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Light quality effects on in vitro shoot proliferation of Spiraea nipponica Herrington, Edward John


The work on Spiraea in vitro shoot cultures was done to determine the feasibility of using light quality to modify endogenous phytohormone balances to decrease apical dominance. Such an effect would enable a reduction in the high levels of exogenous cytokinin benzyladenine (BA) applied in culture and thus reduce potential side-effects. The Spiraea in vitro light quality response was characterized by examining the effects of different light wavelengths on growth. A mixture of red/FR induced rates of shoot proliferation with 0.25 mg/1 BA that were as high as rates obtained under white light with 0.5 mg/1 BA. Shoot quality, as determined by the proportion of shoots 1 cm or longer (useful shoots), was highest under red/FR light. The lowest shoot proliferation rate was observed under blue light. When light wavelengths intermediate between blue and red light (green, yellow, and orange) were applied to explants only minor growth modifications occurred. Green light did not inhibit shoot initiation but inhibited shoot elongation at the 0.5 mg/1 BA level. The efficacy of the light source-filter combinations in the first experiment was studied in two further experiments. With the three light sources (tungsten filament, fluorescent, and metal halide) together with a blue filter, results supported the putative blue light inhibitory effect suggested in the first light quality experiment. Under the red filter, the tungsten filament source induced the highest shoot number means at both BA levels used (0.25 and 0.5 mg/1). Two factors may have contributed to the red/FR effect observed in the first experiment; the time under an incubation light regime before transfer to the treatment regime, and the photon fluence rate of each regime. In the subsequent study to examine these factors, shoot initiation was optimized at the lower BA levels of 0.25 and 0.4 mg/1 when cultures under low fluence red/FR were transferred after four weeks to white light of a higher fluence for one more week. Glyphosate, a known promoter of IAA oxidation, was used to investigate the presumed effect of lowered IAA-cytokinin interactions. Two types of responses to glyphosate occurred, each one dependent on the glyphosate concentration. At the lower glyphosate level (0.087 mg/1), cultures under both light regimes with 0.25 mg/1 of BA, showed a strong inhibition of shoot initiation. This inhibitory effect was overcome in cultures with 0.5 mg/1 of BA and an overall stimulatory response occurred as shoot initiation rates were as much as four-fold higher than in the previous experiments. For both BA levels, changes in shoot number were greater under white light than under red/FR. At the higher glyphosate level (0.2 67 mg/1), the shoot initiation rates were greater than glyphosate-free controls for both BA levels under white light although under red/FR the rates were virtually unchanged from controls. The glyphosate effect investigated for Spiraea cultures appears to be influenced by the levels of the cytokinin BA resulting in pleiotropic effects which depend on the specific concentrations of each component.

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