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  • Author or Editor: Joe Toler x
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Micropropagation of black-stemmed elephant ear (C. esculenta (L.) Schott `Fontanesii')' and upright elephant ear (A. macrorrhizos G. Don) were compared in semi-solid agar media and agitated, liquid thin-film bioreactor vessels at four explant densities (33, 100, 165, and 330 explants/L of media) using two growth regulator combinations: 1) 1 μm benzylaminopurine (BA)—growth medium, and 2) 3 μm BA plus 3 μm ancymidol—multiplication medium. The thin-film liquid system outperformed agar culture for most measured responses. Some exceptions were relative dry weights at higher explant densities and multiplication rate of Colocasia. When the thin-film liquid system was compared to agar culture, Alocasia explants produced their greatest biomass and had the least residual sugar at the highest explant density. Alocasia explants multiplied most rapidly and had the greatest relative dry weight on liquid media at the low explant densities. Alocasia plants were larger in growth medium than multiplication medium and larger in liquid medium than agar medium. When compared to agar, Colocasia in the thin-film liquid system produced the greatest biomass at the highest explant density in growth medium, had the greatest relative dry weight at the lowest explant density, and used the most sugar at the highest explant density. Alocasia and Colocasia would likely produce greater fresh and dry weight at the highest explant density if additional sugar were supplied during thin-film culture. Greater growth in thin-film culture of Alocasia and Colocasia is due in part, to greater availability of sugar in liquid compared to agar medium.

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A multiplicative model of stomatal conductance was developed and tested in two functionally distinct ecotypes of Acer rubrum L. (red maple). The model overcomes the main limitation of the commonly used Ball-Berry model by accounting for stomatal behavior under soil drying conditions. It combined the Ball-Berry model with an integrated expression of abscisic acid-based control mechanisms (gfac). The factor gfac = exp(-β[ABA]L) incorporated the stomatal response to abscisic acid (ABA) concentration in the bulk leaf tissue [ABA]L into the Ball-Berry model by down-regulating the slope and coupled physiological changes at the leaf level with those of the root. The stomatal conductance (gs) down regulation is pertinent in situations where soil drying may modify the delivery of chemical signals to leaf stomates. Model testing results indicated that the multiplicative model was capable of predicting stomatal conductance under wide ranges of soil and atmospheric conditions in a woody perennial. Concordance correlation coefficients (rc) were high (between 0.59 and 0.94) for the tested ecotypes under three different environmental conditions (aerial, distal, and minimal stress). The study supported the use of the gfac factor as a gas exchange function that controlled water stress effects on gs and aided in the prediction of gs responses.

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New Mexico-mined raw leonardite was characterized by comparing it with the International Humic Substances Society's Standard Leonardite. In the first experiment, adding as little as 1/64 leonardite (v/v) to a sand medium increased tomato [Lycopersicon esculentum (L.) Mill. `Mountain Pride'] root and shoot growth compared with plants produced with fertilizer alone. Growth increased linearly with increasing leonardite levels, from 0% to 25%; however, 50% leonardite inhibited growth. In a second experiment, leonardite alone had no effect on plant height, shoot or root fresh and dry weight, or total leaf area, but stimulated growth when combined with a complete fertilizer. Adding 1/3 leonardite (v/v) (the highest level) and a complete fertilizer increased plant height 40%, total leaf area 160%, shoot fresh weight 134%, root fresh weight 82%, shoot dry weight 133%, and root dry weight 400%.

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The addition of leonardite may increase, or at least maintain, production quality of ornamental plants and permit reductions in fertilizer inputs. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a Utah-mined leonardite on early stages of zinnia (Zinnia elegans Jacq. `Small World Pink') and marigold (Tagetes patula L. `Janie Yellow') growth. The Utah leonardite was characterized by comparing it to the International Humic Substances Society's leonardite standard. Zinnia and marigold seedlings and transplants were grown in sand and 1 sand: 1 peat media (by volume) with leonardite additions of 0%, 3.125%, 6.25%, and 12.5%. Both species showed positive growth responses to 3.125% leonardite in each medium compared to fertilizer alone. Plant responses to increased leonardite additions were generally quadratic, and optimal leonardite levels were estimated. For growing zinnias, optimal conditions were determined to be 7.5% leonardite in a sand medium for seedlings and 8% in a sand-peat mixture for transplants. A sand-peat medium containing 7% leonardite was determined to be optimal for growing marigold seedlings and transplants. Addition of leonardite to growing medium offers promise for reducing fertilizer use during production of some ornamental plants.

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Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) continues to be a problem in bermudagrass golf greens overseeded with roughstalk bluegrass (Poa trivialis L. `Sabre) due to weed encroachment from adjacent fairways, lack of selective herbicide options, and weed diversity. A 2-year study was conducted on an overseeded `Tifgreen bermudagrass putting green to evaluate effects of herbicide treatments on overseeding and annual bluegrass control. Excellent annual bluegrass control (≥90%) and acceptable turfgrass cover (§70%) was achieved with oxadiazon at 2.2 kg·ha-1 a.i. applied 60 days before overseeding (DBO). Fenarimol (AS) at 4.1 kg·ha-1 a.i. (30 + 15 DBO) followed by 1.4 kg·ha-1 a.i. 60 days after overseeding (DAO) and dithiopyr at 0.6 kg·ha-1 a.i. (60 DBO + 120 DAO) also provided acceptable results. Dithiopyr at 0.4 kg·ha-1 a.i. (30 DBO + 120 DAO), dithiopyr at 0.3 kg·ha-1 a.i. (30 DBO + 30 + 120 DAO), and fenarimol (G) at 2.0 kg·ha-1 a.i. (45 + 30 DBO) followed by 0.8 kg·ha-1 a.i. 60 DAO provided inconsistent annual bluegrass control (55% to 75% in 1999 and 87% to 95% in 2000), but offered acceptable turfgrass cover (§70%) each year. The remaining treatments were generally ineffective and provided <50% annual bluegrass control one or both years. Oxadiazon applied 60 DBO at 2.2 kg·ha-1 a.i. provides an excellent option for annual bluegrass control in overseeded bermudagrass putting greens.

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Centipedegrass [Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack.] is widely grown throughout the southeastern United States as a low-maintenance turfgrass; however, limited peer-reviewed research is available on “best” cultural practices for established centipedegrass. This research was conducted to examine the long-term effects of mowing height and fertility regimens providing various rates and application times of soil-applied granular Fe and N on centipedegrass quality and surface coverage. Soil type was a Cecil sandy loam (clayey, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Hapludult) with a pH of 5.5. A mowing height of 3.8 cm was equal to or better than the 1.9 cm mowing height throughout the study. The rate of N fertilization played an important role in achieving optimal turfgrass quality and coverage with the two highest rates (97.6 and 195.2 kg·ha−1 N), generally providing similar results when applied as split applications in May and August and mowed at 3.8 cm. These treatments provided turfgrass quality ratings of 8.3–9.0, turfgrass color ratings of 8.1–8.7, and turfgrass coverage of 94% to 98% over a 3-year period. The addition of soil-applied Fe sulfate at a rate of 24.4 kg·ha−1 Fe was not beneficial to centipedegrass performance or color. Results indicate that the addition of 97.6 kg·ha−1 N, using split-applications in May and August and a mowing height of 3.8 cm for established centipedegrass, should achieve acceptable turfgrass quality and coverage.

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Dwarf-type bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy) putting greens tolerate long-term mowing heights of 3.2 mm but require heavy nitrogen (N) fertilizations that increase ball roll resistance. Applying a plant growth regulator, such as trinexapac-ethyl (TE), could reduce uneven shoot growth from high N fertility and improve putting green ball roll distances. Field experiments were conducted from April to August 2003 and 2004 in Clemson, SC to investigate effects of ammonium nitrate applied at 6, 12, 18, or 24 kg N/ha per week with TE applied at 0 or 0.05 kg a.i. per ha every 3 weeks on `TifEagle' bermudagrass ball roll distances (BRD). BRD were measured weekly with a 38-cm stimpmeter in the morning (900 to 1100 hr) and evening (>1700 hr) beginning 1 wk after initial TE treatments. Interactions were not detected among N, TE, or time of day. TE increased BRD about 15% from non-TE treated. BRD was reduced with increased N rate and from am to pm; however, bermudagrass treated with TE averaged 10% longer PM BRD than am distances of non-TE treated. Overall, increased N fertility and diurnal shoot growth may reduce BRD but TE will be an effective tool for mitigating these effects on bermudagrass putting greens. Chemical name used: [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester] (trinexapac-ethyl).

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Studies on bermudagrasses (Cynodon spp.) have demonstrated variability in salinity response among species and cultivars. However, information on ultradwarf bermudagrass cultivars in relative salinity tolerance associated with trinexapac-ethyl (TE) [4-(cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester], a cyclohexanedione type II plant growth regulator (PGR), remains unknown. Therefore, two replicated greenhouse studies were conducted to determine the salinity tolerance of two ultradwarf bermudagrass cultivars treated with TE on turfgrass quality (TQ), total root biomass, and root and shoot tissue nutrient concentration. Turfgrasses included `TifEagle' and `Champion' bermudagrass (Cynodondactylon(L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensisBurtt-Davy). Daily sodium chloride (NaCl) exposure was 0, 12.90 (8,000 ppm), 25.80 (16,000 ppm), and 38.71 dS·m–1 (24,000 ppm). Biweekly TE applications (active ingredient 0.02 kg·ha–1) were initiated 2 weeks after salinity exposure. `Champion' was more salt-tolerant than `TifEagle' based on TQ and root mass. At 12.90, 25.80, and 38.71 dS·m–1 of NaCl, nontreated (without TE) `Champion' consistently outperformed nontreated `TifEagle' with greater TQ on most rating dates. At 12.90 dS·m–1, TE treated `Champion' (8.0) had greater TQ than nontreated `TifEagle' (6.1) at week 10. Regardless of TE application, after 2 weeks of applying 25.80 dS·m–1 of NaCl, both cultivars fell below acceptable TQ (<7). When averaged across all salinity treatments, applying TE four times at 0.02 kg·a.i./ha in two week intervals enhanced root growth for both bermudagrass cultivars by 25%. Also, both cultivars decreased root mass as salinity levels increased. Non TE-treated `TifEagle' had 56% and 40% less root and shoot Na uptake compared to TE treated cultivars at 25.80 dS·m–1. In conclusion, the two bermudagrass cultivars responded differently when exposed to moderate levels of NaCl.

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Use of creeping bentgrass [Agrostis stoloniferous L. var. palustris (Huds.)] on golf greens has expanded into the hotter, more humid regions of the United States where its quality is often low during summer months. The summer decline in bentgrass quality may be partially attributed to respiration rates exceeding photosynthesis during periods of supraoptimal temperatures and adverse soil conditions, such as excessive CO2 and inadequate O2 levels. The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of high temperature, high soil CO2, and irrigation scheduling on creeping bentgrass growth. A growth chamber study was conducted using `A-1' creeping bentgrass. Treatments included all combinations of three day/night temperature regimes (26.5/21 °C, 29.5/24 °C, and 32/26.5 °C), three irrigation schedules (field capacity daily, field capacity every two d, and half field capacity daily), and four soil CO2 injection levels (10%, 5%, 0.03%, and a noinjection control). Creeping bentgrass shoot and root dry weights and net photosynthetic rates were greater for day/night temperatures <32/26.5 °C. High temperatures (32/26.5 °C) and 10% CO2 reduced bentgrass net photosynthesis by 37.5 μmol CO2/m2/s. Shoot and root total nonstructural carbohydrates also were lowest for highest temperature regime. Respiration exceeded gross photosynthesis at 32/26.5 °C when 5% and 10% CO2 injection levels were used, indicating a carbon deficit occurred for these conditions. Irrigation volume and frequency did not affect bentgrass growth. High temperatures combined with high soil CO2 levels produced poorest turf quality.

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