Interactions between hormonal and developmental signalling in in rose (Rosa hybrida L.).
Musembi, Nicodemus Ndawa
Murigi, Winnie Wanjiku
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This study investigated the effects of auxin sprays on the development of side-shoots in rose (Rosa hybrida L.). The rationale was to prevent or to minimise side-shoot development in a commercially acceptable rose cultivar. Equally-spaced doses (at 0, 15, 30, 45 or 60 mg l-1) of α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) were applied at the equivalent of 100 l ha-1 to roses grown on an inert substrate in a commercial greenhouse, via repeated foliar sprays at 2, 4, or 8 d intervals over 7 weeks. Unattended or hand-pinched plants were used as negative or positive controls, respectively. The interaction between auxin dose and spray interval had a significant (P≤0.001) influence on the number and growth rate of side-shoots on a stem. All auxin doses tested completely prevented side-shoot development on rose stems at a 2 d spray interval. This high efficacy was attributed to prevention of the irreversible phase-change in the regulation of apical dominance. However, the interaction between auxin dose and spray interval significantly (P≤0.001) influenced the occurrence of leaf epinasty, a physiological condition with a negative impact on cut-shoot quality. Bullheads, another undesirable physiological condition, was significantly (P≤0.001) influenced by auxin dose. This novel technology is expected to lower rose production costs. The data obtained in this study demonstrate the interaction between hormonal and developmental signalling in apical dominance. Possible modes of action are discussed.