Influence of Day and Night Temperatures on Sweet Pepper Seedling Development

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1325

Sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum `Resistant Giant no. 4') seedlings were grown for 6 weeks in 128-cell plug trays under 16 day/night temperature (DT/NT) regimes from 14 to 26 °C. Seedling stem length, internode length, stem diameter, leaf area, internode and leaf count, plant volume, shoot dry weight (DW), seedling index, and leaf unfolding rate (LUR) were primarily functions of average daily temperature (ADT); i.e., DT and NT had similar effects on each growth or development parameter. Compared to ADT, the difference (DIF, where DIF = DT - NT) between DT and NT had a smaller but still statistically significant effect on stem and internode length, leaf area, plant volume, stem diameter, and seedling index. DIF had no effect on internode and leaf count, shoot DW, and LUR. The root: shoot ratio and leaf reflectance were affected by DT and DIF. Positive DIF (DT higher than NT) caused darker-green leaf color than negative DIF. The node at which the first flower initiated was related to NT. The number of nodes to the first flower on pepper plugs grown at 26 C NT was 1.2 fewer than those of plants grown at 14 °C NT.

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