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Robert R. Tripepi

Paper sludge is a fibrous material that may be suitable as a replacement for peat moss in potting media. The goal of this study was to compare the growth of potted `Iridon' mums (Dendranthema × grandiflora Tzvelev.) grown in sludge-amended media against that of plants in two peat-based commercial mixes. Paper sludge from a newsprint mill was composted 6 weeks. Plants were grown in a European pot mum regime with three rooted cuttings planted in square 10-cm pots containing either a commercial mix or a sludge-amended medium [75% sludge: 15% perlite: 10% vermiculite; or 50% sludge: 33% peatmoss: 17% perlite (by volume)]. Plants were grown for 12 weeks and not disbudded before plant growth indices were determined. Mums grown in sludge-amended media appeared similar to those grown in the commercial mixes. Plants grown in either sludge-amended medium were slightly shorter (1.5 cm) and narrower (2.5 cm) than those grown in the commercial mixes. In addition, mums grown in sludge-amended media produced eight fewer flowers and 4 g less shoot dry weight (per pot) compared to plants in commercial mixes. Composted paper sludge appears to be suitable for production of `Iridon' pot mums, even though plants grown in this material grew slightly less than those in commercial media.

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Robert R. Tripepi

Nursery management, a course covering practices involved in production of woody landscape plants, was developed for delivery to place-bound students at distant sites around the state. Course subject matter was divided into 41 modules and involved aspects of site selection, cost accounting, plant propagation, nursery trade associations, licensing, as well as container and field production practices. Each module began and ended with a 1- to 2-min introduction and summary to the subject matter, and these segments were taped on location at nurseries in the Pacific Northwest. The lecture portion of each module was taped in a multimedia classroom, and presentation software was used to present text, slides, drawings and animation. Videotape footage of some cultural practices was also inserted into lectures as a “field trip.” Students in the course also received a lecture note guide for all modules in the course. In Idaho, the videotapes were distributed to education centers around the state. The first time the course was offered, 11 students at distant sites and three time-constrained students on campus enrolled. Students contacted the instructor by phone or e-mail. Homework assignments were sent via FAX or e-mail attachments, and tests were sent to the education centers where proctors gave three exams and a final exam. All tests and homework assignments were graded by the instructor located on campus. A videotaped course in nursery management can adequately convey principles involved in landscape plant production, but logistics of mailing videotapes and grading assignments and tests should be carefully evaluated when deciding if a course should be offered at a distance.

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Robert R. Tripepi and Mary W. George

Mung bean (Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilcz.) cuttings are used in rooting bioassays, and nonexperimental variability must be rigorously controlled to obtain meaningful results. This study was conducted to document bacterial disease problems of mung bean and identify the causal organisms. `Berken' seeds were surfaced sterilized and aerated 24 hr before sowing. Nine-day-old seedlings were used in rooting bioassays. Up to 10% of the seedlings and 17% of the cuttings had collapsed stems or wilted leaves. A white and two yellow (Y1 and Y2) bacteria were isolated from diseased cuttings and used in subsequent pathogenicity tests. The Y2 isolate was nonpathogenic. Stems of healthy mung beans inoculated with the white isolate turned brown and collapsed 2 days after inoculation, whereas leaves of plants inoculated with the yellow isolate wilted after 7 days. Standard biochemical and physiological tests revealed that the white isolate was Pseudomonas syringue pv. syringae van Hall and the yellow isolate was Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens subsp. flaccumfaciens (Hedges) Collins and Jones. This research is the first report of a disease in mung bean caused by P.s. pv. syringae. These results demonstrate the need or disease-free seeds being used in bioassays since both pathogens were seed-borne.

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Annette D. Leege and Robert R. Tripepi

A plant regeneration system that is compatible with recombinant DNA techniques is required before birch can be genetically transformed. The goal of this research is to develop a shoot regeneration system from leaf discs of European birch (Betula pendula Roth), since this tissue culture procedure is compatible with current transformation technology. Leaves from microplants were excised from stems, cut into approximately 25 mm2 pieces, and placed on WPM media containing differing ratios of NAA (0, 3, 6, 9 μM) to BA (0, 7.5, 15, 22.5 μM) in a 4 × 4 factorial design. Four replicates, each containing 4 leaf pieces, were used per treatment. After 4 and 8 weeks, data was taken including the percent leaves forming shoots and the number of shoots per leaf disc. Only a concentration of 15 or 22.5 μM BA without NAA stimulated shoot formation on leaf discs. Data on the effects of light, media formulations and tissue orientation will be presented. With a reliable and efficient shoot regeneration system for European birch, genetic engineering of this species is now possible.

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Mary W. George and Robert R. Tripepi

Plant Preservative Mixture™ (PPM), a relatively new, broad-spectrum preservative and biocide for use in plant tissue culture, was evaluated as an alternative to the use of conventional antibiotics and fungicides in plant tissue culture. Concentrations of 0.5 to 4.0 mL·L-1 were tested with leaf explants of chrysanthemum (Dendranthem×grandiflora Kitam), European birch (Betula pendula Roth), and rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense Michx.). PPM had little effect on the percentage of explants forming shoots and the number of shoots formed per explant in birch and rhododendron, but dramatically reduced both responses in chrysanthemum. Therefore, the effects of PPM must be evaluated for each species of interest prior to use.

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Mary W. George and Robert R. Tripepi

Previous reports of somatic embryogenesis on rose tissues involved an embryogenic callus stage with either a complicated multi-step process or low numbers of embryos being produced. We have produced somatic embryos without a callus stage from leaf explants of the cut rose cultivar `Golden Emblem' by using a two step process. Explants were obtained from microshoots of `Golden Emblem' that had been in culture for three years. All experiments were repeated twice. When explants were maintained on Murashige and Skoog (MS) with 0.4 μM NAA and 0.4 μM kinetin for 10 weeks, 10% or less of the explants produced somatic embryos. Keeping the explants on the NAA/kinetin medium for two weeks, then switching to medium with 0, 0.5, 1.0, or 10.0 μM kinetin for the remaining 8 weeks failed to increase embryo production. Decreasing the time the explants were on the NAA/kinetin medium to 8 or 12 days, and then placing explants on MS medium with 1.0 μM kinetin increased somatic embryo production to a maximum of 25%. By limiting the length of time the rose leaf explants were exposed to auxin, direct somatic embryo production was increased.

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Robert R. Tripepi and Mary W. George

Seedlings of several conifer species can be difficult to transplant, with the problem often related to poor root regeneration. The objective of this study was to determine if corkbark fir (Abies lasiocarpa arizonica) seedlings or pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) seedlings would produce more root growth when grown in a Missouri gravel bed growing system compared to field soil. The 3–0 fir seedlings and 4–0 pine seedlings were planted in a gravel bed in mid-April. The gravel bed was 3 m × 3.7 m and was filled with a mixture of 60% pea gravel (1 cm minus), 30% Turface®, and 10% silica sand (by volume). A field bed 3 m × 3.7 m in size was also prepared. Fir seedlings were harvested in September and October, but pinyon pine seedlings were harvested only in October due to their poor transplant survival. Plant heights, stem diameters, and root volumes, as well as root and shoot dry weights, were determined at harvest. Of all the measured growth parameters for both species, only root dry weights and root volumes were significantly different. In particular, fir seedlings grown in the gravel bed produced at least 30% more root dry weight and 74% more root volume than those planted in field soil whether plants were harvested in September or October. Likewise, pine seedlings grown in gravel produced at least 37% more root dry weight and 86% more root volume than those grown in soil. In addition, only 10.6% of the pine seedlings planted in soil survived transplanting, but 23.3% of those grown in the gravel bed survived. This study demonstrated that corkbark fir and pinyon pine seedlings grown in a gravel bed produced larger root systems than those planted into field soil, and the gravel bed also improved pinyon pine seedling survival after transplanting.

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Robert R. Tripepi and Mary W. George

De-inked paper sludge from a newsprint mill was evaluated as a substitute for softwood bark in container media. Whips, 1.2 m tall, of `October Glory' red maple (Acer rubrum L.), European birch (Betula pendula Roth), and `Royalty' crabapple (Malus L.) were planted in 15-L plastic pots that contained potting media amended with 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, or 90% paper sludge and 80%, 60%, 40%, 20%, 0%, or 0%, respectively, bark (by volume). All media contained 10% sand. After 22 weeks, plant heights, trunk diameters, and shoot dry weights were determined. Initial pH of media increased as the amount of paper sludge in the media increased, with the 90% sludge mix having pH 7.2. Paper sludge had a low initial CEC. Physical properties of all sludge-amended media were suitable for tree growth, but media containing 80% or more paper sludge shrank in volume by 10% to 12% by the end of the study. All maple and crabapple trees grown in all sludge-amended media grew as well as those in 80% bark (control mix). In fact, maple and crabapples trees in 40% sludge produced at least 10% and 36% more total shoot biomass, respectively, than trees in 80% bark. Although birch trees grown in 40% or 60% paper sludge grew as well as control plants, those grown in 80% or more sludge were at least 11% shorter and produced 24% less total shoot biomass (leaves, stems, and trunk dry weight) than control trees. These results demonstrated that de-inked paper sludge was a worthy substitute for up to 40% of the bark in a container medium for the three species tested.

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Robert R. Tripepi and Mary W. George

De-inked paper sludge from a newsprint mill was evaluated as a substitute for sofwood bark in container media. Rooted cuttings of `Youngstown' juniper (Juniperus horizonatlis), Fraser photinia (Photinia × fraseri), and `PJM' rhododendron (Rhododendron) were planted in 3-L plastic pots that contained potting media amended with 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, or 90% paper sludge and 80%, 60%, 40%, 20%, or 0%, respectively, bark (by volume). All mixes contained 10% sand and 10% peatmoss except for the 90% mix, which lacked peatmoss. After 19 weeks, plant heights were measured for photinia and rhododendron, but average plant width was measured for juniper. Shoot dry weights were also determined for all species. Juniper and photinia seemed to be the most tolerant of media amended with up to 40% paper sludge, whereas rhododendron was the most intolerant species. Shoot dry weights of juniper or photinia were similar for plants grown in media containing 40% or less paper sludge. Shoot dry weights of rhododendron plants grown in 40% sludge were 23% lower than those grown in 0% or 20% paper sludge, which were similar to each other. Plant heights followed similar trends to those of the shoot dry weights. With the exception of juniper, shoot dry weights and heights were drastically reduced if the potting mixes contained more than 40% paper sludge. These results demonstrated that de-inked paper sludge could be substituted for up to 40% of the bark in a container medium for two of the three species tested.

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Ellen T. Paparozzi and Robert R. Tripepi