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Use of cultivars resistant to high soil temperature could improve the performance of urban trees. The objective of this project was to examine selections of red maple (Acer rubrum L. and A. x freemanii E. Murray) for genotypic differences in resistance to root-zone heat stress. Development of roots and shoots from rooted single-node cuttings of seven genotypes grown in solution culture was optimal at about 28C. Shoot extension stopped within 3 weeks and terminal buds formed on plants of all genotypes at 36C. In a second experiment, the influence of 34C root-zone temperature on development varied significantly among six genotypes. Formation of terminal buds at 34C was observed only on plants of cv. Morgan and cv. Red Sunset. The reduction in new dry matter at 34C compared to plants at 28C ranged from 21% for cv. Schlesinger to 69% for cv. Morgan. We conclude that genotypes of red maple differ in resistance to high root-zone temperature.

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Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim. is a leguminous tree with potential for increased use in urban landscapes. Information on the nutrition of M. amurensis is limited. To our knowledge, modulation and N2 fixation have not been reported. Our objective was to examine M. amurensis for nodulation and N2 fixation. Soil samples were collected near legume trees at arboreta throughout the United States, with additional samples from Canada and China. Seedlings were grown for six weeks in a low-N, sterile medium and inoculated with soil samples. Upon harvest, small white nodules were found on the lateral and upper portions of the root systems. Bacteria were isolated from the larger nodules, subculture, and used to inoculate seedlings. Inoculated plants nodulated and fixed N2 as determined by the acetylene reduction assay. We conclude M. amurensis forms N2-fixing symbioses with Rhizobium.

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Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim. is a leguminous tree with potential for increased use in urban landscapes. Information on the nutrition of M. amurensis is limited. To our knowledge, modulation and N2 fixation have not been reported. Our objective was to examine M. amurensis for nodulation and N2 fixation. Soil samples were collected near legume trees at arboreta throughout the United States, with additional samples from Canada and China. Seedlings were grown for six weeks in a low-N, sterile medium and inoculated with soil samples. Upon harvest, small white nodules were found on the lateral and upper portions of the root systems. Bacteria were isolated from the larger nodules, subculture, and used to inoculate seedlings. Inoculated plants nodulated and fixed N2 as determined by the acetylene reduction assay. We conclude M. amurensis forms N2-fixing symbioses with Rhizobium.

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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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