Flow Rate as an Important Physiological Factor Associated to Calcium Concentration in Pods of Snap Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Plants Grown Aeroponically

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison WI 53706

To understand physiological factors associated with genetic differences for pod Ca concentration between snap bean genotypes, flow rate and Ca uptake of sieve sap were measured, as well as pod Ca concentration. Measurements for flow rate and Ca uptake were done at three developmental stages (fl owering and 1 and 3 weeks after) in two commercial snap bean cultivars (Hystyle and Labrador) grown aeroponically. Pods were collected 2 weeks after flowering only. Flow rate and Ca uptake sampling began 4 weeks after transplanting and consisted of: 1) decapitation of the plant at the first node; 2) covering the stem with pre-weighed dry cotton; and 3) removing the cotton, reweighing it, and saving it for Ca determination. Flow rate was defined as the difference in cotton weight (expressed as ml) per 17 hr divided by foliage mass. Ca uptake was defined as mg of Ca per total volume of sieve sap after 17 hr divided by foliage mass. Ca determinations were made using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. A positive correlation between flow rate and total Ca uptake of sieve sap (R2 = 0.90), flow rate and pod Ca concentration (R2 = 0.47), and Ca uptake and pod Ca concentration (R2 = 0.42) were found. Hystyle reflected 1.5 times more flow rate and pod Ca concentration than Labrador. Significant differences between genotypes for pod Ca concentration, Ca uptake, and flow rate were observed. Results were consistent across developmental stages.

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