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  • Author or Editor: Rodney Jones x
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Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a small woody ornamental legume that has a hard seed coat, which imposes physical dormancy, typical of many legumes. Redbud also possesses an internal embryo dormancy that must be overcome by stratification. In order to observe the relationship between anatomy and germination, seeds were embedded in JB-4 resin during various developmental and germination stages. The seeds were cut longitudinally with a glass bladed microtome, to observe the radicle, vascular traces and testa. It appears that the vascular traces left from the funiculus serve as a weak point in non-dormant seeds that allows the radicle to rupture the testa during germination.

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Forest products companies would like to grow clonal plantations of superior loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) to improve fiber yields. Feasibility depends on developing efficient propagation techniques and finding superior clones. Horticultural stem-cutting propagation methods and micropropagation techniques are being coupled to test, preserve, multiply, and ultimately deploy clones. Outstanding clones are being found through a series of field tests; each beginning with a superior full-sibling cross from a 40-year-old breeding program. Clones are first screened for rooting ability, and the top 25% to 35% of clones are then established on four sites. Since maintenance of juvenile phase tissue is critical to perpetuating high rooting rates and fast subsequent growth, each clone is preserved as a set of serially propagated hedges and as cold-stored microshoots. As field tests age, better-performing clones are multiplied gradually. Large-production stock blocks of juvenile hedges consequently may be established from both rooted cuttings and microshoots as soon as field tests end. Clones producing large numbers of long branches have been noted for their potential value as fast-growing ornamentals. Since such characters are opposite those desirable for forestry, these clones would need to be preserved, multiplied, and marketed separately from clones for plantation forests.

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Seed coat anatomy in the hilar region was examined in dry, imbibed and germinating seeds of Eastern redbud. A discontinuous area was observed between macrosclereid cells in the palisade layer of the seed coat which formed a hilar slit. A symmetrical cap was formed during germination as the seed coat separated along the hilar slit and was hinged by the macrosclereids in the area of the seed coat opposite to the hilar slit. The discontinuity observed in the palisade layer was the remnant of the area traversed by the vascular trace between the funiculus and the seed coat of the developing ovule. There were no apparent anatomical differences in the hilar region of the seed coat between dormant and non-dormant imbibed seeds. However, the thickened layer of mesophyll cells of the seed coat in this region and the capacity of the endospetm to stretch along with the elongating radicle may contribute to maintaining dormancy in redbud seeds.

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The vase life of cut sunflowers given a simulated transport period (3 days dry storage at 8C) was significantly enhanced by a l-hour pulse with 0.01% Triton X-100 administered before storage. The Triton pulse increased solution uptake during the l-hour pulse, decreased fresh weight loss during dry storage, and significantly improved water uptake thereafter, resulting in greater leaf turgidity and longer vase life. Leaf stomata] conductance measurements indicated that Triton X-100 maintained stomatal opening at a higher level during the pulse and after storage, but had no effect during dry storage. Chemical name used: octylphenoxypolyethoxyethanol (Triton X-100).

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Phosphine (PH3) is a potential alternative fumigant to methyl bromide for insect disinfestation of cut flowers. King protea (Protea cynaroides L.), tulip (Tulipa gesneriana `Apeldoorn'), kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos manglesii Hook.), and geraldton wax (Chamelaucium uncinatum `Purple Pride') were fumigated with PH3 at varying concentrations (100 to 8000 μL·L-1) for 2, 4, or 6 hours. Vase life was evaluated at 20 °C, 65% relative humidity, and constant illumination with a photosynthetically active radiation of 15 μmol·m-2·S-1. No significant change in vase life was observed for kangaroo paws after any of the PH3 fumigations. A 6-hour fumigation at 8000 μL·L-1 significantly reduced vase life in king protea, tulip, and geraldton wax flower. Geraldton wax flower and tulip were relatively sensitive to PH3, as they were damaged by 4000 μL·L-1 for 6 hours and 8000 μL·L-1 for 4 hours, respectively. Phosphine has potential as an insect disinfestation fumigant for king protea, tulip, and kangaroo paw at 4000 (μL·L-1 for 6 hours without affecting vase life or causing damage.

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