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Ignacio Espinosa and Will Healy

One-year-old corms of Liatris spicata Willd. produced from seed and 2-year-old corms from division of previously forced corms were placed under 8 hours of natural daylight plus 0, 4, 6, or 8 hours of incandescent (5 μmol·s-l·m-2) day continuation to equal 8-, 12-, or 16-hour photoperiods. Plants were grown under these photoperiods during the first 35 days after shoot emergence (initial) and then were grown under a second photoperiod of 8, 12, 14, or 16 hours until harvest (final). The combination of initial and final photoperiod treatments resulted in a total of 16 photoperiod combinations. Two-year-old corms flowered 10 days earlier than l-year-old corms, but l-year-old corms produced twice as many vegetative shoots and 15% more flowering shoots than the 2-year-old corms. Long initial photoperiod (14 or 16 hours) treatments. (LD) reduced-the days to flower by 8 days and increased flower shoot elongation by 20 cm, compared with initial short days (8 or 12 hours, SD). However, initial LD treatments decreased the number of flowering shoots by 50%, compared to initial SD treatments. An initial SD followed by a final LD did not decrease the number of flowering shoots, yet promoted greater stem elongation (92 cm) than continuous LD (83 cm).

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Will Healy and David Graper

Petunia `Red Flash' seedlings were grown under HPS (175 μmol m-2 s-1) photoperiod treatments of 10, 12, 14 or 16 hr at 20C soil temperature in a shaded glasshouse where the maximum peak PPF was reduced to 150 μmolm-2s-1. Seedling were transplanted after they had unfolded a specific number of leaves and grown under natural days or placed under photoperiod treatments which consisted of an 8 hr natural day with incandescent day extension treatments of 1 to 6 hours.

A 16 hr HPS treatment decreased the days to transplant (DTT) by more than 4 days and reduced the days from transplant to flower (DTF) by more than 5 days. The total reduction in days from sowing to flower (DSTF) was at least 8 days. When compared to unlighted controls, the reduction in DSTF was 26 days. The longer the seedlings remained under the HPS treatments, the shorter the DTF and DSTF. Premature shifting of plants to natural days resulted in up to a 9 day delay in DSTF. At photoperiods greater than 13 hr, the number of nodes subtending the inflorescence becomes constant regardless of number of leaves at transplant.

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Will Healy and David Graper

Petunia `Red Flash' seedling were grown under HPS (175 μmolm-2 s-1) photoperiod treatments of 10, 12, 14 or 16 hr at 20C soil temperature in a shaded glasshouse where the maximum peak PPF was reduced to 150 μmolm-2s-1. Seedling dry weight and individual leaf area were determined daily. The photosynthetic rate was determined when seedlings reached the second true leaf stage.

The dry weight response to increasing photoperiod durations was cubic with a peak at 14 hr. Seedling dry weight increased slowly during days 5 through 10 then increased rapidly during the next 7 to 10 days. This increase coincided with the unfolding of leaves one through four. The total leaf area showed a cubic response to the photoperiod treatments. The leaf area increased slowly then began an exponential increase after day 10. The photosynthetic rate per gram dry weight was increased by the 10 hr photoperiod treatment when compared to the 16 hr treatment. The increased photosynthetic rate was not observed when the data was calculated on a fresh weight or leaf area basis.

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David Graper and Will Healy

Non flowering Alstroemeria `Regina' plants were divided into aerial components: stems and apical and basal leaves or underground components: rhizome, storage roots, stele and fibrous roots. Samples were collected from distal and proximal ends of the rhizome to allow comparisons between structures of different ages. Ethanol soluble sugars were extracted and measured using HPLC. Starch was degraded to glucose using amyloglucosidase and measured.

There were no age differences in the starch, total soluble sugar (TSUGAR) or total soluble carbohydrates (TCHO) in the rhizome or aerial portions of the plant. There was a preferential partitioning of starch, sucrose, TSUGAR and TCHO to underground plant parts. The storage roots were the primary sink for the stored carbohydrates. Stems contained large concentration of glucose while fructose was found in storage roots and old stems. Sucrose was found primarily in old steles and storage roots. Starch was partitioned almost exclusively into the storage roots with no difference due to age of the storage root. Up to 42% of the TCHO in the old storage roots was composed of a carbohydrate which co-chromatogramed with melezitose using HPLC.

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Brooks Whitton and Will Healy

Aeschynanthus `Koral' plants were grown in photoperiods of 8 to 14 hr (8 hr natural daylight plus 0-6 hr incandescent light of 3 μmolm-2s-1) beginning January, March, or June. The number of weeks to anthesis and number of leaves on shoots reaching anthesis were not affected by photoperiod, but differed when treatments began. Number of shoots reaching anthesis per plant was greatest in photoperiods of 13 hr for treatments beginning January or June. Time of year influenced flowering more than photoperiod, suggesting a temperature interaction. A. `Koral' plants were given photoperiods of 12 or 24 hr (daylight fluorescent lamps at 100 or 50 μmolm-2s-1 respectively) at temperatures of 18 or 24 C. After 8 weeks, 18 C plants had fewer nodes before the first flower bud than 24 C plants. Number of nodes to the first flower bud was decreased under the 24 hr treatments at 24 C, while no difference to photoperiod was observed at 18 C. Flowering of A. `Koral' appears to be promoted by 18 C temperature where the plant behaves as a day neutral plant. At 24 C, A. `Koral' responds as a long day plant.

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David F. Grarper and Will Healy

Petunia × hybrida Villm. `Red Flash' plants were irradiated for either 10 or 20 mol day1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) in growth chambers using one of the following treatments: 175 μmol m-2 s-1 for 16 h, 350 μmol m-2 s-1 for 8 or 16 h or 350 μmol m-2 s-1 for 8 h plus 8 h incandescent day extension (5 μmol m-2 s-1 PPF). These four treatments were designed to examine the effects of increased peak and total daily integrated PPF as well as increased photosynthetic (Pn) period and photoperiod resulting from supplemental irradiance treatment of seedlings. Previous seedling petunia research indicated a greater response to supplemental lighting during expansion of the second true leaf. Therefore, seedlings were sampled for analysis at the two leaf stage and also later at the four leaf stage to examine effects at a later stage of growth.

Increasing total integrated PPF increased total carbohydrate production, seedling dry weight, rate of seedling growth, and acid invertase activity once the seedlings reached the two leaf stage. Increasing total PPF resulted in greater partitioning into ethanol soluble sugars rather than starch at the two leaf stage. Increasing the photoperiod only, with an incandescent day extension treatment, reduced total carbohydrate production at the two leaf stage.

Maximal oxygen evolution was observed when seedlings received 350 μmolm-2s-1 for 8 h when expressed on a leaf area or dry weight basis. The use of an 8 h day extension treatment to extend the photoperiod from 8 to 16 h resulted in the lowest rates of oxygen evolution on a leaf area basis.

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David F. Graper and Will Healy

Petunia × hybrida Villm. `Red Flash' plants received either 10 or 20 mol·day-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) in growth chambers at: 175 μmol·m-2·s-1 for 16 hours, 350 μmol·m-2·s-1 for 8 or 16 hours, or 350 μmol·m-2 s-1 for 8 hours plus 8 hours of incandescent photoperiod extension (5 μmol·m-2·s-1 PPF). The irradiation components of peak, total, and duration were examined. Doubling total PPF increased total carbohydrate (CHO) production by 60%, seedling dry weight (DW) by 30%, rate of seedling growth by 25%, and acid invertase activity by 50% compared to the other treatments, once the seedlings had reached the two-leaf stage. Seedlings receiving 20 mol·day-1 PPF partitioned 14% more CHO into ethanol soluble sugars rather than starch, which may explain the increase in relative growth rate observed with supplemental irradiance treatments. Extending the photoperiod for 8 hours with 5 μmol·m-2·s-1 PPF reduced total CHO production by 50% compared to the same treatment without photoperiodic lighting. Treatment with 350 μmol·m-2·s-1 for 8 hours resulted in the highest O2 evolution (8.8 μmol O2/min per dm2). Increasing the photoperiod from 8 to 16 hours gave the lowest rate of O2 evolution (4.5 μmol O2/min per dm2). Previous reports of the importance of photosynthetic period in controlling partitioning between starch and sugars may have simply observed a decreasing rate of starch accumulation due to increased total PPF.

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David F. Graper and Will Healy

The increase in photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) and plant temperature associated with supplemental high pressure sodium (HPS) irradiation were investigated during Petunia × hybrids Villm. `Red Flash' seedling development. Seedlings were treated for 14 days following emergence or 5 days after the first true leaf had expanded to 1 mm. Treatments consisted of continuous infrared (IR) radiation (Ambient + IR), ambient conditions with spill-over radiation from adjacent treatments (Ambient - IR), root zone heating to 19.5C (RZ Heat), continuous HPS irradiation at 167 μmol·s-1.m-2 PPF (HPS + IR) or continuous HPS irradiation at 167 μmol-1·m-2 PPF filtered through a water bath to remove IR (HPS - IR). Linear regression of natural log-transformed fresh weights indicated that increasing ambient PPF 53% and elevating plant temperature 4.3C (HPS + IR) increased seedling relative growth rate (RGR) by 45% compared with the control (Ambient - IR). Elevating plant temperature with + IR by 4.8C without supplementing PPF (Ambient + IR) increased RGR by 31% but failed to increase fresh weight (FW) above controls and resulted in etiolated plants that were unsuitable for transplanting. Once plants were removed from supplemental treatment and returned to ambient conditions, RGR for all treatments was similar. The increased FW promoted by IR and HPS treatments was maintained for up to 7 days after treatment. Therefore, the increased seedling growth responses observed with HPS treatment were due primarily to an increase in RGR during HPS treatment that is not sustained beyond treatment.

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Brooks Whitton, Will Healy and Mark Roh

Stock plants of Aeschynanthus `Koral' were grown with irradiances of 120 or 240 μmol·s-1·m-2 at 18/17, 24/17, or 30/17C (day/night) under 12-hour thermo- and photoperiods. Tip cuttings from stock plants grown at 18/17C flowered earlier than those from stock plants grown at 24/17 or 30/17C when cuttings were forced in a glasshouse under natural days (23/18 C). No cuttings from stock plants grown at 30/17C reached the visible bud stage after 86 days, while 93% of the cuttings forced at 18/17C did reach the visible bud stage. A. `Koral' plants were grown at 18, 24, or 30C in a factorial combination of temperatures at 12-hour thermo- and photoperiods (100 μmol·s-1·m-2). After 8 weeks, only plants grown at 18/18C had visible buds. After 18 weeks, plants grown at 24/24 or 24/18C had visible buds after having unfolded =2.5 times as many leaves as plants grown at 18/18C. Rapid flowering of A. `Koral' is promoted by constant 18C under a 12-hour photoperiod.

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Ignacio Espinosa, Will Healy and Mark Roh

Shoot emergence of cold-treated Liatris spicata Willd. corms was inhibited by SC soil, delayed at 10 or 15C (7 and 5 days, respectively), and promoted at 20, 25, or 30C. Within 15 days after planting, soil at 20C promoted the highest percentage of shoot emergence (81%). Plants were grown during the first 35 days after emergence under a combination of temperature and long or short days. Flowering shoot length was increased by either short days (8 hours; SD) at 13 or 15C or a 4-hour incandescent night interruption (NI) at 18C. When planted in May, a NI at 15 or 18C decreased the time to harvest by up to 14 days, whereas in November increasing the temperature to 18C, regardless of photoperiod, decreased the days to harvest by 16 days. Plants grown during the first 35 days after emergence under natural days at 15C then placed at 13, 15, or 18C under NI until harvest did not respond to the increasing temperature. Temperature and photoperiod influence Liatris development primarily during the first 35 days of development.