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Edward F. Durner

Flower bud hardiness of ethephon-treated (100 mg·liter-1 in October), dormant pruned (in December) `Redhaven' peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch.) trees was studied from December through March using exotherm analysis. In early December, buds not treated with ethephon were 0.5C hardier than ethephon-treated buds. From mid-December through March, ethephon-treated buds were 0.5 to 2.1C hardier than nontreated buds. When a main effect of pruning was detected, buds from pruned trees were 0.8 to 2.8C less hardy than buds from nonpruned trees. On several dates, a significant interaction on flower bud hardiness between ethephon treatment and pruning was detected. For trees not treated with ethephon, buds from pruned trees were 1.8 to 2.2C less hardy than those from nonpruned trees. Pruning did not affect hardiness of buds from ethephon-treated trees. Ethephon delayed bloom to the 75% fully open stage by 9 days. Pruning accelerated bloom to the 75% fully open stage by 3 days compared to nonpruned trees. Flower bud dehardening under controlled conditions was also studied. As field chilling accumulated, flower buds dehardened more rapidly and to a greater extent when exposed to heat. Pruning accelerated and intensified dehardening. Ethephon reduced the pruning effect. The percentage of buds supercooling from any ethephon or pruning treatment did not change as chilling accumulated. In trees not treated with ethepbon, fewer buds supercooled as heat accumulated, and pruning intensified this effect. In pruned, ethephon-treated trees, fewer buds supercooled after exposure to heat. The number of buds supercooling in nonpruned trees did not change with heat accumulation. Flower bud rehardening after controlled dehardening was also evaluated. After dehardening in early February, there was no difference in the bud hardiness of pruned or nonpruned trees. Buds from ethepbon-treated trees were hardier than those from nontreated trees. With reacclimation, buds from pruned trees were not as hardy as those from nonpruned trees. The percentage of buds supercooling from ethephon-treated trees did not change with deacclimation or reacclimation treatments. After deacclimation in late February, buds from pruned trees were 2.2C less hardy than those from nonpruned trees. After reacclimation, buds from pruned, ethephon-treated trees rehardened 2.6C while buds from all other treatments remained at deacclimated hardiness levels or continued to deharden. Ethephon-treated pistils were shorter than nontreated pistils. Pistils from pruned trees were longer than those from nonpruned trees. Deacclimated pistils were longer than nondeacclimated pistils. Differences in hardiness among ethephon and pruning treatments were observed, but there was no relationship between pistil moisture and hardiness.

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William B. Miller and Madeline W. Olberg

In the daffodil pot plant forcing industry, ethephon sprays have been the most common method of height control ( de Hertogh, 1996 ), but they are not always effective (W.B. Miller, personal communication; Moe, 1980 ). In a previous paper ( Miller

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Carlos H. Crisosto, Vanessa Bremer, Maxwell Norton, Louise Ferguson, and Todd Einhorn

production costs in other fruit commodities. Ethephon is the a.i. (21.7%) in Ethrel® (Bayer Crop Science, Research Triangle Park, NC), a systemic PGR that, in solutions of pH 4 or higher, decomposes to ethylene, phosphate, and chloride ions ( Royal Society of

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Stephen S. Miller and George M. Greene II

Replicated studies were conducted from 1996 to 1999 to evaluate the effect of a metalized reflective film (RF) on red color development in several apple (Malus ×domestica) cultivars that often develop poor to marginal color in the mid-Atlantic growing region. Film was applied to the orchard floor in the middle between tree rows or under the tree beginning 5 to 7 weeks before the predicted maturity date. Light reflected into the canopy from the RF was measured and compared with a standard orchard sod, a killed sod or various polyethylene films. Fruit color was estimated visually and with a hand-held spectrophotometer. Fruit quality (firmness, soluble solids, starch index) was determined from a representative sample of fruit. RF increased the level of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) reflected into the canopy resulting in darker, redder colored `Delicious', `Empire', and `Fuji' apples with a greater proportion of surface showing red color. RF increased canopy temperature and fruit surface temperature. A white polyethylene film increased reflected PPF and fruit color, but generally not to the extent of the metalized RF. Large [>13 ft (4.0 m) height] well-pruned `Delicious' trees showed increased fruit color, especially when the RF was placed under the canopy, but `Empire' trees of similar size and a more dense canopy showed no effect. The effect of the RF was most pronounced in the lower portion [up to 8 ft (2.4 m) height] of the canopy. A high-density RF was as effective as a low-density RF and the high-density film was about 60% less expensive. A high-density RF may be a cost effective method to enhance red color on selected apple cultivars in the mid-Atlantic region. Comparisons between ethephon and the RF were variable: ethephon appeared to have more effect on color in `Empire' than the RF, but less effect than the RF on `Hardibrite Delicious'. Ethephon consistently advanced fruit maturity. Chemical name used: (2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon).

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William B. Miller, Neil S. Mattson, Xiaorong Xie, Danghui Xu, Christopher J. Currey, Kasey L. Clemens, Roberto G. Lopez, Michael Olrich, and Erik S. Runkle

., 1988 ; Rademacher, 2000 ). In contrast, ethephon [(2-chloroethyl) phosphonic acid] is a PGR that releases ethylene (C 2 H 4 ), chlorine (Cl – ), and hydrogen phosphate (H 2 PO 4 − ) on application and is known to inhibit internode elongation, induce

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Antònia Ninot, Agustí Romero, Joan Tous, and Ignasi Batlle

, environmental factors, including temperature, relative humidity (RH), and plant stress, have a great influence on the ethephon response ( Klein et al., 1978 ; Martin et al., 1981 ). Ethephon causes leaf abscission, which can compromise the next year

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Margaret G. Aiken, Holly L. Scoggins, and Joyce G. Latimer

Ethephon [(2-chloroethyl) phosphonic acid] has been widely used as a foliar spray in the commercial greenhouse industry for decades to abort flowers, promote branching, and restrict plant growth ( Kays and Beaudry, 1987 ). Growers have reported

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Mike Murray, Bob Beede, Bill Weir, and Jack Williams

Physiological effects on plant growth caused by the plant hormone ethylene have been noted for many years. More than 100 years ago, workers noted that illuminating gas or broken gas mains had deleterious effects on surrounding trees or plants. It was not until the 1960s that scientists documented that plant growth may be manipulated by applying ethylene. Some of the biological effects since noted include premature defoliation, fruit maturation ripening, induction of flowering, stimulation of sprouting or germination, and shortening of plant height. These effects are noted on a wide variety of agricultural crops, including vegetables, field crops, tree crops, and ornamentals. Ethylene is a gas and dissipates rapidly, and, thus, does not lend itself to field application. In the 1960s, the product ethephon [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] was developed. When taken up by the plant, ethephon is converted to ethylene in the cells and becomes available for physiological interactions. Because ethephon precipitates a wide variety of biological reactions, application technology becomes extremely important. Factors such as plant growth stage, plant stress status, plant foliage spray coverage, ethephon rates, and environmental conditions determine the responses obtained. An example is provided by processing tomatoes, where the desired response is to maximize fruit maturity enhancement and minimize premature defoliation—both ethylene responses. We have selected five agricultural applications of ethephon as examples of how plant growth may be altered. These are: increased boll opening in cotton; enhanced pistillate flower induction in hybrid squash seed; accelerated fruit maturity in processing tomatoes; enhanced hull splitting in walnuts; and reduced lodging in wheat. Each of these applications, and others, are common in California agriculture. Brevity necessitates providing only a summary of relevant applied research activities, which are not intended to be complete or thorough. Details on specific ethephon applications may be obtained from that particular researcher.

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Christopher J. Currey and Nicholas J. Flax

flower prematurely (i.e., while still in the liner tray) during greenhouse production, requiring hand labor to remove inflorescences. Ethephon is a plant growth regulator (PGR) that is commonly applied as a foliar spray ( Whipker et al., 2011b ). When

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Derek W. Barchenger, Danise L. Coon, and Paul W. Bosland

ornamental chile peppers because of their short stature and prolific flowering. To hasten the caging process, and more efficiently produce self-pollinated seed, a more efficient method of flower and fruit removal is needed and would be welcomed. Ethephon (2