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Upendra M. Sainju, Bharat P. Singh, Syed Rahman, and V.R. Reddy

The influence of tillage [no-till (NT) vs. moldboard plowing (MP)], cover crop [hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) (HV) vs. no hairy vetch (NHV)], and N fertilization (0 and 180 kg·ha–1 N) on root distribution and growth rate of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants was examined in the field from May to August in 1996 and 1997. Experiments were conducted on a Norfolk sandy loam (fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic, Typic Kandiudults) in central Georgia. Root growth was estimated every 1 to 2 weeks with minirhizotron tubes installed in the plot. Roots were well distributed at soil depths between 1 and 58.5 cm and a maximum root count of 3.14 roots/cm2 soil profile area was found at 19.5-cm depth with MP and no N fertilization in 1996. In general, NT with HV or with 0 kg·ha–1 N increased root proliferation at a depth of 6.5 to 19.5 cm, while MP with 180 kg·ha–1 N increased root proliferation at greater depths. Total root count between 1 and 58.5 cm was not influenced by management practices, but increased linearly at rates of 0.35 roots/cm2 per day from 20 June to 11 July 1996, and 0.03 roots/cm2 per day from 16 May to 5 Aug. 1997. Root growth thereafter was minimal. Because of the higher temperature during early development, growth rate and number of roots were greater in 1996 than in 1997. Superior moisture conservation, accompanied by increased N availability, may have increased root proliferation in the surface soil in NT with HV or with 0 kg·ha–1 N compared with NT with NHV or with 180 kg·ha–1 N, and MP with or without HV or with or without N fertilization. Root growth, however, was not related with aboveground tomato yield.

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Zhipei Feng, Xitian Yang, Hongyan Liang, Yuhua Kong, Dafeng Hui, Jiabao Zhao, Erhui Guo, and Beibei Fan

container seedlings is thus necessary for meeting the increased demands for vegetation restoration. Over the past decade, AP has evolved into a particularly effective means of mitigating root malformation and regulating root growth in container

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Rebecca Grumet, Mary Barczak, Chris Tabaka, and Robert Duvall

A simple, aboveground method to study cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) root growth was developed using a subsurface herbicide banding technique. Those plants with roots that grow deeper or faster reach the herbicide sooner and exhibit herbicide injury symptoms sooner. Greenhouse pot trials showed that 0.25 or 0.50 kg simazine/ha could be used to produce distinctive symptoms; time to symptom expression increased with the depth of the band from the soil surface. Root washing experiments verified that root length was associated with response time. In field trials, response time and severity of symptoms varied with herbicide concentration, depth, and distance from the seed row, thereby providing an indication of where the roots were in the soil. About 100 diverse cucumber genotypes were tested for differences in root growth rate in the greenhouse and in the field. Time to symptom expression was normally distributed among the genotypes; analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated significant genotypic differences. This system can be used for cultural or physiological studies, or nondestructively for selection and breeding purposes. If the herbicide is placed sufficiently deep to prevent damage to the cotyledons, the plants are capable of flowering and producing fruit. Chemical name used: 6-chloro-N, N′-diethyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (simazine).

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Chris A. Martin and Dewayne L. Ingram

Root growth of Magnolia grandiflora Hort. `St. Mary' was studied for 16 wk after an 8-wk exposure period to 30°, 34°, 38°, or 42°±0.8°C root-zone temperature (RZT) treatments applied 6 hr daily, Immediately after the RZT treatment period, total root length was similar for trees exposed to 30°, 34°, and 38°C and was reduced 45% at 42° compared to 38°C. For weeks eight and 18 of the post-treatment period, response of total root length to RZT was linear. Total root length of trees exposed to 28°C was 247% and 225% greater than those exposed to 42°C RZT at week eight and 16, respectively. Root dry weight from the 42°C RZT treatment was 29% and 48% less than 38° and 34°C RZT treatment, respectively, at week eight. By week 16, root dry weight as a function of RZT had changed such that the 42°C RZT was 43% and 47% less than 38° and 34°C RZT, respectively. Differences in root growth patterns between weeks eight and 16 suggest that trees were able to overcome the detrimental effects of the 38°C treatment whereas growth suppression by the 42°C treatment was still evident after 16 wk. Previous exposure of tree roots to supraoptimal RZT regimens may have long-term implications for suppressing growth and lengthening the establishment period of trees in the landscape,

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Chris A. Martin and Dewayne L. Ingram

Root growth of Magnolia grandiflora Hort. `St. Mary' was studied for 16 wk after an 8-wk exposure period to 30°, 34°, 38°, or 42°±0.8°C root-zone temperature (RZT) treatments applied 6 hr daily, Immediately after the RZT treatment period, total root length was similar for trees exposed to 30°, 34°, and 38°C and was reduced 45% at 42° compared to 38°C. For weeks eight and 18 of the post-treatment period, response of total root length to RZT was linear. Total root length of trees exposed to 28°C was 247% and 225% greater than those exposed to 42°C RZT at week eight and 16, respectively. Root dry weight from the 42°C RZT treatment was 29% and 48% less than 38° and 34°C RZT treatment, respectively, at week eight. By week 16, root dry weight as a function of RZT had changed such that the 42°C RZT was 43% and 47% less than 38° and 34°C RZT, respectively. Differences in root growth patterns between weeks eight and 16 suggest that trees were able to overcome the detrimental effects of the 38°C treatment whereas growth suppression by the 42°C treatment was still evident after 16 wk. Previous exposure of tree roots to supraoptimal RZT regimens may have long-term implications for suppressing growth and lengthening the establishment period of trees in the landscape,

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Kuo-Tan Li, Jim Syvertsen, and Jackie Burns

Mechanical harvesting using trunk shakers on late-season `Valencia' sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] trees can remove young fruit for the next crop and occasionally cause root exposure or severe bark scuffing on the trunk. To evaluate the effects of these physical injuries on fine root growth and lifespan, we installed minirhizotrons in the root zone of 15-year-old fruiting `Valencia' trees on Swingle citrumelo [C. paradise Macf. × Poncirus trifoliate (L.) Raf.] rootstocks. Images of roots against the minirhizotron tubes were captured biweekly with a custom-made video-DVD recorder system. Trees were harvested in early June by hand or with a linear-type trunk shaker in two consecutive years. Bark injury after trunk shaking was mimicked by removing part (42%) of the bark tissue from the main trunk with a sharp knife. Numbers of fine roots, root activity and lifespan as indexed by the color of the root, and the distribution of new fine roots after harvest were analyzed. Although root exposure was common with the normal operations during mechanical harvesting, few disturbances reached the major fine root zone. There was no clear correlation between root growth and trunk shaking with or without bark injury. The root system might benefit from less competition after the loss of young fruit from mechanical harvesting, as a greater availability of carbohydrates or other resources may compensate for any potential damage due to mechanical harvesting.

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Daniel Drost, Darlene Wilcox-Lee, and Richard Zobel

Published data on the spatial patterns and periodicity of root growth in asparagus are limited. During the 1989 growing season growth and distribution of both fleshy and fibrous roots were monitored in a 7 year old asparagus planting. Soil cores were removed at 15 cm intervals to a depth of 90 cm at 40 and 80 cm from the plants in asparagus beds which had been maintained under conventional (CT) and no-till (NT) production systems. Fleshy and fine roots were separated from the soil and root length densities calculated. Harvests began in late March and continued at three week intervals until early November. Fine root growth was greater in the NT than CT in all depths and at both locations in March. Greatest lengths of fine roots were at the 15-60 cm depths for both CT and NT. This pattern was consistent throughout the season. Fine root lengths decreased by one half by the middle of the year (July) and remained at those levels until the last harvest (Nov). Fleshy root lengths were more variable, however NT generally had greater lengths than CT. Greatest length of fleshy roots were located in the 15-60 cm depths for both CT and NT treatments. Few fleshy roots were found below the 60 cm depth.

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Chris A. Martin and Dewayne L. Ingram

Root growth of southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora Hort. `St. Mary') was studied for 16 weeks after an 8-week exposure to 30, 34, 38, or 42 ± 0.8C root-zone temperature (RZT) treatments applied for 6 hours daily. Immediately after RZT treatments, total root length of trees responded negatively to increased RZT in a quadratic pattern and the shoot and root dry weight of trees was similar. However, 8 and 16 weeks after RZT treatments, total root length responded linearly in a negative pattern to increased RZT, and shoot and root dry weight responded negatively to increased RZT in a linear and quadratic pattern, respectively. Root dry weight of trees exposed to 42C RZT treatment was 29% and 48% less than 38 and 34C RZT treatments, respectively, at week 8. By week 16, root dry weight as a function of RZT had changed such that the 42C RZT was 43% and 47% less than 38 and 34C RZT, respectively. Differences in root growth patterns between weeks 8 and 16 suggest that trees were able to overcome the detrimental effects of the 38C treatment, whereas growth suppression by the 42C treatment was still evident after 16 weeks.

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Ángel V. Domínguez-May, Mildred Carrillo-Pech, Felipe A. Barredo-Pool, Manuel Martínez-Estévez, Rosa Y. Us-Camas, Oscar A. Moreno-Valenzuela, and Ileana Echevarría-Machado

valine or glycine, was found to be effective as a sole source of N for the growth of excised Trifolium pratense roots ( Harris, 1959 ). In contrast, arginine supplied as a sole source of N had no detectable effect on the root growth of isolated oat

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Giorgio Bargioni, Giorgio Baroni, Pietro Tonutti, Andrea Pitacco, and Angelo Ramina

Effects of scion inclination on root growth and distribution were studied on INRA GF 677 (Prunus persica × Prunus amygdalus) and apple/M.9 trees. At planting, central leaders were positioned vertically (0°) or inclined 45° or 60° to the north and south. Three years after planting, root total dry weight of inclined trees was lower than that of the control (0°, vertical central leader). Five years after planting, the isotropic distribution of the normal root systems was distorted by inclination in both species. Roots were more numerous and more elongated in the direction of inclination. Statistical analysis of root density data, using a polar coordinate system, confirmed that the trunk inclination reduced root development and redirected root distribution. The major effect was induced on GF 677 by 60° inclinations. Tree orientation did not seem to influence root distribution.