The methods of Wall and York (1957) were used to measure cotyledon position in two populations of three species interspecific Phaseolus hybrids and in the single species cultivars and accessions of P. coccineus, P. acutifolius, and P. vulgaris used as parents. Cotyledon position was represented by the length of the epicotyl as a percentage of the total length of the seedling's stem from the first root initial to the base of the primary node. Progeny of interspecific crosses between P. coccineus and P. vulgaris have been shown to inherit the cotyledon position of the cytoplasmic parent. The objectives of this study were to determine if three species hybrids also inherited the cotyledon position of the cytoplasmic parent, and to determine if P. acutifolius could be distinguished from P. vulgaris by its cotyledon position. Results indicated that the cotyledon positions of the three species hybrids did not differ significantly from the cotyledon positions of cultivars of the species used as the cytoplasmic parent for both P. vulguris cytoplasm and P. coccineus cytoplasm. Further, the cotyledon position of the P. acutifolius accessions did differ significantly from the cotyledon positions of both the P. vulgaris cultivars and the three species hybrid with P. vulgaris cytoplasm. These results suggest that cotyledon position may indeed be a species-specific trait for Phaseolus in Lamprecht's sense of the term.
Despite the demonstrated importance of gibberellins (GAs) as regulators of fruit tree stature, information on their in vivo metabolism in apple vegetative tissues is still lacking. To determine whether the GA content and metabolism differs between dwarf and standard phenotypes and the influence of rootstocks, [14C]GA12, a common precursor of all GAs in higher plants, was applied to vigorously growing apple (Malus ×domestica) shoots collected from the scion cultivar Redcort on MM.106, a growth-promoting rootstock, and dwarf and standard seedlings on their own roots from progeny 806 (a cross between a breeding selection with reduced stature and an advanced breeding selection with a standard tree form). Twenty-one metabolites were identified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and used as tracers for the purification of endogenous GAs. The existence of endogenous and [2H]-labeled GA12, GA15, GA53, GA44, GA19, GA20, and GA3 was demonstrated by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS); GA20 was the major GA present, with slightly less GA19 and GA44, and with GA3 present at approximately one-third the level of GA20. Despite specific searching, neither GA4, GA7, GA1, nor GA29 was found, showing that [14C]GA12 is metabolized mainly through the 13-hydroxylation pathway and that GA3 is a bioactive GA in apple vegetative tissues. The invigorating rootstock led to a slow GA metabolic rate in ‘Redcort’. For self-rooted plants, the same GAs were identified in dwarf and standard seedlings from progeny 806, although standard plants metabolized at twice the speed of dwarf plants. Young branches of dwarf 806 plants treated with GA3 were one-third longer with more nodes but similar in internode length. We conclude that the dwarf phenotype in progeny 806 is not caused by a lack of certain GAs in the GA biosynthesis pathway downstream of GA12.
An enzymatic peeling process is currently used to produce peeled citrus fruit that are convenient for consumption. By this process, fruit are scored and infused with pectinase or pectinase and cellulase solution and are incubated at 20 to 45C for 0.5 to 2 h. While enzyme solution apparently weakens of the albedo and thus improves separation of the fruit from its peel, we expect that enzyme infused into the flesh reduces storage quality. In these studies, fruit were vacuum- or pressure-infused with or without pectinase in water. The time required to peel white `Marsh' and `Ruby Red' grapefruit infused with solution containing enzyme were only 10% to 20% less than for fruit infused with water alone. `Hamlin' orange and `Orlando' tangelo peeling times were not improved by enzyme treatment. This suggests that water is the primary operative component of the enzyme solution and that the enzyme is an active, but nonessential, supplement. For white grapefruit and oranges stored at 5, 10, 15, or 25C, nonenzyme-treated fruit had significantly less juice leakage than enzyme-treated fruit. For example, 0.2% and 5.0% of the peeled fruit weight was lost by non-enzymatically and enzymatically peeled fruit, respectively, for vacuum-infused oranges stored at 5C for 7 days. Moreover, the enzyme treatment significantly reduced firmness, as determined by a sensory panel. Microbial levels and rates of respiration and ethylene emanation during storage were not significantly affected by enzyme treatment. Similar results were found for vacuum- and pressure-infused fruit.
A postharvest peel disorder, morphologically similar to chilling injury (CI), was detected on nonchilled `Marsh' white grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.). Like CI, the disorder was characterized by pitting of the peel caused by the collapse of oil gland clusters. This disorder is distinguished from CI in that pitting developed within the first 10 days of postharvest storage on fruit held at high (21.0C), but not low (4.5C), temperatures and on waxed fruit, but not unwaxed fruit. Pathogens isolated from pitted fruit were similar to those of nonpitted fruit. No preharvest pitting or visual clues of fruit susceptibility were observed.
Peeling and storage characteristics of citrus fruit infused with water or enzyme solution were compared. Fruit were vacuum- or pressure-infused with water or water-containing pectinase. The enzyme treatment did not affect peeling times of white or red grapefruit, oranges, or tangelos. Pressure and vacuum infusion methods produced similar results. Grapefruit and oranges infused with water had significantly less juice leakage and were firmer than fruit infused with enzyme. Microbial levels and respiration rates and ethylene emanation during storage were the same for enzyme- and water-treated fruit.
A nutrient delivery system that may have applicability for growing plants in microgravity is described. The Vacuum-Operated Nutrient Delivery System (VONDS) draws nutrient solution across roots that are under a partial vacuum at ≈91 kPa. Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv. Blue Lake 274) plants grown on the VONDS had consistently greater leaf area and higher root, stem, leaf, and pod dry weights than plants grown under nonvacuum control conditions. This study demonstrates the potential applicability of the VONDS for growing plants in microgravity for space biology experimentation and/or crop production.