Source: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA submitted to
BREEDING OF ORNAMENTAL TROPICAL FOLIAGE PLANTS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0220213
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
FLA-APO-004965
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2009
Project End Date
Oct 1, 2014
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Henny, R. J.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
BOX 100494, JHMHC
GAINESVILLE,FL 32610
Performing Department
Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, Apopka
Non Technical Summary
The purpose of this project is to enhance and support ornamental tropical foliage plant production in Florida by introducing new genera and species of plants that have commercial potential. The plants developed in this program should exhibit traits such as attractive and novel foliage, improved growth habits and growth rates, reliability and quality during production, pest and stress resistance, adaptability for interior environments and consumer appeal. The research described in this project should lead to new foliage plant cutivars that will have an immediate impact on the Florida nursery industry. In addition breeding techniques will be developed and published that will allow other researchers and breeders to pursue similar programs with other foliage plants.
Animal Health Component
25%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
50%
Applied
25%
Developmental
25%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2022110108150%
2042110108150%
Goals / Objectives
Objectives: To enhance and support ornamental tropical foliage plant production in Florida by introducing new genera and species of plants that have commercial potential. The plants developed in this program should exhibit traits such as attractive and novel foliage, improved growth habits and growth rates, reliability and quality during production, pest and stress resistance, adaptability for interior environments and consumer appeal. These objectives will be accomplished by conducting research in the following areas: 1. Define hybridization protocols for new and for under-utilized foliage plant genera and species that have potential to create major economic impact. 2. Develop and adapt mutation induction systems for ornamental foliage plant genera and species that cannot be readily hybridized. 3. Use somatic embryogenesis regeneration systems and tissue culture techniques to accelerate production of new phenotypes. 4. Conduct production growth testing and interiorscaping evaluations for selected hybrids, mutants, and new plant introductions for release as new varieties.
Project Methods
PROCEDURES: A lack of published research on breeding for most foliage plant genera makes it essential to contribute to the world-wide and historical botanical database for the future. It is necessary that each genera must be studied for its potential to be flowered on demand and their requirements for successful pollination and seed set documented. New genera are observed for natural flowering cycles as well as treated with growth regulators (i.e. gibberellic acid) or environmental manipulation (i.e daylength, cold treatments, etc) to stimulate flowering. Factors affecting pollination such at temperature, relative humidity or diurnal cycles are also critical in some genera. For mutation induction techniques through irradiation and chemical means to stimulate production of sports in various genera that are not easily hybridized. Genera studied include Gynura, Philodendron and Epipremnum. Rapidly growing stock plants are subjected to several rates of x-ray or gamma rays to find the LD 50. Plant numbers are then scaled up and large numbers treated, returned to our greenhouse and maintained for 6-12 months at which time they can be screened for phenotypic changes. Desirable mutations are isolated, propagated and observed for vigor and stability. This process may take up to two years or more. We also have conducted chemical mutation tests using in vitro application of colchicine to aroids. For both propagation and mutation induction purposes, we have developed somatic embryogenesis systems for several foliage plant genera including Epipremnum and Dieffenbachia and plan to continue this research. We will document the causes and frequencies of somaclonal variant occurrence using these and other foliage plant genera. Controlled growth tests for all potential new cultivars, either hybrid or mutation in origin, are conducted when enough stock plant material exits to provide uniform propagules. Plants are grown using appropriate growing environments, potting mixes and several fertilizer programs to duplicate commercial conditions and find the optimum plant response. Experiments and data collection may last from 3 months to 1 year depending on the particular crop. When plants reach salable size they are tested inside interior growth rooms provided with artificial light for at least 3 months at which time they are evaluated for interior performance. Only selections that receive excellent evaluations are considered for release to enhance and support the Florida tropical foliage plant industry. In greenhouse studies we already are characterizing several mutations induced from irradiation of whole plants of Philodendron, Gynura, and Epipremnum. We plan to incorporate selected phenotypic mutants into our somatic embryogenesis regeneration systems for mass propagation and then screen subsequent populations for additional variants. It should be possible to recover a higher frequency of mutants in this manner since somatic embryos develop from single a cell which helps to eliminate chimeras.

Progress 10/01/11 to 09/30/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The research described in this project should lead to new foliage plant cultivars that will have an immediate impact on the Florida nursery industry. OBJECTIVES: Objectives will be accomplished by conducting research in the following areas: 1. Define hybridization protocols for new and for under-utilized foliage plant genera and species that have potential to create major economic impact. 2. Develop and adapt mutation induction systems for ornamental foliage plant genera and species that cannot be readily hybridized. 3. Use somatic embryogenesis regeneration systems and tissue culture techniques to accelerate production of new phenotypes. 4. Conduct production growth testing and interiorscaping evaluations for selected hybrids, mutants, and new plant introductions for release as new varieties. APPROACH: PROCEDURES: New genera are observed for natural flowering cycles as well as treated with growth regulators (i.e. gibberellic acid) or environmental manipulation (i.e. day length, cold treatments, etc) to stimulate flowering. Factors affecting pollination such at temperature, relative humidity or diurnal cycles are also critical in some genera. For mutation induction techniques through irradiation and chemical means to stimulate production of sports in various genera that are not easily hybridized. Genera studied include Philodendron and Epipremnum. Desirable mutations are isolated, propagated and observed for vigor and stability. This process may take up to two years or more. For both propagation and mutation induction purposes, we have developed somatic embryogenesis systems for several foliage plant genera including Epipremnum and Dieffenbachia and plan to continue this research. We will document the causes and frequencies of somaclonal variant occurrence using these and other foliage plant genera. Controlled growth tests for all potential new cultivars, either hybrid or mutation in origin, are conducted when enough stock plant material exits to provide uniform propagules. Plants are grown using appropriate growing environments, potting mixes and several fertilizer programs to duplicate commercial conditions and find the optimum plant response. Experiments and data collection may last from 3 months to 1 year depending on the particular crop. When plants reach salable size they are tested inside interior growth rooms provided with artificial light for at least 3 months at which time they are evaluated for interior performance. Only selections that receive excellent evaluations are considered for release to enhance and support the Florida tropical foliage plant industry. In greenhouse studies we already are characterizing several mutations induced from irradiation of whole plants of Philodendron and Epipremnum. We plan to incorporate selected phenotypic mutants into our somatic embryogenesis regeneration systems for mass propagation and then screen subsequent populations for additional variants. It should be possible to recover a higher frequency of mutants in this manner since somatic embryos develop from single a cell which helps to eliminate chimeras. PARTICIPANTS: Not relevant to this project. TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
PROGRESS: 2011/10 TO 2012/09 OUTPUTS: Continuing studies with somatic embryogenesis have shown that Epipremnum Marble Queen can be propagated using this technique. In addition to a rapid propagation method, the differing types of variegated propagules produced can be useful in studying genetics of variegation. Preliminary results suggest that mechanisms underlying leaf variegation of Marble Queen differ from the closely related Golden Pothos. We have also established a method of regenerating Spathiphyllum Supreme through direct somatic embryogenesis. Somatic embryos occurred in leaf and petiole explants cultured in the dark. The results also indicated that regenerated plants have a stable ploidy level. Thus, this established regeneration method can be used for highly effective and uniform propagation of Spathiphyllum Supreme. In tissue culture studies with Dracaena x masseffiana we have been able to regenerate plants from immature flower buds. These eventual progeny are being screened for phenotypic variation. We have been successful in regenerating Philodendron bipinnatifidum (selloum) from somatic embryos using leaf tissue. This is the first such report. Offspring are being screened for presence of phenotypic mutations or changes in ploidy. Preliminary testing indicates that Zamioculcas (zz plant) may be induced to predictable flowering following application of gibberellic acid. Preliminary cultural studies with Adenium have shown growth and flowering differences due to light levels and nutrition levels. Experiments are also in progress to test Adenium response to growth regulators for promotion of rooting. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. IMPACT: 2011/10 TO 2012/09 The economic impact of this foliage breeding research, its applications and subsequent production on a worldwide basis was within the range of 20 million dollars during the past year.

Publications

  • 1. Jietang Zhao, Jin Cui, Juanxu Liu, Feixiong Liao, Richard J. Henny and Jianjun Chen. 2012. Direct Somatic Embryogenesis from Leaf and Petiole Explants of Spathiphyllum Supreme and Analysis of Regenerants using Flow Cytometry. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 110:239,249.
  • 2. Aisu Gu, Wenfang Liu, Chao Ma, and Jin Cui, Richard J. Henny and Jianjun Chen. 2012. Regeneration of Anthurium andraeanum from Leaf Explants and Evaluation of Microcutting Rooting and Growth under Different Light Qualities. HortScience 47(1):88,92. 2012.


Progress 10/01/10 to 09/30/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Continuing studies with somatic embryogenesis have shown that Pothos Marble Queen can be propagated using this technique. In addition to a rapid propagation method, the differing types of variegated propagules produced can be useful in studying genetics of variegation. Preliminary results suggest that mechanisms underlying leaf variegation of Marble Queen differ from the closely related Golden Pothos. We have also established a method of regenerating Spathiphyllum Supreme through direct somatic embryogenesis. Somatic embryos occurred in leaf and petiole explants cultured in the dark. The results also indicated that regenerated plants have a stable ploidy level. Thus, this established regeneration method can be used for highly effective and uniform propagation of Spathiphyllum Supreme. In tissue culture studies with Dracaena x masseffiana we have been able to regenerate plants from immature flower buds. These eventual progeny will be screened for phenotypic variation. We have been successful in regenerating Philodendron bipinnatifidum (selloum) from somatic embryos using leaf tissue. This is the first such report. Offspring are being screened for presence of phenotypic mutations or changes in ploidy. Two Pothos and one Philodendron advanced MREC hybrid selections have been sent to commercial facilities for production testing. In a first successful step toward hybridization, preliminary testing indicates that Zamioculcas (zz plant) may be induced to predictable flowering following application of gibberellic acid. Preliminary cultural studies with Adenium have shown growth and flowering differences due to light levels and nutrition levels. Experiments are also in progress to test Adenium response to growth regulators for promotion of branching and for dwarfing. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The MREC foliage breeding program is the only such breeding program in the world. The economic impact of this research, its applications and subsewquent production on a world wide basis was within the range of 20 million dollars during the plast year.

Publications

  • Henny, Richard J. and J. Chen. 2011. Leprechaun Aglaonema. HortScience 46(6):950-951.
  • Cui, J., J. Liu, J. Chen, and R.J. Henny. 2011. Regeneration of Chlorophytum amaniense Fire Flash via indirect shoot organogenesis. HortScience 46:466-469.
  • Henny R.J. and J. Chen. 2011. Using Gibberellic Acid and Ethephon to Induce Flowers on Tropical Foliage Plants. EDIS: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep447.
  • Henny, R.J. and J. Chen. 2011. New Florida Foliage Plant Cultivar Leprechaun Aglaonema. EDIS: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep446 .
  • R.J. Henny, J. Chen and T.A. Mellich. 2011. New Florida Foliage Plant Cultivar:Pothos Pearls and Jade. EDIS: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep441.


Progress 10/01/09 to 09/30/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: We are continuing to treat selected plants via irradiation to induce mutations. These studies involve plants in the genera Philodendron, Gynura, Epipremnum, and Zamioculcas. Currently we are propagating large numbers of Philodendron oxycardium scandens in vitro that were treated with colchicine. We should have polyploid individuals identified within the next 6 months. Growth regulator treatments are an important part of foliage breeding. Such results allow us to investigate potential differences in species' response. We are now treating selected lines of Epipremnum, Philodendron and Zamiocalcus with gibberellic acid to induce flowering for breeding. During 2010 our research in foliage breeding involved developing and evaluating tropical ornamental foliage plants, both hybrids and mutations, with novel ornamental characteristics or improved resistance to environmental or disease stress. Genera include Aglaonema, Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, Gynura, Spathiphyllum, and Epipremnum. We are now working in cooperation with other biotechnology colleagues at MREC to apply genetic transformation techniques for grape to Epipremnum and Spathiphyllum. We will use our somatic embryogenesis techniques to regenerate cultures transformed by Agrobacterium in their lab. Initial successes should make it possible for us to generate outside grant support. This will be a major research focus during 2011-2014. Develop reliable plant improvement schemes for pothos and heartleaf philodendron. We plan to couple traditional breeding with continued irradiation treatments and propagation using our somatic embryogenesis systems. We are now initiating tissue cultures of mutated Philodendron micans that will be used to generate large numbers of plantlets from a single mutated bud. This should allow us to regenerate large numbers of new mutations that would not be attained using traditional propagation techniques. Specific evaluation and testing procedures will include: 1. Select and observe for stability - new cultivar vs. standard 2. Propagation Tests - eyes vs. tips - winter vs. summer - include tissue culture studies if applicable 3. Production time from rooting to finished material - rooting in winter vs. summer - growth rates vs. season 4. Post harvest testing (3 months minimum) - under indoor conditions with artificial light - check for stability of variegation and/or change in plant form Reduction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) using tropical ornamental foliage plants. We are working with Dr. Norman (MREC plant pathologist) in cooperation with Dynamac Corporation, a contract researcher for NASA to determine how Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) can be removed from the atmosphere using foliage plants. Genera included are Chlorophytum, Syngonium and Spathiphyllum. In initial stages, we are exploring methods to compare the effect of the foliage plants versus the effects of soil-borne microbes on reducing VOC's concentrations. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The MREC Foliage Plant Breeding Program is the only breeding effort in the world dedicated to foliage crops and is of significant importance to our Florida nursery industry and to consumers. A conservative estimate of the economic impact of this research, its applications and subsequent products on a worldwide basis is at least $10 million dollars during the last year.

Publications

  • Liu, J., M. Deng, R.J. Henny, J. Chen and J. Xie. 2010. Regeneration of Dracaena surculosa through indirect shoot organogenesis. HortScience 45:1250-1254
  • Deng, M., J. Chen, R.J. Henny, and Q. Li. 2010. Genetic relationships of Codiaeum variegatum cultivars analyzed by amplified fragment length polymorphism markers. HortScience 45:868-874.
  • Henny, R.J., J. Chen, and T.A. Mellich. 2010. Philodendron scandens subsp. Oxycardium Frilly Philly. HortScience 45:830-831.