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Peter Alem, Paul A. Thomas, and Marc W. van Iersel

growth suppression and subsequent stunting of poinsettias as well as reduced bract size ( Faust et al., 2001 ; Lewis et al., 2004 ; Niu et al., 2002 ), whereas application of too little PGR may not sufficiently suppress stem elongation. Manipulating the

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Christopher J. Currey and John E. Erwin

branch number ( Andersen and Andersen, 2000 ). Chemical suppression of stem elongation and increased branching is possible with the use of different types of PGRs. For example, applications of inhibitors of gibberellin synthesis or ethylene generators

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Alexander G. Litvin, Marc W. van Iersel, and Anish Malladi

often determines the physiological responses of the plant, including its impact on growth ( Galmes et al., 2007 ; Kim et al., 2012 ). Under mild drought stress, plants may acclimate to maintain metabolic functions. Reductions in stem elongation and

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Judy Lee, Miguel I. Gómez, and William B. Miller

, 1976 ). Aside from breeding and controlling environmental factors to regulate stem elongation, PGRs are a common way of manipulating plant growth to achieve the desired shape and size. A major group of PGRs are the anti-gibberellin (GA) growth

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Peter Alem, Paul A. Thomas, and Marc W. van Iersel

postharvest handling ( Karlović et al., 2004 ; Niu et al., 2002 ). Optimal poinsettia height may vary depending on cultivar, intended use, and grower or consumer preference. To control poinsettia height, growers typically use PGRs to suppress stem elongation

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Tami Van Gaal and John E. Erwin

Wind, touching, and/or mechanical stress can restrict stem elongation. Removal of the registration of the growth retardant daminozide for use on edible crops increased interest in thigmotropic inhibition of stem elongation to control plant height in greenhouse crops, as well as a general desire by growers to decrease chemical inputs for floriculture crops. Since stem elongation varies diurnally, the question arises as to whether wind inhibition of stem elongation varies over a 24-hour period. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) `MoneyMaker' and cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) `Imperial Pink' seedlings were placed under each of 10 wind perturbation treatments [applied for different durations and at different times during a 24-hour period; wind speed (perpendicular to the media) at seedling level was 30 km·h–1 (18.6 mph)] for 30 days. Data were collected on plant height and leaf number on days 1 and 30. The effect of wind on stem elongation differed with species; wind treatments restricted stem elongation more on cosmos than tomato (53% and 20%, respectively, across treatments). Tomato elongation was most restricted when seedlings received wind all day, all night, or all day and night. Within short-term treatments, internode length was least when tomato seedlings received a mid-day wind treatment. Cosmos elongation was most restricted when seedlings received a wind treatment all day or all night. Within short-term treatments, cosmos internode elongation was most restricted with early- and mid-day wind treatments. Data here suggest wind effects on elongation vary diurnally. In addition, the magnitude of wind effects on elongation varied with species and was greatest during the beginning of the day on cosmos, which mirrors when stem elongation is most sensitive to temperature fluctuations.

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John T. Erwin

Seedling stem elongation increased as the difference (DIF) between day (DT) and night (NT) temperatures increased from 10 to 26C (DIF=DT-NT). Stem elongation was primarily dependent on DIF on all crops studied except spring bulb crops. Internode lengths decreased in tomato (68%), watermelon (80%), squash (32%), sweet corn (68%) and snap bean (26%) as the difference between day and night temperatures decreased 12 degrees (C). Cucumber internode length decreased by 84% as DIF decreased 16 degrees (C). The ratio of male to female cucumber flowers decreased from 14 to 1, as DIF decreased 12 degrees (C) from 23 DT/17 NT to 17 DT/26 NT. Stem elongation was very sensitive to cool temperatures during the first 3 hours of the morning. Stem elongation was almost the same if the seedlings were cooled for the first 3 hours of the day versus cooling the plants all day. The interactions between temperature on stem elongation and light quantity and quality, and photoperiod will be discussed. Application of DIF in both northern and southern greenhouses will also be discussed.

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P.R. Fisher, R.D. Heins, and J.H. Lieth

Stem elongation response to a single foliar application of the growth retardant chlormequat chloride [(2-chloroethyl) trimethylammonium chloride] for poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Klotz.) was quantified. Growth retardant applications did not affect final leaf count or timing of visible bud, first bract color, or anthesis. There was a statistically significant effect of growth retardant concentration on stem elongation, with a range from 289 ± 15 mm (mean 95% confidence intervals) for the control plants to 236 ± 17 mm at 4000 ppm. The growth-retarding effect during the first day after the application was not significantly different between 500 and 4000 ppm, and concentration primarily affected the duration of growth-retarding activity. A dose response function was incorporated into a three-phase mathematical function of stem elongation of single-stem poinsettia to predict elongation of treated and untreated plants. The model was calibrated using a data set from plants receiving 0, 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000, and 4000 ppm, with a resulting R 2 of 0.99. Validation of the dose response model against an independent data set resulted in an r 2 of 0.99, and predicted final stem length was within 12 mm of observed final length.

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Jason Tutty and Peter Hicklenton

The rate of internodal extension of chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora Tzvelev. cv. Envy) under various temperature and photoperiod conditions was studied to determine whether reproducible diurnal patterns of growth existed and whether any such patterns conformed to an endogenous circadian rhythm. Stem growth was monitored continuously by means of linear displacement voltage transducers. At constant temperature and under 11 h light/13 h dark photoperiod, stem elongation followed a clearly defined pattern consisting of a peak in rate immediately after the dark to light transition and then a gradual decline until the start of the dark period. During darkness, elongation rate increased and reached a maximum approximately 8 hours after the light to dark transition. This pattern differed when light period temperature was either above or below dark period temperature, but these patterns were also highly reproducible. When plants were subjected to continuous light at constant temperature, the rhythm of stem elongation initially showed a periodicity of approximately 27 hours. After 2 or 3 diurnal cycles the rhythm was less distinct and the rate became essentially constant. Furthermore, the interruption of a long period of continuous light with a 13 h dark period did not restore the rhythm. These findings do not support the existence of an endogenous circadian rhythm of stem elongation. Diurnally-cued rhythms do, however, exist and can be modified by temperature.

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Jason Tutty and Peter Hicklenton

The rate of internodal extension of chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora Tzvelev. cv. Envy) under various temperature and photoperiod conditions was studied to determine whether reproducible diurnal patterns of growth existed and whether any such patterns conformed to an endogenous circadian rhythm. Stem growth was monitored continuously by means of linear displacement voltage transducers. At constant temperature and under 11 h light/13 h dark photoperiod, stem elongation followed a clearly defined pattern consisting of a peak in rate immediately after the dark to light transition and then a gradual decline until the start of the dark period. During darkness, elongation rate increased and reached a maximum approximately 8 hours after the light to dark transition. This pattern differed when light period temperature was either above or below dark period temperature, but these patterns were also highly reproducible. When plants were subjected to continuous light at constant temperature, the rhythm of stem elongation initially showed a periodicity of approximately 27 hours. After 2 or 3 diurnal cycles the rhythm was less distinct and the rate became essentially constant. Furthermore, the interruption of a long period of continuous light with a 13 h dark period did not restore the rhythm. These findings do not support the existence of an endogenous circadian rhythm of stem elongation. Diurnally-cued rhythms do, however, exist and can be modified by temperature.