAs were not effected. Cold and desiccation treatments appear to coordinate gene expression in pecan somatic embryos, which might be associated with embryo germination.

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