Horticultural Crop Revitalization for Future Needs

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    Interspecific Breeding for Warm-Winter Tolerance in Tulipa gesneriana L.
    (2015) Schmidt, Tyler
    Focus on breeding of Tulipa gesneriana has largely concentrated on appearance. Through interspecific breeding with more warm-tolerant species, tolerance of warm winters could be introduced into the species, decreasing dormancy requirements and expanding the range of tulips southward. Additionally, long-lasting foliage can be favored in breeding to allow plants to store more energy for daughter bulbs. Continued virus and fungal resistance breeding will decrease infection. Primary benefits are for gardeners and landscapers who, under the current planting schedule, are planting tulip bulbs annually, wasting money. Producers benefit from this by reducing cooling times, saving energy, greenhouse space, and tulip bulbs lost to diseases in coolers.
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    Commercial production of ‘Frontenac’ grapes in greenhouses
    (2015) Splichal, Becca
    The production of greenhouse grapes is a very uncommon but historic concept. Although rarely found, Vitis riparia ‘Frontenac’ would be a good cultivar for greenhouse production due to its large resistance to root Phylloxera and winter hardiness. For these reasons, winter costs of a greenhouse would be lower than those for other crops that are harvested year-round. Greenhouses would have better protection from other pests that affect ‘Frontenac’ grapes in the vineyard, such as leaf Phylloxera and Botrytis. The following paper goes to explain why growing ‘Frontenac’ in greenhouses would be both cost-efficient and sustainable.
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    Banana Production in Greenhouses
    (2015) Smith, Rebecca
    Bananas are an incredibly important economic crop. They are traditionally grown in tropical plantations and are threatened by several incredibly deadly fungi. Production in greenhouses would allow northern climates to grow bananas much closer and could provide a certain amount of protection against these pathogens.
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    Fragrance Removal in Lilium L. Subdivision Orientalis (Oriental lily)
    (2015) McCulloch, Myra
    The Oriental lily is a popular flower. Some enjoy the strong fragrance that accompanies it and others have difficulties with the scent. To reach to market of people who do not like or cannot tolerate the fragrance a new scent-free lily could be designed. Current production practices are reviewed along with potential future practices and an in-depth history of the Oriental lily itself.
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    Paeonia spp. Production and Future Developments
    (2015) Abbey, Marie
    Paeonia spp. is a popular herbaceous flowering plant native to temperate regions of the world. Though demand for the cut flowers is high year-round current production methods and physiological barriers of the plant itself limits availability. This paper is an overview of the history, current methods of production, and proposes a new, more efficient, indoor system for Paeonia spp. centered upon temperature and hormone regulation.
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    Fragaria xananassa: Past, Present and Future Production of the Modern Strawberry
    (2015) Rubinstein, Jared
    This review considers the history and production of the modern strawberry (Fragaria xananassa) in the United States and worldwide. Strawberry production in the Upper Midwest, specifically Minnesota, is limited to traditional outdoor production methods during the growing season. Herein the possibilities for developing indoor, year-round strawberry production in Minnesota are explored. This new market could open the door for growers to sell locally grown strawberries to consumers who have shown a strong affinity for locally grown fruits.
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    Ayahuasca: Propagating a Plant Teacher to Heal the World (A Guideline for Future Greenhouse Production of Psychotria viridis)
    (2015) Kuderko, Jack
    The purpose of this paper is to give a brief history of Ayahuasca and P. viridis Ruiz et. Pavon, present the currently known production methods, and provide insight into the future of P. viridis production. Since P.viridis has not been heavily researched, this may serve as an overview of future production. I hope this may be a helpful learning tool for anyone intrigued by the great mystery of Ayahuasca and anyone interested in legally producing Psychotria viridis in the future.
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    Zizania aquatica L., Wild Rice; An Evaluation of Cultivation, Domestication, and Production For Use in The United States
    (2015) Hauan, Hannah
    Native American tribes began the domestication of Zizania aquatica L. by growing the crop in wild lakes and rivers. As scientists began studying the domestication of the crop to produce a highly functional system, the rice paddy system was developed. Although highly productive in both California and Minnesota, the rice paddy system still contains flaws. Things like disease pressure and seed shattering varieties make the cultivation of wild rice difficult. In order to adjust to these challenges, a recommendation of a hydroponic greenhouse system is made. In the end, the hydroponic system hopes to minimize seed shattering, while allowing for a faster maturation of the crop.
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    Use of Vitis vinifera ‘Autumn Royal’ as a Potted Table Plant
    (2015) Eshenaur, Elizabeth
    Grapes are a very popular and versatile crop. With their origin near the Caspian and Black Sea, they do very well in warmer environments with generous amounts of sun. Grapes are mostly used for wine and table grape consumption. The most popular table grape variety is ‘Autumn Royal.’ When crafted into bonsai trees, the ‘Autumn Royal’ grape make a stunning beautiful and artistically cascading novelty tree.
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    Juniperus communis: Revisiting use of common juniper for modern culinary uses & producing drought resistant cultivars for evolving markets.
    (2015) McKeon, Colin
    Common juniper, Juniperus communis, is a widely distributed conifer with a natural range so vast it is known through out the entire northern hemisphere. It is renowned for its ability to thrive in conditions so harsh most other plants would not be able to become established. J. communis has been a widely utilized plant since antiquity; it has been employed by the ancient Greeks and Romans as well as the First Peoples of North America for a variety of cultural and culinary uses. Modern times have seen juniper in use as the principle-flavoring agent for the popular spirit gin, and a veritable explosion of cultivars have taken their place in the nursery market for various uses in the landscape. This review paper attempts to make what is old, new again, by adapting the natural strengths of J. communis to changing consumer tastes, as well as a changing climate. In a world of mass production and automation some consumers have gravitated towards the bespoke and the do-it-yourself production of products where possible. A prime example of this shift can be seen in the rising popularity of home brewing; an activity that this review suggests should be extended to distilling. Global climate change also presents an opportunity for new types of juniper production; many regions are facing increasingly droughty conditions that threaten to erase much needed green space from consumers’ yards and public spaces. Juniper is naturally a hardy plant with drought resistant qualities and this review seeks to provide an avenue for enhancing those and other traits that would be beneficial for regions stricken by a changing climate.
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    Reformation of specialty cut flower production for Celosia cristata
    (2015) Zuck, Cameron
    Celosia cristata is an interesting and increasingly popular crop in specialty cut flower production. With origins of dry, temperate climates in Africa and Asia, this herbaceous annual plant is now distributed and cultivated worldwide. C. cristata has a wide variety of cultivars available on the market including the ‘Chief Series’ and the ‘Bombay’. To become a more sustainable and energy-efficient crop in the future, one potential change in production is an overall increase on growth efficiency. By evaluating the current practices and traits of C. cristata, a new ideotype is proposed that addresses possible genetic improvements that can create a more sustainable production of C. cristata.
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    Reimagining Magnolia xsoulangeana
    (2015) Krosch, Caitlynd
    Magnolia xsoulangeana, most commonly known as the Saucer Magnolia, is a small flowering tree belonging to the Magnoliaceae family. It is an interspecific hybrid of M. denudate and M. liliiflora, both of which are native to China. It is considered cold hardy through USDA Hardiness Zones 5a, but can be found down through Zone 4b. The tree has a rope-like root system that stays within the first 0.3 meters of soil, and the tree prefers to grow in well-drained, moist soils. The next phase for M. xsoulangeana is to expand its market into woody decorative cuttings through sustainable greenhouse container production. Propagation would still be primarily through the use of stem cuttings, but instead of transplanting the rooted cuttings into the field the following year, they would be planted into their final containers and maintained in a greenhouse. During the winter, the greenhouse would not need to have additional lighting, and the temperatures in the greenhouse would only have to be maintained to the point where the root systems of the magnolias are not killed. Harvesting of the stems would occur in the early spring, and potentially in the summer if re-blooming types were used. In order to make this system function properly and be sustainable, breeders would need to select smaller cultivars that have a tolerance to drought. Smaller trees would make the system more manageable and give the producer the ability to maintain more trees. Root circling and girdling from the container’s restriction would also need to be overcome. Ideally, these smaller cultivars would also have smaller root systems, however it may still be necessary to use copper-coated containers, airpruning containers, or fabric containers. Research would need to be done to determine the effectiveness of each method. Drought tolerance would make the system more sustainable in that less water would be needed to maintain the plants. Other traits that should be bred for or maintained in the cultivar include longer vase life, color variety, and growth rate, the ability to re-bloom, and higher quality second blooms.
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    Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.: Where they have been and where they are going
    (2015) McAlister, Breeanna
    Producing the perennial vine Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait in greenhouses with hydroponic and possibly aquaponics production schemes we can enhance production strategies that are utilized. Moving this crop into the greenhouse allows growers to avoid management strategies that are harmful to the vines and other ecosystems. Winter flooding actually damages the plant and forces it to spend time in the spring to recover. This causes a reduction in yield from year to year; however, it is usually not noted since this practice is common among growers today and has been over the past 100 years. Moving the crop into greenhouses allows a grower to have control on the environment making this crop easier to grow. Within a controlled environment the plant can get sufficient chilling hours while being kept above damaging temperature levels. Introducing hydroponic growing systems into the production scheme allows grower to have access to the large amount of water needed for production without drawing on public sources. The chemicals that are needed to control pest and pathogen pressures will then not be released into the aquatic ecosystem like they are today. This allows growers to use management practices that they feel comfortable with while being environmentally responsible. One of the largest issues within agriculture is the leaching of chemicals and/or nutrients that are creating harmful effects in other ecosystems. This issue is avoided with most hydroponic systems and is the future for some crop production. Vaccinium macrocarpon is an especially great candidate for such production since the water requirements are extremely high for the production of this crop. Efforts are needed from all avenues of plant production in order to put this plan into action. Breeders need to be actively working towards a vigorously producing vine. Further research is needed to create such a system that can be mechanized to drop the hydroponic set-up below the water level. People who have capital are needed to start the production of vines in such a manner. Engineers, breeders, researchers, and producers all have to come together to make this work.
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    Expanding the Seasonal Potted Plant Floral Market in North America with Containerized Protea cynaroides L.
    (2015) Ziskovsky, Betty
    The existing floriculture market for Christmas potted plants has been dominated by the Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) for an astounding 160 years. Most recent USDA statistics show that the Poinsettia/Christmas market accounts for 23% of all potted plants sales in the US or $144 Million annually. It is the number 1 selling potted plant with Easter lilies a distant second ($22 Million in sales). The average lifespan of a floriculture product (cultivar) is one to two years. Poinsettia is way over due for displacement, but a competing plant with similar Christmas tradition-based credentials has never surfaced. An abundance of money is spent by consumers on University of Minnesota: Horticulture 1 floral decorations for the Christmas holiday. That market is not saturated – consumers are limited in their buying by the lack of choice: the only option is a Poinsettia. The Christmas market is a niche with huge profit potential for an alternative or supplemental that offers novelty, beauty, and the symbolic Christmas connection. The commercial development and marketing of a dwarf variety of Protea cynaroides L. meets those criteria. This paper discusses the background information on P. cynaroides, a marketing rationale for that plant to compete with or alongside Poinsettias for Christmas plant sales, and a discussion of what steps can be taken to launch a successful production and marketing program to tap into and possibly capture the rich profit potential of the Christmas floral potted plant market to expand the overall US floriculture market beyond its present levels.
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    Selection of bioactive terpenes and reproductive cycles of Cannabis sativa, C. indica
    (2015) Schwier, Alexandria
    The objective of this review is to get back to the roots of the story so that future endeavors in manipulating the genetics/production tactics cannabis can be a lasting success. This paper will primarily review the history and future production opportunities of Cannabis saliva L. and C. indica L., although it will also cover the breeding potential for auto-flowering/ short season plants by crossing with C. ruduralis. Developing methods to grow cannabis for constant harvest, perennially and disease resistance could significantly reduce production costs and increase efficiency.