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Photoperiodic Response of Commercial Calibrachoa Cultivars


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PHOTOPERIODIC RESPONSE OF COMMERCIAL CALIBRACHOA CULTIVARS By ERIKA MARY BERGHAUER A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by ERIKA MARY BERGHAUER

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This document is dedicated to the graduate students of the University of Florida.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank Dr. Jim Barrett for serving as my major advisor. His patience and sense of humor have made this experience enjoyable as well as educational. I will never forget the part he has played in developing my understanding of the horticulture industry and all of its inner workings. I thank Dr. Rick Schoellhorn for also playing such a large part of my experience at Florida. His alternative perspective has continually challenged me to notice the potential of the weeds. Also, thanks go to Dr. Robert Stamps and Dr. Allen Wysocki for serving on my supervisory committee and for the parts they have played in my professional development. Special thanks go to Ms. Carolyn Bartuska for her statistical analysis and experimental design expertise. I thank Robert Weidman for his plant growing knowledge and for keeping my experiments alive while I traveled. Lastly, I would like to thank my mom and dad. Their unconditional love and support have encouraged me to pursue my dreams. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................iv LIST OF FIGURES ..........................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT .....................................................................................................................viii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................3 Calibrachoa Classification and History........................................................................3 Classification.........................................................................................................3 Nomenclature History...........................................................................................3 Plant History.................................................................................................................4 Photoperiod...................................................................................................................5 Phytochrome.................................................................................................................9 Photoperiod and Calibrachoa......................................................................................11 Effects of Photoperiod and Temperature....................................................................12 Calibrachoa Culture and Landscape Importance........................................................16 3 CALIBRACHOAHYBRIDA CULTIVAR SCREEN.............................................18 Materials and Methods...............................................................................................18 Results and Discussion...............................................................................................21 4 FLOWERING RESPONSE OF CALIBRACHOAHYBRIDA CULTIVARS........35 Materials and Methods...............................................................................................36 Results and Discussion...............................................................................................39 5 CONCLUSIONS........................................................................................................46 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................49 v

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................53 vi

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1. Time to flower (days) from start of photoperiod treatments under 11, 12, 13, or 14-h (Expt. 1)....................................................................................................................24 2. Time to flower (days) under 11, 12, or 13-h photoperiod in a cool greenhouse at 18/24C......................................................................................................................28 3. Time to flower (days) under 11, 12, or 13-h photoperiod in a warm greenhouse at 24/29C......................................................................................................................29 4. Time to flower under natural day conditions started on 24 Jan, 3 Apr, or 2 Jun..........32 5. Days to flower under 14 h and to last flower under 8-h photoperiod............................40 6. Repeat days to flower under 14 h and to last flower under 8-h photoperiod................41 7. Weeks of long days (14 h) to initiate flowering...........................................................42 8. Days of long days (14 h) to initiate flowering..............................................................44 vii

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science PHOTOPERIODIC RESPONSE OF COMMERCIAL CALIBRACHOA CULTIVARS By Erika Mary Berghauer August, 2004 Chair: James Barrett Major Department: Environmental Horticulture The photoperiodic response of Calibrachoahybrida cultivars was screened in three experiments (Chapter 3). Experiment 1 tested the flowering response of 27 cultivars under 11, 12, 13, or 14-h photoperiods. Some cultivars (MiniFamous Lemon and Million Bells Terra Cotta) were less sensitive to photoperiod and flowered at 11 h, and other cultivars (Superbells White and Superbells Red) were more sensitive while requiring more than 12 h to flower. Under an inductive 14-h photoperiod, MiniFamous Light Blue and Superbells Red took longer to flower (32 to 39 days). MiniFamous Lemon and Million Bells Yellow flowered in 21 to 24 days. Experiment 2A and 2B examined the time to flower under cool and warm greenhouse conditions, respectively. Nine cultivars were given 11, 12, and 13-h photoperiods and grown in a cool greenhouse (18C night (N)/24C day (D)) or a warm greenhouse (24/29C (N/D)). Heat delay affects cultivars under a marginal photoperiod (e.g., flowering is delayed at 11-h photoperiod for MiniFamous Dark Red in a cool greenhouse and it does not flower at 11 h in a warm greenhouse). viii

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Comparison of time to flower for cultivars under natural-day photoperiods was made in experiment 3 while observing nine cultivars planted at different times during the year. On 24 Jan, natural-day photoperiod was only 10 h and 37 min. Some cultivars including Million Bells Cherry Pink and Million Bells Terra Cotta were less sensitive to photoperiod and flowered in <45 days, while Superbells White and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center were more sensitive and took >66 days to flower. The photoperiod on 2 Jun was 13 h 56 min (long enough to flower all cultivars) and differences in time to flower varied from 11 days for Million Bells Terra Cotta to 24 days for Superbells Red. Chapter 4 examines the flowering response of Calibrachoahybrida cultivars in more detail. Time to stop flowering under short days for three and five cultivars was determined in experiments 4A and 4B, respectively. Plants were flowered under long days (14 h) and moved to short days (8 h) until they stopped flowering. Three flowering responses were observed including 1. those that took a longer time to start flowering and went out of flower quickly (Million Bells Trailing White and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center); 2. those that flowered and stopped flowering in about the same time (Million Bells Cherry Pink); and 3. those that flowered faster and took longer to or did not stop flowering (Million Bells Terra Cotta and MiniFamous White Pink Star)(Figure 5 and 6). In experiments 5A and 5B, the number of inductive photoperiods needed to induce flowering were determined. Million Bells Cherry Pink and Million Bells Terra Cotta required less than 1 week of long-day photoperiods (14 h) to induce flowering whereas Million Bells Trailing White required more than 4 weeks (Figure 7). MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink did not flower with 3 days of inductive photoperiod but did flower with 6 days (experiment 5B). ix

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The current trend for something new and different has pushed plant breeder companies in the ornamental horticulture industry to introduce novel, vegetatively propagated plant material. On the leading end of this development, a plant known as wild petunia, seaside petunia, and/or Million Bells was introduced (Kartesz and Gandhi, 1989). Today this plant is better known by its genus name, Calibrachoa, and has become one of the most important vegetatively propagated annuals. In 1992, the first Calibrachoa cultivar was released by Suntory Ltd (Smith, 2002). Since then, there have been at least eight major breeding companies that have introduced hybrid Calibrachoa to the North American market which include: Goldsmith Plants, Ball FloraPlant, Bodger Botanicals, Suntory Ltd., Selecta First Class, Danziger, Twyford International, Inc., and Sakata, Inc. These companies have rapidly flooded the market with plants differing in flower color, plant habit, and photoperiod requirements. Flower color and plant habit are visible characteristics that can be easily determined. Photoperiod is more difficult to select for, because it is only expressed under specific environmental conditions. Since Calibrachoa has been described as a facultative long-day plant (Michel et al., 1999; Starman et al. 2001), it would be considered a distinct market advantage to select for less day-length sensitive Calibrachoahybrida. Researchers have briefly studied the photoperiodic response of Calibrachoa. These studies have selected a few cultivars and examined them under broad photoperiod ranges. Starman et al. (2001) gave C. hybrid Cherry Pink 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16-h photoperiods, 1

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2 but only reported that Calibrachoa is a facultative long-day plant. There are currently well over 100 cultivars being sold in the United States and the published research has barely identified the basic flowering response of Calibrachoa. The floriculture crop category that Calibrachoa falls into is spring or fall annual. This plant responds better to cooler environmental conditions and stops flowering in the summer heat and humidity (Armitage, 2001). Commercial Calibrachoa production is timed for early spring and fall sales when the natural photoperiod is short and may not induce flowering at the time of sale or during the in-ground growing season, respectively. To overcome short-day photoperiod, growers often light the crop for part of the production. In preliminary research it has been identified that Calibrachoa cultivars have demonstrated variability in their sensitivity to photoperiod. The following research was designed to screen several commercial Calibrachoa cultivars from different plant breeding companies for their response to day length under more specific photoperiod treatments; to evaluate how a flowering Calibrachoa responds to short days; and to identify the photoperiod requirement for flower initiation and development.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Calibrachoa Classification and History Classification Calibrachoahybrida classification includes the following: Kingdom: Plantae Subkingdom: Tracheobionta Superdivision: Spermatophyta Division: Magnoliophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Subclass: Asteridae Order: Solanales Family: Solanaceae Genus: Calibrachoa Llave & Lex (USDA, NRCS, 2004) Nomenclature History The genus Calibrachoa was established by La Llave and Lexarza in 1825 (Wijsman and de Jong, 1985) as a monotypic genus with the type species Calibrachoa procumbens. In 1911, Fries found it identical to Petunia parviflora Juss. and treated Calibrachoa as a synonym of the genus Petunia defined by Jussieu (Wijsman and de Jong, 1985). Wijsman and de Jong studied the taxonomy of Petunia and recognized two groups of species differentiating in several morphological characters that gave reason for generic separation. Two groups had been previously identified by Wijsman et al. (1983) where group 1 included two Petunia species with 14 chromosomes and group 2 included 3 Petunia species with 18 chromosomes. The 2n=18 plants were further described as: small shrubs, woody stems; leaves linear or linear-spatheolate, obtuse, sessile; flower 3

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4 limb white or purple with yellow or at least pale tube, one valve formed by two petals covering three petals (conduplicate aestivation); telomeric heterochromatin present; calyx lobes less deeply incised (pentafid); seed-coat walls with straight anticlinal walls (Wijsman and de Jong, 1985; Stehmann and Semir, 1997). It was not until 1990, that Wijsman resurrected the genus Calibrachoa, and transferred 15 species of Petunia sharing morphological characters similar to that of P. parviflora (2n=18 plants) to Calibrachoa. Thereafter, Stehmann and Semir (1997) transferred 10 more species of Petunia to Calibrachoa. The 25 described species included: C. calycina, C. caesia, C. dusenii, C. eglandulata, C. elegans, C. ericaefolia, C. excellens, C. hassleriana, C. heterophylla, C. humilis, C. linearis, C. linoides, C. macrodactylon, C. micrantha, C. ovalifolia, C. paranensis, C. parviflora, C. pygmea, C. regnellii, C. repestris, C. sellowiana, C. sendtneriana, C. serrulata, C. spathulata, C. thymifolia (Wijsman, 1990; Stehman and Semir, 1997). Plant History Except for one, Calibrachoa species occur in subtropical and temperate regions of eastern South America, from the Minas Gerais state of Brazil southwards to Uruguay, with the maximum abundance in the Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul states of Brazil. The exception is Calibrachoa parviflora, the type for the genus, occurring both in North and South America (Wijsman and de Jong, 1985). All species in Calibrachoa, except Calibrachoa parviflora, exhibit self-incompatibility (Tsukamoto et. al., 2002). Calibrachoa is not homogenus and comprises two distinct subgroups of species: subgroup 1, C. parviflora plus C. pygmaea, and subgroup 2, the rest of the species, based on interspecific cross-compatibility (Watanabe et al., 1997), seed morphology (Wantanabe et al., 1999), and nuclear DNA content

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5 (Mishiba et al., 2000). C. pygmaea is the sole species that can be crossed with C. parviflora (Watanabe et al., 1997). C. parviflora is a unique species exhibiting autogamy in the principally xenogamous genus Calibrachoa (Tsukamoto et. al., 2002). In 2001, Ando et al. identified that at least one species (Calibrachoa heterophylla) is bee pollinated. They also observed that C. heterophylla and C. parviflora exhibit diurnal opening and closing movements of the corolla lobes, and that the corolla lobes temporarily close when ambient temperatures reached 40C. Photoperiod Calibrachoa is a facultative long-day plant (Michel et al., 1999; Starman et al., 2001). Much of the terminology used in describing the flowering response to day length originally came from the early studies of Garner and Allard (1920). They understood that sexual reproduction in plants can be attained when the day length was favorable thus naming plants that flowered under day length conditions greater than 12 h long day plants (LDP), and short day plants (SDP) were ones that flowered with less than 12-h day lengths. Today, SDP are described as ones that only flower or flower more rapidly when the hours of light are less than a certain amount, and LDP are ones that only flower or flower more rapidly when the hours of light are greater than a certain amount (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Photoperiod as described by Garner and Allard (1920) is the favorable length of day for each organism, and photoperiodism is the response of an organism to the relative length of day and night. In their studies, Garner and Allard observed the flowering response by exposing several annuals and perennials to a minimum of 5 h of light per day to a maximum of 12 h per day. In addition to the flowering response, Garner and Allard (1923) demonstrated several other ways that plants respond to photoperiod.

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6 Apogeotropism (increase in stature) was observed in cosmos, bidens, and tobacco; enlarged roots as seen in radish; leaf resetting in beets; formation of bulbs and tubers in onion, potatoes, and artichoke; root growth observed in Biloxi soybean; pubescence on Amaranthus leaves; and pigment formation in poinsettia. Day-length responses are much less precise for long-day plants and also much less well understood (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). There are certain mechanisms and plant sensors that are involved in both LDP and SDP. Photoperiodic timekeeping is based on a circadian oscillator. Circadian clocks are roughly 24-hour cycles (dependant on ambient temperature), which reset spontaneously after completing each cycle. The timing mechanism can be signaled by several environmental changes including temperature, but the daily light/dark transitions at dawn and dusk seem to control the rhythm for day-length sensing. The periodicity and phase control of the oscillator may be regulated by the pigment phytochrome. Circadian rhythms in LDP have been observed in the promotion of flowering by far-red light (FR). One example is demonstrated by Vince-Peru (1975) where they observed the response of Lolium. In this study, they gave Lolium plants an 8 h natural day with a 40 h day length extension with red light (R). Four hours of FR was added at various times during the day length extension. They saw that the plant response to added FR varied in the form of a circadian rhythm with maxima response occurring at 8-10 and 35 h from the start of the photoperiod (Vince-Peru, 1975). Another rhythm was seen in the response to a night-break. Lolium was observed by Perilleux et al. (1994). After an 8 h day, the plants were given a 40 or 64 h dark period that was interrupted by 8 h R night-break at different intervals. Two peaks in

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7 response were observed under both dark periods, but light at 56 h into the 64 h dark period had a strong effect on flower promotion. The results indicate that the night-break rhythm may interact with both a rhythm of light sensitivity and the following photoperiod (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Early experiments attempting to determine the relationship of flowering and plant hormones was conducted by Hamner and Bonner (1938) using the short-day plant (SDP) Xanthium pennsylvanicum as the principal plant material. First, they placed defoliated and un-defoliated plants under short photoperiods. They observed that the un-defoliated plants had large flower buds and the defoliated plants remained vegetative. Next, they placed un-defoliated plants under long photoperiod (in excess of 18.5 h) and gave one leaf of these plants a short photoperiod (9 h). The results showed that one leaf under short days was enough to cause flowering. Hamner and Bonner also looked at two branched plants where one branch was defoliated and put under long photoperiods, and the other branch was left intact under short periods. It was observed that the entire plant initiated flower buds. They then performed experiments to determine the leaf stage of development required to sense photoperiod. It was found that mature leaves are much more effective than young leaves in perceiving photoperiod. Lastly, two Xanthium plants were approach grafted together and of one of the plants was given a short photoperiod while the other remained under a long photoperiod. Both plants flowered indicating that the floral stimulus is capable of moving from one plant to another. All of these experiments helped determine that mature leaves are required for photoperiod perception, the stimulus for floral initiation is translocated throughout the plant, and the floral stimulus can be transferred from one plant to another.

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8 Flower initiation and time to flower in long-day plant (LDP) is related to light quality and the timing of light treatments in the photoperiod (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Pringer and Cathey (1960) examined the effects of photoperiod and the kind of light on Petunia flowering. After an 8-h natural-day-length, they extended the day length given to two Petunia varieties with incandescent light (containing R+FR light) or fluorescent light (only R light). Both varieties flowered 2 to 3 weeks faster under the incandescent day light extension treatment. Vince (1965) studied the LDP Lolium temulentum and the promoting effect of far-red light by giving light treatments at different times in the photoperiod. In one experiment, red light was used as an 8-h day length extension at the beginning or end of an 8-h natural day. Both treatments resulted in some induction, but the red light extension at the beginning of the 8-h natural day resulted in strong flowering. Vince also observed that red light extension interrupted by far-red light after the 8-h natural day noticeably promoted flowering. This study and others support the conclusion that red light appears to be effective during the early part of long photoperiods and far-red light is important in the flower inductive response later in the photoperiod for long-day plants, which is a different response as compared to short day plants (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Two terms were presented to explain the different plant behaviors to light quality. Light dominant describes a plant where the change of spectral distribution during the light period influences flowering, and dark dominant refers to floral induction related to uninterrupted dark period. Light and dark dominant correspond to longand short-day plants in most cases (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997).

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9 Long-day plants respond to both day extension as well as night-break treatments by flowering (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). When the days are longer than a critical length, flowering is induced. Facultative long-day plants such as Calibrachoa and Petunia will flower faster as the day gets longer until the time reaches a particular day length where a longer day will not hasten flowering (Adams et al., 1998; Starman et al., 2001). This was shown by Adams et al. (1998) when they looked at the effect of photoperiod on the rate of flowering in petunia. Express Blush Pink petunia responded by flowering quicker as the photoperiod increased until a critical photoperiod of 14.3 h/d, and extending the day-length beyond this time did not further hasten flowering. The photoperiod above or below which the time to flower is minimal in facultative LDP is called the critical day length (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Critical day length is different for each plant species and sometimes different for cultivars within a species. Phytochrome The first action spectra for photoperiodic plants were obtained by using a spectrograph at the USDA laboratories in Beltsville, MD (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). SDP Glycine max cv. Biloxi and Xanthium strumarium (Parker et al., 1946), and LDP Hordeum vulgare (Borthwick et al., 1948) and Hyoscaymus niger (Parker et al., 1950) were given night-break treatments with very high intensity light during the middle of the night length for less than 25 minutes. The results showed that the action spectra for the four plants was very similar with the cutoff wavelengths longer than 720 nm, maximum effect on flowering (by initiation in LDP and prevention in SDP) in the red region between 600 and 660 nm, rapid change in sensitivity between 500 and 560, and minimum effect at 480 nm (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Absolute amount of energy required for a response between 600 and 660 nm was also very similar in all four plants

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10 which indicated that the same pigment was responsible in both SDP and LDP. This pigment was called phytochrome (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). It was later discovered that the floral induction effects of red light can be photoreversed by radiation in the 720-745 nm region given as the final exposure before darkness in the LDP Hordeum and Hyoscyamus (Downs, 1956). Phytochrome exists in two forms called Pr and Pfr. Red light is absorbed by the Pr form of phytochrome and is consequently converted to Pfr (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). The Pfr form is the active form that controls the photoperiodic response and promotes flowering in long-day plants. Far-red light, on the other hand, is absorbed by Pfr and consequently then converted to Pr. Phytochrome is synthesized in darkness as Pr which was the biologically inactive form. In addition to photoperiodic induction of flowering, phytochrome regulates almost every aspect of plant development from seed germination to flowering and senescence (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Phytochrome responses can be grouped under two categories including inductive responses and high-irradiance responses. Inductive responses are named because Pfr continues in darkness after the red light treatment has ceased, they are R/FR reversible, and they can be fulfilled by either light intensity or duration of exposure (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). High-irradiance responses include irradiance dependency, no reciprocity between light intensity and duration, and they react to light in the blue and FR parts of the spectrum (Mancinelli and Rabino, 1978). Phytochrome gene studies with Arabidopsis have identified five gene sequences and designated the sequences as: phyA, phyB, phyC, phyD, and phyE (Sharrock and Quail, 1989; Clack et al., 1994; Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). The discovery of these 5

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11 genes has led scientist to consider that these phytochromes may have different properties and functions (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). It is possible that more than one phytochrome can co-regulate the same photoperiodic response). Photoperiod and Calibrachoa The photoperiodic response of commercial Calibrachoa varieties has been briefly examined to date. Most of the research published has been information in trade journal magazines or abstracts from talks or posters presented at conferences. The earliest information on photoperiod and commercial Calibrachoa cultivars was presented at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science. Cutlan et al. (1997) gave photoperiod treatments of 9 h, ambient daylight (8 h) plus night interruption lighting (2200 to 0200 h), or ambient daylight plus continuous light to C. x hybrida Cherry Pink. They only reported that the continuous lighting resulted in the least days to anthesis. A study presented in a German journal by Michel et al. (1999) evaluated the influence of day length and quantity on flower induction for three Calibrachoa hybrids. The abstract described Million Bells Trailing Blue, Carillon Blue, and Carillon Rose as quantitative long-day plants that flowered in the shortest amount of time under 16 h daylight supplemented with fluorescent light at 500 Lux. In 2001, Starman et al. examined the response of C. hybrid Cherry Pink to different photoperiod treatments. Cherry Pink was grown under 8 h, 10 h, 12 h, 14 h, and 16-h photoperiods. They reported in the abstract that the cultivar flowered faster with increased day length and was described as a facultative long-day plant. Lastly, Colorburst Violet and Liricashowers Rose were propagated under short (8 h) days or long (8 h with 4 h of night-interruption lighting) days with either ambient or

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12 ambient plus supplemental HID lighting and transplanted to 10.2-cm pots (J.M. Dole, unpublished data). After transplant, they were moved to 16-h photoperiods. Long-day photoperiods reduced the number of days to flower for Colorburst Violet by 6 to 16 days and 2 to 7 days for Liricashowers Rose compared to the 8 h photoperiod. Both cultivars were described as long-day plants. Effects of Photoperiod and Temperature It has been demonstrated clearly in SDP poinsettia and chrysanthemum that temperature influences the critical day length (Cathy, 1963; Langhans and Larson, 1960; Langhans and Miller, 1960; Larson and Langhans, 1963; Parker et al., 1950; Whealy et al., 1987). The temperature effect on LDP flowering has been briefly considered in Petunia and Lupinus (Adams et al., 1998; Keeve et al., 1999; Pirnger and Cathey, 1960). For photoperiodic plants, the night temperature is more important than the day temperature. As the night temperature increases, the critical day length gets longer. There has not been any work published on the effects of photoperiod with high temperature on the time to flower in Calibrachoa. However, research on this topic has been conducted with Petunia (another member of Solanaceae). Pirnger and Cathey (1960) studied the effect of photoperiod, kind of supplemental light, and temperature on the growth and flowering of petunia plants. Ballerina was given photoperiod treatments of 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, or 16 h. After 8-h natural daylight, incandescent light was given to extend each photoperiod, or fluorescent light was given to extend one photoperiod to 16 h. They reported that petunia flowering can be hastened by long days with incandescent light. Day extension to 16 h with fluorescent light had less of an effect on time to flower than 12-h extension with incandescent light. The same variety was used for another part of the study where they considered the effects of four night temperatures (10, 16, 21, or

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13 27C) on flowering under 16-h photoperiods. Ballerina flowered 5 days earlier when grown at 27C night temperature compared to 21C night temperature. Adams et al. (1998) took the petunia research one step further and attempted to combine photoperiod, temperature, and PPF into a model to support production growers. In this research, Petuniahybrida Express Blush Pink grown under 8, 11, 14, or 17-h photoperiods and six air temperature regimes (minimum temperatures of 4, 10, 14, 18, 22, and 26C). These results also demonstrated that flowering was hastened with increasing photoperiod up to a critical photoperiod estimated at 14.3 h. Increasing temperature up to the optimum temperature of 24.3C, increased the rate of progress to flowering. Temperatures above the optimum temperature declined the rate of progress to flowering linearly. The figure describing the relationship between temperature, photoperiod, and the rate of progress to flowering is difficult to read making it problematical to determine the exact effect of high temperatures. The response of other long-day crops to photoperiod and temperature has been studied. Lupinus albus has been described as a long-day plant (Keeve et al., 1999). The influences of photoperiod, temperature, and genotype were investigated using the cultivars Tifwhite, Esta, and Kiev. These three cultivars were subjected to 8 or 16-h photoperiods at three temperature treatments of 10/20C (N/D), 18/28C (N/D), and 20C continuously. In the cold environment, all cultivars flowered earlier under the longer photoperiod. In the warm environment, Tifwhite flowered faster under 16-h photoperiod, but Esta and Kiev flowered more quickly under 8-h photoperiod. One possible explanation that Esta and Kiev flowered more quickly under 8-h photoperiod may be that they are more sensitive to high temperature treatments and therefore exhibit heat delay.

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14 Under 20C continuous treatment, all cultivars flowered earlier under 16-h photoperiod compared to 8-h. Besides long day plants, research on short day ornamental crops is helpful. The influence of temperature on flowering of the short-day-plant poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) has been examined carefully. Poinsettia cultivar Oak Leaf was transferred from 8-h photoperiod (after initiation) to a 12-h photoperiod and continued to flower normally where the same plants failed to continue to develop at 16-h photoperiods (Parker et al., 1950). Langhans and Larson (1960) studied Barbara Ecke Supreme and the effects of various combinations of N/D temperatures. The treatments included four temperatures (10, 16, 21, or 27C) and two photoperiods of 9-h and natural photoperiod (12 h and 15 minutes at the start of the experiment on 10 Oct, and 10 h and 25 minutes two months later). The plants under the 9-h photoperiod had visible buds before plants under natural days, except for three treatments. Plants given 16/27, 16/16, and 16/10C (N/D) had the same days to visible bud for both 9 h and natural photoperiod. In this study, the night temperature had more of an effect on the number of days to visible bud than the day temperatures. Twenty one and 27C night temperatures and natural photoperiod prevented or delayed flowering of Barbara Ecke Supreme. 10 and 16C night temperatures had less difference in flowering at natural day length. The 9 h inductive photoperiod reduced the effect of the night temperature (Langhans and Larson, 1960). In another experiment, Barbara Ecke Supreme, Eckes White, and Pink were given constant temperatures of 10, 16, 21, and 27C (Langhans and Miller, 1960). The standard photoperiods used were 8, 10, or 12 h for 20, 30, 40, 50, or 70 days. Additional temperatures and photoperiods were looked at including: 27C at 8.5, 9, and 9.5-h

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15 photoperiods; 21C at 10.5 and 11.5-h photoperiods; 16C at 11.5 h photoperiod; and 10C at 11.5 h photoperiod. The data indicated that there are two distinct phases in flowering poinsettia (initiation and development). Barbara Ecke Supreme produced a bud but no flower (no stamens appeared) when grown at 21C for 70 days with a 12-h photoperiod. Here the critical photoperiod and the number of short days required for flower initiation were fewer than for development. This same study demonstrates the effect of photoperiod on the number of short days required for flowering. When grown at 21C, Barbara Ecke Supreme flowered in 30 days under 8-h and 10-h photoperiod, 50 days under 11.5-h photoperiod, and no flowering occurred at 12-h photoperiod. The idea of flower bud initiation in poinsettia was further explored looking at the influence of temperature by Larson and Langhans (1963). A 9-h photoperiod was used for flower initiation at constant temperatures of 10, 16, 18, 21, and 27C. The shoot apicies were examined microscopically. Under constant temperatures 27 and 10C, flower initiation is retarded. Initiation occurred in 16 days at 21C, 18 days at 65 and 16C, 24 days at 10C, and 30 days at 27C. Another short day crop that has been observed for temperature affects on flowering is chrysanthemum. Using a 9-h photoperiod and factorial experiment of 4, 10, 16, 21, and 27C of both day and night temperatures, Cathey (1963) found that flowering time is influenced by the night temperature. This agrees with conclusions made by Langhans and Larson (1960) with poinsettias. A 21C night temperature resulted in plants flowering within 11 days of each other for 4, 10, 16, 21, and 27C days. A 21C day temperature resulted in plants flowering within 36 days of each other for 4, 10, 16, 21, and 27C

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16 nights. The higher the night and day temperature, the less time necessary for visible bud, but continuous high temperature lengthened the period between visual bud expansion and the flower opening. Floral development in chrysanthemum has been looked at more closely by Whealy et al. (1987) in relation to high temperature. Heat delay is the occurrence of delayed flowering attributed to high temperatures during production. Two cultivars were used in this study to represent a high temperature sensitive plant (Orange Bowl) and a high temperature tolerant plant (Surf). The plants were grown under 9-h photoperiods in a cool chamber at 18/22C and a warm chamber 26/30C (N/D). Flower development was observed from the start of short days using a scanning electron microscope. High temperatures delayed flower initiation and differentiation in Orange Bowl. As the high temperature exposure increased, the number of days to color and open flower increased. The experiment conclusions state that high temperatures during the photoinductive period enhanced vegetative growth and retarded floral development. Calibrachoa Culture and Landscape Importance Information for growing and propagating Calibrachoa are well documented. Calibrachoa is vegetatively propagated by cuttings (Ball FloraPlant, 2004; Smith, 2002). When rooting, the soil temperature should be sustained at 20C and fertilized with N at 75 mgL -1 as roots begin to develop. Calibrachoa is sensitive to iron deficiency. Maintaining a soilless meduim pH of 5.2 and 5.8 will maximize the availability of iron to the plants. The media should dry slightly between watering to avoid root diseases (Ball FloraPlant, 2004). Smith (2002) recommends that rooted cuttings can be planted placing 3 liners per 20.3 or 25.4-cm container, or one liner per 10.2 to 15.24-cm pot. A soft pinch at planting

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17 can create better branching. Calibrachoa requires high light during production and N at 200 mgL -1 for fertilization that can be administered through constant liquid feed. Calibrachoa is a good host for aphids and susceptible to pythium.. A fungicide drench at planting can help prevent pythium. Temperature during production should be 10-14C/21-24C (N/D) (Ball FloraPlant, 2004). Higher temperatures will cause poor branching, unwanted stem stretch, and reduced flowering. Ball FloraPlant suggests N at 250 to 300 mgL-1 while growing on, pinching 1 to 2 weeks after transplant, and one plant per pot for 10.2-cm, one to three plants per pot for 15.2-cm, and four to five plants per pot for 25.4 to 30.5-cm containers which is higher, later, and more plants per pot than the Smith (2002) recommendations. Calibrachoa is a groundcover by nature and usually doesnt grow much taller than 6 inches tall (Armitage, 2001). They can be used in the landscape or in baskets/containers where they trail down the sides. Calibrachoa is cold tolerant and can survive the winter in USDA zone 7 and warmer. High temperatures and humidity can delay flowering in the hot summer months of July and August (Armitage, 2001).

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CHAPTER 3 CALIBRACHOAHYBRIDA CULTIVAR SCREEN Calibrachoa, a vegetatively propagated annual/perennial, is a relatively new floriculture crop. The photoperiodic responses for Calibrachoa has not been thoroughly reported. Cutlan et al. (1997), with only one cultivar, used photoperiods of 9 h, ambient daylight (~8 h) plus night interruption lighting (2200-0200 h), or ambient daylight with continuous light and reported that time to anthesis was the shortest for plants grown under the continuous lighting treatments. Starman et al. (2001) studied the response of one cultivar under 8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 h and reported C. hybrid Cherry Pink as a facultative long-day plant. These studies only scratch the surface of the photoperiod response of Calibrachoa because there are over 100 cultivars currently on the market that have not been evaluated and the photoperiods used in the research are not very specific (the photoperiods are 2 h or more different). Calibrachoa cultivars have demonstrated some variability in sensitivity to photoperiod (unpublished research). Information on a crops sensitivity to day length is helpful to greenhouse growers when scheduling crop time to insure plants are in flower at the appropriate time for marketing. The following research was designed to screen numerous commercial Calibrachoa cultivars from different plant breeding companies for their response to day length under more specific photoperiod treatments. Materials and Methods Experiment 1. Comparison of time to flower for different cultivars under varying photoperiods. Rooted cuttings of 27 cultivars of Calibrachoa were obtained from four 18

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19 plant breeding companies between 7 Jun and 14 Jun 2002. The cuttings were planted in 11.4-cm pots using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 soilless growing medium (Agawam, MA), and given a hard pinch. These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of 24/31C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1630 to 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized at every irrigation with Peters Professional Florida Special water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 150 mgL -1 On 27 Jun 2002, the plants were pinched a second time. Day length treatments of 11 h, 12 h, 13 h, or 14 h were started on 11 Jul 2002. Photoperiods were provided by covering plants with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which provided not less than 1Em -2 s -1 from 1630 until 1930, 2030, 2130, and 2230 hours, respectively. The number of days to first open flower was recorded. An open flower was counted when the petals opened to expose the tube. There were eight plants per treatment. This experiment was terminated on 10 Sep 2002. Data were analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and calculating the standard errors. Experiment 2A and 2B. Time to flower in cool (2A) or warm (2B) greenhouse conditions. Cultivars for this experiment were selected from Experiment 1 based on their photoperiodic response to provide one or two representatives from each of the six response groups. Nine cultivars of Calibrachoa (MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Terra Cotta, Superbells Pink, Million Bells Trailing Blue, Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center) were established as stock plants and grown under 8-h day-lengths.

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20 Cuttings from these plants were also rooted under 8-h day lengths. Rooted cuttings were planted on 7 Jan 2003 in 11.4-cm pots using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA) and hard pinched on 15 Jan 2003. These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of 20-22/23-25C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized at every irrigation with Peters Professional Florida Special water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 150 mgL -1 and hard pinched on 15 Jan 2003. Day-length treatments of 11 h, 12 h, or 13 h were started on 23 Jan 2003. Photoperiods were provided by covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which provided not less than 1Em -2 s -1 from 1630 until 1930, 2030, and 2130 hours, respectively. Plants for experiment 2A were placed in a greenhouse where the temperatures were 18/24C (N/D) on 23 Jan 2003. Plants for experiment 2B were placed in a greenhouse where the temperatures were 24/29C (N/D) on 23 Jan 2003. Each temperature was a separate experiment with three photoperiod treatments and twelve plants per treatment. The number of days to first open flower was recorded. The experiments were terminated on 4 Apr 2003. Data were analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and calculating the standard errors. Experiment 3. Comparison of time to flower for different cultivars under natural day lengths. Nine cultivars of Calibrachoa (MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Terra Cotta, Superbells Pink, Million Bells Trailing Blue, Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center) were established as stock plants and grown under 8-h day-lengths. Cuttings were

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21 also rooted under 8-h day-lengths. Rooted cuttings were planted on 7 Jan, 21 Mar, and 19 May 2003 in 11.4-cm pots using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA). These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of 22/27C from 7 Jan to 14 May and 23/30C (N/D) from 19 May to 27 Jun 2003, and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized at every irrigation with Peters Professional Florida Special water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 150 mgL -1 and hard pinched on 15 Jan, 28 Mar, or 26 May 2003, respectively. Natural day-length treatments were started on 24 Jan, 3 Apr, and 2 Jun 2003. Natural-day photoperiods at the start of the treatments determined by sunrise to sunset time or civil twilight beginning to end time were 10 h 37 min. or 11 h 27 min., 12 h 32 min. or 13 h 8 min., and 13 h 56 min or 14 h 56 min. respectively. The number of days to first open flower was recorded. The research was terminated on 22 Apr, 14 May, and 27 Jun 2003, respectively. Data were analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and calculating the standard errors. Results and Discussion Experiment 1. Comparison of time to flower for different cultivars under varying photoperiods. There were differences in how the cultivars responded to the four photoperiod treatments (Figure 1) and the cultivars can be grouped into six different types of responses. For MiniFamous Yellow Lilac, MiniFamous Lemon, and Million Bells Terra Cotta the number of days to flower was not affected by the four photoperiod treatments. For a second group (MiniFamous White Pink Star, Superbells Salmon Coral, Superbells Pink, and Superbells 11), time to flower was not affected by the 12-h, 13-h, and 14-h photoperiods, but they took longer to flower under the 11-h photoperiod.

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22 MiniFamous Rose Pink, MiniFamous Dark Red, and Million Bells Trailing Blue are a third group where they did not flower under 11-h photoperiod in the duration of this experiment. Time to flower for these cultivars was not affected by the 12-h, 13-h, and 14-h photoperiod treatments. A fourth group, MiniFamous Light Blue, Superbells 51, Million Bells Trailing Pink, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center, did not flower under 11-h photoperiod, took longer to flower under 12-h day length, and were not affected by the 13-h and 14-h photoperiod. Million Bells Trailing White and Superbells White make up a fifth group. They did not flower under 11-h or 12-h photoperiods, but time to flower was not different under 13-h and 14-h photoperiod. Superbells Red exhibited a sixth response. It did not flower at 11-h or 12-h photoperiod and flowered faster under 14-h than under 13-h photoperiod. These data support the conclusions of Michel et al. (1999) and Starman et al. (2001) that Calibrachoahybrida is a facultative long-day plant which was clearly confirmed by response groups 2, 4, and 6 which take longer to flower under one photoperiod compared to another. Figure 1 demonstrates the variability of flowering for different cultivars. The four photoperiod treatments show that some cultivars are less sensitive (those that flower at 11 h) and some cultivars are more sensitive (those that need more than 12 h to flower). The critical photoperiod (shortest day length required for the fastest flowering (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997)) for Calibrachoa cultivars as seen here can be between <11 h to 13 h or possibly 14 h. All the Calibrachoa cultivars flowered at 14-h photoperiod, but there was a 19-day difference in the time to flower at that photoperiod (Figure 1). MiniFamous Lemon was

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23 the first to flower taking only 21 days to flower. MiniFamous Yellow Lilac, MiniFamous Light Pink, and Million Bells Yellow also flowered quickly in 22 to 24 days from the start of long day treatment. Million Bells Trailing White took the longest to flower at 39 days, while MiniFamous Light Blue, Superbells Red, and Liricashower Pink at 32 to 34 days were also slow to flower. Differences in the time to flower are also shown in Figure 1. Some cultivars took longer and flowered at 32 to 39 days under 14-h photoperiod where as others only took 20 to 24 days. Fourteen hours met the photoperiod requirement for flowering, so the response can be attributed to differences in the time requirement for flower initiation, flower development, or both.

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24 01020304050MiniFamousRose PinkMiniFamousYellow LilacMiniFamousWhiteMiniFamousDark RedMiniFamousApricotMiniFamousLight PinkMiniFamousWhite Pink StarCultivarTime to flower (days) 11 h 12 h 13 h 14 h NFNFzzzzz z z Figure 1. Time to flower (days) from start of photoperiod treatments under 11, 12, 13, or 14-h (Expt. 1). A column replaced by NF indicates that the cultivar did not flower at the given photoperiod. z indicates not all plants flowered: MiniFamous Yellow Lilac had 7 of 8 plants flower for 13-h and 14-h photoperiods: MiniFamous White had 7 of 8 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod: MiniFamous Dark Red had 6 of 8 plants flower for 12-h and 7 of 8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiods: MiniFamous Apricot had 7 of 8 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod: and MiniFamous Light Pink had 7 of 8 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod.

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25 0102030405060MiniFamousLight BlueMiniFamousLemonMiniFamousCherry PinkMillion BellsTrailing WhiteMillion BellsTerra CottaMillion BellsYellowSuperbellsSalmon CoralCultivarTime to flower (days) 11 h 12 h 13 h 14 h NFNFNFzzzzzzzzzz Figure 1. (continued). z indicates not all plants flowered: MiniFamous Light Blue had 5 of 8 plants flower for 12-h, 6 of 8 plants flower for 13-h, and 6 of 8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiods: MiniFamous Lemon had 7 of 8 plants flower for 11-h and 7 of 8 plants flower for 13-h photoperiods: MiniFamous Cherry Pink had 5 of 8 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod: Million Bells Trailing White had 4 of 8 plants flower for 13-h and 7 of 8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiods: Million Bells Terra Cotta had 7 of 8 plants flower for 12-h photoperiod: and Superbells Salmon Coral had 5 of 7 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod.

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26 01020304050Superbells PinkSuperbells 51Superbells 11Million BellsTrailing PinkMillion BellsTrailing BlueSuperbellsWhiteSuperbells RedCultivarTime to flower (days) 11 h 12 h 13 h 14 h NFNFNFNFNFNFNFzzzzzzz Figure 1. (continued). z indicates not all plants flowered: Superbells Pink had 7 of 8 plants flower for 13-h photoperiod: Superbells 51 had 4 of 8 plants flower for 12-h photoperiod: Superbells 11 had 7 of 8 plants flower for 11-h and 12-h photoperiods: Superbells White had 7 of 8 plants flower for 13-h photoperiod: and Superbells Red had 6 of 8 plants flower for 13-h and 7 of 8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiods.

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27 01020304050Spring Fling YellowLavender Blue withWhite CenterVelvet Rose withYellow CenterRed with YellowCenterLiricashower PinkCoralburstLavender YellowCultivarTime to flower (days) 11 h 12 h 13 h 14 h NFNFNFNFNF z zzzzzz z zNFzzz z Figure 1. (continued). z indicates not all plants flowered: Spring Fling Yellow had 4 of 8 plants flower for 11-h and 14-h, and 6 of 8 plants flower for 12-h and 13-h photoperiod: Velvet Rose with Yellow Center had 4 of 8 plants flower for 12-h and 7 of 8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiod: Red with Yellow Center had 1 of 8 plants flower for 12-h, 7 of 8 plants flower for 13-h, and 5 of 8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiods: Liricashower Pink had 6 of 8 plants flower for 12-h and 13-h, and 7 of 8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiod: and Coralburst Lavender Yellow had 7 of 8 plants flower for 12-h photoperiod. Experiment 2A Time to flower in cool greenhouse conditions. Million Bells Cherry Pink and Million Bells Terra Cotta were not affected by the 11-h and 12-h photoperiods, and flowered slightly quicker at 13-h photoperiod (Figure 2). MiniFamous Dark Red and MiniFamous White Pink Star were delayed at 11-h and flowered quicker at 12-h and 13-h photoperiods. Superbells Pink and Million Bells Trailing Blue did not flower under 11-h, and flowered quicker under 13-h photoperiod than 12 h. Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow only flowered at 13-h photoperiod.

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28 Experiment 2B. Time to flower in warm greenhouse conditions. Million Bells Terra Cotta flowered at 11-h, faster at 12-h, and slightly faster at 13-h photoperiods (Figure 3). MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink also flowered at 11-h, faster at 12-h, and slightly faster at 13-h photoperiods, but the delay in flowering at 11 h was 14 days where as Million Bells Terra Cotta was only delayed 1 or 2 days. MiniFamous Dark Red, Superbells Pink, and Million Bells Trailing Blue did not flower at 11-h photoperiod, and were not affected by 12-h and 13-h photoperiods. Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow did not flower at 11-h or 12-h, and did flower at 13-h day lengths. 01020304050607080MiniFamousDark RedMiniFamousWhite PinkStarMillion BellsCherry PinkMillion BellsTerra CottaSuperbellsPinkMillion BellsTrailing BlueSuperbellsWhiteSuperbellsRedVelvet Rosewith YellowCenterCultivarTime to flower (days) 11 h 12 h 13 h NFNFzNFNFzNFNFNFNFzzz Figure 2. Time to flower (days) under 11, 12, or 13-h photoperiod in a cool greenhouse at 18/24C. A column replaced by NF indicates that the cultivar did not flower at the given photoperiod. z indicates not all plants flowered: MiniFamous White Pink Star had 10 of 12 plants flower for 13-h photoperiod: Superbells Pink had 3 of 12 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod: Superbells White had 1 of 12 plants flower for 12-h photoperiod: Superbells Red had 8 of 12 plants flower for 13-h photoperiod: and Velvet Rose with Yellow had 1 of 12 plants flower for 12-h photoperiod.

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29 01020304050607080MiniFamousDark RedMiniFamousWhite PinkStarMillion BellsCherry PinkMillion BellsTerra CottaSuperbellsPinkMillion BellsTrailing BlueSuperbellsWhiteSuperbellsRedVelvet Rosewith YellowCenterCultivarTime to flower (days) 11 h 12 h 13 h NFNFNFNFNFNFzNFNFzNFNFz Figure 3. Time to flower (days) under 11, 12, or 13-h photoperiod in a warm greenhouse at 24/29C. A column replaced by NF indicates that the cultivar did not flower at the given photoperiod. z indicates not all plants flowered: Superbells Pink had 4 of 12 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod: Superbells Red had 1 of 12 plants flower for 12-h photoperiod: and Velvet Rose with Yellow had 1 of 12 plants flower for 12-h photoperiod. Cultivars were selected for experiments 2A and 2B based on their photoperiodic responses to experiment 1. The results for experiment 2A and 2B are similar with regards to flowering under the photoperiod treatment to those seen in experiment 1, except when a cultivar had delayed flowering at a certain photoperiod. Figure 2 and 2B show that Superbells Pink and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center did not flower at 12-h photoperiod where Figure 1 shows that they did flower at 12 h, but they were delayed. The results from experiments 2A and 2B show differences in the cultivars that can be attributed to the greenhouse temperatures. The term heat delay refers to the phenomenon of high temperatures delaying flowering. In poinsettias (Larson and

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30 Langhans, 1963) and chrysanthemums (Whealy et al., 1987), this response is primarily due to an increase in the time to flower initiation. MiniFamous Dark Red flowered at 11-h photoperiod in the cool greenhouse (Figure 2) but did not flower at 11-h photoperiod in the high temperature house (Figure 3). The idea of heat delay appears most clearly under a marginal photoperiod (e.g. flowering is delayed at 11 h day length for MiniFamous Dark Red in a cool greenhouse). The temperature effect is seen in Superbells White and Superbells Red where the plants flowered in 40 to 46 days under 13-h in the cool greenhouse compared to 55 to 68 days in the warm greenhouse. It has been shown in poinsettias that high temperature (27C) delays flower bud initiation (Larson and Langhans, 1963). Here they microscopically observed poinsettia apices to determine flower bud initiation. Heat effects on flower bud initiation was also observed in chrysanthemum by Whealy et al. (1987). Meristem transition to the reproductive state was reported to be delayed under high temperatures (26/30C N/D) when observed under an electron microscope. Typically, a cultivar that is less sensitive to photoperiod such as MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Terra Cotta, and Million Bells Trailing Blue flowered faster (Figure 3) under 14-h photoperiod and warm conditions. The same cultivars in a cool greenhouse (Figure 2) took longer to flower because plant development is slower at cool temperatures. This is shown in Petunia where flowering is hastened by increasing temperatures up to the optimum temperature (Adams et al., 1998). Heat delay is an important concept for greenhouse growers in warm production climates. The cultivars that are sensitive to heat delay may not perform the same for a grower in a cool climate as for a grower in a warm climate. As example, Million Bells

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31 Terra Cotta would be a better fit for Florida commercial operations than MiniFamous Dark Red. Experiment 3. Comparison of time to flower for different cultivars under natural-day photoperiods. In commercial production, often growers do not control photoperiods for spring crops and early flowering cultivars under natural-day conditions is important. Million Bells Terra Cotta flowered the quickest at each of the three experiment dates (Figure 4) which is consistent with the flowering response in experiments 1, 2A, and 2B. Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center took longer to flower than the other cultivars at more than 65 days in the 24 Jan experiment date, flowered in 33 days (similar to all the other cultivars) at the 3 Apr experiment date, and took only 23 days to flower at the 2 Jun experiment date which is slightly longer to flower compared to the other cultivars. In the 3 Apr treatment, all the cultivars flowered in 28 to 34 days and the differences between varieties was much less than the other two experiment times.

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32 0102030405060708090MiniFamousDark RedMiniFamousWhite PinkStarMillion BellsCherry PinkMillion BellsTerra CottaSuperbellsPinkMillion BellsTrailing BlueSuperbellsWhiteSuperbellsRedVelvet Rosewith YellowCenterCultivarTime to flower (days) ND 24 Jan. ND 3 Apr. ND 2 June zz Figure 4. Time to flower under natural day conditions started on 24 Jan, 3 Apr, or 2 Jun. z indicates not all plants flowered: MiniFamous Dark Red and Superbells Red had 9 of 10 plants flower at 3 Apr experiment date. Results from Experiment 1 are helpful in interpreting the information in Figure 4. MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Terra Cotta, and Superbells Pink flowered in less than 45 days for the 24 Jan experiment date at 34 to 44 days (Figure 4) and they also flowered in less than 30 days at 14-h photoperiod in experiment 1 (Figure 1). The photoperiod during late January and February is between 11.5 h to 12 h and these cultivars are also ones that seem to have a critical photoperiod between 11 h and 12 h (Figure 1). Superbells White and Superbells Red have a longer development period (Figure 1) and also require a day length longer than 12 h to flower (Figure 1), which helps explain why they took longer to flower under the natural-day photoperiod for the 24 Jan experiment date. Greenhouse growers

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33 producing plants for early spring and growing under natural days would be better off with the cultivars that flower the fastest under the shorter days of winter (Figure 4). All the cultivars flowered between 28-32 days at the 3 Apr experiment date (Figure 4). At this time, the day length was 12 h 32 min. and getting longer to 13 h and 37 min. by the end of the experiment. The photoperiod at the start of the experiment was long enough or marginal for the critical photoperiod requirement of all cultivars. The plant responses for the 3 Apr experiment date do not demonstrate the variability in photoperiodic response or the differences in time to flower. According to the results shown in experiment 1, experiment 2, and the other two natural day photoperiod treatments, Calibrachoa has a variable flowering response. There is not a clear explanation for the un-variable response for the 3 Apr experiment date. These results could be attributed to greenhouse temperatures or light levels during the experiment that may be favorable to some cultivars (Superbells White, Superbells Red, or Velvet Rose with Yellow Center) and unfavorable to other cultivars (Million Bells Cherry Pink or Million Bells Terra Cotta) thus causing them to flower just 4 days apart from one another. The 2 Jun experiment date confirmed the differences in the time to flower as seen in experiment 1 (Figure 1). At this date, the photoperiod was getting close to 14 h which fulfilled the photoperiod requirement and the plants were being pushed to grow with warm temperatures and high light. Million Bells Terra Cotta flowered quickly in just 10 to 12 days; MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, and Superbells Pink took longer at 12 to 18 days; and Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Trailing Blue, Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center took even longer at 21 to 23 days.

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34 The two plant flowering responses as seen in experiment 1 are also demonstrated in experiment 3. Results from the 24 Jan experiment date show that the natural-day photoperiod was not long enough for flowering Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center because they took much longer (>20 days) to flower compared to the next slowest cultivar Million Bells Trailing Blue (Figure 4). When the day length was long enough to meet the photoperiod requirements for all cultivars at the 2 Jun experiment date, variability in the time required for flower development was shown. MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Terra Cotta, and Superbells Pink all took less than 18 days to flower where Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Trailing Blue, Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center took longer (>21 days)(Figure 4).

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CHAPTER 4 FLOWERING RESPONSE OF CALIBRACHOAHYBRIDA CULTIVARS Chapter 3 confirmed that Calibrachoa is a facultative long-day plant as stated by Starman et al. (2001). The research presented in Chapter 3 expounded on Starmans research by examining more cultivars and additional photoperiods and demonstrated that there are large differences in the critical photoperiod between cultivars. In commercial production often it is desired to provide long-day photoperiods for a short time to fulfill the photoperiod requirement and then go back to short or natural days. Cultivars are needed that stay in flower after going back under non-inductive photoperiods. Day-length requirements for flower initiation and flower development appear to be different. This phenomenon has been looked at previously in poinsettias but not Calibrachoa. The poinsettia cultivar Oak Leaf was transferred from 8-h photoperiod (after initiation) to a 12-h photoperiod and continued to flower normally where the same plants failed to continue to develop at 16-h photoperiod (Parker et al., 1950). Barbara Ecke Supreme grown at 21C for 70 days under 12 h photoperiods, produced a bud and never flowered, which indicated that the critical day length was longer and the number of short days was fewer for initiation than development (Langhans and Miller, 1960). These studies address the above mentioned plant responses for Calibrachoa. The following research was designed to evaluate how a flowering Calibrachoa responds to short days and to identify the photoperiod requirement required for flower initiation and development. 35

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36 Materials and Methods Experiment 4A. Time to stop flowering under short days. Three cultivars of Calibrachoa (Million Bells Trailing White, Million Bells Cherry Pink, and Million Bells Terra Cotta) were obtained from a commercial propagator on 10 Jun 2002, planted in 4.05 L containers using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA), and given a hard pinch. These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of 24/32C and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized at every irrigation with Peters Professional Florida Special water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 150 mgL -1 On 5 July, 2002, the plants were pinched again. Starting on 11 July, 2002, photoperiods were provided covering plants with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which provided not less than 1Em -2 s -1 from 1630 until 2230 hours. On 9 Sept., 2002 the photoperiod was changed to 8-h (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours), and the average greenhouse temperature was lowered to 23/28C (N/D). There were eight plants per treatment. This experiment was terminated on 8 Nov 2002. The number of days to first open flower after the start of long days and time from start of short days to last flower was recorded. Data were analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and calculating the standard errors. Experiment 4B. Repeat time to stop flowering under short days. Five cultivars of Calibrachoa (MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Superbells White, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center) were established as stock plants and grown under 8-h day length. Cuttings were also rooted under 8-h day lengths. Rooted cuttings were planted on 20 Oct 2003 in 15.2-cm pots using sphagnum peat based

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37 Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA) and these plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of 17/23C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1430 until 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized at every irrigation with Peters Professional Florida Special water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 200 mgL -1 and pinched on 3 Nov 2003. Photoperiod of 14 h was started on 18 Nov 2003 provided by covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which provided not less than 1Em -2 s -1 from 1630 until 2230 hours. On 14 Jan 2004 the 14 h photoperiod treatment was stopped and the photoperiod was changed to 8-h (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours). There were twelve plants per treatment. The number of days to first open flower after the start of long days and time from start of short days to last flower was recorded. This experiment was terminated on 10 Mar 2004. Data were analyzed by calculating means and standard errors. Experiment 5A. Number of inductive photoperiods needed to induce flowering. Rooted cuttings of three cultivars of Calibrachoa (Million Bells Trailing White, Million Bells Cherry Pink, and Million Bells Terra Cotta) were obtained from a commercial propagator on 10 Jun 2002, planted in 11.4-cm pots using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA), and given a hard pinch. These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of 24/31C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1430 until 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized every irrigation with Peters Professional Florida Special water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 150 mgL -1 On

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38 5 July, 2002, the plants were pinched again. Photoperiod treatment of 14 h was started on 11 July, 2002. The photoperiod was provided by covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which provided not less than 1Em -2 s -1 from 1630 until 2230 hours. On 18 July, 25 July, 1 Aug, and 8 Aug 2002 the 14-h treatment was stopped and the photoperiod was changed to 8-h (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours) to provide treatments with inductive photoperiods for 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks. There were four to eight plants of each cultivar in each group. The number of days to first open flower after the start of long days was recorded. This experiment was terminated on 10 Sept., 2002. Data was analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and calculating the standard errors. Experiment 5B. Number of inductive photoperiods needed to induce flowering. Five cultivars of Calibrachoa (MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Superbells White, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center) were established as stock plants and grown under 8-h day length. Cuttings were also rooted under 8-h day lengths. Rooted cuttings were planted on 20 Oct 2003 in 11.4-cm pots using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA) and given a hard pinch on 3 Nov 2003. These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of 17/23C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1430 until 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized every irrigation with Peters Professional Florida Special water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 200 mgL -1 Photoperiod treatment of 14 h was started on 18 Nov 2003 provided by covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs

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39 which provided not less than 1Em -2 s -1 from 1630 until 2230 hours. Plants were given inductive photoperiods for 0, 3, 6, 9, or 12 days. On the appropriate date, the photoperiod was changed to 8-h (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours). There were 12 plants of each cultivar in each group. The number of days to first open flower after the start of long days was recorded. The experiment was terminated on 14 Jan 2004. Data was analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and calculating the standard errors. Results and Discussion Experiment 4A. Time to stop flowering under short days. The number of days to first flower under an inductive 14 h day-length is one important plant response as seen in experiments 1, 2, and 3. The response of flowering plants to short-day conditions (8 h) is shown in experiment 4A (Figure 5). Of the three cultivars, Million Bells Trailing White took the longest time (about 45 days) to start flowering under 14-h photoperiods, and when moved to 8-h photoperiods, it stopped flowering in 28 days. Million Bells Cherry Pink had a different response: it started flowering in just 27 days and stopped flowering 31 days after being moved to the non-inductive photoperiod. Million Bells Terra Cotta had yet another response where it took 34 days to start flowering, but stayed in flower longer (53 days) then the other cultivars under 8-h photoperiods.

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40 0102030405060Million Bells Trailing WhiteMillion Bells Cherry PinkMillion Bells Terra CottaCultivarTime (days) First Flower Last Flower Figure 5. Days to flower under 14 h and to last flower under 8-h photoperiod. Experiment 4B. Repeat Time to stop flowering under short days. The number of days under 8 h non-inductive photoperiods to stop flowering fluctuated from 24 days to >56 days (Figure 6). MiniFamous White Pink Star was still flowering when the experiment was terminated 56 days after the plants were shifted to the 8 h photoperiod. Superbells White, Velvet Rose with Yellow, and MiniFamous Dark Red were similar to Million Bells Trailing White in experiment 4. They took a relatively long time to start flowering (at least 42 days) and then stopped flowering quickly (24-25 days). Million Bells Cherry Pink was the only cultivar used in both experiment 4A and 4B and its response was similar in the two experiments.

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41 0102030405060MiniFamous Dark RedMiniFamous WhitePink StarMillion Bells CherryPinkSuperbells WhiteVelvet Rose withYellowCultivarTime (days) First Flower Last Flower NLFzz Figure 6. Repeat days to flower under 14 h and to last flower under 8-h photoperiod. A column replaced by NLF indicates that MiniFamous White Pink Star did not stop flowering before the experiment was terminated. z indicates not all plants flowered: Velvet Rose with Yellow had 9 of 12 plants flower and stop flowering. Since many Calibrachoa do not naturally flower during the winter and early spring, many commercial operations use lights to provide long days during propagation, which may be about 4 weeks. Then the plants are often grown out to flower under natural days. Also, in warm climates Calibrachoa may be produced in the late summer or fall for use during the cooler months. These plants may be produced when the natural photoperiod is inductive and then planted in the landscape when natural photoperiods are too short. In this situation, a cultivar that stayed in flower for a long time without long days would be favorable. The three basic responses seen in experiment 4A and 4B are important for commercial operations where lighting is used to provide long days and where Calibrachoa is produced for fall sales. Million Bells Terra Cotta and MiniFamous

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42 White Pink Star are examples of desirable Calibrachoa cultivars because the plants will stay in flower for longer durations if the natural photoperiod is non-inductive. Experiment 5A. Number of inductive photoperiods needed to induce flowering. In commercial situations where lighting is used to provide long days, cultivars that require fewer inductive photoperiods for flowering are important. Million Bells Cherry Pink and Million Bells Terra Cotta plants given 1 week of long days flowered as quickly as did those given LD for longer periods (Figure 7). However, Million Bells Trailing White did not flower when given 4 weeks of LD. None of the cultivars flowered with zero weeks of LD. 0102030405060Million Bells Trailing WhiteMillion Bells Cherry PinkMillion Bells Terra CottaCultivarTime to flower (days) 1 Wk 2 Wks 3 Wks 4 Wks NFNFNFNFzzzzzzzz Figure 7. Weeks of long days (14 h) to initiate flowering. A column replaced by NF indicates that the cultivar did not flower at the given photoperiod. No plants flowered at 0 weeks of long days. z indicates not all plants flowered: Million Bells Trailing White had 1 of 8 plants flower at 4 weeks of long days. Million Bells Cherry Pink had 5 of 8 plants flower at 2 weeks, 6 of 8 plants flower at 3 and 4 weeks of long days. Million Bells Terra Cotta had 1 of 8 plants flower at 0 weeks, 5 of 8 plants flower at 1 week, 6 of 8 plants flower at 2 weeks, 7 of 8 plants flower at 3 weeks, and 4 of 8 plants flower at 4 weeks of long days.

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43 Experiment 5B. Repeat number of inductive photoperiods needed to induce flowering. Since two of the three cultivars in experiment 4A flowered as quickly with 7 (one week) inductive photoperiods as with 28 inductive photoperiods, the number of inductive photoperiods given in this experiment were reduced. MiniFamous Dark Red, Superbells White, and Velvet Rose with Yellow did not flower under any of the LD conditions (Figure 8). For MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink six inductive cycles were enough to initiate flowering, but three were not. Million Bells Cherry Pink was in both experiments and once the number of long days photoperiods were adequate to induce flowering there is little effect increasing the number of long days. For Million Bells White Pink Star, 12 long days produced slightly faster flowering than six or nine long days.

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44 0102030405060MiniFamous Dark RedMiniFamous WhitePink StarMillion Bells CherryPinkSuperbells WhiteVelvet Rose withYellowCultivarTime to flower (days) 3 Days 6 Days 9 Days 12 Days NFNFNFNFNFNFNFNFNFNFNFNFNFNFzzz Figure 8. Days of long days (14 h) to initiate flowering. A column replaced by NF indicates that the cultivar did not flower at the given photoperiod. No plants flowered at 0 weeks of long days. z indicates not all plants flowered: MiniFamous White Pink Star had 11 of 12 plants flower at 6 and 9 days of long days. Million Bells Cherry Pink had 11 of 12 plants flower at 6 days of long days. The results from experiments 5A and 5B demonstrate that some cultivars require fewer consecutive long days to promote flowering. MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, and Million Bells Terra Cotta require 6 or 7 days under 14 h to develop flowers whereas MiniFamous Dark Red, Superbells White, and Velvet Rose with Yellow need more than 12 days (Figure 7 and Figure 8). There was evidence in experiment 5B, that indicated there may be a long day requirement for flower initiation and also a long day requirement for continued flower development. MiniFamous Dark Red had visible buds that then aborted on plants that received 6, 9, and 12 long days. Likewise, Superbells White and Velvet Rose with Yellow had visible aborted buds on plants that received 12 long days. A similar response

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45 was seen in poinsettias. Barbara Ecke Supreme grown at 21C for 70 days under 12 h photoperiods, produced a bud and never flowered, which indicated that the critical day length was longer and the number of short days was fewer for initiation than development (Langhans and Miller, 1960). Flowering Calibrachoa had a variable response to short days and also had different photoperiod requirements for the number of long days to cause flowering which depended on the cultivar. Experiments 4A and 4B showed that the number of short-day photoperiods can sometimes vary by more than 32 days to stop flowering. Million Bells Trailing White required more than 4 weeks of long-day photoperiods to initiate flowering whereas MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink required 6 days to cause flowering (Figure 7 and Figure 8).

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CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS The popularity of Calibrachoa as a new floriculture crop has created a need for better production and crop culture information. Flowering is one of the most important physiological processes to understand because that is what drives commercial sales. This research was designed to screen numerous commercial Calibrachoa cultivars for their response to day length under more specific photoperiod treatments; to evaluate how a flowering Calibrachoa responds to short days; and to identify the photoperiod requirement for flower initiation and development. Experiment 1 compared 27 commercial Calibrachoa cultivars to 11, 12, 13 or 14-h photoperiods and identified six different response types. Ideally, commercial cultivars would be more like group 1 where the days to flowering was not affected by the four photoperiod treatments and less like group 6 where Superbells Red did not flower at 11 or 12-h photoperiod and flowered slower under 13-h photoperiod than at 14 h (Figure 1). Besides differences in the critical photoperiod requirement, the diversity in days to flower under an inductive photoperiod was identified. Some cultivars flowered in 32 to 39 days whereas others took only 20 to 24 days (Figure 1). Variable response time to day-length treatments makes scheduling difficult for commercial greenhouse growers. Someone in Florida trying to produce Calibrachoa for early spring sales would not be able to naturally flower varieties that require 12 h or 13 h day lengths. Flowers at the time of sale encourage consumers to buy plants and therefore, this grower would benefit from a variety that had a less sensitive photoperiod 46

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47 requirement. Variable flowering response would also affect a grower in the north that is trying to ship plants south for the early spring season. This grower needs to supply long days with supplemental lighting in order to finish Calibrachoa plants with flowers. Lighting increases the cost of production and there is a need to identify those cultivars that either do not require artificial long days or that need less lighting. Time to flower under an inductive photoperiod (14 h) is important for commercial production scheduling. Growers take into account the length of time needed to finish a crop in flower. Having all varieties flower in the same number of days under an inductive photoperiod makes production easier for greenhouse growers. Differences in Calibrachoa cultivars attributed to greenhouse temperature is demonstrated in Experiments 2A and 2B. High temperatures can delay flowering as reported in poinsettia and chrysanthemum (Larson and Langhans, 1963; Whealy et al., 1987). Superbells White and Superbells Red exhibit heat delay by taking longer to flower in a warm greenhouse than a cool greenhouse. This is an especially important concept for commercial greenhouse growers in warm areas. Early flowering cultivars under natural-day conditions are important for commercial producers that do not control photoperiods. Experiment 3 identifies quicker flowering cultivars for early production. When Calibrachoa is screened by plant breeders before plant introduction, they could select for early flowering and incorporate these plants into their breeding lines. The response of a flowering plant when shifted to non-inductive, short-day photoperiods is explained in Experiment 4A and 4B. There are three ways that Calibrachoa cultivars tend to respond including: cultivars that come into flower and go

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48 out of flower quickly; some that come into flower and stop flowering in the same amount of time or slightly longer time to go out of flower; and also cultivars that flower and stay in flower for a long time. The cultivars that stay in flower the longest would be beneficial to commercial operations that buy in induced liners and finish plants under non-inductive, natural-day photoperiods. These cultivars would also be good for production in the fall when photoperiods are becoming shorter. Lastly, Experiments 5A and 5B demonstrate that some cultivars require fewer consecutive long days to promote flowering. The photoperiod requirements for MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink were met after just 6 inductive photoperiods for both flower initiation and flower development. Aborted flower buds gave evidence that 6, 9, or 12 days were long enough for flower initiation for MiniFamous Dark Red, but not for flower development. Further research with Calibrachoa should be considered. Flower initiation and flower development would be interesting physiological responses to examine because Calibrachoa seems to be similar to poinsettia and chrysanthemum in that different cultivars have varying photoperiod requirements. Microscopic meristem observations would fill a gap in current floricultural crop research because there is little published information on long-day plants. With this, additional research on heat delay of plants grown in controlled temperature growth chambers could be studied. Again, the current research is somewhat limited and would benefit from close apical investigations.

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LIST OF REFERENCES Adams, S.R., Hadley, P. and Pearson, S. (1998) The effects of temperature, photoperiod, and photosynthetic photon flux on the time to flowering of petunia Express Blush Pink. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 123(4): 577-580. Ando, T., Nomura, M., Tsukahara, J., Watanabe, H., Kokubun, H., Tsukamoto, T., Hashimoto, G., Marchesi, E., and Kitching, I.J. (2001) Reproductive isolation in a native population of Petunia sensu Jussieu (Solanaceae). Ann. Bot. 88: 403-413. Armitage, A.M. (2001) All-star annuals. Horticulture 98(1): 38-42. Ball FloraPlant. (2004) Starlette calibrachoa culture information. http://ballseed.com/media/culture/BFP Ball Horticultural Co., West Chicago, IL 60185-2698 USA. 05/10/04. Borthwick, H.A., Hendricks, S.B. and Parker, W.M. (1948) Action spectrum for the photoperiodic control of floral initiation of a long day plant, Wintex barley (Hordeum vulgare). Bot. Gaz. 110: 103-118. Cathy, H.M. (1963) Chrysanthemum temperature study. F. The effect of temperature upon the critical photoperiod necessary for the initiation and development of flowers of Chrysanthemum morifolium. Pro. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 69: 485-491. Clack, T., Mathews, S. and Sharrock, R.A. (1994) The phytochrome apoprotein family in Arabidopsis is encoded by 5 genes the sequences and expression of phyd and phye. Plant Mol. Bio. 25: 413-427. Cutlan, A., Erwin, J.E., Huntington, H. and Huntington, J. (1997) Photoperiod and temperature affect Lamium, Scaevola, Verbena, and Calibrachoa. HortScience 32(3): 466. Downs, R.J. (1956) Photoreversability of flower initiation. Plant Physiol. 31: 279-284. Garner, W.W. and Allard, H.A. (1920) Effect of the relative length of day and night and other factors of the environment on growth and reproduction in plants. J. Agr. Res. 18: 553-606. Garner, W.W. and Allard, H.A. (1923) Further studies on photoperiodism, the response of plants to relative length of day and light. J. Agr. Res. 23: 871-920. 49

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50 Hamner, K.C. and Bonner, J. (1938) Photoperiodism in relation to hormones as factors in floral initiation and development. Bot. Gaz. 100: 388-431. Kartesz, J.T. and Gandhi, K.N. (1989) Nomenclatural notes for the North American flora I. Phytologia. 55(10): 461-467. Keeve, R., Kruger, G.H.J., Loubser, H.L. and Van Der Mey, J.A.M. (1999) Effect of temperature and photoperiod on the development of Lupinus albus L. in a controlled environment. J. Agro. Crop Sci. 183: 217-223. Langhans, R.W. and Larson, R.A. (1960) The influence of day and night temperatures on the flowering of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). Pro. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 75: 748-752. Langhans, R.W. and Miller, R.O. (1960) Influence of the day length, temperature, and number of short days on the flowering of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). Pro. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 75: 753-760. Larson, R.A. and Langhans, R.W. (1963) The influences of temperature on flower bud initiation in poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). Pro. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 82: 552-556. Mancinelli, A.L. and Rabino, I. (1978) The high irradiance-response of plant photomorphogenesis. Bot. Rev. 44: 129-180. Michel, S., Ludolph, D. and Bessler, B. (1999) Even Surfinia responds to day length and light quantity. TASPO-Gartenbaumagazin 8(2): 14-16. Mishiba, K., Ando, T., Mii, M., Watanabe, H., Kokubun, H., Hashimoto, G., and Marchesi, E. (2000) Nuclear DNA content as an index discriminating taxa in the genus Petunia sensu Jussieu (Solanaceae). Ann. Bot. 85: 665-673. Parker, M.W., Hendricks, S.B., Borthwick, H.A. and Scully, N.J. (1946) Action spectrum for the photoperiodic control of floral initiation of short-day plants. Bot. Gaz. 108: 1-26. Parker, M.W., Brothwick, H.A. and Rappleye, L.E., (1950) Photoperiod responses of poinsettias. Flor. Ex. 115(20): 49-50. Perilleux, G., Bernier, G. and Kinet, J.-M. (1994) Circadian rhythms and the induction of flowering in the long-day grass Lolium temulentum L. Plant Cell Environ. 17: 755-761. Pringer, A. and Cathey, H.M. (1960) Effect of photoperiod, kind of supplemental light and temperature on the growth and flowering of petunia plants. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 76: 649-660.

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51 Sharrock, R.A. and Quail, P.H. (1989) Novel phytochrome sequences in Aradopsis thaliana; structure, evolution and differential expression of a plant regulatory photoreceptor family. Genes Develop. 3: 1745-1757. Smith, T.M. (2002) Production guidelines for some new crops. http://www.umass.edu/umext/floriculture/fact_sheets/specific_crops/newcrops.html U Mass Extension, Amherst, MA 01003 USA. 05/10/04. Starman, T.W., Bartel, A.L. and Onken, H.K. (2001) Seven vegetative annual cultivars. HortScience 36(3): 592. Stehmann, J.R. and Semir, J. (1997) A new species and new combinations in Calibrachoa (Solanaceae). Novon. 7: 417-419. Thomas, B. and Vince-Peru, D. (1997) Photoperiodism in Plants. Second edition. Academic Press, San Diego, California. Tsukamoto, T., Ando, T., Wantanabe, H.K., Kokubun, H., Hashimoto, G., Sakazaki, U., Suarez, E., Marchesi, E., Oyama, K. and Kao, T. (2002) Differentiation in the status of self-incompatibility among Calibrachoa species (Solanaceae). J. Plant Res. 115: 185-193. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA, NRCS). (2004) The PLANTS database, version 3.5. http://plants.usda.gov National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. 05/10/04. Vince, D. (1965) The promoting effect of far-red light on flowering in the long-day plant Lolium temulentum. Physiol. Plant. 18: 474-482. Vince-Peru, D. (1975) Photoperiodism in Plants. McGraw-Hill, Maidenhead. Watanabe, H., Ando, T., Iida, S., Buto, K., Tsukamoto, T., Kokubun, H., Hashimoto, G. and Marchesi, E. (1997) Cross-compatibility of Petunia pubescens and P. pygmaea with native taxa of Petunia. J. Jpn. Soc. Hort. Sci. 66: 607-612. Watanabe, H., Ando, T., Nishino, E., Kokubun, H., Tsukamoto, T., Hashimoto, G. and Marchesi, E. (1999) Three groups of species in Petunia sensu Jussieu (Solanaceae) inferred from the intact seed morphology. Am. J. Bot. 86: 302-305. Whealy, C.A., Nell, T.A., Barrett, J.E. and Larson, R.A. (1987) High temperature effects on growth and floral development of chrysanthemum. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 112(3): 464-468. Wijsman, H.J.W. (1990) On the inter-relationships of certain species of Petunia VI. New names for the species of Calibrachoa formerly included into Petunia (Solanaceae). Acta Bot. Neerl. 39(1): 101-102.

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52 Wijsman, H.J.W. and de Jong, H.J. (1985) On the interrelationships of certain species of Petunia IV. Hybridization between P. linearis and P. calycina and nomenclatorial consequences in the Petunia group. Acta Bot. Neerl. 34(3): 337-349. Wijsman, H.J.W., de Jong, J.H. and Pedersen, T.M. (1983) On the interrelationships of certain species of Petunia III. The position of P. linearis and P. calycina. Acta Bot. Neerl. 32: 323-332.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Erika Mary Berghauer was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1977. She attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in May, 2000. While working on her B.S. degree, she worked as an assistant gardener for a private home, a woody plant salesperson at a retail garden center, interned for a wholesale nursery, and worked as an assistant flower breeder. After the University of Minnesota, she interned as a cultural researcher for a plant breeding company and a plant science intern in Florida. Next, she was introduced to the University of Florida by accepting a research assistant position. Erika started working on her Master of Science degree in January, 2002. 53


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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0007015/00001

Material Information

Title: Photoperiodic Response of Commercial Calibrachoa Cultivars
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0007015:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0007015/00001

Material Information

Title: Photoperiodic Response of Commercial Calibrachoa Cultivars
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0007015:00001


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Full Text












PHOTOPERIODIC RESPONSE OF COMMERCIAL CALIBRACHOA CULTIVARS


By

ERIKA MARY BERGHAUER


















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004

































Copyright 2004

by

ERIKA MARY BERGHAUER
































This document is dedicated to the graduate students of the University of Florida.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank Dr. Jim Barrett for serving as my major advisor. His patience and sense of

humor have made this experience enjoyable as well as educational. I will never forget

the part he has played in developing my understanding of the horticulture industry and all

of its inner workings. I thank Dr. Rick Schoellhorn for also playing such a large part of

my experience at Florida. His alternative perspective has continually challenged me to

notice the potential of "the weeds." Also, thanks go to Dr. Robert Stamps and Dr. Allen

Wysocki for serving on my supervisory committee and for the parts they have played in

my professional development.

Special thanks go to Ms. Carolyn Bartuska for her statistical analysis and

experimental design expertise. I thank Robert Weidman for his plant growing knowledge

and for keeping my experiments alive while I traveled.

Lastly, I would like to thank my mom and dad. Their unconditional love and

support have encouraged me to pursue my dreams.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF FIGURES .............................................. vii

A B S T R A C T ..................................................................................................................... v iii

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ................................................. .............................................. .


2 LITER A TU R E R EV IEW .................................................................... ...............3...

Calibrachoa Classification and H history ..................................................3...
C la ssificatio n ................................................................................................. 3
N om enclature H history .......................................... ......................... ...............3...
Plant H history .............. ................................................ .................... ...... .. ...........4
P h o to p erio d .......................................................................................................... 5
Phytochrom e ............................................................................... .......... ................... .9
P hotoperiod and C alibrachoa....................................... ....................... .................. 11
Effects of Photoperiod and Temperature..................................................... 12
Calibrachoa Culture and Landscape Importance .................................................. 16

3 CALIBRACHOAxHYBRIDA CULTIVAR SCREEN .................. ..................... 18

M materials an d M eth o d s ............................................................................................... 18
R results and D discussion ................ .............. ............................................ 21

4 FLOWERING RESPONSE OF CALIBRACHOAxHYBRIDA CULTIVARS........35

M materials an d M eth o d s ...............................................................................................3 6
R results and D discussion ................ .............. ............................................ 39

5 C O N C L U SIO N S .................................................. .............................................. 46


L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ... ........................................................................ ................ 49



v









BIO GR APH ICAL SK ETCH .................................................................... ................ 53
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

1. Time to flower (days) from start of photoperiod treatments under 11, 12, 13, or 14-h
(E x p t. 1 ) ................................................................................................................. ... 2 4

2. Time to flower (days) under 11, 12, or 13-h photoperiod in a cool greenhouse at
1 8 /2 4 C ................................................................................................................. .... 2 8

3. Time to flower (days) under 11, 12, or 13-h photoperiod in a warm greenhouse at
2 4 /2 9 C .................................................................. ................................................ ... 2 9

4. Time to flower under natural day conditions started on 24 Jan, 3 Apr, or 2 Jun..........32

5. Days to flower under 14 h and to last flower under 8-h photoperiod.........................40

6. Repeat days to flower under 14 h and to last flower under 8-h photoperiod .............41

7. Weeks of long days (14 h) to initiate flowering. .....................................................42

8. Days of long days (14 h) to initiate flowering ........................................................44















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

PHOTOPERIODIC RESPONSE OF COMMERCIAL CALIBRACHOA CULTIVARS

By

Erika Mary Berghauer

August, 2004

Chair: James Barrett
Major Department: Environmental Horticulture

The photoperiodic response of Calibrachoaxhybrida cultivars was screened in

three experiments (Chapter 3). Experiment 1 tested the flowering response of 27

cultivars under 11, 12, 13, or 14-h photoperiods. Some cultivars (MiniFamous Lemon

and Million Bells Terra Cotta) were less sensitive to photoperiod and flowered at 11 h,

and other cultivars (Superbells White and Superbells Red) were more sensitive while

requiring more than 12 h to flower. Under an inductive 14-h photoperiod, MiniFamous

Light Blue and Superbells Red took longer to flower (32 to 39 days). MiniFamous

Lemon and Million Bells Yellow flowered in 21 to 24 days.

Experiment 2A and 2B examined the time to flower under cool and warm

greenhouse conditions, respectively. Nine cultivars were given 11, 12, and 13-h

photoperiods and grown in a cool greenhouse (18C night (N)/24C day (D)) or a warm

greenhouse (24/29C (N/D)). Heat delay affects cultivars under a marginal photoperiod

(e.g., flowering is delayed at 11-h photoperiod for MiniFamous Dark Red in a cool

greenhouse and it does not flower at 11 h in a warm greenhouse).









Comparison of time to flower for cultivars under natural-day photoperiods was

made in experiment 3 while observing nine cultivars planted at different times during the

year. On 24 Jan, natural-day photoperiod was only 10 h and 37 min. Some cultivars

including Million Bells Cherry Pink and Million Bells Terra Cotta were less sensitive to

photoperiod and flowered in <45 days, while Superbells White and Velvet Rose with

Yellow Center were more sensitive and took >66 days to flower. The photoperiod on 2

Jun was 13 h 56 min (long enough to flower all cultivars) and differences in time to

flower varied from 11 days for Million Bells Terra Cotta to 24 days for Superbells Red.

Chapter 4 examines the flowering response of Calibrachoaxhybrida cultivars in

more detail. Time to stop flowering under short days for three and five cultivars was

determined in experiments 4A and 4B, respectively. Plants were flowered under long

days (14 h) and moved to short days (8 h) until they stopped flowering. Three flowering

responses were observed including 1. those that took a longer time to start flowering and

went out of flower quickly (Million Bells Trailing White and Velvet Rose with Yellow

Center); 2. those that flowered and stopped flowering in about the same time (Million

Bells Cherry Pink); and 3. those that flowered faster and took longer to or did not stop

flowering (Million Bells Terra Cotta and MiniFamous White Pink Star)(Figure 5 and 6).

In experiments 5A and 5B, the number of inductive photoperiods needed to

induce flowering were determined. Million Bells Cherry Pink and Million Bells Terra

Cotta required less than 1 week of long-day photoperiods (14 h) to induce flowering

whereas Million Bells Trailing White required more than 4 weeks (Figure 7).

MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink did not flower with 3 days of

inductive photoperiod but did flower with 6 days (experiment 5B).














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The current trend for something new and different has pushed plant breeder

companies in the ornamental horticulture industry to introduce novel, vegetatively

propagated plant material. On the leading end of this development, a plant known as

'wild petunia,' 'seaside petunia,' and/or 'Million Bells' was introduced (Kartesz and

Gandhi, 1989). Today this plant is better known by its genus name, Calibrachoa, and has

become one of the most important vegetatively propagated annuals.

In 1992, the first Calibrachoa cultivar was released by Suntory Ltd (Smith, 2002).

Since then, there have been at least eight major breeding companies that have introduced

hybrid Calibrachoa to the North American market which include: Goldsmith Plants, Ball

FloraPlant, Bodger Botanicals, Suntory Ltd., Selecta First Class, Danziger, Twyford

International, Inc., and Sakata, Inc. These companies have rapidly flooded the market

with plants differing in flower color, plant habit, and photoperiod requirements. Flower

color and plant habit are visible characteristics that can be easily determined.

Photoperiod is more difficult to select for, because it is only expressed under specific

environmental conditions. Since Calibrachoa has been described as a facultative long-

day plant (Michel et al., 1999; Starman et al. 2001), it would be considered a distinct

market advantage to select for less day-length sensitive Calibrachoaxhybrida.

Researchers have briefly studied the photoperiodic response of Calibrachoa. These

studies have selected a few cultivars and examined them under broad photoperiod ranges.

Starman et al. (2001) gave C. hybrid 'Cherry Pink' 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16-h photoperiods,









but only reported that Calibrachoa is a facultative long-day plant. There are currently

well over 100 cultivars being sold in the United States and the published research has

barely identified the basic flowering response of Calibrachoa.

The floriculture crop category that Calibrachoa falls into is spring or fall annual.

This plant responds better to cooler environmental conditions and stops flowering in the

summer heat and humidity (Armitage, 2001). Commercial Calibrachoa production is

timed for early spring and fall sales when the natural photoperiod is short and may not

induce flowering at the time of sale or during the in-ground growing season, respectively.

To overcome short-day photoperiod, growers often light the crop for part of the

production.

In preliminary research it has been identified that Calibrachoa cultivars have

demonstrated variability in their sensitivity to photoperiod. The following research was

designed to screen several commercial Calibrachoa cultivars from different plant

breeding companies for their response to day length under more specific photoperiod

treatments; to evaluate how a flowering Calibrachoa responds to short days; and to

identify the photoperiod requirement for flower initiation and development.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Calibrachoa Classification and History

Classification

Calibrachoaxhybrida classification includes the following:

Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Superdivision: Spermatophyta
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Calibrachoa Llave & Lex
(USDA, NRCS, 2004)

Nomenclature History

The genus Calibrachoa was established by La Llave and Lexarza in 1825

(Wijsman and de Jong, 1985) as a monotypic genus with the type species Calibrachoa

procumbens. In 1911, Fries found it identical to Petunia parviflora Juss. and treated

Calibrachoa as a synonym of the genus Petunia defined by Jussieu (Wij sman and de

Jong, 1985). Wijsman and de Jong studied the taxonomy of Petunia and recognized two

groups of species differentiating in several morphological characters that gave reason for

generic separation. Two groups had been previously identified by Wijsman et al. (1983)

where group 1 included two Petunia species with 14 chromosomes and group 2 included

3 Petunia species with 18 chromosomes. The 2n=18 plants were further described as:

small shrubs, woody stems; leaves linear or linear-spatheolate, obtuse, sessile; flower









limb white or purple with yellow or at least pale tube, one valve formed by two petals

covering three petals (conduplicate aestivation); telomeric heterochromatin present; calyx

lobes less deeply incised (pentafid); seed-coat walls with straight anticlinal walls

(Wijsman and de Jong, 1985; Stehmann and Semir, 1997).

It was not until 1990, that Wij sman resurrected the genus Calibrachoa, and

transferred 15 species of Petunia sharing morphological characters similar to that of P.

parviflora (2n=18 plants) to Calibrachoa. Thereafter, Stehmann and Semir (1997)

transferred 10 more species of Petunia to Calibrachoa. The 25 described species

included: C. calycina, C. caesia, C. dusenii, C. eglandulata, C. elegans, C. ericaefolia, C.

excellent, C. hassleriana, C. heterophylla, C. humilis, C. linearis, C. linoides, C.

macrodactylon, C. micrantha, C. ovalifolia, C. paranensis, C. parviflora, C. pygmea, C.

regnellii, C. repestris, C. sellowiana, C. sendtneriana, C. serrulata, C. spathulata, C.

thymifolia (Wijsman, 1990; Stehman and Semir, 1997).

Plant History

Except for one, Calibrachoa species occur in subtropical and temperate regions of

eastern South America, from the Minas Gerais state of Brazil southwards to Uruguay,

with the maximum abundance in the Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul states of

Brazil. The exception is Calibrachoaparviflora, the type for the genus, occurring both in

North and South America (Wijsman and de Jong, 1985).

All species in Calibrachoa, except Calibrachoa parviflora, exhibit self-

incompatibility (Tsukamoto et. al., 2002). Calibrachoa is not homogenus and comprises

two distinct subgroups of species: subgroup 1, C. parviflora plus C. pygmaea, and

subgroup 2, the rest of the species, based on interspecific cross-compatibility (Watanabe

et al., 1997), seed morphology (Wantanabe et al., 1999), and nuclear DNA content









(Mishiba et al., 2000). C. pygmaea is the sole species that can be crossed with C.

parviflora (Watanabe et al., 1997). C. parviflora is a unique species exhibiting autogamy

in the principally xenogamous genus Calibrachoa (Tsukamoto et. al., 2002).

In 2001, Ando et al. identified that at least one species (Calibrachoa heterophylla)

is bee pollinated. They also observed that C. heterophylla and C. parviflora exhibit

diurnal opening and closing movements of the corolla lobes, and that the corolla lobes

temporarily close when ambient temperatures reached 40C.

Photoperiod

Calibrachoa is a facultative long-day plant (Michel et al., 1999; Starman et al.,

2001). Much of the terminology used in describing the flowering response to day length

originally came from the early studies of Gamer and Allard (1920). They understood that

sexual reproduction in plants can be attained when the day length was favorable thus

naming plants that flowered under day length conditions greater than 12 h "long day"

plants (LDP), and "short day" plants (SDP) were ones that flowered with less than 12-h

day lengths. Today, SDP are described as ones that only flower or flower more rapidly

when the hours of light are less than a certain amount, and LDP are ones that only flower

or flower more rapidly when the hours of light are greater than a certain amount (Thomas

and Vince-Peru, 1997).

Photoperiod as described by Gamer and Allard (1920) is the favorable length of

day for each organism, and photoperiodism is the response of an organism to the relative

length of day and night. In their studies, Gamer and Allard observed the flowering

response by exposing several annuals and perennials to a minimum of 5 h of light per day

to a maximum of 12 h per day. In addition to the flowering response, Garner and Allard

(1923) demonstrated several other ways that plants respond to photoperiod.









Apogeotropism (increase in stature) was observed in cosmos, bidens, and tobacco;

enlarged roots as seen in radish; leaf resetting in beets; formation of bulbs and tubers in

onion, potatoes, and artichoke; root growth observed in Biloxi soybean; pubescence on

Amaranthus leaves; and pigment formation in poinsettia.

Day-length responses are much less precise for long-day plants and also much

less well understood (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). There are certain mechanisms and

plant sensors that are involved in both LDP and SDP. Photoperiodic timekeeping is

based on a circadian oscillator. Circadian clocks are roughly 24-hour cycles dependantt

on ambient temperature), which reset spontaneously after completing each cycle. The

timing mechanism can be signaled by several environmental changes including

temperature, but the daily light/dark transitions at dawn and dusk seem to control the

rhythm for day-length sensing. The periodicity and phase control of the oscillator may be

regulated by the pigment phytochrome.

Circadian rhythms in LDP have been observed in the promotion of flowering by

far-red light (FR). One example is demonstrated by Vince-Peru (1975) where they

observed the response of Lolium. In this study, they gave Lolium plants an 8 h natural

day with a 40 h day length extension with red light (R). Four hours of FR was added at

various times during the day length extension. They saw that the plant response to added

FR varied in the form of a circadian rhythm with maxima response occurring at 8-10 and

35 h from the start of the photoperiod (Vince-Peru, 1975).

Another rhythm was seen in the response to a night-break. Lolium was observed

by Perilleux et al. (1994). After an 8 h day, the plants were given a 40 or 64 h dark

period that was interrupted by 8 h R night-break at different intervals. Two peaks in









response were observed under both dark periods, but light at 56 h into the 64 h dark

period had a strong effect on flower promotion. The results indicate that the night-break

rhythm may interact with both a rhythm of light sensitivity and the following photoperiod

(Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997).

Early experiments attempting to determine the relationship of flowering and plant

hormones was conducted by Hamner and Bonner (1938) using the short-day plant (SDP)

Xanthium pennsylvanicum as the principal plant material. First, they placed defoliated

and un-defoliated plants under short photoperiods. They observed that the un-defoliated

plants had large flower buds and the defoliated plants remained vegetative. Next, they

placed un-defoliated plants under long photoperiod (in excess of 18.5 h) and gave one

leaf of these plants a short photoperiod (9 h). The results showed that one leaf under

short days was enough to cause flowering. Hamner and Bonner also looked at two

branched plants where one branch was defoliated and put under long photoperiods, and

the other branch was left intact under short periods. It was observed that the entire plant

initiated flower buds. They then performed experiments to determine the leaf stage of

development required to sense photoperiod. It was found that mature leaves are much

more effective than young leaves in perceiving photoperiod. Lastly, two Xanthium plants

were approach grafted together and of one of the plants was given a short photoperiod

while the other remained under a long photoperiod. Both plants flowered indicating that

the floral stimulus is capable of moving from one plant to another. All of these

experiments helped determine that mature leaves are required for photoperiod perception,

the stimulus for floral initiation is translocated throughout the plant, and the floral

stimulus can be transferred from one plant to another.









Flower initiation and time to flower in long-day plant (LDP) is related to light

quality and the timing of light treatments in the photoperiod (Thomas and Vince-Peru,

1997). Pringer and Cathey (1960) examined the effects of photoperiod and the kind of

light on Petunia flowering. After an 8-h natural-day-length, they extended the day length

given to two Petunia varieties with incandescent light (containing R+FR light) or

fluorescent light (only R light). Both varieties flowered 2 to 3 weeks faster under the

incandescent day light extension treatment.

Vince (1965) studied the LDP Lolium temulentum and the promoting effect of far-

red light by giving light treatments at different times in the photoperiod. In one

experiment, red light was used as an 8-h day length extension at the beginning or end of

an 8-h natural day. Both treatments resulted in some induction, but the red light

extension at the beginning of the 8-h natural day resulted in strong flowering. Vince also

observed that red light extension interrupted by far-red light after the 8-h natural day

noticeably promoted flowering. This study and others support the conclusion that red

light appears to be effective during the early part of long photoperiods and far-red light is

important in the flower inductive response later in the photoperiod for long-day plants,

which is a different response as compared to short day plants (Thomas and Vince-Peru,

1997).

Two terms were presented to explain the different plant behaviors to light quality.

Light dominant describes a plant where the change of spectral distribution during the

light period influences flowering, and dark dominant refers to floral induction related to

uninterrupted dark period. Light and dark dominant correspond to long- and short-day

plants in most cases (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997).









Long-day plants respond to both day extension as well as night-break treatments by

flowering (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). When the days are longer than a critical

length, flowering is induced. Facultative long-day plants such as Calibrachoa and

Petunia will flower faster as the day gets longer until the time reaches a particular day

length where a longer day will not hasten flowering (Adams et al., 1998; Starman et al.,

2001). This was shown by Adams et al. (1998) when they looked at the effect of

photoperiod on the rate of flowering in petunia. 'Express Blush Pink' petunia responded

by flowering quicker as the photoperiod increased until a critical photoperiod of 14.3 h/d,

and extending the day-length beyond this time did not further hasten flowering.

The photoperiod above or below which the time to flower is minimal in facultative

LDP is called the critical day length (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Critical day length

is different for each plant species and sometimes different for cultivars within a species.

Phytochrome

The first action spectra for photoperiodic plants were obtained by using a

spectrograph at the USDA laboratories in Beltsville, MD (Thomas and Vince-Peru,

1997). SDP Glycine max cv. Biloxi and Xanthium strumarium (Parker et al., 1946), and

LDP Hordeum vulgare (Borthwick et al., 1948) and Hyoscaymus niger (Parker et al.,

1950) were given night-break treatments with very high intensity light during the middle

of the night length for less than 25 minutes. The results showed that the action spectra

for the four plants was very similar with the cutoff wavelengths longer than 720 nm,

maximum effect on flowering (by initiation in LDP and prevention in SDP) in the red

region between 600 and 660 nm, rapid change in sensitivity between 500 and 560, and

minimum effect at 480 nm (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Absolute amount of energy

required for a response between 600 and 660 nm was also very similar in all four plants









which indicated that the same pigment was responsible in both SDP and LDP. This

pigment was called phytochrome (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997).

It was later discovered that the floral induction effects of red light can be

photoreversed by radiation in the 720-745 nm region given as the final exposure before

darkness in the LDP Hordeum and Hyoscyamus (Downs, 1956). Phytochrome exists in

two forms called Pr and Pfr. Red light is absorbed by the Pr form of phytochrome and is

consequently converted to Pfr (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). The Pfr form is the

active form that controls the photoperiodic response and promotes flowering in long-day

plants. Far-red light, on the other hand, is absorbed by Pfr and consequently then

converted to Pr. Phytochrome is synthesized in darkness as Pr which was the

biologically inactive form.

In addition to photoperiodic induction of flowering, phytochrome regulates almost

every aspect of plant development from seed germination to flowering and senescence

(Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). Phytochrome responses can be grouped under two

categories including inductive responses and high-irradiance responses. Inductive

responses are named because Pfr continues in darkness after the red light treatment has

ceased, they are R/FR reversible, and they can be fulfilled by either light intensity or

duration of exposure (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). High-irradiance responses include

irradiance dependency, no reciprocity between light intensity and duration, and they react

to light in the blue and FR parts of the spectrum (Mancinelli and Rabino, 1978).

Phytochrome gene studies with Arabidopsis have identified five gene sequences

and designated the sequences as: phyA, phyB, phyC, phyD, andphyE (Sharrock and

Quail, 1989; Clack et al., 1994; Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). The discovery of these 5









genes has led scientist to consider that these phytochromes may have different properties

and functions (Thomas and Vince-Peru, 1997). It is possible that more than one

phytochrome can co-regulate the same photoperiodic response).

Photoperiod and Calibrachoa

The photoperiodic response of commercial Calibrachoa varieties has been briefly

examined to date. Most of the research published has been information in trade journal

magazines or abstracts from talks or posters presented at conferences. The earliest

information on photoperiod and commercial Calibrachoa cultivars was presented at the

Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science. Cutlan et al.

(1997) gave photoperiod treatments of 9 h, ambient daylight (-8 h) plus night

interruption lighting (2200 to 0200 h), or ambient daylight plus continuous light to C. x

hybrida 'Cherry Pink'. They only reported that the continuous lighting resulted in the

least days to anthesis.

A study presented in a German journal by Michel et al. (1999) evaluated the

influence of day length and quantity on flower induction for three Calibrachoa hybrids.

The abstract described Million Bells Trailing Blue, Carillon Blue, and Carillon Rose as

quantitative long-day plants that flowered in the shortest amount of time under 16 h

daylight supplemented with fluorescent light at 500-800 Lux.

In 2001, Starman et al. examined the response of C. hybrid'Cherry Pink' to

different photoperiod treatments. Cherry Pink was grown under 8 h, 10 h, 12 h, 14 h, and

16-h photoperiods. They reported in the abstract that the cultivar flowered faster with

increased day length and was described as a facultative long-day plant.

Lastly, Colorburst Violet and Liricashowers Rose were propagated under short (8

h) days or long (8 h with 4 h of night-interruption lighting) days with either ambient or









ambient plus supplemental HID lighting and transplanted to 10.2-cm pots (J.M. Dole,

unpublished data). After transplant, they were moved to 16-h photoperiods. Long-day

photoperiods reduced the number of days to flower for Colorburst Violet by 6 to 16 days

and 2 to 7 days for Liricashowers Rose compared to the 8 h photoperiod. Both cultivars

were described as long-day plants.

Effects of Photoperiod and Temperature

It has been demonstrated clearly in SDP poinsettia and chrysanthemum that

temperature influences the critical day length (Cathy, 1963; Langhans and Larson, 1960;

Langhans and Miller, 1960; Larson and Langhans, 1963; Parker et al., 1950; Whealy et

al., 1987). The temperature effect on LDP flowering has been briefly considered in

Petunia and Lupinus (Adams et al., 1998; Keeve et al., 1999; Pirnger and Cathey, 1960).

For photoperiodic plants, the night temperature is more important than the day

temperature. As the night temperature increases, the critical day length gets longer.

There has not been any work published on the effects of photoperiod with high

temperature on the time to flower in Calibrachoa. However, research on this topic has

been conducted with Petunia (another member of Solanaceae). Pirnger and Cathey

(1960) studied the effect of photoperiod, kind of supplemental light, and temperature on

the growth and flowering of petunia plants. 'Ballerina' was given photoperiod treatments

of 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, or 16 h. After 8-h natural daylight, incandescent light was given to

extend each photoperiod, or fluorescent light was given to extend one photoperiod to 16

h. They reported that petunia flowering can be hastened by long days with incandescent

light. Day extension to 16 h with fluorescent light had less of an effect on time to flower

than 12-h extension with incandescent light. The same variety was used for another part

of the study where they considered the effects of four night temperatures (10, 16, 21, or









27C) on flowering under 16-h photoperiods. 'Ballerina' flowered 5 days earlier when

grown at 27C night temperature compared to 21C night temperature.

Adams et al. (1998) took the petunia research one step further and attempted to

combine photoperiod, temperature, and PPF into a model to support production growers.

In this research, Petuniaxhybrida 'Express Blush Pink' grown under 8, 11, 14, or 17-h

photoperiods and six air temperature regimes (minimum temperatures of 4, 10, 14, 18,

22, and 26C). These results also demonstrated that flowering was hastened with

increasing photoperiod up to a critical photoperiod estimated at 14.3 h. Increasing

temperature up to the optimum temperature of 24.3C, increased the rate of progress to

flowering. Temperatures above the optimum temperature declined the rate of progress to

flowering linearly. The figure describing the relationship between temperature,

photoperiod, and the rate of progress to flowering is difficult to read making it

problematical to determine the exact effect of high temperatures.

The response of other long-day crops to photoperiod and temperature has been

studied. Lupinus albus has been described as a long-day plant (Keeve et al., 1999). The

influences of photoperiod, temperature, and genotype were investigated using the

cultivars 'Tifwhite', 'Esta', and 'Kiev.' These three cultivars were subjected to 8 or 16-h

photoperiods at three temperature treatments of 10/20C (N/D), 18/28C (N/D), and 20C

continuously. In the cold environment, all cultivars flowered earlier under the longer

photoperiod. In the warm environment, Tifwhite flowered faster under 16-h photoperiod,

but Esta and Kiev flowered more quickly under 8-h photoperiod. One possible

explanation that Esta and Kiev flowered more quickly under 8-h photoperiod may be that

they are more sensitive to high temperature treatments and therefore exhibit heat delay.









Under 20C continuous treatment, all cultivars flowered earlier under 16-h photoperiod

compared to 8-h.

Besides long day plants, research on short day ornamental crops is helpful. The

influence of temperature on flowering of the short-day-plant poinsettia (Euphorbia

pulcherrima) has been examined carefully. Poinsettia cultivar 'Oak Leaf was transferred

from 8-h photoperiod (after initiation) to a 12-h photoperiod and continued to flower

normally where the same plants failed to continue to develop at 16-h photoperiods

(Parker et al., 1950). Langhans and Larson (1960) studied 'Barbara Ecke Supreme' and

the effects of various combinations of N/D temperatures. The treatments included four

temperatures (10, 16, 21, or 27C) and two photoperiods of 9-h and natural photoperiod

(12 h and 15 minutes at the start of the experiment on 10 Oct, and 10 h and 25 minutes

two months later). The plants under the 9-h photoperiod had visible buds before plants

under natural days, except for three treatments. Plants given 16/27, 16/16, and 16/10C

(N/D) had the same days to visible bud for both 9 h and natural photoperiod. In this

study, the night temperature had more of an effect on the number of days to visible bud

than the day temperatures. Twenty one and 27C night temperatures and natural

photoperiod prevented or delayed flowering of Barbara Ecke Supreme. 10 and 16C night

temperatures had less difference in flowering at natural day length. The 9 h inductive

photoperiod reduced the effect of the night temperature (Langhans and Larson, 1960).

In another experiment, 'Barbara Ecke Supreme', 'Eckes White', and 'Pink' were

given constant temperatures of 10, 16, 21, and 27C (Langhans and Miller, 1960). The

standard photoperiods used were 8, 10, or 12 h for 20, 30, 40, 50, or 70 days. Additional

temperatures and photoperiods were looked at including: 27C at 8.5, 9, and 9.5-h









photoperiods; 21C at 10.5 and 11.5-h photoperiods; 16C at 11.5 h photoperiod; and 10C

at 11.5 h photoperiod. The data indicated that there are two distinct phases in flowering

poinsettia (initiation and development). Barbara Ecke Supreme produced a bud but no

flower (no stamens appeared) when grown at 21C for 70 days with a 12-h photoperiod.

Here the critical photoperiod and the number of short days required for flower initiation

were fewer than for development.

This same study demonstrates the effect of photoperiod on the number of short

days required for flowering. When grown at 21C, Barbara Ecke Supreme flowered in 30

days under 8-h and 10-h photoperiod, 50 days under 11.5-h photoperiod, and no

flowering occurred at 12-h photoperiod.

The idea of flower bud initiation in poinsettia was further explored looking at the

influence of temperature by Larson and Langhans (1963). A 9-h photoperiod was used

for flower initiation at constant temperatures of 10, 16, 18, 21, and 27C. The shoot

apicies were examined microscopically. Under constant temperatures 27 and 10C, flower

initiation is retarded. Initiation occurred in 16 days at 21C, 18 days at 65 and 16C, 24

days at 10C, and 30 days at 27C.

Another short day crop that has been observed for temperature affects on flowering

is chrysanthemum. Using a 9-h photoperiod and factorial experiment of 4, 10, 16, 21,

and 27C of both day and night temperatures, Cathey (1963) found that flowering time is

influenced by the night temperature. This agrees with conclusions made by Langhans

and Larson (1960) with poinsettias. A 21C night temperature resulted in plants flowering

within 11 days of each other for 4, 10, 16, 21, and 27C days. A 21C day temperature

resulted in plants flowering within 36 days of each other for 4, 10, 16, 21, and 27C









nights. The higher the night and day temperature, the less time necessary for visible bud,

but continuous high temperature lengthened the period between visual bud expansion and

the flower opening.

Floral development in chrysanthemum has been looked at more closely by Whealy

et al. (1987) in relation to high temperature. "Heat delay" is the occurrence of delayed

flowering attributed to high temperatures during production. Two cultivars were used in

this study to represent a high temperature sensitive plant (Orange Bowl) and a high

temperature tolerant plant (Surf). The plants were grown under 9-h photoperiods in a

cool chamber at 18/22C and a warm chamber 26/30C (N/D). Flower development was

observed from the start of short days using a scanning electron microscope. High

temperatures delayed flower initiation and differentiation in Orange Bowl. As the high

temperature exposure increased, the number of days to color and open flower increased.

The experiment conclusions state that high temperatures during the photoinductive period

enhanced vegetative growth and retarded floral development.

Calibrachoa Culture and Landscape Importance

Information for growing and propagating Calibrachoa are well documented.

Calibrachoa is vegetatively propagated by cuttings (Ball FloraPlant, 2004; Smith, 2002).

When rooting, the soil temperature should be sustained at 20-23C and fertilized with N at

75-100 mg-L-1 as roots begin to develop. Calibrachoa is sensitive to iron deficiency.

Maintaining a soilless meduim pH of 5.2 and 5.8 will maximize the availability of iron to

the plants. The media should dry slightly between watering to avoid root diseases (Ball

FloraPlant, 2004).

Smith (2002) recommends that rooted cuttings can be planted placing 3 liners per

20.3 or 25.4-cm container, or one liner per 10.2 to 15.24-cm pot. A soft pinch at planting









can create better branching. Calibrachoa requires high light during production and N at

200 mg-L'1 for fertilization that can be administered through constant liquid feed.

Calibrachoa is a good host for aphids and susceptible to pythium.. A fungicide drench at

planting can help prevent pythium.

Temperature during production should be 10-14C/21-24C (N/D) (Ball FloraPlant,

2004). Higher temperatures will cause poor branching, unwanted stem stretch, and

reduced flowering. Ball FloraPlant suggests N at 250 to 300 mg-L-1 while growing on,

pinching 1 to 2 weeks after transplant, and one plant per pot for 10.2-cm, one to three

plants per pot for 15.2-cm, and four to five plants per pot for 25.4 to 30.5-cm containers

which is higher, later, and more plants per pot than the Smith (2002) recommendations.

Calibrachoa is a groundcover by nature and usually doesn't grow much taller

than 6 inches tall (Armitage, 2001). They can be used in the landscape or in

baskets/containers where they trail down the sides. Calibrachoa is cold tolerant and can

survive the winter in USDA zone 7 and warmer. High temperatures and humidity can

delay flowering in the hot summer months of July and August (Armitage, 2001).














CHAPTER 3
CALIBRACHOAxHYBRIDA CULTIVAR SCREEN

Calibrachoa, a vegetatively propagated annual/perennial, is a relatively new

floriculture crop. The photoperiodic responses for Calibrachoa has not been thoroughly

reported. Cutlan et al. (1997), with only one cultivar, used photoperiods of 9 h, ambient

daylight (-8 h) plus night interruption lighting (2200-0200 h), or ambient daylight with

continuous light and reported that time to anthesis was the shortest for plants grown

under the continuous lighting treatments. Starman et al. (2001) studied the response of

one cultivar under 8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 h and reported C. hybrid 'Cherry Pink' as a

facultative long-day plant. These studies only scratch the surface of the photoperiod

response of Calibrachoa because there are over 100 cultivars currently on the market that

have not been evaluated and the photoperiods used in the research are not very specific

(the photoperiods are 2 h or more different).

Calibrachoa cultivars have demonstrated some variability in sensitivity to

photoperiod (unpublished research). Information on a crop's sensitivity to day length is

helpful to greenhouse growers when scheduling crop time to insure plants are in flower at

the appropriate time for marketing. The following research was designed to screen

numerous commercial Calibrachoa cultivars from different plant breeding companies for

their response to day length under more specific photoperiod treatments.

Materials and Methods

Experiment 1. Comparison of time to flower for different cultivars under varying

photoperiods. Rooted cuttings of 27 cultivars of Calibrachoa were obtained from four









plant breeding companies between 7 Jun and 14 Jun 2002. The cuttings were planted in

11.4-cm pots using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 soilless growing medium

(Agawam, MA), and given a hard pinch. These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse

with temperature range of 24/31C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black

cloth from 1630 to 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized at

every irrigation with Peters Professional 'Florida Special' water soluble fertilizer 20N-

4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 150 mg-L-1. On 27 Jun 2002, the

plants were pinched a second time.

Day length treatments of 11 h, 12 h, 13 h, or 14 h were started on 11 Jul 2002.

Photoperiods were provided by covering plants with black cloth from 1630 until 0830

and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which provided not less than 1 IEm-2s1

from 1630 until 1930, 2030, 2130, and 2230 hours, respectively. The number of days to

first open flower was recorded. An open flower was counted when the petals opened to

expose the tube. There were eight plants per treatment. This experiment was terminated

on 10 Sep 2002. Data were analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and calculating

the standard errors.

Experiment 2A and 2B. Time to flower in cool (2A) or warm (2B) greenhouse

conditions. Cultivars for this experiment were selected from Experiment 1 based on their

photoperiodic response to provide one or two representatives from each of the six

response groups. Nine cultivars of Calibrachoa (MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous

White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Terra Cotta, Superbells Pink,

Million Bells Trailing Blue, Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with

Yellow Center) were established as stock plants and grown under 8-h day-lengths.









Cuttings from these plants were also rooted under 8-h day lengths. Rooted cuttings were

planted on 7 Jan 2003 in 11.4-cm pots using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2

(Agawam, MA) and hard pinched on 15 Jan 2003. These plants were placed in a glass

greenhouse with temperature range of 20-22/23-25C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods

(covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth.

They were fertilized at every irrigation with Peters Professional 'Florida Special' water

soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 150 mg-L-1 and

hard pinched on 15 Jan 2003.

Day-length treatments of 11 h, 12 h, or 13 h were started on 23 Jan 2003.

Photoperiods were provided by covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 and

lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which provided not less than 1 IEm-2-1 from

1630 until 1930, 2030, and 2130 hours, respectively. Plants for experiment 2A were

placed in a greenhouse where the temperatures were 18/24C (N/D) on 23 Jan 2003.

Plants for experiment 2B were placed in a greenhouse where the temperatures were

24/29C (N/D) on 23 Jan 2003. Each temperature was a separate experiment with three

photoperiod treatments and twelve plants per treatment. The number of days to first open

flower was recorded. The experiments were terminated on 4 Apr 2003. Data were

analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and calculating the standard errors.

Experiment 3. Comparison of time to flower for different cultivars under natural

day lengths. Nine cultivars of Calibrachoa (MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White

Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Terra Cotta, Superbells Pink, Million

Bells Trailing Blue, Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow

Center) were established as stock plants and grown under 8-h day-lengths. Cuttings were









also rooted under 8-h day-lengths. Rooted cuttings were planted on 7 Jan, 21 Mar, and

19 May 2003 in 11.4-cm pots using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA).

These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of 22/27C from 7

Jan to 14 May and 23/30C (N/D) from 19 May to 27 Jun 2003, and given 8-h

photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours) to promote

vegetative growth. They were fertilized at every irrigation with Peters Professional

'Florida Special' water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH)

with N at 150 mg-L-1 and hard pinched on 15 Jan, 28 Mar, or 26 May 2003, respectively.

Natural day-length treatments were started on 24 Jan, 3 Apr, and 2 Jun 2003.

Natural-day photoperiods at the start of the treatments determined by sunrise to sunset

time or civil twilight beginning to end time were 10 h 37 min. or 11 h 27 min., 12 h 32

min. or 13 h 8 min., and 13 h 56 min or 14 h 56 min. respectively. The number of days to

first open flower was recorded. The research was terminated on 22 Apr, 14 May, and 27

Jun 2003, respectively. Data were analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and

calculating the standard errors.

Results and Discussion

Experiment 1. Comparison of time to flower for different cultivars under varying

photoperiods. There were differences in how the cultivars responded to the four

photoperiod treatments (Figure 1) and the cultivars can be grouped into six different

types of responses. For MiniFamous Yellow Lilac, MiniFamous Lemon, and Million

Bells Terra Cotta the number of days to flower was not affected by the four photoperiod

treatments. For a second group (MiniFamous White Pink Star, Superbells Salmon Coral,

Superbells Pink, and Superbells 11), time to flower was not affected by the 12-h, 13-h,

and 14-h photoperiods, but they took longer to flower under the 11-h photoperiod.









MiniFamous Rose Pink, MiniFamous Dark Red, and Million Bells Trailing Blue

are a third group where they did not flower under 11-h photoperiod in the duration of this

experiment. Time to flower for these cultivars was not affected by the 12-h, 13-h, and

14-h photoperiod treatments. A fourth group, MiniFamous Light Blue, Superbells 51,

Million Bells Trailing Pink, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center, did not flower under

11-h photoperiod, took longer to flower under 12-h day length, and were not affected by

the 13-h and 14-h photoperiod.

Million Bells Trailing White and Superbells White make up a fifth group. They did

not flower under 11-h or 12-h photoperiods, but time to flower was not different under

13-h and 14-h photoperiod. Superbells Red exhibited a sixth response. It did not flower

at 11-h or 12-h photoperiod and flowered faster under 14-h than under 13-h photoperiod.

These data support the conclusions of Michel et al. (1999) and Starman et al. (2001) that

Calibrachoaxhybrida is a facultative long-day plant which was clearly confirmed by

response groups 2, 4, and 6 which take longer to flower under one photoperiod compared

to another.

Figure 1 demonstrates the variability of flowering for different cultivars. The four

photoperiod treatments show that some cultivars are less sensitive (those that flower at 11

h) and some cultivars are more sensitive (those that need more than 12 h to flower). The

critical photoperiod (shortest day length required for the fastest flowering (Thomas and

Vince-Peru, 1997)) for Calibrachoa cultivars as seen here can be between <11 h to >13 h

or possibly 14 h.

All the Calibrachoa cultivars flowered at 14-h photoperiod, but there was a 19-day

difference in the time to flower at that photoperiod (Figure 1). MiniFamous Lemon was









the first to flower taking only 21 days to flower. MiniFamous Yellow Lilac, MiniFamous

Light Pink, and Million Bells Yellow also flowered quickly in 22 to 24 days from the

start of long day treatment. Million Bells Trailing White took the longest to flower at 39

days, while MiniFamous Light Blue, Superbells Red, and Liricashower Pink at 32 to 34

days were also slow to flower.

Differences in the time to flower are also shown in Figure 1. Some cultivars took

longer and flowered at 32 to 39 days under 14-h photoperiod where as others only took

20 to 24 days. Fourteen hours met the photoperiod requirement for flowering, so the

response can be attributed to differences in the time requirement for flower initiation,

flower development, or both.














M11 h *12h m13h *14h

50



40



30o

0

S20-
E

10-



NF NF
0
MiniFamous MiniFamous MiniFamous MiniFamous MiniFamous MiniFamous MiniFamous
Rose Pink Yellow Lilac White Dark Red Apricot Light Pink White Pink Star
Cultivar

Figure 1. Time to flower (days) from start of photoperiod treatments under 11, 12, 13, or
14-h (Expt. 1). A column replaced by NF indicates that the cultivar did not
flower at the given photoperiod. z indicates not all plants flowered:
MiniFamous Yellow Lilac had 7 of 8 plants flower for 13-h and 14-h
photoperiods: MiniFamous White had 7 of 8 plants flower for 11-h
photoperiod: MiniFamous Dark Red had 6 of 8 plants flower for 12-h and 7 of
8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiods: MiniFamous Apricot had 7 of 8 plants
flower for 11-h photoperiod: and MiniFamous Light Pink had 7 of 8 plants
flower for 11-h photoperiod.










E 11h 012h h 13h 014h


MiniFamous MiniFamous MiniFamous Million Bells Million Bells Million Bells Superbells
Light Blue Lemon Cherry Pink Trailing White Terra Cotta Yellow Salmon Coral
Cultivar

Figure 1. (continued). z indicates not all plants flowered: MiniFamous Light Blue had 5
of 8 plants flower for 12-h, 6 of 8 plants flower for 13-h, and 6 of 8 plants
flower for 14-h photoperiods: MiniFamous Lemon had 7 of 8 plants flower for
11-h and 7 of 8 plants flower for 13-h photoperiods: MiniFamous Cherry Pink
had 5 of 8 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod: Million Bells Trailing White
had 4 of 8 plants flower for 13-h and 7 of 8 plants flower for 14-h
photoperiods: Million Bells Terra Cotta had 7 of 8 plants flower for 12-h
photoperiod: and Superbells Salmon Coral had 5 of 7 plants flower for 11-h
photoperiod.











m11 h *12h E13h *14h


U -I- I --------,------------ --- ------ ------ I
Superbells Pink Superbells 51 Superbells 11 Million Bells Million Bells Superbells Superbells Red
Trailing Pink Trailing Blue White
Cultivar

Figure 1. (continued). z indicates not all plants flowered: Superbells Pink had 7 of 8
plants flower for 13-h photoperiod: Superbells 51 had 4 of 8 plants flower for
12-h photoperiod: Superbells 11 had 7 of 8 plants flower for 11-h and 12-h
photoperiods: Superbells White had 7 of 8 plants flower for 13-h photoperiod:
and Superbells Red had 6 of 8 plants flower for 13-h and 7 of 8 plants flower
for 14-h photoperiods.










Nl11 h 012h hq13h *14h
50


40 --





30-
0







10 [ INF INF INF NFz NF INF
0
Spring Fling Yellow Lawender Blue with Velvet Rose with Red with Yellow Liricashower Pink Coralburst
White Center Yellow Center Center Lawender Yellow
Cultivar

Figure 1. (continued). z indicates not all plants flowered: Spring Fling Yellow had 4 of 8
plants flower for 11-h and 14-h, and 6 of 8 plants flower for 12-h and 13-h
photoperiod: Velvet Rose with Yellow Center had 4 of 8 plants flower for 12-
h and 7 of 8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiod: Red with Yellow Center had
1 of 8 plants flower for 12-h, 7 of 8 plants flower for 13-h, and 5 of 8 plants
flower for 14-h photoperiods: Liricashower Pink had 6 of 8 plants flower for
12-h and 13-h, and 7 of 8 plants flower for 14-h photoperiod: and Coralburst
Lavender Yellow had 7 of 8 plants flower for 12-h photoperiod.


Experiment 2A. Time to flower in cool greenhouse conditions. Million Bells

Cherry Pink and Million Bells Terra Cotta were not affected by the 11-h and 12-h

photoperiods, and flowered slightly quicker at 13-h photoperiod (Figure 2). MiniFamous

Dark Red and MiniFamous White Pink Star were delayed at 11-h and flowered quicker at

12-h and 13-h photoperiods. Superbells Pink and Million Bells Trailing Blue did not

flower under 11-h, and flowered quicker under 13-h photoperiod than 12 h. Superbells

White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow only flowered at 13-h photoperiod.










Experiment 2B. Time to flower in warm greenhouse conditions. Million Bells

Terra Cotta flowered at 11-h, faster at 12-h, and slightly faster at 13-h photoperiods

(Figure 3). MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink also flowered at

11-h, faster at 12-h, and slightly faster at 13-h photoperiods, but the delay in flowering at

11 h was >14 days where as Million Bells Terra Cotta was only delayed 1 or 2 days.

MiniFamous Dark Red, Superbells Pink, and Million Bells Trailing Blue did not flower

at 11-h photoperiod, and were not affected by 12-h and 13-h photoperiods. Superbells

White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow did not flower at 11-h or 12-h, and

did flower at 13-h day lengths.



L11 h *12h E13h
80

70

60

50

o 40-

30-

20-

10

0 NFz NF NFNFz NF NF NF NFz
MiniFamous MiniFamous Million Bells Million Bells Superbells Million Bells Superbells Superbells Velhet Rose
Dark Red White Pink Cherry Pink Terra Cotta Pink Trailing Blue White Red with Yellow
Star Center
Cultivar

Figure 2. Time to flower (days) under 11, 12, or 13-h photoperiod in a cool greenhouse
at 18/24C. A column replaced by NF indicates that the cultivar did not flower
at the given photoperiod. z indicates not all plants flowered: MiniFamous
White Pink Star had 10 of 12 plants flower for 13-h photoperiod: Superbells
Pink had 3 of 12 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod: Superbells White had 1
of 12 plants flower for 12-h photoperiod: Superbells Red had 8 of 12 plants
flower for 13-h photoperiod: and Velvet Rose with Yellow had 1 of 12 plants
flower for 12-h photoperiod.












.11 h *12h 013h

80

70

60



40 --



20-

10 -

0 NF NFz NF NFNF NF NF NF NF
MiniFamous MiniFamous Million Bells Million Bells Superbells Million Bells Superbells Superbells Velvet Rose
Dark Red White Pink Cherry Pink Terra Cotta Pink Trailing Blue White Red with Yellow
Star Center
Cultivar

Figure 3. Time to flower (days) under 11, 12, or 13-h photoperiod in a warm greenhouse
at 24/29C. A column replaced by NF indicates that the cultivar did not flower
at the given photoperiod. z indicates not all plants flowered: Superbells Pink
had 4 of 12 plants flower for 11-h photoperiod: Superbells Red had 1 of 12
plants flower for 12-h photoperiod: and Velvet Rose with Yellow had 1 of 12
plants flower for 12-h photoperiod.


Cultivars were selected for experiments 2A and 2B based on their photoperiodic

responses to experiment 1. The results for experiment 2A and 2B are similar with

regards to flowering under the photoperiod treatment to those seen in experiment 1,

except when a cultivar had delayed flowering at a certain photoperiod. Figure 2 and 2B

show that Superbells Pink and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center did not flower at 12-h

photoperiod where Figure 1 shows that they did flower at 12 h, but they were delayed.

The results from experiments 2A and 2B show differences in the cultivars that can

be attributed to the greenhouse temperatures. The term "heat delay" refers to the

phenomenon of high temperatures delaying flowering. In poinsettias (Larson and









Langhans, 1963) and chrysanthemums (Whealy et al., 1987), this response is primarily

due to an increase in the time to flower initiation. MiniFamous Dark Red flowered at 11-

h photoperiod in the cool greenhouse (Figure 2) but did not flower at 11-h photoperiod in

the high temperature house (Figure 3). The idea of heat delay appears most clearly under

a marginal photoperiod (e.g. flowering is delayed at 11 h day length for MiniFamous

Dark Red in a cool greenhouse). The temperature effect is seen in Superbells White and

Superbells Red where the plants flowered in 40 to 46 days under 13-h in the cool

greenhouse compared to 55 to 68 days in the warm greenhouse.

It has been shown in poinsettias that high temperature (27C) delays flower bud

initiation (Larson and Langhans, 1963). Here they microscopically observed poinsettia

apices to determine flower bud initiation. Heat effects on flower bud initiation was also

observed in chrysanthemum by Whealy et al. (1987). Meristem transition to the

reproductive state was reported to be delayed under high temperatures (26/30C N/D)

when observed under an electron microscope.

Typically, a cultivar that is less sensitive to photoperiod such as MiniFamous White

Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Terra Cotta, and Million Bells

Trailing Blue flowered faster (Figure 3) under 14-h photoperiod and warm conditions.

The same cultivars in a cool greenhouse (Figure 2) took longer to flower because plant

development is slower at cool temperatures. This is shown in Petunia where flowering is

hastened by increasing temperatures up to the optimum temperature (Adams et al., 1998).

Heat delay is an important concept for greenhouse growers in warm production

climates. The cultivars that are sensitive to heat delay may not perform the same for a

grower in a cool climate as for a grower in a warm climate. As example, Million Bells









Terra Cotta would be a better fit for Florida commercial operations than MiniFamous

Dark Red.

Experiment 3. Comparison of time to flower for different cultivars under natural-

day photoperiods. In commercial production, often growers do not control photoperiods

for spring crops and early flowering cultivars under natural-day conditions is important.

Million Bells Terra Cotta flowered the quickest at each of the three experiment dates

(Figure 4) which is consistent with the flowering response in experiments 1, 2A, and 2B.

Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center took longer to

flower than the other cultivars at more than 65 days in the 24 Jan experiment date,

flowered in 33 days (similar to all the other cultivars) at the 3 Apr experiment date, and

took only 23 days to flower at the 2 Jun experiment date which is slightly longer to

flower compared to the other cultivars. In the 3 Apr treatment, all the cultivars flowered

in 28 to 34 days and the differences between varieties was much less than the other two

experiment times.











m ND 24 Jan. l ND 3 Apr. 0 ND 2 June

90

80

70

60-

50-
o
40-

I-

20-

10-

0
MiniFamous MiniFamous Million Bells Million Bells Superbells Million Bells Superbells Superbells Vel'et Rose
Dark Red White Pink Cherry Pink Terra Cotta Pink Trailing Blue White Red with Yellow
Star Center
Cultivar

Figure 4. Time to flower under natural day conditions started on 24 Jan, 3 Apr, or 2 Jun.
z indicates not all plants flowered: MiniFamous Dark Red and Superbells Red
had 9 of 10 plants flower at 3 Apr experiment date.



Results from Experiment 1 are helpful in interpreting the information in Figure 4.

MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million

Bells Terra Cotta, and Superbells Pink flowered in less than 45 days for the 24 Jan

experiment date at 34 to 44 days (Figure 4) and they also flowered in less than 30 days

at 14-h photoperiod in experiment 1 (Figure 1). The photoperiod during late January and

February is between 11.5 h to 12 h and these cultivars are also ones that seem to have a

critical photoperiod between 11 h and 12 h (Figure 1). Superbells White and Superbells

Red have a longer development period (Figure 1) and also require a day length longer

than 12 h to flower (Figure 1), which helps explain why they took longer to flower under

the natural-day photoperiod for the 24 Jan experiment date. Greenhouse growers









producing plants for early spring and growing under natural days would be better off with

the cultivars that flower the fastest under the shorter days of winter (Figure 4).

All the cultivars flowered between 28-32 days at the 3 Apr experiment date

(Figure 4). At this time, the day length was 12 h 32 min. and getting longer to 13 h and

37 min. by the end of the experiment. The photoperiod at the start of the experiment was

long enough or marginal for the critical photoperiod requirement of all cultivars. The

plant responses for the 3 Apr experiment date do not demonstrate the variability in

photoperiodic response or the differences in time to flower. According to the results

shown in experiment 1, experiment 2, and the other two natural day photoperiod

treatments, Calibrachoa has a variable flowering response. There is not a clear

explanation for the un-variable response for the 3 Apr experiment date. These results

could be attributed to greenhouse temperatures or light levels during the experiment that

may be favorable to some cultivars (Superbells White, Superbells Red, or Velvet Rose

with Yellow Center) and unfavorable to other cultivars (Million Bells Cherry Pink or

Million Bells Terra Cotta) thus causing them to flower just 4 days apart from one another.

The 2 Jun experiment date confirmed the differences in the time to flower as seen

in experiment 1 (Figure 1). At this date, the photoperiod was getting close to 14 h which

fulfilled the photoperiod requirement and the plants were being pushed to grow with

warm temperatures and high light. Million Bells Terra Cotta flowered quickly in just 10

to 12 days; MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, and Superbells Pink

took longer at 12 to 18 days; and Million Bells Cherry Pink, Million Bells Trailing Blue,

Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center took even longer

at 21 to 23 days.









The two plant flowering responses as seen in experiment 1 are also demonstrated

in experiment 3. Results from the 24 Jan experiment date show that the natural-day

photoperiod was not long enough for flowering Superbells White, Superbells Red, and

Velvet Rose with Yellow Center because they took much longer (>20 days) to flower

compared to the next slowest cultivar Million Bells Trailing Blue (Figure 4). When the

day length was long enough to meet the photoperiod requirements for all cultivars at the

2 Jun experiment date, variability in the time required for flower development was

shown. MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Terra Cotta,

and Superbells Pink all took less than 18 days to flower where Million Bells Cherry Pink,

Million Bells Trailing Blue, Superbells White, Superbells Red, and Velvet Rose with

Yellow Center took longer (>21 days)(Figure 4).














CHAPTER 4
FLOWERING RESPONSE OF CALIBRACHOAxHYBRIDA CULTIVARS

Chapter 3 confirmed that Calibrachoa is a facultative long-day plant as stated by

Starman et al. (2001). The research presented in Chapter 3 expounded on Starman's

research by examining more cultivars and additional photoperiods and demonstrated that

there are large differences in the critical photoperiod between cultivars. In commercial

production often it is desired to provide long-day photoperiods for a short time to fulfill

the photoperiod requirement and then go back to short or natural days. Cultivars are

needed that stay in flower after going back under non-inductive photoperiods.

Day-length requirements for flower initiation and flower development appear to be

different. This phenomenon has been looked at previously in poinsettias but not

Calibrachoa. The poinsettia cultivar 'Oak Leaf was transferred from 8-h photoperiod

(after initiation) to a 12-h photoperiod and continued to flower normally where the same

plants failed to continue to develop at 16-h photoperiod (Parker et al., 1950). 'Barbara

Ecke Supreme' grown at 21C for 70 days under 12 h photoperiods, produced a bud and

never flowered, which indicated that the critical day length was longer and the number of

short days was fewer for initiation than development (Langhans and Miller, 1960).

These studies address the above mentioned plant responses for Calibrachoa. The

following research was designed to evaluate how a flowering Calibrachoa responds to

short days and to identify the photoperiod requirement required for flower initiation and

development.









Materials and Methods

Experiment 4A. Time to stop flowering under short days. Three cultivars of

Calibrachoa (Million Bells Trailing White, Million Bells Cherry Pink, and Million Bells

Terra Cotta) were obtained from a commercial propagator on 10 Jun 2002, planted in

4.05 L containers using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA), and given a

hard pinch. These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of

24/32C and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830

hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized at every irrigation with Peters

Professional 'Florida Special' water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co.,

Marysville, OH) with N at 150 mg-L-1. On 5 July, 2002, the plants were pinched again.

Starting on 11 July, 2002, photoperiods were provided covering plants with black cloth

from 1630 until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which provided

not less than 1 Em-2-1 from 1630 until 2230 hours. On 9 Sept., 2002 the photoperiod

was changed to 8-h (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours), and the

average greenhouse temperature was lowered to 23/28C (N/D). There were eight plants

per treatment. This experiment was terminated on 8 Nov 2002. The number of days to

first open flower after the start of long days and time from start of short days to last

flower was recorded. Data were analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and

calculating the standard errors.

Experiment 4B. Repeat time to stop flowering under short days. Five cultivars of

Calibrachoa (MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star, Million Bells Cherry

Pink, Superbells White, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center) were established as stock

plants and grown under 8-h day length. Cuttings were also rooted under 8-h day lengths.

Rooted cuttings were planted on 20 Oct 2003 in 15.2-cm pots using sphagnum peat based









Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA) and these plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with

temperature range of 17/23C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black

cloth from 1430 until 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized at

every irrigation with Peters Professional 'Florida Special' water soluble fertilizer 20N-

4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 200 mg-L-1 and pinched on 3 Nov

2003.

Photoperiod of 14 h was started on 18 Nov 2003 provided by covering with black

cloth from 1630 until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which

provided not less than 1iEm-2-1 from 1630 until 2230 hours. On 14 Jan 2004 the 14 h

photoperiod treatment was stopped and the photoperiod was changed to 8-h (covering

with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours). There were twelve plants per treatment.

The number of days to first open flower after the start of long days and time from start of

short days to last flower was recorded. This experiment was terminated on 10 Mar 2004.

Data were analyzed by calculating means and standard errors.

Experiment 5A. Number of inductive photoperiods needed to induce flowering.

Rooted cuttings of three cultivars of Calibrachoa (Million Bells Trailing White, Million

Bells Cherry Pink, and Million Bells Terra Cotta) were obtained from a commercial

propagator on 10 Jun 2002, planted in 11.4-cm pots using sphagnum peat based Fafard

No. 2 (Agawam, MA), and given a hard pinch. These plants were placed in a glass

greenhouse with temperature range of 24/31C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods

(covering with black cloth from 1430 until 0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth.

They were fertilized every irrigation with Peters Professional 'Florida Special' water

soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co., Marysville, OH) with N at 150 mg-L-1. On









5 July, 2002, the plants were pinched again. Photoperiod treatment of 14 h was started

on 11 July, 2002. The photoperiod was provided by covering with black cloth from 1630

until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs which provided not less than

1lEm-2-1 from 1630 until 2230 hours. On 18 July, 25 July, 1 Aug, and 8 Aug 2002 the

14-h treatment was stopped and the photoperiod was changed to 8-h (covering with black

cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours) to provide treatments with inductive photoperiods for

0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks. There were four to eight plants of each cultivar in each group. The

number of days to first open flower after the start of long days was recorded. This

experiment was terminated on 10 Sept., 2002. Data was analyzed by taking the mean

days to flower and calculating the standard errors.

Experiment 5B. Number of inductive photoperiods needed to induce flowering.

Five cultivars of Calibrachoa (MiniFamous Dark Red, MiniFamous White Pink Star,

Million Bells Cherry Pink, Superbells White, and Velvet Rose with Yellow Center) were

established as stock plants and grown under 8-h day length. Cuttings were also rooted

under 8-h day lengths. Rooted cuttings were planted on 20 Oct 2003 in 11.4-cm pots

using sphagnum peat based Fafard No. 2 (Agawam, MA) and given a hard pinch on 3

Nov 2003. These plants were placed in a glass greenhouse with temperature range of

17/23C (N/D) and given 8-h photoperiods (covering with black cloth from 1430 until

0830 hours) to promote vegetative growth. They were fertilized every irrigation with

Peters Professional 'Florida Special' water soluble fertilizer 20N-4.7P-16.6K (Scotts Co.,

Marysville, OH) with N at 200 mg-L-1.

Photoperiod treatment of 14 h was started on 18 Nov 2003 provided by covering

with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 and lighting with 60-W incandescent light bulbs









which provided not less than 1LEm-2s-1 from 1630 until 2230 hours. Plants were given

inductive photoperiods for 0, 3, 6, 9, or 12 days. On the appropriate date, the photoperiod

was changed to 8-h (covering with black cloth from 1630 until 0830 hours). There were

12 plants of each cultivar in each group. The number of days to first open flower after

the start of long days was recorded. The experiment was terminated on 14 Jan 2004.

Data was analyzed by taking the mean days to flower and calculating the standard errors.

Results and Discussion

Experiment 4A. Time to stop flowering under short days. The number of days to

first flower under an inductive 14 h day-length is one important plant response as seen in

experiments 1, 2, and 3. The response of flowering plants to short-day conditions (8 h) is

shown in experiment 4A (Figure 5). Of the three cultivars, Million Bells Trailing White

took the longest time (about 45 days) to start flowering under 14-h photoperiods, and

when moved to 8-h photoperiods, it stopped flowering in 28 days. Million Bells Cherry

Pink had a different response: it started flowering in just 27 days and stopped flowering

31 days after being moved to the non-inductive photoperiod. Million Bells Terra Cotta

had yet another response where it took 34 days to start flowering, but stayed in flower

longer (53 days) then the other cultivars under 8-h photoperiods.











r First Flower 0 Last Flower


40--


30--


20--


10-


0
Million Bells Trailing White Million Bells Cherry Pink Million Bells Terra Cotta
Cultivar

Figure 5. Days to flower under 14 h and to last flower under 8-h photoperiod.


Experiment 4B. Repeat Time to stop flowering under short days. The number of

days under 8 h non-inductive photoperiods to stop flowering fluctuated from 24 days to

>56 days (Figure 6). MiniFamous White Pink Star was still flowering when the

experiment was terminated 56 days after the plants were shifted to the 8 h photoperiod.

Superbells White, Velvet Rose with Yellow, and MiniFamous Dark Red were similar to

Million Bells Trailing White in experiment 4. They took a relatively long time to start

flowering (at least 42 days) and then stopped flowering quickly (24-25 days). Million

Bells Cherry Pink was the only cultivar used in both experiment 4A and 4B and its

response was similar in the two experiments.










D First Flower 0 Last Flower
60


50


40


30-


20 -


10


0 NLF
30 --- ------ ------ 7--- ------ ----




MiniFamous Dark Red MiniFamous White Million Bells Cherry Superbells White Velvet Rose with
Pink Star Pink Yellow
Cultivar

Figure 6. Repeat days to flower under 14 h and to last flower under 8-h photoperiod. A
column replaced by NLF indicates that MiniFamous White Pink Star did not
stop flowering before the experiment was terminated. z indicates not all plants
flowered: Velvet Rose with Yellow had 9 of 12 plants flower and stop
flowering.




Since many Calibrachoa do not naturally flower during the winter and early

spring, many commercial operations use lights to provide long days during propagation,

which may be about 4 weeks. Then the plants are often grown out to flower under

natural days. Also, in warm climates Calibrachoa may be produced in the late summer

or fall for use during the cooler months. These plants may be produced when the natural

photoperiod is inductive and then planted in the landscape when natural photoperiods are

too short. In this situation, a cultivar that stayed in flower for a long time without long

days would be favorable. The three basic responses seen in experiment 4A and 4B are

important for commercial operations where lighting is used to provide long days and

where Calibrachoa is produced for fall sales. Million Bells Terra Cotta and MiniFamous










White Pink Star are examples of desirable Calibrachoa cultivars because the plants will

stay in flower for longer durations if the natural photoperiod is non-inductive.

Experiment 5A. Number of inductive photoperiods needed to induce flowering. In

commercial situations where lighting is used to provide long days, cultivars that require

fewer inductive photoperiods for flowering are important. Million Bells Cherry Pink and

Million Bells Terra Cotta plants given 1 week of long days flowered as quickly as did

those given LD for longer periods (Figure 7). However, Million Bells Trailing White did

not flower when given 4 weeks of LD. None of the cultivars flowered with zero weeks of

LD.



1 Wk m 2 Wks 0 3 Wks 4 Wks
60


50


40


o 30 -

E
i 20


10

NF NF NF NFz
0
Million Bells Trailing White Million Bells Cherry Pink Million Bells Terra Cotta
Cultivar

Figure 7. Weeks of long days (14 h) to initiate flowering. A column replaced by NF
indicates that the cultivar did not flower at the given photoperiod. No plants
flowered at 0 weeks of long days. z indicates not all plants flowered: Million
Bells Trailing White had 1 of 8 plants flower at 4 weeks of long days. Million
Bells Cherry Pink had 5 of 8 plants flower at 2 weeks, 6 of 8 plants flower at 3
and 4 weeks of long days. Million Bells Terra Cotta had 1 of 8 plants flower
at 0 weeks, 5 of 8 plants flower at 1 week, 6 of 8 plants flower at 2 weeks, 7
of 8 plants flower at 3 weeks, and 4 of 8 plants flower at 4 weeks of long days.










Experiment 5B. Repeat number of inductive photoperiods needed to induce

flowering. Since two of the three cultivars in experiment 4A flowered as quickly with 7

(one week) inductive photoperiods as with 28 inductive photoperiods, the number of

inductive photoperiods given in this experiment were reduced. MiniFamous Dark Red,

Superbells White, and Velvet Rose with Yellow did not flower under any of the LD

conditions (Figure 8). For MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink

six inductive cycles were enough to initiate flowering, but three were not. Million Bells

Cherry Pink was in both experiments and once the number of long days photoperiods

were adequate to induce flowering there is little effect increasing the number of long

days. For Million Bells White Pink Star, 12 long days produced slightly faster flowering

than six or nine long days.











3 Days 6 Days E 9 Days 12 Days

60


50 z

z
40-


o 30

E 20


10

NF NF NF NF NF NF NF NF NF NF NFNFNFNF
MiniFamous Dark Red MiniFamous White Million Bells Cherry Superbells White Velvet Rose with
Pink Star Pink Yellow
Cultivar

Figure 8. Days of long days (14 h) to initiate flowering. A column replaced by NF
indicates that the cultivar did not flower at the given photoperiod. No plants
flowered at 0 weeks of long days. z indicates not all plants flowered:
MiniFamous White Pink Star had 11 of 12 plants flower at 6 and 9 days of
long days. Million Bells Cherry Pink had 11 of 12 plants flower at 6 days of
long days.


The results from experiments 5A and 5B demonstrate that some cultivars require

fewer consecutive long days to promote flowering. MiniFamous White Pink Star,

Million Bells Cherry Pink, and Million Bells Terra Cotta require 6 or 7 days under 14 h

to develop flowers whereas MiniFamous Dark Red, Superbells White, and Velvet Rose

with Yellow need more than 12 days (Figure 7 and Figure 8).

There was evidence in experiment 5B, that indicated there may be a long day

requirement for flower initiation and also a long day requirement for continued flower

development. MiniFamous Dark Red had visible buds that then aborted on plants that

received 6, 9, and 12 long days. Likewise, Superbells White and Velvet Rose with

Yellow had visible aborted buds on plants that received 12 long days. A similar response









was seen in poinsettias. 'Barbara Ecke Supreme' grown at 21C for 70 days under 12 h

photoperiods, produced a bud and never flowered, which indicated that the critical day

length was longer and the number of short days was fewer for initiation than development

(Langhans and Miller, 1960).

Flowering Calibrachoa had a variable response to short days and also had different

photoperiod requirements for the number of long days to cause flowering which

depended on the cultivar. Experiments 4A and 4B showed that the number of short-day

photoperiods can sometimes vary by more than 32 days to stop flowering. Million Bells

Trailing White required more than 4 weeks of long-day photoperiods to initiate flowering

whereas MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink required 6 days to

cause flowering (Figure 7 and Figure 8).














CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS

The popularity of Calibrachoa as a new floriculture crop has created a need for

better production and crop culture information. Flowering is one of the most important

physiological processes to understand because that is what drives commercial sales. This

research was designed to screen numerous commercial Calibrachoa cultivars for their

response to day length under more specific photoperiod treatments; to evaluate how a

flowering Calibrachoa responds to short days; and to identify the photoperiod

requirement for flower initiation and development.

Experiment 1 compared 27 commercial Calibrachoa cultivars to 11, 12, 13 or 14-h

photoperiods and identified six different response types. Ideally, commercial cultivars

would be more like group 1 where the days to flowering was not affected by the four

photoperiod treatments and less like group 6 where Superbells Red did not flower at 11

or 12-h photoperiod and flowered slower under 13-h photoperiod than at 14 h (Figure 1).

Besides differences in the critical photoperiod requirement, the diversity in days to flower

under an inductive photoperiod was identified. Some cultivars flowered in 32 to 39 days

whereas others took only 20 to 24 days (Figure 1).

Variable response time to day-length treatments makes scheduling difficult for

commercial greenhouse growers. Someone in Florida trying to produce Calibrachoa for

early spring sales would not be able to naturally flower varieties that require 12 h or 13 h

day lengths. Flowers at the time of sale encourage consumers to buy plants and

therefore, this grower would benefit from a variety that had a less sensitive photoperiod









requirement. Variable flowering response would also affect a grower in the north that is

trying to ship plants south for the early spring season. This grower needs to supply long

days with supplemental lighting in order to finish Calibrachoa plants with flowers.

Lighting increases the cost of production and there is a need to identify those cultivars

that either do not require artificial long days or that need less lighting.

Time to flower under an inductive photoperiod (14 h) is important for commercial

production scheduling. Growers take into account the length of time needed to finish a

crop in flower. Having all varieties flower in the same number of days under an

inductive photoperiod makes production easier for greenhouse growers.

Differences in Calibrachoa cultivars attributed to greenhouse temperature is

demonstrated in Experiments 2A and 2B. High temperatures can delay flowering as

reported in poinsettia and chrysanthemum (Larson and Langhans, 1963; Whealy et al.,

1987). Superbells White and Superbells Red exhibit heat delay by taking longer to

flower in a warm greenhouse than a cool greenhouse. This is an especially important

concept for commercial greenhouse growers in warm areas.

Early flowering cultivars under natural-day conditions are important for

commercial producers that do not control photoperiods. Experiment 3 identifies quicker

flowering cultivars for early production. When Calibrachoa is screened by plant

breeders before plant introduction, they could select for early flowering and incorporate

these plants into their breeding lines.

The response of a flowering plant when shifted to non-inductive, short-day

photoperiods is explained in Experiment 4A and 4B. There are three ways that

Calibrachoa cultivars tend to respond including: cultivars that come into flower and go









out of flower quickly; some that come into flower and stop flowering in the same amount

of time or slightly longer time to go out of flower; and also cultivars that flower and stay

in flower for a long time. The cultivars that stay in flower the longest would be

beneficial to commercial operations that buy in induced liners and finish plants under

non-inductive, natural-day photoperiods. These cultivars would also be good for

production in the fall when photoperiods are becoming shorter.

Lastly, Experiments 5A and 5B demonstrate that some cultivars require fewer

consecutive long days to promote flowering. The photoperiod requirements for

MiniFamous White Pink Star and Million Bells Cherry Pink were met after just 6

inductive photoperiods for both flower initiation and flower development. Aborted

flower buds gave evidence that 6, 9, or 12 days were long enough for flower initiation for

MiniFamous Dark Red, but not for flower development.

Further research with Calibrachoa should be considered. Flower initiation and

flower development would be interesting physiological responses to examine because

Calibrachoa seems to be similar to poinsettia and chrysanthemum in that different

cultivars have varying photoperiod requirements. Microscopic meristem observations

would fill a gap in current floricultural crop research because there is little published

information on long-day plants. With this, additional research on heat delay of plants

grown in controlled temperature growth chambers could be studied. Again, the current

research is somewhat limited and would benefit from close apical investigations.















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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Erika Mary Berghauer was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1977. She attended

the University of Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in May, 2000.

While working on her B.S. degree, she worked as an assistant gardener for a private

home, a woody plant salesperson at a retail garden center, interned for a wholesale

nursery, and worked as an assistant flower breeder. After the University of Minnesota,

she interned as a cultural researcher for a plant breeding company and a plant science

intern in Florida. Next, she was introduced to the University of Florida by accepting a

research assistant position. Erika started working on her Master of Science degree in

January, 2002.