Dianthus caryophyllus L., a quantitative long day plant, was used for studies of the effect of photoperiod on the different stages of plant development. The anatomical structure of the vegetative shoot apex and the changes during floral transformation are described. These stages were not affected by the various photoperiod lengths, i.e., 9, 13, and 18 hr.
The developmental cycle of D. caryophyllus may be divided into 3 stages: vegetative, floral initiation, and floral development. The influence of photoperiod on the duration of each of the 3 stages was different. The length of the vegetative stage was inversely related to the length of the photoperiod (the longer the photoperiod, the shorter the vegetative stage). Daylength had no effect on the period of floral initiation, but did affect the period of floral development (i.e., the longer the photoperiod, the longer the developmental stage). The rate of stem elongation under all treatments increased exponentially until the floral initiation state, and then the plants grown under photoperiods of 13 hr or longer elongated significantly faster than those under the 9-hr photoperiod. After flower initiation was completed, the rate of stem elongation suddenly increased linearly until the flower opened. In contrast to the vegetative shoot, the rate of stem elongation of flowering plants was completely independent of photoperiod, and the rate was the same in the 9, 13, and 18 hr photoperiods.
New roots of Malus domestica Borkh MM106 apple rootstock were divided into two categories, 1) feeder roots and 2) extension roots based on morphology and their ability to take up NH4+, were studied. The roots were harvested in August from 1-year-old potted plants growing under natural conditions in Corvallis, Ore. Extension roots were thicker and longer than feeder roots. Average diameter and length were 0.89 and 45.29 mm for extension roots and 0.27 and 5.36 mm for feeder roots. Root special length (cm/g FW) and surface area (cm2/g FW) were 11.94 and 33.17 for extension roots and 108.97 and 93.38 for feeder roots. Maximum uptake rate, Imax, Km, and root absorption power, α (α = Imax•1/Km), for NH4+ absorption were 6.875, 0.721, and 9.48 for extension roots and 4.32, 0.276, and 15.63 for feeder roots. Feeder roots had stronger affinity to NH4+ (low Km) and higher NH4+ absorption power (high α value) than extension roots. The feeder roots were better able to uptake NH4+ at lower external solution concentrations than extension roots according to the nutrient depletion curve, which indicates feeder roots being more efficient than extension roots in nutrient absorption when NH4+ availability was low.
The nutrient uptake kinetics by new roots of 1-year-old potted clonal apple rootstocks (M7, M9, M26, M27, MM106, and MM111) were determined by the ion depletion technique at the stable development stage of trees in August. The total roots of five of the rootstocks (except MM111) consisted of more than 60% feeder roots and less than 12% extension roots. MM111, the most vigorous rootstocks tested, had 60.7% feeder roots and 24.5% extension roots. Root: top ratio was negatively related to the growth inhibiting character of the rootstock. Nutrient uptake by excised new roots was found to fit into Michaelis-Menton kinetic model for all rootstocks tested. The kinetic characteristics (maximum uptake rate, Imax, apparent Michaelis-Menton constant, Km, and root absorption power, (α = Imax•1/Km) between rootstocks differed significantly. MM111 had the highest Imax for NH4+ absorption and M9 for NO3-. Root affinity to ions was highest with MM106 for NH4+ and with M26 for NO3-. Root absorption power (α = Imax•1/Km) was greatest in MM106 for NH4+ and M9 for NO3-. At this developmental stage the data suggest no relationship between nutrient uptake and dwarfing character of the rootstocks.
Potted apple trees (Malus domestica L. `Gala') were drenched with either water or an antitranspirant (N-2001). After treatment, no additional water was applied to the plants. Abscisic acid (ABA) content of immature and mature leaves was determined by radioimmunoassay after 0, 1, 3, and 5 h and 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, and 9 days after treatment. ABA content of mature and immature leaves of antitranspirant-treated plants peaked 1 and 4 days after treatment, respectively, and remained constant thereafter. In contrast, with increasing water stress, the ABA content of mature and immature leaves of control plants without antitranspirant peaked at 7 and 8 days, respectively. The overall level of ABA in mature leaves of both treatment groups was significantly greater than in immature leaves. The water saturation deficit increased, water and turgor potentials of leaves decreased, and stomatal conductance decreased in response to antitranspirant application. The changes in water relations parameters and stomatal conductance were highly correlated with changes in leaf ABA content.
Scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate leaf epicuticular wax of Prunus instititia L. ‘Pixie’ from aseptically cultured plants before and after acclimatization to the greenhouse. Leaves from plants acclimatized for 2 weeks in the greenhouse had more adaxial wax than those from non-acclimatized (culture flask-grown) plants. Acclimatized plants had more adaxial than abaxial wax. No abaxial wax was observed on leaves of non-acclimatized plants. Stomata were present on the abaxial leaf surface only of both acclimatized and non-acclimatized plants. Epicuticular wax layers surrounded guard cells of acclimatized plant leaves but were not present on non-acclimatized plant leaves. Weight changes in non-acclimatized plant leaves coated with silicon rubber on adaxial, abaxial, and both surfaces indicated that excised leaf water loss occurred only through the abaxial surface. Water loss from plants during the acclimatization process thus may be due to abaxial cuticular and stomatal transpiration.