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Little-leaf mockorange is a native plant species with desirable characteristics for landscape use. The need to conserve specific genotypes and the difficulty of seed propagation and stem cutting propagation make axillary shoot micropropagation a good option for this species. A series of experiments were completed individually with the goal to improve in vitro propagation protocols by evaluating different types of cytokinins [benzylaminopurine (BA), kinetin (Kin), zeatin (Zea), meta-topolin (MT), and thidiazuron (TDZ)] at 0, 1.1, 2.2, 4.4, or 8.8 µM. Selected minerals (0 to 60 mM or 0 to 45 mM N, 0 to 500 µM or 0 to 100 µM Fe, 0 to 3 mM Ca, 0 to 1.5 mM Mg, or 0 to 1.25 mM P) were also tested separately in the tissue culture medium; the base medium was ½ strength MS in these mineral experiments. At the end of each experiment (8 or 12 weeks), plant growth characteristics including number of axillary shoots, shoot height, and dry weight were determined. Of the six cytokinins tested, Zea produced the largest increase in shoot growth. Supplementation with 1.1 µM Zea resulted in the most shoot dry weight, almost 2.5-fold more than control shoots. Shoots on 0.55, 1.1, or 2.2 µM Zea were at least 64% taller than control shoots. Shoots placed on regular ½ strength MS basal salts, described above, and/or media lacking the nutrient of interest, were used as a positive and negative control treatments. For each separate mineral tested, the best concentration for optimum shoot growth was the concentration of that mineral used in ½ strength MS medium. A medium containing mineral concentrations of 30 mM N, 50 µM Fe, 1.5 mM Ca, 0.75 mM Mg, and 0.625 mM P, and 1.1 µM Zea should be used to produce the optimum in vitro shoot growth of little-leaf mockorange.

Open Access

Low seed germination percentages have been reported for red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium Smith). Attempts to improve germination percentages and the speed of germination for red huckleberry are described. Red huckleberry seeds from two collection sites were given gibberellic acid potassium salt (GA-K) treatments (0, 500, 1000, and 1500 mg·L−1) and were germinated under three temperature regimens [constant 22 °C, 22 °C day/5 °C night (22/5 °C), and 20 °C day/13 °C night (20/13 °C) with a 12-h photoperiod]. A logistic regression model was used to assess the effects of temperature regimens and GA-K treatments on the maximum cumulative germination percentages, rates of increase, and germination lag times. For seeds untreated with GA-K, the 20/13 °C temperature regime resulted in germination percentages ranging from 30% to 61% and lag times (i.e., time to reach one-half of the maximum cumulative germination percentage) of 29 to 35 d for the two accessions. In comparison, the 22/5 °C temperature regime produced germination percentages of 12% and 38% and lag times of 38 to 64 d. The 22 °C constant temperature produced germination percentages ≤1%. Maximum germination percentages of up to 75% were obtained with 1500 mg/L GA-K. Rates of germination were generally unaffected by GA-K treatments, and germination lag times were reduced by an average of 10 d when compared with without GA-K. Improved germination percentages and reduced lag times for red huckleberry seeds were obtained by using a 20/13 °C temperature regime and 1000 to 1500 mg·L −1 GA-K.

Free access

Estimates of canopy and fruit fresh mass are useful for more accurate interpretation of data from the Trellis Tension Monitor, a tool for real-time monitoring of plant growth and predicting yield in trellised crops. In grapevines (Vitis labruscana Bailey), measurements of shoot and fruit fresh mass were collected at frequent intervals (14 to 21 days) over 5 years, and these data were correlated with variables that could be obtained nondestructively: shoot length, number of leaves per shoot, and number of clusters per shoot. Shoot length provided a good estimator of shoot fresh mass in all years. Nonlinear logistic regression models described the dynamics of canopy growth from bloom to the early stages of ripening, which often is poorly represented by simple linear regression approaches to seasonal data. A generalized function indicated a lower bound of ≈600 degree-days, after which an increase in shoot fresh mass could be considered on average to contribute only slightly to further increases in trellis wire tension. The dynamics of fruit mass were captured adequately by a nonlinear function, but not as well as vegetative mass because of larger variances in fruit mass. The number of clusters per shoot was associated with fruit mass only after the accumulation of ≈550 degree-days or, equivalently, the time at which fruit mass exceeded ≈25 g per shoot. Seasonal dynamics of the ratio of fruit to vegetative fresh mass were not sufficiently discernable by the logistic models because of the dominance of fruit mass and its large interannual variation.

Free access

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is an essential nutrient in the human diet and potatoes are a valuable source. As a first step in breeding for potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) with higher levels of ascorbic acid, 75 clones from 12 North American potato-breeding programs were evaluated for concentration, and 10 of those for stability of expression. Trials were grown in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington in 1999 and 2000, tubers sampled, and ascorbic acid quantified. There were significant differences among clones and clone by environment interaction was also significant. Concentration of ascorbic acid of the clones was continuously distributed over a range of 11.5 to 29.8 mg/100 g. A subgroup of 10 clones was analyzed using an additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) model, to diagnose interaction patterns and measure clone stability. The first two principal component axes accounted for over 80% of the variability. Bi-plot analysis showed `Ranger Russet' to be highly unstable across the environments tested. A plot of Tai's stability statistics found six of the 10 clones to be stable for ascorbic acid expression. Appropriate evaluation methods for ascorbic acid concentration must involve multi-year testing.

Free access