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Dennis P. Stimart

The Allen Centennial Gardens are instructional gardens managed by the Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Twenty-two garden styles exist on the 2.5-acre (1.0-ha) campus site with a primary focus on herbaceous annual, biennial and perennial ornamental plants. The gardens are used for instruction mostly by the Department of Horticulture and secondly by departments of art, botany, entomology, landscape architecture, plant pathology, and soils. Class work sessions are limited due to the gardens' prominence on campus, high aesthetic standards, space restrictions, and large class sizes. Undergraduate students are the primary source of labor for plant propagation, installation and maintenance; management; and preparation of interpretive literature. Work experience at the gardens assists students with obtaining career advances in ornamental horticulture. Future challenges include initiating greater faculty use of the gardens for instruction and creating innovative ways to use the gardens to enhance instruction.

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Rozlaily Zainol and Dennis P. Stimart

A double-flower form of Nicotiana alata Link & Otto was characterized genetically as a monogenic recessive trait expressed when homozygous. Reciprocal crosses demonstrated no maternal effect on expression of double flowers. A single dominant gene expressed in the homozygous or heterozygous state caused the single-flower phenotype. The symbol fw is proposed to describe the gene controlling double-flower phenotype.

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Rozlaily Zainol and Dennis P. Stimart

Genetic analysis of a white double-flowering Nicotiana alata is being investigated. Self-pollination of the double-flowering plant produced all double progeny. Reciprocal hybridization of the double-flowered selection with N. alata cultivars produced nondouble F1 progeny that segregated 3:1 (nondouble to double) in the F2 generation. Reciprocal backcrosses of F1 plants to the parents resulted in nondouble progeny when backcrossed to the nondouble parent and 1:1 segregation when backcrossed to the double parent. Intercross of F1 plants resulted in progeny segregating 3:1. Double flowering habit has been transferred to white, red, salmon, green, and bicolor N. alata. Results suggest double flowering is under nuclear control regulated by a recessive allele.

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Kenneth R. Schroeder and Dennis P. Stimart

Evaluation of leaf stomatal numbers and postharvest water loss indicate these are important factors in Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon) cut flower postharvest longevity (PHL). Cut flowers with 9 days longer PHL had 53% fewer leaf stomata. Long PHL is associated with an early reduction in transpiration followed by low steady transpiration. Short-lived genotypes had a linear transpiration pattern over the period of PHL indicating poor stomatal control of water loss. Short-lived genotypes had 22% to 33% reductions in fourth quarter transpiration while long-lived genotypes had 2% to 8% reductions. In addition, short-lived genotypes had higher average fourth quarter cut flower weight losses compared to long-lived genotypes. Further investigation of stomatal numbers and functioning relative to PHL may provide breeders a rapid and nondestructive indirect selection method for PHL.

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Dennis P. Stimart and Kenneth R. Schroeder

Efforts to improve postharvest longevity of fresh-cut flowers has only recently turned toward selection and breeding. Conventional methods to extend keeping longevity of cut flowers depend on use of chemical treatment placed in holding solutions. Postharvest longevity studies were initiated with Antirrhinum majus L. (snapdragon) to determine: if natural genetic variation existed for cut-flower longevity, the inheritance of the trait, heritability, and associated physiology. Evaluation of commercial inbreds held in deionized water revealed a range in cut-flower longevity from a couple of days to 2.5 weeks. The shortest- and longestlived inbreds were used as parents in crosses to study the aforementioned areas of interest. Information will be presented on inheritance of cut flower longevity based on populations evaluated from matings for generation means analysis and inbred backcross method. Also presented will be information on stomata, transpiration, carbohydrate, fresh-weight change, and forcing temperature relative to postharvest longevity.

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Kenneth R. Schroeder and Dennis P. Stimart

Leaf explants of Nicotiana alata Link and Otto. were surface disinfested and cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 2.66 μm N6-benzyladenine (BA) to promote shoot proliferation. After 5 weeks, proliferated shoots were removed and remaining callus saved. Callus was inoculated with Agrobacterium tumefaciens encoding a senescence-specific promoter SAG12 cloned from Arabidopsis thaliana fused to a Agrobacterium tumefaciens gene encoding isopentenyl transferase which catalyzes cytokinin synthesis. Following inoculation, the callus was cocultivated for 6 days on BA medium. Selection for transgenics was done on BA medium plus 100 mg Kanamycin and 400 mg Ticarcillin (antibiotics) per liter. Proliferating shoots were rooted on MS medium containing antibiotics. Rooted cuttings were transplanted to soil, acclimated and flowered in the greenhouse. Transgenics were outcrossed to a commercial N. alata hybrid. Seed was germinated in vitro on half-strength MS medium plus antibiotics. Segregation of transgenics to nontransgenics was 1:1. Evaluation of leaf senescence on 5-month-old plants showed 2 to 14 times fewer senesced leaves on the transgenic than the nontransgenic plants.

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Dennis P. Stimart and Kenneth R. Schroeder

Cut flowers of a short (S)-lived (3-day) inbred, a long (L)-lived (15-day) inbred and their hybrid (F1, 7.3 days) of Antirrhinum majus L. were evaluated for fresh weight and ethylene evolution change postharvest when held in deionized water. Fresh weight change of all accessions increased 1 day postharvest then declined over the remainder of postharvest life. The loss of fresh weight was most rapid for S and less rapid for F1 and least rapid for L. Ethylene release postharvest for S and F1 started on day 1, but for L ethylene release started on day 9. Once ethylene evolution began it continued through postharvest life. On the last day of postharvest life, ethylene release from S and F1 were similar, but L was twice the level as S and F1. It appears that a slower decline in fresh weight, a delay in outset of ethylene release and higher final amount of ethylene release at senescence are heritable and associated with longer keeping time of A. majus.

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Kenneth R. Schroeder and Dennis P. Stimart

An inbred backcrossing approach was taken to transfer long postharvest keeping time of cut flowers from a white inbred line of Antirrhinum majus L. into a yellow short-lived inbred line. Three backcrosses to the short-lived recurrent parent were done followed by three generations of selfing by single-seed descent. Plants from 56 accessions of BC1S3 through BC3S3 were grown twice (June and August 1995) in a greenhouse and flower stems harvested for postharvest longevity evaluation. Postharvest evaluation was done in deionized water under continuous fluorescent light. Longevity was determined as the number of days from cutting to discard when 50% of the open florets on a flower stem wilted or turned brown. One yellow accession was retrieved that was not significantly different in postharvest longevity from the white long-lived parent. Environment substantially influenced postharvest longevity over harvest dates. Possible causes for variation of postharvest keeping time will be presented.

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William J. Martin and Dennis P. Stimart

Stomatal density during plant development and inheritance of the trait were investigated with the goal of utilizing stomatal density as a correlated trait to cutflower postharvest longevity in Antirrhinum majus L. Inbred P1 (stomatal index = 0.2) was hybridized to inbred P2 (stomatal index = 0.3) to produce F1 (P1 × P2), which was backcrossed to each parent producing BCP1 (F1 × P1) and BCP2 (F1 × P2). P1, P2, F1, BCP1, and BCP2 were used to examine changes in stomatal density with plant development and early generation inheritance. An F2 (F1 self-pollinated), and F3, F4, and F5 families, derived by self-pollination and single seed descent, were used to obtain information on advanced generation inheritance. Stomatal density was stable over time and with development of leaves at individual nodes after seedlings reached two weeks of age. Therefore, stomatal density can be evaluated after two weeks of plant development from a leaf at any node. Stomatal density is quantitatively inherited with narrow sense heritabilities of h2 F2:F3 = 0.47 to 0.49, h2 F3:F4 = 0.37 ± 0.06 to 0.60 ± 0.07, and h2 F4:F5 = 0.47 ± 0.07 to 0.50 ± 0.07.

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James F. Harbage and Dennis P. Stimart

Involvement of pH and IBA on adventitious root initiation was investigated with Malus domestica Borkh. microcuttings. The pH of unbuffered root initiation medium (RIM) increased from 5.6 to 7 within 2 days. Buffering with 2[N-morpholino] ethanesulfonic acid (MES) adjusted to specific pHs with potassium hydroxide prevented pH changes and resulted in a 2-fold higher root count at pH 5.5 compared to pH 7 or unbuffered medium. As pH decreased, lower concentrations of IBA were required to increase root counts. Colorimetric measurement of IBA in buffered RIM showed greater IBA loss and higher root count were associated with lower pH levels in all cultivars. This suggests that IBA loss from RIM depends on medium pH, which affects root count. Root count differences between easy-to-root through difficult-to-root cultivars were not consistent with amount of IBA loss from RIM. Cultivar differences in root count could not be explained solely by IBA loss from RIM.