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  • Author or Editor: Wayne H. Loescher x
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Abstract

Extraction and assay of sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) throughout fruit maturation of 3 apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) cultivars, watercore-resistant ‘Golden Delicious,’ occasionally susceptible ‘McIntosh’, and normally susceptible ‘Starkrimson,’ showed no relationship between susceptibility to watercore and extractable enzyme activity. There was, however, a relationship between increased SDH activity and onset of the climacteric as measured by ethylene and CO2 evolution, suggesting that SDH, like certain other enzymes, increases during maturation.

Open Access

Abstract

Nonstructural carbohydrates of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L. ‘Bing’) changed dramatically both qualitatively and quantitatively during the year. In perennial tissues, total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) were highest at leaf abscission. TNC increased sharply in spurs at budbreak, but, in other perennial tissues, reserves decreased with or before budbreak. TNC in all but spurs were least, e.g., 2% to 4% of fall levels, shortly after full bloom, but then immediately began to increase. Accumulations slowed during the last 4 to 6 weeks of fruit growth and then increased after harvest. Prebloom decreases and postbloom increases occurred earlier in 1- and 2-year-old shoots when compared to trunk or root tissues. Starch was the most common storage material. During winter, interconversion of starch and soluble carbohydrates in wood of the trunk and 1- and 2-year-old shoots was apparent. Sucrose was the predominant soluble carbohydrate during dormancy, but sorbitol dominated during active growth. Raffinose was present only during dormancy, and inositol only when leaves were present. Because sweet cherry flowers and fruits early, carbohydrate reserves could critically affect productivity.

Open Access

Diurnal fluctuations in soluble carbohydrates and starch were monitored in young (expanding), mature (first fully expanded), and old (nearing senescence) celery (Apium graveolens L.) leaves. In all tissues, mannitol and sucrose were the carbohydrates present in the highest concentrations. In old and young leaflets and their petioles, there was little change in levels of mannitol and sucrose in 26 hours. In mature leaflets, sucrose accumulated in the light and decreased in the dark; mannitol increased slightly in late afternoon. Starch concentration, although quite low, showed definite diurnal fluctuations in mature leaflets, but only small changes in young and old leaflets. Both sucrose and mannitol were present in mature petiole phloem tissues. Mannitol concentrations were high in the adjacent storage parenchyma tissue, but sucrose was almost undetectable. These data support earlier findings that sucrose is produced, translocated, and metabolized throughout the celery plant. Mannitol is also translocated, but also serves as a major storage carbohydrate in leaf tissues, especially petiole parenchyma. Starch serves as a minor short-term storage compound in leaflets.

Free access

Abstract

Relationships between leaf area per fruit and fruit weight, color, and soluble solids were modeled on spurs isolated following pit hardening on 2-year-old wood of ‘Bing’ sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.). Leaf area per fruit was found to be the largest measured source of variability in the three fruit quality parameters examined. Leaf area per fruit accounted for 66%, 36%, and 53% of the variability in fruit weight, fruit color, and soluble solids, respectively, at Pullman, Wash. Leaf area per spur accounted for 54%, 27%, and 28% of these same fruit quality parameters at Prosser, Wash. In all instances, there was a positive correlation between fruit quality and leaf area per fruit. Soluble solids content was most sensitive to increases in leaf area, followed by fruit weight and color. Leaf area per fruit is important because it represents photosynthetic potential. Ample productive leaf area is essential to producing high-quality sweet cherries.

Open Access

Abstract

Mesocarp development of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch cv. Redhaven] as measured by fresh weight and size increase, progressed along a double sigmoid curve which was reflected in the activity of extractable wall-associated α- and β-nitrophenylgalactosidases. Enzyme activities, both on protein and dry weight basis, rose rapidly during early fruit development, leveled off, then again rose rapidly at maturation. There was more α-nitrophenylgalactosidase activity than β-nitrophenylgalactosidase activity throughout development. Increases in both galactosidases followed rather than preceded increases in size. The final increases were, however, well correlated with fruit maturation.

Open Access

Grafting is a well-established agricultural practice, and it now has implications for the commercialization of transgenic plants. In transgrafted plants, only one part (scion or rootstock) is transgenic with the other part untransformed. However, transgenes may affect both mobile and immobile endogenous metabolites (e.g., RNAs, proteins, and phytohormones) and mobility has implications for transgrafting. In the phloem, long-distance transport of mobile metabolites can play important roles in plant development and signaling. In a transgrafted plant, an immobile transgene product (ITP) is not likely to be translocated across the graft union. In contrast, mobile transgene products (MTP) may be translocated across the graft. Regardless of the mobility of transgene products (TP), interaction of transgenic and nontransgenic parts in transgrafted plants through either the MTP or ITP has been demonstrated to be effective in facilitating changes in nontransgenic portions of the plant. Consequently, and particularly in fruit crops, transgrafting provides the potential for improving products from their nontransgenic parts with the possibility of minimizing the controversy over transgenic crops. This review focuses mainly on the mobility of TP and effects on the whole transgrafted plant.

Free access

Abstract

The rate and efficiency of photosynthesis (PS) is unquestionably one of the primary determinants of crop yield. Yet, as this symposium illustrates, many other factors contribute to plant productivity. Indeed, the exact relationship between PS rate and yield remains undefined. For several years we have now been interested in factors that affect PS rate in both C3 and C4 plants, not only within the plant, but also external to it. Internal factors affecting PS that will be discussed include leaf age, leaf canopy, photorespiration, stage of plant development (including both vegetative and reproductive phases), and the occurrence of little-recognized metabolic pathways such as polyol synthesis and transport. External factors that affect PS, in addition to obvious environmental determinants such as temperature, light, and water, include the seasonal growth cycle. While we still do not understand how all of these factors interact to affect yield, we are beginning to understand their singular effects. Control of these factors, once thought to be within reach even before the advent of biotechnology, remains likely, but distant.

Open Access

Drought is an important abiotic stress that limits common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) productivity. The objective of this study was to determine shoot traits that are associated with drought tolerance in common bean seedlings. Ten common bean genotypes consisting mainly of cultivars and breeding lines from the Mesoamerican race of the Middle American gene pool were first evaluated in the greenhouse. Genotypes were grown in a shallow soil profile to limit root growth and assess shoot phenotypes under stress. Water stress was imposed by withholding watering for 24 days after planting. Traits evaluated included wilting, unifoliate senescence, stem greenness, and recovery from drought. Biomass and number of pods/plant produced after drought recovery were evaluated to quantify the effect of early drought stress on bean growth and reproduction. A second group of 94 common bean genotypes from the Bean Coordinated Agricultural Project (BeanCAP) were evaluated using the same protocol to determine the genetic variability for the same traits in a wider range of genotypes. In general, genotypes known to possess drought avoidance in the field conferred by deep rooting traits performed poorly in these conditions suggesting that the assay could be used to identify seedling shoot traits that contribute to drought tolerance. Genotypes from race Mesoamerica showed the greatest range in wilting. Genotypes that showed a slow rate of wilting maintained a green stem and had a higher recovery rate after watering. Importantly, these genotypes demonstrated a smaller reduction in biomass and pod number under stress compared with non-stress treatments. A few genotypes recovered completely despite expressing severe wilting, whereas the majority of genotypes with high wilting rates did not recover. Among the BeanCAP materials, genotypes bred in the rainfed midwestern United States showed overall better recovery than those bred under the irrigated production system used in the western United States. Because recovery from drought is a prerequisite to plant regrowth, biomass, and pod production after drought stress, factors that contribute to recovery were studied. Stem greenness was highly positively correlated to the recovery, whereas wilting was negatively correlated to the recovery. In a regression analysis, stem greenness and slow wilting were found to be important contributors to the variability of recovery. In addition, photosynthetic rate and stomatal conductance (g S) explained variation in wilting and stem greenness. These results suggest that wilting and stem greenness might be useful traits to screen for drought tolerance in seedlings of common bean.

Free access

A preliminary understanding of developmental processes among divergent species is essential to evaluate the applicability of information from model species to plants of agricultural importance. In tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), where the molecular biology associated with fruit ripening has been studied most extensively, tissue softening is due at least in part to the activity of proteins called expansins, in concert with enzymatic activities that modify the pectin and xyloglucan components of the cell wall. We evaluated the potential for the concerted action of expansins and other cell wall-modifying enzymes during ripening in a highly divergent fruit species, sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.). We identified a family of four expansin genes that was strongly upregulated at the advent of ripening. Activation of these genes was accompanied by strong upregulation of gene(s) encoding potential pectin methylesterases, pectate lyase(s), and xyloglucan endotransglycosylase(s). Initiation of ripening and gene induction were also associated with a rapid decrease in cell wall weight. These results suggest that expansin and several other distinct activities could be involved in ripening-associated cell wall modification in cherries.

Free access