Flowering of Miltoniopsis orchids is influenced by a combination of cool temperatures and short photoperiod. To determine if application of plant growth regulators could promote flowering without the need for costly structural modification to control photoperiod or temperature, we used drenches of gibberellic acid (GA3) (2.5 or 5 mm), N6-benzyladenine (BA) (25 or 50 mm) alone or in combination. BA (25 or 50 mm) treatments promoted new vegetative shoots and decreased the number of plants with inflorescences compared to the untreated control plants. This reduction of flowering and increased vegetative shoot production was alleviated by the addition of GA3 in combination with BA. However, the number of plants with inflorescences remained less than the control. GA3 hastened Miltoniopsis inflorescence emergence during the first flowering season by 10.9 to 14.9 days for Bert Field `Eileen' and by 48.7 days for Rouge `Akatsuka'. The number of `Eileen' inflorescences produced per plant increased from 2.2 to 3.0 with 2.5 mm GA3 treatment. Flower deformities were not observed in the GA3 treated plants, and flower size and inflorescence length were unaffected by the GA3 treatment.
Histological analysis of somatic embryos derived from in vitro-grown lamina of Anthurium andraeanumshowed bipolarity with the presence of shoot and root poles connected by procambium. Vascular connections between the explant and somatic embryos were not observed. Storage of proteins, starch and raphides as well as a suspensor-like structure and an epidermis were observed in the somatic embryos. Origin of the somatic embryos was from a proembryonic cell complex or possibly from a single cell by direct embryogenesis. Both modes of somatic embryogenesis arose from the mesophyll.
Flower induction of longan (Dimocarpus longan) with potassium chlorate has improved the availability of longan fruit, but potassium chlorate is potentially explosive and often difficult to purchase, transport, and store. Previous reports suggested that hypochlorite enhances natural longan flower induction. This study is the first to demonstrate that chlorite- and hypochlorite- (bleach) induced off-season longan flowering is similar to chlorate-treated trees. Hypochlorite induction of flowering with bleach was likely the result of chlorate in the bleach solution. Chlorate was present in the leachate from potted longan trees treated with bleach and was detected in bleach before soil application. The quantity of chlorate found in bleach induced flowering to the same or greater extent as equivalent quantities of potassium chlorate, suggesting chlorate is an a.i. responsible for longan flowering.
Nuclear and chloroplast genetic markers have been extensively used for plant identification and molecular taxonomy studies. The efficacy of genetic markers to be used as DNA barcodes is under constant evaluation and improvement with identification of new barcodes that provide greater resolution and efficiency of amplification for specific species groups as well as distantly related plants. In this study, chloroplast DNA genetic markers for Anthurium, the largest genus in the Araceae family, were adapted from chloroplast markers previously designed for Lemna minor, a member of the same plant family. Primers for chloroplast region trnH-psbA, previously used for molecular systematic studies in Anthurium, as well as primers for the rpoB, rpoC1, psbK-psbI, matK, rbcL, and atpF-atpH regions, all located within the large single copy sequence in the chloroplast genome, were evaluated and found to efficiently amplify target sequences when using DNA of varied quality and concentration extracted from silica-dried leaves of selected accessioned species of Anthurium. The trnH-psbA, psbK-psbI, and atpF-atpH intergenic region primers were further evaluated using Anthurium species spanning different subgeneric groups. Of the intergenic region primers tested, psbK-psbI primers were the most robust, yielding well-defined amplicons across Anthurium species that were consistent, with exceptions, within sectional groupings. Application of the psbK-psbI region amplicon as a visual marker for surveying sectional relationships in Anthurium is novel and serves as a model for the development of a diagnostic method for genotyping plants and testing for sample integrity from among species or germplasm collections. This work further demonstrates the use of dried plant tissue banks as a genetic reference and information resource to support basic research as well as ornamental plant characterization and improvement.
Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) is a devastating disease that has a detrimental impact on both commercial papaya production and Caricaceae germplasm conservation. In 1998, the PRSV coat protein transgenic line 55-1 and derived progeny were released to growers in Hawaii. The transgenic varieties have provided durable and practical control of the disease that have saved the papaya industry. However, like with transgenic crops throughout the world, there is public concern about the possibility of cross-contamination of these transgenic materials into nontransgenic lines. As the designated germplasm repository for Caricaceae, we are responsible for maintaining the genetic integrity of each accession. Therefore, we have developed a protocol using polymerase chain reaction for detection of the adventitious presence of the 55-1 transgene insertion event in both parental plants and their progeny seed populations. This protocol assures a 99.9% confidence level of obtaining seeds that are 99.5% transgene-free. The protocol developed in this study is not typical for most seed validation techniques because there is a higher than normal producer risk resulting from the potential of large numbers of seeds not meeting the stringent criteria. However, we believe this is necessary to ensure the genetic integrity of seeds stored in the repository.