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1 COMPARA TIVE IN VITRO SHOOT MULTIPLICATION, ROOT ING AND EX VITRO ACCLIMATIZATION OF FLORIDA SEA OATS ( Uniola paniculata L.) GENOTYPES By JONATHAN ROBERT JASINSKI 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 2011
2 2011 Jonathan Robert Jasinski
3 To Natalie and Isab I love you so much
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Michael Kane, for taking an inexperienced undergraduate and investing the time, energy, and effort into making him a functional scientist. I will never be able to expre ss my gratitude for the patience and guidance that he has shown throughout my graduate academic career and look forward to talking plant science with him for years to come. I would also like to thank my committee members Dr. Dennis Gray, Dr. Sandra Wilson, and Dr. Gregory MacDonald for their support and guidance during the past couple of years I would like to thank the Florida Sea Grant College for partial support of my research under U.S. Department of Commerce/NOAA Grant # NA100AR4170079. I have had th e pleasure of working with some great people in the lab while completing my degree, most notably Nancy Philman. Without her knowledge about the project and guiding hand this would not have been possible. Her friendship, supervision, (and tolerance of burnt media on hot plates!) will not be forgotten. I thank my colleagues, Dr. Tim Johnson, JJ Sadler, and Dr. Phil Kauth for the long discussions and insights into the scientific, social, political, and who knows what else. I thank my parents, Greg and Vickey, for their unconditional love and support. The sacrifices they have made for me throughout my lifetime have made me the person who I am today and have given me the rock solid foundation from which to build my life upon. I hope I have developed into the son you had envisioned and have made you proud. I would also like to thank my wife, Natalie, for holding my hand and taking the leap of faith that is this life with me. I could not have asked for a better friend to spend the rest of my life with and it is because of the love shown by my wife and daughte r that
5 I am able to reach my full potential. Finally, I would like to thank God, for placing all of these wonderful people in my life and allowing me to grow from their wisdom and love
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 12 Introduction and Rationale ................................ ................................ ...................... 12 Micropropagation Can Enhance Sea Oats Availability for Restoration ................... 16 Genetic Diversity in Dune and Marsh Plant Populations ................................ ......... 18 Negative Carry Over Effects Caused by Benzyladenine ................................ ......... 21 Meta Topolin to Alleviate Negative BA Carryo ver Effects ................................ ....... 23 2 COMPARATIVE IN VITRO SHOOT MULTIPLICATION, ROOTING AND EX VITRO ACCLIMATIZATION OF FLORIDA SEA OATS ( Uniola paniculata L.) GENOTYPES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 27 Materials and Methods ................................ ................................ ............................ 30 Seed Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ 30 Seed Surface Sterilization and In Vitro Germination ................................ ........ 31 Establishment of Sea Oats Germplasm Library ................................ ................ 32 Comparative Stage II Shoot Production of Sea Oats Genotypes ..................... 32 Comparative Stage III Rooting and Stage IV Acclimatization of Sea Oats Genotypes ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 33 Experimental Design and Statistical Analyses ................................ .................. 34 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 34 Stage II In Vitro Genotype Comparisons ................................ .......................... 34 Stage III In Vitro Genotype Comparisons ................................ ......................... 35 Stage IV In Vitro Genotype Comparisons ................................ ......................... 36 Multivariate Correlation of In Vitro Growth Responses with Ex Vitro Survival .. 3 6 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 36 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 41 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 61 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 67
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Categorization of sea oats genotypes as easy moderately difficult, and difficult to acclimatize based on percent ex vitro survival performance after 6 weeks. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 43 2 2 Multivariate correlation of in vitro growth responses with ex vitro survival of sea oats populations. ................................ ................................ .......................... 44 2 3 ANOVA analysis of pooled growth responses of northern/southern and Atlantic/Gulf coast sea oats populations (refer to Figure 2 1). ............................ 45
8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 The step wise sequential process for U. paniculata in vitro propagation, storage, and evaluation. ................................ ................................ ..................... 26 2 1 Collection sites for Uniola paniculata seed with delineation of northern and southe rn populations (red horizontal line). ................................ .......................... 46 2 2 Growth and developmental sequence of Stage II shoot multiplication (A), Stage III m icrocutting rooting (B), and Stage IV acclimatization in plug trays (C). ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 47 2 3 Comparative Stage II in vitro shoot multiplicatio n and morphological responses of forty two Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. ....... 48 2 4 Comparative Stage II shoot multiplication of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 49 2 5 Comparative Stage II shoot length of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for eac h response is shown. ....... 50 2 6 Comparative Stage II biomass of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown. .................. 51 2 7 Comparative Stage III in vitro rooting of Uniola paniculata microcuttings after 6 weeks culture. ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 52 2 8 Comparative Stage III microcutting percent rooting of U niola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown. ................................ ................................ ............................. 53 2 9 Comparative Stage III microcutting root number of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is sho wn. ................................ ................................ ............................. 54 2 10 Comparative Stage III microcutting root length of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean val ue (P< 0.05) for each response is shown. ................................ ................................ ............................. 55 2 11 Comparative Stage III microcutting leaf number of Uniola paniculata genotypes af ter 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown. ................................ ................................ ............................. 56
9 2 12 Examples of 6 week old Stage IV ex vitro acclimatized Uniola paniculata plantlets categorized as easy moderately difficult, and difficult to acclimati ze genotypes. ................................ ................................ ....................... 57 2 13 Comparative Stage IV percent survival of Uniola panciulata genotypes after 6 weeks ex vitro acclimatizatio n. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown. ................................ ................................ ............................. 58 2 14 Comparative Stage IV shoot production of Uniola panciulata genotypes after 6 weeks ex vitro acclimatization. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown. ................................ ................................ ............................. 59 2 15 Comparative St age IV leaf length of Uniola panciulata genotypes after 6 weeks ex vitro acclimatization. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown. ................................ ................................ ............................. 60
10 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 COMPARATIVE IN VITRO SHOOT MULTIPLICATION, ROOTING AND EX VITRO ACCLIMAT IZATION OF FLORIDA SEA OATS ( Uniola paniculata L.) GENOTYPES By Jonathan Robert Jasinski December 2011 Chair: Michael Kane Major: Horticultural Science Uniola paniculata L. (Poaceae ), Sea Oats, an ecologically important dune species in the southeastern United States, plays an integral role in coastal dune stabilization and construction. Sea oats is typically nursery propagated using field collected seed for restoration. It is not a prolific seed producer and seed donor sites in Florida have been diminished due to recent hurricane activity. As an alternative propagation method, m icropropagation has the potential to supplement seed propagation of a wide range of sea oats genotypes. A micropropagation protocol was benzyladenine for Stage II shoot multiplication which has been shown to produce negative carry over effects in certain species Further studies indicate d that when using this protocol, in vitro multiplication, rooting, and ex vitro acclimatization (Stages II IV) varied widely among several genotypes collected from four differing populations To assess genotypic responses from populations along th e coast of Florida, forty three genotypes from thirteen geographically diverse protocol. Stage II, Stage III, and Stage IV growth responses differed significantly within and between sea oats populations and individual genotypes O f the 43 genotypes
11 screened twenty seven (62.7%) were shown to be moderately difficult or difficult to acclimatize resulting in survival rates of 69.7% or less. Similarities in responses between genotypes within the same population w ere also observed. S ignificantly d ifferent genotypic responses observed in S tages II IV reveal the importance of taking into consideration the influenc e of genotype when designing and optimizing micropropagation protocol s
12 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction and Rationale 1200 mile long coast line is comprised of over 600 miles of sandy beaches that are exposed to constant erosion by wind and wave action throughout the nd coastal dune systems. The dune systems act as a first line of defense against damaging winds of tropical storms and hurricanes. A single severe storm can erode as much as 3 meters of sand at the base of a dune (Lewis and Bunce, 1980) creating a less st able shoreline This subsequently results in a loss of natural wildlife habitat and can cost hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage along the coast. After the destructive 2004 2005 (FDEP, 2005). In addition to heavy storm activity, animal grazing and foot and vehicle traffic on the beach also negatively impact dune vegetation (Lewis and Bunce, 1980). The financial impact that this extensive coastal damag beach tourism economy ( Murley et al., 2003) is significant. The need for constant beach and dune restoration and stabilization is critical. Effective dune restoration involves beach sand renourishment and subsequent planti ng and establishment of native dune species for dune stabilization and building. The most long term and sustainable approach to beach renourishment begins with pumping offshore sand from the ocean floor shallows onto the eroded beach. To decrease wind ero sion dunes must be stabilized by planting with native dune plant species (Lewis and Bunce, 1980). The grass sea oats ( Uniola paniculata L.) is a major native dune species in the southeastern United States. It is used extensively for dune
13 stabilization and building as it is well adapted to protect against the damaging winds that can affect the southern coastline. Successful planting of sea oats and other dune species has been shown to result in the production of foredunes nearly six meters high within six y ears (Dahl and Woodard, 1977). Sea oats comprise a relatively small portion of a restoration budget but are an integral facet of successful dune restoration Th e planting of a one mile long, twenty five foot wide length of eroded beach in Florida requires 88,000 sea oat plants at a total cost of about $63,000 including installation costs (G. Sharell, pers. comm.). Sea oats typically dominate the foredune systems, a typically harsh environment that few other dune species can tolerate. L eaves of sea oats are highly tolerant to windblown salt spray from the ocean (Woodhouse et al 1968; Oosting and Billings, 1942) while their shoot and root systems are conducive to stabilizing dunes. The deep root systems of sea oats bind sand particles together while the ir shoots and leaves decrease wind velocity resulting in the deposition of wind borne sand grains (Woodhouse, 1982). Even after sea oats have been uprooted from a major storm event, continue to collect sand Over time t hese deposited sand grains eventually develop into sand dunes until the bundle is covered by sand. Given the frequent erosion damage to coastlines and the need for replanting, the mark et for sea oats has significantly increased. There are o ver thirty five commercial nurseries in Florida (Sea Grant Florida, 2003 ) that supply sea oat plantlets for restoration. Sea oats are propagated under nursery conditions using field collected seed. Al though sea oat seed is not difficult to germinate (Bur gess et al 2005), seed
14 availability is often limited by several factors. Despite producing six to eight fertile florets per spikelet, feeding insects (Wagner, 1964) and high humidity make embryos susc eptible to fungal contamination with subs equent abort ion occurring ( Burgess et al 2002). Typically, less than two viable seeds are produced per spikelet. These seeds will not withstand flooding conditions in sea water and are susceptible to temperature f luctuations. The small seeds are windblown, sand blasted, or simply dry out when directly seeded onto a newly created beach. The seedlings require three to five years to reach flowering maturity in natural conditions (Woodhouse et al 1968). G iven these l imitations, direct seeding is not a viable method for revegetation. It has also been observed that sea oats rely mainly upon rhizome reproduction to promote expansion (Hester and Mendelssohn, 1991). In addition to these natural barriers to seed availabilit y and germination, the active 2004 2005 hurricane seasons have significantly reduced seed donor populations, especially in the Florida panhandle. The limitation of sea oat s seed is further complicated by ecosystem management policies established in state and federal parks. These policies serve to protect the long term viability of local native plant communities by minimizing human interference with evolving genetic diversity and adaptation. This is achieved by requiring that native plant restoration be pe rformed using plants of local provenance. Uncertainty and dissent exists am ong restoration scientists as how to distinguish local provenance and the specific need to maintain local genetic diversity (Kaye, 2001; Wilkinson, 2001). However, implementation of these landscape management policies has been prompted by concerns that: 1) non local genotypes may be significantly disadvantaged when genetic differences between provenance result from local adaptation; 2) poor adaptation
15 may be transferred from introdu ced non local plants to local populations with resultant outbreeding depression in subsequent generations and; 3) the potential of genetic swapping of the local gene pool by introduction of a non local gene pool might lead to loss of biodiversity (Kaye, 20 01). Barbour et al (1987) had noted that southern Florida and the Florida panhandle differ significantly in environment due to hurricane disturbance, climate, sand type, and species differentiation. These differing environments play a role in determining what types of adaptations and characteristics are exhibited by local sea oats populations. To minimize the chance of introducing non adapted genotypes, seed donor populations have therefor e been restricted to within a fifty mile radius of the targeted plan ting site or even limited to populations found within indiv idual state park boundaries However, this restriction has been imposed with no supportive scientific data. Approaches to restoring the beach with uprooted sea oats rhizomes immediately following severe weather conditions have been explored. Miller et al (2003) conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of replanting uprooted sea oats rhizomes after hurricane activity. The authors reported that rhizome moistur e played a key role in tiller emergence, with rhizo mes losing bud viability after 3 to 5 days unless fresh water was subsequently app lied. Tillers replanted within 5 days following uprooting by storm activity exhibited 45% tiller regrowth. Tillers could be replanted afte r 11 days if rainfall exceeded 100 mm. Rainfall in excess of 100 mm during this time allows for rhizomes to be rinsed after being uprooted and salt to be leached from the soil before being naturally reburied. However, if 11 days passed prior to replanting, only 5 20% of tillers exhibited regrowth Reliance upon this restoration technique is impractical due to the
16 need to sustain high moisture conditions following storm activity. In addition, replanting uprooted sea oats tillers in such a sho rt timeframe after a severe storm is often unfeasible. Alternative sources of sea oats that represent a wide range of local genotypes are needed. Indeed, supplementing sparse seed producing populations with local ecotypes produced by in vitro propagation c ould provide an effective way to compliment nursery propagation by seed and rapidly increase ecologically sound production of genetically diverse sea oats of local origin. Micropropagation Can Enhance Sea Oats Availability for Restoration Micropropagation is a technique used for the rapid in vitro production of plants on a defined sterile medium in culture vessels (Kane, 2011) Numerous studies have been published on the feasibility of applying micropropagation techniques to commercial production of aquati c, dune, and marsh species for habitat restoration (Straub et al., 1988; Cook et al., 1989; Li and Gallagher 1996; Kane and Philman, 1997; Rogers et al., 1998; Seliskar and Gallagher, 2000). Efficient production of sea oats plantlets by micropropagation ge nerates a source of sea oats plantlets to supplement seed production, thus decreasing the reliance upon donor sites for seed collection. In addition, micropropagation allow s for year round sea oats production. Establishment of from major populations would create an invaluable resource for land manageme nt personnel to use when local sources of genotypes are not available for restoration. The general sea oats micropropagation process is divided up into five sequential stages (Figure 1 1). Development of a viable micropropagation protocol begins with the selection of plant material and excision of the explant to be sterilized (Stage 0). At this point, the selected plant materia l can be genetically analyzed for further analysis.
17 Explants such as shoot meristems or seed are then surface sterilized in sodium hypochlorite containing a surfactant to remove surface microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria. After rinsing the tissue wi th sterile water, explants are then inoculated into sterile culture vessel s (Stage I) containing an agar solidified culture medium consisting of mineral salts, sucrose, vitamins and one or more plant growth regulators. Stage I cultures are allowed to physi ologically adapt to in vitro conditions and then are indexed for contaminants. Cultures are then transferred onto a Stage II medium containing higher levels of cytokinins to promote shoot production and the proliferation of plant tissue. When propagating s ea oats in vitro Stage II medium is supplemented with cytokinins such as benzyladenine (BA) to disrupt apical dominance and induce lateral shoot formation. Sea oats produce a com pact cluster of shoots within 28 days which are then subdivided to increase t he total number of cultures. These shoot clusters are then divided into single shoots (microcuttings) after 28 days and transferred onto a Stage III medium containing the auxin napthaleneacetic acid (NAA) which promote s adventitious rooting in vitro Thi s step is often critical for successful transfer of sea oats from an in vitro heterotrophic mode of nutrition to a photoautotrophic state required for successful acclimatization ex vitro (Stage IV). Following root formation the rooted microcuttings are re moved from the culture vessels rinsed to remove residual medium and placed into plug trays containing vermiculite in the greenhouse. Greenhouse set points for cooling and heating are set to 26 and 18 C, respectively, with natural noon solar photosynthetic photon flux ( PPF ) ranging from 900 2 s 1 Sea oats are then watered daily and fertilized weekly at 150 mg N L 1 using 20 20 20; N P K
18 liquid fertilizer. Plants attain a sufficient size for outplanting after 6 weeks in greenhouse culture In vitro culture conditions provide plants with an environment characterized by relatively low light levels high relative humidity, high sucrose concentration, and low CO 2 concentration which limits plant gas exchange and photosynthetic capaci ty Valero Aracama et al., 2007 ). These conditions alter plant morphology, anatomy, and physiology on plantlets cultured in vitro leading to decrea sed photosynthetic capacity, poor control of water relations and subsequent decreas ed survival in vitro ( Aracama et al., 2007; Valero Aracama et al., 2008). However, those abnormalities that contribute to a decrease in photosynthetic capacity can be overcome in some species by culturing in the presence o f higher sugar concentration in vitro that the plants utilize as a carbohydrate reserve during acclimatization (Debergh et al., 2000). Genetic Diversity in Dune and Marsh Plant Populations Initially, Philman and Kane (1994) optimized an in vitro propagatio n protocol using a single sea oats genotype but later found that when applied across a wide range of genotypes, many genotypes exhibited variable shoot production, inconsistent rooting, and very low survival rates during ex vitro acclimatization. Kane et a l. (2006) later established more than fifteen genotypes in vitro collected from four Florida populations on the Atlantic (Anastasia State Recreation Area [AN] and Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area [SI]) and Gulf coasts (Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge [EK] and St. George Island State Park [SG]). DNA marker analysis has demonstrated that genotypic var iation exists among these sea oat populations due possibly
19 ( Ranamukhaarachchi 2000) and especially the frequency of hurricane and tropical storm events. R andom A mplified P olymorphic D NA (RAPD) genetic analyses of sea oats adult plants and seedlings from the four populations sampled indicate d significant genetic variations between the Gulf and Atlantic coast s with the most variation occurring within the Gulf coast populations (EK and SG) (Ranamukhaarachchi et al. 2000). Ranamukhaarachchi et al. (2000) attributed differences in genetic variation to the increased environmental disturbances in the Florida panhandle where more frequent st orm and hurricane activity occurred over the past 120 years However, the specific relati onship between t hese genotypic differences and local adaptation remain unclear Subudhi et al. (2005) reported the genetic diversity present among nineteen different U. paniculata accessions from eight different states including Florida using Amplified Fra gment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) generated markers. Not surprisingly, p opulations originating from the same state had a higher degree of genetic similarity compared to those populations from different states. Of all accessions studied, Florida populations exhibited the highest degree of genetic variability. Depending on where the sea oats accessions were obtained, overall genetic patterns revealed a separation between Gulf or Atlantic and northern and southern sea oats. Other dune and marsh plant species h ave also been found to possess a high degree of genetic diversity within their own natural populations and have been shown to be genetically distant to their neighboring populations due to differing localized environmental conditions which perhaps results in ecotypic differentiation Freshwater (1999) sampled Spartina alterniflora populations from five geographic
20 locations along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Using RAPD analysis, it was reported that genetic distance was positively correlated and highly significant with respect to geographic distance. Pezeshki and Delaune (1991) reported that Spa r tina patens plants collected from areas of higher salinity levels were able to grow better at higher salinity levels than those plants taken from low salinity environments suggesting differing environmental conditions play a major role in influencing plant growth and adaptab ility. Richards et al (2004) examined S. alterniflora and Borrichia frutescens populations residing in salt marshes along the coast of Georgia using genetic markers to test for clonal diversity These two populations were traditionally thought to have a h igh degree of clonal reproduction due to the harsh saline environments in which these populations resided. Despite clonal spread being extensive in these species, it was reported that a high degree of clonal diversity was present depending on where tissue s amples were collected. In addition, the authors explored if the clonal structure in the two species was a result of clonal foraging or natural selection. However, there seemed to be no association between plant genotypes and microhabitat. These findings s uggest that the factors impacting the genetic diversity in a given population may be much more complicated than simply examining a population s surrounding environment Plant genotype has been shown to influence in vitro growth responses However, the num ber of published studies examining this relationship is limited. Gil Humanes et al (2011) examined in vitro shoot regeneration of fifty one Brassica carinata genotypes established from seed. Highly significant differences were found amongst genotypes with respect to percent callus formation, swelling, onset of blackening in the petiole, and number of shoots produced from callus or direct regeneration. Kane et al (2006 )
21 reported si gnificant in vitro phenotypic differences between sea oats genotypes originally collected from Florida Gulf and Atlantic populations Differences included capacity for Stage II shoot regeneration, variable leaf morphology, Stage III rooting and leaf develo pment and Stage IV ex vitro survival and acclimatization. Genotypes from these different locations were categorized as and difficult to respect to survival when in vitro propagated sea oat plantlets were transferred to an ex vitro environment. Ensuring a reliable supply of diverse sea oats genotypes from diverse geographical sources is critical for ecologically sound dune restoration and stabilization. Maintaining high genotypic diversity as opposed to a plant monoculture at a rest oration site allows a greater degree of adaptability to environmental factors such as disease and invasive species competition (Travis et al., 2002) and may play a role in the long term sustainability of a population (Richards et al., 2004). Since sea oats is an out crossing species, there is concern that a non local genotype monoculture could dilute the gene pool of locally adapted ecotypes through outbreeding depression or greatly increased expression of deleterious recessive mutations through selfing. Co nsequently, development of an in vitro propagation protocol to ensure production of a wide range of sea oats genotypes is necessary. Negative Carry Over Effects Caused by Benzyladenine Optimizing in vitro culture conditions for propagating multiple sea oat s genotypes with differing acclimatization capacities is a prerequisite for increased growth, survivability, and efficient production (Valero Aracama et al. 2007). However, to accomplish this, the physiological cause for these genotypic differences neede d to be determined. In a series of studies, Valero Aracama et al. (2006, 2007; 2008) examined
22 the anatomical and physiological basis for differences in in vitro and ex vitro growth responses between a difficult and easy to acclimatize sea oats genotype. B enzyladenine (BA ) is the most widely used cytokinin incorporated in to Stage II culture medium to promote axillary shoot production I n sea oats BA was reported to be the only effective cytokinin that promoted a xillary shoot multiplication (Philman and Kane, 1994) C ertain cytokinins, especially BA used in Stage II shoot multiplication media can have deleterious carryover effects on subsequent growth rooting, and acclimatization ( et al ., 1992; Werbrouck et al ., 1995 ; Valero Aracama et al ., 2007 ). Experimental evidence suggests that BA inhibits rooting and other growth parameters. Werbrouck et al (1995) correlated BA accumulation at the base of Spathiphyllum floribundum plantlets with root inhibition and chloroplast ultra structural ch anges. Removal of basal callus containing the highest BA concentration decreased the inhibition of roots Werbrouck et al (1996) later reported that significantly reduced rooting was due to the presence of the breakdown product of the BA metabolite N 6 benzyladenine 9 glucoside ( [9G]BA ) which accumulated at the base of Spathiphyllum plantlets and remained for more than 6 weeks A genotype specific negative BA carryover effect on ex vitro acclimatization of sea oats was reported by Valero Aracama et al ( 2007, 2008). The s ea oats genotype EK 11 1 was in vitro propagated on BA supplemented Stage II medium and characterized to including tissue development, blocked stomata, and disorganized mesophyll and vascular bundles compared to EK 16 3 an to
23 capacity Valero Aracama et al. (2007) measured net photosynthetic ra tes of both easy and difficult to acclimatize genotypes under four different types of culture conditions: photoautotrophic, photomixotrophic with sugar containing medium diluted with sugar free medium over time, photomixotrophic with CO 2 enrichment, and co nventional photomixotrophic conditions After 6 weeks culture, the difficult to acclimatize genotype exhibited a negative net photosynthetic rate in vitro and the lowest survival (25%) ex vitro of all treatments observed. Conversely, the easy to acclimati ze genotype exhibited both a significantly higher net photosynthetic rate in vitro and 100% ex vitro survival. I t was concluded that the difficult to acclimatize genotype was unable to survive ex vitro due to their low photosynthetic capacity under greenhouse conditions. It has been shown that use of BA in sea oats Stage II medium may contribute to the variation in growth, rooting, and ex vitro survival of sea oats genotypes observed during acclimatization ( Valero Aracama et al., 2010) Howeve r, the extent to which BA negatively impacts ex vitro survival has not been screened across a wide range of sea oats genotypes. Meta Topolin to Alleviate Negative BA Carryover Effects Strnad et al. (1997) first reported the existence of N6 (3 hydroxyben zyl) adenine or meta topolin (mT), a naturally occurring BA analog derived from poplar leaves ( Populus x c anadensis Moench. CV. robusta ) Werbrouck et al. (1996) found that explants cultured on m T effectively regenerated Spathiphyllum shoots, with better r ooting in vitro than those produced on medium containing equimolar concentrations of BA. This is thought to be due to the fact that mT contains a hydroxyl group on the benzyl ring making O glucosylation possible. Naturally occurring beta glucosidases more rapidly degrade the mT derivative, N6 (3 O D glucopyranosyl) benzyladenine 9
24 riboside ( [9R]mT) despite accu mulation at comparable levels of [9G]BA (Werbrouck, et al ., 1996 ). Bairu et al (2011) evaluated the changes in a wide range of cytokinin pr ofiles in micropropagated Harpagophytum procumbens [(Burch.) DC. ex Meisn.] tissues. The authors suggested that the hydroxy l group in topolins allows for greater accumulation of O glucosides in topolin treated explants allowing for active cytokinin to be a vailable when needed by the plant. Valero Aracama (2010) reported that, compared to BA, addition of m T to Stage II media overcame the negative BA carry over effects previously observed in sea oats and further promoted shoo t multiplication of a difficult to acclimatize Uniola genotype without inhibiting root formation or acclimatization. It was reported that both difficult and easy to acclimatize genotypes exhibited the same in vitro shoot dry weight, number of shoots, and subsequent percent rooting when cul tured on The list of plant species of which aromatic topolins, such as mT, enhance in vitro propagation is rapidly increasing (Amoo et al., 2010; Aremu et al., 2011) Amoo e t al. (2010) compared the use of m T to BA on adventitious shoot production and resulting abnormalities such as hy perhydric shoots and shoot tip necrosis of Barleria greenii An shoots and shoots with shoot tip necrosis to normal shoots) was calculated after 6 weeks culture. When cultured in the presence of BA, B. greenii exhibited an abnormality index ranging from 1.7 to six times that of equimolar concentrations of m T. In addit ion, adventitious shoot production in the presence of equimolar BA and m T concentrations were not statistically different. Bairu et al. (2007) screened m T supplemented medium and its effects on Aloe polyphylla a species that is typically cultured on mediu m containing BA or zeatin and normally
25 exhibits a hi gh incidence of hyperhydricity. Plants cultured in the presence of m T exhibited a lower percentage of hyperhydric shoots at all concentrations screened than those cultured in the presence of equimolar BA At the optimum cytokinin concentration for both m T and BA, explants cultured on m T supplemented medium produced more shoots than on BA medium with no evidence of shoot hyperhydricity In contrast, explants cultured on BA supplemented medium produced fewer shoots with 21.8% of shoots displaying hyperhydricity. E cologically sound dune restoration will require the efficient micropropagation of many diverse sea oats genotypes. T he efficacy of using m T as a BA substitute for the micropropagation has not been determined However, b efore mT efficacy screening can be accomplished, a pool of sea oats genotypes representing a range of easy to difficult to acclimatize lines must be selected. Consequently, t he goal of this thesis research was t o compare and quantify differences in Stage II shoot production, Stage III rooting and leaf development, and categorize Sta ge IV acclimatization type of geographically diverse sea oats genotypes produced utilizing the BA based sea oats micropropagation protocol originally developed for a single sea oats genotype
26 Figure 1 1. T he step wise sequential process for U. paniculata in vitro propagation, storage, and evaluation.
27 CHAPTER 2 COMPARA TIVE IN VITRO SHOOT MULTIPLICATION ROOT ING AND EX VITRO ACCLIMATIZATION OF F LORIDA SEA OATS ( UNIOLA PANICULATA L.) GENOTYPES thirty five coastal counties where beach related tourism, alone, contributes more than $41.6 billion to the sta te economy annually (Murley et al., 2003) Besides providing unique wildlife habitat, resulting from hurricanes and human activity. The 2004 hurricane season, with one tropical storm and four major hurricanes ma the most active storm season in Florida since record keeping began in 1851 (FDEP, 2004). Of the 825 miles of the sandy beach shoreline impacted, 365 miles of beaches have now been assessed as critically eroded ( FDEP, 2005). The degraded condition of these beaches and dunes has significantly increased the risk of catastrophic economic and environmental loss to upland development, recreation, wildlife habitat and other cultural impacts following future storm events damaged areas require restoration ranging from natural recovery to dune restoration requiring beach sand re nourishment (FDEP, 2005). The financial impact that this conomy is significant. In 2004, $68 million state and $116 million federal funding was appropriated for restoration of impacted coastal dunes and beaches. Beach sand re nourishment followed by planting of native dune species has proven to be the most cos t effective practice to stabilize and build dunes. The cost of beach re nourishment alone averages $1.5 million per linear mile. Although structural
28 methods have been employed for enhanced stabilization following re nourishment, dune stabilization by plant ing is the most cost effective practice to control erosion. Stabilization is usually accomplished by planting bare areas with native or introduced dune species. The root and rhizome systems of these species hold sand particles together, while the vegetat ion above ground retards wind and water driven erosion and facilitates sand deposition (Woodhouse, 1982). The most effective species planted for dune stabilization are perennial grasses including American beachgrass ( Ammophila breviligulata Fern.) and s ea oats ( Uniola paniculata L.). In the southeastern United States, sea oats is the dominant sand binding native species in the exposed pioneer/frontal zone of coastal primary dunes (Wagner, 1964; Woodhouse, 1982 ). Due to its high tolerance to heat, drought and salinity, sea oats is the primary species used in beach restoration and stabilization projects. Consequently, due to repeated coastal erosion, demand for planting materials of this species has significantly increased. As of 2011 p lanting a one mile long, 25 foot wide length of eroded beach in Florida requires 88,000 sea oats plants at a total cost of about $63,000 installed (G. Sharell, pers. comm). Commercial nursery propagation of sea oats as liners or containerized plants, established from seed c ollected from donor populations, has proven to be the most reliable source for transplants (Barnett and Crewz, 1991; Bachman and Whitwell, 1995). Survival of transplanted sea oats from dune derived rhizome divisions is low (Woodhouse et al. 1968) The po tential use of st orm uprooted sea oats rhizomes as a plant material source has been examined but the time period for bud viability is extremely limited (Miller et al., 2003). Sea oats seed germination is low under natural
29 conditions and establishment by d irect seeding is ineffective because of seed dormancy, sand movement or seedling vulnerability to insect and disease damage (Westra and Loomis, 1966 ) and lack of initial moisture control during establishment Unfortunately, the massive damage which occurre d during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons has significantly reduced, even destroyed, some of the major sea oats seed donor populations, particula rly along the Florida panhandle The ability of Florida's native plant nurseries to meet increased demand f or site specific planting materials is further limited by ecosystem management policies in both state and national parks which serve to protect the long term viability of local native plant communities by preserving evolving genetic diversity and adaptati on. This is achieved by requiring that native plant restoration be performed using plants of local provenance. Implementation of these landscape management policies has been prompted by concerns that: 1) non local genotypes may be significantly disadvanta ged when genetic differences between provenance result from local adaptation; 2) poor adaptation may be sexually transferred from introduced non local plants to local populations with resultant outbreeding depression in subsequent generations ; and 3 ) the potential of genetic swamping of the local gene pool by introduction of a non local gene pool might lead to loss of biodiversity (Kaye, 2001; Krau ss and Koch, 2004). Clearly, additional approaches are necessary to preserve local popula tion specific geneti c diversity. One solution to alleviate restrictions in sea oats plant availability from local populations, especially those with inherently low seed production and/or destruction from storm related damage is to develop alternative propagation methods to
30 s upplement seed propagation. One such method is micropropagation, the rapid in vitro propagation of plants (Kane, 2011). The feasibility of applying micropropagation technology to commercial production of native aquatic, dune, and marsh species (Straub et al 1988; Cook et al 1989) for habitat restoration has been reported (Li and Gallagher 1996; Kane and Philman 1997; Rogers et al. 1998; Seliskar and Gallagher 2000). Ecologically sound applications of vegetative propagation techniques, including micropropagation, will require production of a large numbe r of genotypes of local origin f o r planting sites Initially, Philman and Kane (1994) optimized an in vitro propagation protocol using a single sea oat genotype but later (Kane et al., 2006) observe d that when the protocol was applied to propagate fifteen additional genotypes, variable shoot production, inconsistent rooting, and variable survival occurred. However, the extent to which genotype influence s the micropropagation efficiency of sea oats r emains unknown. In the current study the in vitro growth performance and ex v i tro survival was assessed in forty three sea oats genotypic lines from thirteen Florida populations. Materials and Methods Seed Collection In October 2006, seed was harvested fr om the following thirteen Florida State Parks and Recreation Areas: Per d ido Key, Navarre Beach, Henderson Beach St. George Island, Little Talbot Island, Anastasia, Gamble Rogers, Honeymoon Island, Sebastian Inlet, John D. MacArthur, Delnor Wiggins Pass, John U. Lloyd, and Bill B aggs Cape Florida (Figure 2 1). Park manage rs and biologists were consulted prior to collection to assure that seed was harvested only from areas that had not been replanted. Seed production varied significantly bet ween populations. Fifty
31 infructesences were collected from different plants within each population. Upon return to the laboratory, the seed was cleaned pooled by population, and stored dry at room temperature (22C) in 20 ml glass scintillation vials for t wo months before germination. Seed Surface Sterilization and In Vitro Germination To establish seedlings in vitro under sterile conditions, fifty randomly selected seed from each of the thirteen sea oats populations (Figure 2 1) were first presoaked in 2 0 ml scintillation vials containing 5 ml of an aqueou s solution of 100 mg/liter gibberellic acid (GA 3 ) for forty five hours in darkness at 11 C in a refrigerator. The GA 3 solution was decanted and the seeds were then transferred to sterile scintillation v ials and rinsed in 50% (v/v) ethanol for thirty seconds. The seeds were then agitated in 3% (v/v) sodium hypochlorite plus several drops of Tween 20 (surfactant) for 12 minutes followed by three rinses of sterile distilled deionized water. Approximately 1 mm of the distal end of each seed was removed with a sterile scalpel before inoculating into 150 x 25 mm glass culture tubes contain ing 12 ml medium consisting of half strength Murashige & Skoog mineral salts (Murashige and Skoog, 1962) 100 mg/liter myo inositol, 0.4 mg/liter thiamine, and 30 g/liter suc rose and solidified with 8 g /liter TC Agar (A 296 Phyto Technology Laboratories, S hawnee Mission, KS) Medium pH was adjusted to 5.7 with 0.1N KOH before the addition of agar and autocla ving at 117.7 kPa for 20 minutes at 121 C. Seeds were oriented horizontally on the surface of the medium with one seed inoculated per culture tube. Each culture was assigned a population and individual genotype code. C ulture tubes inoculated with individual seed were placed on heating mats providing a constant temperature ranging from 36 39 C under a 16 hour photoperiod provided by cool white florescent lamps at 45 mol m 2 s 1
32 Establishme nt of Sea Oats Germplasm Library A g ermplasm library consisting of actively pr oliferating shoot cultures, originating from each germinated seedling (genotype), was established by cloning in 150 x 25 mm glass culture tubes containing 12 ml Stage II shoot multiplication medium (SMM) consisting of sterile full strength Murashige & Skoo g mineral salts, 100 mg/liter myo inositol, 0.4 mg/liter thiamine, and 30 g/liter sucrose, benzyladenine (BA) and solidified with 7 g /liter TC Agar. By 16 weeks, most shoot cultures exhibited stable shoot regeneration rates and wer e subsequently s ubcultured at 4 week intervals at 22C under a 16 hour photoperiod as provided by cool white fluorescent lamps (General Electric F96T1 2C W WM 2 s 1 PPF as measured at culture level. After approximately nine months stabilized shoot cultures of all genotypes were maintained in the dark in cold storage (9C) prior to use Comparative Stage II Shoot Production of Sea Oats Genotypes Stabilized and indexed s hoot cultures of forty three randomly selected genotypes chosen from the thirteen sea oats populations were removed from cold storage (stored at 9 C in dark for six mo nths) and clonally propagated for at least two 4 week subculture intervals in GA7 vessels (Magenta Corp., Chicago, IL) containing 80 mL SM M solidified wi th 8 g/liter TC TM agar For the comparative study, five multiple shoot clusters of each genotype, each consisting of three shoots cut to 30 mm in length (Figure 2 2 A) were transferred into each of eight, GA7 vessels sealed with one layer of Nescofilm (Karl an Research Products Corp, Cottonwood, AZ). Cultures were maintained f or 4 weeks at 22 C under a 16 hour photoperiod provided by cool white fluorescent lamps (G eneral Electric F96T1 2C W WM) at 45 2 s 1 PPF as measured at culture level. Shoot
33 and l eaf number and shoot cluste r dry weight was measured from eight replicate vessels per genotype after the 4 week culture period. Comparative Stage III Rooting and Stage IV Acclimatization of Sea Oats Genotypes Stage II shoot clusters of each genot ype were then subdivided into sixty four single shoot microcuttings c ut to 30 mm in length (Figure 2 2 B) after 4 weeks cultu re on SMM and transferred into eight GA7 vessels sealed with a single layer of Nescofilm. E ach vessel was inoculated with eight microcuttings containing 80 mL sterile Stage II I rooting medium consisting of full strength MS inorganic salts, 0.56 mM myo inositol, 1.2 napthaleneacetic acid (NAA) solidified with 8 g /liter TC TM agar. Culture vessels were mainta ined for 6 weeks at 22 C un d er a 16 hour photoperiod provided by cool white fluorescent lamps (General Electric F96T1 2C W WM ) at 45 2 s 1 PPF Two microcuttings from each vessel were randomly selected and measured for root number and root length after 6 weeks Stage III culture Microcutting r ooting percentage data were recorded for all replicate vessels after 6 week s culture After 6 weeks culture, forty eight microcuttings from each genotype were rinsed to remove resi dual media and then transplanted into coarse vermiculite contained in eight replicate six celled blocks consisting of 4 x 6 x 5.5 cm cells (T.O. Plastics, Inc., Clearwater, MN) before being transferred to Stage IV conditions (Figure 2 2C) Plantlets we re w atered as needed and after 3 weeks ex vitro were fertilized weekly at 150 mg N l 1 using 20N 20P 20 K liquid fertilizer (Peters; The Scotts Company, Marysville, OH). Greenhouse set points for cooling and heating were 26.7 and 18.3 C, respectively. Natural solar PPF in the green house ranged from 900 to 1250 2 s 1 at noon.
34 Plantlet s urvival percentages were monit ored weekly and after 6 weeks Stage IV culture, shoot number and longest leaf length s were determined Shoot production and leaf lengths were calculated on the basis of per responsive plantlet. Genotypes were categorized based upon their survival rate in the greenhous e as: 1) easy to acclimatize ( >70 to100% ), moderately difficult to acclimatize ( 36 to 70% ) and difficult to acclimatize (0 to 35% ) (Table 2 1). Experimental Design and Statistical Analyses Experiments were completely randomized designs and repeated once Where appropriate, data were analyzed using analysis of variance (general linear model) p rocedures of SAS Institute (2003 ), LS means and multivariate analyses were performed using JMP (2007). Results Stage II In Vitro Genotype C omparisons Sea oats genotypes displayed marked differences in growth and development patterns when cultured in vitro Proliferation o f basal shoots occurred from three shoot clusters cultured in the presence of BA (Figure 2 2A). None of the forty three genotypes clusters exhibited signs of callus formation or rooting during Stage II culture. Stage II shoot multiplication, length, dry weight, and overa ll morphology differed significantly within and between sea oats populations (Figure s 2 3, 2 4, 2 5, and 2 6 ). S imilarities in responses between genotypes within the sam e populatio n were also observed (Figure s 2 4, 2 5 and 2 6 ). Genotypes producing shoots of longer length (Figure 2 5) typically exhibited fewer numbers of shoots (Figure 2 4) Populations with genotypes exhibiting the lowest shoot production included Henderson Beach, Honeymoon Island, and Gamble Rodgers. Maximum shoot multiplication was obse rved in Navarre Beach and
35 Delnor Wiggins Pass genotypes (Figure s 2 3 and 2 4 ) When the genotypes of all populations were pooled into North versus S outh groupings (Figure 2 1), no significant differences in shoot production were noted (Table 2 3). However, as a group, Gulf coast populations exhibited significantly greater in vitro shoot multiplication rates compared to those on the Atlantic coast. Stage III In Vitro Genotype Comparisons Similar to that of Stage II culture, sea oats displayed variable rooti ng responses dependent upon genotype when grown on Stage III medium. Growth characteristics varied significantly within and between populations (Figure s 2 7, 2 8, 2 9, 2 10 and 2 11 ). Microcuttings displayed moderate callus development prior to the develo pment o f adventitious roots (Figure 2 2 B). Similarities in rooting responses between genotypes from the same population were also observed. Percent rooting ranged from a low of 33.6% (GR 8 9) to 99.3% (NB 8 1) (Figure 2 8) The average overall rooting resp onse across all genotypes was 78.4% John D MacArthur State Park genotypes collectively performed the poorest in terms of microcutting rooting Percent rooting was higher in Gulf (84.9%) vs. Atlantic (73.9%) coast populations as well as being higher in North (83.3%) vs. South (73.2%) populations. Microcutting r ooting percentage s were highest for genotypes from the Perdido Key and Navarre Beach populations (Figure 2 8 ) Northern populations exhibited a significantly higher rooting percent age tha n southern populations (Table 2 3). However, there were no significant differences in microcutting root number between north and south populations. In contrast, populations on the Gulf coast, especially those in the Florida Panhandle region, exhibited high er percent rooting than Atlantic populations (Table 2 3).
36 Stage IV In Vitro Genotype Comparisons Stage IV ex vitro survival rates after 6 weeks were highly variable depending on genotype and ranged from 0 95% ( Fig ure s 2 12 and 2 13 ). Twenty three of the f orty three genotypes (53%) exhibited a survival rate of 60% or less. After 6 weeks growth ex vitro St. George Island, Perdido Key and Navarre Beach genotypes displayed the highest percent survival of all genotypes. Gamble Rogers and John D. MacArthur geno types exhibited the lowest percent survival. Populations in the Florida panhandle collectively had a higher survival rate than other Florida populations. Overall, the Gulf coast populations exhibited the most genotypes with survival rates exceeding 60% or greater Based on these results, individual genotypes were categorized as difficult, moderately difficult, and easy to acclimatize (Table 2 1). Multivariate Correlation of In Vitro G rowth Responses with Ex Vitro Survival Multivariate correlation analysis was completed to infer possible functional relationships between individual in vitro growth responses and ex vitro percent survival of the pooled sea oats genotypes from the same population (Table 2 2). Stage II shoot dry weight, shoot number per explant, and shoot length were not highly correlated with ex vitro survival in any of the populations studied. Similarly, Stage II rooting percentage, root length and leaf production were not strong predictors of Stage IV percent survival in any of the genotypes sc reened. Similar results were observed when populations were pooled (Table 2 2). Discussion Our survey of forty three cloned genotypes derived from in vitro germinated seedlings from thirteen Florida sea oats populations clearly indicate s that marked dif ferences in in vitro shoot production, morphology rooting and ex vitro acclimatization
37 exist between these sea oats genotypes. Of the forty three genotypes screened, sixteen ( 37 %) were characterized as easy to acclimatize, sixteen (37 %) as moderately difficult to acclimatize and eleven (26%) as difficult to acclimatize Consequently, approximately 63% of the genotypes produc ed using the BA based sea oats micro propagation protocol appear to exhibit reduced capacities for ex vitro acclimatization. Genotypic limitations on ex vitro acclimatization could have profound effects on production costs and the ability to produce the large number of diverse sea oats genotypes required using micropropagation technology. Due to its low cost and high effectiveness, the cytokinin 6 benzyladene (BA) is one of the most widely used plant growth regulators for in vitro plant propagation (Bairu et al 2007) However, n egative carryover effects on the production, rooting and /or acclimatizatio n of shoots produced on BA supplemented media have been described for a rapidly increasing number of species (Werbrouck et a l. 1995 ; Bair u et al. 2007; Amoo et al. 2011; Aremu et al. 2011 ). Werbrouck et al (1995) correlated BA accumulation at the base of Spathiphyllum floribundum plantlets with root inhibition and chloroplast ultra structural changes. Removal of basal callus containing the highest endogenous BA concentration decreased the inhibition of root ing. Werbrouck et al (1996) later reported that significantly reduced rooting was correlated with the presence of the BA metabolite N 6 benzyladenine 9 glucoside ( [9G]BA ) which accumulated at the base of Spathiphyllum plantl ets and remained for more tha n 6 weeks In the current study, reduced ex vitro acclimatization capacities in 63% of sea oats genotypes screened may be the result of a negative carry over effect of BA supplemented Stage II medium Earlier, Valero Aracama et al. (2006; 2007; 2008 )
38 attributed the anatomical, morphological and physiological differences between a diff icult and easy to acclimatize sea oats genotype as a consequence of the in vitro propagation on BA supplemented media. These differences included an eight fold decrease in photosynthetic capacity associated with a concomitant decrease in photosynthetic enzymatic activity and abnormal leaf anatomy and chloroplast ultrastructure in the difficult to acclimatize genotype after 6 w ee ks in vitro rooting immediately before ex v itro acclimatization (Valero Aracama et al., 2006; 2008). T wo additional observations further support ed the presence of a negative carryover effect of BA on the ex vitro acclimatization of sea oats plantlets. Although Stage II shoot multiplication was minimal e x vitro survival of the difficult to acclimatized genotype was significantly incre ased when plantlets were cultured first on medium without BA before Stage III rooting or by substituting BA with the benzyladenine (BA) analog N 6 (3 hydroxybenzyl ) adenine or meta topolin (mT) for Stage II shoot multiplication (Valero Aracama et al., 2010). Further i ncreases in ex vitro survival of the easy to acclimatize sea oats genotype were also observed. Strnad et al. (1997) first reported the existence of mT, a naturally occurring BA analog derived from poplar leaves ( Populus x c anadensis Moench. CV. robusta ) Werbrouck et al. (1996) reported that Spathiphyllum shoots multiplied on m T supplemented medium exhibited increased in vitro rooting over those produced on medium containing equimolar BA concentrations It has been proposed that mT mediated increases in rooting result from the presence of a hydroxyl group on the benzyl ring of the mT molecule which makes O glucosylation possible. Naturally occurring beta glucosidases more rapidly degrade the mT derivative, N 6 (3 O D
39 glucopyranosyl) benzyladenine 9 riboside ( [9R]mT) despite accumulation at compara ble levels of [9G]BA (Werbrouck et al ., 1996 ). Since the discovery of mT, a number of naturally occurring a romatic cytokinins classified as topolins have been evaluated as alternatives to BA and other cytokinins (Aremu et al. 2011). Bairu et al. (2011) evaluated the changes in a wide range of cytokinin profiles in micropropagated Harpagophytum procumbens [(Bu rch.) DC. ex Meisn.] tissues. The authors suggested that the hydroxyl group in topolins allows for greater accumulation of O glucosides in topolin treated explants allowing for active cytokinin to be available to the plant. The advantages of using topolin s for in vitro propagation has been demonstrated in an increa sing number of species (Amo o et al., 2011; Aremu, et al. 2011) Conceivably, enhanced acclimatization may be a common response exhibited by difficul t moderately difficult and easy to acclimatize sea oats genotypes following in vitro propagation in the presence of mT. Since ecologically sound dune restoration will require the efficient micropropagation of diverse sea oats genotypes, the efficacy of using mT or other aromatic cytokinins for efficient micropropagation of many genotypes must to be further evaluated. The library of forty three acclimatization characterized sea oats genotypes generated in the current study provides the opportunity to further explore this. With the exception of previous sea oats research (Kane et al. 2006) and the expanded comprehensive work reported here, t here have been very few comparative studies of the effect of genotype on in vitro growth responses in other native plant species used for habitat restorat ion. Genotypic differences in both in vitro and ex vitro growth responses of the wetland species Pontederia cordata L. have been observ ed
40 (Zurinsky, 1995 ; Kane et al. 1997 ) Interestingly significant genotypic differences in the effects of Stage II cytokinin type on the requirement for in vitro rooting for increased Stage IV acclimati zation were observed. (Zurinsky, 1995). Likewise, s ignificant differences in shoot growth corm formation and flowering of micropropagated Sagittaria latifolia L. genot ypes have also been reported ( Kane et al., 2000; 2003). Although these studies focused only on the ex vitro growth responses of micropropagated genotypes in this species S. latifolia exhibited a high sensitivity to relatively low BA levels in vitro Repeated subculture on medium supplemented with > 2.5 M BA resulted in increased mortality, reduction in multiplication, or production of dormant corms (Lane, 1999). Environmental conditions vary depending on the geographical locations sea oats populatio n location (Williams, 2007). Differences in substrate type wave action storm frequency, and seasonal temperature fluctuations all may influence local ecotypic differentiation Ecotypic differentiation with changing latitude has been reported for sea oa ts seed production and germination (Wagner, 1964; Seneca, 1972). Gulf and Atlantic coasts are characterized by extensive quartz sand beaches and strong wave action while south Florida beaches are composed of mostly calcium carbonate sand (William s, 2007). From Naples northward to Tarpon Springs, quartzite sand beaches are prominent. The sea oats genotypes established from the Florida Panhandle populations consistently displayed higher survival when transferred to g r eenhouse conditions (Figure 2 13 ). The basis for this increased survival among these populations is unclear. However, e xamination of location and frequency of tropical storm and hurricane landfall events over the past 110 years indicates that the Florida Panhandle has been more frequ ently impacted by storm events The relatively
41 increased instability of these dunes may over time have resulted in selection for more vigorous genotypes. However, care must be taken when interpreting in vitro growth responses as selection pressures may be over simplified since in vitro and in situ conditions differ greatly (Kauth et al. 2011). A n assessment of a significantly greater number of genotypes from each population would be required to develop clearer relationships between population specific responses. Of the Stages II and III culture responses measured there was no single growth characteristic for any population that could be correlated to po or ex vitro performance (Table 2 2 ). This might be related to the fact that Valero Aracama et al. ( 20 06 ) reported that low ex vitro survival in a difficult to acclimatize genotype was a consequence of low photosynthetic capacity. C onsequently, correlation of in vitro growth responses on media with sugar with ease of acclimatization may not be possible. G iven these results, it would be very difficult to reliably predict which genotypes would be easy or difficult to acclimatize without actual transfer to greenhouse conditions. Conclusion For micropropagation to be considered a practical and ecologically so und method for supplementing sea oats seedling production for dune restoration, it is critical that a large number of diverse genotypes from many geographic sources be efficiently propagated in vitro Results of the current study clearly demonstrate that sea oats genotypes display significant differences in Stage II shoot production and elongation, Stage III rooting, and Stage IV acclimatization when cloned using a BA based micropropagation protocol. Of the 43 sea oats genotypes examined, 62.7 % were chara cterized as moderately to difficult to acclimatize with ex vitro survival rates ranging from 0 69.7%. Clearly a more efficient micropropagation protocol resulting in
42 higher acclimatization rates for a greater number of genotypes is required. Currently, th e effects of using a BA analog meta Topolin, on Stage II shoot multiplication, rooting and acclimatization of difficult to acclimatized sea oats genotypes are being examined.
43 Table 2 1 Categorization of s ea oats genotypes as e asy moderately difficult, and difficult to a cclimatize based on percent ex vitro survival performance after 6 weeks. 1 Easy to A cclimatize survival rates range from > 70 to 100% 2 Moder atley Difficult to Acclimatize survival rates range from 36 to 70% 3 Difficult to Acclimatize survival rates range from 0 to 35% Easy to Acclimatize 1 Percent Survival Moderately Difficult to Acclimatize 2 Percent Survival Difficult to Acclimatize 3 Percent Survival SG 5 11 95 .8 PK 4 1 69 .7 JDM 8 6 33 .3 PK 8 13 94 .8 JUL 8 20 68 .6 DWP 8 23 30 .3 HRA 5 2 93 .7 PK 8 16 63 .1 AN 7 4 28 .1 SG 5 8 93 .5 AN 7 7 62 .4 JDM 8 8 27 .3 NB 8 13 89 5 JUL 8 4 59 .4 DWP 8 26 20 .3 NB 8 1 87 .4 HI 8 12 59 .1 DWP 8 25 19 .1 HRA 7 16 83 .3 SI 8 1 57 .7 JDM 8 3 15 .7 LTI 8 1 82 .3 DWP 8 1 56 6 JDM 8 5 13 .6 LTI 8 8 82 .1 SI 8 16 55 9 GR 8 2 10 5 PK 8 12 80 .1 LTI 1 4 53 4 GR 8 9 10 1 NB 3 4 3 2 78 .6 LTI 8 9 53 .1 JUL 8 23 0 .00 HRA 7 12 77 .3 AN 7 17 51 .1 HRA 7 8 72.8 JUL 8 11 51 .1 BB 8 13 71 .9 AN 7 21 48 .9 HI 8 4 70 .8 HI 1 2 48 .4 HI 1 3 70 .8 GR 8 1 36 .9
` 44 Table 2 2 Multivariate c orrelation of in v itro growth r esponses with ex v itro s urvival of sea o ats p opulations Response PK NB HRA SG HI DWP BB JUL JDM SI GR AN LTI Combined Populations Stage II Shoot Dry Weight 0.3833 0.4078 0.1613 0.1552 0.09 0.4191 0.0709 0.0486 0.0957 0.09 0.3696 0.2525 0.0602 0.0669 Shoot Number /Cluster 0.3309 0.0899 0.0172 0.1418 0.2223 0.1203 0.1544 0.2813 0.1895 0.2223 0.2111 0.2284 0.0228 0.1548 Shoot Length/Cluster 0.0261 0.3207 0.1016 0.1596 0.2215 0.1267 0.0418 0.2206 0.2616 0.2215 0.4093 0.0712 0.0415 0.1373 Stage III Root Number/Microcutting 0.0657 0.1519 0.1381 5E 04 0.4418 0.0748 0.0672 0.2101 0.0207 0.4418 0.0337 0.2484 0.0446 0.0357 Leaf Number/Microcutting 0.1061 0.1378 0.1561 0.2138 0.0069 0.2912 0.1578 0.3944 0.0547 0.0069 0.2416 0.1078 0.0176 0.0286 Root Length/Microcutting 0.2602 0.0434 0.2086 0.2514 0.2789 0.1835 0.0615 0.0778 0.1338 0.2789 0.0633 0.0332 0.1619 0.0599 % Microcutting Rooting 0.1913 0.0827 0.045 0.072 0.2208 0.1245 0.1131 0.2092 0.0503 0.2208 0.249 0.0963 0.0293 0.122
` 45 Table 2 3. ANOVA analysis of pooled growth responses of northern/ s outhern and Atlantic/ Gulf c oast sea o ats populations (refer to Figure 2 1). Stage II Total Shoot Number Stage III Root Number Stage III Percent Rooting Stage IV Percent Survival F p F p F p F p North x South 11.664 0.4485 15.0521 0.3027 1.492221 <0.0001 8.40949 <0.0001 Atlantic x Gulf 451.471 <0.0001 67.182 0.0292 1.765705 <0.0001 10.64508 <0.0001
` 4 6 Figure 2 1. Collection sites for Uniola paniculata seed with delineation of northern and southern populations (red horizontal line)
` 47 Figure 2 2. Growth and developmental sequence of Stage II shoot multiplication (A) Stage III microcutting rooting (B) and Stage IV acclimatization in plug trays (C)
` 48 Figure 2 3 Comparative Stage II in vitro shoot multiplication and morphological responses of forty two U niola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture
` 49 Figure 2 4 Comparative Stage II shoot multiplication of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown.
` 50 Figure 2 5 Comparative Stage II shoot length of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown.
` 51 Figure 2 6. Comparative Stage II biomass of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown.
` 52 Figure 2 7 Comparative Stage III in vitro rooting of U niola paniculata microcuttings after 6 weeks culture.
` 53 Figure 2 8. Comparative Stage III microcutting percent rooting of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown.
` 54 Figure 2 9 Comparative Stage III microcutting root number of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown.
` 55 Figure 2 10. Comparative Stage III microcutting root length of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The L S mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown.
` 56 Figure 2 11. Comparative Stage III microcutting leaf number of Uniola paniculata genotypes after 4 weeks culture. The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown.
57 Figure 2 12 Examples of 6 week old Stage IV ex vitro acclimatized Uniola paniculata plantlets c ategorized as easy moderately difficult, and difficult to acclimatize genotypes.
58 Figure 2 13. Comparative Stage IV percent survival of Uniola panciulata genotypes after 6 weeks ex vitro acclimatization The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown.
59 Figure 2 14. Comparative Stage IV shoot production of Uniola panciulata genotypes after 6 weeks ex vitro acclimatization The LS mean value (P< 0.05) for each response is shown.
60 Figure 2 15 Comparative Stage IV leaf length of Uniola panciulata genotypes after 6 weeks ex vitro acclimatization The LS mean value (P < 0.05) for each response is shown.
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67 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Although born in Tallahassee, FL, Jonathan Jasins ki realized his mistake early in life and has spent the majority of his life in Gainesville, FL. After high school, Jonathan attended Santa Fe College and subsequently transferred to the University of Florida where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in plan t science with a n emphasis in plant pathology biotechnology and a minor in horticultural s cience s He went on to work for the Walt Disney Company as an intern at the Biotechnology L aboratory in EPCOT where he developed a passion for plant science researc h. Jonathan went on to pursue graduate level education and joined the Plant Restoration, Conservation, and Propagation Biotechnology Program in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida in August 2009. Du ring his time as a m ast er s student, Jonathan married his fiance Natalie and became a father, welcoming his new d aughter Isabella in December 20 0 9 Upon graduating in December 20 11 with a Master of Science in horticultural science Jonathan will pursue a doctoral degree with the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys Green Bay Packers football, the thought of shooting craps at the Palms in Las Vegas with good friends, and spending time with his loving wife and daughter.