The development of bud dormancy in poplar plants is initiated by short-day photoperiods (SD). During the development of bud dormancy, there was a gradual increase in the force required to peel off the bark from the stems. We measured the force required for bark peeling and investigated the cellular changes associated with this phenomenon. Stem samples were collected from plants which had been grown under SD for different period of time up to 10 weeks. At each sampling date, the forces required to peel off the bark were measured by a tensiometer. At the same time, samples were fixed to examine ultrastructural changes by transmission electron microscopy. We have observed that there was a significant increase in the force (in Newtons) required to peel off bark from poplar stems when the development of dormancy was initiated by SD treatment. Many ultrastructural changes were observed, including the accumulation of bark storage proteins, the break down of the central vacuole to form many small vacuoles, thickened cell walls, etc. Efforts have been made to relate ultrastructural alterations to changes in the force required for bark peeling.
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