An Evaluation of Plant Growth and Development under Various Daily Quantum Integrals

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 DSIR Fruit and Trees, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Private Bag, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Plants of chrysanthemum [Dendranthema × grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura], radish (Raphanus sativus L.), corn (Zea mays L.), and cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) were grown under 8-, 12-, 18- or 24-hour daylengths and at three photosynthetic photon fluxes (PPF) within each daylength to evaluate growth and development responses to daily quantum integral (PPF × duration). For the same daily quantum integral, dry matter accumulation and leaf area development were less under 24-hour than under 18-hour daylengths with chrysanthemum and radish. With corn and cucumber, these values were similar under 12-, 18-, and 24-hour daylengths. In all of the species, leaf area and dry matter development were lowest under the 8-hour daylength. Continuous (24-hour) daylength produced some growth abnormalities in radish and chrysanthemum. Specific leaf weight in all species and flower node count in cucumber were linearly related to daily quantum integral up to the highest values examined (73.5 mol·day-1·m-2). All species showed expected photoperiod responses with respect to flowering, but the rate of floral development and number of flower buds formed were highest under the highest PPF (and highest daily quantum integral) treatments. The results indicate that field phenotypes can be obtained in controlled environment (CE) conditions, providing the field daylength and daily quantum integral conditions are reproduced.

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