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Douglas D. Archbold

Maintenance of positive cell turgor is an essential factor in cell, and fruit, expansion. Since apple fruit partition carbohydrates between the starch and soluble pools to maintain turgor, variation among cultivars in this osmoregulatory aspect may play an important role in defining cultivar-specific fruit growth rates. Cultivar-specific apple fruit growth rates were determined over a 6 week period following June drop during 2 seasons. Fruit water relations parameters and carbohydrate levels were also measured. Although cultivar differences were evident, generally, fruit absolute growth rate increased, relative growth rate (RGR) declined, water potential and osmotic potential declined, and turgor potential increased as the season progressed. Soluble carbohydrate levels increased over 6 weeks, while starch levels fluctuated. Soluble carbohydrates contributed 50 to 90% of the osmotic potential. RGR was not correlated to either turgor potential or the relative allocation of carbohydrates between the soluble and starch pools. Thus, although positive turgor was maintained, factors other than turgor per se determine fruit growth rate.

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N. Soltani, A.R. Harmon, and J.L. Anderson

`Crimson Sweet' watermelon plants grown under various mulches and rowcovers were harvested weekly and analyzed for absolute growth rate (AGR), relative growth rate (RGR), net assimilation rate (NAR), leaf area ratio (LAR), specific leaf area (SLA), specific leaf weight (SLW), leaf weight ratio (LWR), leaf area duration (LAD), biomass duration (BMD), and runner growth. Hourly air and soil temperatures were monitored inside the rowcovers. Vispore and Reemay rowcovers generally showed greater mean AGR, LAR, SLA, LAD, and BMD than Agronet black-clear and black mulches. No significant differences in LWR were found between mulched and rowcovered plants. Plants under mulches and rowcovers showed significant increases in AGR, RGR, NAR, LAR, SLA, LAD, and BMD over noncovered (bare ground) plants. Longest runner length was highly correlated with total runner length. Growth analyses depicted decreased growth rate inside the rowcovers during the hottest weeks of the summer, and generally correlated well with the earliness and total yield of the crop.

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L. Phavaphutanon, F.T. Davies Jr., and S.A. Duray

Growth recovery of mycorrhizal (VAM) and nonmycorrhizal (non-VAM) neem plants after drought exposure were followed under low phosphorus conditions. Drought significantly decreased plant growth regardless of mycorrhiza. Relative growth rate of droughted plants was greater than nondroughted plants during the growth recovery period, and compensated the loss of growth during the previous drought. VAM increased plant growth and improved regeneration of new roots outside the original root balls, particularly in plants previously exposed to drought. New roots of VAM plants were readily colonized by the VAM fungi, while those of non-VAM plants remained uncolonized. VAM growth enhancement after drought exposure was associated with greater uptake of phosphorus and other nutrients, and improved root regeneration.

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J.H. Keithly, H. Kobayashi, H. Yokoyama, and H.W. Gausman

Application of DCPTA as a pregermination seed treatment (DCPTA plants) increased the seedling vigor, relative growth rate, harvestable yield, and yield quality of processing tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cvs. UC82, VF6203, H100). When compared with controls, the growth rates of roots and shoots of 30 μm DCPTA plants were increased significantly (P = 0.05) during seed germination and midexponential growth. At fruit harvest, greenhouse-grown 30 μm DCPTA plants showed a 2- to 3-fold increase in leaf, stem, and root dry weight compared with that of controls. Improvements in the uniformity of fruit maturation significantly increased the harvestable fruit yields of greenhouse-grown DCPTA plants compared with that of controls. The total soluble solids (oBrix), glucose, fructose, and carotenoid contents of red-ripe fruits harvested from greenhouse- and field-grown DCPTA plants were significantly increased compared with controls. Chemical name used: 2-(3,4-dichlorophenoxy)triethylamine (DCPTA).

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Cosme A. Argerich, Kent J. Bradford, and Floyd M. Ashton

The interactions of seed vigor with herbicides were studied with respect to seedling emergence, growth, and fruit yield of processing tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. UC204C). Seed vigor (speed of germination) was enhanced by priming in an aerated solution of 0.12 m K2HP O4 plus 0.15 m KN O3 at 20C for 5 days followed by drying in forced air at 30C. The vigor of a second subsample of the same seed lot was reduced by controlled deterioration at 13% water content (dry-weight basis) for 6 days at 50C (aged seeds). Primed, aged, and untreated seeds were tested for their sensitivity to napropamide and metribuzin herbicides in greenhouse and field studies. A seed vigor × herbicide interaction was detected only under greenhouse conditions, where aged seeds were more sensitive than primed or untreated seeds to metribuzin. In April and May field plantings, seed vigor influenced the rate and percentage of final emergence and the earliness of fruit maturity, but had no effect on relative growth rate or total vegetative or reproductive yield. Napropamide at 4.5 and 9 kg·ha-1 and metribuzin at 0.4 and 0.8 kg·ha-1 had no effect on the rate or percentage of seedling emergence, relative growth rate, or total fruit yield. Metribuzin increased the mortality of seedlings at either application rate, and at 0.8 kg·ha-1 delayed early growth and fruit maturity in the April planting. Napropamide treatments did not differ from the water control for all characteristics and environments studied. Chemical names used: 4-amino-6-tert-butyl-3(methylthio)-1,2,4-triazin-5(4H)-one (metribuzin); 2-(α-napthoxy)-N,N-diethyl propionamide (napropamide).

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Victor A. Kahn, C. Stevens, T. Mafolo, C. Bonsi, J.Y. Lu, E.G. Rhoden, M.A. Wilson, M.J.E. Brown, K. Kabwe, and Y. Adeyeye

TU-82-155 and `Georgia-Jet' early maturing. `Carver II', TU-1892 and `Rojo-Blanco' late maturing sweetpotato, cultivars were evaluated in the field for 0.20 and 40% vine removal (VR) at 8 wk after transplanting. Parameters measured were: leaf area index (LAI) recovery, net assimilation rate, foliage crop growth rate (FCGR), storage roots crop growth rate (RCGR). alpha a (the mean relative growth rate in dry wt to the mean relative growth rate in leaf area over a time interval) or the partitioning of assimilates, total and marketable yield. A split. splitplot design was used and plants were sampled at 3 and 8 wk following VR. Except for TU-82-155 all cultivars showed significant LAI recovery above the control at 3 and 8 wk after vine removal when 20% of the vines were removed while at the 40% VR, only 'Georgia-Jet'. TU-1892 and 'Carver II' showed significant increases in LAI for the same periods. Net assimilation rate showed significant interactions while FCGR was not significantly affected by either 20 or 40 VR compared to the control at 3 or 8 wk after VR. RCGR was significantly affected by both levels of VR at 3 and 8 wk after VR and surplus assimilates (alpha a) showed significant interactions between cultivars and % VR. Told yield declined for all cultivars irrespective to maturity groups with the sharpest decrease being at the 20% VR. All cultivars except TU-82-155 showed a decrease in marketable yield, the increase in marketable yield of TU-82-155 was due to a lower non-marketable yield.

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Victor A Khan, C. Stevens, T. Mafolo, C. Bonsi, J.Y. Lu, E.G. Rhoden, M. A. Wilson, M. K. Kabwe, and Y. Adeyeye

TU-82-155 and `Georgia-Jet' early maturing. `Carver II'. TU-1892 and `Rojo-Blanco' late maturing sweepotato cultivars were evaluated in the field for: leaf area index (LAI), net assimilation rate, foliage crop growth rate (FCGR), storage roots crop growth rate (RCGR) and alpha a (the mean relative growth rate in dry wt to the mean relative growth rate in leaf area over a time interval) or the partitioning of assimilates. A split plot design was used and plants were sampled at 6, 8, 11 and 16 wk after transplanting. The results from study showed that LAI reached maximum development 8 and 12 wk after transplanting for early and late maturing cultivars, respectively. All cultivars irrespective to maturity groups showed a reduction in net assimilation rate 6 wk after transplanting while FCGR for early maturing cultivars gradually declined 6 wk after transplanting and varied among late maturing cultivars. `Carver II' showed increases in FCGR up to 11 wk after transplanting then rapidly declined while `Rojo-Blanco' and TU-1892 began to decline 8 and 6 wk after transplanting, respectively. RCGR showed rapid increases (100 g.m /area/week) and (150 g/m /area/week) for early and late maturing cultivars beginning 6 wk after transplanting and this increase continued until the 12th and 8 th wk after transplanting for early and late maturing cultivars, respectively. Cultivars from both maturity groups began to produce surplus assimilates (Alpha a) 6 wk after transplanting. which coincided with the rapid increases in RCGR at the same time. Thus indicating that storage root enlargement begins after the plant had accumulated a surplus of assimilates.

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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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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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D.A.J. McArthur and N.R. Knowles

The growth response of potato to infection by vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (VAM) (Glomus dimorphicum, G. intraradices, and G. mosseae), at increasing levels of soil phosphorus (P), was related to VAM-altered mineral status of the plant. In addition, the morphological development of the VAM was characterized using light and scanning electron microscopy.

Four weeks after inoculation, arbuscules and coiled hyphae were the predominate fungal structures within the roots, however, vesicle development increased steadily over the remainder of the 12 week growth period. As expected, the percent infection of roots by VAM decreased with increasing soil-P level. Leaf area, relative growth rate (RGR), lateral branching and root dry weight were increased by VAM, although the relative-response diminished with increasing soil-P level. A similar response to VAM-infection was evident for the concentration of and total shoot N, P and K. Examination of the shoot N status indicated that VAM influenced the rates at which the plant was partitioning N into various N pools. But again, differences between non-VAM and VAM plants tended to decrease with increasing soil-P level. These results indicate that VAM modification of dry matter accumulation and nutrient uptake is mostly a consequence of the alleviation of P-deficiency of the plant and the improved growth of roots, allowing increased mineral absorption.