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  • Author or Editor: William R. Graves x
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Two root-zone temperatures (RZT) treatments, 21C and 34C were compared to evaluate their effects on growth and nutrient uptake for tomato (Lycopersicon esculatum Mill.), muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.), honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis Willd.), and geranium (Pelargonium hortorum L.H. Bailey). Plants were grown in a specialized hydroponic system with full strength Hoagland's No. 1 solution. RZT were initiated after a 7 day acclimation period and were held at the respective RZT continuously. Significant differences among the species were expected and noted for growth parameters of fresh wt., dry wt. of shoot and root, and elemental uptake. The 34C RZT, compared with 21C, reduced root length by 22, 51, and 57% for honey locust, tomato, and melon, respectively. P uptake rate dropped to 0 at 34C, as compared to 1.86 mg P/g root/day at 21C for melon. P uptake rate of the other crops was not affected by RZT.

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Single-node cuttings of `Autumn Flame' and `Indian Summer' red maple (Acer rubrum L. and A. × freemanii E. Murray) were placed in subirrigated perlite that was kept at 29, 33, or 36 C at the cut ends for 3 weeks. Number and mass of roots and pigment quality and transpiration of leaves were greater for `Autumn Flame' than `Indian Summer' and decreased with increasing temperature for both cultivars. Rooting percentage at 29, 33, and 36 C was 75, 75, and 25 for `Autumn Flame' and 13, 13, and 0 for `Indian Summer'. Earlier work has shown > 90% of cuttings of both cultivars root at ≈ 22 C, and plants of `Autumn Flame' are more heat resistant than those of `Indian Summer'. Results of this experiment suggest the effect of heat on rooting of cuttings might be used to predict genotypic differences in heat resistance of whole plants.

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Along with its horticultural uses, silver maple (Acer saccharinum L.) can be grown for biomass in areas that vary greatly in annual rainfall and temperature. Silver maples from five provenances ranging from 33 to 46° N latitude were subjected to drought stress and to high root-zone temperature (RZT) in separate experiments to assess their suitability as biomass sources. In the drought experiment, control plants were irrigated every 2 days, while stressed plants were irrigated every 15 days. Initial results indicated provenance differences among control plants in dry mass, leaf area, and transpiration. Drought reduced growth and mitigated differences among provenances. Osmotic potential of leaves was higher in control plants than in drought-stressed plants. Plants from two provenances (33 and 44° N) were grown with RZT of 24 and 34 C for 3 weeks. Gain in fresh mass over time was reduced at 34 C for plants of both origins, but plant dry matter and leaf surface area were similar at the two RZT. Data collected to date suggest resistance to drought and high RZT is similar in plants of different provenances.

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ENOD2 and other early nodulin genes are conserved among legumes studied to date and might function as markers for the potential of legumes to nodulate. Early nodulin genes have been characterized only among herbaceous legumes. We are interested in understanding the nature of ENOD2 in a nodulating, woody legume. A 561-bp MaENOD2 PCR fragment was used as a probe to screen a cDNA library from nodules ≈1 mm in diameter on roots of Amur maackia, the only temperate and horticulturally desirable leguminous tree species known to nodulate. Five cDNAs were selected for nucleotide sequence analysis. Sequences were determined by using automated dideoxy sequencing and analyzed for identity to other genes with the Genetics Computer Group (GCG) program. The cDNA clones show 68% to 74% identity at the nucleic acid level with ENOD2 genes of Sesbania rostrata Brem. & Oberm., Glycine max (L.) Merrill, and Lupinus luteus L. Southern and northern analyses are being conducted to investigate the possibility of a gene family and to show differential and temporal production of transcripts, respectively. These studies provide new information about nodulins of woody legumes and are being used to facilitate related research on molecular barriers to nodulation in the closely related, non-nodulating tree species Cladrastis kentukea (Dum.-Cours.) Rudd (American yellowwood) and Sophora japonica L. (Japanese pagodatree).

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Styrax americanus Lam. (American snowbell) is a deciduous shrub or small tree seldom produced in nurseries. This species is distributed in patchy populations found mainly from Florida to southern Illinois, although a small, disjunct population exists in northern Illinois. The winter-hardiness and loss of hardiness during a period of increased temperature (deacclimation) of plants from this disjunct population may differ from those of S. americanus elsewhere. We examined cold-hardiness and deacclimation of stems of plants from the disjunct population, from southern Illinois, and from Florida. Segments of stems removed from plants grown outdoors in Ames, IA, were exposed to low-temperature ramping, and the temperature at which stems showed 50% damage (LT50) was determined by using the tissue-discoloration method. To assess deacclimation, stem segments were collected from cold-acclimated plants during winter in a minimally heated greenhouse and exposed to controlled warm temperatures for various time intervals followed by low-temperature ramping. Plants from Illinois were ≈15 °C more cold-hardy than plants from Florida in Feb. 2008. Plants from the disjunct population in northern Illinois showed less stem tip injury than did plants from southern Illinois. Deacclimation patterns were similar between plants from both Illinois populations. Plants sampled in Apr. 2009 from Florida deacclimated more rapidly than corresponding samples from Illinois, and the chilling required to overcome endodormancy increased with increasing latitude of plant origin. This research suggests that germplasm from the Illinois populations should be used in regions where the poorer hardiness and deacclimation resistance of most S. americanus would not permit survival.

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Growth of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plants decreases at root-zone temperatures (RZTs) >30 °C, but no research has been conducted on the effects of changes in root respiration on P acquisition at supraoptimal RZT. We monitored the changes every 3 to 5 days in root respiration, root surface phosphatase activity, and P acquisition of `Jet Star' tomato plants grown in Hoagland's no. 1 solution held at 25 and 36 °C RZT for 19 days. Root respiration rate in plants grown at 25 °C increased linearly from RZT initiation to day 12, but there was no difference in respiration between days 12 and 19. Root respiration at 36 °C, however, increased from RZT initiation to day 8 and then decreased. Shoot P concentration and root phosphatase activity for plants grown at 25 °C did not change during the experiment. Shoot P concentration for plants at 36 °C, however, linearly decreased over time, and root phosphatase activity linearly increased over time. Decreased shoot growth and demand for P along with decreased root respiration after day 8 probably resulted in the decreased P uptake and shoot P concentration in plants grown at 36 °C RZT.

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Little is known about drought stress resistance of Freeman maples (Acer ×freemanii E. Murray), which are hybrids of red maples (A. rubrum L.) and silver maples (A. saccharinum L.). The objective of our study was to measure plant growth and leaf water relations of `D.T.R. 102' (Autumn Fantasy), `Celzam' (Celebration), and `Marmo' Freeman maples subjected to drought. Plants grown from rooted cuttings were subjected to four consecutive cycles of water deficit followed by irrigation to container capacity. Average stomatal conductance at container capacity for all cultivars was 255 mmol·s-1·m-2 in the first drought cycle and 43 mmol·s-1·m-2 during the fourth drought cycle. Predawn and midmorning leaf water potentials of droughted plants at the end of the fourth drought cycle were 1.16 and 0.82 MPa more negative than respective values for control plants. Osmotic potential of leaves at full turgor was -1.05 MPa for controls and -1.29 MPa for droughted plants, indicating an osmotic adjustment of 0.24 MPa. Root and shoot dry mass and leaf area were reduced similarly by drought for all cultivars, while Celebration exhibited the least stem elongation. `Marmo' treated with drought had the lowest root-to-shoot ratio and the greatest ratio of leaf surface area to root dry mass. Autumn Fantasy had the lowest ratio of leaf area to stem xylem diameter. Specific leaf mass of drought-stressed Autumn Fantasy was 1.89 mg·cm-2 greater than that of corresponding controls, whereas specific masses of Celebration and `Marmo' leaves were not affected by drought. Leaf thickness was similar among cultivars, but leaves of droughted plants were 9.6 μm thicker than leaves of controls. This initial characterization of responses to drought illustrates variation among Freeman maples and suggests that breeding and selection programs might produce superior genotypes for water-deficient sites in the landscape.

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Abstract

Red maple (Acer rubrum L.) plants were evaluated for their responses to 5 weeks of constant root-zone temperatures from 18 to 36C. Shoot lengths of plants grown with 18 to 30C root zones did not differ significantly from one another at any time during the study, and shoot dry weights of these plants were similar. However, after 21 days of exposure, shoot length of plants grown with roots at 36C was significantly less than that of plants with roots grown at 30C and below. Leaf area was greatest among plants with roots at 24C, and mean shoot and root dry weights of plants in the 36C treatment were 57% and 68% less, respectively, than those for plants with roots at 30C. Leaf diffusive resistance of plants grown at 36C was five times greater than for plants with root zones at 30C or below. Shoot water potential decreased with increasing temperature, but increased solute concentration in leaves of 36C-grown plants probably contributed to turgor maintenance.

Open Access

Our objectives were to test whether Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim. nodulates and fixes N and to characterize the N-fixing bacteria effective with this host. Soil samples were collected near diverse legume trees at arboreta and public gardens in the United States, Canada, and China. Seedlings of M. amurensis were grown for 6 weeks in a low-N, sterile medium and inoculated with soil samples. At harvest, nodules were found on the lateral and upper portions of root systems. Bacteria were isolated from nodules and subculture. Roots of seedlings inoculated with all 11 of these isolates nodulated and freed N, confirming that the isolates were rhizobial bacteria. Growth of isolates in axenic culture generally was poor when single sources of C were provided. Generation times of the isolates ranged from 6 to 10 hours, and all isolates raised the pH of culture media. Isolates were highly resistant to several antibiotics, showed no 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGD) or β-galactosidase activity, and were highly sensitive to NaCl. These results provide the first evidence that M. amurensis has the capacity to form N-fixing symbioses with rhizobial bacteria and indicate that the bacteria are Bradyrhizobium sp.

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Many members of the citrus family (Rutaceae) are valued for the aromatic compounds emitted by their flowers. Ptelea species are unusually cold-hardy members of the Rutaceae, but conflicting descriptions of the fragrance of their unisexual flowers may discourage the use of these trees. We analyzed floral volatiles and human response to these chemicals to test the hypothesis that the fragrance of staminate and pistillate flowers of these species differs. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry showed that most volatile chemicals emitted by flowers of Ptelea trifoliata and Ptelea crenulata are monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and esters. Most volatiles were emitted from flowers of both sexes, but ethyl benzoate and estragole were emitted only from pistillate flowers. When concentrations of aromatics differed between sexes, they were higher for pistillate flowers, except for cis-3-hexenyl butanoate and an unidentified terpene. For P. crenulata and P. trifoliata, respectively, 81% and 77% of survey responses were from volunteers who liked the fragrance. Panelists most frequently described the scent of flowers of P. crenulata of both sexes with the words citrus, lime, and sweet. Panelists distinguished between pistillate and staminate flowers of P. trifoliata, describing the odor of pistillate flowers most frequently with the words damp-earthy, spicy, and sweet; staminate flowers were perceived as light, fresh, grassy, and pleasant. This work represents the first analysis of floral volatiles of P. crenulata and resolves conflicting prior reports regarding the floral fragrance of P. trifoliata. We conclude that differences among people rather than the sex of flowers account for conflicting prior reports of floral fragrance. The scents of flowers of P. crenulata and P. trifoliata appeal to most people and are horticultural assets of these trees.

Open Access