Influence of Day and Night Temperature on Development of Sweet Pepper Seedlings

in HortScience
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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1325

Sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum `Resistant Giant #4') seedlings were grown in 128-cell plug trays under 16 day/night temperature (DT/NT) regimes from 14 to 26C. In this temperature range, plant stem height, leaf unfolding rate, plant volume, internode length, stem diameter, leaf area, and shoot dry weight were primarily functions of average daily temperature (ADT). Internode length increased as ADT or the difference between day and night temperature (DIF) increased. The root-to-shoot ratio decreased linearly as DT increased and was not significantly affected by NT. Leaves were darker green under positive DIF than negative DIF temperature regimes. Increasing NT from 14 to 26C reduced the node at which the first flower appeared by an average of 1.2 nodes. Percent abortion of the first flower increased as DT increased. Plant quality, as defined by seedling index [(dry weight × stem diameter)/internode length], increased as DIF became more negative.

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