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  • Author or Editor: James F. Harbage x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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We investigated the role of ethylene on adventitious rooting of `Gala' (easy-to-root) and `Triple Red Delicious' (difficult-to-root) apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) microcuttings. Root count increased significantly as IBA level increased, with highest root counts on `Gala'. Ethylene evolution increased significantly with IBA level without significant differences between cultivars. Basal section removal of microcuttings in the area of root origin reduced root count without changing ethylene evolution. Ethylene treatment of proliferated shoots before microcutting excision failed to enhance rooting. IBA-induced ethylene evolution was eliminated nearly by AVG, but root count remained IBA dependent. ACC reversed IBA plus AVG rooting inhibition, but ACC alone failed to influence root count. Polar auxin transport inhibitors NPA and TIBA stimulated ethylene evolution without increasing root count. Adventitious rooting of apple microcuttings was not associated with ethylene. Chemical names used: 1-H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA); aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG); 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC); 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA); N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA).

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Involvement of pH and IBA on adventitious root initiation was investigated with Malus domestica Borkh. microcuttings. The pH of unbuffered root initiation medium (RIM) increased from 5.6 to 7 within 2 days. Buffering with 2[N-morpholino] ethanesulfonic acid (MES) adjusted to specific pHs with potassium hydroxide prevented pH changes and resulted in a 2-fold higher root count at pH 5.5 compared to pH 7 or unbuffered medium. As pH decreased, lower concentrations of IBA were required to increase root counts. Colorimetric measurement of IBA in buffered RIM showed greater IBA loss and higher root count were associated with lower pH levels in all cultivars. This suggests that IBA loss from RIM depends on medium pH, which affects root count. Root count differences between easy-to-root through difficult-to-root cultivars were not consistent with amount of IBA loss from RIM. Cultivar differences in root count could not be explained solely by IBA loss from RIM.

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Anatomical events of adventitious root formation in response to root induction medium, observing changes during induction and post-induction stages, were made with microcuttings of `Gala' apples. Shoot explants on root induction medium containing water, 1.5 μm IBA, 44 mm sucrose, or 1.5 μm IBA + 44 mm sucrose after 4 days of treatment averaged 0, 0.2, 2.2, and 11.9 meristemoids per microcutting, respectively. Meristemoids formed in response to sucrose were confined to leaf gaps and traces. Time-course analysis of root induction with 1.5 μm IBA + 44 mm sucrose over 4 days revealed that some phloem parenchyma cells became densely cytoplasmic, having nuclei with prominent nucleoli within 1 day; meristematic activity in the phloem was widespread by 2 days; continued division of phloem parenchyma cells advanced into the cortex by 3 days; and that identifiable root primordia were present by 4 days. Cell division of pith, vascular cambium, and cortex did not lead to primordia formation. Meristematic activity was confined to the basal 1 mm of microcuttings. Time-course analysis of post-induction treatment revealed differentiation of distinct cell layers at the distal end of primordia by 1 day; primordia with a conical shape and several cell layers at the distal end by 2 to 3 days; roots with organized tissue systems emerging from the stem by 4 days; and numerous emerged roots by 6 days. Root initiation was detectable within 24 hours and completed by day 4 of the root induction treatment and involved only phloem parenchyma cells. Chemical names used: 1 H -indole3-butryic acid (IBA).

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The influence of root initiation medium pH on root formation was investigated in relation to uptake and metabolism of applied IBA in microcuttings of Malus ×domestica Borkh. `Gala' and `Triple Red Delicious'. Root formation and uptake of H 3-IBA were related inversely to root initiation medium pH. Maximum root count (10.3 roots) and IBA uptake were observed at pH 4.0. Regardless of pH, overall root count of `Gala' was higher (13.5 roots) than `Triple Red Delicious' (4 roots). Uptake of IBA was highest at pH 4.0 for `Gala' (1.7% uptake) and at pH 4 and 5 for `Triple Red Delicious' (0.75% uptake). Metabolism of IBA was the same regardless of root initiation medium pH or cultivar examined. One-half of the IBA taken up was converted to a compound that coeluted with IBAsp during high-performance liquid chromatography. Apparently, pH regulates root formation by affecting IBA uptake but not metabolism. The level of auxin in tissue appeared unrelated to root formation between genotypes. Chemical names used: 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA); 5-H 3-indole-3-butyric acid (H 3-IBA); indole-3-butrylaspartic acid (IBAsp).

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