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K.S. Yourstone and D.H. Wallace

This study was undertaken to determine whether plastochron index (PI), a mathematical construct that quantifies shoot development, can be applied to indeterminate bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) genotypes. Length measurements of the middle trifoliate leaflet were the basis of the PI calculation. The expansion of each middle trifoliate leaflet at every node on each plant tested was measured over time to determine whether the growth pattern of each leaflet fits the assumptions of the PI construct. Plants from five indeterminate bean genotypes were grown in two controlled environments: A constant 29C with 12-hr of daylength, and a constant 23C with 12-hr daylength extended to 14 hr with low light intensity. Early leaflet expansion was exponential for all five genotypes in both environments. Expansion rates of successive leaflets were also similar, although a few leaflets in three of the 10 genotype-environment combinations differed in their rates of expansion. Exponential and equal rates of expansion validate the calculation of the fractional component of the PI. In both environments, all genotypes exhibited an increasing rate of leaf initiation with time, which precludes the use of a simple linear slope in estimating rate of development.

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K.S. Yourstone and D.H. Wallace

The plastochron index was used to compare the effects by daylength, mean temperature, and diurnal temperature fluctuation, on the rate of node development of five indeterminate common bean (Phaseolas vulgaris L.) genotypes grown in eight growth chamber environments. Regression analysis described temporal trends in the plastochron index. Regression curves for the various genotype—environment combinations were compared using canonical variates analysis. At a constant 17C, extending daylength from 12 to 14 or 16 hr had no effect on rate of node development. The rate of node development increased at a constant 23C when daylength was lengthened from 12 to 14 or 16 hr. The increase in rate of node development was more pronounced in genotypes with higher photoperiod sensitivity, as measured by delay of flowering. Temperature rise from 17 to 23 to 29C also increased the rate of node development, with genotypes again exhibiting differential response. Diurnal fluctuation of 6C about a mean of 23C had the same node development rate as a constant 23C.