The mission of the D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Crop Improvement Lab is to advance the science and practice of floriculture. Research focuses on improving floriculture crops for both producers and consumers using molecular, physiological and microbial approaches.

Microbe-containing products for enhancement of floriculture crops

We are utilizing the plant rhizosphere microbiome to identify microorganisms that may be beneficial to floriculture crops. These beneficial microbes may enhance plant health (act as biostimulant) by increasing root elongation, nutrient uptake, and stress tolerance.

There are an increasing number of biological products marketed as plant growth enhancers or biostimulants.  One barrier identified by Greenhouse industry stakeholders to the use of biostimulants has been the lack of a single, non-bias resource that contains biostimulant products available for use on greenhouse floriculture crops. We have created an interface that is a compilation of products that (1) contain microorganism(s), (2) are advertised as biostimulants (i.e., enhance plant growth), and (3) can be used in a greenhouse and/or on flowering plants.  This tool was developed with support from NIFA/USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative.  Please visit the Microbe-containing bioproducts page for more information and to access the resource specific for greenhouse floriculture crops.

Molecular and biochemical regulation of senescence in plants

The senescence or death of leaves, flowers and whole plants occurs naturally as part of the last stage of plant development, but it can also be accelerated by ethylene and environmental stress.  We are interested in senescence because it reduces the postproduction quality and marketability of ornamental plants.  Senescence is genetically controlled and we are using proteomic and genomic approaches to identify pathways involved in the initiation and execution of the senescence program in petals.  Functional analysis of senescence associated genes is conducted using virus-induced gene silencing in Petunia.


Journal ArticlesBook ChaptersExtension & Trade Publications

Journal Articles 

South KA, Nordstedt NP and ML Jones (2021) Identification of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria that improve the performance of greenhouse-grown petunias under low fertility conditions. Plants 10(7): 1410. doi:10:3390/plants10071410

Nordstedt NP and ML Jones (2021) Genomic analysis of Serratia plymuthica MBSA-MJ1: A plant growth promoting rhizobacteria that improves water stress tolerance in greenhouse ornamentals. Frontiers in Microbiology 12:653556. doi:10:3389/fmicb.2021.653556

Jones ML, Bai S, Lin Y, and LJ Chapin (2021) The senescence-associated endonuclease, PhENDO1, is upregulated by ethylene and phosphorus deficiency in petunia. Horticulturae 7:46. doi:10.3390/horticulturae7030046

Nordstedt N and ML Jones (2021) Psuedomonas putida UW4 increases ornamental plant quality and stress tolerance during severe water stress. Acta Horticulture, International Symposium on Horticulture in Europe, in press.

Lin Y and ML Jones (2021) Siliencing ATG6 and PI3K accelerates petal senescence and reduced flower number and shoot biomass in petunia. Plant Science 302: 110713.

Nordstedt N and ML Jones (2020) Isolation of rhizosphere bacteria that improve quality and water stress tolerance in greenhouse ornamentals. Frontiers in Plant Science 11:826. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00826

Nordstedt NP, Chapin LJ, Taylor CG, and ML Jones (2020) Identification of Pseudomonas spp. that increase ornamental crop quality during abiotic stress.  Frontiers in Plant Science 10:1754. doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.01754

South KA, Peduto Hand F, and ML Jones (2020) Beneficial bacteria identified for the control of Botrytis cinerea in petunia greenhouse production.  Plant Disease 104:1801-1810.  doi: 10.1094/PDIS-10-19-2276-RE

Wang H, Blakeslee JJ, Jones ML, Chapin LJ, and IE Dami (2020) Exogenous abscisic acid enhances physiological, metabolic, and transcriptional cold acclimation responses in greenhouse-grown grapevines. Plant Science 293:110437. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2020.110437

Quijia Pillajo JO, Chapin LJ, and ML Jones (2018) Senescence and abiotic stress induced expression of autophagy-related genes in petunia.  Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science 143:154-163.  doi: 10.21273/JASHS04349-18

Chapin LJ, Moon Y, and ML Jones (2017) Downregulating a type I metacaspase in petunia accelerates flower senescence.  Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science 142:405-414. doi: 10.21273/JASHS04204-17

South KA, Thomas PA, van Iersal MW, Young C, and ML Jones (2017)  Ice cube irrigation of potted Phalaenopsis orchids in bark media does not decrease display life.  HortScience 52:1271-1277. doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI12212-17

Broderick SR and ML Jones (2015) EIN3-binding F-box proteins from petunia corollas using RNA-seq.  Acta Horticulturae 1104:327-332. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1104.49

Broderick SR, Wijeratn S, Wijeratn AJ, Chapin LJ, Meulia T and ML Jones (2014) RNA-sequencing reveals early, dynamic transcriptome changes in the corollas of pollinated petunias.  BMC Plant Biology 14:307-328. doi: 10.1186/s12870-014-0307-2

Edelman NF and ML Jones (2014) Evaluating ethylene sensitivity within the family Solanaceae at different developmental stages. HortScience 49:628-636. doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI.49.5.628

Edelman NF, Kaufman BA and ML Jones (2014) Comparative evaluation of seedling hypocotyl elongation and mature plant assays for determining ethylene sensitivity in bedding plants.  HortScience 49:472-480. doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI.49.4.472

Broderick SR and ML Jones (2014) An optimized protocol to increase virus-induced gene silencing efficiency and minimize viral symptoms in petunia. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 32:219-233. doi: 10.1007/s11105-013-0647-3 

Andiru G, Pasian CC, Frantz J and ML Jones (2013) Greenhouse production of Impatiens wallerana using a controlled-release fertiliser produces quality finished plants with enhanced garden performance. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 88:216-222. doi: 10.1080/14620316.2013.11512959

Jones ML (2013) Mineral nutrient remobilization during corolla senescence in ethylene-sensitive and insensitive flowers. Annals of Botany PLANTS 5:plt023; doi:10.1093/aobpla/plt023

Waterland NL and ML Jones (2013) Exogenous ABA applications delay drought-induced wilting but cause leaf and flower abscission in fuchsia.  Acta Horticulturae 970:29-35. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.970.2

Amnuaysin N, Jones ML and K Seraypheap (2012) Changes in activities and gene expression of enzymes associated with cell wall modification in peels of hot water treated bananas. Scientia Horticulturae 142:98-104. doi: 10.1016/j.scienta.2012.05.006

Hernandez-Garcia CM, Bouchard RA, Rushton PJ, Jones ML, Xianfeng C, Timko MP and JJ Finer (2010) High level transgenic expression of soybean (Glycine max) GmERF and Gmubi gene promoters isolated by a novel promoter analysis pipeline.  BMC Plant Biology 10:237. doi: 10.1186/1471-2229-10-237

Jones ML, Chapin LJ and S Bai (2010) Proteomic analysis identified proteases up regulated during petunia corolla senescence. Acta Horticulturae 880: 377-386. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.880.45

Waterland N, Finer JJ and ML Jones (2010) Abscisic acid applications decrease stomatal conductance and delay wilting in drought-stressed chrysanthemums. HortTechnology 20: 896-901. doi:10.21273/HORTTECH.20.5.896 

Waterland N, Finer JJ and ML Jones (2010) Benzyladenine and gibberellic acid application prevents abscisic acid induced leaf chlorosis in pansies and violas. HortScience 45: 925-933. doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI.45.6.925 

Waterland N., Campbell CA, Finer JJ and ML Jones (2010) Abscisic acid application enhances drought stress tolerance in bedding plants.  HortScience 45: 409-413. doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI.45.3.409

Bai S, Willard B, Kinter, M., Chapin L.J. Stead A., and M.L. Jones (2010) Proteomic analysis of pollination-induced corolla senescence. Journal of Experimental Botany.  61: 1089-1109. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erp373

Chapin LJ and ML Jones (2009) Ethylene regulates phosphorus remobilization and expression of a phosphate transporter (PhPT1) during petal senescence in petunia.  Journal of Experimental Botany. 60: 2179-2190. doi: 10.1093/jxp/erp092

Jones ML (2008) Ethylene signaling is required for pollination-accelerated corolla senescence in petunias. Plant Science 175: 190-196. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2008.03.011

Chapin LJ and ML Jones (2007) Nutrient remobilization during pollination-induced corolla senescence in petunia. Acta Horticulturae 755: 181-190. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.755.22

Jones ML, Bai S, Willard B, Stead A, and M Kinter (2007) Proteomic analysis of pollination-induced senescence in petunia flowers. In: A. Ramina, C. Chang, J. Giovannoni, H. Klee, P. Perata, and E. Woltering (eds). Advances in Plant Ethylene Research. Springer, Dordrecht. Pgs. 279-284. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-6014-4_61 

Jones ML, GS Chaffin, JR Eason and D Clark (2005) Ethylene sensitivity regulates proteolytic activity and cysteine protease gene expression in petunia corollas. Journal of Experimental Botany. 56:2733-2744. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eri266

Chiang Y-J, Stushnoff C, McSay AE, Jones ML and H Bohnert (2005) Overexpression of mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase increases mannitol accumulation and adds protection against chilling injury in petunia. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 130:605-610. doi: 10.21273/JASHS.130.4.605

Langston BL, Bai S and ML Jones (2005) Increases in DNA fragmentation and induction of a corolla senescence-specific nuclease are delayed during the senescence of ethylene-insensitive (etr1-1) transgenic petunias.  Journal of Experimental Botany 56:15-23. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eri002

Jones ML, Cochran KK, Anderson GA and DC Ferree (2004) Effects of preservatives and cold storage on performance of cut branches of various cultivars of deciduous holly.  HortTechnology 14:230-234. doi: 10.21273/HORTTECH.14.2.0230

Pennycooke JC, Vepachedu R, Stushnoff C and ML Jones (2004) Expression of an α-galactosidase gene in petunia is up-regulated during low temperature deacclimation.  Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 129:491-496. doi: 10.21273/JASHS.129.4.0491 

Clark DG, Dervinis C, Barrett JE, Klee H and ML Jones (2004) Drought-induced leaf senescence and horticultural performance of transgenic PSAG12-IPT petunias. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 129: 93-99. doi: 10.21273/JASHS.129.1.0093

Pennycooke JC, Jones ML and C Stushnoff (2003) Down-regulating α-galactosidase enhances freezing tolerance in transgenic petunia.  Plant Physiology 133: 901-909. doi: 10.1104/pp.103.024554 

Chang H, Jones ML, Banowetz GM and DG Clark (2003) Overproduction of cytokinins in petunia flowers transformed with PSAG12-IPT delays corolla senescence and decreases sensitivity to ethylene. Plant Physiology 132: 2174-2183. doi: 10.1104/pp.103.023945

Jones ML (2003) Ethylene biosynthetic genes are differentially regulated by ethylene and ACC in carnation styles.  Plant Growth Regulation 40:129-138. doi: 10.1023/A:1024241006254

Pennycooke JC, Jones ML, Vepachedu R and C Stushnoff (2003) PCR-based cloning of an  α-galactosidase gene from deacclimated petunia. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 618:105-113. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2003.618.10

Woodson WR and ML Jones (2003)  In search of eternal youth. The delay of postharvest senescence in flowers. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 624:305-314. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2003.624.42

Jones ML, Langston BJ and F Johnson (2003) Pollination-induced senescence of ethylene sensitive and insensitive petunias.  In Biology and Biotechnology of the Plant Hormone Ethylene III. M. Vendrell, H. Klee, J.C. Pech and F. Romojaro eds. IOS Press, Amsterdam. Pgs 324-327.

Jones ML (2002) Ethylene responsiveness in carnation styles is associated with stigma receptivity. Sexual Plant Reproduction 15:107-112. doi: 10.1007/s00497-002-0146-4

Jones ML, Kim E-S and S Newman (2001) The role of ethylene and 1-MCP in flower development and petal abscission in zonal geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum Bailey). HortScience 36:1305-1309. doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI.36.7.1305

Joly RJ, Jones ML, Verlinden S, Rhodes D and WR Woodson (2000) Learning in an inquiry-driven plant physiology laboratory. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education 29:31-35. doi: 10.2134/jnrlse.2000.0031

Jones ML and WR Woodson (1999) Interorgan signaling following pollination in carnation flowers. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 124:598-604. doi: 10.21273/JASHS.124.6.598

Jones ML and WR Woodson (1999) Differential expression of three members of the ACC synthase gene family in carnation. Plant Physiology 119:755-764. doi: 10.1104/pp.119.2.755

Lindstrom JT, Lei C-H, Jones ML and WR Woodson (1999) Accumulation of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid is associated with the expression of a pollen-specific ACC synthase late in development. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 124:145-151. doi: 10.21273/JASHS.124.2.145 

Jones ML and WR Woodson (1997) Pollination-induced ethylene in carnation. Role of stylar ethylene in corolla senescence. Plant Physiology 115:205-212. doi: 10.1104/pp.115.1.205

Jones ML, Larsen PB and WR Woodson (1995) Ethylene-regulated expression of a carnation cysteine proteinase during flower petal senescence. Plant Molecular Biology 28: 505-512. doi: 10.1007/BF00020397

Larsen PB, Ashworth EN, Jones ML and WR Woodson (1995) Pollination-induced ethylene in carnation. Role of pollen tube growth and sexual compatibility. Plant Physiology 108:1405-1412. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.4.1405
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Book Chapters

Broderick S.R., Chapin L.J., and M.L. Jones (2020) Virus-induced Gene Silencing for Functional Analysis of Flower Traits. In Virus-Induced Gene Silencing in Plants: Methods and Protocols. Vincent Courdavault and Sebastian Beseau eds. Methods in Molecular Biology Series, Springer, New York. Pgs 199-222.

Underwood B.A., Clark D.G.  and M.L. Jones (2009) Petunia biotechnology. In Petunia: A Model System for Comparative Research. T. Gerats and J Strommer eds. Springer, New York.  Pgs 411-433.

Jones, M.L., Stead A.D. and D.G. Clark (2009) Petunia flower senescence. In Petunia: A Model System for Comparative Research. T. Gerats and J Strommer eds. Springer, New York.  Pgs 301-324.

Stead A.D., van Doorn W.G., Jones M.L., and C. Wagstaff (2006) Flower senescence: fundamental and applied aspects. In Flowering and its Manipulation. Annual Plant Reviews. Vol 20. C. Ainsworth ed. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK. Pgs 261- 296.

Jones M.L. (2004) Changes in gene expression during senescence.  In Plant Cell Death Processes. L. Nooden ed. Elsevier Science, San Diego, Calif. Pgs 51-72.

Jones ML, Lindstrom JT and WR Woodson (1999) Regulation and function of pollination-induced ethylene in carnation and petunia flowers. In Biology and Biotechnology of the Plant Hormone Ethylene II. A.K. Kanellis, C. Chang, H. Klee, A.B. Bleeker, J.C. Pech and D. Grierson eds.  Kluwer Academic Publishers.  Pgs 195-201.

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Extension and Trade Publications

Nordstedt, N. and M.L. Jones (2021) Grow high quality ornamentals with less fertilizer using biostimulants. Greenhouse Grower 38(2):20-22.

Nordstedt, N. and M.L. Jones (2020) Prime your plants for success with biostimulants. Greenhouse Grower Focus on Biostimulants 38(8): 26-28.

Nordstedt N. and M.L. Jones (2020) Prime your plants for success with biostimulants. Greenhouse Grower Online September 2020.

Nordstedt N. and M.L. Jones (2020) Prime your plants for success with biostimulants. American Floral Endowment Online Bulletin, September 2020. Bulletin link

Chapin, L. and M.L. Jones (2020) Cut Flower Vaselife is Extended When Plants are Produced with Microbial Biostimulants. The Cut Flower Quarterly 32(3): 22-23.

Nordstedt, N. and M.L. Jones (2020) Growth promotion by bacteria-based biostimulants. Floradaily, June 24, 2020.

Nordstedt, N. and M.L. Jones (2020) Growth promotion by bacteria-based biostimulants. American Floral Endowment Online Bulletin. June 2020. Bulletin link.

Konjoian, P. and M. Jones (2020) Biostimulants in crop production: Performance optimization. Greenhouse Product News April: 13-15.

South, K., Chapin, L., and M.L. Jones (2020) Biocontrol of Botrytis in Cut Flowers. The Cut Flower Quarterly. Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers 32(2): 28-30.

South, K. and M.L. Jones (2020) Beneficial Bacteria Identified for the Biocontrol of Botrytis cinerea  in Floriculture Crops. American Floral Endowment Thrips & Botrytis Research Newsletter.

Nordstedt, N. and M.L. Jones (2020) Beneficial bacteria improve the quality and stress tolerance of ornamental crops. American Floral Endowment Online Bulletin, March 2020. Bulletin link

Jones, M. and K. South (2020) How to rid your greenhouse crops of Botrytis blight. Greenhouse Grower Biocontrol Report 38(2): 10-11.

Jones, M. and K. South (2020) Rid your greenhouse crops of Botrytis blight. Vegetable Grower 68(2): 10-11.

Jones M. and K. South (2020) Rid your greenhoue crops of Botrytis blight. American Fruit Grower 140(2): 10-11.

Jones, M. and K. South (January 2020) How to Rid your Greenhouse Crops of Botrytis Blight.  Greenhouse Grower Vol. 38 (No. 1).

Jones, M.L. and N. Nordstedt (2019) Sustainable Products, Broad Solutions: Biostimulants and Greenhouse Ornamentals. Greenhouse Grower Vol. 37 (No. 6), Pgs 6-8 (Special Report Biostimulants).

Jones, M.L. and N. Nordstedt (2019) How Biostimulants can Improve Quality in Ornamentals. Greenhouse Grower Online.

Jones M.L. (2019) Can Bacteria be Beneficial for Cut Flowers? The Cut Flower Quarterly. Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers 31(3) Summer 2019: 20.

Jones, R. (M.L. Jones interviewee) (2019) Biostimulants: Where, When, and How in Ornamentals. Greenhouse Grower Online. February 14, 2019.

South, K.A. and M.L. Jones (2019) Water Phalaenopsis Orchids with Ice Cubes: Myth or Fact? Greenhouse Grower Vol 37 (No. 1).

South, K. and M. Jones (2018) Watering Phalaenopsis orchids with ice cubes.  Greenhouse Industry Roundtable of the Midwest.  article link

Jones M.L. and N. Edelman (2013) Preventing ethylene-related losses during the postproduction care and handling of greenhouse crops. Greenhouse Management. Pgs 38-44.

Jones M.L. and P. Ling (2012) Preventing ethylene damage in the production greenhouse. Greenhouse Management. Pgs 45-49.

Jones M.L., Staby G., Starman T., Pasian C. and C. Hall (2012) Taking it to the Max: How to maintain the quality of your plants during shipping and maximize their shelf life.  Greenhouse Management. Pgs 62-66.

Jones M.L. and C. Pasian (2011) Managing postproduction shrink in the greenhouse industry. The Buckeye, The Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association. Pg 23.

Pasian C. and M.L. Jones (2011) Some useful OSU sites for nursery and greenhouse growers. The Buckeye, The Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association. Pg 19.

Starman T., Jones M.L., Staby G., Pasian C. and C. Hall (2011) Shrink the shrink: Part 2. Greenhouse Management. Pgs 36-38, 63-64.

Jones M.L. and N. Waterland (2011) s-ABA: A new PGR to extent shelf life and increase sell-through.  OFA Bulletin, OFA An Association of Horticulture Professionals.  Pgs 20-22.

Hall C., Jones M., Starman T., Pasian C. and G. Staby (2011) Shrink the shrink: Part 1.  Greenhouse Management. Pgs 38-42.

Andiru G.A., C. Pasian, J. Frantz and M.L. Jones (2010) Impatiens wallerana grown with controlled release fertilizer perform better when planted in the garden. Floribytes Floriculture Newsletter 1: June 2010. pdf

Andiru G.A., C. Pasian, J. Frantz and M.L. Jones (2010) Impatiens grown with CRF perform better in the garden. OFA Bulletin 920: 19-21. pdf

Jones M.L. (2006) Ethylene contamination: symptoms and sources in the greenhouse.  Northwest Ohio’s Commercial Floriculture Resource Newsletter 2 :4-5. pdf

Jones M.L. and A.D. Stead (2006) Creation of the D.C. Kiplinger Petunia Microarray: a floriculture resource for the future. OFA Bulletin 898: 20-21. pdf

Ling P., Pasian C. and M.L. Jones (2006) Save energy, but watch for hidden risks. GM PRO 26: 75-79.

Canas L., D. Dyke, C. Pasian, P. Konjoian, M. Jones and P. Ling (2005) Extension Reloaded tours with commercial clientele: taking university and grower cooperation to a whole new level. OFA Bulletin 890: 3-6. pdf

Jones M.L. (2005) Postproduction care and handling: how do we maintain plant quality after production? pdf 

Jones M.L. (2002) Postproduction care & handling.  Ohio Florists’ Association Bulletin 872:  15-16. pdf

Jones M.L. (2002) Ethylene: floriculture’s friend or foe?  Ohio Florists’ Association Bulletin 870: (1) 6-7. pdf 

Jones M.L. and J. Metzger (2001) The future of plant growth regulators.  Ohio Florists’ Association Bulletin  862: 11-13. pdf

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