A.R.S. Funds Twelve Research Programs
Dr. August Kehr, Silver Springs, Maryland
The American Rhododendron Society at its annual meeting in Seattle on May 15-18, 1975 approved the funding of 12 research programs in 7 leading American universities. The 12 grants, amounting to $500 each, will be used to sponsor research on rhododendrons and azaleas in some problem areas identified last year by members of the Research Committee.
Research in the twelve projects will be initiated in the coming months, and results will be published in future issues of The Bulletin as the work is completed for publication. The twelve American Rhododendron Society research grants are:
The Effect of Nutritional and Cultural Practices on the Growth, Quality, and Hardiness of Containerized Rhododendrons Michael A. Dirr, University of Illinois Determination of Mode of Action of IBA-Benomyl Combinations in Rooting of Rhododendron Cuttings. John J. McGuire, University of Rhode Island Control of Flowering in Field-Grown Rhododendrons Robert L. Ticknor, Oregon State University The Regeneration of Roots on Bare-Rooted Broad-leafed Evergreen Plants Leslie H. Fuchigami, Oregon State University Chemical and Nutritional Protection of Azaleas and Rhododendrons from Cold Injury Paul H. Li, University of Minnesota Rapid Vegetative Propagation of Deciduous Azaleas Through Leaf-Bud Cuttings Cecil Stushnoff, University of Minnesota Embryo Culture in Rhododendron Robert J. Campbell, University of Minnesota Incubation Temperature and Pollen Tube Growth in Rhododendron Robert J. Campbell, University of Minnesota Susceptibility and Resistance of Rhododendron Species and Hybrids to Root Rot Incited by Phytophthora cinnamomi as Influenced by the Air Pollutant Ozone Lawrence D. Moore, Virginia Polytechnic Institute The Influence of Container Media and Transplanting Technique on the Establishment of Container Grown Rhododendrons in Soil Robert D. Wright, Virginia Polytechnic Institute Winter Protection of Container-Grown Rhododendrons George L. Good, Cornell University Effect of Herbicides in Rhododendrons on Formation of Flower Buds and Rooting of Cuttings George F. Ryan, Washington State University
In addition to the above grants the Society for the past two years has sponsored a research project entitled, "Tissue Culture Propagation and Rapid Multiplication of Rhododendrons." This research is under the direction of Dr. W. C. Anderson of the Washington State University at Mount Vernon.
Dr. Anderson reported on his research on the program of the Rhododendron Breeders' Roundtable on May 18. He has found that the chemical 2 I P [N 6 (2-isopentenyl) adenine] will provide the required stimulus in tissue culture to cause tissues of 'Rose Elf' to differentiate into plantlets. This new discovery could ultimately provide an extremely rapid means of propagating rhododendrons. Already a similar technique is being used commercially to propagate 100,000 plants per month of Boston fern.
An important and far-reaching action of the Board of Directors at the May 1975 meeting was the authorization of a Research Foundation. The purpose of this foundation is to develop a trust fund of sufficient size so that the income will support, on a continuing basis, research on practical problems of rhododendrons and azaleas. A copy of the trust document will be published in the next issue of the Bulletin. Preliminary and spontaneous free-will donations at the annual banquet and at the Breeders Roundtable have already given the trust fund a healthy start.