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Andrea L. Southworth and Michael A. Dirr

Stem cuttings from a prostrate clone of Cephalotaxus harringtonia (Forbes) K. Koch (Japanese plum yew) were taken monthly from Sept. 1994 through Aug. 1995, treated with K-IBA at 0 or 10,000 mg·liter–1, placed in a greenhouse under intermittent mist, and evaluated after 16 weeks. Cuttings taken from December to February and treated with K-IBA averaged 85% rooting, 10 roots per cutting, and a total root length of 35 cm. The next highest rooting percentages were for cuttings taken from March to May; poorest rooting occurred for cuttings taken from June to August and September to November, regardless of K-IBA application. Chemical name used: K-indole-3-butyric acid (K-IBA).

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Sven E. Svenson and Fred T. Davies Jr.

Variation in tissue elemental concentration in apical stem cuttings of `Lilo' and `V-10 Amy' poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex. Klotzch) were studied during the initiation and development of adventitious roots. Changes in selected macro- and micro-element concentrations coincided with root initiation (i.e., Fe, Cu, and Mo accumulated in the basal portions of stem cuttings during early root initiation before root primordia elongation); P, K, Ca, and Mg concentrations declined. During root primordia elongation and root emergence, Fe, Cu, and Mo and Mg, Mn, B, and Zn concentrations continued to increase at the cutting bases, but P and K concentrations remained low compared to when cuttings were initially inserted in the propagation medium. When all cutting of both cultivars had rooted, foliar N, Fe, and Mo concentrations declined, but Cu increased compared to when cuttings were initially propagated.

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W. Msikita, H.T. Wilkinson and J.C. Silva Dias

Tronchuda (Brassica oleracea var. tronchuda Bailey syn. costata) regenerants with resistance to Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris Pammel (Dawson) were produced by culturing epicotyl segments of 3-week-old seedlings on Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with 2 mg BAP and NAA at 0.1 mg·liter–1. Cultures were placed in darkness (1, 2, or 3 weeks) or in a 16-hour·day–1 light regime. Seedlings of all four cultivars were more susceptible (mean disease severity rating of 3.8 to 4.0; where 1 = trace and 4 = more than 2 cm2 diseased leaf tissue) than the respective regenerants. There were significant differences in disease severity of regenerants among and within the four cultivars. Dark incubation of cultured explants generated plants with higher disease resistance than evident with control plants. One week of dark incubation resulted in increased resistance in regenerants of `Penca de Chaves', `Portuguesa', and `Vilinda' (2.1, 2.3, and 2.7 mean disease severity, respectively), whereas 2 weeks of dark incubation increased resistance in regenerants of `Ana Maria' and `Vilinda' (2.1 and 2.7 mean disease severity, respectively). The genotype×plant treatment interaction was significant. Chemical names used: 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP); a-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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Rolston St. Hilaire, Carlos A. Fierro Berwart and Carlos A. Pérez-Muñoz

Mussaendas (Mussaenda spp.) are ornamental shrubs, and some cultivars are difficult to root. This study was conducted to explore how adventitious roots initiate and develop in the cultivar Rosea and to determine if anatomical events are associated with difficulty in rooting stem cuttings. Stem cuttings were treated with 5, 10, 15 mmol IBA, or distilled water, and sampled every 2 days over 26 days to observe adventitious root formation and development. Adventitious roots initiated from phloem parenchyma cells. Cuttings treated with 15 mmol IBA had a mean of 18 root primordia per basal 1 cm of cutting after 10 days. Primordia were absent in nontreated cuttings at 10 days. These results suggest that nontreated cuttings are difficult to root because few primordia are produced. Chemical name used: 1H-indole-3-butyric acid (IBA).

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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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Anthony V. LeBude, Barry Goldfarb, Frank A. Blazich, John Frampton and Farrell C. Wise

Two experiments were conducted during which juvenile hardwood or softwood stem cuttings of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) were rooted under six mist regimes in a polyethylene-covered greenhouse to investigate the effect of mist level on vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and cutting water potential (Ψcut), and to determine the relationships between these variables and rooting percentage. In addition, net photosynthesis at ambient conditions (Aambient) and stomatal conductance (gs) were measured in stem cuttings during adventitious root formation to determine their relationship to rooting percentage. Hardwood stem cuttings rooted ≥80% when mean daily VPD between 1000 and 1800 hr ranged from 0.60 to 0.85 kPa. Although rooting percentage was related to Ψcut, and Aambient was related to Ψcut, rooting percentage of softwood stem cuttings was not related to Aambient of stem cuttings. Using VPD as a control mechanism for mist application during adventitious rooting of stem cuttings of loblolly pine might increase rooting percentages across a variety of rooting environments.

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Shana G. Brown and James E. Klett

Stock plant productivity is an important concern for growers of ‘Snow Angel’ coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea) because this variety produces a limited number of basal cuttings. The objective of the study was to determine the best growth substrate and container size combination to maximize productivity of stock plants. A secondary objective was to determine if the stock plant treatments influenced the rooting of vegetative cuttings. The study used three different container sizes (2.8, 11.4, and 14.6 L) and four commercial soilless substrates that were primarily composed of the following: bark, peat, and perlite (substrate 1); bark, peat, and vermiculite (substrate 2); bark, peat, and coarse perlite (substrate 3); and peat (substrate 4). Two stock plant experiments were conducted using the same 12 treatment combinations, and a subset of those stock plants was randomly selected for the rooting studies that immediately followed each stock plant experiment. Stock plants responded to substrate treatments differently depending on the batch of substrate in which they were grown. The most successful stock plants, which produced more cuttings per plant and per square foot, as well as larger cuttings, were those grown in substrate 3 (Expt. 1) and substrate 2 (Expt. 2). Regardless of the substrate, the highest number of cuttings per square foot was obtained from stock plants grown in 2.8-L containers, indicating that the smaller containers allow for the most efficient use of space when growing ‘Snow Angel’ stock plants for 6 to 8 months. The rooting of vegetative cuttings was successful (98% to 100% of cuttings rooted after 4 weeks under mist) for all treatment combinations, although higher numbers of visible roots were produced during the second study and may be due to larger fresh weights of cuttings.

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P. Martínez-Gómez and T.M. Gradziel

The techniques of micrografting provide useful tools for the early propagation of breeding lines in variety improvement programs. In this study, the success of various in vivo micrografts of buds of `Nonpareil' almond (Prunus dulcis) seedlings have been examined. Variables tested include type of microscion, the rootstock genotype, and the growth stage of the rootstock. Microscions tested included small [3 mm (0.12 inches)] microwedges from either unsprouted or recently sprouted buds. Approach micrografts were also evaluated. Three-month-old woody rootstocks tested included `Nemaguard' and `Nemared' peach (P. persica) rootstocks, and the `Hansen' (peach × almond) hybrid rootstocks. `Nemared' rootstocks were also grafted after 1 month of growth when the tissue was still herbaceous. Micrografts onto woody rootstocks and using recently sprouted buds showed the best results. With very young or weak seedlings, where the recovery of microscions was difficult, the use of approach micrografts onto herbaceous rootstock proved a useful technique.

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Eugene K. Blythe

Confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis), a native of southeastern China, is an old-fashioned, ornamental plant often found in older gardens in the southern United States. Current breeding programs aim at developing selections with improved garden performance, thus providing new cultivars for nursery production. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) zones 7 to 9, plants grow as large shrubs or small trees in warmer areas, but generally die back to a woody base or short trunk in colder areas of their range. Stems from the past growing season that remain on plants during the winter in the warmer regions may be used to prepare hardwood stem cuttings. The current study examined hardwood cutting propagation of confederate rose in response to a 1-second basal quick-dip in auxin [1000 ppm indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), 3000 ppm IBA, 1000 ppm IBA + 500 ppm 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), and 3000 ppm IBA + 1500 ppm NAA] and a basal wound (along with 1000 ppm IBA only). Cuttings were rooted in a warm, high-humidity environment within a greenhouse. Auxin treatments improved overall rooting percentage and total root length, with 1000 ppm IBA (without and with a basal wound) providing the highest rooting percentages (about 70%) and nontreated cuttings the lowest (44%). A significant increase in total root length on rooted cuttings resulted with the use of 3000 ppm IBA (211 cm) and use of a basal wound plus 1000 ppm IBA (193 cm) compared with nontreated cuttings (87 cm). Auxin and wounding treatments did not have any significant inhibitory effects on budbreak and growth of new shoots on rooted cuttings.