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Fumiko Kohyama, Catherine Whitman, and Erik S. Runkle

flowering response to photoperiod: day-neutral plants, short-day (SD) plants (SDP), and long-day (LD) plants. Flowering of day-neutral plants is not influenced by photoperiod. Rapid flowering of SDP occurs when the day is short and the night is long and

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Matthew G. Blanchard and Erik S. Runkle

of the skotoperiod controls flowering and development ( Vince-Prue, 1975 ). Long-day (LD) plants are those in which flowering is promoted under periods of darkness for less than a species-specific critical duration, whereas short-day (SD) plants

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Ki Sun Kim, Art Cameron, and Erik S. Runkle

Echinacea purpurea Moench., or purple coneflower, has been classified both as an intermediate-day plant and a short-day/long-day plant by different research groups. We performed experiments to determine at what developmental stage Echinacea`Magnus' became sensitive to inductive photoperiods, and identified photoperiods that induced the most rapid flowering. Seedlings were raised under continuous light in 128-cell plug trays, then were transplanted into 11.4-cm plastic pots. Plants were transferred to 10-hour short days (sd) once seedlings developed 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 true leaves. After 4 or 6 weeks of sd treatment (primary induction), plants were moved to 16- or 24-hour photoperiods until flowering (secondary induction). Plants were also grown under continuous 10-, 14-, and 24-hour photoperiods to serve as controls. At least 4 leaves were required for flower induction; flowering was delayed and the percentage was low when plants had 3 leaves at the beginning of primary induction. Plants under continuous 14-hour photoperiods had the highest flower percentage (100%) and flowered earliest (87 days). Plants under continuous 10- and 24-hour photoperiods did not flower. Four weeks of sd followed by 16-hour photoperiods induced complete flowering and in an average of 95 days. However, 6 weeks sd was required for 100% flowering when the final photoperiod was 24 hours.

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Richard L. Harkess and Robert E. Lyons

A study was undertaken to determine the rate of floral initiation in Rudbeckia hirta. R. hirta plants were grown to maturity, 14-16 leaves, under short days (SD). Paired controls were established by placing half of the plants under long days (LD) with the remainder left under SD. Beginning at the start of LD (day 0), five plants were harvested daily from each photoperiod group for twenty days. Harvested meristems were fixed in 2% paraformaldehyde - 2.5% glutaraldehyde in 0.1 M sodium cacodylate buffer (pH 7.0) for 24 hrs, dehydrated in an ethanol series, embedded in paraffin and sectioned at 8 μm. Serial sections were stained with Methyl-green Pyronin, with adjacent sections treated with RNase for nucleic acid comparison. All events of floral initiation were identified, The results of limited inductive photoperiod indicate that 16-18 LD were required for flowering.

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Joshua K. Craver, Jennifer K. Boldt, and Roberto G. Lopez

radiation quality treatments. Far-red radiation has been shown to have a significant effect on the promotion of flowering for plants with a long-day photoperiodic response ( Downs and Thomas, 1982 ). However, species with a long-day photoperiodic response

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Erik S. Runkle and Royal D. Heins

We gratefully acknowledge funding by Michigan's plant agriculture initiative at Michigan State University (Project GREEEN) and greenhouse growers supportive of Michigan State University floricultural research and the support of the Michigan

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Dennis R. Decoteau and Heather A. Hatt Graham

The sensitivity of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thumb.) Matsum & Naki `Sugar Baby'] plant growth to day-long alterations in light quality was determined by exposing plants to light transmitted through broad band wavelength selective filters. Of the three acetate filters analyzed (nos. 19, 27, and 74), filter no. 74 transmitted the least amount of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) (400 to 700 nm), the smallest red light: far-red light ratio (R:FR) (645:735 nm), and the greatest amount of blue light (400 to 500 nm) radiation from metal halide lamps. Plants grown under filter no. 74 were taller, had elongated petioles, and had a greater amount of petiole and stem biomass than plants grown under the other filters. Spectral transmission properties of commercially available rowcover materials were evaluated for variation of PPF, R:FR, and blue light. Clear polyethylene rowcovers were completely permeable to all measured (330 to 850 nm) wavelengths of radiation from metal halide lamps. White polyethylene rowcovers were the least permeable of the rowcover materials to wavelengths of radiation with decreases in the PPF, R:FR, and blue light. Spunbonded polyester materials slightly reduced PPF, R:FR, and blue light. Plants grown under white polyethylene and spunbonded materials grew taller (longer stems) than plants grown under the clear polyethylene rowcover. Petiole lengths were generally longer for plants grown under white polyethylene. Our results suggests that alterations in the R:FR and blue light due to selected wavelength transmission through commercially available rowcover material alter early watermelon growth.

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Erik S. Runkle and Royal D. Heins

For many long-day plants (LDP), adding far red light (FR, 700 to 800 nm) to red light (R, 600 to 700 nm) to extend the day or interrupt the night promotes extension growth and flowering. Blue light (B, 400 to 500 nm) independently inhibits extension growth, but its effect on flowering is not well described. Here, we determined how R-, FR-, or B-deficient (Rd, FRd, or Bd, respectively) photoperiods influenced stem extension and flowering in five LDP species: Campanula carpatica Jacq., Coreopsi ×grandiflora Hogg ex Sweet, Lobelia ×speciosa Sweet, Pisum sativum L., and Viola ×wittrockiana Gams. Plants were exposed to Rd, FRd, Bd, or normal (control) 16-hour photoperiods, each of which had a similar photosynthetic (400 to 700 nm) photon flux. Compared with that of the control, the Rd environment promoted extension growth in C. carpatica (by 65%), C. ×grandiflora (by 26%), P. sativum (by 23%), and V. ×wittrockiana (by 31%). The FRd environment suppressed extension growth in C. ×grandiflora (by 21%), P. sativum (by 17%), and V. ×wittrockiana (by 14%). Independent of the R: FR ratio, the Bd environment promoted stem extension (by 10% to 100%) in all species, but there was little or no effect on flowering percentage and time to flower. Extension growth was generally linearly related to the incident wide band (100 nm) R: FR ratio or estimated phytochrome photoequilibrium except when B light was specifically reduced. A high R: FR ratio (i.e., under the FRd filter) delayed flower initiation (but not development) in C. carpatica and C.×grandiflora and inhibited flower development (but not initiation) in Vwittrockiana. Therefore, B light and the R: FR ratio independently regulate extension growth by varying magnitudes in LDP, and in some species, an FRd environment can suppress flower initiation or development.

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Erik S. Runkle, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

Six obligate long-day species of herbaceous perennials were grown under six night-interruption treatments to determine their relative effectiveness at inducing flowering. Photoperiods were 9 hours natural days with night interruptions provided by incandescent lamps during the middle of the dark period for the following durations: 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 hours; 6 minutes on, 54 minutes off for 4 hours (10% cyclic lighting); or 6 minutes on, 24 minutes off for 4 hours (20% cyclic lighting). Response to night interruptions varied by species, but five of the six species flowered most rapidly and uniformly under 4-hour night interruption. Few or no Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips', Rudbeckia fulgida `Goldsturm', or Hibiscus ×hybrida `Disco Belle Mixed' plants flowered with 1 hour or less of continuous night-break lighting. All Coreopsis ×grandiflora `Early Sunrise' flowered, but flowering was hastened as the duration of night interruption increased. Echinacea purpurea `Bravado' flowered similarly across all treatments. In general, the effectiveness of the night-interruption treatments at inducing flowering was 4 hours > 2 hours > 20% cyclic > 1 hour > 10% cyclic > 0.5 hour.

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Michael R. Evans, Harold F. Wilkins, and Wesley P. Hackett

Abbreviations: LD, long day(s); LDNN, long-day node number; LDP, long-day plant; SD, short day: SDP short day plant. 1 Graduate Research Assistant. Currently: Assistant Professor, Univ. of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 5007 60th