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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. 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