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Joseph Albano and Kim Bowman

Nutrient disorders related to excessive levels of copper in soils are common in Florida citrus groves that have been under production for many years, mainly due to the continual use of copper-containing pesticides. The objectives of the study were to investigate the growth and nutritional response of six citrus rootstocks (nonbudded) grown in 4-L containers in sand to increasing concentrations of copper. The rootstocks included: Swingle citrumelo (Citrusparadisi Macf. × Poncirus trifoliata [L.] Raf.), Volkamer lemon (C. volkameriana Ten. and Pasq.), Cleopatra mandarin (Citrusreticulata Blanco), Flying Dragon (P. trifoliata); and two new USDA series rootstocks, US-812 (Sunki mandarin × P. trifoliata released in 2001), and US-897 (a hybrid of Cleopatra × Flying Dragon not yet released). Copper was supplied at 0.05, 0.25, 1.00, and 2.00 mg·L-1 CuEDTA incorporated into a modified Hoagland's nutrient solution. As a mean of all Cu treatments, whole plant Cu levels (μg·g-1) were: Flying Dragon, 17.33; US-897, 21.68; Cleopatra, 27.33; US-812, 28.84; Swingle, 29.74; and Volkamer, 34.05. As a mean of all Cu treatments, foliar Cu levels (μg·g-1) were greatest and least in US-812 (7.74) and Cleopatra (4.05), respectively; and root Cu levels (μg·g-1) were greatest and least in Volkamer (61.08) and Flying Dragon (30.08), respectively.

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Richard J. Crawford and David M. Eissenstat

The relationship of genotypic variation in root hair development with root proliferation, mycorrhizal colonization, and specific root length (length / dry mass) was studied in sixteen field-grown citrus relatives. The species varied widely in hair development, root length and mass density, and specific root length. No correlation was found between hair development, mycorrhizal colonization, root proliferation, and specific root length. However, there was a significant correlation (r=.55) between the percentage of total root length with hairs and the percentage of hairs with adhered soil. In a second experiment, the phenotypic plasticity in root hair development was studied in four-citrus rootstooks: Swingle citsumelo, Sour orange, Trifoliate orange and Volkamer lemon. Roots were grow” in either mineral soil or high organic matter media. After eight weeks, root length density and percentage of root length with hairs averaged over all four rootstocks was 232 % and 85 % greater in the organic media than in the mineral soil. Similar to the first experiment the percentage of total root length with hairs was significantly correlated (r=.99) with the percentage of hairs with adhered soil.

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Milton E. Tignor and Peter J. Stoffella

Florida citrus has had an average annual on-tree-value of ≈1 billion dollars during the past decade in Florida. Nearly all of the 845,260 acres of citrus in Florida is produced on grafted trees consisting of a commercial scion cultivar and a rootstock selected specifically for local soil, environment, and pest pressures. With vastly different root-zone environments, ranging from deep sands to drained and cleared pine Flatwoods, a large number of different rootstocks are utilized. These rootstocks are started from seed at more than 100 commercial nurseries statewide, which currently produce an estimated 6 million trees a year. Although the optimum germination conditions, basic physiological performance, and adaptability of many rootstocks are known, there has been minimal investigation on early root development in seedling trays at the nursery. Four hundred seedlings of `Swingle' citrumelo (Citrus paradisi Macf. `Dunacn' × Poncirus trifoliata), `Smooth Flat Seville', `Volkamer' lemon (Citrus volkameriana), and `Sun Chu Sha' mandarin were seeded in a randomized block experimental design and grown at a commercial nursery. Seedling root systems (100/rootstock) were analyzed for a number of variables using the Rhizo (Regent Instruments, Inc.) software package and a dual light source scanner. Using the SAS general linear model procedure, hypothesis testing revealed rootstock selection had a significant effect on total root length, total root surface area, total root volume, number of root tips, number of root forks, root dry weight, and stem diameter. For most characteristics, rootstock genotype accounted for a greater portion of variability than samples (plant to plant variability).

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J.M.S. Scholberg, L.R. Parsons, and T.A. Wheaton

The interactive effects of irrigation rate and nitrogen concentration of the irrigation water on the growth of seedlings of two citrus rootstocks were studied. Four-month old seedlings of Swingle citrumelo [Citrus paradisi Macf. × Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.] and Volkamer lemon (C. volkameriana Ten. & Pasq.) were grown for ≈10 months in square citripots filled with a Candler fine sand. Plants were irrigated at 0.5, 0.75 or 1.0 times the evapotranspiration rate. Irrigation was applied using water containing 0, 7, 21, or 63 ppm nitrogen. Plant growth increased with irrigation rate and nitrogen concentration. Evapotranspiration rates, as determined from weight losses of reference plants, increased with nitrogen rate. Overall plant growth and weekly evaporation rates were greater with Volkamer than with Swingle. Leaf senescence of Swingle was more pronounced at low irrigation rates and/or low nitrogen concentrations than it was with Volkamer. Increasing nitrogen concentration of the irrigation water during the winter months reduced leaf senescence of both Swingle and Volkamer seedlings, and also promoted continuous growth in Volkamer. Leaf growth of Swingle ceased during the winter months, regardless of the nitrogen concentration of the irrigation water.

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Matthew W. Fidelibus and Chris A. Martin

Four AM fungal isolates (Glomus sp.) from disparate edaphic conditions were screened for effects on leaf gas exchange of `Volkamer' lemon (Citrus volkameriana Ten. and Pasq.) plants of similar size under conditions of increased soil water deficit stress and recovery from stress. Mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants were grown in 8-L containers for 10 weeks under well-watered conditions in a glasshouse and then subjected to three consecutive soil-drying episodes of increased severity (mean soil water tension reached –0.02, –0.06, and –0.08 MPa, respectively). Gas exchange measurements were made on the last day of each soil-drying episode. Plants were irrigated after each soil-drying episode, and measurements were repeated on the following 2 recovery days, when soil remained moist. All measurements were made at mid-day with a LI-COR 6200 portable photosynthesis system. The effect of AM fungi on leaf gas exchange fluxes varied depending on the isolate and the intensity of soil water stress. Leaf gas exchange fluxes always were highest for plants colonized by Glomus mosseae (Nicol. & Gerde.) isolate 114C, except during the third soil-drying episode, when all mycorrhizal plants had similar, and lower, gas exchange fluxes compared with non-mycorrhizal plants. During recovery from the third soil-drying episode, Glomus mosseae isolate 51C had lower leaf gas exchange fluxes compared with all other plants. Our results show that AM fungi can alter leaf gas exchange fluxes of citrus, under conditions of optimal P nutrition, in an isolate-specific manner.

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J.P. Syvertsen

The objectives of these greenhouse experiments were to determine the effects of elevated CO2 on growth, mineral nutrition, and gas exchange physiology of seedlings of four commercial Citrus rootstocks. We grew well-watered and fertilized seedlings of `Volkamer' lemon (VL), `Cleopatra' mandarin (CL), `Swingle' citrumelo (SW), and `Troyer' citrange (TC) cultivars (in decreasing order of vigor) in unshaded, air-conditioned greenhouses at ambient CO2 (350 μmol/mol) or 2x ambient CO2 for 5 months. CL was the smallest cultivar, had the lowest root/shoot (r/s) ratio,and lowest rates of CO2 assimilation (A) of leaves, transpiration (E), and water-use efficiency, (A/E). Overall, daily whole-plant water use was correlated with single-leaf E. Elevated CO2 increased both shoot and root growth similarly; therefore, r/s was not affected. Elevated CO2 increased A, leaf dry wt/area, and leaf C, but decreased transpiration and leaf N so that leaf C/N, A/N, and A/E all increased. Although plant size of the four cultivars ranked similarly at both ambient and high CO2, the more-vigorous cultivars grew proportionately more at high CO2 than the less-vigorous cultivars. Growing cultivars at elevated CO2 can yield insights into mechanisms determining vigor and relationships between A and plant growth.

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Jim Syvertsen and M.L. Smith

Effects of nitrogen (N) rate and rootstock on tree growth, fruit yield, evapotranspiration, N uptake, and N leaching were measured over a 2-year period. Four-year-old `Redblush' grapefruit trees on either sour orange (SO), a relatively slow-growing rootstock, or `Volkamer' lemon (VL), a more-vigorous rootstock, were transplanted into 7.9-m3 drainage lysimeter tanks filled with native sand and fertilized at three N rates. N rates averaged from about 14% to 136% of the recommended rate when trees were 5 and 6 years old. More N leached below trees on SO as trees on VL had greater N uptake efficiency. Canopy volume and leaf N concentration increased with N rate, but rootstock had no effect on leaf N. Fruit yield of trees on SO was not affected by N rate, but high N increased water use and yield for larger trees on VL. Canopy growth or yield per volume of water used (water use efficiency) was lowest at low N, but N use efficiency was highest at the low N rates.

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Ed Stover, Robert Pelosi, Michael Burton, Scott Ciliento, and Mark Ritenour

Adjacent but separate trials of `Oroblanco' and `Melogold', both triploid pummelo [Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck] × grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) hybrids, were established on nine rootstocks in the Indian River citrus region of Florida in 1993. The trees on the citrandarin rootstock ×639 [Cleopatra mandarin (C. reticulata Blanco) × trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata L.)] were significantly more productive than trees on any other rootstock tested for `Oroblanco' and all rootstocks except Swingle citrumelo (C. paradisi × P. trifoliata) and Cleopatra mandarin for `Melogold'. Cumulative production of `Oroblanco' on ×639, through year 9, was 50% higher than for Swingle or Volkamer lemon [C. limon (L.)], which were the next highest in yield. `Melogold' displayed extremely low yield, with 45% of trees producing fewer than 50 fruit total in the 9 years of this study. Carrizo citrange (C. sinensis Osbeck × P. trifoliata) produced the smallest trees with both scion varieties, reflecting poor adaptation of this rootstock to the calcareous soil at the trial site. As expected, acidity of `Oroblanco' and `Melogold' was much lower than would be observed for grapefruit when fall harvested, with similar total soluble solids (TSS), and much higher TSS: titratable acidity ratio. Some rootstock effects on internal quality were observed.

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D. M. Eissenstat and J. P. Syvertsen

The effects of elevated levels of ozone on growth, mineral nutrition and freeze resistance were studied using broadleaf-evergreen citrus and avocado trees. `Ruby Red' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi L.) trees on either Volkamer lemon (Citrus volkameriana Ten. & Pasq.) or sour orange (Citrus aurantium L.) rootstock and `Simmonds' or `Pancho' avocado trees (Persea americana Mill.) on the rootstock `Waldin' were exposed to ozone in open-top chambers for 4 mo in 1988 and in a second experiment in 1989 for 8 mo. Citrus tree growth, estimated by total leaf mass, was unaffected by ozone concentrations of 3 times ambient in either year but avocado growth was reduced by ozone concentration at 2 times ambient in 1989. All trees were well-fertilized and ozone had little effect on mineral nutrient concentrations in leaves. Freeze resistance, estimated by electrolyte leakage from leaf disks and survival of leaves, stems, and whole-plants following exposure to freezing temperatures, was often diminished in avocado and citrus at 3 times ambient ozone, but occasionally was increased at 2 times ambient. Thus, ozone can be related to shifts in freeze resistance that can occur prior to discernible growth effects.

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Jim Syvertsen, J. Lloyd, and G. D. Farquhar

Four to six-yr-old `Red Ruby' grapefruit trees on either `Volkamer' lemon (VL) or sour orange (SO) rootstocks were fertilized with 3 rates of nitrogen (N) over a 3 year period. We studied the effects of leaf N concentration on stomatal conductance (gs), net assimilation (A) of CO2 (Li-Cor portable gas exchange system), carbon isotope discrimination (δ 13C) of tree tissues, root growth, canopy development and fruit yield. Using springtime measurements of net gas exchange during the fifth year, gs, A and leaf tissue δ 13C were positively correlated with leaf N. The faster growing trees on VL had larger canopy volumes and fruit yields but lower leaf N, A and δ 13C than those on SO. Thus δ 13C was positively correlated with A but negatively related to tree size and yield. By the sixth year, δ 13C was still related to N but tree growth had apparently obscured any rootstock effects on leaf N, water use efficiency, A and δ 13C. Leaf and trunk bark tissue δ 13C did not differ but root bark had lowest δ 13C regardless of rootstock species.