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  • Author or Editor: M. C. Drew x
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Blueberry reducers in Texas must often irrigate with sodic water. Excess Na+ leads to reduced growth, necrosis, and plant mortality. Ca2+ is known to ameliorate such detrimental effects in many crops, but little is known about the response of rabbiteye blueberry. To elucidate the influence of Ca2+ on the uptake and translocation of Na+, plants were subjected to NaCl in hydroponics solutions (10, 25, 50 and 100 mM NaCl) and the uptake of Na+ was traced over a 24h period using 22Na+ Additionally, for each treatment, half the plants were supplied with 10 mM Ca2+. Plants were then transferred to identical, but unlabeled, solution, then harvested at intervals up to 28 days following cessation of labelling.

Preliminary results indicate that plants subjected to 25 mM Na+ and 0 mM Ca2+ showed less ability to exclude Na+ from the roots, and accumulated more Na+ in roots, stems, an leaves than did plants supplied with 25 mM Na+ and 10 mM Ca2+. Leaf tissue accumulated more Na per gram fresh weight than did any other part of the plant, regardless of Ca2+ treatment.

Results from the remaining treatments, root 22Na+ efflux data, and total tissue Na+ and Ca2+ concentrations will also be reported.

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We have been examining the response of maize seedling roots to oxygen stress. Previously, we have shown that maize seedlings with primary root lengths of 10cm or greater require a pretreatment with low oxygen (hypoxia) for survival of greater than 12 hours of anoxia. During the pretreatment there is induction of mRNA and increase in enzymatic activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and other enzymes that are necessary for alcoholic fermentation. However, we have found that younger seedlings do not need a pretreatment to survive anoxia. They appear to have high levels of ADH and other enzymes that are needed for anaerobic survival at levels equivalent to those that are induced in older seedlings. These results suggest that, at the time of seedling emergence, seedlings may be more adapted to oxygen stress than during later stages of growth.

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