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Wayne A. Mackay

Seeds of Lupinus havardii Wats. and L. texensis Hook. were subjected to scarification, storage temperature (4 or 22 °C), and relative humidity (RH) treatments (11%, 23%, 52%, 75%, or 97% RH) for 12 months. Seed moisture increased as relative humidity increased with scarified seed having the greatest increase in seed moisture content regardless of storage temperature. For both species, the combination of seed scarification before storage, 75% RH, and 22 °C storage temperature resulted in a significant and rapid decline in germinability beginning at 4 months. Scarified L. texensis seed stored at 52% RH and 22 °C also exhibited a significant decline in germinability following 6 months storage. Seed of both species stored under all other conditions germinated similar to or higher than the initial germination rate after 12 months. These results clearly show that scarification can be performed before seed packaging as long as the seed packets are stored at ≤23% RH under 4 or 22 °C with no loss in germinability for at least 1 year.

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Paul H. Henry and Frank A. Blazich

Two experiments investigated the relationship of light and temperature in seed germination of Fraser fir [Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.]. Irradiation during the warm portion of 9/15 hr thermoperiod of 20/10C and 30/20C increased germination percentages after 42 days, and the degree of stimulation depended on the timing of the light exposures. A 1-hr exposure was most effective during the latter part of the warm portion of the thermoperiods, and varying the time of irradiation had the greatest effect at 20/10C. The involvement of phytochrome in this photomorphogenic response was ascertained by demonstration of red/far-red reversibility.

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Michael S. Dosmann

Aconitum sinomontanum is a robust perennial monkshood native to China that shows promise as a cultivated ornamental. However, nothing has been reported about the germination requirements of the species, and little is known about the requirements of the genus as a whole. The objective of this study was to test the influence of stratification (moist prechilling) on germination of A. sinomontanum seeds. The seeds were from wild-collected plants of identical provenance growing at the Arnold Arboretum (Jamaica Plain, Mass.). After harvest and before stratification, seeds were stored dry at 38 °F (3.3 °C) and percentage germination was assessed after seeds were stratified, also at 38 °F, for 0, 21, 42, or 84 days. It is likely that stratification is required for seeds of this species to germinate, as unstratified seeds failed to germinate through the duration of the experiment (73 days). The highest level of germination (90.8%) was achieved after 84 days of stratification, and as length of stratification increased, so did percentage germination and indices of peak value and germination value. Days to maximum germination decreased with additional days of chilling. Growers wishing to germinate seed of this species should stratify seed for 3 months to achieve the highest level of germination.

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Michael S. Dosmann, Jeffery K. Iles and Mark P. Widrlechner

Germinability of two, half-sib seed sources of Cercidiphyllum japonicum Sieb. & Zucc. and one seed source of Cercidiphyllum magnificum (Nakai) Nakai was determined after not stratifying or stratifying seeds at 3.5 ± 0.5 °C (38.3 ± 0.9 °F) for 8 days followed by germination for 21 days at 25 °C (77 °F) in darkness or under a 15-hour photoperiod. Stratification was not required for germination, but increased germination percentage, peak value, and germination value for both species. Stratification increased germination of C. japonicum from 42% to 75%, and germination of C. magnificum from 12% to 24%. Light enhanced germination of nonstratified seeds of one source of C. japonicum and of C. magnificum from 34% to 52% and from 8% to 15%, respectively. Stratification improved germinability of both species and obviated any preexisting light requirements the seeds may have had.

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Laura G. Jull and Frank A. Blazich

Seeds of six provenances (Escambia Co., Ala.; Santa Rosa Co., Fla.; Wayne Co., N.C.; Burlington Co., N.J.; New London Co., Conn.; and Barnstable Co., Mass.) of Atlantic white-cedar [Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) B.S.P.] were stratified (moist-prechilled) for 0, 30, 60, or 90 days at 4 °C. Following stratification, seeds were germinated at 25 °C or an 8/16-hour thermoperiod of 30/20 °C with daily photoperiods at each temperature of 0 (total darkness), 1, or 24 hours. The germination of nonstratified seed did not exceed 18%. Seeds germinated at 25 °C required 60 to 90 days stratification to maximize germination. In contrast, 30 days stratification maximized germination at 30/20 °C. Regardless of stratification duration, germination was generally lower at 25 °C than at 30/20 °C for each provenance. Averaged over all treatments, seeds of the Alabama provenance exhibited the greatest germination (61%), followed by those from Florida (45%), with the remaining provenances ranging from 20% to 38%. However, specific treatments for each provenance induced germination >50%. Germination of seeds not exposed to light was <8%, in contrast with 48% and 55% germination for daily photoperiods of 1 and 24 hours, respectively. Seeds from each of the provenances, except for Alabama, exhibited an obligate light requirement when germinated at 25 °C. At 30/20 °C, the North Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts provenances required light for germination, whereas the Alabama and Florida provenances did not.

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Frank A. Blazich, Paul H. Henry and Farrell C. Wise

Seeds of `Dawn Carpet' and `Little Bright Eye' annual vinca [Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don] were subjected to 32 treatments, arranged as a four × four × two factorial. For each cultivar, seeds were exposed to one of four temperatures (15, 20, 25, or 30C) during the 8-hour (day) and 16-hour (night) portions of the cycle. Within each temperature regime, half the seeds of each cultivar were irradiated for 1 hour daily, and the other half remained in constant darkness. Final germination percentages were suppressed at 15C day or night temperatures; at temperatures ≥20C, there were no significant differences between treatments. Heat input (daily degree hours) was a controlling factor in germination; different temperature cycles with equivalent numbers of daily degree hours had similar effects on germination response. There was a strong interaction between temperature and irradiation regime for both cultivars. Irradiating seeds for 1 hour/day reduced final germination percentages under cool (15C) conditions; response was not adversely affected when seeds at 15C were germinated in darkness. In a second experiment, seeds at 25C were exposed to daily photoperiods of 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, or 24 hours. Germination percentages obtained in darkness and at photoperiods ≤12 hours were equivalent. Twenty-four-hour photoperiods suppressed germination compared to all other irradiation treatments.

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Daniel Struve, Francesco Ferrini, Chandra Bellasio and Alessio Fini

under genetic control ( Struve and McKeand, 1994 ). Thus, the Quercus genus is a candidate for genetic improvement. However, the heterogeneity associated with outcrossing makes capturing the genetic variation problematic through sexual propagation

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Neil O. Anderson, Peter D. Ascher and James J. Luby

The change from asexual to sexual propagation for annual and perennial bedding plants has been successfully accomplished for floral crops, e.g., Pelargonium. Seed-propagated cultivars do not necessarily possess the clonal uniformity of vegetatively propagated cultivars. In the development of F1 hybrid garden chrysanthemums, this lack of uniformity was assessed with the use of consumer sensory evaluations. Seedlings (n = 10–20 plants/cross) were transplanted for field trials in St. Paul and five Minnesota branch stations each year during 1988–94 to test for G × E. Early flowering F1 hybrids, developed from inbred parents with general combining ability, were evaluated for flowering earliness, plant uniformity, and a general rating. Consumer rankings of top performers were not significantly different (5% level) from mum breeders. The top performers for all three ratings were selected each year for repeat evaluation the next year. The two highest performing F1 hybrids were submitted for All American Selection Trials in 1995.

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Rolston St. Hilaire

Indigenous stands of Taxodium mucronatum Ten. are found in North and Central America, but relatively little is known about the propagation of the species. Progeny from one tree in the Mesilla Valley near Las Cruces, N.M., and from two trees in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico, were observed to be relatively cold-hardy. I initiated this research to find the best conditions for asexual and sexual propagation of those three trees. Terminal softwood cuttings were collected on 16 Oct. 1998 from a half-sibling of the Mesilla Valley tree, and from two half-siblings from the trees in the Gila National Forest. Cuttings were treated with two concentrations of IBA and rooted under intermittent mist in the greenhouse for 13 weeks. Cuttings taken from the Mesilla Valley source and from one of the half-siblings from the Gila did not root. The other half-sibling plant from the Gila showed 82% rooting when cuttings were treated with 8 g IBA/kg. Fifty percent of cuttings rooted when they were treated with 3 g IBA/kg. Root number and root length were greatest for cuttings treated with 8 g IBA/kg. Replication over time will determine whether stock plant environment and the time of taking cuttings affect rooting. Strategies that optimize seed germination and seedling development of asexually and sexually propagated material are being evaluated.

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Ajay Nair and Donglin Zhang

Stewartias (Stewartia spp.) are prized for their camellia (Camellia japonica)-like flowers, intense fall color, and exfoliating bark. In spite of having outstanding ornamental value and features, these plants are not readily available for landscaping in the horticulture trade. The primary reason stated is the difficulty of its mass propagation and production. In the last two decades, considerable research has been conducted on various aspects of stewartia propagation such as seed germination, cutting type, light, rooting medium, rooting hormone, cold acclimation, and tissue culture. In this article, we discuss factors that directly influence propagation of stewartia and we highlight results of published studies to propagate stewartia. The evidence indicates success in adventitious rooting of cuttings but at the same time recognizes the continuing challenge associated with overwinter survival. Sexual propagation has also been studied, but its commercial application is limited. To date, there is lack of concrete information on why stewartia remains under-represented in our landscapes. It still remains unclear if it is the lack of consumer demand or existing propagation difficulties that is the cause of under utilization of stewartia. Given the information from most published studies, we suggest further research on the aspect of overwinter survival in addition to a survey of the nursery and greenhouse industry to accurately determine the cause behind the absence of stewartia in horticultural trade.