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Wouter G. van Doorn and Yke de Witte

Including bacteria in the vase water of cut Gerbera jamesonii Bolus flowers resulted in an increase in scape curvature depending on the concentration of bacteria in the water, cultivar, and season. In the summer, a strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa or a mixed population of bacterial species, all isolated from the vase water of cut gerbera flowers, resulted in curvature of >90° in `Liesbeth' at 108 cfu/ml and in `Mickey' at 1010 cfu/ml. In winter, the lowest bacterial concentrations that resulted in such bending were 106 and 108 cfu/ml, respectively. `Mickey' showed bending at a lower water potential than `Liesbeth'. Comparison between these results and the bacterial counts in vase water and water at retail shops indicates that frequently observed scape bending is at least partly due to bacteria.

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D. Joseph Eakes, Robert D. Wright, and John R. Seiler

Abbreviations: EC, electrical conductivity; MSC, moisture stress conditioning; P L , leaf turgor potential; PV, pressure-volume; RWC, relative leaf water content; SWC, symplastic water content; ψ L , leaf water potential; π 100 , π 0 osmotic

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Rashid Al-Yahyai, Bruce Schaffer, and Frederick S. Davies

Two-year-old `Arkin' carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) trees were grown in containers in a greenhouse and the field in a very gravelly loam soil. Trees in the field were subjected to four soil water depletion (SWD) levels which averaged, 10.5%, 26.5%, 41.0%, and 55.5% and trees in the greenhouse were maintained at field capacity or dried continuously to produce a range of SWD levels. The relationships between SWD and leaf (ΨL) and stem (Ψs) water potential, net CO2 assimilation (ACO2), stomatal conductance of water (gs) and transpiration (E) were determined. Coefficients of determination values between physiological variables were higher for trees in the greenhouse than in the field, which may have been due to greater fluctuations in vapor pressure deficit (VPD) in the field. Soil water depletion levels above 50% caused a reduction in Ψs that subsequently decreased gs. This reduction in Ψs was correlated with a linear reduction in E and a considerable decline in ACO2 when gs fell below about 50 mmol·m–2 ·s–1. Leaf gas exchange parameters were better correlated with Ψs than with SWD level. Therefore, Ψs may be a better predictor of carambola tree water status than SWD in a well-drained, very gravelly loam soil.

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Mehrassa Khademi, David S. Koranski, David J. Hannapel, Allen D. Knapp, and Richard J. Gladon

Water uptake by impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook. f. cv. Super Elfin Coral) seeds was measured as an increase in fresh weight every 24 hours during 144 hours of germination. Seeds absorbed most of the water required for germination within 3 hours of imbibition and germinated at 60% to 67% moisture on a dry-weight basis. Germination started at 48 hours and was complete by 96 hours at 25C. Water stress of -0.1, -0.2, -0.4, and -0.6 MPa, induced by polyethylene glycol 8000, reduced germination by 13%, 49%, 91%, and 100%, respectively, at 96 hours. Under the same water-stress conditions, increases in fresh weight were inhibited by 53%, 89%, 107%, and 106%, respectively. Three distinct groups of storage proteins were present in dry seed; their estimated molecular weights were 1) 35, 33, and 31 kDa; 2) 26, 23, and 21 kDa; and 3) two bands <14 kDa. Major depletion of storage proteins coincided with the completion of germination. Water potentials that inhibited germination also inhibited degradation of storage proteins. During germination under optimum conditions, the soluble protein fraction increased, coinciding with a decrease in the insoluble fraction.

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M. Padgett-Johnson, L.E. Williams, and M.A. Walker

A comparison was made among 16 native North American Vitis species and Vitis vinifera L. ('Carignane') grown in the San Joaquin Valley of California with or without irrigation over 2 years. Predawn water potential (ΨPD), predawn leaf osmotic potential (Ψπ), midday leaf (Ψl), and stem water potential (Ψstem), stomatal conductance (gs), net CO2 assimilation rate (A), and intrinsic water use efficiency (WUE) were measured on five dates during the growing season the first year of the study and pruning weights were evaluated both years. Net gas exchange and water potential components taken on the last measurement date in 1992 and pruning weights of the nonirrigated species were less (or more negative for Ψ components) than those of the irrigated vines. The 17 Vitis species were ranked according to their relative drought tolerance based upon their performance without irrigation and when compared to their irrigated cohort. The Vitis species considered most drought tolerant were V. californica, V. champinii, V. doaniana, V. longii, V. girdiana, and V. arizonica. Those six species generally had high values of A, gs, and pruning weights and more favorable vine water status at the end of the study than the other species when grown without irrigation. The drought-induced reductions in the measured parameters also were less for those species when compared to their irrigated cohorts. The least drought tolerant species were, V. berlandieri, V. cinerea, V. lincecumii, V. riparia, and V. solonis. The drought-tolerant rankings were generally associated with the species' native habitat and probable soil water availability.

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Kirk W. Pomper and Patrick J. Breen

Expansion of green-white and red fruit in control (watered) and water-stressed greenhouse-grown strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch. `Brighton') plants was monitored with pressure transducers. Expansion of green-white fruit in control plants was rapid, showing little diurnal variation; whereas in water-stressed plants, fruit expansion occurred only during dark periods and shrinkage during the day. Red fruit were mature and failed to show net expansion. The apoplastic water potential (ψaw), measured with in situ psychrometers in control plants was always higher in leaves than in green-white fruit. In stressed plants, ψaw of leaves was higher than that of green-white fruit only in the dark, corresponding to the period when these fruit expanded. To determine the ability of fruit to osmotically adjust, fruit were removed from control and water-stressed plants, and hydrated for 12 hours; then, solute potential at full turgor (ψs 100) was measured. Water-stressed green-white fruit showed osmotic adjustment with a ψs 100 that was 0.28 MPa lower than that of control fruit. Mature leaves of water-stressed plants showed a similar level of osmotic adjustment, whereas water stress did not have a significant effect on the ψs 100 of red fruit. Fruit also were severed to permit rapid dehydration, and fruit solute potential (ψs) was plotted against relative water content [RWC = (fresh mass - dry mass ÷ fully turgid mass - dry mass) × 100]. Water-stressed, green-white fruit had a lower ψs for a given RWC than control fruit, further confirming the occurrence of osmotic adjustment in the stressed fruit tissue. The lack of a linear relationship between turgor pressure and RWC prevented the calculation of cell elasticity or volumetric elastic modulus. Osmotic adjustment resulted in about a 2.5-fold increase in glucose and sucrose levels in water-stressed green-white fruit. Although green-white fruit on water-stressed plants showed osmotic adjustment, it was not sufficient to maintain fruit expansion during the day.

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Sachiko Kawamura, Kyoko Ida, Masako Osawa, and Takashi Ikeda

higher plants import assimilates by bulk flow driven by differences in hydrostatic pressure ( Patrick et al., 2001 ). Gradients in water potential in the transport pathway have been measured in wheat grains ( Fisher and Oparka, 1996 ), strawberry ( Pomper

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Roger Kjelgren

Growth and water relations of Kentucky coffee tree [Gymnocladus dioica (L.) K. Koch] whips in translucent tubelike shelters were investigated. In a container study, 1.2-m-high shelters were placed over whips following transplanting, then diurnal microclimate, water relations, and water use were measured. Shelter air temperature and vapor pressure were substantially higher, and solar radiation was 70% lower, than ambient conditions. Sheltered trees responded with nearly three-times higher stomatrd conductance than nonsheltered trees. However, due to substantially lower boundary layer conductance created by the shelter, normalized water use was 40910 lower. In a second experiment, same-sized shelters were placed on whips following spring transplanting in the field. Predawn and midday leaf water potentials and midday stomatal conductance (g,) were monitored periodically through the season, and growth was measured in late summer. Midday gs was also much higher in field-grown trees with shelters than in those without. Sheltered trees in the field had four times greater terminal shoot elongation but 40% less stem diameter growth. Attenuated radiation in the shelters and lower specific leaf area of sheltered trees indicated shade acclimation. Shelters can improve height and reduce water loss during establishment in a field nursery, but they do not allow for sufficient trunk growth.

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Roger Kjelgren and Larry A. Rupp

We investigated water use and potential drought avoidance of Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh) seedlings grown in protective plastic shelters. Gravimetric tree water use and reference evapotranspiration for fescue turf (ETo) were monitored for 1 to 3 days during the growing season. Water use of trees was 8% to 14% of ETo in shelters vs. 29% to 40% for trees not in shelters. Trunk diameter was affected more than whole-tree water relations by lack of irrigation, suggesting that the nonirrigated trees were subjected to only mild water stress. Shelters did not improve drought avoidance, as water potentials were generally more negative and trunk diameter increment was lower for nonirrigated trees in shelters. Maples in shelters were affected more adversely by lack of water than were ash. Higher temperatures in shelters also may have reduced trunk growth. Air temperatures were 13 °C warmer than ambient in nonirrigated shelters, but only 5 °C warmer in irrigated shelters. Tree shelters can reduce transpiration rates by over half, but benefits from reduced water loss may be offset by negative effects of higher air temperatures. Shelters reduced cold hardiness of both species, but maple was affected more than ash.

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Avinoam Nerd and Peter M. Neumann

Hylocereus undatus [(Haworth) Britton and Rose] is a vine cactus from central America that has been established as a new fruit crop (pitaya) in many tropical and subtropical countries. In order to develop improved irrigation practices, the relationships between water parameters and growth were studied in rooted stem cuttings growing in pots with sandy soil under well-watered and drought-stressed conditions, in a controlled environment. Soil water potential rapidly decreased from -0.02 to -1.5 MPa during the first 5 days of drought. However, growth of new stems emerging from the succulent mature stems only decreased significantly after 3 weeks of drought. After 3 weeks of drought, the water content of growing stems decreased by 2% (P < 0.05) and their water potentials by 0.05 MPa (P > 0.05), as compared with the irrigated controls. At the same time, water content in drought-treated mature stems decreased by 4% (P < 0.05) and water potentials by 0.25 MPa (P < 0.05). Several lines of evidence indicated that active phloem supply of assimilates and associated water reserves from mature stems was the mechanism that allowed developing stems of H. undatus to maintain growth under well-watered and drought conditions: 1) Girdling the phloem of growing stems rapidly inhibited stem elongation. 2) Secretion of sucrose-containing nectar by growing stems was maintained during drought. 3) The water potential gradient was in the wrong direction for xylem transport from mature to young growing stems and axial hydraulic conductivity in young stems was either zero or comparatively low.