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Sloane M. Scheiber, Richard C. Beeson, and Heather Bass

Oral Session 24—Environmental Stress Physiology 29 July 2006, 3:30–4:45 p.m. Southdown Moderator: Marc W. van Iersel

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James D. Williams and D.W. Kretchman

Transplants of `Ohio 8245' tomato grown in 48-cell plastic trays received 5 potassium chloride concentrations and were stressed by withholding water during the 6th week of growth. Gravimetric water loss differed between treatments with decreased water loss associated with increased potassium chloride concentration. As water was withheld, incidence of wilt was greater and more evident at an earlier stage with plants supplied with lowering KCL concentrations. Root and shoot dry weights, plant height and leaf area were not affected by treatments. This indicates an apparent increase in water use efficiency in tomato transplants supplied with KCL at greater concentrations than supplied under standard fertilizer regimes.

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Harold McCutchan and K.A. Shackel

Abbreviations: ET, evapotranspiration; ψ, water potential; VPD, vapor pressure deficit. 1 UC Cooperative Extension, 733 County Center III Court, Modesto, CA 95355. This work supported in part by a grant from the California Prune Board. The cost of

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Rajeev Arora and Chon-Chong Lim

Many reports have shown the accumulation of specific proteins associated with cold acclimation in plants. However, there is a scarcity of data on the physiological and/or biochemical changes associated with deacclimation process. This study was initiated to determine protein changes specifically associated with deacclimation in Rhododendron. Current-year leaves were collected from three Rhododendron cultivars (`Chionoides', `Grumpy Yellow', and `Vulcanís Flame'; ≈4-year-old rooted cuttings) during natural non-acclimated (June), cold-acclimated (January), and deacclimated (May) state. Leaf freezing tolerance was evaluated using controlled freezing protocol (Lim et al. 1998, J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 123:246–252). Seasonal SDS-PAGE profiles exhibited a distinct accumulation of 27 kDa protein in deacclimated and nonacclimated tissues, but this protein was essentially undetectable in cold acclimated tissues of all three cultivars. Further characterization of this polypeptide, labeled as RhDAP27 (for rhododendron deacclimation protein), revealed that it has an iso-electric point of 6.5, has a compositional bias for Glu/Gln (13.9%), His (11.4%), Gly (11%), Ala (10%), Lys (8.3%), and Asp/Asn (8.1%)—hydrophilic amino acids constitutedabout 54% of the total amino acids while 40% were nonpolar, aliphatic amino acids (Gly, Ala, Val, Leu, Ile, Pro) and only 6% were aromatic amino acids (Phe and Tyr). Micro-sequencing of the four peptides produced by partial cleavage of RhDAP27 revealed a striking homology of RhDAP27 with two proteins (from Mesembryanthemum crystallinum and Pinus taeda) that belong to the family of ABA stress ripening/water deficit stress inducible proteins.

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Thomas G. Ranney, Nina L. Bassuk, and Thomas H. Whitlow

Tissue osmotic potential(Ψπ) and solute constituents were evaluated in leaves and roots of well-watered and water-stressed Prunus avium L. × pseudocerasus Lindl. `Colt' and Prunus cerasus L. `Meteor'. Osmotic potential at full turgorΨπ,sat decreased in response to water stress for leaves and roots of both cultivars. For `Colt', a cultivar with an indeterminate growth habit,Ψπ,sat decreased by 0.56 MPa and 0.38 MPa for terminal expanding leaves and older expanded leaves, respectively. For `Meteor', a cultivar with a determinate growth habit,Ψπ,sat decreased by ≈0.47 MPa in both terminal and older leaves. RootΨπ,sat was alike for both cultivars and showed a similar decrease of 0.20 MPa in response to water stress. Roots had considerably higherΨπ,sat than did leaves in both cultivars, irrespective of irrigation treatment. Soluble carbohydrates and potassium (K+) were the major solute constituents in both cultivars. Of the soluble carbohydrates, sorbitol was found in the greatest concentration and accounted for the bulk of water stress-induced solute accumulation in both cultivars. Regardless of the irrigation treatment, mature leaves of `Meteor' consistently had lowerΨπ,sat (typically 0.4 MPa) than `Colt'. This variation in Ψπ,sat between Prunus cultivars suggests the potential for selection of cultivars with low Ψπ,sat and possibly superior drought resistance.

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Francesco Loreto, Harold H. Burdsall Jr., and Alfio Tirro'

The effect of inoculating seedlings of Mediterranean cultivated trees grown under greenhouse conditions with North American isolates of Armillaria mellea (Vahl: Fr) Kumm. and A. ostoyae (Romagn.) Herink on net photosynthesis (A), stomatal conductance (gs), and water potential was examined. The effect of water stress was determined also on the same plant species independently and in combination with Armillaria infection. Red oak (Quercus rubra L.) was used as a control to indicate Armillaria virulence on North American trees. Carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) was resistant to infection. Infection was successful in sour orange (Citrus aurantium L.), but A, gs, and water potential were unchanged over the 60-day experiment. In olive (Olea europea L.) and oak, A and gs were reduced following inoculation with A. mellea. A and gs of all species but carob were reduced under water stress. Olive and oak responses to water stress and Armillaria infection were quantitatively similar; however, the two stresses combined did not reduce A and gs further. Red oak was strongly susceptible to A. ostoyae infection, but Mediterranean trees were not infected by the same Armillaria isolate. Our results show that Armillaria infection may reduce A and gs in susceptible species.

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Bingru Huang, Jack Fry, and Bin Wang

Understanding factors associated with drought resistance and recovery from drought stress in tall fescue (Festuca arundinaces Schreb.) is important for developing resistant cultivars and effective management strategies. Our objective was to investigate water relations, photosynthetic efficiency, and canopy characteristics of tall fescue cultivars (forage-type `Kentucky-31', turf-type `Mustang', and dwarf-type `MIC18') in responses to drought stress and subsequent recovery in the field and greenhouse. During drought stress under field conditions, `MIC18' had lower turf quality, more severe leaf wilting, and higher canopy temperature than `Mustang' and `Kentucky-31', indicating that `MIC18' was more drought-sensitive. The greenhouse study comparing `K-31' and `MIC18' showed that leaf water status, chlorophyll fluorescence, canopy green leaf biomass, and lead area index of both cultivars declined as soil dried. Reductions in relative water content, leaf water potential, chlorophyll fluorescence, canopy green leaf biomass, and leaf area index were more severe and occurred sooner during dry down for `MIC18' than for `Kentucky-31'. After rewatering following 14 days of stress, leaf water deficit and turf growth recovered, to a greater degree for `Kentucky-31' than for `MIC18'. However, soil drying for 21 days caused long-term negative effects on leaf photosynthetic efficiency and canopy characteristics for both cultivars.

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Takashi Ikeda, Yukihiro Fujime, Satoshi Terabayashi, and Shuichi Date

Garlic (Allium sativum L.) calli in vitro were evaluated over a range of salt concentrations and by adding mannitol to culture medium with reduced salt to provide equivalent osmoticum. The water potential of the medium ranged from -0.27 to -0.73 MPa under the various salt and osmotic stress conditions. The percent increase in calli was highest in standard Murashige & Skoog (MS) medium and was reduced when MS salts were reduced but the water potential of medium was adjusted to that of standard MS medium by addition of mannitol. The water potential of callus tissue was similar to that of tissue culture media over a 20-fold range (10% to 200%) of MS concentrations. Turgor of callus tissue was not influenced by any stress conditions. These results indicate that the optimum concentration of salt and water status of medium for formation of garlic calli was provided by standard MS medium.

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Robert Savé, Josep Peñuelas, Oriol Marfà, and Lydia Serrano

Field-grown strawberry (Fragaria × annanasa Duch. cv. Chandler) plants were subjected to two irrigation regimes from Nov. 1989 to July 1990 to evaluate the physiological and morphological effects of mild water stress. Irrigation was applied when soil matric potential reached -10 and-70 kPa for the wet and dry treatments, respectively. During the spring, these regimes did not promote significant changes in plant water relations, transpiration rates, plant morphology, or canopy architecture. However, during the summer, after several stress cycles, significant differences between treatments were observed. Pressure-volume curves of dry-treatment plants indicated that leaf osmotic potentials, measured at full and zero turgor, decreased 0.2 to 0.4 MPa. This decrease in osmotic potential also was accompanied by a 50% increase in the modulus of elasticity for these water-stressed plants compared to well-watered plants. Dry-treatment plants also showed stress avoidance mechanisms in changes of whole-plant morphology and canopy architecture, from monolayer to polylayer leaf distribution and leaf orientation from south to north. Despite what would appear to be useful drought-resistance strategies, there was significantly lower fruit production by plants grown under the dry treatment.

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Paul R. Adler and Gerald E. Wilcox

Two mechanisms that reduce water and salt stress, respectively, are an increase in root hydraulic conductivity (LP) and reduction in Na and Cl absorption and transport to the leaf. NH4 +-N decreased muskmelon LP 55-70% while under 100 mM NaCl stress and 40-50% in the absence of NaCl stress. A decrease in LP increases the rate of water stress development as the transpiration rate increases. Although dry weight decreased about 70%, with NO- 3-N, muskmelon remained healthy green, while with NH+ 4-N they became chlorotic and necrotic with a 100% and 25% increase in leaf blade Na and Cl compared to NO- 3-N, respectively. Further investigation indicated that NH+ 4-N increased muskmelon sensitivity to NaCl through both an increased rate of net Na influx and transport of Na to the leaf. Since Na influx partitioning is controlled by mechanisms K/Na selectivity and exchange across membranes, the NH+ 4-N inhibition of K absorption may impair K/Na exchange mechanisms. Reduced K/Na selectivity or Na efflux are implicated as the source of the increased net Na influx with NH+ 4-N. The importance of K in preventing Na partitioning to the leaf was confined through removal of K from the nutrient solution thereby simulating the NH+ 4-N-induced gradual K depletion in muskmelon. Our work indicates that at a given level of water or NaCl stress, NO- 3-N reduces the level of stress experienced by muskmelon through increasing LP and reducing the net rate of Na influx and transport to the sensitive leaf blade. This avoidance mechanism should enable muskmelon plants fertilized with NO- 3-N to tolerate greater levels of stress.