I have read the paper of Lang et al. (8) with great interest. The authors propose a new terminology and classification of dormancy based on three main terms: eco–, para–, and endodormancy. I agree with the authors that the present nomenclature, which developed over time, is complex, confusing, and difficult to understand. A wide variety of terms have been used, often even for the same phenomenon, and some terms have several definitions. Lang and coworkers hope to bring clarity to this situation by introducing the terms eco–, para–, and endodormancy. However, I find it difficult to adapt this terminology to a physiological description of dormancy. In my opinion, the new terms Lang et al. contribute to confusion rather than to clarity.
Dormancy (absence of budbreak) in Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt., was greatest from 1 September to 13 October 1981 in ‘Smoky’ and from 1 September to 27 October 1981 in ‘Pembina’. About 576 hours for ‘Smoky’ and 696 hours for ‘Pembina’ at 0° to 7°C, were required to break bud dormancy. One week of additional chilling (3°) had little effect during deep rest, but had a significant effect when the rest requirement was nearly satisfied. Flower bud hardening began in early September and attained –44° LT50 for florets on 30 October. Vascular connective tissue at the base of the bud was less hardy than floral primordia, throughout the dormant season. Flower buds dehardened from –60° to –30° after exposure to 20° for 7 days, to –14° after exposure to 20° for 14 days. No low-temperature exotherms were detected.
The role of phytochrome in control of stem elongation by daily temperature alternations is unclear. The aim of this work was to study the involvement of phytochrome B in thermoperiodism in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and the interaction with gibberellin (GA). The wild type and the phytochrome B deficient, long-hypocotyl (lh) cucumber mutant were grown under alternating day (DT) and night temperature (NT) and either with or without an exposure to end-of-day far-red light (EOD-FR). Without EOD-FR, hypocotyl and internodes of the wild type plants were shorter under a low DT (19 °C)/high NT (25 °C) (negative DIF) compared with a high DT/low NT regime (positive DIF), while the number of leaves was reduced by 12%. EOD-FR enhanced elongation of hypocotyl and internodes. However, EOD-FR reduced the effect of alternating temperature on hypocotyl elongation. The lh cucumber mutant did not respond to EOD-FR treatments, but internode length was slightly increased by positive compared with negative DIF. The results suggest that phytochrome B is required for a maximum effect of daily temperature alternations on stem elongation in cucumber. Additional GA4 reduced the difference between positive and negative DIF, but it had a minor effect only on the difference between EOD-FR and EOD red light (EOD-R) in the wild type. Plants depleted for endogenous GA by the GA biosynthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol, did not respond at all to DIF or EOD treatments. When seedlings were treated with prohexadione-calcium, which blocks both biosynthesis and inactivation of GA4, response to applied GA4 was enhanced by EOD-FR. The present results suggest that, in cucumber, EOD-FR, and probably also positive DIF, enhances tissue sensitivity to GA4. In addition, catabolism of GA4 can be enhanced by negative DIF.