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Ronald F. Walden and Robert D. Wright

Pine bark-filled containers periodically fertilized with a (NH4)2SO4 solution were heated from 21°C to one of 5 temperatures (28°, 34°, 40°, 46°, or 52°C) for a daily exposure duration of 1, 2, 4, 6, or 24 hours. Medium solution extracts were analyzed for NH4-N and NO3-N every 5 days for 20 days. Treatment temperature of at least 40°C and a daily exposure duration of 24 hours was necessary to inhibit nitrification, thereby increasing NH4-N concentration in the medium solution. Similar increase in NH4-N was found for a 2 hr/day exposure to 46°C, with further increases in NH4-N at longer exposure times. By day 10, the maximum level1 of NH4-N concentration in medium extracts was found after a 1 hr/day exposure to 52°C. Decreases in medium solution NO3-N concentration generally coincided with the increases in NH4-N. Results indicate that high container temperatures may increase the ratio of NH4-N to NO3-N in the medium solution of plants fertilized with predominantly ammoniacal N.

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Carole Bassett, Mike Nickerson, Tim Artlip, and Michael Wisniewski

To identify components of a possible signal transduction pathway associated with woody plant cold acclimation, a cDNA library prepared from peach bark collected in December was screened using a small DNA fragment from a maize receptor-like protein kinase (ZMPK1) as probe. Six isolates were obtained and partially sequenced to confirm protein kinase identity. One isolate (PPPKB5) contained a relatively large insert (about 1.9 kbp) and was selected for further analysis. Both strands of PPPKB5 were sequenced and the derived amino acid sequence was compared with a variety of known plant protein kinases, leading to the tentative identification of this clone as encoding a partial cDNA for a serine/threonine class protein kinase. PPPKB5 has a classic protein kinase catalytic domain with all the features required for phosphorylation activity and with greater similarity to the known plant receptor-like protein kinases (RLKs) than other classes of these enzymes. In addition, it contains a potential transmembrane region separating the catalytic portion of the molecule from the receptor region. The receptor region has greatest identity with the class of RLKs known as the S-locus type based on conservation of a stretch of 10 cysteines on the amino-terminal side of the transmembrane region. PPPKB5 shares greater amino acid identity with ZMPK1 (50%) than with the Brassica, rice or Arabidopsis S-locus RLKs (34%–40%). Furthermore, PCR analysis of `Loring' suggests that, like maize ZMPK1, the genomic sequence encoding PPPKB5 contains no introns, in contrast to the genomic sequences of Brassica and Arabidopsis which contain six.

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Brian E. Jackson, Robert D. Wright, and Jake F. Browder

Many industrial and agricultural wastes have been evaluated for use as alternative container substrate components. Recently, a new material produced from ground pine logs (Pinus taeda L.) has been utilized as a substitute for peat moss and pine bark (PB). On 17 Aug. 2005, japanese holly (Ilex crenata `Compacta' Thunb.) plants were potted in milled PB (Pinus taeda L.) and debarked ground pine chips (PC). Pine chips were ground with a hammermill to pass through a 6.35-mm screen. Osmocote Plus 15–9–12 (15N–4P–10K) was incorporated in both PB and PC substrates at the rates of 3.5, 5.9, 8.3, and 10.6 kg·m-3. Plants were greenhouse grown until 22 Nov. 2005. Substrate solution nutrient content and pH were determined for all treatments in each substrate. Shoots were dried, weighted, and tissue analyzed for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Cu, Mn, and Zn. Shoot weights were higher in plants grown in PB than PC at the 3.5 and 5.9 kg·m-3 fertilizer rates. At the 8.3 kg·m-3 rate, shoot dry weight was about the same for each substrate, but at the 10.6 kg·m-3 rate, growth was higher for plants grown in PC than in PB. Substrate EC increased with increasing fertilizer rates and with the exception of Cu, was higher in PB substrates at all fertilizer rates. Plant tissue levels generally increased as fertilizer rate increased in both substrates but were higher in plants grown in PB than PC with the exception of Cu. Therefore, higher rates of fertilizer are required to produce optimal plant growth in PC compared to PB.

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Robert E. Marra

Taxonomy, Phylogeny, and Ecology of Bark-inhabiting and Tree-pathogenic Fungi in the Cryphonectriaceae. M. Gryzenhout, B.D. Wingfield, and M.J. Wingfield. 2009. APS Press, St. Paul, MN 55121. 136 pages, 14 color images, 38 black and white images

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Rajeev Arora, Michael Wisniewski, and Lisa J. Rowland

Seasonal pattern of cold tolerance and proteins were studied in the leaves of sibling deciduous and evergreen peach (Prunus persica). In contrast to deciduous peach that undergoes endodormancy in fall, evergreen peach does not (leaves are retained and shoot tips elongate under favorable conditions) (Arora et al., Plant Physiol. 99:1562-1568). Cold tolerance (LT50) was assessed using electrolyte leakage method. Proteins were separated by SDS-PAGE. Electroblots were probed with anti-dehydrin (Dr. T. Close) and anti-19 kD, peach bark storage protein (BSP) antibodies. LT50 of leaves successively increased from about -7C (18 Aug.) to -15C and -11.5C (23 Oct.) in deciduous and evergreen genotypes, respectively. The most apparent change in the protein profiles was the accumulation of a 60-kD protein during cold acclimation in the leaves of deciduous trees; however, it did not change significantly in evergreen peach. Immunoblots indicate that 60-kD protein is a dehydrin protein. PAGE and immunoblots indicated that 19-kD BSP disappeared progressively during summer through fall in the leaves of deciduous peach, but accumulated to large amounts in bark tissues. Similar inverse relationship for its accumulation in leaf vs. bark tissue was not evident in evergreen peach. Results indicate that BSP expression may be regulated by altered source/sink relationship.

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Helen H. Tyler and Stuart L. Warren

An experiment with a factorial treatment combination in a split plot design with five single plant replications was conducted to evaluate the effects of five rates of fertilizer addition and two irrigation volumes on plant growth in a composted turkey-litter-amended pine bark substrate. Main plots were daily applications of 600 or 900 ml/3.8-L container. Subplots were either 0, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0 g N additions (Osmocote High H 24N–1.7P–5.8K) per container topdressed on a substrate composed of pine bark amended with 8% (by volume) composted turkey litter. No additional amendments were made to the compost amended substrates. An additional “industry control” treatment consisted of an 8 pine bark: 1 sand (by volume) substrate amended with 3.0 kg/m3 dolomitic limestone and 0.9 kg/m3 Micromax and topdressed with 3.5 g N (Osmocote High N) per container. After 134 days, Cotoneaster dammeri `Skogholm' and Rudbeckia fulgida `Goldsturm' plants were harvested and shoot and root (cotoneaster only) dry weights were determined. Cotoneaster shoot and root dry weights and rudbeckia shoot dry weight increased linearly as N rate increased from 0 to 4.0 g N. Irrigation volume did not affect cotoneaster shoot or root dry weights. Rudbeckia shoot dry weight was 18% greater with 900 ml than with 600 ml of irrigation. Rudbeckia growth in compost amended substrate was greater than in the industry control when topdressed with ≥1.0 g N. Shoot growth of cotoneaster in the industry control substrate and compost amended substrate with ≥ 3.0 g N applied was similar.

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Loong-sheng Chang, Chun-yen Yeh, and Chien-hwa Liao

Race 1 of Plasmodiophora brassica isolated from high altitude of vegetable production district induced clubroot on cabbage, and Chinese cabbage. Inoculation of race from northwestern coast of Taiwan resulted clubroot of Chinese cabbage neither in cabbage. The addition of bark slag or silica slag significantly decreased clubroot infection and increased the weight of Chinese cabbage in the infected field. The addition of 3 gram slaked lime +1 gram KC1 +1.78 gram ammonium sulfate + 1 gram calcium superphosphate at 500 gram soil 2 month after transplanting increased dry wight of cabbage and decreased infection root hair followed by inoculation of race 1.

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Rajeev Arora, Michael Wisniewski, and Lisa J. Rowland

Seasonal changes in cold tolerance and proteins were studied in the leaves of sibling deciduous and evergreen peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. Freezing tolerance [defined as the subzero temperature at which 50% injury occurred (LT50)] was assessed using electrolyte leakage. Proteins were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. Electroblots were probed with anti-dehydrin and anti-19-kD peach bark storage protein (BSP) antibodies. Leaf LT50 decreased successively from -5.8 °C on 18 Aug. to -10.3 °C in the evergreen genotype and from -7.0 °C to -15.0 °C in the deciduous genotype by 14 Oct. Protein profiles and immunoblots indicated the accumulation of a 60- and 30-kD protein during cold acclimation in the leaves of deciduous trees; however, levels of these proteins did not change significantly in the evergreen trees. Immunoblots indicate that the 60-kD protein is a dehydrin-like protein. Gel-electrophoresis and immunoblots also indicated that the 19-kD BSP progressively disappeared from summer through fall in leaves of deciduous peach but accumulated to a high level in bark tissues. A similar inverse relationship was not evident in evergreen peach.

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Carleton B Wood, Timothy J. Smalley, and Mark Rieger

Container-grown Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum `Mariesii' were planted in tilled beds and tilled beds amended with aged pine bark. After transplanting, plants were fertilized at three different rates: no fertilizer, 18.4 g of N m-2, and 36.8 g of N m-2. A 31 day drought was begun 73 days after planting. Fertilization of tilled plots induced ammonium toxicity, which caused a linear reduction in leaf area, shoot dry weight, and root dry weight. Fertilization of amended plots had no effect on shoot growth but reduced mot growth by 54%; thus, amendments ameliorated ammonium toxicity. Between 10 and 28 days after beginning the drought, plants in unfertilized-amended plots maintained higher relative leaf water contents (RLWC) and relative leaf expansion rates (RLER) than plants in unfertilized-tilled plots. Amendment induced nitrogen deficiencies contributed to the increased drought tolerance of plants from unfertilized-amended plots. Since fertilized plants developed symptoms of ammonium toxicity, we were unable to determine if increasing fertility would counteract the drought tolerance conferred by pine bark soil amendments.

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Rajeev Arora, Michael Wisniewski, and Ralph Scorza

Deciduous fruit trees undergo endo-dormancy during fall at which time they also attain maximum cold hardiness (CH). Because these two processes occur simultaneously it is difficult to study them independently. We have been able to overcome this limitation with the use of genetically related (sibling) deciduous and evergreen peach trees. Using this system we conducted a time course study to characterize the seasonal fluctuations in CH and proteins in bark and xylem tissues. Cold hardiness (LT50) was assessed using electrolyte leakage method. Polypeptides were separated using SDS-PAGE. The data indicated that 1) CH of bark increased from -5°C (in August) to -49°C (in January) and from -3°C to -22°C for deciduous and evergreen trees, respectively. In January, under favorable conditions, evergreen trees were actively growing. 2) CH of xylem successively increased from -11°C to -36°C in deciduous trees and from -7°C to -16°C (in November) in evergreen trees and then plateaued. 3) LT50 of xylem in both genotypes closely approximated the mid-point of low temperature exotherms determined by differential thermal analysis. 4) As CH increased several qualitative and quantitative differences in polypeptides were noted between two genotypes. These changes during cold acclimation will be compared with those during de-acclimation.