Jonathan is an M.S. student in horticulture researching techniques to improve propagation of the native plant, Linnaea borealis or Twinflower. Here, Jonathan is determining the root size and quality of Twinflower. His goal is to determine whether light and water impact rooting.
Shuyang is an M.S. Horticulture student working under the direction of Stephanie Burnett to the improve sustainability and efficiency of production of ornamental plants. One aspect of her research is developing recommendations for greenhouse growers regarding how much irrigation water is needed for the perennial plants Columbine, Dianthus, and ‘Rozanne’ Geranium’ . Previous research has indicated that perennial plants need as little as 5 liters of water for optimal growth and quality; these surprisingly low volumes of irrigation water do not limit photosynthesis or leaf water, osmotic, or turgor potential. Another area of interest is understanding environmental factors impacting cold hardiness of English Lavender. Shuyang will determine which cultivars of lavender are most hardy in Maine and whether the amount of water available in the fall impacts survival.
Fang, a Ph.D. student in Plant Science is working with Renae Moran on apple rootstock micropropagation. Traditionally, apple rootstocks are propagated by layering. However, some highly desirable rootstock varieties are hardly propagated by layering. Micropropagation, using explants from desired rootstocks, can provide a solution with rootstock regeneration if we could solve its micro-shoot elongation difficulty. She is investigating the factors that limit micro-shoot elongation during micropropagation. In general, she hopes to improve the current propagation method of apple rootstocks and develop a proper and efficiency protocol to rapidly propagate highly desirable apple rootstock varieties.
Image Description: Jonathan Foster
Image Description: Shuyang Zhen
Image Description: Fang Geng