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  • Author or Editor: Wayne H. Loescher x
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Abstract

Relationships between leaf area per fruit and fruit weight, color, and soluble solids were modeled on spurs isolated following pit hardening on 2-year-old wood of ‘Bing’ sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.). Leaf area per fruit was found to be the largest measured source of variability in the three fruit quality parameters examined. Leaf area per fruit accounted for 66%, 36%, and 53% of the variability in fruit weight, fruit color, and soluble solids, respectively, at Pullman, Wash. Leaf area per spur accounted for 54%, 27%, and 28% of these same fruit quality parameters at Prosser, Wash. In all instances, there was a positive correlation between fruit quality and leaf area per fruit. Soluble solids content was most sensitive to increases in leaf area, followed by fruit weight and color. Leaf area per fruit is important because it represents photosynthetic potential. Ample productive leaf area is essential to producing high-quality sweet cherries.

Open Access

Diurnal fluctuations in soluble carbohydrates and starch were monitored in young (expanding), mature (first fully expanded), and old (nearing senescence) celery (Apium graveolens L.) leaves. In all tissues, mannitol and sucrose were the carbohydrates present in the highest concentrations. In old and young leaflets and their petioles, there was little change in levels of mannitol and sucrose in 26 hours. In mature leaflets, sucrose accumulated in the light and decreased in the dark; mannitol increased slightly in late afternoon. Starch concentration, although quite low, showed definite diurnal fluctuations in mature leaflets, but only small changes in young and old leaflets. Both sucrose and mannitol were present in mature petiole phloem tissues. Mannitol concentrations were high in the adjacent storage parenchyma tissue, but sucrose was almost undetectable. These data support earlier findings that sucrose is produced, translocated, and metabolized throughout the celery plant. Mannitol is also translocated, but also serves as a major storage carbohydrate in leaf tissues, especially petiole parenchyma. Starch serves as a minor short-term storage compound in leaflets.

Free access

Abstract

Nonstructural carbohydrates of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L. ‘Bing’) changed dramatically both qualitatively and quantitatively during the year. In perennial tissues, total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) were highest at leaf abscission. TNC increased sharply in spurs at budbreak, but, in other perennial tissues, reserves decreased with or before budbreak. TNC in all but spurs were least, e.g., 2% to 4% of fall levels, shortly after full bloom, but then immediately began to increase. Accumulations slowed during the last 4 to 6 weeks of fruit growth and then increased after harvest. Prebloom decreases and postbloom increases occurred earlier in 1- and 2-year-old shoots when compared to trunk or root tissues. Starch was the most common storage material. During winter, interconversion of starch and soluble carbohydrates in wood of the trunk and 1- and 2-year-old shoots was apparent. Sucrose was the predominant soluble carbohydrate during dormancy, but sorbitol dominated during active growth. Raffinose was present only during dormancy, and inositol only when leaves were present. Because sweet cherry flowers and fruits early, carbohydrate reserves could critically affect productivity.

Open Access

Abstract

Extraction and assay of sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) throughout fruit maturation of 3 apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) cultivars, watercore-resistant ‘Golden Delicious,’ occasionally susceptible ‘McIntosh’, and normally susceptible ‘Starkrimson,’ showed no relationship between susceptibility to watercore and extractable enzyme activity. There was, however, a relationship between increased SDH activity and onset of the climacteric as measured by ethylene and CO2 evolution, suggesting that SDH, like certain other enzymes, increases during maturation.

Open Access

Abstract

Mesocarp development of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Redhaven] as measured by fresh weight and size increase, progressed along a double sigmoid curve which was reflected in the activity of extractable wall-associated α- and β-nitrophenylgalactosidases. Enzyme activities, both on protein and dry weight basis, rose rapidly during early fruit development, leveled off, then again rose rapidly at maturation. There was more α-nitrophenylgalactosidase activity than β-nitrophenylgalactosidase activity throughout development. Increases in both galactosidases followed rather than preceded increases in size. The final increases were, however, well correlated with fruit maturation.

Open Access

Abstract

The rate and efficiency of photosynthesis (PS) is unquestionably one of the primary determinants of crop yield. Yet, as this symposium illustrates, many other factors contribute to plant productivity. Indeed, the exact relationship between PS rate and yield remains undefined. For several years we have now been interested in factors that affect PS rate in both C3 and C4 plants, not only within the plant, but also external to it. Internal factors affecting PS that will be discussed include leaf age, leaf canopy, photorespiration, stage of plant development (including both vegetative and reproductive phases), and the occurrence of little-recognized metabolic pathways such as polyol synthesis and transport. External factors that affect PS, in addition to obvious environmental determinants such as temperature, light, and water, include the seasonal growth cycle. While we still do not understand how all of these factors interact to affect yield, we are beginning to understand their singular effects. Control of these factors, once thought to be within reach even before the advent of biotechnology, remains likely, but distant.

Open Access

Grafting is a well-established agricultural practice, and it now has implications for the commercialization of transgenic plants. In transgrafted plants, only one part (scion or rootstock) is transgenic with the other part untransformed. However, transgenes may affect both mobile and immobile endogenous metabolites (e.g., RNAs, proteins, and phytohormones) and mobility has implications for transgrafting. In the phloem, long-distance transport of mobile metabolites can play important roles in plant development and signaling. In a transgrafted plant, an immobile transgene product (ITP) is not likely to be translocated across the graft union. In contrast, mobile transgene products (MTP) may be translocated across the graft. Regardless of the mobility of transgene products (TP), interaction of transgenic and nontransgenic parts in transgrafted plants through either the MTP or ITP has been demonstrated to be effective in facilitating changes in nontransgenic portions of the plant. Consequently, and particularly in fruit crops, transgrafting provides the potential for improving products from their nontransgenic parts with the possibility of minimizing the controversy over transgenic crops. This review focuses mainly on the mobility of TP and effects on the whole transgrafted plant.

Free access

Mannitol, which in celery is a primary photosynthetic product, has been implicated along with other polyols in stress tolerance mechanisms as a possible osmotic regulator, compatible solute and free radical scavenger. We have characterized the growth of salt stressed celery, determined the extent of salt tolerance and showed a correlation between mannitol accumulation and salt tolerance.

Six, 8 and 12 week-old pot grown celery (Apium graveolens L.) plants of two cultivars were irrigated with up to 500 mM NaCl for 3.5 and 7 weeks. After 7 weeks, 12 week-old `Giant Pascal' plants showed three major responses: 1) shoot wet wt increased as much as 30% at 25 mM NaCl but root wet wt decreased; 2) plants tolerated 500 mM NaCl, although at a severely reduced growth rate; 3) as salt concentrations increased mannitol concentrations increased in roots, leaves and petioles, while sucrose, the other photosynthetic product in celery, decreased Although all ages of both cultivars tolerated the highest salt concentration used, the beneficial effect of 25 mM NaCl occurred only in 8 and 12 week-old `Giant Pascal'. Root wet wt was reduced in all salt treated plants, irrespective of age or cultivar.

Regardless of age, cultivar and length of treatment, celery tolerated high salinity and sometimes even increased wet wt at low salinity. Mannitol accumulation and the ratio of mannitol to sucrose were both positively correlated with salt tolerance

Free access

Mannitol, a sugar alcohol that appears to serve as an osmoprotectant/compatible solute to cope with salt stress, is synthesized in celery (Apium graveolens L.) via the action of a NADPH dependent mannose-6-phosphate reductase (M6PR). To evaluate the abiotic stress effects of mannitol biosynthesis, we transformed celery with an antisense construct of the celery leaf M6PR gene under control of the CaMV 35S promoter. Unlike wild type (WT) celery, independent antisense M6PR transformants did not accumulate significant amounts of mannitol in any tissue, with or without salt stress. In the absence of NaCl, and despite the lack of any significant accumulation of mannitol that is normally the major photosynthetic product, antisense transformants were mostly phenotypically similar to the WT celery. However, in the presence of NaCl, mature antisense transgenic plants were significantly less salt-tolerant, with reduced growth and photosynthetic rates, and some transformant lines were killed at 200 mM NaCl, a concentration that WT celery can normally withstand. Although mannitol biosynthesis is normally enhanced in salt-treated WT celery, no such increase was observed in the antisense transformants. Like our previous gain of function results showing enhanced salt tolerance in Arabidopsis plants transgenic for a sense M6PR construct, these loss of function results, using an antisense construct in celery, demonstrate a major role for mannitol biosynthesis in developing salt-tolerant plants.

Free access