Submitted to: Botany
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2009
Publication Date: 10/2/2009
Citation: Foley, M.E., Anderson, J.V., Horvath, D.P. 2009. The Effects of Temperature, Photoperiod, and Vernalization on Regrowth and Flowering Competence in Euphorbia esula (Euphorbiaceae) Crown Buds. Botany. 87:986-992. DOI:10.1139/B09-055.
Interpretive Summary: Leafy spurge is a noxious perennial weed. To increase our knowledge aimed at biologically-based management, we examined environmental effects on bud dormancy and flowering under controlled conditions to follow-up on field observations and set the stage for identification of regulatory mechanisms at the molecular level. We determined that vernalization alone has no effect on flowering, but gradually decreasing the temperature followed by a period of vernalization induces rapid growth of shoots from crown buds and flowering.
Technical Abstract: The herbaceous perennial weed Euphorbia esula (Euphorbiaceae) reproduces by vegetative and sexual means; characteristics that are key to its persistence and survival. In this study, we examined environmental effects on dormancy and flowering under controlled conditions to further validate field observations and set the stage for the future identification of molecular mechanisms involved in dormancy and flowering regulation by transcriptome analysis. Shoot cuttings were exposed to different combinations of decreasing temperatures, decreasing photoperiods, and vernalization in growth chambers. Subsequently, shoots were removed and regrowth and flowering from new shoots were monitored in a warm temperature greenhouse under long-day conditions. Vernalization alone has no effect on regrowth and flowering. The plant required decreasing temperature followed by vernalization for rapid regrowth and flowering. Decreasing photoperiod at a constant temperature with or without vernalization had no significant effect on regrowth and flowering. In conjunction with previous field research, the results suggest that a gradually decreasing temperature is required as one of the components for flowering competence and vernalization is determinate for reproductive development under long-day conditions.