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Rhoda Burrows and Anne Fennell

Grape growers are interested in production systems that are ecologically sustainable. The positive effect of colonization by arbuscular-mycorrhizal (AM) fungi on water and nutrient uptake, and thereby plant growth, is well-documented, at least in greenhouse studies. However, we have only limited data on how this complex association between grapes and these fungi might affect entry into winter dormancy, a factor crucial to vine survival in the northern great plains. To test this relationship, we rooted cuttings of grape genotypes Vitis riparia and an F1 selection of `Seyval' × V. riparia in a soil mix containing either inoculum of the AM Glomus intraradices, or a control. These cuttings were then used in growth chamber, greenhouse, and field experiments. The inoculated rooted cuttings were successfully colonized; no significant differences were observed among treatments in initial cutting vigor, budbreak, or leaf number. In the field and greenhouse, periderm development (an indicator of entry into dormancy) occurred earlier in AM-inoculated plants, regardless of genotype. Growth chamber-grown plants did not display differences in the first year, but, after a dormancy cycle, buds from inoculated plants survived lower temperatures in freezing tests compared to controls.

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Anne Fennell and Emily Hoover

The grape species Vitis labruscana Bailey and V. riparia Michx. were subjected to a decreasing photoperiod at constant moderate temperatures to determine whether acclimation occurred in response to a shortening photoperiod. Cane growth, periderm development, killing temperature of the primary bud, and bud dormancy were measured in vines receiving a natural photoperiod (ND), a simulated long photoperiod of 15 hours (LD), and shorter photoperiods of 14, 13, or 12 hours (SD). The LD treatment was effective at maintaining growth and inhibiting periderm development and the onset of bud dormancy in V. labruscana. Cane growth rate with all SD treatments decreased as compared to the LD regime. A significant increase in periderm development occurred with the 12-hour SD treatment. Similarly, the onset of bud dormancy was promoted by the 12-hour SD in V. labruscana. The primary bud killing temperature was 1C lower in V. labruscana under the 12-hour SD than under the LD treatment. In contrast, the LD treatment neither maintained growth nor fully inhibited periderm development and the onset of dormancy in V. riparia. The decrease in the cane growth rate upon exposure to SD was significantly greater in V. riparia than V. labruscana. Periderm development was observed in both the SD and its respective LD-treated V. riparia vines. However, the rate of periderm development was significantly greater in the SD vines than in the LD vines. The onset of bud dormancy was promoted by 13-hour SD in V. riparia. Similarly, the primary bud killing temperature was 2 to 3C lower in V. riparia upon exposure to SD. Vitis riparia has a longer critical photoperiod than V. labruscana and appears to be more sensitive to changes in light intensity or light quality. While the change in freezing tolerance in response to short photoperiods is small, the photoperiod response at a longer critical photoperiod, when combined with lower temperatures, will promote an earlier and possibly more rapid cold acclimation in V. riparia than in V. labruscana.

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Anne Fennell and Michael J. Line

Physiological and biophysical changes were monitored during shoot maturation and bud endodormancy induction in grape (Vitis riparia Michx.) under controlled environments. Growth, dry weight (DW), periderm development, bud endodormancy, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) T2 relaxation times were monitored at 2, 4, or 6 weeks of long-photoperiod [long day (LD), 15 h, endodormancy inhibition] or short-photoperiod [short day (SD), 8 h, endodormancy induction] treatments at 15/9 h day/night thermoperiod of 25/20 ± 3 °C. Shoots on LD plants grew throughout the entire study period, although the rate of growth decreased slightly during the 6th week. Shoot growth slowed significantly after 2 weeks of SD, was minimal by the 4th week of SD and most of the shoot tip meristems had abscised after 6 weeks of SD. Endodormancy was induced after 4 weeks of SD. DW of the stem and buds increased with increasing duration of LD and SD. While bud DW increased more under SD than LD, stem DW increased more under LD than SD. T2 relaxation times were calculated from images of transverse sections of the grape node. There was a slight decrease in the T2 times in the node tissues with increased duration of LD treatment, whereas SD induced a significant decrease in T2 times during endodormancy induction. T2 values for the node decreased after 4 weeks of SD, coinciding with endodormancy induction. Separation of node tissues into bud, leaf gap, and the remainder of the stem and analysis of the proportion of short and long T2 times within those tissues indicated differential tissue response. A greater proportion of short T2 times were observed in the 2-week SD leaf gap tissue than in the LD and the proportion of short T2 times continued to increase with subsequent SD treatment. Bud and all other stem tissues had a greater proportion of short T2 times after 4 weeks of SD, coinciding with bud endodormancy induction. The proportion of short and long T2 times in a tissue was a better indicator of endodormancy than the averaged T2 time for the tissue. Thus, MRI allows nondestructive identification of differential tissue response to photoperiod treatments and makes it possible to separate normal vegetative maturation responses from endodormancy induction.

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Anne Fennell, Carol Wake, and Paul Molitor

Changes in tissue water content have been correlated, with varying success, with changes in freezing tolerance and dormancy in woody perennials. Recent studies indicate that changes in the state of water are more strongly correlated with dormancy than are changes in bulk water content. In this study, traditional destructive methods of monitoring tissue water content and dormancy were compared with measurements using nondestructive in situ proton nuclear magnetic resonance 1H NMR to determine plant water status. These studies were designed to determine whether changes in bud water status are correlated with dormancy and can be used as a reliable indicator of the onset of dormancy. Two-year-old Vitis riparia plants were subjected to short-day (SD, 8 h daylight) or long-day (LD, 15 h daylight), dormancy-inductive or noninductive treatments, respectively. Bud water was monitored at 2, 4, and 6 weeks of photoperiod treatments. SD treatments promoted a rapid onset in bud dormancy. Water content was not different in SD or LD treatments after 2 weeks. However, it did decrease over 6 weeks in both treatments, but SD treatments promoted a more rapid decrease in water content. The nondestructive 1H NMR methods give comparable measures of water content and provide a measure of bud water status. There were shorter T1 relaxation times in the 2-, 4-, and 6-week SD treatments. The SD treatment T2 relaxation times were shorter in the 4- and 6-week SD treatments only. Changes in the T1 and T2 relaxation times indicated changes in bud water status are correlated with the onset of dormancy.

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Anne Fennell, M.J. Line, and M. Faust

Changes in water status have been associated with various stages of dormancy and freezing tolerance in woody perennials. Recent studies in apple indicate that changes in the state (bound vs. free) of bud water are strongly correlated with the end of dormancy. In this study nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI) was used to monitor changes in the state of bud water during the photoperiodic induction of endo-dormancy in Vitis riparia. Bud water status was monitored using proton relaxation times from T1 and T2 images determined at 2, 4, and 6 weeks of long (LD) or short (SD) photoperiod treatments. Bud dormancy was determined by monitoring budbreak in plants defoliated after photoperiod treatments. NMRI allowed nondestructive monitoring of changes in tissue water state. T1 and T2 maps indicated changes in the state of the water in bud and stem tissues during the 6 weeks of treatment. Differences in relaxation times for nondormant and dormancy-induced (reversible) buds were not clear. However, T2 relaxation times were lower in the dormant buds than in the nondormant buds.

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Anne Fennell, Carol Wake, and Paul Molitor

Nuclear magnetic resonance longitudinal (T1) and transverse (T2) times were used to monitor changes in bud water state during the photoperiodic induction of dormancy in grape (Vitis riparia Michx.). Short day (SD) treatments were used to promote a rapid onset of bud dormancy, and long day (LD) treatments were used to prevent the onset of dormancy. Water content (WC) and the state of bud water were monitored after 2, 4, and 6 weeks of LD or SD treatment in three bud developmental stages. There was no difference in WC in the SD and LD treatments after 2 weeks. WC decreased in LD and SD buds of all stages during the 6 weeks of treatments, but there was a greater decrease in WC in SD treatments. The state of bud water changed during the SD treatments, shown in changes in T1 and T2 relaxation times. The SD T1 relaxation times were shorter than the LD T1 values at all measurement times. The SD T2 times were shorter than the LD T2 values in the 4- and 6-week treatment only. Tissue age was an element in lowering the T1 and T2 times but not the primary factor. A comparison between the bud dormancy response in the SD and LD treatments and the relaxation times showed that the shorter relaxation times indicate a restriction of motional freedom. The short relaxation times of the SD treatment correlated with the onset of dormancy. When dormancy is fully induced, T2 times correlated better with dormancy than T1 times.

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Amanda Garris, Lindsay Clark, Chris Owens, Steven McKay, James Luby, Kathy Mathiason, and Anne Fennell

In grapevines (Vitis spp.), the timing of growth cessation in the fall is an important aspect of adaptation and a key objective in breeding new grape cultivars suitable for continental climates. Growth cessation is a complex biological process that is initiated by environmental cues such as daylength and temperature, as well as water and nutrient availability. The genetic control of growth cessation in grapevines was studied by mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) in a hybrid grape population. An F2 mapping population was developed by selfing a single F1 plant derived from a cross between an accession of the North American species Vitis riparia and the Vitis hybrid wine cultivar Seyval (Seyve-Villard 5–276). A linkage map was constructed using 115 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and six candidate genes in a population of 119 F2 progeny. The markers provided coverage of the 19 Vitis linkage groups with an average distance between markers of 8.4 cM. The critical photoperiod for growth cessation in lateral buds for the parents and F2 progeny was determined in a replicated field trial in 2001 and 2002 and under controlled photoperiod treatments in a greenhouse in 2002, 2003, and 2004. QTL analysis using composite interval mapping identified a single major QTL in the field and greenhouse trials. However, the field and greenhouse QTL mapped to different linkage groups in the two different environments, suggesting the presence of additional, nonphotoperiodic cues for induction of growth cessation in the field. In the greenhouse, where noninducing temperatures were maintained, a QTL on linkage group (LG) 13 explained 80.0% to 96.6% of the phenotypic variance of critical photoperiod for growth cessation. In the field, where vines experienced natural fluctuations in temperature and rainfall in addition to the naturally decreasing photoperiod, a QTL on LG 11 explained 85.4% to 94.3% of phenotypic variance.