Abnormal Growths on Micropropagated Elepidote Rhododendrons
Mark Brand and Richard Kiyomoto
The occurrence of abnormal growths or tissue proliferations (TP) on elepidote rhododendrons has been the subject of intense discussion at formal and informal meetings around the country and in nursery-related publications (Anonymous, 1992a; Anonymous, 1992b; Bayer, 1982; LaMondia et al, 1992; Rostan, 1992). Unfortunately, the information on the identity, significance, the mode of transmission, and cause of TP has been conflicting.
Experimental evidence is required to prove how damaging TP is to plant health. Observations in Ohio suggest the vascular system of stems with large TPs is disrupted, resulting in weak plants which cannot be sold. Plants with TPs on the upper trunk and branches are cosmetically unacceptable and may also be weakened. We will review some of the conflicting observations and speculate on possible causes of the TPs. References will also be made to reviews on topics covered here to provide those interested with a more comprehensive background.
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