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N.K. Damayanthi Ranwala, D.R. Decoteau, and R.T. Fernandez

End-of-day (EOD) light treatments were used to study phytochrome involvement in photosynthesis and photosynthate partitioning in watermelon plants. Two-week-old plants were treated with brief low-intensity red (R) or far-red (FR) light for 9 days at the end of daily light period. Petiole elongation in the first two leaves was the first significant growth change in FR-treated plants compared to other plants after 3 days of treatments. This petiole elongation was accompanied by significantly higher photosynthate partitioning to petioles, even without increase in above-ground dry weight of plants. Net CO2 assimilation rate in the second leaf was significantly higher in FR treated plants on a weight basis after 3 days of treatments. Far-red-treated plants had lower chlorophyll content per leaf area and higher stem specific weight compared to R-treated plants after 3 and 6 days of treatments, respectively. Transpiration and stomatal conduction were higher in FR-treated plants compared to other treatments after 3 days of treatments. The EOD FR regulated growth and photosynthate partitioning patterns were reversible when FR treated plants were immediately followed by R. This implies EOD R: FR ratio acting through the phytochrome regulates the growth and development processes in watermelon plants.

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Zhi-Liang Zheng, Zhenbiao Yang, Jyan-Chyan Jang, and James D. Metzger

Height control is a major consideration during commercial production of chrysanthemum [Dendranthema×grandiflora Kitam. (syn. Chrysanthemum×morifolium Ramat.)]. We have addressed this problem by a biotechnological approach. Plants of `Iridon' chrysanthemum were genetically engineered to ectopically express a tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) phytochrome B1 gene under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter. The transgenic plants were shorter in stature and had larger branch angles than wild type (WT) plants. Reduction in growth caused by the ectopic expression of the tobacco phytochrome B1 gene was similar to that caused using a commercial growth retardant at the recommended rate. Another morphological effect observed in the leaves of the transgenic plants was more intense green color that was related to higher levels of chlorophyll. The transgenic plants appeared very similar to WT plants grown under a filter that selectively attenuated far red wavelengths. Furthermore, when plants were treated either with gibberellin A3 (which promoted growth) or 2-chlorocholine chloride, an inhibitor of gibberellin biosynthesis (which inhibited growth) the difference in the average internode length between the transgenic plants and WT plants was the same in absolute terms. This suggests that reduction of growth by the expressed PHY-B1 transgene did not directly involve gibberellin biosynthesis. The commercial application of this biotechnology could provide an economic alternative to the use of chemical growth regulators, thereby reducing production costs.

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D.J. Tennessen

Increased plant density can reduce the per-plant cost of ornamental and vegetable crop production, but also reduces the quality of the crop produced. Plants grown under these conditions exhibit internode elongation and yellow leaves. This response generally is described as a shade-avoidance response. Genetically transformed tobacco that express oat Phytochrome-A (Phy-A) grew short in white light but grew as tall as the nontransformed control (10 cm) in red light. When a mixture of red and 5% far-red (700 to 750 nm) was used, transformed tobacco remained short (5 cm) and dark green, whereas nontransformed grew taller (27 cm). The concept of masking the shade avoidance response was tested in transformed lines of tomato (Boylan and Quail 1989) that express elevated oat Phy-A. Transformed plants remained short and dark-green in shade-light. Phy-A may be a useful strategy to mask the shade-avoidance response.

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Daedre S. Craig and Erik S. Runkle

flowering. The spectral quality of photoperiodic lighting can influence flowering responses. Light quality is perceived by three identified families of plant photoreceptors: cryptochromes, ultraviolet receptors, and phytochromes ( Kami et al., 2010

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Zhi-Liang Zheng, Jyan-Chyun Jang, James D. Metzger, and Zhenbiao Yang

Plant architecture is a major consideration during the commercial production of chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora Tzvelev). We have addressed this problem through a biotechnological approach: genetic engineering of chrysanthemum cv. Iridon plants that ectopically expressed a tobacco phytochrome B1 gene under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter. The transgenic plants were shorter, greener in leaves, and had larger branch angles than wild-type (WT) plants. Transgenic plants also phenocopied WT plants grown under light condition depleted of far-red wavelengths. Furthermore, the reduction of growth by the expressed PHY-B1 transgene did not directly involve gibberellins. The commercial application of this biotechnology could provide an economic alternative to the use of chemical growth regulators, and thus reduce the production cost.

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Christopher S. Brown, Andrew C. Schuerger, and John C. Sager

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are a potential irradiation source for intensive plant culture systems and photobiological research. They have small size, low mass, a long functional life, and narrow spectral output. In this study, we measured the growth and dry matter partitioning of `Hungarian Wax' pepper (Capsicum annum L.) plants grown under red LEDs compared with similar plants grown under red LEDs with supplemental blue or far-red radiation or under broad spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Additionally, we describe the thermal and spectra1 characteristics of these sources. The LEDs used in this study had a narrow bandwidth at half peak height (25 nm) and a focused maximum spectral output at 660 nm for the red and 735 nm for the far-red. Near infrared radiation (800 to 3000 nm) was below detection and thermal infrared radiation (3000 to 50,000 nm) was lower in the LEDs compared to the MH source. Although the red to far-red ratio varied considerably, the calculated phytochrome photostationary state (φ) was only slightly different between the radiation sources. Plant biomass was reduced when peppers were grown under red LEDs in the absence of blue wavelengths compared to plants grown under supplemental blue fluorescent lamps or MH lamps. The addition of far-red radiation resulted in taller plants with greater stem mass than red LEDs alone. There were fewer leaves under red or red plus far-red radiation than with lamps producing blue wavelengths. These results indicate that red LEDs may be suitable, in proper combination with other wavelengths of light, for the culture of plants in tightly controlled environments such as space-based plant culture systems.

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Carole L. Bassett and D. Michael Glenn

. Perception of light by plants is regulated by four different classes of photoreceptors, so far identified as phytochromes, cryptochromes, phototropins, and Zeitlupes. In the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana , five genes encode the phytochrome receptor

Open access

Claudia Elkins and Marc W. van Iersel

( Franklin, 2008 ; Keuskamp et al., 2010 ; Possart et al., 2014 ) and 2) it is photosynthetically active ( Zhen and Bugbee, 2020 ; Zhen and van Iersel, 2017 ). Shade-avoidance/acclimation responses are mediated by phytochrome, a pigment

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M.J. McMahon, J.W. Kelly, D.R. Decoteau, R.E. Young, and R.K. Pollock

Abbreviations: B, blue; FR, far red; P, phytochrome; PPF, photosynthetic photon flux; R, red; UV, ultraviolet. South Carolina Experiment Station paper no. 3170. Support for this project was provided by South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station

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Erik S. Runkle and Royal D. Heins

For many long-day plants (LDP), adding far red light (FR, 700 to 800 nm) to red light (R, 600 to 700 nm) to extend the day or interrupt the night promotes extension growth and flowering. Blue light (B, 400 to 500 nm) independently inhibits extension growth, but its effect on flowering is not well described. Here, we determined how R-, FR-, or B-deficient (Rd, FRd, or Bd, respectively) photoperiods influenced stem extension and flowering in five LDP species: Campanula carpatica Jacq., Coreopsi ×grandiflora Hogg ex Sweet, Lobelia ×speciosa Sweet, Pisum sativum L., and Viola ×wittrockiana Gams. Plants were exposed to Rd, FRd, Bd, or normal (control) 16-hour photoperiods, each of which had a similar photosynthetic (400 to 700 nm) photon flux. Compared with that of the control, the Rd environment promoted extension growth in C. carpatica (by 65%), C. ×grandiflora (by 26%), P. sativum (by 23%), and V. ×wittrockiana (by 31%). The FRd environment suppressed extension growth in C. ×grandiflora (by 21%), P. sativum (by 17%), and V. ×wittrockiana (by 14%). Independent of the R: FR ratio, the Bd environment promoted stem extension (by 10% to 100%) in all species, but there was little or no effect on flowering percentage and time to flower. Extension growth was generally linearly related to the incident wide band (100 nm) R: FR ratio or estimated phytochrome photoequilibrium except when B light was specifically reduced. A high R: FR ratio (i.e., under the FRd filter) delayed flower initiation (but not development) in C. carpatica and C.×grandiflora and inhibited flower development (but not initiation) in Vwittrockiana. Therefore, B light and the R: FR ratio independently regulate extension growth by varying magnitudes in LDP, and in some species, an FRd environment can suppress flower initiation or development.