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Keun Ho Cho, Beyoung Hwa Kwack, Moo Ryong Huh, and Chiwon W. Lee

The biomass yield, transpiration rate, and chlorophyll contents in Cymbidium goeringii plants grown under various light, temperature, and humidity conditions were investigated. Two-year-old plants potted in pine-bark medium were grown for 12 weeks during the summer months in polyethylene film-covered mini-greenhouses having four different environmental conditions: a) closed house (CH) with high humidity (95.1% RH), high light (800 μmol·m–2·s–1) and high temperature (37.5 °C), b) ventilated house (VH) with low humidity (41.4% RH), high light (800 μmol·m–2·s–1), and medium temperature (31.5 °C), c) shaded closed house (SCH) with high humidity (91.0% RH), low light (110 μmol·m–2·s–1) and medium temperature (33.3 °C), and d) shaded ventilated house (SVH) with medium humidity (61.5% RH), low light (110 μmol·m–2·s–1) and low temperature (30.5 °C). Plants grown in CH produced leaf chlorosis with 50% shorter leaves and 40% lower relative growth rate (7.9 mg/g fresh weight per day) compared to plants grown in SVH. Cymbidium plants grown in SCH or SVH showed higher leaf and root dry weights as compared to those grown in CH or VH. Leaf chlorophyll-a and -b contents as well as carbohydrate levels were the highest in plants grown in SVH, indicating the benefits of shading and ventilation. The rate of transpiration showed a quadratic response to increasing levels of leaf temperature (r 2 = 0.81), wind velocity (r 2 = 0.82), and vapor pressure deficit (VPD, r 2 = 0.91). Regression analysis revealed that the maximum transpiration rate occurred at 25.4 °C leaf temperature, 2.1 m/s wind velocity, and 2.3 kPa VPD in this experiment.

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Mark H. Brand, Yiqin Ruan, and Richard Kiyomoto

To characterize the in vitro behavior of Rhododendron `Montego' with tissue proliferation (TP) to cytokinin and auxin, comparisons were made of normal [TP(–)], dwarf TP [TP(+) dwarf], and long TP [TP(+) long] shoot cultures. On basal medium TP(–) and TP(+), long shoots failed to multiply and had a low relative growth rate (RGR) of 0.1, whereas TP(+) dwarf shoots produced 31.8 shoots per tip, with most shoots being <5 mm long, and RGR was 0.3. Addition of 15 μm 2iP to basal medium induced the production of more than six shoots per TP(–) tip and doubled their RGR; TP(+) long shoots produced 16.8 shoots, most <5 mm long, and had an RGR of 0.3; TP(+) dwarf shoots produced only 16% as many shoots as on basal medium, but still exhibited an increase in RGR. Leaves from TP(–) and TP(+) sources failed to produce shoots on basal medium, but 74% of TP(–) leaves formed shoots when cultured on 1 μm IBA and 30 μm 2iP. TP(+) leaves were able to form shoot meristems on media containing only 5 μm 2iP (26% of explants), but these meristems failed to elongate into shoots. Calli from TP(–) leaves, TP(+) leaves, and TP(+) tumors grown on medium containing 10 μm NAA and 15 μm 2iP had higher RGRs than the same calli on basal medium during the first 8 weeks of culture. Over time, RGR decreased in both TP(–) and TP(+) leaf calli, but increased in TP(+) tumor callus. The increased RGR resulted from differentiation of shoot meristems on 85% of the calli between week 4 and week 8. Our results suggest that TP(+) tissues have altered hormone metabolism or sensitivity that leads to dramatic differences in in vitro behavior and probably contributes to tissue proliferation observed in whole plants. Chemical names used: 6-(γ,γ-dimethylallylamino) purine (2iP); indole-3-butyric acid (IBA); α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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Serge Yelle, Richard C. Beeson Jr., Marc J. Trudel, and André Gosselin

Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Vedettos and Lycopersicon chmielewskii Rick, LA 1028, were exposed to two CO2 concentrations (330 or 900 μmol·m-3) for 10 weeks. The elevated CO2 concentration increased the relative growth rate (RGR) of L. esculentum and L. chmielewskii by 18% and 30%, respectively, after 2 weeks of treatment. This increase was not maintained as the plant matured. Net assimilation rate (NAR) and specific leaf weight (SLW) were always higher in C02-enriched plants, suggesting that assimilates were preferentially accumulated in the leaves as reserves rather than contributing to leaf expansion. Carbon dioxide enrichment increased early and total yields of L. esculentum by 80% and 22%, respectively. Carbon exchange rates (CER) increased during the first few weeks, but thereafter decreased as tomato plants acclimated to high atmospheric CO2. The relatively constant concentration of internal C0 with time suggests that reduced stomatal conductance under high CO2 does not explain lower photosynthetic rates of tomato plants grown under high atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Leaves 5 and 9 responded equally to high CO2 enrichment throughout plant growth. Consequently, acclimation of CO2-enriched plants was not entirely due to the age of the tissue. After 10 weeks of treatment, leaf 5, which had been exposed to high CO2 for only 10 days, showed the greatest acclimation of the experiment. We conclude that the duration of exposure of the whole plant to elevated CO2 concentration, rather than the age of the tissue, governs the acclimation to high CO2 concentrations.

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Keith A. Funnell, Errol W. Hewett, Ian J. Warrington, and Julie A. Plummer

Dry matter accumulation and partitioning in plants of Zantedeschia Spreng. `Best Gold' aff. Z. pentlandii (Wats.) Wittm. (syn. Richardia pentlandii Wats.) were quantified under a range of temperature and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) regimes using plant growth analysis. The relative rate of dry matter accumulation [relative growth rate (RGRM), g·g-1·d-1] was highly correlated with the partitioning of the daily increment of dry matter into leaf tissue [leaf matter partitioning (LMP), g·d-1 per g·d-1]. In contrast, a poor correlation existed between RGRM and net assimilation rate (NAR, g·m-2·d-1). Maximum values of RGRM increased linearly with increasing temperature (from 13 to 28 °C), with a base temperature of 2.1 ± 2.7 °C. The optimum temperature for growth was PPF dependent with maximum total plant dry mass occurring under high PPF (694 μmol·m-2·s-1) at 25 °C. However, as the plant responded to PPF by altering LMP, final total plant dry mass was actually greater under the low PPF regime (348 μmol·m-2·s-1) at temperatures <22 °C. The optimum temperature for dry matter accumulation was close to the average daily air temperature during the growing season for the natural habitat of the parent species. Similarly, the greater dry matter accumulation under the combination of either low PPF and cooler temperatures or high PPF and warmer temperatures was paralleled by the diversity of PPF habitats in the natural open grassland and forest margin the parent species occupies. It is therefore suggested that Zantedeschia `Best Gold' is well adapted to optimize growth under these environmental conditions.

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John L. Jifon and David W. Wolfe

Average global surface temperatures are predicted to rise due to increasing atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Attempts to predict plant response to CO2 must take into account possible temperature effects on phenology and reproductive sink capacity for carbohydrates. In this study, we investigated the effects of atmospheric CO2 partial pressure [35 Pa ambient CO2 (aCO2) vs. 70 Pa elevated CO2 (eCO2)] and temperature (26/15 vs. 35/21 °C day/night) on short- and long-term net CO2 assimilation (An) and growth of red kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). During early vegetative development [14-31 days after planting (DAP)], An, and relative growth rate (RGR) at eCO2 were significantly greater at the supra-optimum (35/21 °C) than at the optimum (26/15 °C) temperature. At 24 DAP, the CO2 stimulation of An by eCO2 was 49% and 89% at optimum and supra-optimum temperature, respectively, and growth enhancement was 48% and 72% relative to plants grown at aCO2. This high temperature-induced growth enhancement was accompanied by an up-regulation of An of eCO2-grown plants. In contrast, during later reproductive stages (31-68 DAP) the eCO2 stimulation of An was significantly less at the supra-optimum than at optimum temperature. This was associated with reduced seed set, greater leaf carbohydrate accumulation, and down-regulation of An at the higher temperature. At final harvest (68 DAP), the eCO2 stimulation of total dry weight was 31% and 14% at optimum and supra-optimum temperature respectively, and eCO2 stimulation of seed dry weight was 39% and -18% at optimum and supra-optimum temperature, respectively. These data indicate substantial shifts in the response to eCO2 during different phenological stages, and suggest that impaired reproductive development at high temperature could reduce the potential for CO2 stimulation of photosynthesis and productivity in bean and possibly other heat-sensitive species.

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David F. Graper and Will Healy

Petunia × hybrida Villm. `Red Flash' plants received either 10 or 20 mol·day-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) in growth chambers at: 175 μmol·m-2·s-1 for 16 hours, 350 μmol·m-2·s-1 for 8 or 16 hours, or 350 μmol·m-2 s-1 for 8 hours plus 8 hours of incandescent photoperiod extension (5 μmol·m-2·s-1 PPF). The irradiation components of peak, total, and duration were examined. Doubling total PPF increased total carbohydrate (CHO) production by 60%, seedling dry weight (DW) by 30%, rate of seedling growth by 25%, and acid invertase activity by 50% compared to the other treatments, once the seedlings had reached the two-leaf stage. Seedlings receiving 20 mol·day-1 PPF partitioned 14% more CHO into ethanol soluble sugars rather than starch, which may explain the increase in relative growth rate observed with supplemental irradiance treatments. Extending the photoperiod for 8 hours with 5 μmol·m-2·s-1 PPF reduced total CHO production by 50% compared to the same treatment without photoperiodic lighting. Treatment with 350 μmol·m-2·s-1 for 8 hours resulted in the highest O2 evolution (8.8 μmol O2/min per dm2). Increasing the photoperiod from 8 to 16 hours gave the lowest rate of O2 evolution (4.5 μmol O2/min per dm2). Previous reports of the importance of photosynthetic period in controlling partitioning between starch and sugars may have simply observed a decreasing rate of starch accumulation due to increased total PPF.

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Yong-Zhan Ma and Martin P.N. Gent

Do root temperatures warm during the day and cool during the night benefit plant growth? Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seedlings were grown at a constant 20C air temperature but with varied root temperature, either 28/12C or 12/28C day/night for 8 days. Eight seedlings were grown in troughs in continuously flowing nutrient solution containing 200 μM \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(^{14}\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} excess amounts of other mineral elements. The flow rate was 0.6 liters/day per trough on the first day, when plants weighed 20 mg, and increased with plant size. After 8 days, \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(^{15}\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} was provided for 12 h when roots were warm, and eight plants were harvested at the end of labeling or 12 h later. During the treatments, weight per plant increased more in leaves, 3.5 to 44 mg, than roots, 4.3 to 19 mg, and least for stem, 12 to 30 mg. The whole-plant relative growth rate did not differ among treatments, 0.17 to 0.19/day, but was less than for plants grown at a constant 20C root temperature, 0.22/day. Uptake of \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(^{14}\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} from the media and exudation from the stem of decapitated plants were greater when roots were warm than when roots were cold, regardless of light. After labeling for 12 h at the warm root temperature, 15N enrichment in plant tissues was greater with roots warm during the day, 0.20, 0.15, and 0.16, than in those with roots warm during the night, 0.16, 0.11, and 0.10, for roots, stems, and leaves, respectively. Enrichment with roots warm during the day was 22%, 33%, and 62% greater, for roots, stems, and leaves, respectively, than with roots warm during the night. However, uptake of \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} at night by roots that were warm during the night was sufficient so that plants grown at out-of-phase root temperature grew as fast as plants grown at in-phase root temperature. Research supported in part by grant 93-37100-9101 from the NRI Competitive Grants Program/USDA.

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Yong-Zhan Ma and Martin P.N. Gent

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) seedlings were grown with air temperature of 28°C light/12°C dark (12/12 hours), and either a constant, 20°C, root-zone temperature (RZT), or in-phase with air temperature, 28°C in the light and 12°C in the dark, or out-of-phase, 12°C in the light and 28°C in the dark. These treatments were applied from 17 to 25 days after germination, with 200 m \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{-}^{3}\) \end{document} in flowing nutrient solution. The relative growth rate of leaves was the greatest with constant RZT, 0.33/d, and least with out-of-phase RZT, 0.29/d. The concentration of free amino acid and protein in leaves was least for out-of-phase RZT. The \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{-}^{3}\) \end{document} concentration in leaves was the highest in the dark, intermediate in the middle of the light period, and the lowest at the end of the light period. In roots, \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{-}^{3}\) \end{document} concentration showed a similar trend. This variation was greatest when RZT was varied out of phase, and least with constant RZT. At the end of the light period, \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{-}^{3}\) \end{document} concentration in roots was 246, 180, and 162 μmol·g–1 dry weight for constant, in phase, and out of phase RZT, respectively. In the light, leaves of seedlings grown with out-of-phase RZT had 5 mmol·g–1 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{-}^{3}\) \end{document}, compared to 16 mmol·g–1 with in-phase RZT Availability of \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{-}^{3}\) \end{document} in the light may be the factor limiting plant growth with out-of-phase RZT. This research was supported in part by grant number 93-37100-9101 from the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program/USDA.

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Pietro Santamaria and Antonio Elia

In a growth chamber, endive (Cichorium endivia L. var. crispum Hegi) plants were grown using a solution culture method to evaluate the influence of four ammonium : nitrate (NH4-N : NO3-N) percentage ratios (100:0, 70:30, 30:70, and 0:100) on growth (leaf area, dry mass, crop growth rate, relative growth rate, and net assimilation rate), yield characteristics (head and root fresh mass and root length), quality (dry matter, nitrogen, and nitrate), and inorganic ion content. No symptoms of NH4 + toxicity were detected in endive plants 8 weeks after beginning nutrient treatments. Moreover, by feeding N in mixed form, the growth indices increased compared to indices from feeding with any of the two N forms alone. Ammonium-fed plants produced nitrate-free heads with a fresh mass (171 g) similar to nitrate-fed plants. Compared to the other treatments, the heads of NH4 +-fed plants were darker green and more succulent. Mixed N improved yield but caused a remarkable accumulation of nitrate in heads. Following an increase in NO3-N from 30% to 70% in the nutrient solution, head fresh mass rose from 196 to 231 g and NO3 - concentration more than doubled (from 2.4 to 6.1 g·kg-1 fresh mass). With 100% of NO3-N, NO3 - concentration was 5.5 g·kg-1 fresh mass. With higher NO3-N percentages in the nutrient solution, the difference in the concentration of inorganic cations and anions increased, but K+ concentration was also high in ammonium-fed plants (on average 77 g·kg-1 dry mass). Head total N accumulation was increased by the presence of NH4 + in the nutrient solution and decreased with 100% NO3-N. From the commercial viewpoint, the produce obtained from 100% NH4-N was good, with the value-added factor of the absence of nitrate. This may be an extremely remarkable factor because of the commercial limits on the allowable nitrate content in leafy vegetables already enforced by many European countries and those the European Union is going to adopt in a directive.

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John D. Lea-Cox, G.W. Stutte, W.L. Berry, and R.M. Wheeler

Maintaining pH to optimize nutrient availability in unbuffered nutrient solutions is important for closed spaceflight hydroponic systems and in agriculture. Total nutrient uptake is reflected by electrical conductivity (EC) measurements, while pH reflects the net imbalance of cation and anion absorption. The pH of nitrate-only (0 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document}: 100 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document}) nutrient solutions normally increases, whereas with equimolar (50 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document}: 50 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document}), solutions, pH decreases. However, when solution pH was controlled to 5.8 by a mixed N sources (25 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document}: 75 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document}), plant yields of semi-dwarf wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. `Yecora Rojo') were equal to the control (0 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document}: 100 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document}) system. When nutrient uptake was monitored at 15-min intervals, it was found that \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document} and \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} were taken up simultaneously. Uptake of \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document} was more rapid than \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document}. The change in pH and EC was primarily a function of the absorption of three ions, namely \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document}, \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document}, and K+. A significant amount of the K+ uptake was highly correlated (P < 0.001) to the presence of \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} in solution. When the daily N requirement was supplied as a 25 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document}: 75 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} mixture, comparatively little change in solution pH occurred, with reduced K+ uptake by the plants. Thus, by knowing the daily crop N requirement from the relative growth rate, the pH fluctuations within hydroponic nutrient solutions can be reduced with daily additions of a balanced nutrient solution with a 25 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NH}_{4}^{+}\) \end{document}: 75 \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\) \end{document} mixture of N.