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Zhou Li, Yan Peng, and Bingru Huang

, leaves extractions were measured at 663 and 645 nm using a spectrophotometer (Spectronic Instruments, Rochester, NY) ( Arnon, 1949 ). For photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), leaves were pretreated into darkness through leaf clips for 20 min. Fv/Fm ratio was

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Erik H. Ervin, Xunzhong Zhang, and John H. Fike

High ultraviolet-B (UV-B; 290-320nm wavelength) may significantly contribute to kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) sod death at harvest and transplanting. As terrestrial UV-B levels continue to increase due to a depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer this problem may worsen. Epidermal attenuation from pigments and detoxification of reactive oxygen species by antioxidant metabolites and enzymes are involved in plant defense against oxidative stress caused by UV-B. Our objective was to determine whether the attenuation and detoxification systems of kentucky bluegrass could be artificially boosted by exogenous applications of ascorbic acid (AA), alpha-tocopherol (AT), or a colorant before exposure to high levels of UV-B. Ascorbic acid, AT, and the colorant Green Lawnger (GL), were applied to plugs of mature kentucky bluegrass alone or in combination, and then subjected to artificial, continuous UV-B exposure (70 μmol·m-2·s-1); three greenhouse experiments were conducted. By 3 to 5 days after UV-B initiation, visual quality and photochemical efficiency, as measured by chlorophyll fluorescence were significantly reduced. However, in Expt. 1, AA alleviated decline of visual quality, delayed loss of photochemical efficiency, and increased recovery relative to the control. In Expt. 3, decreased endogenous AT and antioxidant enzyme activities were measured due to UV-B stress. Application of AA, AA + AT, or GL partially alleviated photochemical efficiency decline from 4 to 12 days after initiation of UV-B. In addition, application of the chemical treatments increased leaf tissue AT concentrations by 32% to 42%, increased SOD activity by 30% to 33% and increased catalase activity by 37% to 59%, relative to the control as measured 10 days after UV-B initiation. Greater AT concentration and SOD and catalase activities were associated with greater visual quality under UV-B stress. The results of these studies indicate that kentucky bluegrass UV-B tolerance may be increased by supplementing its pigment and antioxidant defense systems with foliar applications of AA, AT or GL.

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Erik H. Ervin, Xunzhong Zhang, and John H. Fike

High ultraviolet-B (UV-B; 290-320 nm wavelength) radiation may significantly contribute to the quality decline and death of kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) sod during summer transplanting. Antioxidants and protective pigments may be involved in plant defense against oxidative stress caused by UV-B. Selected exogenous hormones may alleviate UV-B damage by upregulating plant defense systems. The objectives of this study were to determine if exogenous hormone or hormone-like substances could alleviate UV-B damage to `Georgetown' kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) under greenhouse conditions. The hormone salicylic acid at 150 mg·m-2 and the hormone-containing substances, humic acid (HA) at 150 mg·m-2 and seaweed extract (SWE) at 50 mg·m-2, were applied to plugs of kentucky bluegrass and then subjected to UV-B radiation (70 μmol·m-2·s-1). The UV-B irradiation stress reduced turf quality by 51% to 66% and photochemical efficiency by 63% to 68% when measured 10 or 12 days after initiation of UV-B. Endogenous alpha-tocopherol (AT) and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase) were reduced by UV-B stress. Anthocyanin content was increased from day 1 to 5 and then decreased from day 5 to 10 of continuous UV-B irradiation. Application of SA and HA + SWE enhanced photochemical efficiency by 86% and 82%, respectively, when measured 10 or 12 days after UV-B initiation. In addition, application of the hormonal supplements increased AT concentration, SOD, catalase activity, and anthocyanin content when compared to the control at 10 days after UV-B initiation. Bluegrass with greater AT concentration and SOD and catalase activity exhibited better visual quality under UV-B stress. The results of this study suggest that foliar application of SA and HA + SWE may alleviate decline of photochemical efficiency and turf quality associated with increased UV-B light levels during summer.

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William R. Nail and G. Stanley Howell

Potted grapevines (Vitis vinifera L. `Chardonnay') were inoculated with conidial suspensions of the grapevine pathogen causing powdery mildew of grape (GPM) (Uncinula necator (Schw.) Burr.). Leaves of inoculated and noninoculated vines were studied for the effects of varying light (PAR) and CO2 concentrations on factors affecting carbon assimilation. GPM reduced carboxylation efficiency (k), net CO2 assimilation rate (A), stomatal conductance (g s), and internal CO2 concentration (Ci) under ambient CO2, A max at >900 ppm CO2, stomatal limitations to A (lg), and photochemical efficiency (Φ) on diseased leaves, while having no effect on the CO2 compensation point (Γ) or the light compensation point (cp). GPM had no significant effect on chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm).

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E.H. Ervin, Xunzhong Zhang, J.M. Goatley Jr., and S.D. Askew

Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) is used extensively on temperate zone golf course greens, tees, and fairways, but often performs poorly in shade. Previous research has indicated that sequential applications of gibberellic acid (GA) inhibiting plant growth regulators (PGRs) such as trinexapac-ethyl (TE) increase cool-season turfgrass performance in 70-90% shade. This research was conducted to: 1) confirm appropriate TE application rates and frequencies for maintaining `Penncross' creeping bentgrass in dense shade in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.; 2) determine the efficacy of other PGRs, biostimulants, and iron (Fe); and 3) assess whether the addition of a biostimulant with TE would have additive, synergistic, or negative effects. The other compounds tested against TE and the control were: propiconazole (PPC), iron sulfate, CPR (a seaweed and iron containing biostimulant), and a generic seaweed extract (SWE) (Ascophyllum nodosum) plus humic acid (HA) combination. These treatments were applied to 88% shaded bentgrass every 14 days from May or June through October in 2001 and 2002, with turf quality, leaf color, root strength, photochemical efficiency, and antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity being determined. While the quality of control plots fell below a commercially acceptable level by the second month of the trial, repeated foliar TE application provided 33% to 44% better quality throughout the experiment. Propiconazole resulted in 13% to 17% better quality through September of each year. Trinexapac-ethyl and PPC resulted in darker leaf color and increased mid-trial root strength by 27% and 29%, respectively. Canopy photochemical efficiency and leaf SOD activity were also increased due to TE in August of both years. Treatment with Fe, CPR, or SWE+HA did not have an effect on quality, root strength, SOD, or photochemical efficiency, but periodic increases in color were observed. The addition of CPR to TE in 2002 provided results that were not different from those of TE-alone. This and previous studies indicate that restricting leaf elongation with anti-GA PGRs is of primary importance for improving shade tolerance, while treatments that increase leaf color or chlorophyll levels without restricting leaf elongation are relatively ineffective.

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Nazir Mir, Michael Wendorf, Rufino Perez, and Randolph M. Beaudry

The relationship between chlorophyll fluorescence of `Cortland', `Redchief Delicious', and `Empire' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) fruit and the development of superficial scald was studied during 120 days of refrigerated air (RA) storage at 0 °C and during 7 days of poststorage holding at 22 °C. Minimal fluorescence (Fo), maximal fluorescence (Fm), photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm, where Fv=Fm=Fo) and coefficient of photochemical fluorescence quenching (qp) were measured. During storage, while Fv/Fm and Fm declined in `Cortland' and `Redchief Delicious' fruit over time, these two measures of chlorophyll fluorescence remained stable in `Empire' fruit. Of the three cultivars, only `Empire' is resistant to and did not develop superficial scald. A decline in Fv/Fm preceded scald development in `Cortland' and `Redchief Delicious' fruit. After 30 days of storage, qp began to decrease in fruit from all three cultivars. Prestorage diphenylamine (DPA) application had no effect on Fv/Fm, Fo, and Fm and only marginally improved maintenance of qp, but completely prevented the development of superficial scald. Poststorage holding at 22 °C accelerated the rate of change in most fluorescence measurements. The decline in the Fv/Fm ratio and/or qp with storage time may be in response to senescence-related factors that also enhance scald susceptibility, however, Fv/Fm does not appear to be directly related to superficial scald susceptibility per se.

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Zhongchun Wang and Bruno Quebedeaux

Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements are providing insights into Photosystem II (PSII) quantum efficiency and hence are able to provide a good estimation of carbon assimilation under field conditions. A F2 generation of sibcross seedlings from a cross of `Goldspur' × `Redspur' were selected to identify genetic variations and the relationships among fluorescence parameters, carbon assimilation, and carbon partitioning in apple leaves. Mature leaves from extension shoots were analyzed for chlorophyll fluorescence with a CF-1000 chlorophyll fluorescence measurement system, photosynthetic rate with a LI-6200 portable photosynthesis system, and carbohydrates with a Shimadzu HPLC. Significant variations in leaf chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and photosynthetic rates were found. The ratio of Fv: Fm, an estimation of photochemical efficiency of PSII, decreased from ≈0.90 in June to ≈0.75 in September while the photosynthetic rates decreased from ≈8.5 in June to ≈4.5 μmol·m–2·s–l in September. The relationships between fluorescence parameters, photosynthesis, and carbohydrate partitioning were analyzed and the ratio of sorbitol to sucrose in relation to the efficiency of PSII and NADPH production will be discussed.

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Ricardo Cesped-Ruiz* and Bingru Huang

The American cranberry often undergoes drought stress during the summer. However, the physiological response of this species to drought is not well understood. This study was designed to determine the effects of drought on two commercial cranberry cultivars of high potential yield, `Ben Lear' and `Stevens', during a vegetative stage. The plants were subjected to drought for 15 days in a greenhouse. Soil water content, leaf water content, leaf photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, transpiration, differential leaf-air temperature, photochemical efficiency (Fv'/Fm') and the actual PSII efficiency (deltaF/Fm') decreased in those plants subjected to drought. Drought reduced differential leaf-air temperature at day 6 of treatment and stomatal conductance and transpiration starting at day 9 and photosynthetic rate at day 13. Drought decreased leaf water content at day 14 and Fv'/Fm' and PSII efficiency at day 15. Our results indicated that cranberry plants in vegetative stage were sensitive to drought for both cultivars and stomatal conductance was the most sensitive parameter among those examined for both cultivars.

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Thomas E. Marler and Patrick J. Lawton

Leaflets of carambola were restricted to a horizontal position for 3.5-h during late morning and early afternoon on sunny days to determine the influence of natural leaflet movement on temperature and chlorophyll fluorescence. Adaxial temperature of these horizontal leaflets was 5-9 C higher than that of leaflets that were allowed to move in response to high light. Chlorophyll fluorescence was similarly affected. Leaflets that were allowed to move had a higher Fv/Fm than leaflets that were restricted in movement The results indicate that the presence of a pulvinus at the base of each leaflet of carambola leaves allows movement of the leaflet to avoid incident light. This natural leaflet movement under sunny conditions results in a lower temperature and a higher level of photochemical efficiency when compared with leaflets that are exposed to high light due to restricting their movement.

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Sorkel Kadir, Said Ennahli, and Ben Glass

Interactive effects of different temperature regimes and anti-transpiration organic materials, Surround WP (kaolinite clay) and Raynox (sun-protectant), on two strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) cvs. Chandler and Sweet Charlie were investigated under controlled environmental conditions. Newly planted strawberries treated with Surround and Raynox were subjected to 20/15, 30/25, and 40/35 °C (day/night) temperature regimes and 16 day/8 night photoperiod in growth chambers for 42 d. Photosynthesis (A) and photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) were measured at 7-d intervals during the experiment. Plants treated with Raynox displayed greater resistance to high temperature (40/35 °C) compared to those treated with Surround. Net photosynthesis of both cultivars decreased significantly with time at 40/35 °C. There was no significant difference in photosynthetic rate between the two cultivars. Nevertheless, there was difference in plant biomass between the cultivars. Raynox provided more protection against high temperature, specifically in reducing stomatal conductance and limiting transpiration, than Surround.