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Rebecca L. Darnell

Containerized `Climax' and `Beckyblue' rabbiteye blueberry plants (Vaccinium ashei Reade) were exposed to 5 weeks of natural daylengths or shortened daylengths starting 30 Sept. `Beckyblue' plants exposed to short daylengths in the fall initiated more flower buds and had a shorter, more concentrated bloom period than did plants exposed to natural fall daylengths. Reproductive development of `Climax' was not influenced by photoperiod treatments. Leaf carbon assimilation of both cultivars increased under short days. Partitioning of translocated 14C-labeled assimilates to stem tissue increased under short photoperiods for `Beckyblue'; however, partitioning patterns in `Climax' were not affected. Increased carbon fixation and increased partitioning of carbon to stem tissue under short days may contribute to the observed effect of short days on enhancing reproductive development in `Beckyblue'.

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Robyn McConchie, N. Suzanne Lang, and Ken C. Gross

Leaf blackening on cut flower Protea nerii[olia R. Br. stems was dramatically reduced under a 12-hour photosynthetic light period (120 μmol·m-2·s-1) at 25C for 15 days compared with stems kept in the dark. In the light, addition of 0.5% exogenous sugar to the vase solution resulted in a maximum of 2.5% leaf blackening, while stems with no exogenous sugar had a maximum of 16.5%. Continuous darkness resulted in 94% leaf blackening by day 7, irrespective of sugar treatment. Starch and sucrose concentrations were markedly lower in leaves on dark-held stems than in leaves on stems held in the light; thus, carbohydrate depletion could be the primary stress that initiates leaf blackening. In the light, rates of carbon exchange and assimilate export were similar, indicating that the amount of carbon fixed maybe regulated by sink demand. The pattern of carbon partitioning changed in light-held leaves of the 0% sugar treatment during rapid floral expansion and senescence. Inflorescence expansion appears to influence partitioning of photoassimilates and storage reserves into transport carbohydrates; under decreased sink demand, the assimilate export rate decreases and photoassimilates are partitioned into starch. The data suggest that sink strength of inflorescences held in darkness may be responsible for the depletion of leaf carbohydrates and. consequently, blackening.

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Jean-Pierre Privé, J.A. Sullivan, and J.T.A. Proctor

Leaf removal, cane girdling, and 14C translocation patterns were used to study source-sink relationships of primocane-fruiting (PF) red raspberries. Although the leaves in the reproductive zone were most important for vegetative and reproductive development, compensatory effects between the cane leaves were evident. When 14C translocation was studied in the reproductive portion of the cane, the lateral closest to the 14C-treated leaf was the major sink for carbohydrate from that leaf, independent of leaf position or reproductive development. Thereafter, partitioning to leaves and/or flowers or fruits above the 14C-treated leaf was related to leaf phyllotaxy 75% of the time.

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Donald J. Merhaut and Rebecca L. Darnell

Nitrogen uptake and N and C partitioning were evaluated in `Sharpblue' southern highbush blueberries fertilized with different N forms. Plants were grown in acid-washed silica sand and fertilized with a modified Hoagland's solution supplemented with 5.0 mm N as NH4 + or NO3 -. Nutrient solution pH was adjusted to 3.0 and 6.5 for the NO3 - and NH4 +-treated plants, respectively. After 12 months of growth, plants were dual labeled with 14CO2 and 10% enriched 15N-N as either NaNO3 or (NH4)2SO4 and harvested 12 hours after labeling. Fertilization with NO3 --N increased leaf, stem, and root dry weights compared to NH4 + fertilization. Total 15N uptake did not differ between N fertilization treatments, thus whole plant and root 15N concentrations were greater in NH4 +-fertilized vs. NO3 --fertilized plants. Fertilization with NO3 --N increased C partitioning to new shoots compared to NH4 +-fertilized plants. However, C partitioning to other plant parts was not affected by N form. Although NO3 - uptake in blueberry appears to be restricted relative to NH4 + uptake, this limitation does not inhibit vegetative growth. Additionally, there appears to be adequate available carbohydrate to support concurrent vegetative growth and N assimilation, regardless of N form.

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Leonardo Lombardini, Moreno Toselli, and James A. Flore

Instrumentation to measure soil respiration is currently readily available. However, the relationship between soil respiration and root activity or root mass is not known. Herein we report on preliminary result using a 13CO2 pulse to the foliage to determine if 13C respiration can be related to either root activity or root mass. An experiment was performed in the field on a 5-year-old apple tree (cv. Jonagold on M7). The tree canopy was enclosed in a Mylar® balloon and 2.1 g 13CO2 were pulsed in the balloon for 1 hr. After the pulse, air emitted by the soil and selected roots was collected every 6 hr for 8 days, by bubbling it in 2 M NaOH. 13C/12C ratios were measured with the mass spectrometer. The emission of 13CO2 from the roots gradually increased after the pulse reaching a peak after 100 hr. The emission trend was not linear, but it seemed related to soil temperature. Leaves and fruit were also collected daily. 13C content in leaves was 1.15% right after the pulse, but it progressively decreased to 1.09% at the end of the experiment. The experiment was then repeated on 12 potted apple trees (cv. Redcort on M7) in greenhouse conditions. Six of them were maintained well-watered, whereas six plants were subjected to a mild water stress, by watering them with half of the volume of water used for well-watered plants. After the two soil moisture levels were achieved, the tree canopies of all the 12 trees were pulsed. Leaves, stems, and roots were ground and run in the mass spectrometer. The results of root emission rate were found to be similar to the field experiment. Results also indicated that, in our experiment, stress did not affect root respiration rate. Specific details of the physiology data will be presented.

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Michel Génard and Michel Souty

The edible quality of peaches (Prunus persica L. Batsch) to a great extent depends on their sweetness, which is related to sugar composition. Our objective was to develop a model to predict carbon partitioning within fruit flesh and to predict the sucrose, sorbitol, glucose, and fructose contents. The model is dynamic and deterministic and was designed to be driven by the flesh dry-weight growth curve, flesh water content, and temperature data. It uses differential equations where the state of the system is defined by variables that describe how much carbon is present as each form of sugar and as other compounds (acids and structural carbohydrates). The rates of change of these amounts of carbon depend on the current values of corresponding variables and on the transfer functions between them. These functions are defined by rate constants or by functions of degree-days after full bloom. The model was calibrated and tested using data sets from treatments that covered several leaf: fruit ratios. The predictions of the model were in fairly good agreement with experimental data. A sensitivity analysis was performed to identify the most influential transfer function parameters. Carbon flows between sugar forms were analyzed. Sucrose, which was the most abundant sugar, and fructose, which is the sweetest, contributed most to fruit sweetness. Simulations were performed to study the effects of changes in fruit growth-curve parameters on sugar contents and concentrations.

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John M. Dole, Janet C. Cole, and Sharon L. von Broembsen

`Gutbier V-14 Glory' poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. Ex. Klotzsch) grown with ebb-and-flow irrigation used the least amount of water and produced the least runoff, and plants grown with capillary mats used the greatest amount of water and produced the most runoff, compared to microtube and hand-watering systems. The maximum amount of water retained by the pots and media was greatest for the microtube and ebb-and-flow systems and became progressively lower for the hand-watering and capillary mat systems. The media and leachate electrical conductivity from plants grown with subirrigation systems was higher than those grown with top irrigation. For the two top-irrigation systems (microtube and hand-watering), plants grown with 250 mg N/liter from a 20N-4.4P-16.6K water-soluble fertilizer had greater leaf, stem, and total dry weights than those grown with 175 mg N/liter. The two subirrigation systems (ebb-and-flow and capillary mat) produced plants that were taller and had greater leaf, stem, and total dry weights when grown with 175 than with 250 mg N/liter. The higher fertilizer concentration led to increased N, P, Fe, and Mn concentration in the foliage. Nitrogen concentration was higher in top-irrigated plants than in subirrigated plants. The ebb-and-flow system produced the greatest total dry weight per liter of water applied and per liter of runoff; capillary mat watering was the least efficient in regard to water applied and runoff.

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Teryl R. Roper and John S. Klueh

The sources of photosynthate for fruit growth in cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) can be spatially partitioned as new growth, old leaves and woody stems, or adjoining uprights. New growth, l-year-old leaves, or both were removed at the time of fruit set and following fruit set. Removing new growth at the time of fruit set reduced fruit set, fruit count, and yield. Removing old leaves at fruit set generally did not reduce fruit set, fruit count, or yield. Removing both often had an additional effect. Removing new leaves after fruit set did not affect fruit set or count, but did reduce fruit size. Removing old leaves after fruit set did not reduce fruit set, fruit count, or size. These data suggest that new growth is an important source of photosynthate for fruit set.

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Abraham J. Escobar-Gutiérrez and Jean-Pierre Gaudillére

The aim of this study was to investigate variability in the sorbitol: sucrose ratio (SSR) in source leaves of different peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] cultivars. Four- and 5-year-old trees of 58 cultivars were examined. Mature leaves were sampled on three dates in middle to late summer and analyzed for neutral soluble sugars using high-performance liquid chromatography. Differences in SSRs were observed. In most cultivars, the sorbitol content was at least twice that of sucrose. The maximal range of SSR occurred on the third date and ranged from 1.5 to 4.3. There was a date × genotype interaction (P < 0.01). When cultivars were grouped by country of origin, the mean ratios of the Japanese group were lower than those of the Italian and American groups for all three sampling dates. The SSRs of nectarines were higher than those of peach and canning clingstone-type cultivars. In general, variations in SSR were due mostly to differences in sucrose content. The SSR was negatively correlated with flowering date. These results indicate variability in SSR in peach germplasm, variability that seems to be related to the geographical origin of the cultivars.