Secondary Shoot Proliferation in Hosta ‘Honeybells' and the Isolation Plantlets Free of Hosta Virus X

Monday, July 22, 2013
Desert Ballroom: Salons 7-8 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Joel Z. Sehloff , University of Wisconsin, River Falls, River Falls, WI
Ben E. Lockhart , University of Minnesota, St. Paul
Ryan Grajkowski , University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
David C. Zlesak , University of Wisconsin, River Falls, River Falls, WI
Hostas are the most popular herbaceous perennial garden plant in the United States and are susceptible to infection by Hosta Virus X (HVX). It impacts hostas causing streaking, mottling, puckering of the leaves, and misshapen growth, eventually resulting in death of the plant. Currently there are no reliable methods of producing virus free plants, but there is preliminary evidence that periodic off-season, secondary shoots can be free from HVX for a short duration.  Such shoots can be excised at an early stage from the infected mother plant and HVX-free plants recovered. The objectives of this experiment are to better characterize the rate of HVX-free shoots from infected plants of  ‘Honeybells’ and compare different cultural manipulations on off-season shoot production.  Vernalized plants were used to initiate all experiments.  Plants have been grown at 18 and 27 °C in growth chambers, while a second group of plants grown under greenhouse conditions (21 °C) were treated with BA, florel, Fascination® and a water control in order to induce more secondary, off-season shoot development.  Emerging secondary shoots were individually potted and grown on. Leaf samples of such shoots were taken and tested for HVX with immunostrips.  Rates of HVX-free plants across treatments will be reported.