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Jesse R. Quarrels and Steven E. Newman

A leaching frame was constructed to detect residual plant growth regulators in media. The table was 0.9 × 1.8 m and designed to hold 40 10-cm diameter by 30-cm PVC cylinders. Each cylinder was cut lengthwise in half and resealed with duct tape. Rooted cuttings of `Freedom' poinsettias were planted into each cylinder using two media combinations: 2 vermiculite: 2 peat moss: 1 pine bark and 2 vermiculite: 1 peat moss: 2 pine bark (by volume). Four growth regulator treatments were applied to the medium two weeks after transplanting: control, 0.25 mg paclobutrazol, 0.25 mg uniconazole, and 0.125 mg paclobutrazol applied as spike. After plant growth was recorded, the cylinders were removed and sliced lengthwise. Snapdragon plugs were then transplanted into the medium along the length of the cylinder to determine if any residual paclobutrazol remained. Paclobutrazol and uniconazole reduced stem length. The presence of pine bark in the media reduced the effect of the plant growth regulators.

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Allen D. Owings and Steven E. Newman

Four rates of seven plant growth regulators were foliar-applied to 11.4 liter containers of Photinia × fraseri after initial root establishment. Growth regulators studied were uniconazole, paclobutrazol, dikegulac-sodium, ancymidol, 6-BA, GA4+7 and, 6-BA + GA4+7. Six months after application, plant height, plant width, growth index, and number of lateral and terminal branches were recorded.

Applications of uniconazole (30 mg a.i./liter), 6-BA alone or in combination with GA4+7, and dikegulacsodium stimulated lateral branching. The number of lateral branches increased linearly as paclobutrazol rates increased from 60 to 180 mg a.i./liter. Growth index decreased with increasing application rates of uniconazole and paclobutrazol, while the growth index of photinia treated with other growth regulators wasn't affected by application rate. Plant height was increased in GA4+7 treated plants.

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Bruce P. Bordelon and J.N. Moore

Various plant growth regulators were used to stimulate endosperm and embryo development in four stenospermic grape cultivars. Five antigibberellins were applied to clusters at 1000 and 100 ppm two weeks prior to bloom. Two cytokinins were applied at 1000, 500, and 250 ppm 20 days after bloom. Combinations of the treatments were also made. Data collected included: 1) cluster weight, 2) berry weight, 3) number of `sinker' and `floater' seed traces, 4) `sinker' weight and 5) percent germination. Significant differences were found among treatments for some of the variables. Differences also occurred among cultivars. Percent germination was greater for cultivars with large seed traces. The technique appears to have promise as an alternative to ovule culture/embryo rescue for intercrossing stenospermic grapes.

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Mélanie Leclerc, Claude D. Caldwell, Rajasekaran R. Lada and Jeffrey Norrie

Field experiments were conducted in 2002 and 2003 to evaluate the effects of selected plant growth regulators on propagule production in Hemerocallis `Happy Returns' and Hosta `Gold Standard'. Benzyladenine (BA), chlormequat chloride (Cycocel), ethephon (Ethrel), prohexadione calcium (Apogee), and an experimental preparation of commercial seaweed extract (Acadian Seaplants Limited Liquid Seaweed Concentrate) amended with BA and IBA were tested at two times of application and three rates of application. Results with Hemerocallis showed that the application of the seaweed/PGR mixture at 3000 mg·L–1, Cycocel at 3000 mg·L–1 or BA at 2500 mg·L–1 applied at flowering, increased the number of plants producing two divisions compared to control plants. In Hosta, no increase in divisions under any treatments was observed.

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Raja Ram, Debasish Mukherjee and Sandeep Manuja

The effects of BA, ethephon, and GA3 on freshly harvested cormels of three cultivars of Gladiolus sp. were studied for 3 years. The treatment with 400 mg·L-1 ethephon significantly reduced the dormancy period by 17.5 days as compared to control, while BA and GA3 were found to be less effective. Among all treatments, ethepon at 400 mg·L-1 was found to be the most effective in altering the days to sprout, sprouting percentage, corm size and production and development of cormels. While GA3 at 100 mg·L-1 increased growth of corms and cormels, BA at 25 mg·L-1 increased growth of corms and cormels. BA at 25 mg·L-1 only influenced the sprouting percentage of cormels. Along with reducing the dormancy period, the plant growth regulators stimulated growth and development of corms and cormels. Chemical names used: benzyladenine (BA); 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon); gibberellic acid (GA3).

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Sabrina L. Shaw, William F. Hayslett and Eddie B. Williams

A one-time application of fish emulsion 2 days before the application of plant growth regulators (PGR) showed an overriding effect on the growth of pansies. Blue/blotch shades of `Medallion' pansies were placed on a constant feed program of 100 ppm Peat Lite 20N–10P–20K, with half of the pansies receiving an additional one-time supplement of fish emulsion. PGRs and rates included B-Nine, 0.5% (used as the control); uniconazole, 2 and 4 ppm; and paclobutrazol, 16 and 25 ppm. Parameters taken included plant height, top fresh weight, top dry weight, days to anthesis, and visual appearance. Significant differences were noted in the plants receiving the supplement for plant dry weight, plant height, and visual appearance. Plants receiving fish emulsion grew taller and denser than those on constant feed alone despite the effects of the PGRs.

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J. Pablo Morales-Payan

Field studies were conducted in the Dominican Republic to determine the effect of several plant growth regulators on the yield of `Jira' eggplant. Treatments consisted of aqueous solutions of folcysteine (25, 50, 75 ppm), giberellic acid 3 (10, 20, 30 ppm), kinetine (25, 50, 75 ppm), naphthalenacetic acid (NAA) (25, 50, 75 ppm), 2,3,4-dichloro-phenoxy-triethyl-amine hydrochloride (DCPTA) (25, 50, 75 ppm), triacontanol (5, 10, 15 ppm), ethanol (5, 10, 15%), and chlormequat (50, 100, 150 ppm) sprayed at early flowering, directed to the crop upper leaves and flowers. A control treatment (no plant growth regulators applied) was also included. A randomized complete-block design with four replications was utilized. Experimental units were two rows of 10 plants at a 1.0 × 0.4-m distancing. Eggplant fruit set and yield were determined after 10 harvests performed at 3-day intervals. Analysis of variance and mean comparison tests were performed on the resulting data. `Jira' eggplant fruit set and yield was significantly improved by folcysteine, giberellic acid 3, and NAA, but not by kinetine, DCPTA, ethanol, triacontanol, or chlormequat. Eggplant yield increased as folcysteine rate increased from 0 to 50 ppm, but no further yield increase was obtained when increasing the rate from 50 to 75 ppm. Similarly, eggplant yield significantly increased as gibberellic acid increased from 0 to 20 ppm, but not when rates increased from 20 to 30 ppm. With NAA, eggplant fruit set and yield significantly increased above that of control plants when 25 ppm was applied, with no significant yield increase at higher rates. Results indicate that the yield of `Jira' eggplants could be enhanced by the treatments with either folcysteine, NAA, or gibberellic acid hereby described.

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C.L. Gupton

Several concentrations of mefluidide (Embark), a plant growth regulator; sethoxydim (Poast), a grass herbicide; and triclopyr (Rely) a nonselective herbicide, were evaluated to determine if italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) growth could be suppressed. Ryegrass grows prolifically during the winter in states adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico and may serve as a living mulch for strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa Duch.) and other winter crops if its growth can be controlled. Different chemicals and concentrations were screened over 5 years for their efficacy to produce living mulch. Mefluidide produced good ryegrass control but was not evaluated after Study 1 because it is designed for industrial use and does not have an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fruit crop label. Triclopyr, which has a label for several fruit crops, was studied only in the final year and it provided desired ryegrass control at the 0.016 and 0.030 mL·L-1 (parts per thousand) rate. Prime oil (paraffin base petroleum oil + polyol fatty acid esters) concentration affected results when sprayed with various sethoxydim rates. We concluded that 0.156 mL·L-1 sethoxydim plus 0.25 mL·L-1 prime oil will control ryegrass growth at the desired level (reduce growth by 40% to 50%) for living mulch. These rates are too low to cause much ryegrass browning. Chemical names used: N-[2,4dimethyl-5-[[(trifluoromethyl)-sulfony]amino]phenyl]acetamide, 2-[1-(ethoxylmino)buty1]-5-[2-(ethylthio)propy1]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one), and ammonium-Dl-homoalanin-4-yl-(methyl) phosphinate.

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Leslie K. Lake, Warren E. Shafer, Sheryl K. Reilly and Russell S. Jones

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are often used in crop production for specific niche market needs. PGRs are frequently viewed as secondary business opportunities by the private sector, especially when compared to herbicide, insecticide, and/or fungicide markets. Nonetheless, PGRs are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the additional cost of regulatory compliance as part of commercial development is significant. Of the two broad classes of pesticides regulated by the USEPA, conventional chemicals and biological pesticides (or biopesticides), many PGRs belong to the biopesticide class, specifically the biochemical category. Because of USEPA's responsibility to assure that any pesticide used in commerce will not result in unreasonable adverse effects to humans or the environment, specific data requirements have been established for product registration. Registrants must address each requirement, either by submitting relevant data or a request to waive the requirement, prior to receiving a federal registration. For biochemical PGRs, the acceptability of data or waiver requests, as well as any proposed label uses, are reviewed by the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD). The BPPD was formed in 1994 to facilitate the development of biopesticide products. Given the time and expense associated with PGR product development and commercialization, registrants should work closely with the USEPA and other stakeholders to help ensure successful product development.

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Guochen Yang and P. E. Read

Vanhoutte's spiraea has been propagated in vitro using explants from softwood growth of dormant stems forced in a solution containing 200 mg/l 8-hydroxyquinoline citrate (8-HQC) and 2% sucrose (Yang and Read, 1989). Objectives to further utilize this system were to determine the feasibility of applying plant growth regulators (PGR) via the forcing solution to softwood growth from forced dormant stems and to study the resulting influence on in vitro culture. BA and GA3 were placed in the forcing solution at various concentrations, including a zero PGR control. Explants were cultured on Linsmaier and Skoog (LS) medium containing zero PGR or different amounts of BA or thidiazuron (TDZ) or combinations of BA and IAA. Control explants placed on LS medium supplemented with 5uM BA with or without 1 or 5uM IAA, or with 0.5 or 0.75 uM TDZ alone produced the best shoot proliferation. BA in the forcing solution stimulated micropropagation, while GA3 caused less proliferation than explants from control solutions. Forcing solutions containing PGR are useful for manipulating responses of plant tissues cultured in vitro and for studying PGR influence on woody plant physiology.