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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #167457


item Takeda, Fumiomi
item SWARTZ, H
item Perkins Veazie, Penelope

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2005
Publication Date: 6/11/2006
Citation: Takeda, F., Hokanson, S.C., Swartz, H.J., Perkins Veazie, P.M. 2006. Strawberry transplant production and performance in annual plasticulture system. Acta Horticulturae. 708: 213-216.

Interpretive Summary: The strawberry has long been an important fruit crop in the eastern United States, but in the last 10 years, production acreage has decreased and the once thriving field nursery business has disappeared. In the near future, greenhouse nurseries in the region may provide container plants for the expanding annual plasticulture and out-of-season strawberry production using protected environment techniques. In this study we harvested runner tips from greenhouse-grown 'Chandler' mother plants over a two month period. Runner tips that were harvested early in the summer were either plugged immediately or cold stored for 4 weeks under different conditions. Cold storage treatments had profound effects on runner tip viability and transplant production efficiency. Cold stored runner tips developed fewer roots than freshly plugged tips. Large and small runner tips that were cold stored produced fewer roots than medium-sized runner tips. Cold storage at 40 °F without the addition of carbon dioxide reduced transplant production by 50 to 60%. Field survival was reduced by cold treatment, but once established in plasticulture in early September, subsequent fall growth and spring crop production was not affected by storage treatment. Runner tip and transplant production in the greenhouse will become an economically viable option for the strawberry nursery industry in the eastern United States if technologies are developed to enhance runner tip vitality and nursery propagation efficiency.

Technical Abstract: Tissue-cultured 'Chandler' strawberry plants were grown in a protected environment to produce stolons. Plantlet size and position on the stolon affected rooting and quality of transplants. Cold-stored plantlets developed fewer roots than plantlets plugged fresh in July or August. In the field, % plant survival was reduced by cold treatment. Transplants from July-harvested plantlets that were cold stored developed more stolons than transplants from July- and August-harvested plantlets that received no cold treatments. All plants from July-harvested plantlets that were grown in the greenhouse until field planting bloomed by November. Fruit production ranged from 521 to 703 g/plant during a 4-week harvest in the spring of 2003. Plants generated from plantlets plugged in July produced 26% more fruit than those plants plugged in August. Although greenhouse soilless systems can be used to grow 'Chandler' mother plants for generating plantlets and transplants for the annual plasticulture, how daughter plants and runner tips are handled prior to plugging has profound effects on nursery propagation efficiency.