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Anthony W. Whiley and Bruce Schaffer

The influence of shoot age on 14C partitioning in potted avocado (Persea americana var. americana Mill.) trees was determined. The oldest leaf of actively growing shoots and the youngest leaf of previously matured shoots were exposed to 14CO2 18 and 34 days after budbreak (DABB) of new shoots. At these times, treated leaves had a positive net CO2 assimilation rate and, therefore, were considered to be net C exporters. Sixteen days after 14C exposure, separate plant tissues were harvested, dried, weighed, and oxidized. The percentage of 14C in each tissue was determined by liquid scintillation spectrometry. Photoassimilates were translocated acropetally and basipetally from all treated leaves. However, at 18 DABB, developing leaves of actively growing shoots seemed to be the strongest sink for C assimilated by the oldest leaf of these shoots, whereas the roots were the strongest sink for C assimilated by the youngest leaf of the previously matured shoots. By 34 DABB, roots were the strongest sink for C assimilated by leaves of new and previously matured shoots. These data are useful in developing improved management strategies for controlling phytophthora root rot (incited by Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands) in avocados by systemic phosphonate fungicides translocated in the photoassimilate pathway. Thus, phosphonates should be applied after shoots have matured and most of the canopy is in a quiescent state for maximum translocation to the roots.

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Christopher Vincent, Diane Rowland, and Bruce Schaffer

Primed acclimation (PA) is a regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategy designed to improve or maintain yield under subsequent drought stress. A previous study showed photosynthetic increases in papaya in response to a PA treatment. The present study was undertaken to test the duration of the PA effect when papaya plants were challenged with severe drought stress. Potted plants were stressed at 1, 2, and 3 months after conclusion of a PA treatment consisting of 3 weeks at soil water tension (SWT) of −20 kPa. Measurements included leaf gas exchange, root growth, and organ dry mass partitioning. PA did not reduce net CO2 assimilation (A) during the deficit period. At the end of the PA period, total dry matter accumulation per plant and for each organ was unaffected, but proportional dry matter partitioning to roots was favored. After resuming full irrigation, A increased and whole plant water use was more than doubled in PA-treated plants. However, water use and A of PA-treated plants decreased to reconverge with those of control plants by 6 weeks after the PA treatment. Over the course of the study, PA plants maintained lower stem height to stem diameter ratios, and shorter internode lengths. However, these changes did not improve photosynthetic response to any of the water-deficit treatments. We conclude that papaya exhibits some signs of stress memory, but that rapid short-term acclimation responses dominate papaya responses to soil water deficit.

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Maritza Ojeda, Bruce Schaffer, and Frederick S. Davies

Root ferric chelate reductase (FCR) activity in Annona glabra L. (pond apple), native to subtropical wetland habitats and Annona muricata L. (soursop), native to non-wetland tropical habitats, was determined under Fe-sufficient and Fe-deficient conditions. Four-month-old seedlings of each species were grown hydroponically in a complete nutrient solution containing 90 μm Fe or no Fe. The degree of tolerance of Fe deficiency was evaluated by measuring root FCR activity, chlorophyll and Fe concentration in recently matured leaves and plant growth. Root FCR activity was higher in soursop than in pond apple in the nutrient solution with Fe. However, there were no differences in root FCR activity between species under Fe-deficient conditions. Root FCR activity in pond apple and soursop was not induced in the absence of Fe. Leaf chlorophyll index and Fe concentration, and dry weights of pond apple were lower when plants were grown without Fe compared to plants grown with Fe. Leaves of pond apple grown without Fe became chlorotic within 3 weeks. Lack of Fe decreased the chlorophyll index and Fe concentration in young leaves less in soursop than in pond apple. In contrast, the Fe level in the nutrient solution had no effect on dry weights of soursop. The rapid development of leaf chlorosis and low FCR activity of pond apple may be due to its native origin in wetland areas where there is sufficient soluble Fe for plant growth and development.

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Michele Warmund, Bruce Barritt, and Karen Schaffer

`Mark' rootstock is a relatively new dwarfing rootstock that induces precocity in apple trees. While `Mark' has desirable horticultural characteristics, it has been difficult to propagate in some areas of the United States. To determine the optimum budding date at two climatically diverse locations, `Jonagold' buds were chip-budded onto `Mark' rootstock on 20 July, 10 Aug., 31 Aug. and 21 Sept. 1989 at Atlas, Illinois and Wenatchee, Washington. Prior to budbreak, unions were sampled from each budding date and the callus, bud plate and rootstock were measured and photographed. Trees budded and grown in Illinois had more callus growth than those budded in Washington. In Illinois, the callus of trees budded on 20 July averaged 3.2 mm., whereas those budded on 21 Sept. averaged 1.0 mm. Trees grown in Washington had 0.4 mm of callus at both budding dates. Callus growth will be correlated with union compatibility and strength in Nov. 1990.

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Jonathan H. Crane, Bruce Schaffer, and Richard J. Campbell

Southern Florida has experienced numerous hurricanes, of which Hurricane Andrew was the most recent. Six years after this storm, nearly one-third of the 8093 ha of tropical fruit that existed in Miami–Dade County before the storm has never been replanted. The damage, reaction, and recovery from the storm varied among fruit species. The effect of heat stress and high light intensity was minimal on avocado, `Tahiti' lime, carambola, mamey sapote, guava, sapodilla, and longan. In contrast, mango trees experienced severe heat stress. Root damage caused by toppling and subsequent re-setting of sugar apple, atemoya, mango, and grafted `Tahiti' lime trees was severe; thus, trees not re-set were less likely to recover than trees left toppled or leaning. The extent and rate of recovery from hurricane-related wind stress also varied among species. Avocado, carambola, guava, and longan refoliated within 3 to 4 weeks after Hurricane Andrew. In contrast, mango, sugar apple, and atemoya trees went through two or more cycles of refoliating and dying back until tree death occurred. Iron and nitrogen deficiencies were common for mango, sugar apple, atemoya, and guava. Other consequences of hurricanes in south Florida include increased weed and vine growth and increased susceptibility to drought stress and insect infestations. Recovery to prehurricane crop production levels has varied among crops. For example, avocado and carambola production is near and exceeds pre-1992 levels, respectively. In contrast, `Tahiti' lime and mango production are about 20% pre-1992 levels. The long-term effect of the most recent hurricane on fruit production in south Florida has been a change in the crop species and/or cultivars planted.

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Hector R. Valenzuela, Stephen K. O'Hair, and Bruce Schaffer

Cocoyam was grown in 100%, 50%, or 30% daylight to determine the effect of light intensity on growth characteristics at various stages of plant development. Beginning ≈ 2 months after planting, growth was monitored at three or four monthly intervals. Plants grown in shade had more petiole and leaf lamina growth and extension, as well as increased top: corm plus cormel ratio (dry-weight basis), than plants grown in 100% daylight. Shade-grown plants had a higher leaf area index and specific leaf area than sun-grown plants. Sun-grown plants had a higher net assimilation rate and specific leaf density than shade-grown plants. Linear equations were developed to predict lamina area through measurements of leaf lamina width and length, petiole length, and lamina dry weight.

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Bruce Schaffer, Anthony W. Whiley, Christopher Searle, and Robert J. Nissen

The effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment and root restriction on net CO2 assimilation (A), dry mass partitioning, and leaf mineral element concentrations in `Kensington' and `Tommy Atkins' mango (Mangifera indica L.) were investigated. Trees were grown in controlled-environment glasshouse rooms at ambient CO2 concentrations of 350 or 700 μmol·mol-1. At each CO2 concentration, trees were grown in 8-L containers, which restricted root growth, or grown aeroponically in 200-L root mist chambers, which did not restrict root growth. Trees grown in 350 μmol·mol-1 CO2 were more efficient at assimilating CO2 than trees grown in 700 μmol·mol-1 CO2. However, total plant and organ dry mass was generally higher for plants grown at 700 μmol·mol-1 CO2 due to increased A as a result of a greater internal partial pressure of CO2 (Ci) in leaves of plants in the CO2 enriched environment. Root restriction reduced A resulting in decreased organ and plant dry mass. In root-restricted plants, reduced A and dry matter accumulation offset the increases in these variables resulting from atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Atmospheric CO2 enrichment and root restriction did not affect dry mass partitioning. Leaf mineral element concentrations were generally lower for trees grown at the higher ambient CO2 concentration, presumably due to a dilution effect from an increased growth rate.

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Thomas E. Marler, Bruce Schaffer, and Jonathan H. Crane

Growth and leaf physiology responses of container-grown `Arkin' carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) trees to long-term exposure of ≈25%, ≈50%, or 100% sunlight were studied in four experiments in Guam and Florida. Shading increased rachis length and leaflet area, and decreased leaflet thickness. Shaded trees also had a more horizontal branch orientation. Shading reduced dark respiration (Rd) and light compensation and saturation points but increased chlorophyll concentration and N-use efficiency. Light-saturated net CO2 assimilation (A) was not affected by developmental light level. Trees in full sun had smaller total leaf area, canopy diameter, and shoot: root ratio and exhibited leaflet movement to avoid direct solar radiation. Also, trees grown in 100% sunlight had a more vertical branch orientation and greater stomatal density than shaded trees. The ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence (Fv/Fm) declined during midday in 100% sunlight trees. This pattern was accompanied by a midday suppression of A in 100% sunlight-grown trees in Guam. `Arkin' carambola trees exposed to ≈25%, ≈50%, or 100% sunlight for up to 39 weeks exhibited physiological and morphological adaptations that resulted in similar growth. These results indicate that carambola efficiently adapts to different developmental light intensities.

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Kirk D. Larson, Bruce Schaffer, and Frederick S. Davies

The effect of flooding on container-grown `Tommy Atkins' mango (Mangifera indica L.) trees on two rootstock, and on container-grown seedling `Peach' mango trees, was investigated by evaluating vegetative growth, net gas exchange, and leaf water potential. In general, flooding simultaneously reduced net CO2 assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance (gs) after 2 to 3 days. However, flooding did not affect leaf water potential, shoot extension growth, or shoot dry weight, but stem radial growth and root dry weight were reduced, resulting in larger shoot: root ratios for flooded trees. Mortality of flooded trees ranged from 0% to 45% and was not related to-rootstock scion combination. Hypertrophied lenticels were observed on trees that survived flooding but not on trees that died. The reductions in gas exchange, vegetative growth, and the variable tree mortality indicate that mango is not highly flood-tolerant but appears to possess certain adaptations to flooded soil conditions.