Gas Exchange Behavior of Male and Female Parwal Plants

in HortScience
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  • 1 Agricultural Research Station, Fort Valley State Univ., Fort Valley, GA 31030-3298

Parwal [Trichosanthus dioica (Roxb.)] is a tropical perennial vine producing small fleshy fruits used as a vegetable. It bears male and female flowers on separate plants. During the summer of 1996, a field study was conducted to determine if male and female plants differed in their gas exchange behavior. Three leaves per plant replicated six times for each sex were tagged randomly at initiation of gas exchange measurements. Transpiration (E), stomatal conductance (gs), CO2 exchange rate (CER), and internal leaf CO2 concentration (Ci) were measured when the leaves were 6, 18, 36, 47, 71, and 81 days old. In general, the gas exchange values for both sexes were similar. The leaves of male plants attained highest E, gs, and CER at 18 days of age. In female plants, CER peaked at an early leaf age of 6 days, while the peaks for E and gs were reached 30 days later. The highest Ci for both sexes were observed in 47-day-old leaves. Eighty-four-day-old leaves were no longer actively exchanging gases.

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