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  • Author or Editor: Bruce Dunn x
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Ploidy level and fertility status are often the two biggest barriers a breeder must overcome when trying to incorporate novel characteristics among related taxa. This study was aimed at developing an efficient chromosome doubling method for Buddleja L., commonly known as butterfly bush, with the goal of equalizing the ploidy level and restoring the fertility of a diploid (2n=38) F1 interspecific hybrid that has a unique orange color but happens to be sterile. This method would ease the crossing of the hybrid to the tetraploid (2n=76) B. davidii Franch. cultivars commonly found in the industry. An antimitotic treatment of oryzalin was tested on 02-25-142 (B. madagascarensis Lam. × B. crispa Benth.) in vitro using nodal sections. A factorial of varying concentrations [3, 5, and 7 μM (micromolar)] by different exposure times (1, 2, and 3 day) plus controls was set up. Oryzalin appeared to be an efficient agent for chromosome doubling in Buddleja. Significant differences in the number of polyploids were not seen between chemical concentrations and exposure times. However, higher chemical concentrations and exposure times did have a significant effect on the number of nodes that survived tissue culture. Increased leaf size and color, stem thickness, shortened internode length, and upright growth habit were all good early phenotypic indicators of polyploidy induction as later confirmed by flow cytometry. Significant increases in pollen viability accompanied chromosome doubling as crosses between 02-25-142 × B. davidii cultivars produced viable seedlings.

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Controlled reciprocal crosses between Trichostema lanatum Benth. (section Chromocephalum F.H. Lewis) with Trichostema arizonicum A. Gray (section Paniculatum F.H. Lewis) and Trichostema purpusii Brandegee (section Rhodanthum Lewis) were successful in generating the first artificial hybrids in the genus. Crosses where T. lanatum was used as the female were unsuccessful. Leaf and floral morphology among the hybrids was typically intermediate. Female sterility was seen in the T. arizonicum × T. lanatum hybrids, and these hybrids also produced abnormally small, nonviable pollen grains. Propagation procedures are also presented. Although these species may be in different sections, their crossability suggests that they are closely related.

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A protocol for producing fertile tetraploid forms of the hybrid Buddleja madagascarensis Lam. × B. crispa Benth. would enable introgression of orange flower, pubescence, and nondehiscent fruit characteristics found in section Nicodemia (Tenore) Leeuw. into B. davidii Franchet section Buddleja. Excised nodal sections of a single sterile diploid selection from that cross were treated in vitro with 3, 5, or 7 μm oryzalin concentrations for 1, 2, or 3 days or were left as an untreated control. A population of plants was generated from these cultures and transferred to the greenhouse. Treated plants were initially screened phenotypically for higher ploidy levels on the basis of stem thickness and leaf size. Those selected based on polyploidy characteristics were subjected to cytometric analysis, confirming that six tetraploid plants were generated. Nodal survival rates were dependent on oryzalin concentration and treatment duration. Significant increases in fertility accompanied polyploidy induction, because crosses between the newly developed tetraploids and B. davidii cultivars produced viable fertile plants. Chemical name used: 3,5-dinitro-N 4,N 4-dipropylsulfanilamide (oryzalin).

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Leaf nitrogen (N) and contact optical sensor sampling methods vary in the literature. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the best sampling procedure for correlating leaf N concentration to contact optical sensor readings. To investigate this, fertilizer rates of 0, 5, 10, or 15 g of 16N–9P–12K were applied as a topdress application on ornamental cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) ‘Tokyo Red’. Soil plant analysis development (SPAD) and atLEAF chlorophyll meters were used every week for 5 weeks starting 30 days after planting. For each pot, SPAD and atLEAF measurements were taken from a single mature leaf from the middle to upper level of the plant at the leaf tip, blade, or base of the leaf not including the midrib. Weekly leaf foliar analysis consisted of collecting either fully developed leaves from a single plant, five plants, or 10 plants per, using only the tip, blade, or base of three leaves for total leaf N concentration per treatment. A significant position affect was seen in both SPAD and atLEAF sensors. For SPAD, sensor readings taken from the tip and blade of a leaf were not significantly different from each other but were significantly different from the base of the leaf. All three positions for atLEAF were significantly different from each other. This indicates that sensor sampling location within a leaf will affect readings. A significant difference was observed among leaf sampling methods. Taking leaf samples from the tip and base had the highest leaf N concentrations and were not significantly different from each other but were significantly different from all other sampling methods, which were not significantly different from each other. Significant correlations were seen among all combinations of sensor positions and leaf N sampling methods except SPAD readings taken from the tip and leaf sampling from a single plant. Highest correlations (r = 0.7 to 0.8) were seen when SPAD readings were taken from the base of the leaf irrespective of leaf sampling method. Based on this experiment, either sensor could be used for correlating leaf N; however, growers should consistently collect sensor readings from the same location on a leaf to achieve consistent values and correlations.

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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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Rose cut flowers are popular in everyday bouquets or for special occasions, and tinting of the flowers by means of color addition increases the flowers economical value and aesthetic appeal. This study evaluated red and white luminescent rose cut flowers, which was achieved by applying six persistent luminescent powders. Solutions of each color were prepared by mixing 6 g of powder and 240 ml of deionized water and sprayed four times around the flower head plus a control. Images were taken of the flowers before ultraviolet blacklight exposure and after exposure to be later analyzed with ImageJ software. Daily measurements were taken including vase weight, average floral diameter, and visual deterioration based on scale of 1 to 4. Overall measurements included mean brightness; red, green, and blue measured values; dominant wavelengths of emitted color; flower diameter change rate; relative water percent; solution uptake rate; and vase solution uptake rate. For luminescent brightness mean without ultraviolet, white rose with blue powder had the greatest value. For luminescent brightness after ultraviolet exposure, white rose with green powder had the greatest value. With ultraviolet exposure, white roses with green powder had the greatest value followed by blue, orange, and white. Red powder on white and red roses experienced little to no luminescence before or after ultraviolet exposure. Mean and mode varied in their calculated dominant wavelengths; therefore, it is recommended to use mean values because more similarities in matching of the powder color and the calculated dominant wavelength were reported. Ultimately, white roses are preferred because they seemed to have greater health and luminescence compared with red roses, and green and blue powder would be recommended for luminescent application for brightness.

Open Access

An experiment was conducted to quantify luminescence of white cut flower carnations after exposure to blue glow-in-the-dark powder. Powder was applied to the flowers as either dip (3, 6, or 9 g) or spray (3, 6, or 9 g) solutions in 240 mL of water for 4 seconds plus a control. Stem fresh weight, relative stem fresh weight, flower diameter, and overall solution absorption were greatest on day 4. Only the 6-g dip or spray had greater average flower quality ratings than the control, indicating reduced vase life, but there was no difference among powder treatments. Phosphorescence is possible with fluorescent light, but ultraviolet light increased the flower mean brightness an average of 75% across all treatments. No treatment differences were observed for the flower mean brightness with ultraviolet light, except on day 9; however, greater powder rates without ultraviolet light in general resulted in greater brightness.

Open Access

Nutrient-film technique (NFT) trials were conducted to quantify the effect of two different water-soluble hydroponic fertilizers (5N–4.8P–21.6K and 5N–5.2P–21.6K) on different cultivars of lettuce (Lactuca sativa), basil (Ocimum basilicum), and swiss chard (Beta vulgaris). Results indicated swiss chard yield was affected only by cultivars, with Fordhook Giant producing the greatest fresh weight across fertilizer treatments. For lettuce production, interaction between fertilizers and cultivars was significant. ‘Mirlo’ and ‘Rubysky’ had greater growth compared with other cultivars in both fertilizers, whereas Dragoon performed well using 5N–4.8P–21.6K, but not 5N–5.2P–21.6K. For basil, dry weight production showed a significant interaction between fertilizers and cultivars. ‘Largeleaf’ produced greater dry weight with 5N–4.8P–21.6K, whereas ‘Lemon’ produced greater dry weight with 5N–5.2P–21.6K. For nutrient concentration of leaves, the concentrations were within the recommended range for lettuce when fertilized with 5N–5.2P–21.6K. Nutrient concentrations varied by nutrient from the recommended range for basil, but there was no significant difference between fertilizers. For swiss chard, the nutrient concentrations were in the recommended range and there was no difference between fertilizers. Therefore, growers may need to use more than one type of fertilizer for different lettuce and basil cultivars for optimum production, whereas swiss chard cultivars can be selected based on yield regardless of fertilizer.

Open Access

This study aimed to identify the best method to improve poor branching of poinsettia ‘Orange Spice’. Treatments included pinched and unpinched alone and in combination with four different rates (3.9, 7.8, 11.7, and 23.4 mL⋅L−1) of Atrimmec. Pinching reduced plant height, as did unpinched + 11.7 mL⋅L−1 and unpinched + 11.7 mL⋅L−1 Atrimmec. Neither pinching nor Atrimmec had any effect on plant width, stem caliper, or shoot dry weight. Atrimmec did not increase the number of laterals in combination for pinched or unpinched treatments, but unpinched plants generally produced more laterals. Unpinched with any rate of Atrimmec resulted in tertiary shoots, which improved the visual appearance and quality.

Open Access

Biochar is considered an environmentally friendly potting mix ingredient because it sequesters carbon, and its biomass can be obtained from renewable resources. If the biomass is obtained from the undesirable eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), then it has the additional benefit of helping to curtail its spread and protect natural habitats. If consumers recognize this benefit, then they may be willing to pay a premium for potting mix made from eastern redcedar biochar. This study used an internet survey of potting mix customers to measure the size of this potential premium. The results showed that consumers were willing to pay $2.42/ft3 more for potting mix containing 20% eastern redcedar biochar (by weight). This premium was even larger for respondents who were aware of the weedy nature of eastern redcedar.

Open Access