Grower’s Import Replacement Educational Research Seminar 2017

Grower’s Import Replacement Educational Research Seminar
Thursday, October 5, 2017
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
USDA ARS Daniel K. Inouye
U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center
Conference Room, Nowelo Street, Hilo


Welcome – Eric Tanouye, HFNA President

Eric Tanouye: As President of Green Point Nurseries, Eric has oversight of the daily operations of the company. Green Point Nurseries is located in Hilo and is a Grower / Exporter of Hawaiian Tropical Flowers, Foliage and Plants. Eric’s industry involvement includes serving as current President of Hawai’i Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA), President of the Hawai’i Tropical Flower Council (HTFC), President of the Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council (SHAC) and a commissioner of the Agriculture Advisory Commission for Mayor Billy Kenoi / Island of Hawaii. He is a member of the Church of the Holy Cross.
MAHALO to the Researchers from the
USDA ARS Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center
University of Hawaii -Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources
University of Hawaii – College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources Kula Experimental Station
University of Hawaii – College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources Maui CES
MAHALO to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the
Hawaii County Department of Research & Development
for their financial support of HFNA’s 2017 Import Replacement Project.
MAHALO to Out of the Sea Media Videographers
MAHALO to the HFNA 2017 Educational Research Seminar Committee & Volunteers

Increasing Hawaii’s Agricultural Production

Dr. Teresita D. Amore, UH-Manoa CTAHR Dept. Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences

Hawaii’s agricultural production is faced with many challenges. Biosecurity, particularly the threat of invasive species on agricultural production has been of concern for a number of years. In May 2017, a team of researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa was awarded a grant from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to “increase local production of agricultural imports with highest risk of introducing invasive pests” by coordinating “with agricultural commodity associations involved with potted plants, cut flower herbs vegetables and tropical fruits for research, importation, evaluation and distribution of new germplasm to replace high risk flowers and produce brought into the state”. Shortly after, the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, received a grant in aid (GIA) from the Hawaii State Legislature through the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, for the flower breeding program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Dr. Teresita (“Tessie”) Amore: Teresita (Tessie) Amore is an assistant researcher in the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources where she has worked in various capacities in the anthurium and dendrobium orchid breeding program since 1985. She received her BS degree in agriculture from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, and her MS and PhD in Horticulture from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa under Dr. Haruyuki Kamemoto.

Import Replacement Commodities to

Increase Hawaii’s Agricultural Production

Dr. Cynthia Nazario-Leary, Urban Horticulture & Floriculture UH Coop. Extension Agent

The import of plants for landscaping, sale, propagation, cut flowers, and foliage is considered a high-risk pathway for pests and diseases which is not only detrimental to Hawai‘i’s environment but can add financial burdens to growers if quarantine restrictions on exports and in-state sale of locally produced flowers and foliage are imposed. The goal of this project will be to provide cut flower and foliage germplasm which can be grown locally as a disease-free import replacement for high-risk materials used by the cut flower and foliage industry. Existing potential import replacement cultivars, primarily from the Myrtaceae and Proteacea families, will be evaluated for cut flower and foliage qualities, ease of cultivation and management, and post-harvest longevity. Sunflower and hydrangea, two species of cut flower often rejected and considered a high-risk import by HDOA quarantine will also be evaluated for their potential as a specialty cut flower crop in Hawai‘i. To support adoption of new cultivars, a needs assessment of the floral industry will be conducted to help identify gaps and needs in the production, marketing, and distribution of new cultivars. Collaborative workshops between growers and florists will also be conducted to demonstrate field trials, provide opportunities to create market pathways for cultivars, and give feedback on field performance of the selections.
Dr. Cynthia Nazario-Leary: Dr. Cynthia Nazario-Leary is the Urban Horticulture Agent for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH), Cooperative Extension Service in Kahului, Maui. In her role as urban horticulturist she coordinates the Maui Master Gardener Program, assists home gardeners, and supports the floriculture industry on Maui. She has 14 years of educational and leadership experience in horticulture and natural resource management in Hawaiʻi. Prior to her current position, she directed the New Farmers Network (NFN) in the Agriculture& Natural Resources programat UHMaui College (UHMC) where she worked to connect emerging farmers with land, and other agricultural opportunities and resources. Dr. Nazario-Leary received her B.S. in Landscape Contracting from The Pennsylvania State University.Her interest in tropical agriculture led her to UH to receive her M.S. in Horticulture where she studied propagation methods of breadfruit (‘ulu). She continued her studies at UH to complete a doctorate in Natural Resources and EnvironmentalManagement,where she researched the development of an understory native plant agroforestrysystem.Dr. Nazario-Leary has completed the Hawaii Agricultural Leadership Program where she gained first-hand knowledge of successful agricultural enterprises across the State of Hawaiʻi while expanding her leadership and professional skills. She also extendsher expertise and service to Maui Nui Botanical Gardens where she serves as President of the Board of Directors. Dr. Nazario-Leary currently resides in Kula with her husband Dr. James Leary and their two children. She can be contacted at 808-244-3242, ext. 229 or

Native Hawaiian Plants to

Increase Hawaii’s Agricultural Production

Dr. Orville Baldos, UH-Manoa CTAHR (via polycom from LICH conference)

The use of native Hawaiian plants as ornamentals has greatly increased in the last 20 years due to invasive species issues and the need to conserve local flora. Despite increased acceptance and use, very little progress has been done to develop selections/nativars for landscape, potted flowering and indoor use. To increase variety and availability and to ensure successful use as ornamentals, we established a research program to collect, select and evaluate a number of non-endangered native Hawaiian plants. This talk will provide updates on the on-going germplasm collection activities, propagation studies, landscape trials and indoor plant trials being conducted.
Dr. Orville Baldos: Dr. Orville C. Baldos is an assistant researcher in sustainable ornamental production at the Department of Tropical Plant Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa. His research interests include: 1) native Hawaiian plant materials development for landscape and ornamental use; 2) screening and selection of non-invasive ornamental species and 3) development of sustainable ornamental plant production and landscape management practices.


Anthuriums & Orchids to

Increase Hawaii’s Agricultural Production

Dr. Teresita D. Amore, UH-Manoa CTAHR Dept. Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences

Anthurium is the most important cut flower crop in Hawaii. Variety development at the University of Hawaii has focused on high yield, long vase life, resistance to disease and plant vigor. Dendrobium orchid is the highest valued flower crop in the State of Hawaii, and is marketed as a potted flowering plant, cut flower or individual flower. Updates on the anthurium and dendrobium variety development, and the Hawaii County-funded dendrobium germplasm project will be presented.

Development of a Germplasm Bank of

Anthurium Species & Heirloom Cultivars

Dr. Tracie Matsumoto, USDA ARS DKI-PBARC

In Hawaii, prior to the discovery of bacterial blight in commercial anthurium farms, the anthurium industry produced a record high of 30 million flowers sold in 1980. Many farms and cultivars were destroyed by the bacterial blight and the anthurium industry has still not fully recovered. Methods to control the blight have been developed by have added significant cost to production. This research establishes a key collaboration between the UH CTAHR and PBARC to collect and preserve anthurium accessions that will be important germplasm for conventional breeding and biotechnology efforts. Anthurium accessions are collected and placed into in vitro culture, indexed to ensure disease free material are maintained and backup up at both locations in case of catastrophic events at either location. The plants in culture will be made available to the anthurium industry for further propagation of clean material. Heritage and commercial varieties with important horticultural attributes will be used as a foundation for commercial breeding and biotechnology development. In addition, anthurium species will be used to investigate molecular pathways for floral improvement. Preliminary data suggest that transformation of anthurium plants expressing antimicrobial peptides are tolerant to the bacteria in vitro assays.
Dr. Tracie Matsumoto: Tracie Matsumoto was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. Her love for agriculture began washing dishes for the family tissue culture farm. She obtained her B.S. at UH-Hilo studying tissue culture under Dr. Michael Tanabe developing disinfestation procedures for anthuriums. She obtained an additional tissue culture certification from Dr. Toshio Murashige at UC Riverside and completed her M.S. under Dr. Heidi Kuehnle at UH-Manoa on zygotic and somatic embryogenesis in anthurium. Tracie obtained her Ph.D. from Purdue University and started working for USDA ARS in 2002 as a Research Horticulturist. In 2015, she was appointed Research Leader of the Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research Unit and works to develop and foster collaborations between USDA ARS, UH-Manoa CTAHR and UH-Hilo CAFNRM to help the ornamental industry in Hawaii.

Spurring Development of Cultivars with

New Ornamental Traits for Anthurium


Ongoing research results from our lab as well as collaborators’ labs in the areas of Anthurium floral pigment analysis, genomic studies and germplasm collection among others provides a basic toolbox to develop new ornamental traits. Continual development of new cultivars is due to the strong foundation built by the University of Hawaii ornamental research and breeding program. Dedicated and innovative individual growers and breeders are also key for nurturing our strong and vibrant industry. Our research program at the USDA strives to strengthen and propel the development of new ornamental traits, revisiting past research areas as well as forging new with modern molecular tools, building upon prior wisdom and new knowledge. New research and personal connections is an important aspect in our personal mission to grow the ornamental industry for the long term future.
Dr. Jon Suzuki: Jon Y. Suzuki is a Research Molecular Biologist with the USDA ARS in Hilo. He was born and raised in Honolulu, but following graduation from high school, studied and worked for most of his life on the Mainland U.S. including graduate school at Indiana University, Bloomington. He worked for two and a half years and seven years as a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Gene Research, Nagoya, Japan and at Rutgers University, New Jersey, respectively on various topics in plant molecular biology. He returned to Hawaii in 2004 as a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Gonsalves working alongside numerous others on the biosafety petition to enable export of Rainbow papaya to Japan. In 2009, he obtained a position as an USDA ARS scientist in the Tropical Genetic Resources and Disease Research Unit working on among other things to build molecular and genetic resources to support the Anthurium and ornamental industry.


Managing Plant-parasitic Nematodes in

Floriculture and Nursery Production

Dr. Roxana Myers, USDA ARS DKI-PBARC

Plant-parasitic nematodes adversely affect crop yields in many agricultural production systems. In anthurium, burrowing nematodes stunt plant growth and reduce the size and number of flowers produced. New nematicides are being developed that show potential in suppressing nematode populations. Field trials are ongoing with these new products to test their effectiveness in Hawaii’s climate. The use of steam and hot water drenches are also being explored to disinfest cinder beds prior to planting. Host plant resistance is an effective management strategy for improving yields in nematode infested conditions. By examining the transcriptome of burrowing nematode, new targets for nematode control are being discovered to improve resistance in anthurium germplasm.
Dr. Roxana Myers: Roxana Myers received a B.S. degree in Tropical Horticulture from the University of Hawaii at Hilo and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology specializing in Nematology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. She is currently employed as a Research Nematologist at the USDA’s Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center where her responsibilities focus on the development of cost effective and sustainable approaches to the control of plant-parasitic nematodes. Her areas of research include evaluating methods of media disinfestation, testing the efficacy of nematicides in Hawaii’s agricultural systems, utilizing predatory nematodes and entomopathogenic nematodes as biological control agents, and developing crop plants with resistance or tolerance to plant-parasitic nematodes.

Newly Introduced & Re-emerging Pathogens:

Discoveries & Challenges for their Control


Newly introduced or re-emerging diseases can threaten the production of ornamental crops if not detected early and managed effectively. Our aim is to evaluate and characterize emerging or re-emerging diseases and understand the host-pathogen interactions. The ultimate goal is to develop or improve control measures and find sources of host resistance to pathogens in economically important ornamental crops. Information on diseases of tropical ornamentals will be presented.
Dr. Lisa Keith: Dr. Lisa Keith is a Research Plant Pathologist at the USDA, ARS Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC). Lisa uses a combination of lab, greenhouse and field-based techniques to detect plant pathogens, study their biology, and develop environmentally sound and economically viable control strategies for the management of diseases of plants grown in Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. When Lisa’s not in the lab, she loves spending time with her husband (Ronald) and daughter (Abigail). She also loves to run, paddle outrigger canoe and eat pizza.

Achieving Reduced Rejection of Ornamental

Crop Exports through Systems Approach


The cut flower, foliage, and potted bloom industry is a driving force of Hawaii State’s agriculture with a crop worth of $70 million in 2016. Future expansion and development of the industry depends on increasing production potential with expansion from current and potential new growers. Unfortunately, the risk of rejection of shipped crops has been a major deterrent for industry expansion. Here we describe a project funded by a grant in aid (GIA) to the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association from the Hawaii State Legislature, through the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, to develop systems approach programs that can reduce rejections by using various pre- and postharvest technologies and methods.
Dr. Dong Cha: Dong Cha is a Research Biologist at the USDA-ARS PBARC in Hilo, HI. He was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Forest Resources from Seoul National University and his Ph.D. in Forest Resources from Pennsylvania State University. After graduation, he accepted a postdoc position at Cornell University and worked on chemical ecology of several insect pests to develop sustainable IPM programs aimed at managing fruit pests such as apple maggot (fruit flies). He then joined USDA-ARS in Yakima, WA to develop a chemical attractant to detect and control an invasive insect pest – spotted wing drosophila, which has recently emerged as a major threat to fruit production in the United States. Currently, he serves as the ornamental crop entomologist for Hawaii. At PBARC, the goals of his research program are to investigate pre- and post-harvest treatments of major pests of tropical ornamental crops in order to develop sustainable IPM programs to help Hawaii ornamental industry.