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Sastry S. Jayanty, Mauricio Cañoles, and Randolph M. Beaudry

We studied the dose-response of `Redchief Delicious' apple [Malus sylvestris (L) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] fruit to repeated (weekly) dosages of 0.0, 0.02, 0.1, and 1.0 μL·L-1 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) by measuring fruit firmness and chlorophyll fluorescence throughout an extended storage period at 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 °C. The rate of firmness loss for nontreated fruit increased with increasing temperature. 1-MCP applied at concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0 μL·L-1 slowed firmness loss. The 1-MCP dose-response curve for the rate of firmness loss was essentially the same for all five temperatures. A concentration of 1.0 μL·L-1 1-MCP prevented firmness loss at all temperatures for the duration of the study; however, after holding fruit for an additional 7 days at room temperature, the fruit stored at 10 °C softened with increasing storage duration, whereas fruit at stored at higher and lower temperatures did not. The influence of 1-MCP on chlorophyll fluorescence (Fo and Fm) was markedly affected by temperature; Fo increased during storage at higher storage temperatures and this increase was enhanced by 1-MCP. Conversely, Fm decreased during storage and the rate of decline was much greater at the higher storage temperatures; the rate of decline was reduced by 1-MCP, but only at the higher storage temperatures. Photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) of nontreated fruit declined with time for all storage temperatures. Treatment with 0.1 and 1.0 μL·L-1 1-MCP only marginally reduced the rate of decline of photochemical efficiency. Sample loss due to decay increased with temperature, but was reduced by 1-MCP at all temperatures.

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Catherine Greene, David Bubenheim, and Wade Berry

Water contributes approximately 90% of the life support consumables in a closed space environment, therefore, regeneration of pure water from waste streams is important for long term space travel. Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) will rely on plants to produce food, oxygen, consume CO2 and purify water. Igepon TC42, Amide coco N-methyl N-2-sulphoethyl sodium salt, is the main ingredient of the soap recommended for showering and hand washing aboard Space Station Freedom. To determine the soap concentration which causes plant toxicity, lettuce seeds were germinated in 0.1 strength modified Hoagland's nutrient solution and a series of increasing concentrations of Igepon. After 5 days, the seedlings were examined and primary root length measured. The dose response curve indicates an Igepon acute toxicity threshold of 0.2 g l-1 Below the threshold concentration the curve is similar to that of the control, but drops linearly upon reaching the toxic threshold. Seedlings exposed to concentrations of soap greater than the toxic threshold exhibited root damage characterized by the browning of cells in bands above the root cap resulting in reduced growth rates. The damaged cells enlarged becoming round in appearance prior to departing from adjacent cells. The underlying cells appeared clear and uniform making up a thinner, more fragile root mass when compared to undamaged root regions.

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Clive Kaiser, Philip B. Hamm, Stacy Gieck, Nicholas David, Lynn Long, Mekjell Meland, and J. Mark Christensen

In vitro dose responses of several calcium and potassium salts were determined on some commercially significant plant pathogens, including: Helminthosporium solani, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. pisi race 2, Colletotricum coccodes, Phytophthora cactorum, Phytophthora cinnamomi, Phytophthora erythroseptica, Phytophthora infestans, Phytophthora megasperma, Pythium ultimum, and Venturia inaequalis. Mycelial growth inhibition was both salt-specific and dose-related. Pythium ultimum was completely inhibited by 75 mg·L−1 or greater calcium propionate, but needed 300 mg·L−1 or greater of calcium acetate and 40 mL·L−1 or greater of potassium silicate for complete inhibition. Phytophthora infestans was completely inhibited by 150 mg·L−1 or greater calcium acetate, 150 mg·L−1 or greater calcium propionate, or 5 mL·L−1 or greater potassium silicate. Phytophthora cactorum was completely inhibited by 300 mg·L−1 or greater calcium propionate, but required 600 mg·L−1 or greater calcium acetate and 10 mL·L−1 or greater potassium silicate for complete inhibition. Phytophthora cinnamomi was completely inhibited by calcium propionate at 600 mg·L−1 or greater or by 10 mL·L−1 or greater potassium silicate. Only potassium silicate inhibited Phytophthora megasperma, Phytophthora erthroseptica, V. inequalis, and H. solani at concentrations of 5 mL·L−1 or greater, 20 mL·L−1 or greater, 40 mL·L−1 or greater, or 80 mL·L−1 or greater, respectively. Potassium acetate did not completely inhibit any of the pathogens in this study when tested at concentrations 1200 mg·L−1 or less.

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Roger Kjelgren

Shade acclimation response of Emerald Queen Norway maple street trees to variable urban irradiance levels was investigated. Specific leaf area, trunk growth, and crown density were measured from trees in 13 sites ranging from urban canyons in the business core to open exposures in residential areas of Seattle, Wash. Percentage of potential seasonal input of global shortwave radiation for each site was modeled based on the azimuth and elevation angles of the surrounding horizon topography. Building height in the business core reduced estimated irradiance to a range of 27% to 90% of that for an unobstructed horizon topography, while those outside the business core had 90% to 95% irradiance. As estimated potential irradiance decreased, growth of these maple street trees exhibited responses characteristic of shade acclimation in a dose-response pattern. Specific leaf area increased and trunk growth and crown density decreased to acclimated levels at -70% of potential irradiance. These acclimation responses did not degrade the function of the trees in their urban-canyon locations. Their foliage was healthy, and reduced crown density was not apparent since there were no full-sun-grown trees for comparison.

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Hazel Y. Wetzstein and S. Edward Law

Ozone is a highly oxidizing phytotoxic air pollutant, whose effects are documented to adversely affect crop growth and productivity. In contrast to the large body of published work investigating the effects of atmospheric ozone on outdoor agronomic and forestry crops, relatively few studies have addressed the effects of ozone exposure on greenhouse-grown crops. Outdoor concentrations of ozone can commonly attain concentrations in the 50–150 ppb range, which are known to detrimentally impact plant growth. The objective of this study was to characterize ozone exposure in commercial greenhouses as a prelude to the determination of dose–response effects on specific greenhouse crops and the development of ozone abatement methods, if appropriate. This study documented the levels and diurnal fluctuations in atmospheric ozone concentrations over two annual June–October “ozone seasons.” Measurements were taken every 10 min. for both indoor and outdoor ozone concentration, solar radiation, and temperature. Unexpectedly, indoor ozone concentrations often exhibited elevated levels that were 25% to 35% higher than outdoor concentrations, even in well-ventilated houses. These findings suggest that additional ozone production may occur within the greenhouse environment. Evaluations of causative factors and ozone effects on commercial crop production are warranted.

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Joseph J. King and Dennis P. Stimart

In an attempt to analyze genetically the interaction of endogenous auxin concentration and adventitious root formation, an EMS mutagenized M2 population of Arabidopsis thaliana was screened for mutants with altered abilities to form adventitious roots. A selected recessive nuclear mutant, rooty (rty), is characterized by extreme proliferation of roots, inhibition of shoot development and other morphological alterations suggestive of auxin or ethylene effects. The rty phenotype occurs in wild type seedlings grown on auxin containing medium and relatively normal growth is stimulated in rty seedlings growing on cytokinin containing medium. Analysis by GC-MS found that endogenous IAA concentrations in rty are 2 to 17 times higher than in wild type depending on tissue type and IAA form. Dose response experiments with IAA and NAA indicated that rty does not express increased sensitivity to auxin. These data suggest that the rty phenotype is due to elevated endogenous auxin. A genetic map location for rty and possible roles for the wild type RTY gene product in regulating auxin concentration will be presented.

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James E. Barrett and Terril A. Nell

Impatiens L. wallerana Hook., Salvia splendens Sello ex Nees, Tagetes erecta L., and Petunia hybrida Vilm. plants in 610-cm3 pots were sprayed with either uniconazole or paclobutrazol at concentrations from 10 to 160 mg·liter-1. For all species, both chemicals reduced plant size compared with untreated control plants, and the effect increased with higher concentrations. Uniconazole produced smaller plants than did paclobutrazol at similar concentrations. For impatiens, salvia, and marigold, there was an interaction between chemical and concentration; the degree of difference between the effects of the chemicals was greater at higher concentrations. For these three species, uniconazole elicited a quadratic response and reached saturation within the concentrations used; however, these concentrations were still in the linear portion of the dose response curve for paclobutrazol. Chemical names used: (2RS,3RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)pentan-3-ol (paclobutrazol); (E)-(+)-(S)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)-pent-1-ene-3-ol (uniconazole).

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James Sellmer, Craig R. Adkins, Ingram McCall, and Brian Whipker

Plant growth retardant (PGR) substrate drenches (in milligrams active ingredient) of ancymidol at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, or 4; paclobutrazol at 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16; and uniconazole at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 were applied to pampas grass (Cortaderia argentea Nees) to compare their effectiveness at chemical height control during greenhouse forcing and evaluate the residual effect on plant growth in the landscape. Cortaderia argentea plant height exhibited a quadratic dose response to paclobutrazol and uniconazole, while ancymidol-treated plants showed a linear dose effect. During greenhouse production, all rates of uniconazole reduced plant height by 56% to 71% compared to the untreated control, whereas paclobutrazol and ancymidol treatments reduced plant height by 14% to 61% and 0% to 34%, respectively. Severe height retardation was evident at 2 mg of uniconazole. By week 5 in the field all plants treated with uniconazole, paclobutrazol doses of 4, 8, or 16 mg, and with 4 mg of ancymidol were shorter than the untreated control. By week 24 in the field, all plants exhibited similar heights except plants treated with uniconazole at 1, 2, or 4 mg remained shorter than the untreated control. In conclusion, each PGR was effective in controlling plant height of Cortaderia argentea during greenhouse forcing. Furthermore, plants treated with low to moderate rates of ancymidol or paclobutrazol grew out of the regulating effect by week 5 in the landscape. These results demonstrate that PGR can be effectively and economically employed in the production of Cortaderia argentea.

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James C. Sellmer, Craig R. Adkins, Ingram McCall, and Brian E. Whipker

Plant growth retardant (PGR) substrate drenches (in mg a.i per pot.) of ancymidol at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, or 4; paclobutrazol at 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16; and uniconazole at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 (28,350 mg = 1.0 oz) were applied to pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana). Control of height growth during greenhouse forcing and the residual effects on plant growth in the landscape were evaluated. During greenhouse forcing, plant height exhibited a quadratic dose response to paclobutrazol and uniconazole, while ancymidol treated plants exhibited a linear response to increasing dose. All rates of uniconazole resulted in plant heights which were 56% to 75% shorter than the nontreated control, whereas paclobutrazol and ancymidol treatments resulted in 6% to 64% and 5% to 29% shorter plants, respectively. Severe height retardation was evident with {XgtequalX}2 mg uniconazole. When the plants were transplanted and grown in the landscape (24 weeks after the PGR application), all plants treated with ancymidol, paclobutrazol, and {XltequalX}0.5 mg uniconazole exhibited heights similar to the nontreated control, suggesting no residual effects of the PGR for these treatments. Only plants treated with uniconazole at {XgtequalX}1 mg remained shorter than the nontreated control in the landscape. These results demonstrate that plant growth regulators can be effectively and economically applied in the greenhouse production of pampas grass.

Open access

Robert L. Geneve, Wesley P. Hackett, and Bert T. Swanson


An in vitro system has been developed to study adventitious root initiation in the juvenile and mature phases of English ivy (Hedera helix L.). The system uses de-bladed petiole explants cultured in a defined liquid medium. Adventitious roots are visible macroscopically after 18 days. Juvenile petiole explants show a dose-response to auxin application with optimal root initiation at 100 μM NAA or IAA. With optimal auxin concentration, root initials form in juvenile petiole explants directly from cortical parenchyma cells, which involves induction (1–6 days), meristem organization (6–9 days), and root elongation stages (9–18 days). Sucrose is required for outgrowth of root primordia but not for initiation of primordia. Mature petiole explants respond to auxin with random cell divisions in cortical parenchyma cells; root initials form at a low frequency from callus resulting from this cortical cell division. Distribution of 14C at various times after administration of 14C-labeled NAA is similar in juvenile and mature petioles. Because of their difference in rooting potential, coupled with similarity in anatomical organization, distribution of 14C from NAA, and identical genotype, juvenile and mature petioles provide an excellent experimental system for analyzing the morphogenetic, physiological, and genetic basis of rooting potential. Chemical names used: 1-napthaleneacetic acid (NAA); 1H-indoIe-3-acetic acid (IAA).