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C. Alt, H. Kage, and H. Stützel

Concepts of above-ground dry matter partitioning in cauliflower [Brassica oleracea L. (Botrytis Group)] as dependent on nitrogen (N) supply and light environment are presented. Leaf and stem partitioning depends on a functional relationship between stem dry weight and leaf area, independent of N status. Dry matter partitioning into the inflorescence is sink-limited (potential capacity) at the beginning, and source limited (daily available assimilates) later. The intrinsic specific growth rate of the inflorescence is dependent on leaf N content. The model is parameterized and evaluated with data from field experiments. Applied to an independent data set, the model predictions of proportions of inflorescence, leaf, and stem on total dry matter corresponded with measurements (r = 0.84, 0.92 and 0.22, respectively) for different N fertilization rates and light treatments.

Open access

Teryl R. Roper, Wayne H. Loescher, John Keller, and Curt R. Rom

Abstract

Source–sink relationships in sweet cherry were altered by girdling limbs both above and below fruiting spurs. Spurs isolated by girdling both above and below had lower total fruit weight per spur and lower weight per fruit then those above or below girdles. Fruit number per spur was not altered, but soluble solids and fruit color were lower in fruits from isolated spurs than fruit from spurs either above or below girdles. Fruit on spurs above girdles were generally highest in soluble solids and fruit color. These factors indicate fruit on isolated spurs also were delayed in maturity. Spurs below girdles were unaffected by girdling. Girdling had no effect on spur leaf net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, or fruit water loss rate. The results indicate that spur leaves alone do not have the capacity to support fruit growth in sweet cherry and must, therefore, be supplemented by photosynthates from other sources.

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Gina E. Fernandez and Marvin P. Pritts

A 2-year study was conducted to investigate the influence of the light environment on source-sink relationships in `Titan' red raspberry. Treatments imposed included flower and cane removal in conjunction with partial or whole canopy shading. Raspberry plants were remarkably resistant to a reduction in carbon supply. Yields and primocane production were maintained even when canopies were shaded. Furthermore, if raspberry plants were prevented from producing a full crop in one year, yields the following year tended to be higher than normal. These data, and other studies demonstrating that raspberry roots are strong carbon sinks, suggest that raspberry plants may rely on stored carbohydrate to mature the current crop of fruits when current photosynthate is inadequate. This trait is characteristic of some perennial species adapted to progressively changing environments, but may not be optimal for horticultural situations where growing conditions are relatively constant from year to year. A large root storage capacity and excessive primocane production likely contribute to the relatively low yields that are typical of this species.

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Conny W. Hansen, Jonathan Lynch, and Carl-Otto Ottosen

Whole-plant CO2 exchange and root-shoot interactions during transition from vegetative to reproductive growth of `Coral Charm' chrysanthemum (Dendranthema ×grandiflorum Ramat.) were investigated over a range of P concentrations considered to be deficient (1 μM), adequate (100 μM), or high (5 mM). Transition from vegetative to reproductive growth resulted in reduced photosynthate production, root respiration, biomass accumulation, and starch accumulation in leaves. Root respiration was low in high-P plants regardless of growth stage. Reduced root respiration may indicate changes in source-sink relationships during the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth, making roots less competitive sinks than developing flowers. Plant responses to P deficiency included decreased CO2 assimilation and shoot biomass accumulation but increased root respiration, root:shoot ratio, specific leaf mass (SLM), and starch accumulation in leaves. Reduced root respiration activity in high-P plants was presumably due to differences in root architecture resulting in proportionately fewer root apices in high P. Daily CO2 assimilation, shoot biomass, SLM, and root:shoot ratio were similar in plants grown with adequate-P and high-P availability, although plant P accumulation increased with P availability. Our results suggest that the excessive P fertilization often used in ornamental production systems is detrimental to root activity.

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Richard J. Heerema*, Ted M. De Jong, and Steven A. Weinbaum

Spurs are the primary bearing unit in mature `Nonpareil' almond (Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb) trees. Our objective was to determine whether almond spurs behave autonomously with respect to various biological activities throughout the season. If autonomous, a spur's carbohydrate demands are met primarily by its own leaves and, therefore, the sink to source ratio of the spur itself is expected to be closely linked to its growth and development. In these experiments almond spurs differing in leaf area and/or fruit number were monitored for leaf development, fruit set, floral initiation, spur survival and carbohydrate storage. Previous-season spur leaf area had no relation to the number of leaves preformed within the dormant vegetative bud or final spur leaf area in the current season, but spurs which fruited in the previous season began spring leaf expansion later and current-season spur fruiting was associated with lower spur leaf area. There was little or no relationship between final percentage fruit set at the spur level and spur leaf area in either the current or previous seasons. Current-season spur leaf area was positively related to both spur flower bud number and spur winter survival. Carbohydrate storage in dormant spurs increased with increasing previous-season spur leaf area. These data are consistent with the concept of spur autonomy especially with regards to spur activities late in the season. The relationships of some of these same spur parameters to spur light exposure are currently being investigated.

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Rajeev Arora, Michael Wisniewski, and Lisa J. Rowland

Seasonal pattern of cold tolerance and proteins were studied in the leaves of sibling deciduous and evergreen peach (Prunus persica). In contrast to deciduous peach that undergoes endodormancy in fall, evergreen peach does not (leaves are retained and shoot tips elongate under favorable conditions) (Arora et al., Plant Physiol. 99:1562-1568). Cold tolerance (LT50) was assessed using electrolyte leakage method. Proteins were separated by SDS-PAGE. Electroblots were probed with anti-dehydrin (Dr. T. Close) and anti-19 kD, peach bark storage protein (BSP) antibodies. LT50 of leaves successively increased from about -7C (18 Aug.) to -15C and -11.5C (23 Oct.) in deciduous and evergreen genotypes, respectively. The most apparent change in the protein profiles was the accumulation of a 60-kD protein during cold acclimation in the leaves of deciduous trees; however, it did not change significantly in evergreen peach. Immunoblots indicate that 60-kD protein is a dehydrin protein. PAGE and immunoblots indicated that 19-kD BSP disappeared progressively during summer through fall in the leaves of deciduous peach, but accumulated to large amounts in bark tissues. Similar inverse relationship for its accumulation in leaf vs. bark tissue was not evident in evergreen peach. Results indicate that BSP expression may be regulated by altered source/sink relationship.

Open access

Arthur A. Schaffer, Eliezer E. Goldschmidt, Raphael Goren, and David Galili

Abstract

A comparative study of fruit set of an alternate bearing cultivar of Citrus (‘Murcott’, a C. reticulata hybrid of unknown origin) and a nonalternating cultivar [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck ‘Shamouti’] was conducted. ‘Murcott’ set a higher percentage of flowers (13.6%) than ‘Shamouti’ (3.8%), because of a higher abscission rate in ‘Shamouti’ throughout the fruit set period. Prebloom girdling increased fruit set significantly in ‘Shamouti’ but had a smaller effect in ‘Murcott’. The nonstructural carbohydrate balance of ‘Murcott’ and ‘Shamouti’ fruiting branches during fruit set as affected by girdling also were investigated. ‘Murcott’ generally had a higher starch content in the fruiting twigs and a higher starch and soluble sugars content in the mature, source leaves. Girdling increased the starch content in mature leaves and twigs of both ‘Murcott’ and ‘Shamouti’. This increase was observed in ‘Murcott’ 2 weeks after girdling, but only 4 and 8 weeks after girdling in ‘Shamouti’ leaves and twigs, respectively. ‘Shamouti’ mature leaves and twigs also had increased soluble sugars content because of girdling. In expanding new leaves, ‘Shamouti’ had similar or higher amounts of nonstructural carbohydrates than did ‘Murcott’, but during maturation, ‘Murcott’ young leaves developed a higher sugar starch content than ‘Shamouti’ young leaves, similar to the situation in mature one-year-old leaves. These results are discussed in terms of source-sink relationships and fruit set.

Free access

Conny W. Hansen and Jonathan Lynch

Whole-plant biomass accumulation, P dynamics, and root-shoot interactions during transition from vegetative to reproductive growth of `Coral Charm' chrysanthemum (Dendranthema ×grandiflorum Ramat.) (Zander, 1993) were investigated over a range of P concentrations considered to be deficient (1 μm), adequate (100 μm), and high (5 mm). In nondeficient plants, transition from vegetative to reproductive growth resulted in reduced relative growth rate and root and shoot biomass accumulation. Reproductive plants showed a higher commitment of the whole plant to the production of developing flowers than to leaves and roots, whereas, in vegetative plants, the highest component production rate was in leaves. This indicates changes in the source-sink relationships during transition from vegetative growth making developing flowers stronger sinks for photoassimilates than roots. Phosphorus allocated to developing flowers was predominantly lost from leaves. Phosphorus-deficient plants showed characteristic P-deficiency symptoms and favored root growth over shoot growth regardless of growth stage. Phosphorus availability in nondeficient plants affected root growth more than shoot growth. No substantial differences in shoot biomass production, relative growth rate, and CO2 assimilation rates were observed in adequate-P and high-P plants. However, the root component production rate, root to shoot ratio, root length ratio, specific root length, specific root area, root mass to leaf area ratio, and root respiration increased in adequate-P plants compared with high-P plants, which indicates that high root activity was maintained without affecting shoot biomass in buffered P conditions. Our results suggest that the high P concentrations used in many horticultural systems may have no benefit in terms of shoot growth and may actually be detrimental to root growth.

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Barbara C. Poole, Terril A. Nell, and James E. Barrett

Premature flower bud abscission imposes a serious limitation on longevity of potted Hibiscus in interiorscape situations, Ethylene is known to be one causative factor. Past research has suggested that carbohydrate depletion of buds may also be involved,

A series of experiments was conducted to examine the relationship between carbohydrate levels and ethylene sensitivity of flower buds under low irradiance levels. Two cultivars were used: `Pink Versicolor', which is very susceptible to bud abscission, and the more resistant `Vista', In the first experiment, plants were harvested twice weekly after placement in interiorscape rooms (8.5 μmol m-2 s-1 for 12 hrs per day; 26.5°C day/night) until all buds had abscissed. At each harvest, buds from four size groups were collected for analysis. In the second experiment, source/sink strength of buds was manipulated by selective daily removal of certain sized buds. Remaining buds were collected just prior to abscission for analysis. In two additional experiments, `Pink Versicolor' plants were treated with either silver thiosulfate or ethephon prior to placement in interiorscape rooms. Plants were harvested twice weekly and buds collected. For all experiments, bud dry wt, total soluble sugars and starch content were determined.

Free access

Barbara C. Poole, Terril A. Nell, and James E. Barrett

Premature flower bud abscission imposes a serious limitation on longevity of potted Hibiscus in interiorscape situations, Ethylene is known to be one causative factor. Past research has suggested that carbohydrate depletion of buds may also be involved,

A series of experiments was conducted to examine the relationship between carbohydrate levels and ethylene sensitivity of flower buds under low irradiance levels. Two cultivars were used: `Pink Versicolor', which is very susceptible to bud abscission, and the more resistant `Vista', In the first experiment, plants were harvested twice weekly after placement in interiorscape rooms (8.5 μmol m-2 s-1 for 12 hrs per day; 26.5°C day/night) until all buds had abscissed. At each harvest, buds from four size groups were collected for analysis. In the second experiment, source/sink strength of buds was manipulated by selective daily removal of certain sized buds. Remaining buds were collected just prior to abscission for analysis. In two additional experiments, `Pink Versicolor' plants were treated with either silver thiosulfate or ethephon prior to placement in interiorscape rooms. Plants were harvested twice weekly and buds collected. For all experiments, bud dry wt, total soluble sugars and starch content were determined.