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Juan M. Quintana, Helen C. Harrison, James Nienhuis, and Jiwan P. Palta

Flow rate, Ca content, and Ca concentration of sieve sap were measured at four developmental stages (flowering and 1, 2, and 3 weeks after flowering) in six commercial snap bean cultivars to better understand physiological factors associated with genetic differences for pod Ca concentration. Sampling began 5 weeks after greenhouse planting and consisted of 1) decapitation of the plant at the first node; 2) covering the stem with preweighed dry cotton; and 3) removing the cotton, reweighing it, and saving it for Ca determination. Flow rate was defined as the difference in cotton weight (expressed as milliliter) per 12 hours. Ca determinations were made using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Calcium content was defined as milligram of Ca per total volume of sieve sap after 12 hours. Concentration of Ca was the quotient of Ca content by flow rate (expressed as milligrams Ca per milliliter sap). A positive correlation between flow rate and total Ca content of sieve sap (R 2 = 0.83), flow rate and Ca concentration of sieve sap (R 2 = 0.36), and Ca content and Ca concentration (R 2 = 0.80) were found. Maturity appeared to be an important factor affecting flow rate and Ca influx in snap bean plants. Significant differences between genotypes for Ca content and flow rate were observed. High Ca genotypes reflected a high flow rate regardless developmental stage.

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Matthew D. Kleinhenz, R. Vaughan James, Walter R. Stevenson, and Jiwan P. Palta

Plots set up on a commercial seed farm were supplemented with 0 or 168 Ca/ha supplied from liquid calcium nitrate at 3 and 6 weeks after hilling (84 kg Ca/ha per application). Paired measurements of tuber medullary tissue Ca concentration and decay severity after inoculation with Erwinia carotovora pv. atroseptica (Eca.) were taken on identical tubers from these separate plots of `Atlantic', `Superior', `Red Norland', and `Russet Burbank'. Fresh-cut seed pieces sprayed with a suspension of Eca. (108 cfu/ml) were planted in separate 1-liter containers filled with field soil maintained under two soil moisture regimes: 1) air-dry days 1–5, saturation days 6–10, field moisture capacity (FMC) days 11–18, or 2) FMC days 1–18. Containers were placed at 22C constant air temperature at the Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison Biotron. Decay severity (percent volume seed piece decay) and decay incidence (percent tubers with any decay) were rated after 18 days. Eight seed pieces per treatment were evaluated. The mean tuber Ca concentration was higher in plots receiving calcium compared to nonsupplemented plots. Mean medullary Ca concentration varied among cultivars as `Russet Burbank' > `Atlantic' > `Superior' > `Red Norland'. The influence of cultivar on decay showed an incidence and severity pattern `Atlantic' = `Russet Burbank' > `Superior' = `Red Norland'. Decay incidence and severity were greatest in seed pieces kept in temporarily saturated soil compared with those in soil maintained at FMC. Decay incidence and severity were ≈6% lower in tubers produced on Ca-supplemented soil. A scatter plot of decay severity × Ca concentration for seed pieces held at FMC suggests that a threshold of Ca concentration exists above which little or no decay occurs.

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Matthew D. Kleinhenz, Jiwan P. Palta, Christopher C. Gunter, and Keith A. Kelling

Three Ca sources and two application schedules were compared for their effectiveness for increasing tissue Ca concentrations in 170 to 284 g field-grown tubers of `Atlantic' potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Additional observations were made of internal physiological defects. Paired measures of tissue (periderm and nonperiderm) Ca concentration and internal quality (±hollow heart, ±internal brown spot) were made on individual tubers produced in plots fertilized with N at 224 kg·ha-1 and Ca at either 0 or 168 kg·ha-1, supplied from either gypsum, calcium nitrate or NHIB (9N-0P-0K-11Ca, a commercial formulation of urea and CaCl2). Application of N and Ca at emergence and hilling (nonsplit) was compared to application at emergence, hilling, and 4 and 8 weeks after hilling (split). Tuber yield and grade were unaffected by treatments. Split Ca application (from either calcium nitrate or NHIB) increased mean tuber nonperiderm tissue Ca concentrations and the percentage of tubers with an elevated Ca concentration in both years compared with non-Ca-supplemented controls. Split Ca application also resulted in greater increases in Ca in nonperiderm tissue than nonsplit Ca application in 1994. Although the correlation coefficient between Ca level in periderm and nonperiderm tissue of >400 individual tubers was highly significant in both study years, linear regression analyses suggested the Ca level in the two tissues were poorly related. Split application was associated with a 37% reduction in the incidence of internal tuber defects, relative to nonsplit application in 1994. Calcium application did not affect tuber internal quality based on means analysis, but chi-square analysis suggested that Ca concentration and internal quality of individual tubers may be related. The incidence of internal defects was 16.4% in tubers with nonperiderm tissue Ca >100 μg·g-1 dry weight compared to 10.6% in tubers with nonperiderm tissue Ca >100 μg·g-1 dry weight. These data suggest that 1) it is feasible to increase tuber Ca levels by field applications of moderate amounts of Ca, 2) tuber quality is impacted by N and Ca application schedule, and 3) Ca concentrations in tuber periderm and nonperiderm tissues may be controlled independently.

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Bjorn H. Karlsson, Jiwan P. Palta, Laurie S. Weiss, James F. Harbage, and John B. Bamber

Cold-induced changes in gene expression have been demonstrated in a number of species that vary in freezing tolerance and acclimation capacity. Relative freezing tolerance was measured based on ion leakage for both nonacclimated and acclimated S. commersonii and S. cardiophyllum parents, F1 and backcross progeny segregating for cold tolerance and acclimation capacity. Western blot analyses showed increase in a dehydrin band (47 kD)(antisera courtesy of T. Close) following cold acclimation of cold tolerant S. commersonii, and a slight increase in cold sensitive S. cardiophyllum. Expression of 47 kD cosegregated with non acclimated freezing tolerance but not with acclimated freezing tolerance. Our results show that (i) expression of dehydrins is a heritable trait in the Solanum diploid population, (ii) there is no direct relationship between relative freezing tolerance and the presence or absence of dehydrm protein following cold acclimation and (iii) based on assays measuring the residual activity of the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme following freezing, the cryoprotective influence of `boiling stable' proteins was species dependent and is related to the freezing tolerance of the species. Supported by USDA/NRI grant 91-3700-6636 to J.P.P. and J.B.B..