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  • Author or Editor: Amir Ali Khoddamzadeh x
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Nitrogen (N) is an important component of proteins and chlorophyll, and has been correlated with optical sensors as a means to determine N status during crop production. In this experiment, chrysanthemum ‘Amico Bronze’ and ‘Jacqueline Yellow’ had initial controlled-release fertilizer rates of 0, 5, 10, 15, or 20 g. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil Plant Analytical Development (SPAD), and atLEAF sensor readings were taken at 10, 17, 24, 31, 38, and 45 days after adding initial fertilizer treatments (DAT). NDVI was correlated with leaf N concentration at all sampling dates except 17 DAT. Values for NDVI increased linearly up to 31 DAT for all treatments then plateaued at 45 DAT. Values for SPAD were only correlated with leaf N at 24 DAT, whereas, NDVI was correlated as early as 10 DAT. The atLEAF sensor was not correlated with leaf N at any sampling date. With weeks combined, correlation analysis showed correlations among leaf N and fertilizer rates, fertilizer rates and SPAD, and SPAD with NDVI and atLEAF. Thirty-one days after initial fertilizer treatment, 10 pots per treatment per cultivar were supplemented as following: 15 g supplemented to the 0 g treatment, 10 g to the 5 g treatment, and 5 g to the 10 g treatment at 31 DAT. With supplemented fertilizer treatments (SFTs), NDVI increased weekly until 45 DAT for ‘Amico Bronze’, while SPAD values did not increase in any treatments. The greatest atLEAF values occurred with 10 (+5) g and 0 (+15) g N in both cultivars. All sensor readings were only taken on leaves without any flowers. The greatest number of flowers, plant height, and shoot dry weight occurred with 10 (+5) g of additional N, but no differences occurred between 5 (+10) g and 0 (+15) g for height and shoot dry weight. No correlations existed between fertilizer rates, SPAD, NDVI, and leaf N for SFT in either cultivar. In summary, results indicated that NDVI values correlated greater (P ≤ 0.05 and P ≤ 0.01) with leaf N than SPAD and atLEAF chlorophyll sensors. Supplemental fertilizer application improved plant quality in terms of number of flowers, plant height, and shoot dry weight for all treatments, indicating that SFT could be used to correct N deficiency during crop production; however, not in combination with nondestructive sensor readings because of inconsistencies in the ability of all three sensors to separate among fertilizer treatments during a short production schedule.

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Florida is home to 106 native orchid species, of which 77 are listed as endangered or threatened by the State of Florida. The Institute for Regional Conservation (IRC) has classified 62 of these species as either critically imperiled, imperiled, or rare in South Florida. Because of lack of endosperm, orchid germination rates are very low in nature, as they depend on an obligate relationship with mycorrhizal fungi for nutrients. Most orchid seeds can be germinated in vitro without the need for specific mycorrhizal fungi. This study aims are to establish a fast and efficient protocol for in vitro seed germination using different nutrient media and plant growth regulator (PGR) combinations, and to optimize seedling acclimatization protocols using different greenhouse media. To determine germination preferences, three different in vitro seed germination media were tested supplemented with PGRs, including 1) Murashige & Skoog (MS) (control), 2) MS supplemented with 1.5 mg/L 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP), and 3) MS supplemented with 1 mg/L BAP and 0.5 mg/L 1-Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) on Cyrtopodium punctatum, a state-listed endangered, IRC critically imperiled epiphytic orchid. There was no significant difference amongst the treatments after 2 and 6 weeks of seed sowing culture. To understand post-culture survivorship, two epiphytic and one terrestrial native species (Trichocentrum undulatum, Encyclia tampensis, and Oncidium ensatum) were chosen for the acclimatization study with two commercially available potting substrates (coir, sphagnum). To measure seedling growth rates, phenotypic measurements [leaf number, leaf length, root length, plantlet height, light intensity, pH, and electrical conductivity (EC)] and Soil Plant Analysis Development (SPAD) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values were recorded monthly for five months. All media/PGR combinations resulted in an initial high percentage of stage I growth but inhibited Protocorm-like bodies (PLBs) development, suggesting more research is necessary to determine later improvements or detriments to MS basal media with BAP and NAA. Comparing acclimatization media with the three species of orchid chosen for this experiment, neither O. ensatum nor E. tampensis showed a marked preference for sphagnum moss or coir. However, T. undulatum did perform better with coir compared with sphagnum. This research will help botanical gardens and commercial plant tissue culture laboratories to have a better understanding on selection of PGR combinations for in vitro cell culture and acclimatization media on increasing the viability and plant health and decreasing the mortality of endangered plants.

Open Access