Variation between cut chrysanthemum cultivars in response to suboptimal temperature

A. van der Ploeg, R.J.K.N. Kularathne, S.M.P. Carvalho, E. Heuvelink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


To breed for more energy-efficient cut chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) cultivars it is important to know the variation of the temperature response existing in modern cultivars. In a greenhouse experiment with 25 chrysanthemum cultivars, a significant variation was observed in temperature response (16 °C or 20 °C) for reaction time, total dry weight produced, stem length, and flower size and number. To study this genetic variation in temperature response over a larger range of temperatures (15 °C to 24 °C), four contrasting cultivars (Annecy, Delianne, Reagan, and Supernova) were selected in a second experiment. Furthermore, a third experiment was performed in which the cultivation period was split into three phases and the influence of temperature in each of these phases was studied for the four selected cultivars. Dry weight production in all cultivars was very sensitive to temperature during the long day period. Relative growth rate showed an optimum response to temperature, with the optimum around 24 °C. Net assimilation rate also showed an optimum response to temperature, whereas leaf area ratio increased linearly with temperature. Compared with these temperature effects during the long day, the effect of temperature on absolute growth rate during the short day was, depending on the cultivar, relatively small or even absent. The reaction time, on the other hand, was very temperature sensitive, showing an optimum that was cultivar dependent. The temperature response of the total dry weight production during the whole cultivation period was, therefore, very cultivar dependent. Furthermore, depending on the cultivar, stem length increased with temperature, especially during long day, as a result of both increasing internode number and average internode length. The response of both flower size and number to temperature was also highly cultivar specific. The possibilities of using this genetic variation for breeding are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-59
JournalJournal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • night temperature
  • flower characteristics
  • vegetative growth
  • morifolium
  • phases
  • crop

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