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Fang Geng, Renae Moran, Michael Day, William Halteman, and Donglin Zhang

The influence of red and blue light wavelengths was tested to improve the initial in vitro multiplication of apple (Malus × domestica) rootstock cultivars Budagovsky 9 (B.9), Geneva 30 (G.30), and Geneva 41 (G.41). Single-node segments were established in semisolid Murashige and Skoog media and then transferred to proliferation media and cultured 40 days under white, red, or blue light irradiance. In a second experiment, G.30 was cultured under red, blue, or white light with and without gibberellic acid (GA3). The three rootstocks responded similarly under white light in terms of shoot number, length of the longest shoot, and the number of elongated shoots. Red light increased the number of shoots, length of the longest shoot, and the number of elongated shoots of B.9 and G.30 when compared with white or blue light. Red light increased the number of elongated B.9 and G.30 shoots to five per explant compared with one per explant under white light. In contrast, shoot growth of G.41 showed no difference under the three light quality treatments, and the number of elongated shoots per explant was less than one. When compared with an absence of GA3, a concentration of GA3 at 0.5 mg·L−1 promoted in vitro shoot growth of G.30 under red and blue light.

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Fang Geng, Renae Moran, Michael Day, William Halteman, and Donglin Zhang

These studies were conducted to determine the most effective methods for increasing shoot elongation during the initial proliferation stage of micropropagation in two dwarfing apple, Malus ×domestica (Borkh.), rootstock cultivars. Several experiments were conducted to compare explant collection date, exposure to chilling (5 ± 1 °C) temperatures, and varying concentrations of plant growth regulators in Murashige and Skoog (MS) media. Microshoot growth of ‘Geneva 41’ (‘G.41’) was very low and unaffected by chilling duration from 0 to 8 weeks or by gibberellic acid (GA3) concentration from 0 to 1.0 mg·L−1, but was improved by an additional subculture which increased shoot length from 1 to 15 mm. In ‘Geneva 30’ (‘G.30’), shoot elongation was most affected by date, chilling explants, and by optimizing cytokinin concentration and type. Explant collection date in April increased shoot growth compared with August or November. Microshoot growth of ‘G.30’ was increased by chilling nodal explants for 4 and 6 weeks when explants were collected in August and November, but not in April. Eight weeks chilling was detrimental for explants collected in April, and generally had little or no effect with August and November. The cytokinin 6-benzylaminopurine (BA) increased shoot number to a greater extent than thidiazuron (TDZ) or zeatin (ZT), and was also more effective for increasing shoot elongation with concentrations of 0 to 2.0 mg·L−1. In ‘G.30’, GA3 increased shoot growth at the optimum concentration of BA, but not with lower concentrations. ‘G.30’ microshoots were fewer and shorter with 24-epi-brassinolide (EBR) at concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0 mg·L−1. Chemical names: N-phenyl-N’-(1,2,3-thiadiazol-5-yl)urea (TDZ), 6-(4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-enylamino)purine (ZT).

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Renae E. Moran, Youping Sun, Fang Geng, Donglin Zhang, and Gennaro Fazio

Winter injury to the root systems of fruit trees can cause significant tree losses and yield reductions in the northern regions of the United States and Canada. To compare the root and trunk cold temperature tolerance, a series of experiments were conducted using ungrafted apple rootstocks. ‘Geneva® 11’ (G.11), ‘Geneva® 30’ (G.30), ‘Geneva® 41’ (G.41), ‘P.2’, and ‘Budagovsky 9’ (B.9) apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) rootstocks had root tissue hardiness similar to ‘M.26’, but ‘Geneva® 935’ (G.935) had greater cold-hardiness than M.26 when based on shoot regrowth in ungrafted trees. The LT50 of M.26 and P.2 roots ranged from –12 to –14 °C. The LT50 was –13 °C for B.9, –13.4 to –14.6 °C for G.30, and –12 °C for G.11. The LT50 of G.41 was one of the highest in one experiment, –8 °C, and one of the lowest in another, colder than –15.0 °C. The LT50 of G.935 roots was the lowest and ranged from –16 to –19 °C. Compared with M.26, trunk cold-hardiness in December was greater in B.9 and P.2 and was similar in G.30. Cold-hardiness of G.11 in December was mixed with less injury in the xylem but more injury in the phloem compared with M.26. In October, M.26 and G.935 trunks had little injury after exposure to –24 °C.

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Keng Heng Chang, Rung Yi Wu, Geng Peng Chang, Ting Fang Hsieh, and Ren Shih Chung

Coir is used around the world as a cultivation medium for plants; its commercial popularity is the result of its availability, low cost, and environmentally friendly characteristics. It is used as a medium in the hydroponic cultivation of Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum Lind.) in Taiwan and is a new source for cut flower production around the world. Little is known about the nutrient requirements of Anthurium cultivated in coir under fluctuating climatic conditions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influences of various nitrogen (N) concentrations on the growth and nutrient uptake of Anthurium cultivated in coir under different seasonal conditions. Four levels of N concentration in nutrient solution were used: 79 mg·L−1 (NS79 treatment), 105 mg·L−1 (NS105 treatment), 158 mg·L−1 (NS158 treatment), and 210 mg·L−1 (NS210 treatment) with NS105 serving as the control. The effects of N concentration and seasonal fluctuations on Anthurium were measured in dry weight, leaf growth, flower growth, and nutrient uptake at different growth stages during the 2-year study period. The results show that the dry weight, leaf area, and flower number were higher in plants receiving NS105 and NS158 treatments than those receiving NS79 and NS210 treatments. However, the NS158-treated plants produced better quality cut flowers than the NS105-treated plants in the first year of cultivation as indicated by their wider, circular spathe. Retarded growth of NS79-treated Anthurium was the product of insufficient N supply and reduced carbon (C) assimilation. The excess supply of N in the NS210 treatment resulted in small potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) uptakes, which in turn resulted in poor growth in the second year of cultivation. However, the nutrient supplies in the NS158 and NS210 treatments yielded better Anthurium growth during the initial stage than the NS79- or NS105-treated groups. Regardless of plant growth, flower yield, and nutrient uptake, there were significant interactions between N treatments and seasonal fluctuations in subtropical conditions during year-round cultivation. We concluded that the limiting factor in Anthurium growth and yield during the spring and summer is the N supply, whereas climate conditions are the limiting factor during the fall and winter.