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Thomas E. Marler and Patrick D. Lawton

Leaflets of `Arkin', `B-10', `Kary', and `Sri Kembangan' carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) trees were restrained in a horizontal position for 3.5 h during midday under full sun conditions to determine the influence of overriding natural leaflet movement on adaxial chlorophyll fluorescence and temperature. Induced chlorophyll fluorescence obtained after 30 minutes of dark adaptation following the period of full sun exposure was affected by leaflet movement. Restrained leaflets exhibited a variable fluorescence (Fv)/peak fluorescence (Fm) of 0.48, while that of unrestrained leaflets was 0.65. Adaxial leaflet temperature of restrained leaflets was 6C higher than that of leaflets that were allowed to move. The influence of leaflet movement on temperature or chlorophyll fluorescence was not different among the four cultivars. However, mean Fv/Fm of `Kary' and `Sri Kembangan' was lower than that of `B-10'. Our results indicate that the ability of carambola to change leaflet angle leads to lower temperature and higher photochemical efficiency than occurs when leaflets are not allowed to move naturally (vertically orient) under full sun conditions.

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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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Sarah E. Bruce, D. Bradley Rowe, and James A. Flore

Chlorophyll fluorescence over the course of stem cutting propagation was examined in 10 cultivars of Taxus ×media (Taxus baccata L. × T. cuspidata Sieb. & Zucc.), including `Brownii', `Dark Green Pyramidalis', `Dark Green Spreader', `Densiformis', `Densiformis Gem', `Hicksii', `L.C. Bobbink', `Runyan', `Tauntoni', and `Wardii'. The fluorescence value measured was the ratio of variable over maximum chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm). This value reflects the maximum dark-adapted photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) reaction centers involved in photosynthesis and is an indirect measure of plant stress. The objective of this study was to examine Fv/Fm as a method for stock plant selection and for monitoring rooting progress of various cultivars. Fv/Fm varied significantly (P ≤ 0.05) among cultivars, initially and over time. However, there was significant overlap among some cultivars. The Fv/Fm decreased dramatically during cold storage, but usually returned to original levels after several weeks in the propagation beds. This appeared to be a reflection of the reduction of water stress as the cuttings formed roots. Initial stock plant Fv/Fm was not correlated (P ≤ 0.05) with rooting percentage, root number, root dry weight, or root length, indicating that Fv/Fm is not a reliable indicator of stock plant rooting potential. Visual assessment is just as reliable.

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Bingru Huang and Hongwen Gao

To investigate shoot physiological responses to drought stress of six tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) cultivars representing several generations of turfgrass improvement, forage-type `Kentucky-31', turf-type `Phoenix', `Phoenix', and `Houndog V', and dwarf-type `Rebel Jr` and `Bonsai' were grown in well-watered or drying soil for 35 days in a 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 cultivars and physiological factors. 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 `Falcon II', `Houndog V', and `Kentucky-31' 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 was due mostly to internal water deficit and stomatal closure under short-term or mild drought-stress conditions. After a prolonged period of drought (35 DOT), higher Pn in `Falcon II', `Houndog V', and `Kentucky-31' could be attributed to their higher Fv/Fm.

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Desmond R. Layne and J.A. Flore

A series of experiments were conducted with one-year-old potted sour cherry trees to evaluate the effects of source reduction (removal of 70% of the expanded leaves = Defol.) or source enhancement (continuous illumination = C.L.) on source leaf gas exchange. There was a significant increase in net CO2 assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance (gs) of Defol. within one day in contrast to the non-defoliated control (Cont.). Defol. had lower daily dark respiration rates (Rd) and higher A values throughout the 14 h diurnal photoperiod than Cont. Defol. had daily assimilation rates 50% higher than Cont. in as early as 3 days. One month later, specific leaf weight, leaf chlorophyll and A was higher in Defol. Non-defoliated plants were also placed under either a 14 h photoperiod (Cont.) or a 24 h photoperiod (24h). A of 24h was reduced from Cont. by 50% after one day. The diurnal response of A in Cont. was removed when plants were put in C.L. Following 7 days in C.L., 70% defoliation of 24h plants resulted in a complete recovery from photosynthetic inhibition within 48 hours. The short-term effects of source manipulation on photochemical and carboxylation efficiencies, photorespiration and stomatal limitations will also be addressed.

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Hector Valenzuela, Stacy Riede, and Harry Yamamoto

Portable chlorophyll fluorometers have made it possible to evaluate the photosynthetic efficiency of photosystem 11 for vegetable crops under ambient conditions. A sampling protocol was first established to eliminate variability due to positioning of the fiber optics in relation to the leaf, leaf selection, and natural environmental variability. Fluorescence parameters of the quantum yield of noncyclic electron transport (DF/Fm') and electron transport rate (ETR) were taken from several economically important vegetables under ambient conditions between 11 and 14 h. The objective of the second part of the study was to conduct in situ chlorophyll fluorescence and biomass determinations as affected by salt stress and N deficiency. DF/Fm' and ETR were studied in rhizobium inoculated, noninoculated and inorganic N-fed soybean and differences in fluorescence were related to yield. The influence that salt stress, and several N rates have on fluorescence photochemical quenching (qP) and nonphotochemical quenching (qN), NPQ ([Fm-Fm']/Fm'), DF/Fm' and ETR for hydroponically grown lettuce will also be presented.

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Mohamed Tawfik, Alejandra Ferenczi, Daniel Enter, and Rebecca Grumet

Abiotic stresses (e.g., salinity, drought, cold, oxidative stress) can be major factors limiting plant productivity worldwide. We sought to increase abiotic stress resistance in cucumber by expressing the A. thaliana transcription factors CBF1and CBF3, which regulate genes responsible for enhanced dehydration-stress resistance in Arabidopsis. Our previous studies in the greenhouse and field demonstrated increased salinity tolerance in CBF-expressing cucumber lines. In the current studies, we tested response of CBF-cucumber plants to drought, chilling, and oxidative stresses. Transgenic cucumber plants subjected to drought stress in the greenhouse showed elevated levels of the stress-inducible compatible solute, proline, compared to the nontransgenic controls. Preliminary results also indicate greater photochemical efficiency in CBF-expressing plants under drought stress conditions compared to the nontransgenic controls. Under nonstressed conditions, there were no significant differences in growth between the transgenic and the nontransgenic cucumber plants; however, after a cycle of drought stress, CBF-cucumber lines had less growth reduction compared to the nontransgenic counterparts. The advantage in growth was less pronounced after a second cycle of drought. We also evaluated the transgenic cucumber plants under chilling conditions (i.e., low, nonfreezing temperatures within the 0 to 12 °C range). Based on plant height and cotyledon and leaf damage measurements, transgenic cucumber seedlings did not show chilling tolerance compared to the wild-type control. The response of transgenic CBF-cucumber plants to oxidative stress using methyl viologen is also being evaluated.

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Xunzhong Zhang, E.H. Ervin, and R.E. Schmidt

Ultraviolet-B [UV-B (280-320 nm)] radiation is one of the major factors causing quality decline of transplanted sod. Pigments and antioxidants are associated with plant stress resistance, but their roles in turfgrass tolerance to UV-B damage are not well understood. The objectives of this study were to determine if kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) cultivars with darker green genetic leaf color possessed greater pigment and antioxidant defense capacities and if such characteristics were associated with greater resistance to UV-B. Two cultivars, `Moonlight' (dark green) and `Limerick' (light green), were selected and subjected to continuous, artificial UV-B radiation (70 μmol·m-2·s-1). UV-B irradiation reduced turf quality by 58% (`Moonlight') and 77% (`Limerick') relative to day 1 when measured 10 days after initiation of UV-B exposure. Higher canopy photochemical efficiency (PEc) was found in `Moonlight' relative to `Limerick' under UV-B stress and during recovery. `Moonlight' contained greater levels of chlorophyll (1.5 to1.6-fold), carotenoids (1.3-fold), superoxide dismutase [SOD (1.0-fold)] and catalase [CAT (1.5-fold)] than `Limerick' when measured at 10 days after UV-B initiation. Turfgrass quality and PEc were positively correlated with pigments (chlorophyll and carotenoids) and antioxidant enzymes (SOD and CAT), and negatively correlated with lipid peroxidation. The results suggest that selecting dark-green cultivars with greater pigment content and antioxidant activity may be an effective approach for turfgrass breeders and sod producers to improve tolerance of newly transplanted sod to environments with higher UV-B radiation.

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Xiaozhong Liu and Bingru Huang

Low mowing increases ball roll distance on putting greens, but may affect growth and physiological responses to summer heat stress. The objective of this study was to examine whether the effect of mowing heights on turf summer performance was associated with changes in photosynthetic activities and respiration rate for two creeping bentgrass [Agrostis palustris (L.) Huds] cultivars, `Crenshaw' and `Penncross'. Both cultivars were grown under USGA-specification putting green conditions from 1997 to 1998. Grasses were mowed daily at a 3-mm (low mowing) or 4-mm (high mowing) height. Turf quality, net photosynthesis rate (Pn), and leaf photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) declined, whereas respiration rate of whole plants, canopy minus air temperature, and soil temperatures increased under low mowing compared to those at the high mowing height. The decline or increase in those parameters under low mowing was more pronounced in summer than in spring or fall months. The results showed that turf quality was better at the 4-mm mowing height, especially during summer months. Better quality at the higher mowing height could be related to the maintenance of higher photosynthetic activities and lower respiration rate. Mowing at the lower height had more adverse effects on turf growth and photosynthetic capacity for `Penncross' than `Crenshaw', particularly during summer months.

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Thomas G. Ranney and Mary M. Peet

Leaf gas-exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements were used as indexes for evaluating heat tolerance among five taxa of birch: paper (Betula papyrifera Marsh.), European (B. pendula Roth.), Japanese (B. platyphylla var. japonica Hara. cv. Whitespire), Himalayan (B. jacquemontii Spach.), and river (B. nigra L. cv. Heritage). Gas-exchange measurements were conducted on individual leaves at temperatures ranging from 25 to 40C. River birch maintained the highest net photosynthetic rates (Pn) at high temperatures, while Pn of paper birch was reduced the most. Further study of river and paper birch indicated that the reduced Pn at high temperatures and the differential sensitivity between taxa resulted from several factors. Inhibition of Pn at higher temperatures was due largely to nonstomatal limitations for both taxa. Increases in respiration rates, decreases in maximal photochemical efficiency of photosystem (PS) II (F V/F M), and possible reductions in light energy directed to PS II (F 0 quenching) were apparent for both taxa. The capacity of river birch to maintain greater Pn at higher temperatures seemed to result from a lower Q10 for dark respiration and possibly greater thermotolerance of the Calvin cycle as indicated by a lack of nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching with increasing temperatures. Thermal injury, as indicated by a rapid increase in minimal, dark-acclimated (F 0) fluorescence, was not evident for either paper or river birch until temperatures reached ≈49C and was similar for both taxa.