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  • Author or Editor: Muhammad M. Khan x
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A study was conducted to investigate the morphological, physiobiochemical, enzymatic, and ionic differences among four cultivated citrus (Citrus sp.) rootstocks with different salt tolerances. Two salt-tolerant rootstocks [Rangpur lime (C. limonia) and Rubidoux (C. trifoliata)] and two salt-sensitive rootstocks [Carrizo citrange (Citrus sinensis × C. trifoliata) and Sanchton citrumello (C. trifoliata × C. paradisi)], were subjected to NaCl stress in greenhouse conditions. The 9-month-old plants were exposed to four different NaCl levels (0, 30, 60, or 90 mm) in sand culture for 3 months. Plant biomass (fresh weight, dry weight, root length, shoot length, and leaf thickness), physiological attributes [number of stomata, stomatal size, number of epidermal cells, photosynthesis rate, stomatal conductance (g S), water use efficiency, and transpiration rate]. and ion content (Na+, K+, Ca+2, Mg+2, and Cl) were adversely affected by salt stress, but salt-tolerant cultivars were comparatively less affected. Salt stress also enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxidase), particularly in salt-tolerant cultivars. The salt-sensitive cultivars accumulated the greatest content of Na+ and Cl in their leaves, whereas the salt-tolerant cultivars accumulated the greatest content of Na+ and Cl in their roots, an adaptation to combat the highly saline conditions. Overall, it was concluded that the salt tolerance of rootstocks is associated with a greater antioxidant enzyme activity and differing accumulation patterns of Na+, K+, Cl, Mg+2, and Ca+2 in leaves and roots; these can be considered potential indicators of a cultivar's sensitivity to salt stress.

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Four levels of shade (0%, 30%, 55%, and 80%) were used to determine their effect on growth and lignan content of american mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.). Mayapple rhizomes were harvested from the wild and transplanted into plant beds on 20 Dec. 2001 using a randomized complete block design with four blocks. Growth and lignan content were recorded during spring of 2002 and 2003. Leaf samples were analyzed for the following lignans: podophyllotoxin, alpha-peltatin, and beta-peltatin. Increasing levels of shade increased shoot longevity, leaf area per plant (cm2/plant), and shoot height. Shade did not affect shoot emergence, total leaf area (cm2·m-2), or leaf dry mass (g·m-2 or g/plant). Regardless of year, podophyllotoxin and total lignan contents at 0% shade were significantly greater than those at 80% shade, and the overall trend was for decreasing contents with increasing shade. Shade did not affect alpha-peltatin content. Content of beta-peltatin was greatest at 0% shade compared to the other three shade treatments. Year affected alpha-peltatin and beta-peltatin contents, with less content of each in 2003 than in 2002. There were large numerical decreases in podophyllotoxin yield (podophyllotoxin content per unit area, mg·m-2) as shade increased from 0% to 80%, but these differences were only marginally significant (P = 0.0897). In contrast, podophyllotoxin yield was significantly greater in 2003 than in 2002 as total leaf area and dry mass significantly increased. Increasing levels of shade slightly decreased air and soil temperatures. Our results indicate that american mayapple is not a shade-requiring species. Under full sun (0% shade) shoots did not persist as long as under shade and leaves were smaller and thicker, but total lignan content was significantly greater than under shade. It appears that growers of specialty crops serving the pharmaceutical industry can establish and cultivate american mayapple under full sun, thus providing leaf biomass with high podophyllotoxin content while avoiding the cost of expensive shade structures.

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