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  • Author or Editor: Vizzotto Giannina x
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Experiments on root restriction effect were carried out on micropropagated peach rootstock (GF677) plants grown in pots with different volume (1350 and 270 ml).

Root restriction reduced plant growth expressed as shoot length, FW and DW accumulation and leaf area. Application of a triazole (BAS 111, GA biosynthesis inhibitor) or TIBA (inhibitor of auxin polar transport) also reduced plant growth as compared to root restriction.

Pn measured on expanded leaves developed during the time-course experiment showed to be affected by root restriction. In fact the assimilation rate exhibited by plants grown in 270 ml volume pots remained at lower level at least at the lower light intensities. TIBA treatment dramatically reduced the assimilation rate at all the light intensities tested, while BAS111 did not induced evident differences as compared to the control plants. The stomata density per leaf doubled in the plants grown in 1350 ml pots as compared to that of plants in the 270 ml pots.

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One- and three-node nectarine explants were compared with intact potted units of similar dimension. The explants and intact plants performed similarly as judged by rate of leaf photosynthesis, leaf and fruit respiration, and changes in fresh and dry weights. Water loss and transpiration were less in explants than intact plants after 24 h. Explants with fruit of nectarine, olive, and prune were used to evaluate uptake and distribution of 14C-labeled paclobutrazol (PBZ), daminozide, and sucrose in plant parts. These comparisons reveal that the explant system is useful for primary testing of hypotheses, screening of chemicals, and evaluating species response for later testing of selected parameters in the field. Three-node explants containing fruit are reliable for experiments lasting up to 4 days. Chemical names used: succinic acid 2,2 dimethylhydrazide [daminozide (SADH)]; β-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-α-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol [paclobutrazol (PBZ)].

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`Redhaven' peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) fruit abscission has been investigated using scanning electron microscopy, computer-assisted video-image analysis, and confocal laser scanning microscopy in conjunction with chlorotetracycline and ethidium bromide as fluorescent probes for membrane Ca2+ and nuclear DNA. This enabled us to document the morphological changes of the cells, distribution patterns of membrane Ca2+ in the constituent cells of the abscission zone, and the nuclear morphology with accompanying changes in nuclear DNA. The digitized images of CTC-fluorescence emissions revealed that the membrane Ca2+ levels in the pre-abscission zone (control) is uniform and similar to that present in the cells of the spongy proximal region of the peduncle and that of the fruit parenchyma. However, with the induction of abscission, 2 days after embryoctomy, there was a significant increase in membrane Ca2+ in the cells of the abscission zone compared to the neighboring cells of the fruit and the peduncle. Thereafter, with the gradual separation of the cells and the concomitant vacuolation, the membrane Ca2+ level decreased substantially. Confocal imaging of EB labeled cells of the abscission zone before induction invariably revealed a well-organized nucleus. However, during cell separation, significant changes in the cellular and nuclear morphology occured, including 1) rounding of cells, 2) reduction in the nuclear volume, and 3) concomitant fragmentation of nuclear DNA. The possible role of Ca2+ during the process of peach fruit abscission and nuclear DNA fragmentation leading to cell death is discussed. Chemical names used: chlorotetracycline (CTC), ethidium bromide (EB).

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The efficacy of Prohexadione-Ca on vegetative and reproductive parameters was tested for 3 years on three apple cultivars (Golden Delicious, Braeburn, and Fuji) at concentrations ranging from 125 up to 350 ppm. The Prohexadione-ca was applied after shoots reached 5 cm length, for 1 month. In all cases, Prohexadione-Ca reduced shoot growth, showed the tendency to increase fruit size and to enhance return bloom. In addition, it increased leaf coloration and higher chlorophyll content, and it induced higher photosynthetic efficiency than the control. The relationships among shoot reduction, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic efficiency are discussed.

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