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Silvana Nicola, Luigi Basoccu, and Salvino Leoni

Excessive nitrogen can be detrimental to transplant quality when supplied during the period of suboptimal photoperiod conditions. This investigation was made to determine the relationship between nitrogen and photoperiod on the growth rate of the transplants. The growth analysis included the determination of the net assimilation rate (NAR) and the nitrogen productivity (NP). `Camone' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seedlings were grown in the greenhouse under two photoperiods 8 and 12 h) at a constant light intensity and fertilized with three different N concentrations (8, 15, and 30 mmol·liter–1) applied four times. Longer photoperiods enhanced plant growth by increasing the internode, LAR, SLA, and SWR. Root fresh weight, dry weight, stem dry matter, NAR, and RWR were minimal when 30 mmol·liter–1 N concentration was supplied, while LAR and SLA were at their maximum level. The interaction between N and photoperiod was significant. Increasing N supply during an 8-h photoperiod decreased growth. During a 12-h photoperiod, 15 mmol·liter–1 was the optimum N concentration for fresh growth and 8 mmol·liter–1 for shoot dry growth. The RGR had the lowest value, with 30 mmol·liter–1 N and 8-h photoperiod. PNC was highest when plants received 30 mmol·liter–1 N during an 8-h photoperiod, and when the plants received 15 and 30 mmol·liter–1 N during the 8-h photoperiod. LNC doubled in plants fertilized with 30 mmol·liter–1 N compared to those with 8 mmol·liter–1 when grown under a 12-h photoperiod. The NP was at the maximum in plants fertilized with 8 mmol·liter–1 N at the 12-h photoperiod. The lowest NP values occurred when plants were fertilized with 30 mmol·liter–1 N. When photoperiod is a limiting factor in growing seedlings, N supply must be limited to optimize the efficiency of its utilization by the plant.

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Leonardo Lombardini, Marvin K. Harris, and D. Michael Glenn

Trials were conducted during summer months of 2002 and 2003 to evaluate the effects of a kaolin-based particle film (Surround WP, Engelhard Corp.) on gas exchange, nut quality, casebearer density and population of natural enemies (insects and arachnids) on pecan (Carya illinoinensis `Pawnee') trees. Film application was repeated for seven (2002) or nine (2003) times during the growing season. In both years, treated trees showed lower leaf temperature (up to 4 °C) than untreated trees. During the warmest hours of the day, kaolin-treated leaves were generally 0 to 2 °C cooler than air temperatures, compared to 4 to 6 °C for control leaves. Leaf net assimilation rate, stomatal conductance and stem water potential were not affected by film application. Nut size and quality did not differ between the two treatments. Shellout (percentage of nut consisting of kernel) was not affected by treatment and averaged about 55%. Crop grade distribution (fancy, choice, standard, and damaged) was also similar among treatments in both years. In both years, numbers of green lacewing eggs was less on kaolin-treated compared to control leaves. The density of common natural enemies (lady beetles, green lacewings, spiders) of pecan pests did not differ between treatments. The average number of developing nuts damaged by pecan nut casebearer (Acrobasis nuxvorella Neunzig) was significantly higher in kaolin-sprayed trees (24.2%) compared to control trees sprayed with conventional insecticides (9.3%). The results suggest that kaolin-based particle film may not be a viable alternative to conventional methods of controlling pecan pests. Also, under adequate irrigation conditions, carbon assimilation, water relations and productivity may not benefit from kaolin particle film application.

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Margarita R. Villagarcia, Wanda W. Collins, and C. David Raper Jr.

Soil N availability is an important component in storage root production of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batata (L.) Lam.]. A controlled-environment experiment was conducted to characterize effects of N availability on patterns of dry matter, nonstructural carbohydrates, and N accumulation, and to determine possible components of N use efficiency that vary between two genotypes of sweetpotato. Rooted cuttings of `Jewel' and MD810 were transplanted into pots filled with sand and kept in a growth chamber for 72 days. Plants were watered during the first 30 days with a complete nutrient solution that contained 14 mm NO3 - and then for the next 42 days with one of three complete nutrient solution that contained either 2, 8, or 14 mm NO3 -. At 30, 44, 58, and 72 days after transplanting, three plants from each cultivar and treatment combination were sampled and separated into leaves, stems plus petioles, fibrous roots, and storage roots. Each plant fraction was freeze-dried, weighed, ground, and analyzed for total N, soluble sugars, and starch. Availability of N in the substrate, which limited dry matter accumulation at 2 mm NO3 -, was nonlimiting at 8 and 14 mm NO3 -. In both genotypes, net assimilation rate, efficiency of N use (i.e., increments of dry matter accumulated per increment of N taken up), and proportion of dry matter allocated to storage roots were greater for N-stressed (2 mm NO3 -) than N-replete (8 and 14 mm NO3 -) plants. For the N-stressed plants, however, efficiency of N use was greater in MD810 than in `Jewel'. Although rate of NO3 - uptake per unit fibrous root mass was similar in the two genotypes under the N stress treatment, MD810 had greater uptake rate than `Jewel' under nonlimiting availability of NO3- in the substrate. The increased rate of uptake under nonlimiting NO3 - supplies apparently was related to enhanced rates of carbohydrate transport from shoots to roots. As tissue concentration of N declined in response to the lowest application of NO3 -, shoot growth was limited prior to, and to a greater extent than, the photosynthetic rate. The resulting relative decline in sink activity of shoots thus presumably increased the availability of carbohydrates for transport to roots.

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Glenn C. Wright, Kim D. Patten, and Malcolm C. Drew

`Tifblue' rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) and `Sharpblue' southern highbush blueberry (primarily V. corymbosum) were treated with 0, 25, or 100 Mm Na+ as Na2SO4 or NaC1, and 0, 1, 3, or 10 Mm supplemental Ca2+ in sand culture in the greenhouse. Greatest stomatal conductance (gs) and net assimilation (A) occurred in unsalinized `Tifblue' plants not given additional Ca2+. Stomatal conductance, A, transpiration (E), and xylem water potential(Ψ)of `Tifblue' and `Sharpblue' plants were all lowered as salinity increased, and these effects were more pronounced with NaCl than with Na2SO4. After 63 days, for plants given 100 Mm Na+ as NaCl, gs and net assimilation rate were reduced to only 10% of the unsalinized controls, while for plants salinized with 100 mm Na+ as Na2SO4, gs and A were 35% and 43%, respectively, of unsalinized controls. Leaf necrosis was more extensive on `Sharpblue' plants given NaCl than on `Tifblue' plants. Neither Ca2+ nor Na+ treatments led to severe chlorosis; reductions in leaf chlorophyll content were mainly due to necrosis. The Na+- induced reduction in gas exchange was associated with negative Ψw Ca2+ deficiency, or a combination of these factors. Additional factors leading to inhibition of gas exchange in NaCl- stressed plants include Cl- toxicity and leaf necrosis. Calcium supplements were unable to ameliorate NaCl damage in `Tifblue' or `Sharpblue' plants, possibly because of the inability of Ca2+ to counter Cl- entry and toxicity. In contrast, additional Ca2+ improved gs, A, Ψw, and leaf chlorophyll content of `Tifblue' plants that received Na2SO4. For plants treated with 25 mm Na+ as Na2SO4 and 1 mm Ca2+, gs was 1.5 to 2.5 times higher than in plants without added Ca2+. Low (1 mm) concentrations of Ca2+ were more effective in ameliorating the effects of 100 mm Na+ as Na2SO4. than were 3 or 10 mm Ca2+ supplements, possibly because higher Ca2+ concentrations damaged the metabolism of the calcifuge blueberry.

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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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Coye A. Balok and Rolston St. Hilaire

Identification of tree taxa that can thrive on reduced moisture regimes mandated by xeriscape programs of the southwest United States could be facilitated if responses to drought of those taxa are determined. Leaf water relations, plant development, and cuticular wax content of seven taxa maintained as well-irrigated controls or exposed to drought and irrigated based on evapotranspiration were studied. Leaf water potential of drought-stressed Fraxinus velutina Torr. (Arizona ash), Koelreuteria paniculata Laxm. (golden rain tree), Quercus macrocarpa Michx. (bur oak), and Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm. (chinkapin oak) were lower at predawn than the controls. Drought-stressed plants of F. velutina, K. paniculata, and Quercus lobata Née (California white oak) had more negative midday water potential than the control plants. Drought reduced stomatal conductance to as little as 17%, 23%, and 45% of controls in F. velutina, K. paniculata, and Q. macrocarpa, respectively. Drought-stressed plants of F. velutina, K. paniculata, Q. macrocarpa, and Q. muehlenbergii had reduced transpiration rates. Fraxinus velutina had both the highest net assimilation rate (NAR) and relative growth rate (RGR) regardless of irrigation treatment. Mean specific leaf weight (dry weight (DW) of a 1-cm2 leaf disc divided by the weight), trichome density, stomatal density, leaf thickness, and cuticular wax content varied among species but not between irrigation treatments. Leaves of Q. buckleyi Buckl. (Texas red oak) had one of the highest stomatal densities, and also had leaves which were among the waxiest, most dense, and thickest. Abaxial leaf surfaces of F. velutina were the most pubescent. Across species, drought led to lower ratios of leaf surface area to root DW, and leaf DW to root DW. Quercus buckleyi plants subjected to drought had the highest root to shoot DW ratio (3.1). The low relative growth rate of Q. buckleyi might limit widespread landscape use. However, Q. buckleyi may merit increased use in landscapes on a reduced moisture budget because of foliar traits, carbon allocation patterns, and the relative lack of impact of drought on plant tissue water relations.

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Johshin Tsuruyama and Toshio Shibuya

treatment and after 38 d and then their dry weight, leaf area, leaf number, and maximum petiole L were recorded. The relative growth rate (RGR), net assimilation rate (NAR), and leaf area ratio (LAR) were calculated using the following equations ( Hunt et al

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Rolston St. Hilaire

), relative growth rate (RGR), and net assimilation rate (NAR) in plants exposed to multiple cycles of drought compared with well-irrigated controls ( Bsoul et al., 2006 ). A cycle of drought consisted of irrigating plants only after pot gravimetric moisture

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Bielinski M. Santos

(1974) and Starck (1983) , studying source-sink distribution in tomato, observed that photosynthate flow from sources exceeds sink demands and that the partial removal of tomato leaves is compensated with an increase in the net assimilation rate of the

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Adolfo Rosati, Andrea Paoletti, Giorgio Pannelli, and Franco Famiani

RGR and net assimilation rate (growth per unit leaf area) of 24 C3 species ( Poorter and Remkes, 1990 ), suggesting that greater biomass partitioning into leaf area, and not higher photosynthetic rates, was the mechanism leading to higher RGR