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  • Author or Editor: Jeffrey W. Adelberg x
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Three-dimensional polypropylene enclosures have been fabricated for the in vitro culture and ex vitro growth of Cattleya orchid propagules. The enclosures consist of: 1) microporous polypropylene membrane for nutrient transfer between liquid media and the growing tissue. 2) molded polypropylene side wall sized for growth of Cattleya orchid plants and flanged to allow heat seals with membranes, and 3) polypropylene membrane(s) top member for light and gaseous transmission. Three commercial clones of Cattleya have been sealed into these enclosures and grown for eight months on unmended MS medium. Contaminated liquid media was effectively isolated from the propagules within the sealed enclosures, and following a bleach treatment with sterile rinses, propagules were returned to aseptic culture. Greenhouse growth of plant tissues in these enclosures will be discussed. Optimization for growth of Cattleya has begun with studies of gas, light and temperature regimes within the sealed enclosures and a comparison of growth on two different nutrient formulations.

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The gibberellin biosynthesis inhibitor, ancymidol, was used during micropropagation of Hosta `Blue Vision'. Shoot growth and bud division was monitored every 2 weeks over an 8-week period in media containing 1 μm benzyladenine (BA) and various levels of ancymidol (0, 0.1, 0.32, 1 and 3.2 μm). Ancymidol prolonged bud division from 2 to 6 weeks and increased the total number of buds produced. Shoots grown in medium containing ancymidol had greater fresh weight, shorter-broader leaves and less dry weight than those grown without ancymidol. Reduced dry weight of buds grown in the presence of ancymidol was correlated to the depletion of sugars in the medium. A bioassay using `Saturn' tall rice revealed that ancymidol was active for the entire 8-week culture period.

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The effects of storage temperature and shoot preparation of elephant ears (Colocasia antiquorum `Illustris') were examined to determine how to successfully store plants prior to greenhouse forcing. A series of experiments were conducted that provided storage temperatures of 4, 7, 10, 13, or 16 °C (39.2, 44.6, 50.0, 55.4, or 60.8 °F), and plants were placed into storage with the shoots uncut or cut to 3.0 cm (1.18 inches) above the surface of the growing medium. The storage duration ranged from 40 to 49 days. All plants stored at 4 or 7 °C died. Plant survival was 89% to 100% at 10 °C, while plant survival was 100% at 13 or 16 °C. Shoot emergence and plant growth was faster following storage at 13 and 16 °C, than storage at 10 °C. Storage at 16 °C resulted in leaf growth occurring during storage, which was undesirable. Removing shoots prior to storage had no effect on plant survival and performance during forcing. A fungicide drench with iprodione immediately prior to storage did not improve plant survival. This study suggests that 13 °C is near the base temperature for leaf development of elephant ears, thus the plants survive at this temperature with no growth occurring. Shoot removal prior to storage is recommended in order to optimize storage room space.

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Adventitious and axillary shoots of melon (Cucumis melo L.) were cultured from explants on a modified Murashige and Skoog medium containing 10 μm BA. Explants were diversified with regard to genetic source (breeding lines Miniloup, L-14, and B-line), seed parts (apical and cotyledon tissue), seed maturity (10-40 days after pollination; DAP), and cotyledon sections with respect to apical-radicle axis (distal and proximal). Plants were screened for ploidy level by pollen morphometry. Immature cotyledons produced more tetraploid regenerants than mature cotyledons from seed of breeding line Miniloup; the highest frequency of tetraploid regenerant plants was from cotyledons of embryos harvested 18 and 22 DAP. Explants from the apical meristem of the same seeds produced fewer or no tetraploid plants. Proximal sections from immature cotyledons of three genotypes (Miniloup, L-14, B-line) produced higher frequencies of tetraploids than whole mature cotyledons or whole immature cotyledons.

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Delineating the depth and extent of the watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thumb.) Matsum. & Nak.] root zone assists with proper irrigation management and minimizes nutrient leaching. The objective of this 3-year field study was to measure root distribution and root length density of watermelon (cv. Wrigley) grafted on two different rootstocks (Lagenaria siceraria cv. ‘FR Strong’ and Cucurbita moschata × Cucurbita maxima cv. Chilsung Shintoza) and grown under three soil moisture treatments. Irrigation treatments tested were: no irrigation (NI), briefly irrigated for fertigation and early-season plant establishment; minimally irrigated (MI), irrigated when soil moisture in top 0.30 m of soil fell below 50% available water capacity (AWC); well irrigated (WI), irrigated when soil moisture in top 0.30 m of soil fell below 15% (AWC). Root length density (RLD) was measured from 75-cm-deep soil cores at two locations three times per growing season and a third location at the end of the season. Cores 1 and 2 sample locations were 15 cm to the side of each plant: Core 1 on the same side as the drip tape and Core 2 on the opposite side. At the end of the season, Core 3 was taken 15 cm outside of the bed in bare ground. RLD was significantly greater in the 0- to 30-cm soil depth and dropped dramatically below 30 cm; it was not significantly affected by irrigation treatment or rootstock. Core 1, next to the drip tape, had greater RLD than Core 2, 30 cm from drip tape, but only at the later sampling dates. Roots were found in Core 3 at all depths, but the RLD was significantly less than that measured in Cores 1 and 2. These findings suggest that the effective root zone depth for watermelon is 0 to 30 cm and that the particular scion/rootstock combinations tested in this study do not differ in root system size or location.

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