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David C. Zlesak and Neil O. Anderson

A majority of commercial Lilium hybrids and species do not flower the first year from seed or scales due to an obligate vernalization requirement. The Formosa lily (L. formosanum) is a unique species within the genus Lilium because some genotypes flower from seed the first year without vernalization. The objective of this study is to determine the inheritance of stem emergence, which culminates in flowering, in seed-propagated families without vernalization. Nine L. formosanum genotypes, selected from six populations for obligate or non-obligate vernalization for flowering, were intermated to generate 23 families with 104 seedlings per family. Families were grown in a randomized complete-block design at 21 °C (day/night) and data collected were seedling mortality, stem emergence or rosetting without vernalization, and weeks to emergence. At the end of 44 weeks, rosetted genotypes were vernalized for 8 weeks (4 °C); 100% emerged. We propose this trait is controlled by two genes. For flowering without vernalization to occur, there needs to be at least one dominant allele at one of the loci. Locus Ver 2 has less penetrance than Ver 1. Families segregating for dominant alleles at both Ver 1 and Ver 2 emerged sooner (34.2 weeks) than those segregating for a dominant allele at only Ver 1 (36.1 weeks) or Ver 2 (37.6 weeks). Identification of these genes can aid in the development of uniform, fast-flowering L. formosanum hybrids as well as aid in the introgression of this trait into standard commercial lily classes.

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David C. Zlesak and Brent J. Hanson

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David C. Zlesak and Neil O. Anderson

Potted Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) ranks among the top five potted flowering plants in the United States in economic value. One clone (‘Nellie White’) dominates the North American market. It is grown by less than 10 bulb producers, each maintaining their own propagation stock and practicing intraclonal strain selection. Greenhouse forcers attest to forcing differences depending on the bulb grower. The objective of this study was to determine the extent and sources of morphological variability among bulb growers. Bulb lots were obtained in 2002 (S1) and 2003 (S2) (n = 11 and n = 12 lots respectively) with 12 or 15 bulbs/lot. Grower's identification was confidential but kept consistent across shipment years. Bulbs were obtained as the 20.3 to 22.9-cm circumference commercial class, and S1 and S2 shipments were control temperature forced over two forcing cycles (FC1, FC2). Data collection included initial bulb weight and circumference; days to stem emergence (SEM), visible flower bud (VFB), and anthesis (AN); plant and inflorescence height; number of stems, leaves, flowers, and ovules per first flower/stem reaching AN; percentage of ovules forming viable seeds; leaf length and width; major lily viruses (presence/absence, relative optical density); leaf length-to-width ratios; AN-SEM, AN-VFB, and VFB-SEM. Significant differences were found among bulb lots for every trait except AN-VFB. Variability among bulb lots can be attributed to variation in initial bulb size, previous forcing cycle environment, variable lily symptomless virus (LSV) titer, and underlying genetic/epigenetic differences. Bulb circumference had the highest standardized canonical coefficient for canonical variable one in S2-FC1 and was a significant covariate in analysis of covariance; larger bulbs tended to produce larger plants. Forcing over two cycles allowed for less phenotypic variability among bulb lots in FC2 because of a common FC1 environment. All lilies were positive for LSV and negative for four other viruses tested. Significant negative correlations in S2 between relative optical density and plant height (FC1), initial bulb weight (FC2), and initial bulb circumference (FC2) indicate an effect of relative LSV titer on plant morphology. The role of LSV titer and genetic/epigenetic intergrower variability in ‘Nellie White’ warrants further investigation. Likewise, a lack of breeder/producer companies and the corollary independent grower strain selection has significant genetic consequences and complicates identification of superior ‘Nellie White’ clones.

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David C. Zlesak, John A. Eustice and Cody L. Gensen

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David C. Zlesak*, Corinne M. Radatz and Neil O. Anderson

Haploid (2x) roses derived from modern tetraploid breeding lines would allow for crosses to diploid species at the diploid level. In addition, inheritance studies are easier at the diploid level, using diploids derived from tetraploids possessing economically important traits. Haploidization of 4x roses through anther culture has not been successful due to challenges in callus induction and shoot regeneration. This study investigates rose anther responses to recently reported methods that optimize in vitro adventitious shoot regeneration in rose leaves. Anthers of three cultivars (Akito, Grand Gala, and Orlando) were put in a two-step callus induction (CI) and shoot regeneration procedure with varying CI factors. Experiment one (E1) compared continuous light/dark and silver nitrate (0,30,60 mg·L-1) and experiment two (E2) used the optimal E1 treatment comparing two and four weeks on CI media. Twenty-five anthers per treatment per cultivar were used in E1 and n = 100 for E2. Although no adventitious shoots were generated, callus formed on anther tissue and frequency of formation was variable across treatments. Continuous light resulted in 100% lethality. Darkness and silver nitrate (30 or 60 μm) favored callus generation and significant differences for callus generation were found among cultivars. Darkness and 30 μm silver nitrate were used in E2. Two and four weeks on initiation media were not significantly different for generation of anther-derived callus. Identification of factors which optimize callus formation on rose anthers is a positive step toward reliably generating rose haploids.

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Jeffrey H. Gillman, David C. Zlesak and Jason A. Smith

Roses in nursery and landscape settings are frequently damaged by black spot, whose causal agent is the fungus Diplocarpon rosae F.A. Wolf. Potassium silicate was assessed as a media-applied treatment for decreasing the severity and incidence of black spot infection. Roses were treated with 0, 50, 100, or 150 mg·L-1 silicon as potassium silicate incorporated into irrigation water on either a weekly or daily schedule. Five weeks after treatments were initiated, plants were inoculated with D. rosae. Roses began to show visual symptoms of infection §4 days later. Roses that had 150 mg·L-1 silicon applied on a daily schedule had significantly more silicon present in their leaves than other treatments as measured by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray analysis. In addition, roses that had 100 and 150 mg·L-1 silicon applied on a daily schedule had fewer black spot lesions per leaf and fewer infected leaves than any of the other treatments by the end of the experiment 7 weeks later. Although roses treated with higher levels of silicon on a daily basis fared better than roses in the other treatments, all of the roses were heavily infected with D. rosae by the end of the study. The results reported here indicate that using potassium silicate in irrigation water may be a useful component of a disease management system.

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David C. Zlesak, Vance M. Whitaker, Steve George and Stan C. Hokanson

Regional, replicated cultivar trials of landscape roses are an ongoing component of the Earth-Kind® program, which was started at Texas A&M University in the 1990s to support environmental landscape stewardship. The rose trials within the Earth-Kind program identify and promote the most regionally adapted rose cultivars and are conducted without fertilizers or pesticides and greatly reduced irrigation. Black spot (caused by Diplocarpon rosae Wolf) is the most serious disease of outdoor-grown roses worldwide as a result of the potential for rapid leaf yellowing and defoliation. Earth-Kind designated cultivars for the south–central United States and roses under trial in other regions or considered for future Earth-Kind trials (n = 73 roses) and two susceptible control cultivars were challenged with North American Races 3, 8, and 9 of D. rosae, which were previously characterized at the University of Minnesota. Young expanded leaves were inoculated using detached leaf assays. Lesion length (LL) was measured for susceptible reactions and cultivar ploidy was determined using root tip squashes. Diploid, triploid, and tetraploid cultivars (n = 20, 30, and 23, respectively) were identified, and race-specific resistances and partial resistances were also identified. Race-specific resistance was generally more prevalent in newer rose cultivars and rose cultivars more recently included in Earth-Kind trials. Nine cultivars were resistant to all three races (Brite Eyes™, ‘Grouse’, Home Run®, Knock Out®, Paprika™, Peachy Cream™, Pink Knock Out®, Rainbow Knock Out®, and Yellow Submarine™). Blushing Knock Out®, a sport of Knock Out®, was susceptible to Race 8. Partial resistance rank for LL was generally consistent across races for roses susceptible to multiple races. The application of these data includes: characterizing the minimum resistance level needed for roses to warrant inclusion in Earth-Kind field trials, the identification of additional race-specific resistance genes, identifying resistance-breaking isolates of D. rosae, understanding race composition in field trials based on infection patterns of key cultivars, selection of parents for resistance breeding efforts, and continued comparisons between LL and growing bodies of Earth-Kind field resistance data.