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  • Author or Editor: Craig K. Chandler x
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A protocol was developed for excising and culturing cotyledon explants from mature achenes of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.). Cotyledon explants formed callus with multiple shoot buds on agar-solidified Murashige and Skoog media containing several combinations of hormones (1 μm 2,4-D; 10 μm 2,4-D; 1 μm BA + 1 μm 2,4-D; 1 μm BA + 10 μm 2,4-D; 5 μm BA; 5 μm BA + 1 μm 2,4-D; 5 μm BA + 10 μ m 2,4-D; 5 μ m BA + 5 μm NAA; 5 μ m BA + 15 μ m NAA). After three subcultures, only tissues maintained on the medium containing 5 μm BA + 5 μm NAA continued to form shoots. Tissues transferred to other media eventually died (1 μm 2,4-D; 1 μ m BA + 10 μ m 2,4-D; 5 μ m BA; 5 μ m BA + 1 μ m 2,4-D), became unorganized (1 μm BA + 1 μm 2,4-D; 5 μm BA + 10 μm 2,4-D; 5 μm BA + 15 μm NAA), or formed roots (10 μm 2,4-D). Whole plantlets were produced by transferring callus with buds to medium lacking hormones. The rapid regeneration of clonal plantlets from cotyledon explants may be useful for reducing variability in future developmental studies. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purin-6-amine (BA); (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) acetic acid (2,4-D); and 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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Many horticultural crops are infected with bacterial, fungal, or viral pathogens that reduce yield and/or quality. Recovery and maintenance of pathogen eradicated crops, such as strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.), have been possible following the isolation and culture of apical meristems or meristem-tips in vitro. A laboratory exercise has been developed to provide experience in the procedures required for the isolation, surface disinfection, and in vitro establishment of meristem-tip explants excised from strawberry stolons. Stolons are obtained from greenhouse-grown strawberries (`Sweet Charlie') maintained in hanging baskets under a 14-h photoperiod. Stolons are cut into single-node segments and terminal tips. The leaf blades are removed and the nodal sections are rinsed and then surface-disinfected by successive agitation in 70% ethanol and 1.05% sodium hypochlorite, followed by three rinses in sterile deionized water. In the transfer hoods, each student attempts to isolate meristem-tips and shoot tips of various sizes under high magnification provided by a stereomicroscope. Explants are inoculated onto Murashige and Skoog basal medium (Murashige and Skoog, 1962) supplemented with 30 g/liter sucrose, 80 mg/liter adenine sulfate, 1.0 mg/liter benzyladenine, 1.0 mg/liter indole-3-acetic acid, and 0.01 mg/liter gibberellic acid (GA3) and solidified as 45°slants with 1.25 g/liter Phytagel and 3.0 g/liter TC agar. Growth responses are monitored weekly. After 6 weeks, students record the percentage of visibly contaminated cultures and number shoots produced per explant. The relationship between initial explant size and in vitro growth is also determined. Students index their cultures for the presence of cultivable bacteria and fungi using sterility test media.

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Abstract

N-(3-methyl-2-butenyl)-1H-purin-6-amine (2iP) has been used to promote multiple shoot formation in previous tissue culture studies with ericaceous plants (1, 3-7). Fordham et al. (3), however, found that (E)-2-methyl-4-(1H-purin-6-ylamino)-2-buren-1-ol (zeatin) was the most effective cytokinin for stimulating shoot proliferation of cultured Exbury azalea (Rhododendron sp.). This study was conducted to determine if highbush blueberry is similar to Exbury azalea in its response to zeatin.

Open Access

In greenhouse and field studies, benzyladenine (BA) and gibberellic acid (GA3) applied together as a foliar spray increased runner production in dayneutral strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) but not when applied separately. Runner production increased linearly with increased BA concentration to 1800 mg·L–1. At high dosages, GA3-treated plants produced elongated internodes that, in the field, led to fewer daughter plants. In Florida, daughter plants derived from plants sprayed with the growth regulators increased yield by up to 10% in fruiting experiments. To induce runnering in the field and greenhouse, a treatment with BA at 1200 mg·L–1 and GA3 at 300 mg·L–1 is recommended. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purine-6-amine (benzyladenine); gibberellic acid A3; gibberellic acids A4 and A7.

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The demand for plug transplants by the Florida winter strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) industry may increase as water conservation during plant establishment becomes more important and the loss of methyl bromide fumigant makes the production of bare-root transplants more problematic. A study was conducted during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons to determine the effect of container size and temperature conditioning on the plant growth and early season fruit yield of `Sweet Charlie' strawberry plants. Plants in containers of three sizes (75, 150, and 300 cm3) were grown in one of two temperature-controlled greenhouses (35 °C day/25 °C night or 25 °C day/15 °C night) for the 2 weeks just prior to transplanting into a fruiting field at Dover, Fla. Plants exposed to the 25/15 °C treatment had significantly higher average root dry weights at planting in 1995 and 1996 than did plants exposed to the 35/25 °C treatment. Plants exposed to the 25/15 °C treatment also had higher average fruit yields than the plants exposed to the 35/25 °C treatment (48% and 18% higher in 1995-96 and 1996-97, respectively). The effect of container size on plant growth and yield was variable. Plants propagated in the 150- and 300-cm3 containers tended to be larger (at planting) than the plants propagated in the 75-cm3 containers, but the larger container sizes did not result in consistently higher yields.

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Bare-root strawberry transplants have been conventionally used for establishment of strawberry fruiting fields. These bare-root transplants have variability in vegetative vigor that results in irregular flowering patterns. We have been experimenting with a containerized transplant system to produce uniform transplants. Increasing transplant container volume by increasing perimeter, rather than depth, has resulted in increased plant size, but also increases transplant production costs. This study evaluated three container perimeters (17, 25, 32 cm) and three container shapes (circular, elliptical, and biconvex) such that different cell perimeters had the same greatest diameter. All containers had a depth of 3.5 cm. Root imaging analysis (MacRHIZOTM) was used to measure root growth in the container as well as root growth 3 and 6 weeks after transplanting. Increasing container perimeter led to increased plant growth before and after transplanting, but did not affect fruit production. Transplant container shape did not significantly alter plant growth or fruit production. Biconvex and elliptical containers required 25% and 15% less surface area, respectively. Therefore, a biconvex shaped container can be used to increase plant density during transplant propagation, decreasing surface area needed and reducing production costs.

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During the past 10 years, the Florida strawberry growers, through the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, have made a serious commitment to fund university research on strawberries. They have purchased equipment and donated monies for facilities at Dover. They have also helped support a new faculty position in breeding and genetics. During this same period, the University of Florida has made an equally strong commitment to support strawberry research and extension. These commitments are beginning to pay significant dividends for industry and the University. Cultural and pest management information has been generated that is saving the industy money, and the breeding program is developing new cultivars that will keep the industry competitive in the marketplace. The University has benefitted through the acquisition of new facilities, equipment, and faculty and graduate student support.

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