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Jerriann Ernstsen, Larry Rupp, and Ray Brown

Typically, dormant seedlings are transplanted when revegetating disturbed lands to prevent transplant shock triggered by water stress. It may be possible to transplant nondormant seedlings by inducing drought-tolerant acclimation responses such as solute accumulation. Artemisia cana and Agropyron intermedium seedlings were subjected to three different water stress preconditioning treatments. After conditioning, seedlings were dried down in their containers until leaf senescence, or were transplanted to disturbed land sites. Leaf water potential components and relative water content were measured. Following treatments, water relations parameters of preconditioned seedlings were not markedly different from controls in either species. At the end of the final dry-down, water stress preconditioning had not induced active or passive solute accumulation, prolonged leaf survival during lethal drought conditions, or differences in transplant survival under the experimental conditions of this study.

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R. Scott Johnson, Claude Phene, and Charles Medawar

Six irrigation strategies were imposed on a block of O'Henry peach trees irrigated by fanjets. Treatments received different percentages of ET during the various stages of fruit growth and postharvest. ET was estimated by a large weighing lysimeter containing 2 trees and located in the center of the block. Fruit diameters were measured weekly and final fruit weights were determined at harvest. Adjusted fruit weights were estimated by statistically adjusting each treatment to the same fruit load.

Adjusted fruit weight correlated well with soil water content during the month before harvest but not during early stages of fruit growth. Treatments which applied 50% ET during early stages of fruit growth showed reduced fruit size at that time. However, with applications of 150% ET during the final fruit growth stage, fruit size recovered. Adjusted fruit weight also correlated with measures of tree water status including midday leaf water potential and canopy temperature.

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Robert C. Ebel, Edward L. Proebsting, and Max E Patterson

`Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees received regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) early in the growing season to determine if fruit quality and storage life would he altered compared to well-watered trees. Soil moisture and leaf water potential were lower in RDI trees than in those that did not receive RDI most of the season. Internal ethylene concentration increased logarithmically earlier in RDI apples. At harvest, RDI fruit were smaller and had a higher soluble solids concentration (SSC) and lower titratable acidity. Starch degradation was delayed in RDI fruit, and their color was not affected. Firmness was not affected when the effect of size on firmness was removed. The SSC of RDI apples remained higher during storage, but starch content, titratable acidity, firmness, and color were similar.

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Wansang Lim, Kenneth W. Mudge, and Jin Wook Lee

We determined the effect of moderate water stress on the growth of american ginseng (Panax quinquefolium), and on concentrations of six major ginsenosides (Rg1, Re, Rb1, Rc, Rb2, and Rd). Two-year-old “rootlets” (dormant rhizome and storage root) were cultivated in pots, in a cool greenhouse (18.3 ± 2 °C). Pots were watered either every 5 days (control) or every 10 days (stress), repeatedly for 8 days. Soil volumetric water content was measured during the last 10 days of the experiment for both treatments. Leaf water potential, measured on the last day of the experiment, was -0.43 MPa for the control and -0.83 MPa for the stress treatment. Drought stress did not affect above-ground shoot or root dry weight. Initial rootlet fresh weight (covariate) had a significant effect on the concentration of ginsenosides Re, Rb1, Rc, and Rb2. Drought stress increased the concentration of ginsenosides Re, Rb1, and total ginsenoside concentration.

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Amber Bonds and Thayne Montague

Balled in burlaped is a common method for moving large trees into landscapes and affects of transplanting on tree gas exchange and growth has been documented. Organic mulch provides many benefits and is often recommended for landscapes. Because little research has been conducted on affects organic mulch has on gas exchange and growth of transplanted and non-transplanted trees, this research investigated the effects transplanting and organic mulch have on gas exchange and growth of field grown red oak (Quercus shumardii) trees. In March 2003, 12 multi-trunked trees were selected from a tree farm near Lubbock, Texas, and six trees were dug using a tree spade and placed in their original location. Mulch at a depth of 10 cm was placed around the rootball of 3 transplanted and 3 nontransplanted trees and maintained at this depth the remainder of the experiment. Over the next three growing seasons predawn leaf water potential and midday stomatal conductance were measured on each tree every 1 to 3 weeks. At the end of every growing season shoot elongation, stem caliper and subsample leaf area were recorded. Our data indicates transplanting has a negative affect on gas exchange and growth of red oak. Each growing season gas exchange, shoot growth, and subsample leaf area were less for transplanted trees when compared to nontransplanted trees. Mulch also influenced gas exchange and growth of these trees. For nontransplanted trees with mulch, gas exchange and growth were reduced when compared to nonmulched, nontransplanted trees. For transplanted trees with mulch, predawn leaf water potential was less negative and subsample leaf area was greater when compared to transplanted trees with out mulch.

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L.E. Williams and F.J. Araujo

A study was conducted to compare three measurements of determining water status of grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) in the field. Predawn leaf water potential (ΨPD), midday leaf water potential (Ψl), and midday stem water potential (Ψstem) were measured on `Chardonnay' and `Cabernet Sauvignon' grapevines grown in Napa Valley, California late in the 1999 growing season. Both cultivars had been irrigated weekly at various fractions (0, 0.5, and 1.0 for `Chardonnay' and 0, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.5 for `Cabernet') of estimated vineyard evapotranspiration (ETc) from approximately anthesis up to the dates of measurements. Predawn water potential measurements were taken beginning at 0330 hr and completed before sunrise. Midday Ψl and Ψstem measurements were taken only between 1230 and 1330 hr. In addition, net CO2 assimilation rates (A) and stomatal conductance to water vapor (gs) were also measured at midday. Soil water content (SWC) was measured in the `Chardonnay' vineyard using a neutron probe. Values obtained for ΨPD, Ψl, and Ψstem in this study ranged from about -0.05 to -0.8, -0.7 to -1.8, and -0.5 to -1.6 MPa, respectively. All three measurements of vine water status were highly correlated with one another. Linear regression analysis of Ψl and Ψstem versus ΨPD resulted in r 2 values of 0.88 and 0.85, respectively. A similar analysis of Ψl as a function of Ψstem resulted in an r2 of 0.92. In the `Chardonnay' vineyard, all three methods of estimating vine water status were significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with SWC and applied amounts of water. Lastly, ΨPD, Ψl, and Ψstem were all linearly correlated with measurements of A and gs at midday. Under the conditions of this study, ΨPD, Ψl, and Ψstem represent equally viable methods of assessing the water status of these grapevines. They were all correlated similarly with the amount of water in the soil profile and leaf gas exchange as well as with one another.

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D. Joseph Eakes, Robert D. Wright, and John R. Seiler

Abbreviations: EC, electrical conductivity; MSC, moisture stress conditioning; P L , leaf turgor potential; PV, pressure-volume; RWC, relative leaf water content; SWC, symplastic water content; ψ L , leaf water potential; π 100 , π 0 osmotic

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Madhulika Sagaram and Leonardo Lombardini

Pecan is a riparian species distributed over an area of geographic and climatic variation; such a wide distribution produces exposure to varied environmental conditions, providing a potential for genetic adaptation within the cultivars. Genotypes can be screened in order to obtain more drought tolerant cultivars using indirect screening parameters (chlorophyll fluorescence, osmotic adjustment, and abscisic acid assay) based on physiological responses of plants to abiotic stress conditions. A study was established at Texas A&M University, College Station, using a mixture of fritted clay (Quick dry) and pure sand in 1:1 (by weight) ratio to study the effects of drought on pecan rootstocks. The experiment was set up with the three water potential levels as treatments (–0.033 MPa, –0.1 MPa, –0.3 MPa) in a randomized complete-block design with three blocks. Measurements will include leaf water relations (relative water content, leaf water potential, osmotic adjustments, etc.), gas exchange parameters [net carbon dioxide assimilation rate (A), transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (gs)], chlorophyll fluorescence measurements [minimum (Fo), maximum (Fm), and variable fluorescence (Fv), quantum efficiency], water use efficiency, and abscisic acid assay on roots. Statistical analysis systems (SAS) package will be used for analysis. PROC GLM of the SAS will be used for statistical analysis of study involving plant response to water potential levels.

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Ken Shackel and David Paige

In a number of tree crops, we have found that the water potential of lower canopy, nontranspiring leaves, measured with the pressure chamber at midday (midday stem water potential), is an excellent index of plant water stress and can be used for irrigation scheduling. Because stem water potential is typically much higher than transpiring leaf water potential, a lower pressure is required for the measurement, allowing us to design and build a lightweight device that could be easily operated by hand. The prototype was designed for pressures up to 2 MPa, which is sufficient for most irrigation conditions. A number of design features were incorporated into the sealing gland to eliminate the need for retightening during the pressurization process, reduce the amount of tissue external to the pressure chamber, and allow a greater visibility of the petiole. Identical values to those obtained with the standard, compressed nitrogen pressure chamber were obtained over the entire 2-MPa range, and the time required using either device under field conditions was the same (about 1 min per measurement). A number of alternative protocols were tested, and we found that even substantial recutting of the petiole had no influence on the measured water potential, contrary to popular belief. We also found that the same sample could be remeasured multiple times (five), with no net change in the water potential, allowing the measurement to be checked if necessary. This device should be of great utility in field irrigation management.

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N.S. Lang, L. Mills, R.L. Wample, J. Silbernagel, E.M. Perry, and R. Smithyman

Research suggests that blackleaf (a leaf disorder in grape, Vitis labrusca L.) is induced by high levels of ultra violet (UV) radiation and overall light intensity, resulting in color changes (purple-brown-black) for sun-exposed leaves of the outer canopy, and a corresponding >50% reduction in photosynthesis. Metabolic indicators (photosynthesis and leaf water potential), percent blackleaf expression, and full spectrum leaf reflectance were mapped within vineyards using global positioning system (GPS) and digital remotely-sensed images. Each image and data record was stored as an attribute associated with a specific vine location within a geographical information system (GIS). Spatial maps were created from the GIS coverages to graphically present the progression of blackleaf across vineyards throughout the season. Analysis included summary statistics such as minimum, maximum, and variation of green reflectance, within a vineyard by image capture date. Additionally, geostatistics were used to model the degree of similarity between blackleaf values as a function of their spatial location. Remote-image analysis indicated a decrease in percent greenness of about 45% between July and August, which was related to a decrease in photosynthesis and an increase in blackleaf symptom expression within the canopy. Examination of full spectral leaf reflectance indicated differences at specific wavelengths for grape leaves exposed to UV or water-deficit stress. This work suggests that remote-image and leaf spectral reflectance analysis may be a strong tool for monitoring changes in metabolism associated with plant stress.