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Alan Stevens and Houchang Khatamian

Correctly anticipating consumer preferences for goods and services can have a large impact on profitability. A survey to measure the influence of plant value and consumer preferences for store services was conducted at flower, lawn and garden shows in Los Angles, Portland, Kansas City, Atlanta and Philadelphia. All five regional markets placed a greater importance on plant quality than on price or plant size. A trained professional sales staff and the availability of a large quantity and good selection of plant material were the highest rated store services in all of the markets. Offering free delivery had the lowest rating in every market. Having the store open on Sunday was more important in the markets on the west coast than in the Kansas City or east coast markets.

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Houchang Khatamian and Alan Stevens

During the Spring of 1992 a survey of over 2000 respondants was conducted as personal interviews at Flower/Garden Shows in Atlanta, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Portland.

When asked how the plants you buy are packaged? Nine percent of the Los Angeles (LA) sample said they purchased trees as balled and burlapped (B & B) while over 40% of the consumers from the other regions purchased trees as B & B. Over 40% of all respondents purchased shrubs in “container”.

When asked how would you like to have landscape plants packaged? While only 31% of the LA sample chose to purchase trees as B & B, over 70% of the consumers from other regions preferred to buy in a B & B form. More than 50% of all respondents also preferred to purchase trees in “Container”. By a two to one margin consumers chose to purchase ornamental shrubs in “Container”. Regardless of the region of the country, “bare-root” and “plastic package” were least desired. About 1/2 of the respondents were couples, 80% owned their own homes, over 50% had an income of $25,000 to $75,000 and more than 75% did own plantings.

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Sudeep Vyapari and Houchang Khatamian

Somatic embryogenesis was successfully achieved in chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm.) and pin oak (Quercus palustris Muenchh.) when surface disinfested zygotic embryo explants were cultured on MS or WPM containing BA or kinetin (1.0 or 2.0 mg 1-1) plus IBA (1.0 mg 1-1). Immature embryos resulted in greater callus induction than the mature ones. Two weeks of dark, proved to be superior to 4 weeks or no dark in callus induction. Somatic embryos of pin oak distinctly showed globular, heart and cotyledonary stages.

Maturation and germination of pin oak somatic embryos was done in growth regulator free WPM by increasing levels of agar (7 - 15 g 1-1). Somatic embryos cultured at various levels of agar were then maintained in incubator under standard conditions, desiccated by air-drying or subjected to chilling temperature for 4 weeks to enhance germination of somatic embryos. Root or shoot formation was observed in some cultures, and medium with 9 g 1-1 agar induced plantlet production in 7% of the cultures.

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Sudeep Vyapari and Houchang Khatamian

Surface disinfested nodal and shoot-tip sections of chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm.), obtained from adult or juvenile source, when cultured on WFM supplemented with BA or kinetin (1.0 -5.0 mg l-1) produced greater number of axillary shoots per explant and shoot lengths than MS medium. Nodal and shoot-tip explants cultured in WPM containing cytokinins, BA or kinetin (0.1 - 5.0 mg l“) resulted in greater number of axillary shoots than media containing auxins, 2,4-D or NAA (1.0 - 5.0 mg l-1). In vitro grown shoot explants cultured in WFM shoot multiplication medium containing thidiazuron did not produce axillary shoots. Microshoots when cultured in WFM plus NAA or IBA (0.1 -2.0 mg l-1), or subjected to IBA (0.5 mg l-1) pulse treatment (0, 5, 10 or 15 min.) did not root.

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Houchang Khatamian and Alan Stevens

The main purpose of this study was to determine consumer preferences as influenced by type of packaging, size of container, and price when purchasing ornamental plants. From February to May 1991 over 1000 questionnaires were completed through personal on site interviews conducted at Flower/Garden shows and Garden Centers.

Forty one percent of participants preferred to purchase their trees as balled in burlap form and 47% chose to buy their shrubs in containers. Shoppers purchased 60% of their nursery plants from Garden Centers followed by 22% at discount outlets such as K-mart.

The most important factors in purchasing nursery stock were the price and quality of the plants followed by its size. Packing was an important factor but ranked much lower than price and quality.

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Alan Stevens and Houchang Khatamian

Correctly anticipating consumer preferences for goods and services can have a large impact on profitability. Surveying patrons at individual retail outlets does insure the sampling is taken from a customer base, but such surveys are time and labor intensive. A survey sample, taken from attendees at Flower, Lawn and Garden Shows, offers the possibility of large sample sizes, of potential purchasers of horticultural goods and services, with reduced time and labor requirements. A survey to measure the influence of plant size, packaging and price on consumer purchasing habits was conducted at garden shows and garden centers. On the criteria of price and quality of nursery plant materials responses from the two samples were similar. Plant size and packaging appeared to be more influential criteria to the garden show sample.

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Mahmoud B. Arif and Houchang Khatamian

Friable callus from leaf disks of Rosa hybrida `Tiffany' was initiated within two weeks under dark conditions and 25°C on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 4 mg.liter-1 2,4-D. Callus was then transferred into MS medium containing 3 mg.liter-1 2,4-D. Within four weeks, rhizogenesis occurred on the callus surface.

The rhizogenic calllus was subculture on MS medium plus 3 mg.liter-1 2,4-D every 4-6 weeks. Within six months from initial culture, somatic embryos were developed on the aging callus in darkness.

Transfer of the aging callus with somatic embryos into 1/2 MS medium containing 1 mg.liter-1 kinetin and maintaining it under 46 μE m-2s-1 light for 16 hrs. resulted in greening of the somatic embryos.

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Mahmoud B. Arif and Houchang Khatamian

Friable callus from leaf disks of Rosa hybrida `Tiffany' was initiated within two weeks under dark conditions and 25°C on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 4 mg.liter-1 2,4-D. Callus was then transferred into MS medium containing 3 mg.liter-1 2,4-D. Within four weeks, rhizogenesis occurred on the callus surface.

The rhizogenic calllus was subculture on MS medium plus 3 mg.liter-1 2,4-D every 4-6 weeks. Within six months from initial culture, somatic embryos were developed on the aging callus in darkness.

Transfer of the aging callus with somatic embryos into 1/2 MS medium containing 1 mg.liter-1 kinetin and maintaining it under 46 μE m-2s-1 light for 16 hrs. resulted in greening of the somatic embryos.

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Mahmoud B. Arif and Houchang Khatamian

Surface sterilized stem nodal sections of western soapberry (Sapindus drummondii Hook. & Arn.) were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium. The basal media consisted of one half and full strength MS medium each supplemented with the following (mg-1): Nicotinic acid 0.5, pyridoxine Hcl 0.5, Glycine 2.0, myo-inositol 100, sucrose 30,000 and agar 8000. Each medium also was supplemented with either 0, 0.01, 0.1, 1.0 and 10 mg/l Thidiazuron (TZD) or 0, 0.5, 2.0 and 5 mg/l 6-Benzyladenine (BA). The pH of all media was adjusted to 5.8 ± 0.1. The culture media were autoclaved at 120°C at 1.5 Kgcm-1 pressure for 15 min.

The highest percentage of nodal sections resulting in shoot regeneration occurred on 1/2 MS with TZD at 0.01 mg/l and MS medium containing 0.5 mg/l of BA Increasing the TZD concentration above 0.1 mg/l resulted in callus formation on cut surfaces.

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Houchang Khatamian and John C. Pair

Softwood cuttings of Acer saccharum `Commemoration', a Caddo maple selection (90-7185), and Acer truncatum were collected on 12 July 1996 from specimen trees at the Wichita Hort. Res. Center. Ten uniform cuttings of 14to 19cm-long containing four to five leaves were dipped for 10 sec in 0, 5000, 10,000, 15,000, or 20,000 ppm IBA solution and Hormodin™ #2. Cuttings were rooted in a mix of 30% Canadian sphagnum peat and 70% perlite (v/v) and placed in a greenhouse located at Kansas State Univ. The greenhouse was equipped with a fog generator (Humidifan, turbo XE 1000) that was operated for 12 hr/day from 12 July to 5 Oct. 1996. After 12 weeks, cuttings were evaluated for rooting quality and percent using a visual rating scale of 1–5. `Commemoration' rooted with all IBA treatments. The control treatment resulted in a 100% rooting, whereas the rooting with 5000 or 10,000 ppm IBA and or Hormodin™ #2 was 90%. Caddo maple (90-7185) rooted at 89% with control treatment, followed by 78% and 67% with 10,000 ppm IBA and Hormodin™ #2, respectively. As reported previously, none of the cuttings of this maple, collected on 24 May 1995, had rooted, regardless of hormone treatment. The best rooting for Acer xtruncatum was 90% with 5000 ppm IBA and 80% with control and Hormodin™ #2, respectively.