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Nihal Rajapakse and William C. Newall

Morphological and physiological changes during maturation and ripening of eight Asian pear cultivars grown in the southeastern United States were evaluated. Fruit size increased throughout maturation. Flesh firmness decreased as fruit matured and averaged ≈30 to 35 N at harvest maturity. The average TSS in mature fruit ranged from 10% to 13%, with `Shinko' having the lowest and `Shinsui' having the highest. TSS increased during 4 weeks of storage at 1C, but the increase was greater in immature fruit than in mature fruit. Respiration rate declined as fruit matured. Ethylene production was low in `Hosui', `Kosui', `Nijisseiki', `Shinseiki', `Chojuro', and `Shinko' fruit. Mature `Ichiban' and `Shinsui' fruit produced high amounts of ethylene. `Kosui', `Shinsui', `Chojuro', and `Ichiban' fruit showed a climacteric rise in respiration and ethylene production at 20C, while `Hosui', `Nijisseiki', `Shinseiki', and `Shinko' behaved as nonclimacteric fruit. Ethylene production by 1C-stored `Kosui', `Shinsui', `Chojuro', and `Ichiban' fruit was increased on removal to 20C. Glucose and fructose were low during early maturation but sharply increased ≈80 to 85 days after full bloom (DAFB). Sucrose was low in immature fruit but accumulated rapidly late in maturation ≈100 to 107 DAFB. In mature `Hosui', `Kosui', `Nijisseiki', `Shinsui', `Shinko', and `Ichiban' fruit, fructose was the predominant sugar, while in `Shinseiki' and `Chojuro' fruit, sucrose was the predominant sugar.

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Nihal C. Rajapakse and William C. Newall

Changes in sugar composition during maturation and ripening of eight Asian pear cultivars were evaluated. Total soluble sugars (TSS) increased gradually throughout the maturation and averaged 10% to 13% in mature fruit. All cultivars, except `Shinko' and `Nijisseiki', had accumulated ≥10% TSS by 100 days after full bloom (DAFB). Starch accumulated during early stages of Asian pear fruit development but decreased as the maturity progressed coinciding with the rise in soluble sugars. Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol, was predominant in immature fruit and accounted for 35% to 60% of TSS fraction depending on the cultivar. Fructose rapidly increased during early maturation. Glucose increased during early maturation, but the increase was much smaller than that of fructose. Sucrose was low (<4%) in immature fruit but accumulated rapidly late in the maturation and continued to increase until harvest. In mature `Hosui', `Kosui', `Nijisseiki', `Shinsui', `Shinko', and `Ichiban' fruit, fructose was the predominant sugar which accounted for 47% to 60% of the TSS fraction. Glucose and sucrose accounted for 13% to 17% and 7% to 12%, respectively, in those cultivars. In mature `Shinseiki' fruit, sucrose was the predominant sugar (44% of TSS), while fructose and glucose accounted for 33% and 8%, respectively. Sucrose and fructose were present in equal amounts (29%) in mature `Chojuro' fruit. Late accumulation of sucrose in Asian pear cultivars suggest that sufficient time should be allowed before harvesting to obtain sweeter fruit.

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Nihal C. Rajapakse and John W. Kelly

Transpiration rates of chrysanthemum [Dendranthema ×grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura] plants grown under spectral filters were evaluated as part of an investigation on using light quality to regulate plant growth. The 6% CuSO4·5H2O spectral filter reduced photosynthetic photon flux density in red (R) and far red (FR) wavelengths and increased the R: FR and blue (B): R ratios (B = 400 to 500 nm; R = 600 to 700 nm; FR = 700 to 800 nm) of transmitted light relative to the water (control) filter. After 28 days, cumulative water use of plants grown under CuSO4 filters was ≈37% less than that of control plants. Transpiration rates were similar among plants grown under CuSO4 and control filters when expressed as leaf area, a result suggesting that the reduced cumulative water loss was a result of smaller plant size. Plants grown under CuSO4 filters had slightly lower (10%) stomatal density than control plants. Light transmitted through CuSO4 filters did not alter the size of individual stomata; however, total number of stomata and total stomatal pore area per plant was ≈50% less in plants grown under CuSO4 filters than in those grown under control filters due to less leaf area. The results suggest that altering light quality may help reduce water use and fertilizer demands while controlling growth during greenhouse production.

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Venkat K. Reddy and Nihal C. Rajapakse

The influence of removal of specific wavelengths [red (R), blue (B), and farred (FR)] from sunlight on the height of chrysanthemum plants was investigated by overlaying Roscolux™ colored acetate films on 4% CuSO4 or water (control) spectral filters. CuSO4 filters removed FR wavelengths and significantly reduced plant height and internode length compared to control plants that received B, R, and FR wavelengths of light. Plants grown under Roscolux blue filters did not receive R light and were significantly taller compared to plants from any other treatments. Plants grown under Roscolux red filters did not receive B light and were significantly shorter compared to plants from other treatments. Leaf area, leaf dry weight, and stem dry weight were highest in plants grown under Roscolux red and control filter combination. The amount of leaf chlorophyll and the ratio of Chl A: Chl B was highest in plants grown under Roscolux blue filters. In general, plants that received FR light (control + film) were taller than the plants that did not receive FR light in the corresponding (CuSO4 + film) filter combination. The influence of removal of specific wavelengths on plant height control and developmental physiology will be discussed.

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Nihal C. Rajapakse and John W. Kelly

The interactions of light quality and growing season on growth and carbohydrate content of chrysanthemum [Dendranthema × grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura] plants were evaluated using 6% CuSO4 and water (control) as spectral filters. Light transmitted through the CuSO4 filter significantly reduced plant height and internode length compared to control plants regardless of the season. However, the degree of response varied with growing season. Light transmitted through CuSO4 filters delayed flowering. Total number of flowers was not affected by spectral filter, but plants grown under CuSO4 filter had smaller flowers than those grown under the control filter. Light transmitted through CuSO4 filter resulted in reduced leaf and stem soluble sugar (sucrose, glucose, and fructose) and starch concentrations regardless of the growing season. However, the magnitude of reduction was greater in spring- than in fall-grown plants. Stems of fall-grown plants had more starch deposition than spring-grown plants under both filters. Filters with specific spectral characteristics can be used as alternative means of producing compact plants in the greenhouses, however, the delay in flowering and smaller flowers could limit their use for growth control of plants intended for flower production.

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Nihal C. Rajapakse and John W. Kelly

The role of light quality and quantity in regulating growth of vegetative Dendranthema × grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura was evaluated using CuSO4 solutions and water (control) as spectral filters. Copper sulfate filters increased the red (R): far-red (FR) and the blue (B): R ratios (R = 600 to 700 nm; FR = 700 to 800 nm; B = 400 to 500 urn) of transmitted light. Photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) under 4%, 8% and 16% CuSO4 filters was reduced 26%, 36%, and 47%, respectively, from natural irradiance in the greenhouse, which averaged ≈ 950 μmol·m-2·s-1. Control treatments were shaded with Saran plastic film to ensure equal PPF as the corresponding C uSO4 chamber. Average daily maxima and minima were 26 ± 3C and 16 ± 2C. At the end of the 4-week experimental period, average height and internode length of plants grown under CuSO4 filters were ≈ 40% and 34% shorter than those of plants grown under control filter. Reduction in plant height and internode length was apparent within 1 week after the beginning of treatment. Total leaf area (LA) was reduced by 32% and leaf size (LS) was reduced by 24% under CuSO4 filters. Specific leaf weight (SLW) was higher under CuSO4 filters than for the controls. Irradiance transmitted through CuSO4 filters reduced fresh and dry leaf weights by 30%. Fresh and dry stem weights of plants grown under CuSO4 filters were 60% lower than those of controls. Relative dry matter accumulation into leaves was increased in plants grown under CuSO4 filters while it was reduced in stems. A single application of GA3 before irradiation partially overcame the height reduction under CuSO4 filters, suggesting GA biosynthesis/action may be affected by light quality. Our results imply that alteration of light quality could be used to control chrysanthemum growth as an alternative method to conventional control by chemical growth regulators. Chemical names used: gibberellic acid (GA)

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V.R. Kambalapally and Nihal C. Rajapakse

The role of light quality on growth, flowering, and postharvest characteristics of `Nellie White' Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) was evaluated in two growing seasons using 4% CuSO4 and water (control) as spectral filters. The CuSO4 filter significantly reduced plant height and internode length. However, the height reduction was smaller in the 1994—95 season (9%) than in the 1995—96 growing season (32%). The number of days to flower bud appearance and flower opening, and the number and diameter of flowers were not significantly affected by the spectral filters in either season. The CuSO4 filters reduced flower longevity by 3 days in nonstored plants, and by 5 days when plants were subjected to 1 week storage at 4 °C prior to placing in the postharvest room. Results suggest that spectral filters are effective in controlling height and producing compact Easter lily plants without causing a delay in flowering or reducing number of flowers per plant but flower longevity can be adversely affected.

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Shumin Li, Nihal C. Rajapakse, and Ryu Oi

Growth chamber experiments were conducted to investigate the effectiveness of several photoselective plastic films in controlling height of `Sweet Success' cucumber, `Mt. Pride' tomato, and `Capistrano' bell pepper transplants. Four types of treatment films; a control, two far-red light intercepting films (YXE-1 and YXE-10), and a red light intercepting film (SXE-1), with R: FR ratios of 1.0, 2.0, 1.6, and 0.8, respectively, were used as the covering materials of experimental chambers. Photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) was adjusted to be the same in all chambers with cheese cloth. Treatment period for cucumber and tomato was 15 days and that for bell pepper was 20 days. At the end of the treatment, significantly shorter plants were found in both YXE-1 and YXE-10 chambers for all the three tested crops. However, YXE-10 was more effective than YXE-1 in producing compact cucumber, tomato and bell pepper transplants. SXE-4 film produced taller plants than control film. Magnitude of response to filtered light varied with the crop species. Number of leaves was not significantly affected by the light transmitted through photoselective filters, indicating that the height reduction was mainly caused by the reduction in internode length. With the commercial development of photoselective greenhouse covers or shade material in the near future, nursery and greenhouse industry could potentially reduce the cost for growth regulating chemicals, reduce the health risks to their workers and consumers, and reduce environmental pollution.

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V.R. Kambalapally and Nihal C. Rajapakse

The role of light quality on growth, flowering, and postharvest characteristics of `Nellie White' Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) was evaluated in two growing seasons using 4% CuSO4 and water (control) as spectral filters. The CuSO4 filter significantly reduced plant height and internode length. However, the height reduction was smaller in the 1994-95 season (9%) than in the 1995-96 growing season (32%). The number of days to flower bud appearance and flower opening, and the number and diameter of flowers were not significantly affected by the spectral filters in either season. The CuSO4 filters reduced flower longevity by 3 days in nonstored plants, and by 5 days when plants were subjected to 1 week storage at 4 °C prior to placing in the postharvest room. Results suggest that spectral filters are effective in controlling height and producing compact Easter lily plants without causing a delay in flowering or reducing number of flowers per plant but flower longevity can be adversely affected.