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Thomas H. Boyle

The effects of temperature and clonal genotype on flowering of Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis Britton & Rose) were investigated in two experiments. Plants of `Crimson Giant', `Evita', `Purple Pride', and `Red Pride' were exposed to 6 weeks of either 10C or 18C night temperature (NT) under 9- to 9.5-hour natural daylengths (ND), and afterwards were forced at 18C NT and long days (LD). All clones produced fewer flowers when exposed to 18C and ND as compared with 10C and ND; however, the clones varied significantly in their flowering responses. Relative to 10C NT and ND, exposure to 18C NT and ND resulted in an 84% to 95% decrease in the number of flower buds for `Evita', `Purple Pride', and `Red Pride', but only a 50% decrease in the number of flower buds for `Crimson Giant'. In another experiment, 23 clones were exposed to 18C NT and 8-hour short days for 6 weeks, then forced at 18C NT and LD. The clones exhibited differences in percentage of plants flowering, days to flowering, percentage of apical phylloclades flowering, and number of flower buds. `Crimson Giant' outperformed all other clones. Further breeding and selection may yield genotypes that flower more prolifically at 18C minimum than current cultivars.

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Thomas H. Boyle, Fabian D. Menalled, and Maureen C. O'Leary

The existence of self-incompatibility (SI) was demonstrated in `Britton' and `Rose' Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis). In a full diallel cross among five clones, 18 out of 20 outcrosses resulted in 68% to 100% fruit set, whereas reciprocal crosses between two of the clones and all five self-pollinations failed to set fruit. Pollen tube growth was greatly inhibited in styles of selfed pistils, but there was no evidence of pollen tube inhibition in compatibly crossed pistils. Easter cactus exhibited characteristics typically found in sporophytic SI systems (trinucleate pollen, papillate stigmas, and scant stigmatic exudate) together with those associated with gametophytic SI systems (stylar inhibition of pollen tube growth and absence of reciprocal differences in outcrosses). Additional experiments were performed to determine the effects of bud pollinations, growth regulators (BA, GA3, and NAAm), and high temperatures (0- to 48-h exposure at 40C) on the SI response. Heat treatments were more effective than either bud pollinations or growth regulators in overcoming SI, and yielded an average of 7.2 viable seeds per treated flower when plants were incubated for 12 h at 40C and selfed immediately after incubation. Isozyme analysis of the S0 parent and putative S1 progeny confirmed that selfing had occurred following heat treatments. Using S1 progeny in breeding programs may extend the flower color range and lead to a greater diversity in other plant characteristics than presently exists in cultivated germplasm. Chemical names used: N-(phenylmethyl)-1H-purin-6-amine [benzyladenine (BA)], gibberellic acid (GA3), and α-naphthaleneacetamide (NAAm).

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Charles L. Rohwer and Royal D. Heins

Rünger, W. 1960 Über den Einfluß der Temperatur und der Tageslänge auf die Blütenbildung von Rhipsalidopsis × graeseri Zeitschrift Botanik 48 381 397 Rünger, W. 1962 Über den einfluß der tageslänge auf