Photoperiod and the Difference between Day and Night Temperature Influence Stem Elongation Kinetics in Verbena bonariensis

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Faculty of Agriculture, Ibaraki University, Ibaraki 300-0393, Japan
  • 2 Department of Horticulture, A228 Plant and Soil Sciences Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1325

The effects of photoperiod and the difference between day temperature (DT) and night temperature (NT) (DIF) on stem elongation in Verbena bonariensis L. (tall verbena) were investigated. Plants were exposed to nine treatment combinations of -10, 0, or 10 °C DIF and 8-, 12-, or 16-hour photoperiods. Stem elongation was measured and analyzed by a noncontact computer-vision-based system. Total daily elongation increased as DIF increased; it also increased as photoperiod increased under positive DIF (DT > NT) and zero DIF (DT = NT), but not under negative DIF. Under positive DIF, daily elongation was 90% greater under the 16-hour photoperiod than under the 8-hour photoperiod. DIF affected elongation rate during the daily light span but not during the daily dark span. Total light-span elongation increased as DIF or photoperiod increased. Total dark-span elongation was not influenced by DIF or photoperiod. Elongation rates per hour in the light and dark were not significantly affected by photoperiod but increased in the light as DIF increased. Therefore, for a particular DIF, total elongation during 16-hour photoperiods (long days) was greater than that under 8-hour photoperiods (short days) because there were more hours of light under long days.

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