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John W. Kelly

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John W. Kelly and Terri W. Starman

Physostegia purpurea Blake is a native, herbaceous perennial that has potential as a field-grown cut flower. Physostegia stems were harvested with one third of the florets open and were recut underwater in the laboratory. Fresh cut flowers treated with silver thiosulfate (STS) and held in a 2% preservative solution lasted 14 days, while control stems in deionized water (DI) lasted 6 days. Cut stems placed in darkness at 0C for 1 week had 8 days of vase life after removal from storage and treatment with STS and preservative, while stems held in DI after storage lasted only 4 days. Stems held dry at 22.5C and 43% RH for 8 hours before being placed in preservative had similar vase life as flowers placed in preservative immediately after harvest.

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Margaret J McMahon and John W. Kelly

The growth of Rosa × hybrida and Exacum affine under different spectral filters was evaluated. Three filters that altered light quality were developed. One, a red textile dye, filtered out much of the blue/green portion of the light spectrum but did not change far-red to red (FR/R) light ratio. Another, a blue textile dye, raised FR/R by filtering out a portion of red light. The third, a salt (copper sulfate) lowered FR/R by filtering out a greater portion of far-red than red light. Two controls were used that did not alter light quality. The filters were installed in specally built growth chambers. Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) was adjusted to equal values in each chamber.

Plants of both species were significantly shorter and had higher leaf chlorophyll, when grown under the low FR/R filter.

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Nihal C. Rajapakse and John W. Kelly

Transpiration rates of chrysanthemum [Dendranthema ×grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura] plants grown under spectral filters were evaluated as part of an investigation on using light quality to regulate plant growth. The 6% CuSO4·5H2O spectral filter reduced photosynthetic photon flux density in red (R) and far red (FR) wavelengths and increased the R: FR and blue (B): R ratios (B = 400 to 500 nm; R = 600 to 700 nm; FR = 700 to 800 nm) of transmitted light relative to the water (control) filter. After 28 days, cumulative water use of plants grown under CuSO4 filters was ≈37% less than that of control plants. Transpiration rates were similar among plants grown under CuSO4 and control filters when expressed as leaf area, a result suggesting that the reduced cumulative water loss was a result of smaller plant size. Plants grown under CuSO4 filters had slightly lower (10%) stomatal density than control plants. Light transmitted through CuSO4 filters did not alter the size of individual stomata; however, total number of stomata and total stomatal pore area per plant was ≈50% less in plants grown under CuSO4 filters than in those grown under control filters due to less leaf area. The results suggest that altering light quality may help reduce water use and fertilizer demands while controlling growth during greenhouse production.

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Nihal C. Rajapakse and John W. Kelly

The response of chrysanthemum plants to varying R:FR ratios and phytochrome photoequilibrium values (Ø = Pfr/Ptot) was evaluated by growing plants under 6%, or 40% CuSO4 and water spectral filters. Using a narrow band-width (R = 655-665 and FR = 725-735 nm) and a broad bandwidth (R = 600-700 and FR = 700-800 nm) for R:FR calculation, 6% CUSO4 filter transmitted light with greater R:FR (3.9) and grater Ø (0.81) than 40% CuSO4 or water filters. Light transmitted through 40% CuSO4 and water filters had a similar narrow band R:FR ratio (1.2), but the broad band R:FR ratio (2.1) of 40% CuSO4 filter was higher than water filter. Estimated Ø value was similar for both water and 40% CuSO4 filters. Final height of plants grown in CuSO4 chambers was about 30% less than the plants in control chambers. The results suggest that broad band R:FR ratio correlated more closely to plant response than the narrow band R:FR ratio.

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David G. Clark and John W. Kelly

Rosa × hybrida `Meijikatar' plants were fertilized on weekdays with Hoagland's solution at 100, 200, or 300 mg·liter-1 nitrogen. Prior to simulated shipping, plants were treated with benzyladenine at 0, 25, 50, or 100 mg a.i.·liter-1. Plants were subsequently paper sleeved and stored in cardboard boxes in darkness at 16 C for 5 days.

On the day of harvest, plant height and number of flowers per plant were not affected by production nitrogen level. After removal from simulated shipping, total chlorophyll was increased in the lower leaves of plants grown at higher nitrogen rates and treated with higher rates of benzyladenine. Three and five days after removal from simulated shipping, the least percent leaf chlorosis was observed on plants treated with higher rates of cytokinin, but there was no effect of production nitrogen regime.

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Nihal C. Rajapakse and John W. Kelly

The role of light quality and quantity in regulating growth of vegetative Dendranthema × grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura was evaluated using CuSO4 solutions and water (control) as spectral filters. Copper sulfate filters increased the red (R): far-red (FR) and the blue (B): R ratios (R = 600 to 700 nm; FR = 700 to 800 nm; B = 400 to 500 urn) of transmitted light. Photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) under 4%, 8% and 16% CuSO4 filters was reduced 26%, 36%, and 47%, respectively, from natural irradiance in the greenhouse, which averaged ≈ 950 μmol·m-2·s-1. Control treatments were shaded with Saran plastic film to ensure equal PPF as the corresponding C uSO4 chamber. Average daily maxima and minima were 26 ± 3C and 16 ± 2C. At the end of the 4-week experimental period, average height and internode length of plants grown under CuSO4 filters were ≈ 40% and 34% shorter than those of plants grown under control filter. Reduction in plant height and internode length was apparent within 1 week after the beginning of treatment. Total leaf area (LA) was reduced by 32% and leaf size (LS) was reduced by 24% under CuSO4 filters. Specific leaf weight (SLW) was higher under CuSO4 filters than for the controls. Irradiance transmitted through CuSO4 filters reduced fresh and dry leaf weights by 30%. Fresh and dry stem weights of plants grown under CuSO4 filters were 60% lower than those of controls. Relative dry matter accumulation into leaves was increased in plants grown under CuSO4 filters while it was reduced in stems. A single application of GA3 before irradiation partially overcame the height reduction under CuSO4 filters, suggesting GA biosynthesis/action may be affected by light quality. Our results imply that alteration of light quality could be used to control chrysanthemum growth as an alternative method to conventional control by chemical growth regulators. Chemical names used: gibberellic acid (GA)

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Nihal C. Rajapakse and John W. Kelly

The use of light quality as an alternate method for controlling ornamental plant growth was evaluated using copper sulfate solutions as optical filters, The light passed through CuSO4 solutions had high red/far-red (R/FR) ratio. Plant height and average internode length were significantly reduced by high R/FR light. Plants grown under high R/FR light had smaller leaves and a lower total leaf area but had thicker leaves, as indicated by specific leaf weight, than the control plants. Fresh and dry weights of leaves, stems and roots were reduced by high R/FR light. Dry matter accumulation in leaves was increased by high R/FR light while it was reduced in stems. Exogenous gibberellic acid (GA) application partially overcame the height reduction under high R/FR light indicating that GA biosynthesis maybe affected by light treatment. Results suggests alteration of light quality could be used in controlling ornamental plant growth as an alternate method to conventional chemical growth regulator applications.

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Nihal C. Rajapakse and John W. Kelly

The interaction of light quality and growing season on growth and carbohydrate metabolism of chrysanthemum was evaluated using 6% CuSO4 and water as spectral filters. Light transmitted through the CuSO4 filter significantly reduced plant height and internode length compared to control plants regardless of the season. Light transmitted through CuSO4 filters delayed flowering. Total number of flowers was not affected but plants grown under CuSO4 filter had smaller flowers than those grown under the control filter. Light transmitted through CuSO4 filter reduced leaf and stem soluble sugar and starch concentrations regardless of the growing season. However, me magnitude of reduction was greater in spring than in fall-grown plants. Stems of fall-grown plants had mom starch deposition than spring-grown plants under both filters. The reduction of leaf and stem carbohydrate content (per organ basis) was greater than that of concentrations due to reduced stem elongation and total dry matter accumulation. Filters with specific spectral characteristics can be used as alternative means of controlling height and producing compact plants in the greenhouses regardless of the growing season. However, flowering should be evaluated with individual flower crops as flowering response may interact with the quality of light and growing season.