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M. McLean, G.S. Howell and A.J.M. Smucker

An experiment was conducted to evaluate interrelationships between differing crop loads and water stress on physiology and root dynamics of 3 year old Seyval grapevines grafted to 5-BB, Seyval and Seyval own-rooted stock grown under a rain exclusion shelter. Treatments were: 1) cropping level, either 0 (defruited) or 6 clusters/vine (heavily cropped) and 2) irrigation level, either 2.5 (stress) or 10 liters (control) of water/plant/week. Vines had significantly different root dynamics in regards to crop load, water status and rootstock. Water stressed vines had significantly fewer and smaller leaves (area cm 2 lighter trunk weights (g) and shorter shoot length compared to control vines. Heavily cropped vines had significantly fewer mature nodes, shorter shoot growth and higher bud mortality (winter injury) compared to defruited vines.

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M. McLean, S. Howell, J.A. Flore and A.J.M. Smucker

Both berries and roots of grapevines are powerful carbohydrate sinks. However, during periods of soil-moisture stress, the relative strength of these two sinks is not known. This experiment was conducted to evaluate interrelationships between differing crop loads on carbohydrate partitioning for above and below-ground tissues. Root development, depth, and rate of turnover were determined by quantifying root images from video recordings taken to depths of 75 cm at two week intervals throughout the growing season. Two-year old own rooted Seyval grapevines, and Seyval grafted to 5-BB and Seyval, were grown under a rain exclusion shelter and provided with 10 or 2.5 liters of water/plant/week. Treatments were cropping level, either 0 or 6-clusters/vine. Shoot length, number of mature nodes, and dry leaf weight of vines under high cropping level were significantly reduced compared to vines growing under the low cropping level; so was root number and depth of root penetration. These data suggest that conditions of low soil moisture result in carbohydrate partitioning in favor of the clusters at the expense of the roots.

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R.T. Fernandez, R.M. McLean, R.L. Perry and J.A. Flore

`Jonnee' on M.9 EMLA, M.26 EMLA and Mark rootstocks were subjected to flooding for 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 days duration. Recovery was monitored after each stress period until 28 days after the 32 day flood stress. The objectives were to determine growth and physiological adaptation of the three rootstocks to flooding. Gas exchange, root dynamics, leaf area and emergence, and shoot length were measured for each stress and recovery period. CO2 assimilation initially was increased for flooded treatments of Mark and M.9 EMLA up to 300% and 200% of controls until three days after flooding. After 4 days of flooding, CO2 assimilation decreased to 30% or less of controls for both rootstocks. No initial increase was seen for flooded M.26 EMLA, rather a steady decline until net respiration occurred. Root number was not affected until 32 days of flooding where all flooded treatments had fewer roots counted compared to controls. After release from flooding trees on Mark recovered root growth while M.9 EMLA and M.26 EMLA continued to decline in root numbers. Shoot system growth of flooded trees on M.26 EMLA was reduced first and to the greatest extent followed by Mark and then M.9 EMLA.

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Robert K. Prange, John M. DeLong, Peter A. Harrison, Jerry C. Leyte and Scott D. McLean

A new chlorophyll fluorescence (F) sensor system called FIRM (fluorescence interactive response monitor) was developed that measures F at low irradiance. This system can produce a theoretical estimate of Fo at zero irradiance for which we have coined a new fluorescence term, Fα. The ability of Fα to detect fruit and vegetable low-O2 stress was tested in short-term (4-day) studies on chlorophyll-containing fruit [apple (Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.), pear (Pyrus communis L.), banana (Musa ×paradisiaca L.), kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa C.S. Liang & A.R. Ferguson), mango (Mangifera indica L.), and avocado (Persea americana Mill.)] and vegetables (cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata Group), green pepper (Capsicum annuum L. Grossum Group), iceberg and romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)). In all of these fruit and vegetables, Fα was able to indicate the presence of low-O2 stress. As the O2 concentration dropped below threshold values of 0 to 1.4 kPa, depending on the product, the Fα value immediately and dramatically increased. At the end of the short-term study, O2 was increased above the threshold level, whereupon Fα returned to approximately prestressed values. A 9-month study was undertaken with `Summerland McIntosh' apple fruit to determine if storing the fruit at 0.9 kPa O2, the estimated low O2 threshold value determined from Fα, would benefit or damage fruit quality, compared with threshold + 0.3 kPa (1.2 kPa O2) and the lowest recommended CA (1.5 kPa O2). After 9 months, the threshold treatment (0.9 kPa) had the highest firmness, lowest concentration of fermentation volatiles (ethanol, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate) and lowest total disorders. Sensory rating for off-flavor, flavor and preference indicated no discernible differences among the three treatments.