779 PB 395 PULSING TEMPERATURES AND SYRINGING AT SUNRISE REDUCE STEM ELONGATION OF EASTER LILY

in HortScience

Rapid reduction in temperature for two to three hours starting at sunrise reduces stem elongation compared to elongation of plants maintained under constant temperatures during the day. This experiment was designed to determine if syringing plants with water at sunrise would substitute for a reduction in air temperature or enhance the response to the drop in temperature. Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thumb.) plants were exposed to constant 20°C or to 20°C and then 16°C for a 3-hr period following sunrise. Half the plants in each temperature regime were syringed at 30-minute intervals with 20°C water for 3 hr starting 20 minutes before sunrise. Shoot-tip temperature during the three-hr pulse time averaged 20.0 and 17.3°C for the dry plants and 17.3 and 14.7°C for the syringed plants. Total elongation for the dry plants at 20°C was 30 cm and for the temperature-pulsed plants, 4.8 cm less; for the syringed plants, 3.3 and 5.8 cm less, respectively. While shoot-tip temperature of dry plants averaged 0.9°C above air temperature during the remaining hours of the day, syringed plants averaged 1.0°C cooler than the same air temperature even though plants had dried. The data indicate the reduction in stem elongation from a low-temperature pulse at sunrise can be enhanced by evaporative cooling.

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