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Nader Soltani, J. LaMar Anderson, and Alvin R. Hamson

`Crimson Sweet' watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] plants were grown with various mulches and rowcovers and analyzed for relative growth rate (RGR), net assimilation rate (NAR), specific leaf area (SLA), leaf area index (LAI), and crop growth rate (CGR). Spunbonded polyester fabric (SB-PF) and perforated polyethylene film (PCP) rowcovers generally showed greater mean RGR, SLA and CGR than spunbonded polypropylene polyamide net (SB-PP), black plus clear combination plastic mulch and black plastic mulch alone. Plants on mulches and under rowcovers showed significant increases in RGR, NAR, and SLA over plants grown in bare soil. Carbon dioxide concentration inside the transplanting mulch holes was nearly twice the ambient CO, concentration. Growth analysis of sampled watermelon plants during early stages of development under various treatments was predictive of crop yield. Plants under SB-PF and PCP rowcovers produced the earliest fruit and the greatest total yield. An asymmetrical curvilinear model for watermelon growth and development based on cardinal temperatures was developed. The model uses hourly averaged temperatures to predict growth and phenological development of `Crimson Sweet' watermelon plants grown with and without rowcovers. Early vegetative growth correlated well with accumulated heat units. Results indicate a consistent heat unit requirement for the `Crimson Sweet' watermelon plants to reach first male flower, first female flower and first harvest in uncovered plants and plants under rowcovers. Greater variability was observed in predicting date of first harvest than first bloom.

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Hiroshi Shimizu and Royal D. Heins

A computer vision system for noncontact growth analysis was developed. Front and side images of a plant were captured simultaneously using a mirror system and CCD camera and were magnetically stored on a magneto-optical disk. Images acquired at night were obtained by irradiating plants with incandescent light filtered to wavelengths of 850 nm and greater. Images were automatically captured and saved every 12 minutes. After images were collected, outlines of plant shape were extracted from stored images, a three-dimensional center line of the plant was extracted from the outline, and the elongation rate was computed. The outline extraction algorithm was modified to improve spatial resolution of images, and the thinning algorithm created a representative line of the plant by calculating a center line of the stem so the three-dimensional length could be calculated. Results of growth analysis on Verbena bonariensis L. plants grown under three photoperiods (8, 12, and 16 hours) and three day/night air-temperature combinations (15/25, 20/20, and 25/15) will be presented.

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John R. Teasdale and Aref A. Abdul-Baki

Growth analysis was used to document growth responses of staked, fresh-market tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) to black polyethylene or hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) mulches. Leaf area and dry mass of vegetation and fruit were measured weekly during two growing seasons. Growth was better early in the season but worse later in the season for plants grown with black polyethylene than with hairy vetch mulch. Unit leaf rate (rate of growth per unit leaf area) of fruit was higher with black polyethylene than with hairy vetch, whereas the reverse was true of vegetation. This relationship led to a higher leaf area ratio and leaf area duration of plants grown with hairy vetch than with black polyethylene. Consequently, tomatoes grown with black polyethylene produced higher early yield because of increased partitioning to fruit. However, tomatoes grown with hairy vetch eventually outgrew and outyielded those grown with black polyethylene because of increased partitioning to leaf area.

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Abdullah A. Alsadon

`Lincoln' and `Rondo' pea cultivars (Pisum sativum L. subsp. hortense) were planted at early, midseason, and late dates during 1989–90 and 1990–91 growing seasons. Plant growth analysis data were collected via weekly harvests throughout the growing season. Plant height, leaf area, and shoot dry weight were measured, and LAI, SLA, and SLW were also determined. Derived growth quantities such as RGR, NAR, and CGR were calculated. `Rondo' plants were taller, larger in leaf area, had more vegetative and dry weight, and were earlier in flowering than `Lincoln' plants. Leaf area was not significantly affected by planting date. Optimum LAI was obtained between harvests 7 and 9, which coincides with the time of highest values of NAR and CGR. Significant correlation coefficients were obtained between growth attributes in both seasons, and, in most cases, for all planting dates.

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A.D. Turner and H.C. Wien

Cultivars of bell pepper differ in susceptibility to bud/flower abscission. Reduction in the level of assimilate, and alterations in assimilate partitioning may be involved in the processes leading to bud/flower abscission. Four growth analysis experiments were conducted to determine whether two pepper cultivars differing in susceptibility to stress-induced abscission showed corresponding differences in growth and rates and dry matter partitioning when subjected to shade stress. The reduction in RGR and NAR with shading was significantly greater for the abscission-susceptible `Shamrock' than the more tolerant `Ace'. Partitioning of dry matter to reproductive structures was reduced by shading. There were no cultivar differences in the proportion of dry matter partitioned to young developing leaves. Fully expanded leaves comprised a larger proportion of total dry matter in `Shamrock'. The lower NAR of `Shamrock' under stress may have led to greater bud/flower abscission than `Ace' under shade stress. If preferential partitioning of dry matter to competing structures (developing leaves) is also involved, it was not detected using this technique.

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Pauline P. David, Audrey A. Trotman, and Desmond G. Mortley

One of the major objective of growth analysis data is to provide a basic understanding of some of the mechanisms that affect plant growth. This study was initiated to evaluate the effects on several growth parameters when plants are grown in an NFT system. Vine cuttings (15 cm length) of the sweetpotato cultivar ``Georgia Jet” was grown in a closed NFT system for a period of 120 days. Nutrient was supplied in a modified half-strength Hoagland's solution with a N:K ratio of 1:2.4. Destructive harvesting of plants occurred at 14 day intervals at which time plants were separated into their various component parts and analyzed for dry weight accumulation, leaf area index, crop growth rate, relative growth rate and net assimilation rate. Results showed dry weight distribution within the plant had a linear response for all component part evaluated. Greatest contributors to total plant dry weight was stem followed by leaves, fibrous roots, buds and flowers. However, once storage root production occurred it contributed the largest percentage to total plant dry weight. LAI was optimum at 80 days after planting (DAP) while CGR and RGR fluctuated throughout the growing season. Initially NAR was higher in foliage than storage roots but declined once storage root enlargement began, suggesting a translocation of assimilates to storage root.

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Takanori Kuronuma and Hitoshi Watanabe

morphological traits and competence for carbon sequestration in each plant using growth analysis. In particular, Sedum species were assigned different water regimes to investigate the physiological and morphological responses and variation in carbon

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Toshio Shibuya, Ryosuke Endo, Yoshiaki Kitaya, and Saki Hayashi

sunlight) or under high-R:FR light created by FR-absorbing film, and their growth parameters were determined by the growth analysis methods. In addition, net and gross photosynthesis per unit leaf area and of the whole plant were evaluated during the

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Gina E. Fernandez, Laura M. Butler, and Frank J. Louws

The growth and development of three strawberry cultivars commonly grown in a plasticulture system were documented. Strawberry plants were harvested monthly and divided by roots, crown, leaves, flowers, and fruit and then dried in an oven. The dry matter production and resource allocation proceeded along a predictable pattern of development. The establishment phase was characterized by an active period of growth of root, crown and leaves in the fall. Through the winter, the plants underwent slow growth, ending in a transition period in the late winter/early spring when resources were allocated to both vegetative and reproductive growth. In the spring, all plant parts received significantly increased allocation of, or redistribution of, resources. Cultivars of California origin, `Chandler' and `Camarosa', displayed similar trends in yield, dry matter production, seasonal resource allocation, and growth analysis variables throughout the season. `Sweet Charlie', a cultivar from Florida, showed lower dry matter accumulation and relative growth rate in the spring, higher harvest index and lower yield than the California cultivars.

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Victor A Khan, C. Stevens, T. Mafolo, C. Bonsi, J.Y. Lu, E.G. Rhoden, M. A. Wilson, M. K. Kabwe, and Y. Adeyeye

TU-82-155 and `Georgia-Jet' early maturing. `Carver II'. TU-1892 and `Rojo-Blanco' late maturing sweepotato cultivars were evaluated in the field for: leaf area index (LAI), net assimilation rate, foliage crop growth rate (FCGR), storage roots crop growth rate (RCGR) and alpha a (the mean relative growth rate in dry wt to the mean relative growth rate in leaf area over a time interval) or the partitioning of assimilates. A split plot design was used and plants were sampled at 6, 8, 11 and 16 wk after transplanting. The results from study showed that LAI reached maximum development 8 and 12 wk after transplanting for early and late maturing cultivars, respectively. All cultivars irrespective to maturity groups showed a reduction in net assimilation rate 6 wk after transplanting while FCGR for early maturing cultivars gradually declined 6 wk after transplanting and varied among late maturing cultivars. `Carver II' showed increases in FCGR up to 11 wk after transplanting then rapidly declined while `Rojo-Blanco' and TU-1892 began to decline 8 and 6 wk after transplanting, respectively. RCGR showed rapid increases (100 g.m /area/week) and (150 g/m /area/week) for early and late maturing cultivars beginning 6 wk after transplanting and this increase continued until the 12th and 8 th wk after transplanting for early and late maturing cultivars, respectively. Cultivars from both maturity groups began to produce surplus assimilates (Alpha a) 6 wk after transplanting. which coincided with the rapid increases in RCGR at the same time. Thus indicating that storage root enlargement begins after the plant had accumulated a surplus of assimilates.