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Abstract

Flower development of Leucospermum cordifolium (Sa Lisb. ex Knight) fourcade cv. ‘Gold Dust (pincushion) in full sunlight, 30, 60, and 80% shade was unaffected by decreasing light intensity. Number of styles per flower head, receptacle length and diameter, and inflorescence dry weight decreased with decreasing light intensity; style length was unaffected.

Open Access
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Abstract

Gibberellic acid and ethephon treatment reduced the responsiveness of decapitated shoots to inductive short days of winter for flowering in Leucospermum R.Br. cv. Red Sunset (pincushion plant). Shading plants during the reproductive phase caused a rapid loss in responsiveness to inductive short days. Shade-induced loss in responsiveness was enhanced by GA3 and ethephon. Changes in carbohydrate status of shoots on plants grown under shade or in full sun are discussed in relation to flowering. Chemical names used: butanedioic acid mono(2,2-dimethylhydrazide) (daminozide); (2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon).

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Seedlings of eight Prunus taxa were evaluated for variation in susceptibility to a single, 4- or 5-day flooding period and root rot caused by Phytophthora cryptogea Pethybr. & Lafferty. Survival, plant defoliation, disease severity index, root necrosis, and net photosynthesis indicated that the combination of flooding and pathogen was significantly more severe to all taxa than either individual treatment. Most response variables reflected early plant dysfunction but were not correlated with long-term survival. Long-term survival was 70% in the combination treatment compared to 99% in the control group. Flooding injured seedlings more than the pathogen in most taxa. Taxa differed only slightly in tolerance to the treatments, as measured by survival rate. Prunus takesimensis Nakai had the highest survival rate of 100% and along with P. mahaleb L. and P. yedoensis Matsum. showed some tolerance to flooding and the pathogen. Prunus sargentii Rehd. had the lowest survival rate of 81% and appeared to be least tolerant to the pathogen.

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Flowering-size Nerine bowdenii bulbs were sampled from a commercial planting at 2-week intervals from 13 Aug. 1991 to 14 June 1992. They were dissected, the dry weight of foliage and leaf bases was recorded, and carbohydrate analysis was performed on the foliage leaves, leaf bases, and roots. Starch was the dominant storage carbohydrate, and leaf bases were the principal bulb structures where it was stored. Changes in starch content closely followed dry weight changes in the bulb. When exposed to low temperatures, starch was converted to sugars. Except for these high levels in the leaf bases, sugars, expressed both as concentration and total content, were low in bulb components, indicating continued export and conversion to starch. Low sugar levels during the period that florets in the current season's inflorescence develop to stage Late G (gynoecium elongated, carpels fused) is implicated in the abortion of the inflorescence.

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Incandescent light night break (NB) and day continuation (DC) prevented flower formation in Leucospermum R.Br. cv. Red Sunset. Natural short days (NSD) during winter were inductive for flowering of intact shoots until 28 Aug. (Southern Hemisphere), but only until 24 July for decapitated shoots. Vegetative axillary buds released from correlative inhibition by shoot decapitation were less responsive to inductive short days (SD) than distal axillary buds on intact shoots. At least 42 inductive SD cycles were required for normal flowering after cessation of shoot growth. The effective length of the NB depended on the length of the NSD of winter. A 2-hr NB prevented flowering in vegetative buds released from correlative inhibition by shoot decapitation on 3 Mar., but was inadequate for axillary buds on shoots decapitated on 1 May. When the NB was begun during winter and discontinued before natural day (ND) lengths became too long in spring, the flowering time was delayed.

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Large Nerine bowdenii bulbs (>14 cm in circumference) were exposed to low ligbt intensities for different periods during two successive growing seasons. The flowering percentage and number of florets in the current season's inflorescence were recorded at anthesis. Small and large bulbs were subjected to continual defoliation starting at different times during the growing season. Bulbs were dissected at planting (26 Sept. 1992) and on 12 Jan. 1993 (nondefoliated control bulbs) to determine growth and developmental stage. At anthesis, inflorescences were harvested and the florets per inflorescence were counted. After anthesis in the fall, all bulbs were dissected and the following variables recorded: 1) percentage flowering, quiescence, or abortion of the current season's inflorescence; 2) developmental stage of quiescent inflorescences; 3) number of florets in the outermost inflorescence; 4) developmental stage of the innermost inflorescence; 5) number of leaves or leaf bases in each growth unit; 6) number of daughter bulbs; and 7) dry weight of new leaf bases. There were three reasons for nonflowering of the bulbs, viz., failure to initiate an inflorescence, inflorescences remaining quiescent, and inflorescence abortion. Individual florets that had not reached stage “Late G” (gynoecium elongated, carpels fused) at the start of rapid inflorescence elongation aborted. The more florets that aborted, the greater the probability that the entire inflorescence aborted. The inflorescence was more vulnerable to stress during the first half of the growing season due to its relatively weak position in the hierarchy of sinks within the bulb.

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Nerine bowdenii bulbs were sampled from a commercial planting and dissected at 2-week intervals from 9 Oct. 1990 to 12 Nov. 1991. The following variables were recorded: number of florets per inflorescence, differentiation stage of the oldest floret, exterior dimensions of the inflorescence, and the number of leaf primordia between the two innermost inflorescences and between the innermost inflorescence and the vegetative apex. Scanning electron micrographs were made of the inflorescences at different stages of development. The development of the inflorescences of the growth units appeared to be synchronized. When the florets of the outermost inflorescence reached stage Late G (gynoecium elongated, carpels fused), the spathe started to elongate. When florets in the second inflorescence reached stage Mid G (three carpels elongated, not fused), the innermost inflorescence was initiated. Inflorescence development passed through three phases: 1) a floret initiation phase of ≈1 year, when nine to ten florets were initiated, 2) a differentiation phase, also ≈1 year long, when individual florets developed up to stage Late G, and 3) an inflorescence enlargement phase, which lasted ≈4 months and culminated in anthesis. Leaf primordia were initiated at the same rate as florets (one per month) and the vegetative phase for a growth unit was completed within 1 year.

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Volatile oils were extracted from aqueous leaf suspensions of sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] cultivars Hamlin, Navel, and Valencia and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) cultivars Marsh and Ray Ruby. Pressurized air was used as the sparging gas, and volatile oils were collected in a C-18 cartridge. Gas-liquid chromatography was used to separate and quantify 17 volatile components. Significant quantitative differences for individual components made it possible to distinguish sweet orange from grapefruit (four components), `Marsh' from `Ray Ruby' grapefruit (two components), `Hamlin' from `Valencia' or `Navel' orange (six components), and `Valencia' from `Navel' (three components). The simplicity and sensitivity of the procedure suggest potential use for Citrus taxonomic, genetic, and breeding research.

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Response surface methodology was utilized in statistical optimization of three quality factors (the number of multiple shoots, shoot length, and number of leaves) pertaining to regeneration of plantlets from leaf calli of Decalepis hamiltonii Wight. & Arn. (swallow root). The variables evaluated were the levels of sucrose, BA, and NAA each at two different concentrations. Response surfaces for shoot length and multiple shoot number were useful in achieving optimal levels of media constituents and in understanding their interactions, but response surfaces for number of leaves were not. The data indicate that sucrose, BA, and NAA levels may be manipulated to increase or decrease quality factors chosen. This approach may be useful in developing a micropropagation protocol for D. hamiltonii. Chemical names used: benzyladenine (BA); napthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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Interest in native landscape plants to support pollinators has increased. Most native plants sold by nurseries are cultivars, and some consumer and conservation groups question the suitability of native cultivars to support pollinators. In 2017 and 2018, insect pollinator visitation was quantified for six native shrub species and one or more cultivars of each species (Aronia melanocarpa, A. melanocarpa ‘UCONNAM012’ Ground Hog®, A. melanocarpa ‘UCONNAM165’ Low Scape Mound®, Clethra alnifolia, C. alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’, C. alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’, Dasiphora fruticosa, D. fruticosa ‘Goldfinger’, D. fruticosa ‘Pink Beauty’, Hydrangea arborescens, H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Kalmia latifolia, K. latifolia ‘Sarah’, Physocarpus opulifolius, and P. opulifolius ‘Monlo’ Diabolo®). Insects were identified into 12 categories (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp., Andrenidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae, other bees, Lepidoptera, Syrphidae, other flies, wasps, Coleoptera, and other insects). The number of inflorescences and insect visitation was similar for C. alnifolia and its cultivars, and the compact cultivar Hummingbird had the greatest floral density. A. melanocarpa had more total visitors of Andrenidae than both of its compact cultivars because it was larger and produced more inflorescences. Compact Aronia cultivars and the straight species were mostly similar for Andrenidae visitation when compared on a per-inflorescence basis. D. fruticosa had more visitors of Bombus spp. and Megachilidae than both of its cultivars. These insects may have been less attracted to ‘Pink Beauty’ because of its pink flower color and ‘Goldfinger’ because of its wider flowers, which result from it being a tetraploid. H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’ had one-third the number of Bombus spp. visitors as H. arborescens because ‘Annabelle’ produces >50% fewer fertile florets. P. opulifolius ‘Monlo’ attracted more syrphids than P. opulifolius possibly because flowers contrasted more strongly with the reddish purple foliage of ‘Monlo’ than with the green foliage of the straight species. Insect visitation was similar for K. latifolia and K. latifolia ‘Sarah’. Based on this work, we determined that native shrub cultivars are not universally less or more attractive to pollinators and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

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