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Chin Chin Lee, Ted E. Bilderback, and Judith F. Thomas

Photoperiod treatments of 10, 12, 14, and 16 hours and a field control were used to determine the photoperiodic response of Heptacodium miconioides Rehd. The F values for vegetative growth responses under various photoperiods exhibited a highly significant linear effect. Leaf count, area, and weight, shoot length, and stem weight were lower for plants exposed to the 10- or 12-hour photoperiod than those of plants grown under the 14- or 16-hour photoperiod or in the field. Plants under the 10- or 12-hour photoperiod became dormant after 5 weeks of treatment. The growth responses for the 10- and 12-hour photoperiods were similar. There also were no differences in growth responses of plants from the 14- and 16-hour photoperiods or from the field. A favorable photoperiod for growth of Heptacodium must exceed 12 hours; thus, it can be classified as a long-day plant in reference to vegetative growth. Leaf tissues under the 10- and 12-hour photoperiods were significantly thicker than those under the 14- and 16-hour periods or under field conditions due to longer cells of the palisade mesophyll layer. Plants grown in the field and under the 14- or 16-hour photoperiods were the only ones that initiated inflorescences. With days at 30C, leaf and stem dimensions were larger than those at 22C. Nights at 18C resulted in a larger leaf area, leaf weight, and stem weight than at 26C. There was a significant effect on total leaf thickness due to day × night temperature interaction.

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Mack Thetford, Stuart L. Warren', Frank A. Blazich, and Judith F. Thomas

Uniconazole was applied as a foliar spray at 0, 90, 130, 170, or 210 ppm to rooted stem cuttings of `Spectabilis' forsythia (Forsythia xintermedia Zab.) potted in calcined clay. Uniconazole resulted in higher total leaf chlorophyll (chlorophyll + chlorophyll,) concentration and a decreased ratio of chlorophyll a: b. Stomata1 density of the most recently matured leaves increased linearly with increasing uniconazole concentration 40, 60, and 100 days after treatment (DAT). The number of stomata per leaf (stomata1 index) increased linearly with increasing concentration of uniconazole throughout the initial 100 DAT. Uniconazole suppressed stomata1 length at all sampling dates and the level of suppression increased with increasing concentration of uniconazole from 20 to 100 DAT. Stomata1 width was suppressed by uniconazole at 40 DAT. Leaves developed after uniconazole application had higher levels of net photosynthesis when measured 55, 77, and 365 DAT. Stomata1 conductance for uniconazole-treated plants was higher compared to nontreated control (0 mg·liter-1) plants when measured 49, 55, 77, and 365 DAT. Initiation of secondary xylem for stem tissues of uniconazole-treated plants was suppressed and expansion of xylem vessel length and width was less. Secondary phloem tissues of stems from uniconazole-treated plants contained larger numbers of phloem fibers having smaller cross sectional areas than phloem fibers of controls. Chemical name used: (E)-1-(p-Chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)-1-penten-3-01 (uniconazole).

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Lucia E. Villavicencio, Sylvia M. Blankenship, G. Craig Yencho, Judith F. Thomas, and C. David Raper

Sweetpotatoes [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] often experience significant epidermal loss during harvest and postharvest handling. Skin loss causes weight loss, shriveling of the root surface, and increased susceptibility to pathogen attack as well as poor appearance. It is not known if sweetpotatoes show variation in skin adhesion, cell wall enzyme activity and components, and growth parameters with growth temperature or if skin loss can be explained on the basis of variation among these variables. Skin adhesion, polygalacturonase (PG) and pectin methylesterase (PME) activity, lignin, anthocyanin, and dry matter content were measured in the periderm of ‘Beauregard’ roots grown at various temperatures under controlled conditions. Biomass dry matter content, storage root yield, root length, diameter, and weight at harvest were recorded. Histochemical and anatomical characteristics of periderm of roots were studied. Growth temperature affected skin adhesion, PG and PME activity, periderm and biomass dry matter content, yield, storage root weight, and diameter. High temperatures (34/31 °C day/night) yielded roots that were smaller and more resistant to skin loss. These roots had a periderm composed of more cell layers with a lower dry matter content than roots grown at lower and intermediate temperatures (27/24 °C and 20/17 °C). In cured roots, the correlation between skin adhesion and PG activity was negative (r = 0.544, P = 0.0006) and positive between skin adhesion and PME (r = 0.319, P = 0.05). For most of the variables studied, the interaction between growing temperature and curing was significant. Curing improved skin adhesion, but the effect of curing was dependent on the root growth temperature. The periderm of roots grown at higher temperatures was thicker and had more layers than that of roots grown at lower temperatures. Histochemical studies of the periderm of sweetpotato showed that the anatomical and structural composition of the cell walls differ depending on growth temperature.