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  • Author or Editor: D.E. Conner x
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Many species of herbaceous perennials now have numerous cultivars, with growth habits and flower colors unique to each cultivar. Vegetative propagation is required so that resulting plants are genetically identical to the parent plant. Although many cultivars are selected for precocious and vigorous flowering, it is often difficult to collect adequate vegetative cuttings from such cultivars for commercial production because juvenile (vegetative) growth is preferred for high-quality cuttings. Cuttings that are reproductive (with flower buds or flowers) can have reduced or delayed rooting and increased occurrences of fungal pathogens (especially Botrytis species), resulting in lack of crop uniformity. We sought to answer the question, can growing stock plants of herbaceous perennials under defined photoperiods extend the length of the vegetative period and enhance the rooting of cuttings harvested from these stock plants? In this study, stock plants of ‘P009S’ twinspur (Diascia integerrima), ‘Furman's Red’ sage (Salvia greggii), and ‘Wild Thing’ sage (Salvia greggii) were grown under ambient, 12-hour light, 10-hour light, and 8-hour light to determine if a particular photoperiod could be used to suppress reproductive growth by promoting vegetative growth, thereby enhancing cutting rooting success. Effects of photoperiod treatments varied among the plant cultivars studied. Plants grown under 8-hour photoperiod had longer duration of vegetative growth, smaller growth rates, and lower dry weights when compared with plants grown under 12-hour or 10-hour photoperiod. Plants grown under 12-hour photoperiod had shorter duration of vegetative growth, larger growth rates, and higher dry weights when compared with plants grown under 10-hour and 8-hour photoperiods. The probability of rooting of cuttings harvested from stock plants of ‘P009S’ twinspur, ‘Furman’s Red’ sage, and ‘Wild Thing’ sage grown under 12-hour and 10-hour photoperiods was greater when compared with cuttings harvested from stock plants grown under 8 h photoperiod.

Open Access

Low-dose gamma-irradiation is becoming increasingly an attractive viable technology for control of food-borne pathogens and extension of shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Typically, gamma-irradiation treatment appears to transiently stimulate ethylene synthesis in tomato, which appears to be stress associated, and dose dependent (Larrigaudie et al., 199l). We have investigated the effects of gamma-irradiation treatment at doses of 0, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.0 kGy, alone and in combination with water-based chemical treatment for improving the storage of tomato maintained at 20 °C and 95% RH for 20 days of storage. Changes in ethylene, ascorbic acid and total antioxidant content, color, total soluble solids and carbohydrate concentration were examined. Our preliminary results indicate that these treatments are effective in reducing ethylene concentration in storage while providing a means of eliminating foodborne pathogens without adversely affecting tomato quality.

Free access

Transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) lines of two cultivars, Ilam Hardy and Iwa, were developed using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to transfer a cry1Ac9 gene under the transcriptional control of the CaMV 35S promoter. PCR confirmed the presence of the nptII selectable marker gene in all recovered lines. All ten lines of Ilam Hardy and 14 of 15 Iwa lines were PCR-positive for the cry gene. In greenhouse trials, all Ilam Hardy transgenic lines produced phenotypically normal plants and significantly inhibited larval growth of potato tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella Zeller). In contrast, only 60% of the Iwa transgenic lines produced phenotypically normal plants, but all lines positive for the cry gene significantly inhibited larval growth. All transgenic lines with a greenhouse appearance equivalent to the nontransgenic controls and improved resistance to potato tuber moth larvae were planted in the field. Three of the ten Ilam Hardy lines and two of the eight Iwa lines retained phenotypically normal appearance in the field and produced tuber yields equivalent to the nontransgenic controls. All five of these transgenic lines significantly inhibited larval growth of potato tuber moth on excised field-grown leaves. A high correlation was established between larval growth indices from the greenhouse and the field. A transgenic line from each cultivar inhibited larval growth by over 40%, and the line derived from Ilam Hardy prevented pupation of all larvae. Southern analysis on these five elite lines revealed that they contained either one or two copies of the cry1Ac9 gene. The amount of Cry protein in all transgenic lines tested was less than 60 ng·g-1 of fresh leaf tissue. A transgenic line from each cultivar was identified with comparable phenotypic appearance and yield to their parent cultivars coupled with high resistance to PTM.

Free access