The purpose of this research was to determine the effects of varieties, different light conditions (short day, long day, natural short day with light pollution), and different growing media (perlite, peat-free, peat-based, aeroponics system) on Rudbeckia hirta plant production under controlled conditions (greenhouse). The morphological effects...of each treatment (photoperiodic lightings and media) on different Rudbeckia varieties determined at 11 weeks-old ’Napfény’, ’Toto Gold’, ’Autumn Colors’, ’Prairie Sun’ and 16 weeks-old ’Napfény’. Plantlets received 12 hours daylight did not initiate flowers, remained stage of the leaf rosette in case of all varieties. The 14 hours light treatment in the aeroponics system and the same treatment in perlite and control (natural short day with 14 hours light pollution) plantlets had developed inflorescences or flower buds. The inflorescence axis of ‘Napfény’ was appeared at 13 weeks under long-day conditions, with 1.7 (perlite) - 2.7 (aeroponics) flower buds in 16 weeks. ’Toto Gold’, ’Autumn Colors’, ’Prairie Sun’ varieties developed inflorescences at 8 weeks, 14 hours aeroponics system resulted in the most of flower buds (’Toto Gold’: 6.5, ’Autumn Colors’: 3.25,’Prairie Sun’: 4.8 flower buds) at 11 weeks. Long daylight manipulation could be minimized crop times and achieved flowering potted plants at 11 weeks. The peat-based and peat-free media effect was observed on ‘Autumn Colors’. The number of leaves of peat-free ‘Autumn Colors’ transplants (16.8-20.3) was significantly higher than peat-based media (13.5-15.5). Other morphological parameters were not affected by the media treatments.
We conducted experiments for developing an in vitro micropropagation protocol starting from meristems of Rudbeckia hirta L seedlings. We pre-soaked the seeds in sterile ion-exchanged water for 17 hours, and then achieved surface disinfection in two separate steps. First, we used concentrated household sodium-hypochloride solut...ion for 20 minutes and, also for 20 minutes, we applied hydrogen peroxide of 10%, which was followed by washing with sterile ion-exchanged water three times. For the propagation of seedling meristems, the combination of half-strenght solid Murashige and Skoog (1962) culture medium containing 10 mg/1 of kinetin or 2 mg/I of kinetin + 0.1 mg/1 of 2iP proved to be the most suitable. The average number of shoot-buds developed from the seedling axillary meristem in the best culture media varied between 5 and 17. Without separating them, we inoculated the shoot-bud clusters on MS culture medium containing 2 mg/1 of IAA. After four weeks of incubation we obtained elongated shoots which we separated and inoculated into a new culture medium and we obtained elongated roots. The rooted plants were gradually acclimatised in the cultivation room, potted and carried to a greenhouse, and then planted in open field for subsequent observation. By adopting this method, our laboratory started the micropropagation of the superior and/or elite genotypes of the Rudbeckia hirta L. being of special value in respect of breeding.