Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plentiful Poinsettias Without Plant Growth Regulators

Date:
November 10, 2009
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Poinsettia, a holiday favorite, is produced using plant growth regulators (PGRs) to achieve their desired height, but the high cost of PGRs, environmental use restrictions, and increasing pressure from consumers are driving researchers to explore new alternatives. Argentine researchers recently completed a study to determine if manipulation of red and far-red light ratios can be a successful alternative to the use of PGRs. Results indicate that the new approach is effective and environmentally beneficial.

This photo shows poinsettia plants cultivated under a photoselective (left) and a transparent (right) film.
Credit: Photo by Diego Mata

Poinsettias can be a lucrative crop for ornamental plant growers, particularly during the Christmas season. In the temperate regions of the southern hemisphere, where poinsettias are grown for both export and local markets, high-demand time for holiday sales occurs during the summer, when warm temperatures and stronger light can accelerate plant growth, often resulting in unmarketable plants.

To produce more sought-after consumer favorites, commercial growers are challenged to control poinsettias' growth rates in unfavorable environmental conditions. Many growers use chemical plant growth regulators (PGRs) to achieve desired plant height, but the high cost of PGRs, environmental use restrictions, and increasing pressure from consumers to find alternatives to contaminant chemicals are driving researchers to explore new, sustainable alternatives.

Prior research has reported the successful use of a technique termed "light manipulation" to affect plant height in some ornamental plants. The technique involves using specific photoselective films to reduce the far-red component of light in the environment surrounding the plants. Consequently, the proportion of the active form of the phytochromes -- a family of photoreceptors that absorb red and far-red light in plants -- increases, playing an important role in defining the makeup of plants and, ultimately, their market value.

Argentine researchers recently completed a study to determine if manipulation of light quality can be a successful alternative to the use of chemical plant growth regulators for producing high-quality poinsettia plants. Diego A. Mata of the Instituto de Floricultura (INTA) and Javier F. Botto of the Universidad de Buenos Aires published the results of their experiment in a recent issue of HortScience.

The team evaluated different architectural and quality components of 'Freedom Red' poinsettia plants cultivated with natural radiation under different red (R) and far-red (FR) ratios in combination with or without the application of plant growth regulators. Photoselective film was used to significantly reduce the FR component of the light, and a transparent film was used as control to obtain high and low R/FR ratios (5.7 and 1.1, respectively).

Results of the experiments indicated that poinsettia plants cultivated under a high R/FR ratio were shorter and more compact than those grown under transparent film. Flowering time was slightly delayed in plants grown under a high R/FR ratio compared with those cultivated under the control treatment. Additive effects were detected between light quality and PGR factors, indicating that light quality manipulation is an alternative strategy to reduce or to replace the use of PGRs in commercial production systems that usually require several PGR applications.

"In summary," stated Mata and Botto, "our results show that light manipulation is an effective alternative to the application of PGR to control plant architecture in 'Freedom Red' poinsettias without affecting plant quality components under high natural irradiance conditions of temperate regions. The use of photoselective filters that increase the R/FR ratio in the cultivation environment reduces plant height and conserves the plant quality parameters."

Although the experiment suggests that light manipulation can be beneficial for producing ornamental poinsettia plants using an environmentally friendly strategy, the scientists caution that the techniques used in this study should be evaluated under realistic production systems before it can be recommended to growers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mata, Diego A., Botto, Javier F. Manipulation of Light Environment to Produce High-quality Poinsettia Plants. HortScience, 2009; 44: 702-706 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Plentiful Poinsettias Without Plant Growth Regulators." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104123036.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2009, November 10). Plentiful Poinsettias Without Plant Growth Regulators. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104123036.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Plentiful Poinsettias Without Plant Growth Regulators." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104123036.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) An international team uncovered a large ancient wine celler that likely belonged to a Cannonite ruler. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins