Planting date, storage and gibberellic acid affect dormancy of Zantedeschia Spreng. hybrids : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Applied Science, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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To match the supply of Zantedeschia cut flowers and tubers to the demands of the international market, crops have to be timed to a schedule, which requires control of the growth cycle and, in particular, dormancy. In order to improve the predictability and accuracy of timing of Zantedeschia, the effect of different planting seasons and two dormancy-breaking treatments were tested on cultivars 'Black Magic' and 'Treasure', which were known to have a contrasting level of dormancy. Tissue-cultured plants were ex-flasked in July and November 1999, and grown for 180 days in a heated glasshouse (first cycle). Between 120 and 180 days of growth, plants were harvested at 15 days intervals, and tubers cured. Subsequently, tubers were stored for 0 or 3 weeks (10 ± 1°C; 70-80% RH) and dipped in 100 mg.L <sup>-1</sup> gibberellic acid plus surfactant or water plus surfactant, prior to planting for dormancy assessment (second cycle). Growing the plants with four months difference in planting date did not cause major alteration in the occurrence of dormancy. Dormancy was brought forward by up to 10 days after the November date of ex-flask, but this was most likely to be due to higher temperatures during that period. In contrast, depth of dormancy varied between cultivars, with 'Black Magic' taking in average 16 days longer to emerge than 'Treasure'. Storage partially released bud dormancy of the tubers. It increased emergence to over 80% regardless of the time of harvest in the first cycle and cultivar, but reduced time to emergence mostly after harvests at 180 days. Furthermore, following storage, time to emergence was reduced to over 50 and 30 days for 'Black Magic' and 'Treasure', respectively, which exceeded the commercially acceptable period to emerge. Gibberellic acid also broke bud dormancy, improving emergence to over 80%, and reduced time to emergence to between 29 and 57 days, irrespective of the time of harvest in the first cycle and cultivar. The effectiveness of gibberellic acid at any time following harvest during the first cycle, may imply that dormancy of Zantedeschia is not as deep as in temperate woody plants. Cessation of leaf emergence in the first cycle was found not to be directly related to the occurrence of dormancy. Degree-days, on the other hand, presented a possible alternative to predict this process. It was estimated that deepest dormancy of 'Black Magic' occurred between 2614 and 2732 °C-days after planting, while deepest dormancy of 'Treasure' occurred between 2681 and 2839 °C-days after planting. The present study presents storage and gibberellic acid as possible options to control dormancy, and the use of degree-days to predict the occurrence of this process. Further research is necessary to develop these options as commercially applicable practices, and to further clarify the process of dormancy in Zantedeschia.
Calla lilies -- Dormancy, Plants, Effect of gibberellic acid on