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Manuela Zude-Sasse, Ulrich Hartmond, Georg Ebert, and Peter Lüdders

Soil flooding reduces partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) in the root zone and often results in a reduction in photosynthesis and growth. In greenhouse studies, rooted stem cuttings of the mango (Mangifera indica L.) rootstock selection 13/1 were exposed to anoxia by saturating the root zone with N2 for up to 52 h. Reduced pO2 in the root zone affected the energy status of the roots and particularly enhanced the phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated pyridine nucleotide charges—the ratio of reduced Nicotinamide-adenine-dinucleotides [NAD(P)H] to total Nicotinamide-adenine-dinucleotide content [oxidized NAD(P)+ plus NAD(P)H]—that drive the redox reaction rates in cell metabolism. Also, the pyridine nucleotide charges in leaves were enhanced, while the photosynthetic rate decreased following reduction in pO2 in the root zone. During up to 4 h of reduced pO2, the ratio of internal CO2 concentration in the mesophyll to ambient CO2 concentration was unchanged. This implies a nonstomatal influence on photosynthesis. In addition, light saturation of photosystem II occurred at lower irradiance (470 μmol·m-2·s-1) resulting in reduced maximum photochemical efficiency below that of the high pO2 controls. After 28 h of reduced pO2, NAD(P) charges in the leaves returned to normal, diminishing its potential effect on net photosynthetic rate.

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Yiwei Jiang and Bingru Huang

Heat and drought are two major factors limiting growth of cool-season grasses during summer. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of heat stress alone (H) or in combination with drought (H+D) on photosynthesis, water relations, and root growth of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea L.) vs. perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Grasses were exposed to H (35 °C day/30 °C night) or H+D (induced by withholding irrigation) in growth chambers for 35 days. Soil water content declined under H+D for both grasses but to a greater extent for fescue than for ryegrass. Declines in canopy net photosynthetic rate (Pn), leaf photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), and leaf relative water content (RWC) and the increase in electrolyte leakage (EL) were much more severe and occurred earlier for ryegrass than fescue subjected to both H and H+D and for both species than under H+D then H. Evapotranspiration (ET) rate increased to above the control level within 3 or 6 days of H and H+D for both species, but fescue had a higher ET rate than ryegrass at 3 and 6 days of H and 6 days of H+D. Root dry weight and viability in all soil layers decreased under H and H+D for both species. However, fescue had higher root dry weight and viability than ryegrass in the 20-40 cm layer under H and in both the 0-20 and 20-40 cm layers under H+D. The results indicated that maintenance of higher Pn, Fv/Fm, ET, RWC, and root growth and lower EL would help cool-season turfgrass survive summer stress, and that their characteristics could be used for selecting stress tolerant species or cultivars.

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Bingru Huang and Hongwen Gao

Drought is among the most limiting factors for turfgrass growth. Understanding genetic variations and physiological mechanisms in turfgrass drought resistance would facilitate breeding and management programs to improve drought resistance. The experiment was designed to investigate shoot physiological responses of six tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) cultivars representing several generations of turfgrass improvement to drought stress. Grasses were grown in well-watered or drying (nonirrigated) soil for 35 days in the greenhouse. Net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration rate (Tr), relative water content (RWC), and photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) declined during drought progression in all cultivars, but the time and the severity of reductions varied with cultivar and physiological factors. The values of Pn, RWC, gs, and Tr decreased significantly for `Rebel Jr', `Bonsai', and `Phoenix' when soil water content declined to 20% after 9 days of treatment (DOT) and for `Houndog V', `Kentucky-31', and `Falcon II' when soil water content dropped to 10% at 15 DOT. A significant decrease in Fv/Fm was not observed in drought-stressed plants until 21 DOT for `Rebel Jr', `Bonsai', and `Phoenix' and 28 DOT for `Houndog V', `Kentucky-31', and `Falcon II'. The decline in Pn resulted mainly from internal water deficit and stomatal closure under mild drought-stress conditions. After a prolonged period of drought stress (35 DOT), `Falcon II', `Houndog V', and `Kentucky-31' maintained higher Pn than did `Rebel Jr', `Bonsai', and `Phoenix', which could be attributed to their higher Fv/Fm. This study demonstrated variation in drought resistance among tall fescue cultivars, which was related to their differential responses in photosynthetic capacity and water relations.

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Sastry Jayanty, Jun Song, Nicole M. Rubinstein, Andrés Chong, and Randolph M. Beaudry

The temporal relationship between changes in ethylene production, respiration, skin color, chlorophyll fluorescence, volatile ester biosynthesis, and expression of ACC oxidase (ACO) and alcohol acyl-CoA transferase (AAT) in ripening banana (Musa L. spp., AAA group, Cavendish subgroup. `Valery') fruit was investigated at 22 °C. Ethylene production rose to a peak a few hours after the onset of its logarithmic phase; the peak in production coincided with maximal ACO expression. The respiratory rise began as ethylene production increased, reaching its maximum ≈30 to 40 hours after ethylene production had peaked. Green skin coloration and photochemical efficiency, as measured by chlorophyll fluorescence, declined simultaneously after the peak in ethylene biosynthesis. Natural ester biosynthesis began 40 to 50 hours after the peak in ethylene biosynthesis, reaching maximal levels 3 to 4 days later. While AAT expression was detected throughout, the maximum level of expression was detected at the onset of natural ester biosynthesis. The synthesis of unsaturated esters began 100 hours after the peak in ethylene and increased with time, suggesting the lipoxygenase pathway be a source of ester substrates late in ripening. Incorporation of exogenously supplied ester precursors (1-butanol, butyric acid, and 3-methyl-1-butanol) in the vapor phase into esters was maturity-dependent. The pattern of induced esters and expression data for AAT suggested that banana fruit have the capacity to synthesize esters over 100 hours before the onset of natural ester biosynthesis. We hypothesize the primary limiting factor in ester biosynthesis before natural production is precursor availability, but, as ester biosynthesis is engaged, the activity of alcohol acyl-CoA transferase the enzyme responsible for ester biosynthesis, exerts a major influence.

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Sanalkumar Krishnan and Emily B. Merewitz

Polyamines (PAs), spermine (Spm), and spermidine (Spd) may enhance the abiotic stress tolerance and growth of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera). Growth chamber studies were conducted to investigate the effect of PA application on the physiological response and hormone content in creeping bentgrass ‘Penn-G2’ under drought. Spm (1 mm) and Spd (5 mm) were applied exogenously under drought or well-watered conditions. PA-treated plants maintained significantly higher turf quality (TQ), relative water content (RWC), photochemical efficiency, and membrane health while maintaining lower canopy temperature. Spm at the 1-mm rate had a 2.46-fold higher osmotic adjustment (OA) at 10 d compared with control plants. A greater content of gibberellic acid (GA) isoforms (GA1, GA4, and GA20) were observed compared with controls during both studies for PA-treated plants under drought. After 7 days of drought stress in Expt.1, GA1 levels were 3.26 higher for Spm 1-mm-treated plants compared with drought controls. GA4 contents were 69% and 65% higher compared with drought-stressed-untreated plants for Spd 5-mm application after 9 and 11 days. Higher levels of GA20 were observed at 10 days (Spd 5 mm, 108.9% higher) due to PA treatment compared with drought controls. In addition to differential regulation of GA isoforms, we observed enhanced abscisic acid (ABA) due to PA application; however, not on a consistent basis. This study showed that PA application may play a role in GA1, GA4, and ABA accumulation in creeping bentgrass ‘Penn G-2’ under drought stress.

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Jason J. Griffin, Thomas G. Ranney, and D. Mason Pharr

Tolerance to high solar irradiation is an important aspect of stress tolerance for landscape plants, particularly for species native to understory conditions. The objective of this study was to evaluate differential tolerance to high solar irradiation and underlying photosynthetic characteristics of diverse taxa of Illicium L. grown under full sun or 50% shade. Eleven commercially available taxa of Illicium were evaluated for light tolerance by measuring light-saturated photosynthetic capacity (Amax), dark-adapted quantum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm), and relative chlorophyll content using a SPAD chlorophyll meter. Comparisons of Amax indicated that three of the 11 taxa (I. anisatum L., I. parviflorum Michx. ex Vent., and I. parviflorum `Forest Green') maintained similar rates of light-saturated carbon assimilation when grown in either shade or full sun. All other taxa experienced a significant reduction in Amax when grown in full sun. Chlorophyll fluorescence analysis demonstrated that Fv/Fm was similar between sun and shade plants for the same three taxa that were able to maintain Amax. These taxa appeared to experience less photoinhibition than the others and maintained greater maximum photochemical efficiency of absorbed light. SPAD readings were not significantly reduced in these three taxa either, whereas most other taxa experienced a significant reduction. In fact, SPAD readings were significantly higher in I. parviflorum `Forest Green' when grown under full sun, which also maintained the highest Amax of all the taxa. These results suggest that there is considerable variation in light tolerance among these taxa, with I. parviflorum `Forest Green' demonstrating superior tolerance to high light among the plants compared. A more rigorous examination of I. parviflorum `Forest Green' (high light tolerance) and I. floridanum Ellis (low-light tolerance) demonstrated that I. parviflorum `Forest Green' had a considerably higher Amax, a higher light saturation point, greater potential photosynthetic capacity, reduced susceptibility to photoinhibition as indicated by superior PSII efficiency following light exposure, greater capacity for thermal de-excitation as indicated by a higher rate of nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) under full sun, greater apparent electron transport rate (ETR) at mid-day, and higher concentrations of the free-radical scavenger myo-inositol. All of these factors contribute potentially to a greater capacity to use light energy for carbon fixation while minimizing photodamage.

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Xiaozhong Liu and Bingru Huang

Previous studies found that high soil temperature is more detrimental than high air temperature for the growth of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris L.). The objective of the study was to investigate changes in fatty acid composition and saturation levels in leaves and roots for creeping bentgrass exposed to high soil temperature. Shoots and roots of `Penncross' plants were subjected to a differential air/soil temperature of 20/35 °C in a growth chamber. Soil temperature was controlled at 35 °C using an immersion circulating heater in water bath. Shoot injury induced by high soil temperature was evaluated by measuring level of lipid peroxidation expressed as malonyldialdehyde (MDA) content, chlorophyll content, and photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) of leaves. MDA content increased while chlorophyll content and Fv/Fm decreased at high soil temperature. The content of total fatty acids and different species of fatty acids were analyzed in both leaves and roots. Total fatty acid content in leaves increased initially at 5 days of high soil temperature and then decreased at 15 days, while total fatty acid content in roots decreased, beginning at 5 days. Linolenic acid was the major fatty acid in leaves and linoleic acid and palmitic acid were the major fatty acids in roots of creeping bentgrass. Leaf content of all fatty acid components except oleic acid increased initially and then decreased at high soil temperature. Root content of all fatty acid components except palmitoleic acid and oleic acid decreased, beginning at 5 d of high soil temperature. Oleic acid in leaves and palmitoleic and oleic acid in roots did not change during the entire experimental period. Leaf content of saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids increased during the first 5 to 10 days of high soil temperature and decreased at 15 and 25 days, respectively. Root content of saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids decreased beginning at 5 days of high soil temperature. Double bond index decreased in both leaves and roots. High soil temperature induced changes in fatty acid composition and saturation levels in leaves and roots, and this could be associated with physiological damages in leaves even though only roots were exposed to high temperature.

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Chenping Xu and Beiquan Mou

maximum photochemical efficiency ( F v / F m ), photochemical yield [Y(II)], and electron transport rate (ETR) were measured with a fluorometer (MINI-PAM-II; Heinz Walz, Effeltrich, Germany) on the two largest leaves of each plant. Leaf F v / F m was

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Mou Zong-min, Yan Ning, Li Shu-yun, and Hu Hong

, Kyoto, Japan). The chlorophyll a/b (Chl a/b) and chlorophyll content (Chl a+b) were calculated using the method of Inskeep and Bloom (1985) . The chlorophyll fluorescence of maximal photochemical efficiency (F v /F m ) was measured in 10 independent

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Dipayan Sarkar, Prasanta C. Bhowmik, Young-In-Kwon, and Kalidas Shetty

the sample was reported as milligrams of proline per gram of FW. Photochemical efficiency. Photochemical efficiency of turfgrass shoots was measured by using a fluorometer (OS1-FL; Opti-Sciences, Tyngsboro, MA). The test was carried in dark