Two commercial snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivars (Hystyle and Labrador) that differ in pod Ca concentration were grown aeroponically to assess physiological factors associated with these differences. Xylem flow rate, Ca absorbed, and Ca concentration in sieve sap and pods (all and commercial size no. 4) were measured. Flow rate, Ca absorption and pod Ca concentration, but not sap Ca concentration, differed between cultivars, and this suggests that genetic variability in pod Ca concentration is caused mainly by differences in flow rate, rather than differences in sap Ca concentration. `Hystyle' showed 1.6 times greater flow rate, 1.5 times greater pod Ca concentration, and 1.7 times greater Ca absorbed than `Labrador'. Flow rate correlated positively with Ca absorbed (R = 0.90), Ca concentration in pods of size no. 4 (R = 0.55), and total pods (R = 0.65). Plant maturity influenced sap Ca concentration and Ca translocated increased as plant matured. These results provide evidence that flow rate differences may cause variability for pod Ca concentration in snap beans.
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