`Rose Grenadine' and `Buckaroo' garden chrysanthemums [Dendranthema ×grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura] were produced in 15-cm pots in the greenhouse and fertilized with either 550 or 1000 ml of a 15 mol·m-3 N solution at each irrigation. The nutrient solution applied to half the pots contained a wetting agent (WA), and the remaining pots received no WA. Core samples were removed at 15-cm increments to a depth of 90 cm from the soil beneath the pots. The average leaching fraction (LF) from pots receiving a WA was 0.29 but was 0.26 from pots receiving no WA. However, WA did not affect the leachate NO3-N concentration or the total NO3-N deposited on the soil beneath; these were most influenced by LF. After week 2, NO3-N concentration in the upper 15 cm soil layer was 3.4 times higher with a high LF than with a low LF (30 and 8.8 g·m-3 respectively). At week 10, the NO3-N concentration in the 30 to 45 cm soil layer averaged 71.9 g·m-3 under the high LF and 35.5 g·m-3 under the low LF. Total N and NO3-N in the potting medium was higher in the low LF pots than the high LF pots, while NO3-N was higher in the medium of pots irrigated without WA than with WA. Final plant shoot mass was higher in pots irrigated to a high LF or without WA than in pots irrigated to a low LF or with WA.
Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. cvs. Annette Hegg Supreme, V-10, and Brilliant Annette Hegg) were grown on heated benches and exposed to root zone temperatures between 18° and 29° C. Increasing media temperatures affected bract size and development, internode length, fresh and dry weight of stems, leaves, and bracts, as well as the number of axillary shoots of cultivars differentially. In general, plants grown at higher temperatures were shorter, had more prominent axillary shoots, and developed anthocyanin sooner than unheated controls.
Tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Laura), pruned to a single-flower truss, were exposed to 90 μmol·s−1·m−2 supplemental photosynthetic lighting (0400 to 2200 hr) during the developmental period: a) anthesis to initial fruit set, b) anthesis to mature-green fruit, or c) anthesis to red-ripe fruit. The yield response was compared to plants receiving d) no supplemental photosynthetic lighting after incipient anthesis. The greatest increase in average fruit weight was produced with continued supplemental lighting during the developmental-period initial fruit set to the mature-green stage. Net photosynthetic activity, μmol CO2/min per dm2, was the greatest in the canopy during early anthesis and then steadily declined as the canopy aged. Net whole plant photosynthetic activity, μmol CO2/min per plant, increased steadily after the early anthesis stage of development to a peak rate during the rapid fruit development stage. Net whole plant photosynthetic activity then declined as the plant approached the mature-green and then finally the red-ripe stage of fruit development.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) is an excellent source of the essential fatty acid α-linolenic acid (LNA) but little is known of the effects of cultural conditions on LNA concentration. Purslane seedlings were grown under an instantaneous photosynthetic photon flux [PPF (400 to 700 nm)] of 299 or 455 μmol·m-2·s-1 for a daily duration of either 8, 12, 16, or 20 hours. Thus, plants were exposed to a daily PPF of 8.6, 12.9, 17.2, or 21.5 mol·m-2·d-1 in the low PPF treatment (299 μmol.m-2.s-1) and 13.1, 19.7, 26.2, or 32.8 mol·m-2·d-1 in the high PPF treatment (455 μmol·m-2·s-1). Plants in all treatments received a 20-hour photoperiod by providing ≈5 μmol·m-2·s-1 from incandescent lamps starting at the end of the photosynthetic light period. At low PPF, purslane grown under a 16 hour PPF duration produced the highest concentrations of total fatty acids (TFA) and LNA per unit leaf dry weight (DW), but at high PPF, concentrations of these compounds were highest under 8 and 12 hour PPF duration. Trend analysis indicated that maximum TFA and LNA concentrations occurred with a daily PPF of 14.1 and 17.2 mol·m-2·d-1, respectively; and in the thylakoids, protein, chlorophyll, and LNA concentrations peaked at a PPF of 21.8, 19.9, and 16.1 mol·m-2·d-1, respectively. LNA as a percentage of TFA was unaffected by treatment. Shoot DW increased with PPF up to the highest PPF exposure of 32.8 mol·m-2·d-1.
The early onset of bract necrosis in poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex. Klotzch) is characterized by small dark-stained spots that precede the development of enlarged necrotic lesions. Electron micrographs of adaxial epidermal and subepidermal tissues with early symptoms of necrosis revealed large, electron-dense deposits in cell vacuoles. These spherical bodies resembled condensed tannins observed in the epidermal tissues of peach and apple fruit. Chemical analysis of bract tissues confirmed the presence of condensed tannins. Furthermore, there were higher concentrations of condensed tannin in bract samples with 2-mm-diameter lesions than in samples with lesions <0.5 mm (equivalent to catechin concentrations of 59 and 13 mg·g-1 fresh mass, respectively). No tannin bodies were observed in parallel samples of healthy-appearing bracts in which only trace concentrations of condensed tannins were measured (0.2 mg·g-1 fresh mass). The evidence suggests an association between condensed tannin accumulation in localized areas of the bract and the early appearance of bract necrosis symptoms.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) has been identified as an exceptionally rich source of α-linolenic acid (LNA), an essential fatty acid that is beneficial in reducing the incidence of coronary heart disease and certain cancers. In general, about two thirds of the LNA in terrestrial plants is associated with chloroplasts. A green-leafed unnamed cultivar of purslane and a golden-leafed cultivar `Goldberg' were grown hydroponically in a complete nutrient solution with 14.3 mm nitrogen provided as nitrate (NO3-) and ammonium (NH4+) forms to yield NO3--N: NH4+-N ratios of 1:0, 0.75:0.25, 0.5:0.5, and 0.25:0.75. Young leaves, harvested 18 days after treatment initiation, were analyzed to determine the fatty acid composition and concentrations, and thylakoid protein and chlorophyll concentrations. Although the leaves of plants grown with a NO3--N: NH4+-N ratio of 0.5:0.5 contained 239% and 114% more LNA than plants grown with ratios 1:0 and 0.75:0.25, respectively, they contained only 41% and 26% more chlorophyll. The green-leafed cultivar had higher (39%) chlorophyll concentrations than `Goldberg', but both cultivars had similar LNA concentrations [per g dry weight (DW)]. These results suggest that the LNA concentration in the fatty acid-rich species P. oleracea may not be as closely associated with chlorophyll concentration as reported earlier for other plants. Leaves of plants grown in solutions with 0.25:0.75 NO3--N: NH4+-N ratio contained 35% less LNA per g leaf DW than the leaves of plants grown in nutrient solutions with a 0.5:0.5 ratio. Although total DW production was not affected by the NO3--N: NH 4+-N ratios in the nutrient solutions, the green-leafed cultivar produced higher fresh weight, leaf area, total DW, and number of shoots than `Goldberg'.
The accuracy of a computer planning model for the management of a single-truss tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) production system was tested in the greenhouse. The model was used to generate a production schedule for 24 successive crops during a 15-month study. The time, in days, required for an emerging seedling to reach anthesis and the total fresh weight fruit yield were predicted for each of the 24 crops by the planning model. Correlation analysis, used to compare the expected crop response (i.e., data generated by the planning model) to the actual crop response, indicated that both the number of days from emergence to anthesis and fresh weight fruit yield were accurately forecast, r2 = 0.76 and 0.83, respectively. More important, the cropping schedule that was generated by the planning model successfully produced a continuous harvest of tomatoes from sequential crops.