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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 226: International Symposium on Propagation of Ornamental Plants

A GRAFT-TRANSMISSIBLE FACTOR IN EUPHORBIA PULCHERRIMA CAUSING PERMANENT CHANGES IN BRANCHING AND ANOTHER MORPHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Authors:   J. Dole, H. Wilkins
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1988.226.34
Abstract:
Poinsettia cultivars are divided into two groups, free-branching [(‘Annette Hegg’ cvs (AH)] and restricted-branching [(‘Eckespoint C-1’ cvs (C-1)]. The type of branching and other morphological differences between them may be changed by a graft-transmissible agent. Branching habit, stem width, and leaf shape can be altered in C-1 cvs when grafted onto AH cvs. Grafting does not influence bract color, cyathia cluster diameter, or anthesis date, but does influence percentage of nodes producing axillary inflorescences on a reproductive plant. These changes are permanent. The agent can move both basipetally and acropetally through the graft union and can be repeatedly transmitted to an ‘uninfected’ poinsettia by grafting. The agent is probably not a bacteria, fungus, or mycoplasma-like organism (MLO) but could be a virus. It is probably not poinsettia mosaic virus (PMV) or poinsettia cryptic virus (PoiCV). We are continuing to search for the agent by means of gel electrophoresis of double-stranded RNA.

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