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Michael R. Evans, Harold F. Wilkins, and Wesley P. Hackett

Exogenous foliar spray applications of gibberellic acid (GA3) applied at 7- or 14-day intervals providing 50 or 125 μg per plant inhibited long-day (LD) floral initiation in poinsettia [Euphorbia pulcherrima (Willd. ex. Klotzsch)]. Periodic application of GA3 resulted in an additional number of nodes being produced by the plant before floral initiation equivalent to the number of nodes over which GA3 was applied. Further, GA, application eliminated the nodal position dependence of the long-day node number (LDNN) of axillary meristems observed in control plants. It was concluded that GA3 application inhibited the inclusion of nodes into the LDNN count and thus inhibited ontogenetic aging of the meristem. Exogenous application of GA, also inhibited LD floral initiation, while application of GA4 had no effect. Application of GA7 delayed LD floral initiation, but plants did initiate cyathia by the termination of the experiment. All gibberellins increased the average internode lengths similarly. The gibberllin-biosynthesis inhibitors chlormequat and paclobutrazol had no effect on LD floral initiation when applied as single or multiple foliar sprays or as soil drenches, although heights and internode lengths were reduced by application of the inhibitors. The LDNN of plants grown at 31C was significantly higher than of plants grown at 16, 21, or 26C. All plants eventually initiated cyathia regardless of temperature. When plants were grown under a range of day/night temperatures, an increase in the LDNN occurred only when plants were grown at 31C during the day. Chemical names used: 2-chloroethyl-trimethyl-ammonium chloride (chlormequat); (+/-)-(R*,R*)-β -(4-chlorophenyl)methyl-α -(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1-H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Matthew D. Kleinhenz and Jiwan P. Palta

Micropropagated `Red Norland' plants were transferred to an inert mixture of 1 perlite: 1 medium-grain quartzite (v/v) and grown 21 days at 20°C day/15°C night on a 25% Hoagland solution without Ca(NO3)2 (Ca at 10 mg·L–1 from CaCl2, N at 35 mg·L–1 from KNO3). Thereafter, Ca treatments (Ca at 0.2, 1, 5, 25, 125 mg·L–1) were imposed for 21 days with other nutrients unchanged. Day/night temperatures were 20/15°C and 35/20°C for control and stress plants, respectively. Continuous drip supply of nutrient solution in excess of demand maintained target rhizospheric Ca levels. All experiments were conducted in controlled-environment chambers with 400-μmol·m–2·s–1 light level. The following results were obtained. 1) Stress, but not control, plants grown with Ca at 0.2 and 1.0 mg·L–1 displayed reduced leaf expansion, extreme senescence, and death of the primary shoot meristem. 2) Plants grown with Ca at 5, 25 and 125 mg·L–1 grew normally under both temperature regimens, although plants responded to temperature with different biomass partitioning. (3) Total root mass at harvest was similar under all Ca–temperature combinations but low-Ca-treated plants had comparatively darker roots with fewer branches. (4) Light microscopic evaluation revealed normal staining patterns of lignified elements in leaves and stems of all plants. These data suggest that constant rhizospheric Ca levels >1 mg·L–1 are required for continued plant growth during exposure to heat stress.

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Chris A. Martin, Jean C. Stutz, Bruce A. Kimball, Sherwood B. Idso, and David H. Akey

Growth and topological indices of `Eureka' lemon were measured after 6 months in well-watered and well-fertilized conditions and factorial combinations of moderate (29/21C day/night) or high (42/32C day/night) temperatures and ambient (350 to 380 μmol·mol) or elevated (constant 680 μmol·mol-1) CO2. In high temperatures, plants were smaller and had higher levels of leaf chlorophyll a than in moderate temperatures. Moreover, plants in high temperatures and elevated CO2 had about 15 % higher levels of leaf chlorophyll a than those in high temperatures and ambient CO2. In high temperatures, plant growth in elevated CO2 was about 87% more than in ambient CO2. Thus, high CO2 reduced the negative effect of high temperature on shoot growth. In moderate temperatures, plant growth in elevated CO2 was only about 21% more than in ambient CO2. Irrespective of temperature treatments, shoot branch architecture in elevated CO2 was more hierarchical than those in ambient CO2. Specific shoot extension, a topological measure of branch frequency, was not affected by elevated CO2 in moderate temperatures, but was increased by elevated CO2 enrichment in high temperatures-an indication of decreased branch frequency and increased apical dominance. In moderate temperatures, plants in elevated CO2 had fibrous root branch patterns that were less hierarchical than at ambient CO2. The lengths of exterior and interior fibrous roots between branch points and the length of second-degree adventitious lateral branches were increased >50% by high temperatures compared with moderate temperatures. Root length between branch points was not affected by CO2 levels.

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Will G. Neily, Peter R. Hicklenton, and David N. Kristie

Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of treatment with gibberellic acid (GA) on changes in diurnal growth rhythms caused by maturation and day/night temperature differential (DIF) in zinnia (Zinnia elegans Jacq. `Pompon'). Plants were treated with GA3 or with the GA biosynthesis inhibitor daminozide under three DIF regimes (+5 DIF: 21 °C DT/16 °C NT; 0 DIF: 18.7 °C constant; –5 DIF: 16.5 °C DT/21.5 °C NT), each with a daily average temperature of 18.7 °C, at two developmental stages: stage 1, the period of vegetative growth before flower bud formation; and stage 3, growth just before anthesis. Instantaneous stem elongation rates (SER) were measured using linear voltage displacement transducers. The DIF regime, as has been previously shown, influenced stem elongation primarily by altering the size of an early morning peak in SER; peak height increased as DIF became more positive. GA3 increased SER throughout the diurnal period with a proportionately larger effect on nighttime growth. Conversely, daminozide decreased SER more or less equally throughout the diurnal period. Neither GA3 or daminozide transformed growth patterns to match those of positive or negative DIF plants, but instead simply increased or decreased growth amplitude. Furthermore, neither growth regulator altered the basic diurnal SER pattern at any DIF, or influenced the observed shift to greater nighttime growth as plants matured from stage 1 to stage 3. The results suggest that neither the effects of DIF, or the age-related shift in diurnal growth distribution can be explained by changes in total availability of GA in the plant. Chemical name used: mono (2,2-dimethylhydrazide) butanedioic acid (daminozide).

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Robert D. Berghage and Royal D. Heins

Elongation characteristics of each internode on a lateral shoot of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Klotz) `Annette Hegg Dark Red' were determined from pinching through anthesis for plants grown with 36 day/night temperature (DT/NT) combinations between 16 and 30C. The Richards function was used to describe the elongation of each internode. The first internode developing on a lateral shoot was longer and matured faster than subsequent internodes. The length of the first internode was a function of the difference between day and night temperatures (DIF = DT - NT). Subsequent internodes elongated uniformly in the absence of flower initiation. In the absence of flower initiation, the length of an internode, after the first, was a function of DIF. Internodes were shorter as proximity to the inflorescence increased. Internode length after the start of short days was a function of DIF and the visible bud index where visible bud index = [(days from pinching to the day an internode began to elongate - days from pinching to the day of the start of flower initiation)/the number of days from pinching to visible bud]. A poinsettia lateral shoot elongation model was developed based on the derived functions for internode elongation. The model predicted lateral shoot length within one standard deviation of the mean for plants grown in a separate validation study with 16 combinations of DT/NT. The model allows the prediction of lateral shoot length on any day from pinching through anthesis based on temperature, the number of nodes on the lateral shoot, the time each internode on the lateral shoot began elongating, and the visible bud index at the start of elongation of each node.

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John Erwin, Esther Gesick, Ben Dill, and Charles Rohwer

The impact of photoperiod, irradiance, and/or cool temperature on flowering and/or dormancy in Mamillopsis senilis and Echinopsis and Trichocereus hybrids was studied. Two- to 3-year-old plants (180 plants of each type) were grown for 4 months under natural daylight (DL) conditions (August–November) in a greenhouse maintained at 26 ± 2 °C. Plants were then placed in either of two greenhouses: a cool temperature house (5 ± 2 °C; DL), or a lighting treatment house (22/18 ± 1 °C day/night temperature, respectively). The lighting treatment house had eight light environments: 1) short day (SD; 8 h; 0800–1600 hr); 2) SD+25–35 μmol·m-2·s-1; 3) SD+45–50 μmol·m-2·s-1; 4) SD+85–95 μmol·m-2·s-1; 5) DL plus night interruption lighting (NI; 2200–0200 hr; 2 μmol·m-2·s-1 from incandescent lamps); 6) DL+25–35 μmol·m-2·s-1 (lighted from 0800–0200 hr); 7) DL+45–50 μmol·m-2·s-1; and 8) DL+85–95 μmol·m-2·s-1. Supplemental lighting was provided using high-pressure sodium lamps. Plants were placed in the cool temperature house for 0, 4, 8 or 12 weeks before being placed under lighting treatments. All plants received lighting treatments for 6 weeks and were then placed in a finishing greenhouse (DL; 22 ± 2 °C). Data were collected on approximate day when growth resumed, the date when each flower opened (five only), total flower number per plant, and how long each flower stayed open (five only). Whether species exhibited dormancy and what conditions, if any, broke that dormancy was identified. Species were also classified into photoperiodic, irradiance, and vernalization response groups with respect to flowering.

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Wook Oh*, In Hye Cheon, and Ki Sun Kim

This research was conducted to investigate the growth and flowering responses of Cyclamen persicum Mill. `Piccolo' to temperature and photosynthetic photon fluxes (PPF), and to obtain fundamental data for production of good quality pot plant. Cyclamen plants with 10 fully unfolded leaves were grown in growth chambers maintained at three day/night temperatures [20/10 (LT), 25/15 (MT), and 30/20 °C (HT)] combined with three PPF [250 (LF), 350 (MF), and 650 (HF) μmol·m-2·s-1] under 14 h-photoperiod. After 3 months, the higher the temperature was, the greater plant width was. It was the greatest under MT/MF and HT/MF. The number of leaves was greater with increasing temperature and PPF. Petiole length, leaf size, and fresh weight were higher with increase in temperature but decrease in PPF. Days to flowering were lower in MT/MF and MT/HF, but higher under LT regardless of PPF. The number of flowers was the highest under MT/MF and MT/HF, and higher under MF in each temperature treatment. Flowering period was longer in LT and MT compared with HT. Most leaves of plants grown under HT curled upward because of boron deficiency induced by higher temperature and lower humidity. Chlorophyll content was higher in medium and low temperature, except LT/HF. The lower side of leaf in low temperature was more reddish compared to that in higher temperature due to some pigments considered as anthocyanin. Photosynthesis was the highest in MT/MF, but low in MT/HF and LT/HF in accordance with the chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) which was lower under the same environment. These results indicate that 25/15°C and 350 μmol·m-2·s-1 yielded the best pot cyclamen in this study.

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Jingjin Yu, Hongmei Du, Ming Xu, and Bingru Huang

Heat is a major factor limiting growth of C3 grass species. Elevated CO2 may mitigate the adverse effects of heat stress or enhance heat tolerance. The objective of this study was to determine metabolic changes associated with improvement of heat tolerance by elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). Plants (cv. Rembrandt) were exposed to ambient day/night temperature (25/20 °C) or heat stress (35/30 °C) and ambient CO2 concentration (400 ± 10 μmol·mol−1) or double ambient CO2 concentration (800 ± 10 μmol·mol−1) in growth chambers. Turf quality (TQ), shoot growth rate, and leaf electrolyte leakage results demonstrated that heat stress at ambient CO2 concentration inhibits turf growth and reduces cell membrane stability, whereas heat-stressed plants under elevated CO2 concentration exhibit improved TQ, shoot growth rate, and membrane stability. Plants exposed to heat stress under elevated CO2 exhibited a significantly greater amount of several organic acids (shikimic acid, malonic acid, threonic acid, glyceric acid, galactaric acid, and citric acid), amino acids (serine, valine, and 5-oxoproline), and carbohydrates (sucrose and maltose) compared with heat-stressed plants at ambient CO2. The increased production or maintenance of metabolites with important biological functions such as those involved in photosynthesis, respiration, and protein metabolism could play a role in elevated CO2 mitigation of heat stress damage. Therefore, elevated CO2 conditions may contribute to improved heat stress tolerance as exhibited by better TQ and shoot growth of heat-stressed plants. Practices to harness the power of CO2 may be incorporated into turfgrass management for plant adaptation to increasing temperatures, particularly during summer months.

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B. Acock, M.C. Acock, and D. Pasternak

We examined how temperature and stage of vegetative growth affect carbohydrate production and accumulation in Cucumis melo L. `Haogen' grown at various CO2 concentrations ([CO2]). Carbohydrate production was measured by net assimilation rate either on a leaf-area basis (NARa) or a leaf dry-weight basis (NARw); carbohydrate accumulation was measured by leaf starch plus sugar content. Twenty-four- and 35-day-old muskmelon plants were grown for 11 days in artificially lighted cabinets at day/night temperatures of 20/20 or 40/20C and at [CO2] of 300 or 1500 μl·liter-1. NARa and NARw both increased with increasing [CO2], but the CO2 effect was smaller at low temperature, especially for plants at the later stage of vegetative growth. NARw was a better indicator of total dry-weight gain than was NARa. Both suboptimal temperatures and CO2 enrichment caused carbohydrates to accumulate in the leaves at both stages of vegetative growth. NARw was correlated negatively with leaf starch plus sugar content. The rate of decrease in NARw with increasing leaf starch plus sugar content was significantly greater for CO2-enriched plants. Leaf starch plus sugar content >0.03 to 0.04 kg·kg-1 of leaf residual dry weight at the end of a dark period may indicate that temperature is suboptimal for growth. Plants grown at the same temperature had higher leaf starch plus sugar content if they were CO2-enriched than if grown in ambient [CO2], suggesting that an optimal temperature for growth in ambient [CO2] may be suboptimal in elevated [CO2].

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A.M. Shirazi and K.A. Jacobs

Near-lethal abiotic stresses, e.g., low or high temperatures, chemicals, etc., can break endodormancy prematurely and reduce cold hardiness in woody plants. It is not well-ducumented whether biotic stresses can cause the same effect. Botryosphaeria dothidea causes canker in redbud (Cercis canadensis) and many other woody plants and is one of the most limiting factors growing redbud in the landscape. Two-year-old seedlings were planted in a nursery in May 1998 at The Morton Arboretum. Trees were inoculated (n = 10/treatment) with the fungus in Sept. 1998 using the stem slit method (a slit was cut about 5 cm above the base of the trunk and the wound was covered with parafilm after treatment). The treatments were T1 = control (PDA, Potato Dextrose Agar),T2 = 1-mm mycelium plug, T3 = low spore suspension (25 μL), T4 = high spore suspension (25 μL). Stem cold hardiness was evaluated by artificial freezing tests in Nov. 1998. The mean LT50 (the temperature at which 50% of the tissues is killed) from ion leakage were T1 (Control) = -29.3 °C, T2 (mycelium): -24.05 °C, T3 (low spore) = -18.75 °C, and T4 (high) = -16.4 °C. T3 and T4, the low- and high-spore inoculation, significantly reduced cold hardiness in redbud stem tissues. The LST (lowest survival temperature) based on visual observation of the samples after 7 days indicated all Botryosphaeria dothidea-treated plants had lower cold hardiness compared to control. Endodormancy was broken in B. dothidea-treated plants after placing plants under 16 h of light and 23 /18 °C day/night temperature for 1 month after the treatment. The highest percent budbrealk was for T4 (high spore), followed by T3 (Low Spore) and T2 (Mycelium).