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Brent K. Harbaugh

Symptoms of foliar chlorosis or bleaching, interveinal chlorosis of lower leaves, leaf edge and tip necrosis, stunted growth and delayed flowering of Eustoma increased as pH decreased below 6.5 in various peat-vermiculite based media for all cultivars tested. Symptoms were evident with or without microelement amendments in the media or fertilizer. A 5×5 factorial with pH of media and fertilizer solutions ranging from 5.1 to 7.5 indicated fertilizer pH did not negate plant response to low media pH. Leaf tissue levels of Zn were elevated at low media pH and negatively correlated to plant growth and flowering characteristics, while imbalances in tissue levels of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu and B appeared to be less important. Symptomatic plants grown in media with a pH from 5.0 to 5.8 had tissue levels of Zn ranging from 200 to 1200 ppm, and plants without symptoms in media with a higher pH had leaf tissue levels from 40 to 100 ppm Zn.

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Brent K. Harbaugh

Rosetting response was determined for four lisianthus [Eustoma grandiflorum (Raf.) Shinn.] cultivars exposed to photoperiod and temperature treatments during stage 1(14 to 43 days after sowing) and stage 2 (43 to 79 days after sowing) seedling development. Stage 1 seedlings were exposed to short days (12 h photoperiod) or long days (18 h photoperiod) in combination with high (26C) or low temperatures (12C). After stage 1 treatments, stage 2 seedlings were divided and exposed to the same treatment combinations resulting in 16 treatments. Seedlings were then grown at 22C for 120 days to determine rosetting response. Cultivars responded differently to temperature and photoperiod. Short day-high temperature exposure during either stage 1 or stage 2 resulted in the greatest number of rosetted plants (50 to 100%) for `Yodel White', `HeidiPink', and `BlueLisa'. `GCREC-Blue' did not rosette with short day-high temperature. Low temperature during stage 1 did not prevent rosetting when stage 2 seedlings were subsequently exposed to high temperature, but low temperature during stage 2 decreased rosetting of seedlings exposed to high temperature in stage 1. Less rosetting occurred with long day-high temperature than with short day-low temperature, especially for `Blue Lisa'.

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Brent K. Harbaugh

Caladium × hortulanum Birdsey `Candidum' tubers were forced in pots until at least one-half the visible sprouts were 2 cm above the soil surface. These prefinished plants were subjected to simulated transit durations of 2, 4, or 6 days in the dark at 12.5, 15.5, 18.5, 21.0 or 24C. Plants were then grown for 4 weeks in a greenhouse and were either fertilized weekly with 100 ml of a solution containing 500 N-218P-415K (mg·liter-1) or were not fertilized. Interactive effects between transit duration and temperature were significant for all measured growth responses. Transit temperature maintained for 2 days had little effect on subsequent growth and only moderate effects after 4 days. With transit duration of 6 days, an increase in temperature resulted in increased plant height, fresh weight, number of leaves, white coloration of leaves, and percent of plants judged marketable (finished) in 4 weeks. Holding at ≈ 18.5C was most favorable for transit durations of 4 or 6 days. Use of fertilizer during finishing improved plant growth regardless of transit conditions, but did not totally negate deleterious effects from transit conditions.

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Brent K. Harbaugh

Seedling growth and flowering responses were examined for four Eustoma cultivars exposed to photoperiod × temperature treatments during two seedling ages. Seedlings were grown under short days (SD, 12-hour photoperiod) or long days (LD, 18-hour photoperiod) in soil at 12 or 28C from 14 to 43 days after sowing. Seedlings from each treatment were then subdivided into four lots and subjected to the same photoperiod × temperature treatments from 43 to 79 days after sowing, for a total of 16 treatments. To determine flowering response, seedlings were grown subsequently for 120 days at 22C under the same photoperiod that they received from day 43 to 79. For all cultivars and both seedling ages, seedlings were larger and had more leaves when grown at 28C rather than at 12C, but the tallest plants at flowering were from seedlings exposed to 12C. Seedlings from some treatments bolted but did not initiate visible flower buds, and some seedlings developed visible buds that later aborted, resulting in plants that did not flower by the termination of the experiment (199 days). Cultivar and interactive effects of photoperiod and temperature influenced the percentage of flowering plants. Vegetative growth and flowering responses were similar for `Yodel White', `Heidi Pink', and `Blue Lisa'. They flowered as LD plants when seedlings were grown at 12C from day 14 to 43 or day 43 to 79. Seedlings of these cultivars that were grown under SD at 28C from day 43 to 79 did not flower, regardless of photoperiod or temperature treatments from day 14 to 43. However, SD photoperiod or 28C did not decrease flowering for `GCREC-Blue'.

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Brent K. Harbaugh

Interveinal chlorosis of lower (oldest) leaves followed by development of interveinal necrotic spots, marginal necrosis, downward cupping of leaves, and leaf abscission were symptoms of a disorder commonly observed during production of potted pentas. The disorder was determined to be an Fe toxicity problem associated with accumulation of extremely high levels of foliar Fe (649 to 1124 ppm). Cultivars varied in their response to soil-applied Fe-DTPA chelate solutions: `Starburst', `Mauve' and `Ruby Red' were very susceptible, `Pink Profusion' was intermediate, and `White', `Lavender Delight', and `Pink Rose' were resistant. Potted plant production in a root medium with an initial pH of 6.7 ± 0.1 and a end pH of 6.4 ± 0.2 reduced the accumulation of foliar Fe to levels ranging from 59 to 196 ppm and prevented development of significant visual symptoms for all Cultivars.

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

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RongNa Liang and Brent K. Harbaugh

Trachelium caeruleum has been grown in the United States as a cut flower for about a decade. Only two cultivars, `White Umbrella' and `Purple Umbrella', were readily available for commercial use before 1997, but nine new cultivars became available in the last few years. Comparative performance trials have been lacking for these cultivars in the United States. This trial evaluated 11 cultivars of trachelium for cut flower production performance (vegetative and flowering characteristics) and postharvest longevity. The evaluation was in the spring of 1999 at Bradenton, Fla. (27.4 N, 82.5 W; AHS Heat Zone 10; USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 9b). Plant height for all cultivars except `White Umbrella' was above 30 inches (76 cm), a height required for acceptance as a high quality cut flower. `Summer Lake' had the smallest inflorescence diameter of 3.9 inches (10.0 cm) and `Lake Powell' the largest at 6.1 inches (15.4 cm). `White Umbrella' (160 days from seed to flower) was the earliest to flower and `Lake Powell' (169 days) the last to flower. Vase life was as short as 7 days for `Summer Lake' to as long as 11 days for `White Umbrella'. `Lake Powell' (white color group), `Summer Blue Wonder' (blue color group), and `Lake Superior' (purple color group) had the highest overall rankings.

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

The ornamental value of caladium (Caladium ×hortulanum Birdsey) depends primarily on leaf characteristics, including leaf shape and main vein color. Caladium leaf shapes are closely associated with plant growth habit, stress tolerance, and tuber yield; leaf main vein colors are often used for cultivar identification. Thirty-eight crosses were made among 10 cultivars and two breeding lines; their progeny were analyzed to understand the inheritance of leaf shape and main vein color and to determine if there is a genetic linkage between these two traits. Results showed that a single locus with three alleles determined the main vein color in caladium. The locus was designated as V, with alleles V r, V w, and V g for red, white, and green main veins, respectively. The white vein allele was dominant over the green vein allele, but it was recessive to the red vein allele, which was dominant over both white and green vein alleles; thus the dominance order of the alleles is V r > V w > V g. Segregation data indicated that four major red-veined cultivars were heterozygous with the genotype Vr V g, and that one white-veined cultivar was homozygous and one other white-veined cultivar and one breeding line were heterozygous. The observed segregation data confirmed that the three leaf shapes in caladium were controlled by two co-dominant alleles at one locus, designated as F and f, for fancy and strap leaves, respectively. The skewedness of leaf shape segregation in some of the crosses implied the existence of other factors that might contribute to the formation of leaf shape. Contingency chi-square tests for independence revealed that caladium leaf shape and main vein color were inherited independently. The chi-square tests for goodness-of-fit indicated that the five observed segregation patterns for leaf shape and main vein color fit well to the expected ratio assuming that two co-dominant and three dominant/recessive alleles control leaf shape and main vein color and they are inherited independently.

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Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

Caladium (Caladium ×hortulanum) leaves can be injured at air temperatures below 15.5 °C. This chilling sensitivity restricts the geographical use of caladiums in the landscape, and leads to higher fuel costs in greenhouse production of pot plants because warmer conditions have to be maintained. This study was conducted to develop procedures to evaluate differences among caladium cultivars for chilling sensitivity and to identify cultivars that might be resistant to chilling injury. The effects of two chilling temperatures (12.1 and 7.2 °C) and three durations (1, 3, and 5 days) on the severity of chilling injury were compared for three cultivars known to differ in their sensitivity to low temperatures. Exposure of detached mature leaves to 7.2 °C for 3 days allowed differentiation of cultivars' chilling sensitivity. Chilling injury appeared as dark necrotic patches at or near leaf tips and along margins, as early as 1 day after chilling. Chilling injury became more widespread over a 13-day period, and the best window for evaluating cultivar differences was 9 to 13 days after chilling. Significant differences in chilling sensitivity existed among 16 cultivars. Three cultivars, `Florida Red Ruffles', `Marie Moir', and `Miss Muffet', were resistant to chilling injury. These cultivars could serve as parents for caladium cold-tolerance breeding, and this breeding effort could result in reduced chilling injury in greenhouse production of potted plants, or in new cultivars for regions where chilling occurs during the growing season.