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  • Author or Editor: Robert L. Geneve x
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Ethephon and ethylene gas applied to intact Eastern redbud seed induced germination in 44 or 53% of dormant seed. However, endogenous ethylene production was not found to be correlated with the release from dormancy during chilling stratification (5°C). Seeds stratified in the presence of 6000 ppm 2.5-norbomadicne germinated at the same percentage as control seeds. Isolated embryos treated with 100 to 500 μM AOA or 1000 μM silver thiosulfate germinated at a slower rate than control seeds, but the release from dormancy during stratification was unaffected by either ethylene inhibitor. Ethylene evolution, ACC and MACC content remained at a low level throughout stratification. EFE activity was not detectable in hydrated dormant or non-dormant seed. All ethylene parameters measured increased sharply during germination with peak activity correlated with radicle emergence. These data indicated that ethylene production was linked to germination, but unrelated to dormancy release in Eastern redbud seed.

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Eucodonia ‘Adele’ initiates seasonal shoot growth from a scaly rhizome. Larger rhizome segments (>2.5 cm) produced shoots at a greater percentage compared with smaller rhizome segments. Shoots produced on larger segments were initiated sooner and had a longer length. However, when shoot formation efficiency was calculated as the number of potential shoots per original stock rhizome, smaller rhizome segments were more efficient, producing three to four times as many shoots. Rhizome segments (2.5 cm) soaked overnight in benzyladenine (BA) produced three to four times more shoots per rhizome (four shoots) compared with untreated or water-soaked rhizomes (0.3 and 0.7 shoot, respectively). The scaly rhizome consists of a central stem-like core surrounded by numerous leaf-like scales. Scales appear to be storage leaf tissue based on anatomy and presence of numerous amyloplasts. New shoots initiate as axillary shoots formed from the central core at the scale attachment. Isolated individual scales also have the capacity for adventitious shoot formation, but only form in about 25% of isolated scales. Leaf cuttings were capable of producing adventitious shoots, roots, and rhizomes. Untreated petiole and lamina cut leaf cuttings formed approximately three rhizomes per leaf cutting compared with less than one adventitious shoot per leaf cutting. Benzyladenine-treated leaf cuttings did not show an increase in rhizome initiation, but soaking lamina cut leaf cuttings in water or BA increased shoot formation to ∼1.5 shoots per cutting. This work with isolated rhizome segments and leaf cuttings presents efficient systems for regenerating rhizomes that can be used to produce stock plants for a stem cutting system for Eucodonia ‘Adele’ as a seasonal pot plant.

Open Access

Interactive web-based questions were developed for students to review subject matter learned in an online plant propagation course. Articulate Storyline software was used to build nearly 250 review questions with five different testing styles to ascertain proficiency in subject areas, including the biology of propagation, the propagation environment, seed propagation, vegetative propagation, micropropagation, and cell culture. Questions were arranged to correspond to the supporting textbook chapters in Hartmann and Kester’s Plant propagation: Principles and practices, ninth edition. These are open access and available to instructors and students worldwide. Users received immediate feedback for each question answered correctly or incorrectly. The system remembers where one leaves off, which enables starting and stopping multiple times within a chapter. Means of pre- and posttest responses to nine content knowledge items showed that students perceived a significant content knowledge gain in the course. These online interactive reviews can be adapted easily to other courses in a variety of fields, including horticulture, botany, systematics, and biology. They can also be expanded to overlay multiple objects and trigger events based on user response. Since inception, the website hosting these online reviews averaged 156 unique visitors per month. Students have reported this to be a useful tool to prepare them for course exams.

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Organic and low-input production systems are increasingly of interest in medicinal plant production, such as Calendula officinalis, a medicinal plant grown for essential oils. However, in these systems the effects of nutrient availability and water stress may act singularly or in combination to affect plant growth and medicinal compound production. This study investigated the effects of organic and conventional fertility sources and drought stress effects on four calendula cultivars. Soil nitrogen (N) status, plant growth, productivity, and essential oil quality and quantity were measured. The plant growth response to increased N availability varied by cultivar, indicating that some cultivars may be better suited to low-input fertility regimes. Fertility source did not significantly affect essential oil quality or quantity. Drought stress reduced plant growth but increased the quality of essential oil, as indicated by the concentrations of specific constituents, although it did not reduce total oil yield. These results indicate that organic and low-input farming systems may significantly reduce plant growth, but may not necessarily affect essential oil yield or quality. As such, the sustainability of medicinal plant production systems may be improved by reductions in water and conventional fertilizers without significant reductions in medicinal compound production.

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Satin flower (Clarkia amoena ssp. whitneyi - syn. Godetia) is a cool season native to the Western U.S. being studied for its potential use as a cutflower crop in Kentucky. In May 1989, plants of `Grace Salmon' were transplanted to the field into black fabric mulch. A factorial experiment was conducted with three pinching treatment (no pinch, pinched early at the third mode prior to transplanting, and pinched in the field at the third mode after the first flower bud was visible) and at three spacings (15, 30 end 45 cm). There were significant main and interaction effects for both pinching and spacing for the number of flowering stems, stem length and plant diameter. However, no treatment combination consistently produced flowering stems of sufficient length for commercial quality. This may be due to the later spring planting date and hot weather in 1989. In an attempt to increase flower stem length, Godetia `Grace Salmon' plants have bean transplanted on April 10, 25 and May 10, Plants will be pinched in the greenhouse or grown without pinching et 45 or 15 cm spacing, respectively, The. effect of supplemental lighting and long days during transplant production will also be considered,

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A mobile web application called PropG was developed for students to quickly access more than 270 glossary terms defined in a plant propagation textbook. The functionality and usefulness of the app was evaluated by 53 students enrolled in a semester-long online course in plant propagation. Means of pre- and post-test responses to 17 knowledge items showed students perceived a significant knowledge gain in the course for each of the subject categories evaluated. Most students agreed or strongly agreed this learning tool was organized and easy to navigate and would use it in the future. Since 2021, PropG received 153,645 total page views, 90,818 unique visits, and 17,216 returning visits, showing its widespread use in plant propagation.

Open Access

Rooting stage, transpiration capacity, and relative water content were measured in cuttings every 5 days for 25 days. Cell divisions in phloem parenchyma were evident between 5 and 10 days after sticking, organized subcuticular root primordia were present between 10 and 12 days, and roots emerged between 12 and 15 days. Transpiration was measured in poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch `Freedom Dark Red') cuttings under light or dark conditions at increasing vapor pressure deficit (VPDair) levels during different stages of rooting. Transpiration capacity did not increase until roots emerged on the cuttings. Light had a significant impact on transpiration rates only after roots emerged. Light was more significant than VPDair for determining actual transpiration. Between visible rooting (15 days) and 25 days, increase in total root length was linear (r 2 = 0.92) and significantly correlated with transpiration (r 2 = 0.98). Transpiration capacity increased after visible rooting, but did not significantly increase under non-misted conditions until cuttings were well-rooted and had a total root length >50 cm (18 days after sticking). Relative water content measured before and after entering the transpiration chamber confirmed that cuttings were only able to take enough water from the medium to continue sustained transpiration after 18 days. A cutting coefficient was developed from transpiration data to modify the misting interval for dynamic controlled misting. Greenhouse studies showed a 55% or greater reduction in water use with dynamic control compared to constant static or stepped down static control. Rooting performance was unaffected by misting interval. Foliar nutrition was significantly reduced in all cuttings after 7 days in the mist bench, but changes in foliar elemental content were not correlated with misting interval.

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Root zone temperature optima for root initiation and root elongation stages for rooting in poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch `Freedom Dark Red') cuttings was determined to be 28 and 26 °C, respectively. Threshold temperatures where rooting development was slow (>24 days) or did not occur were ≤20 and ≥32 °C. Time to visible rooting and postemergent root elongation was modeled based on cumulative daily mean root zone temperatures in growth chamber studies using a thermogradient table to provide simultaneous temperatures between 19 to 34 °C. Time to root emergence at different root zone temperatures was best described using a nonlinear growth rate derived mathematical model, while postemergent root elongation up to 100 cm could be described using either a linear thermal time model or a nonlinear equation based on elongation rate. These temperature-based mathematical models were used to predict rooting in six greenhouse experiments. Using a root zone base temperature of 21 °C, observed vs. predicted time to visible root emergence was highly correlated (r 2 = 0.98) with a mean prediction error (MPE) of 1.6 d. Observed vs. predicted root length using the linear thermal time model had a r 2 = 0.69 and an MPE of 14.6 cm, which was comparable to the nonlinear model with an r 2 = 0.82 and an MPE of 14.8 cm.

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The pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal] is a native plant found mainly in the southeastern and eastern United States, and its fruit has great potential as a new high-value crop in these regions. Although there are ≈45 named pawpaw cultivars, breeding for improvement of specific traits, such as fruit size and quality, is desirable. Our long-term goal is to utilize molecular marker systems to identify markers that can be used for germplasm diversity analyses and for the construction of a molecular genetic map, where markers are correlated with desirable pawpaw traits. The objective of this study was to identify random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers that segregate in a simple Mendelian fashion in a controlled A. triloba cross. DNA was extracted from young leaves collected from field-planted parents and 20 progeny of the cross 1-7 × 2-54. The DNA extraction method used gave acceptable yields of ≈7 μg·g-1 of leaf tissue. Additionally, sample 260/280 ratios were ≈1.4, which indicated that the DNA was of high enough purity to be subjected to the RAPD methodology. Screening of 10-base oligonucleotide RAPD primers with template DNA from the parents and progeny of the cross has begun. We have identified two markers using Operon primer B-07 at 1.1 and 0.9 kb that segregate in a simple Mendelian fashion in progeny of the 1-7 × 2-54 cross. Other primers and controlled crosses will also be screened.

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Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is an under-exploited small tree with commercial potential as a fruit crop, ornamental tree, and source of secondary products with insecticidal and medicinal properties. It is most often propagated from seeds that are recalcitrant and must be stored moist at a chilling temperature. Seeds display combinational (morphophysiological) dormancy. Endogenous, physiological dormancy is broken by about 100 days of chilling stratification followed by a period of warm moist conditions where the small embryo develops prior to seedling emergence about 45 days after the warm period begins. Pawpaw cultivars with superior fruit characteristics are propagated by grafting onto seedling understocks. The most common practice is chip budding. Other methods of clonal propagation have proven problematic. Pawpaw can be propagated from cuttings, but only in very young seedling stock plants. Micropropagation from mature sources is not yet possible, but shoot proliferation has been accomplished from seedling explants and explants rejuvenated by induction of shoots from root cuttings of mature plants. However, rooting of microcuttings and subsequent acclimatization has not been successful.

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