Malus hupehensis Reld apple rootstock seedlings and the rhizobox technique were used in this study. The seeds were collected from healthy mature trees at the Wanshougong Forest Farm in Shandong, China, stratified at 0 to 2 °C for 60 days, sown into growing medium with 1/3 loam soil+1/3 silt sand+1/3 compost manure, grown until the three-leaf stage, and then transplanted into rhizoboxes with four plants in each box. The rhizoboxes were inserted into the ground with the top of the boxes levelled with the soil surface. After the root mattress formed in the center of the box, plants were harvested by carefully dividing each box into rhizoplane, rhizosphere, and bulk soil, and mineral nutrients in each part were analyzed. The relationships were tested between the rhizoplane, rhizosphere, and bulk soil for each nutrent. Significant correlations were found for NH + 4, NO – 3, K, Mg, Zn, and Cu in the rhizoplane, rhizosphere, and bulk soil. There were significant relationships for P and Ca between the rhizoplane and rhizophere, but not between the rhizoplane or rhizosphere and bulk soil. Fe in the rhizoplane closely related to Fe in the rhizosphere but not to Fe in bulk soil. No correlation was found between the rhizoplane and either rhizosphere or bulk soil, but close correlation existed between rhizosphere and bulk soil for Mn.
Lailiang Cheng, Shufu Dong and Leslie H. Fuchigami
Bench-grafted Fuji/M26 trees were fertigated with seven nitrogen concentrations (0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10, 15, and 20 mm) by using a modified Hoagland solution from 30 June to 1 Sept. In Mid-October, plants in each N treatment were divided into three groups. One group was destructively sampled to determine background tree N status before foliar urea application. The second group was painted with 3% 15N-urea solution twice at weekly interval on both sides of all leaves while the third group was left as controls. All the fallen leaves from both the 15N-treated and control trees were collected during the leaf senescence process and the trees were harvested after natural leaf fall. Nitrogen fertigation resulted in a wide range of tree N status in the fall. The percentage of whole tree N partitioned into the foliage in the fall increased linearly with increasing leaf N content up to 2.2 g·m–2, reaching a plateau of 50% to 55% with further rise in leaf N. 15N uptake and mobilization per unit leaf area and the percentage of 15N mobilized from leaves decreased with increasing leaf N content. Of the 15N mobilized back to the tree, the percentage of 15N partitioned into the root system decreased with increasing tree N status. Foliar 15N-urea application reduced the mobilization of existing N in the leaves regardless of leaf N status. More 15N was mobilized on a leaf area basis than that from existing N in the leaves with the low N trees showing the largest difference. On a whole-tree basis, the increase in the amount of reserve N caused by foliar urea treatment was similar. We conclude that low N trees are more effective in utilizing N from foliar urea than high N trees in the fall.
Shufu Dong, Lailiang Cheng and L.H. Fuchigami
New roots of Malus domestica Borkh MM106 apple rootstock were divided into two categories, 1) feeder roots and 2) extension roots based on morphology and their ability to take up NH4 +, were studied. The roots were harvested in August from 1-year-old potted plants growing under natural conditions in Corvallis, Ore. Extension roots were thicker and longer than feeder roots. Average diameter and length were 0.89 and 45.29 mm for extension roots and 0.27 and 5.36 mm for feeder roots. Root special length (cm/g FW) and surface area (cm2/g FW) were 11.94 and 33.17 for extension roots and 108.97 and 93.38 for feeder roots. Maximum uptake rate, Imax, Km, and root absorption power, α (α = Imax•1/Km), for NH4 + absorption were 6.875, 0.721, and 9.48 for extension roots and 4.32, 0.276, and 15.63 for feeder roots. Feeder roots had stronger affinity to NH4 + (low Km) and higher NH4 + absorption power (high α value) than extension roots. The feeder roots were better able to uptake NH4 + at lower external solution concentrations than extension roots according to the nutrient depletion curve, which indicates feeder roots being more efficient than extension roots in nutrient absorption when NH4 + availability was low.
Shufu Dong, Lailiang Cheng and L.H. Fuchigami
The nutrient uptake kinetics by new roots of 1-year-old potted clonal apple rootstocks (M7, M9, M26, M27, MM106, and MM111) were determined by the ion depletion technique at the stable development stage of trees in August. The total roots of five of the rootstocks (except MM111) consisted of more than 60% feeder roots and less than 12% extension roots. MM111, the most vigorous rootstocks tested, had 60.7% feeder roots and 24.5% extension roots. Root: top ratio was negatively related to the growth inhibiting character of the rootstock. Nutrient uptake by excised new roots was found to fit into Michaelis-Menton kinetic model for all rootstocks tested. The kinetic characteristics (maximum uptake rate, Imax, apparent Michaelis-Menton constant, Km, and root absorption power, (α = Imax•1/Km) between rootstocks differed significantly. MM111 had the highest Imax for NH4 + absorption and M9 for NO3 -. Root affinity to ions was highest with MM106 for NH4 + and with M26 for NO3 -. Root absorption power (α = Imax•1/Km) was greatest in MM106 for NH4 + and M9 for NO3 -. At this developmental stage the data suggest no relationship between nutrient uptake and dwarfing character of the rootstocks.
Gerry Neilsen, Denise Neilsen, Shufu Dong, Peter Toivonen and Frank Peryea
Calcium application trials were undertaken in a 'Braeburn' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) orchard with a history of bitter pit development at harvest. In 2000, an early season calcium chloride application strategy was compared with the unsprayed control and a late season application strategy. From 2001–03, the assessment of timing of calcium chloride sprays was extended by comparing effects of five weekly sprays applied during the growing season either early, middle, or late season. Other Ca application strategies tested included sprays of acidified calcium carbonate suspensions and soil application of calcium thiosulphate. In the first experiment, early application of calcium chloride reduced the occurrence of bitter pit at harvest and after 3 months cold air storage, despite having low harvest fruit Ca concentrations. Late sprayed fruit had a higher incidence of bitter pit. In the second experiment, the later calcium chloride was sprayed in the growing season, the higher the fruit Ca concentration at harvest. Despite this, no bitter pit was measured at harvest for 2 years for early and midseason calcium chloride spray regimes. In 2003, when Ca disorders were severe and fruit large, bitter pit was observed despite early season calcium chloride sprays. Soil calcium thiosulphate application and foliar sprays of acidified calcium carbonate suspensions failed to meaningfully augment harvest fruit Ca concentrations and affect bitter pit incidence.
Shufu Dong, Lailiang Cheng, Guihong Bi and Leslie H. Fuchigami
`Gala'/M26 apple and `Bartlett'/OH97 pear trees growing in containers were treated with either 0, 1, 5, 10, 20, or 30g of urea dissolved in 150 mL of distilled water on 7 Sept. 1999. Two weeks after application, a soil sample from each container was analyzed for NH4 + and NO3 –. One day after treatment, the leaves of the apple trees treated with either 20 or 30 g urea wilted and curled and none of the other apple treatments were affected. However, 20 days later, new lateral and terminal buds broke to grow from these two treatments. In contrast, the pear trees showed signs of wilting and leaf necrosis in the 5, 10, 20, and 30 g urea treatments about 6 days after application. Twenty days after treatment, the leaves from the two highest treatments were completely necrotic and remained attached to the trees, while the leaves of 5- and 10-g treatments were partially necrotic and began defoliating. None of the pear trees produced any new lateral or terminal growth. Soil test showed that NH4 + contents of the soils were 54.9, 104.2, 356.9, 884.28, 1154.9, and 1225.2 mg/kg for `Bartlett'/OH97, and 30.2, 62.9, 359.0, 235.1, 529.9, and 499.0 mg/kg for `Gala'/M26 and NO3 – contents of the soils were 40.5, 62.4, 211.0, 129.8, 54.5, and 39.5 mg/kg for `Bartlett'/OH97, and 37.6, 42.0, 178.7, 138.2, 186.2, and 142.1 mg/kg for `Gala'/M26 treated with 0, 1, 5, 10, 20, and 30 g urea, respectively.
Shufu Dong, Denise Neilsen, Gerry H. Neilsen and Michael Weis
A simple flatbed-scanner-based image acquisition system was developed for the measurement of `Gala'/M9 (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) apple tree root growth in rhizoboxes with a transparent acrylic sheet on one side. A tree was planted in the center of each rhizobox, and a modified flatbed scanner was periodically used to directly capture high-resolution digital images of roots growing against the transparent wall. Total root length in the images was either measured manually, or by computer mouse tracing, or automatically with a computer image analysis system. Correlations were made among the different measurements. High quality root images were obtained with the adapted scanner system. Significant linear relationships were found between manual and computer traced root length measurements (r = 0.99), traced and automatic measurements (r = 0.76) and manual and automatic measurements (r = 0.75). Apple roots appeared on the transparent wall 34 days after transplanting, and grew rapidly thereafter, reaching a maximum on the transparent wall 59 days after transplanting. Our results showed that the use of a flatbed scanner for the acquisition of root images combined with computer analysis is a promising technique to speed data acquisition in root growth investigations.
Lailiang Cheng, Sunghee Guak, Shufu Dong and Leslie H. Fuchigami
Bench-grafted Fuji/M26 plants were fertigated with seven nitrogen concentrations (0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10, 15, and 20 mM) by using a modified Hoagland solution from 30 June to 1 Sept. In mid-October, half of the fertigated trees were sprayed with 3% urea twice at weekly intervals, while the other half were left as controls. The plants were harvested after natural leaf fall, stored at 2 °C, and then destructively sampled in January for reserve N and carbohydrate analysis. As N concentration used in fertigation increased, whole-plant reserve N content increased progressively with a corresponding decrease in reserve carbohydrate concentration. Foliar urea application increased whole-plant N content and decreased reserve carbohydrate concentration. The effect of foliar urea on whole-plant reserve N content and carbohydrate concentration was dependent on the N status of the plant, with low-N plants being more responsive than high-N plants. There was a linear relationship between the increase in N content and decrease in carbohydrate concentration caused by foliar urea, suggesting that part of the reserve carbohydrates was used to assimilate N from foliar urea. Regardless of the difference in tree size caused by N fertigation, the increase in the total amount of reserve N by foliar urea application was the same on a whole-tree basis, indicating that plants with low-N background were more effective in using N from urea spray than plants with high-N background.
Shufu Dong, Lailiang Cheng, Pinghai Ding, Guihong Bi and Leslie H. Fuchigami
One-year-old (Old Home) OH87 and OH97 pear rootstocks were grown in 2-gallon containers under natural conditions at Corvallis, Ore., in in 1999. Uniform plants were harvested during August and September, and total leaf area, new shoot number and length, and root growth were measured. The kinetics of NH4 + and NO3 - uptake by new roots of both rootstocks were determined with the ion-depletion technique. OH87 had larger total leaf area, and more and longer shoots than OH97. Total root biomass was similiar between the two rootstocks, but OH87 had a larger proportion of new roots and more extension roots than OH97. Both rootstocks had lower Km values for NH4 + absorption than for NO3 - and therefore both had greater absorptive power for NH4 + than for NO3 - at the low nutrient concentrations. The maximum uptake rates (Vmax) of OH97 were similiar for both NH4 + and NO3 - absorption, but OH87 had a much higher maximum uptake rate for NO3 - than for NH4 +.
Pinghai Ding, Shufu Dong, Lailiang Cheng, Guihong Bi and Leslie H. Fuchigami
Near-infrared (NIR) reflectance spectroscopy was used to determine the chemical composition of fruit and nut trees. Potted almond and bench-grafted Fuji/M26 trees were fertigated during the growing season with different N levels by modifying the Hoagland to create different levels of nitrogen and carbohydrates in plant tissues during dormancy. Dried, ground, and sieved shoot, shank, and root samples were uniformly packed into NIR cells and scanned with a Foss NIRSystem 6500 monochromator from 400 to 2500 nm. Statistical and multiple linear regression methods were used to derive a standard error of performance and the correlation between NIR reading and standard chemical composition analysis (anthrone, Kjedahl and Ninhydrin methods for carbohydrate, total N, and amino acid analysis, respectively) were determined. The multiple determination coefficients (R 2) of apple and almond tissues were 0.9949 and 0.9842 for total nitrogen, 0.9971 and 0.9802 for amino acid, and 0.8889 and 0.8687 for nonstructural carbohydrate, respectively.