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R.B. Smith and L.J. Skog

Various cultivars of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) were stored for 42 h under an atmosphere of 15% CO2 to determine whether their firmness would be enhanced. Compared to initial samples and stored control samples, enhanced firmness was found in 21 of the 25 cultivars evaluated. The CO2 had no effect on color, as measured by Hunter `L', `a' and `b', or on soluble solids concentration (SSC) or pH. There were significant differences among cultivars in firmness; Hunter color `L', `a', and `b'; SSC; and pH.

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M.A.L. Smith and R.B. Rogers

The game-show format, used recurrently in an undergraduate-level, introductory plant propagation course, fostered a friendly, competitive incentive for students to master facts and concepts critical to understanding processes in plant physiology. Because student teams, rather than individuals, served as the contestants in each game, and because game points were never translated into grade points, participants and observers learned from and enjoyed the exercises without anxiety. Propagation-specific clues and questions were prepared for “Wheel of Fortune,” “Win, Lose, or Draw,” and other games. These were followed up at the end of each semester with several play-off rounds of a plant propagation variant of “Jeopardy!”, which served as an excellent means of course synthesis and review of key concepts. The format allowed for liberal use of humor as an effective pedagogical tool and resulted in the hands-on contributions of former students in construction of new game quizzes and puzzles for subsequent semesters.

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R.B. Rogers, M.A.L. Smith, and R. Cowen

The only method for large scale production of pure hybrid seed in Zinnia elegans involves the use of male sterile individuals. The male sterile trait, however, is a three gene recessive which at best produces only 50% male sterile progeny from seed. Since no method of clonal propagation is available, seed-produced female lines require labor intensive field roguing to insure removal of all normal flowered individuals. Clonal micropropagation was investigated as a means of mass producing male steriles for use as female lines. Sterilization procedures were developed for seed and axillary bud explants. Shoot proliferation media containing various levels of BAP, 2ip, and kinetin were screened using in vitro germinated seedling explants of the inbred line `Orange Starlight'. Microshoots demonstrated a high rooting percentage after 2 weeks on basal medium without growth regulators. Plantlets were easily acclimated in 1 to 2 weeks in a high humidity environment. In vitro derived plants of identified male sterile plants were phenotypically evaluated as to their suitability for use in field production.

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R.B. Rogers, M.A.L. Smith, and R. Cowen

The only method for large scale production of pure hybrid seed in Zinnia elegans involves the use of male sterile individuals. The male sterile trait, however, is a three gene recessive which at best produces only 50% male sterile progeny from seed. Since no method of clonal propagation is available, seed-produced female lines require labor intensive field roguing to insure removal of all normal flowered individuals. Clonal micropropagation was investigated as a means of mass producing male steriles for use as female lines. Sterilization procedures were developed for seed and axillary bud explants. Shoot proliferation media containing various levels of BAP, 2ip, and kinetin were screened using in vitro germinated seedling explants of the inbred line `Orange Starlight'. Microshoots demonstrated a high rooting percentage after 2 weeks on basal medium without growth regulators. Plantlets were easily acclimated in 1 to 2 weeks in a high humidity environment. In vitro derived plants of identified male sterile plants were phenotypically evaluated as to their suitability for use in field production.

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L.J. Skog, R.B. Smith, and D.P. Murr

`Fantasia' nectarines (Prunus persica L.Batsch) were either stored immediately at 0.5C or subjected to a 48-h delay at 20C in air or with 5% CO2 in air before storage. Samples were evaluated at harvest and after 18, 25, 32, 39 and 46 days storage in air or in 5% O2 with 0%, 4%, 8%, or 12% CO2. All samples were evaluated at optimum ripeness. A combination of delayed storage and elevated CO2 in storage effectively delayed chilling injury (CI) symptoms. Control of CI increased with increasing CO2 level in delayed and nondelayed treatments. Delayed storage was not effective without elevated levels of CO2 in the storage atmosphere. Fruit that was stored without delay did not soften normally during the ripening period and developed a dry, rubbery texture. The effect was enhanced as CI progressed, resulting in increased firmness of ripened fruit with increased storage time. The delayed storage treatments softened normally during ripening, but CI fruit had a dry, mealy texture. Internal conductivity measurements correlated well with CI development. Off-flavors were detected at the higher levels of CO2 storage.

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Linda J. Walker, R.B. Rogers, and M.A.L. Smith

In vitro cell cultures of huckleberry and bilberry are sources of phytochemicals for use as food colorants and bioactive chemopreventives. Shoot cultures provide a convenient, presterile source of explants for production of callus rich in extractable pigments or other chemicals. Efficient callus formation only occurs with good-quality shoots. In this study, liquid and gelled support systems were compared in terms of their effect on shoot growth. Gellan gum-based support resulted in excellent shoot proliferation and suitable shoot length for huckleberry cultures, whereas bilberry performed slightly better on agar and agar/gellan gum support. Bilberry had a more-rapid growth rate than huckleberry. Hyperhydricity was found with the use of rafts for both species. These shoot cultures have been used as vegetative explants for callus, and have produced vivid anthocyanins in solution cultures.

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S.M. Eichorst, R.B. Rogers, and M.A.L. Smith

Use of a liquid media during micropropagation has promoted improved proliferation and rooting response in several species. In this experiment, a double phase system (a combination of liquid and agar solidified medium) was applied to three cultivars of miniature roses (Rosa chinensis var. minima) to determine the effects on shoot quality and subsequent ex-vitro rooting. Applications of liquid media to the surface of agar solidified media were made at 0, 2, and 4 weeks. Evaluation via computerized image analysis after eight weeks of proliferation revealed equal or greater values for shoot length, area and weighted density (equivalent to fresh weight) for cultures receiving overlay, regardless of timing, compared to the solid media control. Additionally, application of a liquid overlay improved rooting response by up to 20% over the control and resulted in a tendency for a greater number of roots of greater length and area than the treatment without liquid media overlay.

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J.D. Norton, G.E. Bovhan, D.A. Smith, and B.R. Abrahams

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J.D. Norton, G.E. Boyhan, D.A. Smith, and B.R. Abrahams

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J.D. Norton, G.E. Boyhan, D.A. Smith, and B.R. Abrahams