Methanol sprays reportedly increased yields of several crops in Arizona by 50 to 100 percent (Nonomura and Benson PNAS 89:9794(1992). Reports from other parts of the country have shown conflicting results with regards to the effect of methanol sprays on yields of horticultural crops. Several greenhouse and growth chamber (controlled temperature. day length, and photosynthetic photon flux) experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of methanol sprays on the growth and productivity of several vegetable crops in Hawaii. Treatment spray solutions consisted of 20-25% methanol, 0.5% low biuret urea. 0.001% chelated iron, and 0.02% surfactant. Control sprays only contained urea, chelated iron, and surfactant. Each experiment consisted of at least 5 weekly methanol sprays. Flowering cabbage, Brassica campestris var. parachinensis, had greater biomass production when sprayed with methanol in the late summer months. Similar results were obtained with choi sum in a 2 by 2 factorial experiment with methanol and water stress treatments. However, choi sum did not respond to methanol treatments in follow-up greenhouse trials. perhaps attributable to the shorter and Overcast days experienced in the fall and winter. Okra, chili pepper, and eggplant showed no response to methanol sprays. Okra showed a trend toward increase yields in response to methanol sprays, but differences were not significant. Follow-up studies in the greenhouse and in the field, which include evaluation of photosynthetic efficiency through chlorophyll fluorescence determinations will be presented.
Hector R. Valenzuela, Osamu Kawabata, and Harry Yamamoto
Hector Valenzuela, Stacy Riede, and Harry Yamamoto
Portable chlorophyll fluorometers have made it possible to evaluate the photosynthetic efficiency of photosystem 11 for vegetable crops under ambient conditions. A sampling protocol was first established to eliminate variability due to positioning of the fiber optics in relation to the leaf, leaf selection, and natural environmental variability. Fluorescence parameters of the quantum yield of noncyclic electron transport (DF/Fm') and electron transport rate (ETR) were taken from several economically important vegetables under ambient conditions between 11 and 14 h. The objective of the second part of the study was to conduct in situ chlorophyll fluorescence and biomass determinations as affected by salt stress and N deficiency. DF/Fm' and ETR were studied in rhizobium inoculated, noninoculated and inorganic N-fed soybean and differences in fluorescence were related to yield. The influence that salt stress, and several N rates have on fluorescence photochemical quenching (qP) and nonphotochemical quenching (qN), NPQ ([Fm-Fm']/Fm'), DF/Fm' and ETR for hydroponically grown lettuce will also be presented.