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Erik S. Runkle and Royal D. Heins

Environments with a low red (R, 600 to 700 nm) to far-red (FR, 700 to 800 nm) ratio (e.g., with high plant density) promote stem elongation, and a high R: FR suppresses it. While FR light promotes stem extension, it is also required for rapid, uniform flowering of many long-day plants. We investigated how a new FR filter [creating a FR-deficient (FRd) environment] influenced plug growth and subsequent flowering of pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana `Crystal Bowl Yellow'), petunia (Petunia ×hybrida `Carpet Pink'), impatiens (Impatiens wallerana `Accent Rose'), snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus `Liberty Scarlet'), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicon `Beefmaster'). One-week-old seedlings were placed under three filter treatments with 16-h photoperiods: the FRd filter, a neutral-density filter (N) that transmitted a similar PPF, and transferring plugs from the N to the FRd filter when leaves of each species began to touch (7 to 11 days later). The predicted phytochrome photoequilibria under the FRd and N filters was 0.80 and 0.72, respectively. After 25 to 35 days at 20 °C, node number and stem (or petiole for pansy) length were collected. Twenty plants of each species and filter treatment were then transferred to 4-inch pots and grown under natural photoperiods (14 to 15 h) at 20 °C until flowering. Compared to plants continually under the N filter, stem length under the FRd filter was significantly reduced in impatiens (by 11%), pansy (by 18%), petunia (by 34%), snapdragon (by 5%), and tomato (by 24%). Flowering of plants from plugs under the FRd filter was delayed by 2 to 3 days for snapdragon, petunia, and pansy. Filter treatment of plugs had no significant effect on flower number or plant height at flower.

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D.S. Gardner and B.G. Wherley

Previous research on the potential of the gibberellin inhibiting growth regulator trinexapac-ethyl (TE) [4-(cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5-dioxocyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester] to improve quality and density of shaded turfgrass has been conducted under neutral-density shade. However, some phytochrome-mediated growth responses of turfgrass, such as tillering, are different under deciduous shade versus neutral-density shade. The objectives of this study were to investigate 1) whether TE would result in improved stand density and quality of turfgrass grown under deciduous shade as has been observed under neutral-density shade and 2) the shade tolerance of sheep fescue (Festuca ovina L. `Quatro') compared to tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb. `Plantation'), and rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis L.). Trinexapac-ethyl at either 0 or 29 kg·ha–1 a.i. and nitrogen at 12 or 36 kg·ha–1 were applied on 23 May, 3 July, and 15 Aug. 2003 and 21 May 2004 to each species in a randomized complete block design under deciduous shade (about 9% of full sun). Clipping yield, color, and density data were collected for 6 weeks after the May applications in each year. Visual quality was assessed for 6 weeks after application in 2004 only. In 2003, TE significantly reduced clipping yields by 35% to 50% on sheep fescue, 58% to 76% on tall fescue and 55% to 80% on rough bluegrass. However, in 2004, yield reduction was 0% to 50% for all three species and there was no interaction between week, TE, and species. `Plantation' tall fescue had the highest overall visual quality and density. Sheep fescue also provided an acceptable quality turf stand. TE application did not significantly impact the quality of these species. Rough bluegrass performance was unacceptable, and high rate applications of TE to this species in shade resulted in significant (P < 0.05) losses in density. Trinexapac-ethyl application, based on the results of this study, may not enhance turf quality of cool season grasses grown under dense tree shade.

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Samuel Contreras, David Tay, and Mark Bennett

Lettuce seeds (Lactuca sativavar. acephalacv. Tango) were used with the objective of determining the effect of temperature, light, and their interactions in promoting germination. Under standard op-timal conditions (20 °C, light), the seed presented 100% germination (radicle emergence 5 d after sowing). Different treatments evaluated germination under dark conditions, with or without a red light break (LB, 28.8 mmol·m-2) 48 h after sowing, and with different combination of temperatures pre- (soaking temperature, ST) and post- (germination temperature, GT) the LB. Germination at constant 20 °C without LB was less than 5%, and with LB, it was around 30%. However, germination was close to 100% at GT of 20 °C when LB was applied after a ST of 10 °C, and around 50% under the same conditions, but without LB. When GT was 30 °C and LB was applied, germination was less than 3% with ST = 30 °C, less than 10% with ST = 20 °C, and around 100% when ST = 10 °C. With ST and GT of 10 °C and 30 °C, respectively, and no LB, germination was less than 5%. Germination at 10 °C constant, with and without LB, was around 90% and 0%, respectively. When ST was 40 °C and LB was applied, germination was around 40% at GT= 20 °C, but less that 3% with GT= 30 °C. In summary, a severe inhibition of germination was observed when seeds were germinated in dark, which was partially reversed by either a light treatment or soaking at 10 °C, and fully reversed when both treatments were applied together. Inhibition of lettuce germination at 30 °C was observed when this temperature was applied after a light treatment, but not when applied before. Possible implications of these results for the phytochrome mechanism of action are discussed.

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Erik S. Runkle and Royal D. Heins

For many plants, light quality has a pronounced effect on plant morphology; light with a low red (R, 600 to 700 nm) to far-red (FR, 700 to 800 nm) ratio promotes stem elongation and a high R: FR, or blue light (B, 400 to 500 nm), suppresses it. In addition, FR light is required for rapid flowering in some species, particularly for long-day plants. Our objective was to quantify how flexible spectral filters, which selectively reduce FR, B, or R, influence plant height and flowering of the quantitative long-day plants Pisum sativum L. `Utrillo' and Viola ×wittrockiana Gams. `Crystal Bowl Yellow'. Plants were grown at 20 °C with reduced FR, B, or R environments or with a neutral density control (C) filter. Calculated phytochrome photoequilebria were 0.78, 0.73, 0.71, or 0.46 for the altered FR, B, C, or R environments, respectively. All filter treatments transmitted a similar photosynthetic photon flux. Sixteen-hour photoperiods were created with natural daylight supplemented with high-pressure sodium lamps positioned above filters. Viola grown under the FR filter never reached 100% flowering within 8 weeks, and visible bud appearance was delayed by at least 17 days compared to all other filters. The R and B filters enhanced peduncle length by at least 25% compared to the C or FR filters. In Pisum, average internode length was 2.2, 2.9, 3.4, and 3.7 cm under the FR, C, B, and R filters, respectively, all statistically different. Fresh and dry shoot weights were similar under the C and FR filters but were at least 35% greater under the B filter and 35% lower under the R filter.

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Erik S. Runkle, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

Intermediate-day plants (IDP) flower most rapidly and completely under intermediate photoperiods (e.g., 12 to 14 h of light), but few species have been identified and their flowering responses are not well understood. A variety of experiments was conducted to determine how light controls flowering and stem extension of Echinacea purpurea `Bravado' and `Magnus'. Both cultivars flowered most completely (79%) and rapidly and at the youngest physiological age under intermediate photoperiods of 13 to 15 h. Few (14%) plants flowered under 10- or 24-h photoperiods, indicating E. purpurea is a qualitative IDP. Plants were also induced to flower when 15-h dark periods were interrupted with as few as 7.5 min of low-intensity lighting (night interruption, NI). Flowering was progressively earlier as the NI increased to 1 h, but was delayed when the NI was extended to 4 h. Stem length increased by 230% as the photoperiod or NI duration increased, until plants received a saturating duration (at 14 h or 1 h, respectively). At macroscopic visible bud, transferring plants from long days to short days reduced stem extension by up to 30%. Flowering was inhibited when the entire photoperiod was deficient in blue or red light and was promoted in a far-red deficient environment, suggesting that phytochrome and cryptochrome control flowering of E. purpurea. Because of our results, we propose the flowering behavior of IDP such as E. purpurea is composed of two mechanisms: a dark-dependent response in which flowering is promoted by a short night, and a light-dependent response in which flowering is inhibited by a long day.

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W. Garrett Owen, Qingwu Meng, and Roberto G. Lopez

. Extending or truncating the photoperiod can control flowering time of these photoperiodic plants. Plants use photoreceptors such as phytochromes and cryptochromes to perceive radiation and mediate developmental processes and morphological traits such as

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Kevin M. Folta and Sofia D. Carvalho

our knowledge of light-sensory circuitry to custom blend light regimens that best drive plant responses to match grower needs. PHYTOCHROMES Many processes, from control of plant stature all the way to fundamentals of gene expression, are under the

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Janni Bjerregaard Lund, Theo J. Blom, and Jesper Mazanti Aaslyng

, phytochrome, is responsible for the physiological responses incited by changes in red (600–700 nm) and far-red (700–800 nm) light. The phytochrome molecule exists in two photoreversible states, P fr and P r . Irradiation with high levels of far-red light

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Anuradha Tatineni, Nihal C. Rajapakse, R. Thomas Fernandez, and James R. Rieck

Responses to selected chemical growth retardants (daminozide, paclobutrazol, and prohexadione-Ca) and GA1 and GA3 under photoselective greenhouse covers with various phytochrome photoequilibrium estimates (φe) were evaluated using `Bright Golden Anne' chrysanthemum [Dendranthema ×grandiflora Kitam. (syn. Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.)] as the model plant to better understand the height control mechanism by far red (FR) light depleted environments. Plant height linearly decreased as φe increased from 0.72 to 0.83. The rate of height decrease of daminozide treated plants was less than that of water (control) or GA3-treated plants. The rate of height reduction was not different between control and GA3-treated plants among chambers with various φe. Both paclobutrazol and prohexadione-Ca reduced plant height regardless of φe, but the height reduction by paclobutrazol was more than that by prohexadioneCa. The combination of paclobutrazol and prohexadione-Ca reduced plant height more than either alone. GA1 reversed the height reduction caused by paclobutrazol and prohexadione-Ca regardless of φe, but the height increase by GA1 was more when it was applied with prohexadione-Ca than when applied alone. Results show that photoselective covers with high φe were effective in controlling height of chrysanthemums without chemical growth retardants. The linear relationship between plant height and φe suggests that effectiveness of photoselective covers increased as φe increased. The photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) transmission of photoselective covers decreased as the φe increased because of the increasing dye concentration. Identifying photoselective covers that effectively filter out FR light from sunlight and reduce plant height while minimizing the PPF reduction is critical for commercial success of photoselective covers. Gibberellins are, at least partially, involved in height control by photoselective covers. Photoselective greenhouse covers did not reduce responsiveness to gibberellins, and it appears that the mechanism may be to suppress gibberellin biosynthesis. Results also suggest that increased metabolism of GA1 to GA8 was not the mechanism of height control by photoselective covers. Chemical names used: butanedioic acid mono (2,2-dimethylhydrazide) [daminozide]; (±)-(R*,R*)-b-((4-chlorophenyl)methyl)-a-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol [paclobutrazol]; 3,5-dioxo-4-(1-oxopropyl)cyclohexanecarboxylic acid [prohexadione-Ca]; gibberellic acid [GA].

Open access

Qinglu Ying, Yun Kong, and Youbin Zheng

despite the similar fresh weight (FW) of the stems and leaves ( Kong et al., 2019a ). We concluded that the promoted stem elongation is a shade-avoidance response mediated by B associated with low phytochrome activity, as indicated by the low phytochrome