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David G. Clark and John W. Kelly

Rosa × hybrida `Meijikatar' plants were fertilized on weekdays with Hoagland's solution at 100, 200, or 300 mg·liter-1 nitrogen. Prior to simulated shipping, plants were treated with benzyladenine at 0, 25, 50, or 100 mg a.i.·liter-1. Plants were subsequently paper sleeved and stored in cardboard boxes in darkness at 16 C for 5 days.

On the day of harvest, plant height and number of flowers per plant were not affected by production nitrogen level. After removal from simulated shipping, total chlorophyll was increased in the lower leaves of plants grown at higher nitrogen rates and treated with higher rates of benzyladenine. Three and five days after removal from simulated shipping, the least percent leaf chlorosis was observed on plants treated with higher rates of cytokinin, but there was no effect of production nitrogen regime.

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David G. Clark and John W. Kelly

Rosa × hybrida `Meijikatar' plants were fertilized on weekdays with Hoagland's solution at 100, 200, or 300 mg·liter-1 nitrogen. Prior to simulated shipping, plants were treated with benzyladenine at 0, 25, 50, or 100 mg a.i.·liter-1. Plants were subsequently paper sleeved and stored in cardboard boxes in darkness at 16 C for 5 days.

On the day of harvest, plant height and number of flowers per plant were not affected by production nitrogen level. After removal from simulated shipping, total chlorophyll was increased in the lower leaves of plants grown at higher nitrogen rates and treated with higher rates of benzyladenine. Three and five days after removal from simulated shipping, the least percent leaf chlorosis was observed on plants treated with higher rates of cytokinin, but there was no effect of production nitrogen regime.

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David G. Clark and Kathleen B. Evensen

Ethylene-regulated gene expression is being studied in several plant systems, but the exact mechanism of ethylene action during plant development and senescence is poorly understood. When geranium (Pelargonium Xhortorum) flowers are exposed to 1 μ1/L of ethylene gas for 1 hour, petals begin to abscise within 60-90 minutes from the start of treatment, The rapidity of the response implies that it must be very direct. We now demonstrate that ethylene acts at the level of message accumulation. We have constructed a cDNA library from mRNA isolated from ethylene-treated geranium gynoecia. Ethylene-induced clones have been isolated by differential screening of this library with cDNA probes synthesized from ethylene-treated and untreated geranium gynoecia mRNA. Identification and characterization of these clones will be discussed.

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David G. Clark and John W. Kelly

Potted miniature roses (Rosa × hybrida `Confection ' & `Meijikatar') were treated at the end of each 8 hour photoperiod with 30, min of red (R) or far-red (FR) light for 21 days. These light treatments convert phytochrome to the Pfr and Pr forms respectively. Plants were paper sleeved and stored in cardboard boxes at 16°C for 5 days to simulate postharvest shipping conditions. `Meijikatar' plants treated with FR light showed more postharvest leaf chlorosis than plants treated with R light or controls.

`Meijikatar' plants treated at the end of each 12 hour photoperiod with FR light exhibited more postharvest leaf chlorosis than plants treated with R light. There were no differences in postharvest leaf chlorosis between plants treated with FR light followed by R light or plants treated with R light followed by FR light. These results suggest that an avoidance of end-of-day FR light will result in less postharvest leaf chlorosis in potted roses.

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David G. Clark, John W. Kelly and Nihal C. Rajapakse

The effects of carbon dioxide enrichment on growth, photosynthesis, and postharvest characteristics of `Meijikatar' potted roses were determined. Plants were grown in 350, 700, or 1050 μl CO2/liter until they reached 50% flower bud coloration and then were placed into dark storage for 5 days at 4 or 16C. Plants grown in 700 or 1050 μl CO2/liter reached the harvest stage earlier and were taller at harvest than plants produced in 350 μl CO2/liter, but there were no differences in the number of flowers and flower buds per plant among CO2 treatments. Plants grown in early spring were taller and had more flowers and flower buds than plants grown in late winter. Shoot and root growth of plants grown in 700 or 1050 μl CO2/liter were higher than in plants produced in 350 μl CO2/liter, with plants grown in early spring showing greater increases than plants grown in late winter. Immediately after storage, plants grown in 350 μl CO2/liter and stored at 4C had the fewest etiolated shoots, while plants grown in 1050 μl CO2/liter and stored at 16C had the most. Five days after removal from storage, chlorophyll concentration of upper and lower leaves had been reduced by ≈50% from the day of harvest. Carbon dioxide enrichment had no effect on postharvest leaf chlorosis, but plants grown in early spring and stored at 16C had the most leaf chlorosis while plants grown in late winter and stored at 4C had the least leaf chlorosis.

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David G. Clark, John W. Kelly and H. Brent Pemberton

Six cultivars of potted rose (Rosa ×hybrida L.) plants were evaluated for shipping stress-induced leaf chlorosis during holding at 8, 16, or 28C for 2, 4, or 6 days. `Meijikatar' showed more leaf chlorosis than the similar `Meirutral' at the higher simulated shipping temperatures and longer durations. Plants of `Meijikatar' were treated before simulated shipping with BA, TZ, or Promalin at 0, 25, 50, or 100 mg cytokinin/liter each, then paper-sleeved and stored in the dark in fiberboard boxes at 16C for 5 days. Plant quality 5 days after removal from storage was better with BA at 50 or 100 than at 0 mg·liter–1. All cytokinin-treated plants showed less leaf chlorosis than controls. Benzyladenine at 50 or 100 mg·liter–1 reduced leaf chlorosis when compared to all TZ treatments. There were no differences among treatments in the number of etiolated shoots per plant. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purin-6-amine (benzyladenine, BA); trans-zeatin (TZ); gibberellic acid (GA4+7) + BA (Promalin).

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Jessica L. Boldt, James E. Barrett and David G. Clark

Petunia × hybrida `Electric Purple' plants, genetically transformed (Selecta Klemm Co.) via Agrobacterium tumefaciens to constitutively express the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 35S promoter (CaMV35S) fused to two separate Arabidopsis c-repeat binding factor cDNAs (CBF3 & CBF4), were utilized to evaluate water relations. Non-stressed plants followed a classical stomatal conductance pattern, with maximum conductance between 1000 hr and 1400 hr. CBF3 and CBF4 plants showed an increase in transpiration rates and a decrease in stomatal resistance at 1230 hr, compared to `Electric Purple'. Transpiration rates (per unit leaf area) were similar in CBF3 and `Electric Purple' plants, but CBF4 plants were 12% less than `Electric Purple'. Xylem water potentials at visible wilt were between –1.4 and –1.5 MPa and there were no significant differences between line or irrigation treatment. A fourth experiment observed differential plant responses to stress cycles. Under non-stress irrigation conditions, CBF4 plants showed an increase in stomatal resistance and a decrease in transpiration rate compared to `Electric Purple' plants. There were no differences in the xylem water potential at visible wilt for the first and third stress cycles, but, for the second cycle, xylem water potentials at wilt were –1.9, –1.7 and –1.4 Mpa for CBF4, `Electric Purple' and CBF3 plants, respectively. CBF3 and CBF4 plants showed small differences in performance as compared to `Electric Purple' and under mild stress conditions as imposed in these experiments apparent heterologous overexpression of the Arabidopsis CBF3 & 4 transgenes may not be sufficient for conferring drought tolerance in petunia.

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David M. Czarnecki II, Amanda J. Hershberger, Carol D. Robacker, David G. Clark and Zhanao Deng

Lantana camara L., a popular nursery and landscape plant, is categorized as an invasive species in Florida, because it produces viable pollen and cross-pollinates with the native species Lantana depressa Small. The invasive potential of L. camara is a challenging issue for the nursery and landscape industry, so sterile non-invasive cultivars are needed to replace fertile invasive ones. This study aimed to determine the ploidy level and male fertility of both commercial L. camara cultivars and breeding lines to identify male-sterile cultivars and assess the effectiveness of sterile triploid production in L. camara. A polyploid series was identified among 32 L. camara cultivars and breeding lines. Male fertility, based on pollen stainability, varied widely among the cultivars/breeding lines. Ploidy level was the most important factor determining L. camara pollen stainability/male sterility. On average, diploids exhibited the highest pollen stainability (64.6%) followed by tetraploids (45.1%), pentaploids (34.6%), and hexaploids (18.0%). Triploids showed the lowest pollen stainability (9.3%), suggesting that generating triploids would be an effective genetic approach to producing sterile L. camara and reducing its pollen-mediated invasiveness. Pollen stainability of triploid cultivars, Balandpawn (LandmarkTM Pink Dawn PP15,516), Lemon Drop, Miss Huff, New Gold, New Red Lantana, Red Butler, Red Spread Lantana, Samson Lantana, and Sunset Lantana was consistently below 10%. A number of triploid cultivars had pollen stainability approaching 20% to 30%, indicating a necessity for careful examination and screening of newly produced triploids to ensure high sterility in selected triploids. Pollen stainability variation was observed within ploidy levels, implying the existence of other genetic and environmental factors that influence the pollen stainability/male fertility of L. camara. Results from this study suggest that there is excellent potential to develop genetically sterile cultivars in L. camara for the U.S. nursery and landscape industry.

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Jessica L. Gilbert, Michael L. Schwieterman, Thomas A. Colquhoun, David G. Clark and James W. Olmstead

Previously, when selecting for flavor in the University of Florida southern highbush blueberry (SHB, Vaccinium corymbosum L. hybrids) breeding program, sugar/acid ratios and breeder preference were the only factors considered. A more precise method of evaluating flavor would include volatile compounds that may also contribute to the flavor experience. Therefore, volatile profiles of five SHB cultivars (Farthing, FL01-173, Scintilla, Star, and Sweetcrisp) were compared using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. All cultivars were harvested on four separate dates within the harvest season, and fruit from each cultivar were also harvested at four developmental stages on the first harvest date. Among the cultivars, soluble solids content and volatile production tended to increase with fruit maturity, whereas titratable acidity decreased. All volatile components were more variable than measures of sugars and acids during the harvest season. Many of the volatiles present varied significantly between harvest dates, resulting in significant genotype × environment interactions during the harvest season. A closer examination of linalool, trans-2-hexenol, trans-2-hexenal, hexanal, and 1-penten-3-ol, five volatile compounds commonly associated with blueberry flavor, showed cultivar, developmental stage, and harvest date differences for each volatile. ‘Star’ experienced the least variation through the harvest period.