Water manometers were connected to fruits of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), and then fruits were submerged in water baths providing initial temperature gradients between fruit and water of 0 to 19C. Apple (Malus domestics Borkh.) fruits, carrot (Daucus carota L.) roots, witloof chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) roots, rhubarb Rheum rhabarbarum L.) petioles, and pokeweed (Phytolacca americana L.) stems were subjected to water bath temperature gradients of 5C. Internal partial vacuums developed in all organs within minutes of imposing the gradients. The maximum partial vacuums in tomato and pepper fruits increased with increasing temperature gradients. Uptake of water accompanied changes in internal pressure reaching maxima of 17% (w/w) and 2% (w/w) of pepper and tomato fruits, respectively, after 22 hours. Maximum pressure changes achieved in bulky organs deviated from those predicted by the ideal gas law, possibly due to concomitant changes in gas pressure upon replacement of intercellular spaces with water and dissolution of CO2. Partial vacuums also developed in pepper fruits, rhubarb petioles, and pokeweed stems following exposure to air 15C cooler than initial organ temperatures. Results point to the role of temperature gradients in the transport of liquids and gases in plant organs.
Kenneth A. Corey and Zhi-Yi Tan
Zhi Yi Tan and Kenneth A. Corey
A method was developed to improve the yield and quality of chicons of witloof chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) forced hydroponically from roots taken following long-term storage. The method combines the use of a resilient material (polyurethane foam) with the application of pressure to the developing chicons. At the start of forcing, weights of 0, 150, 300, 450, and 900 g/root were applied to the crown and maintained until harvest. Marketable yields and density of chicons of the late-forcing cultivar Faro increased with increasing weight applied. Increasing weight also significantly decreased the length: diameter ratio of chicons, an indicator of quality. Increased marketable yield and improved quality of `Bea' (intermediate to late-forcing cultivar) chicons were achieved with application of 450 g/root. The technique provides a tool for improving economic yields of late-season, hydroponically forced witloof chicory.
Kenneth A. Corey and Zhi Yi Tan
Diurnal changes in air and soil temperatures lead to temperature gradients between air and soil, between roots and shoots, and within plant organs. In response to these gradients, fluctuations in gas pressures may develop in organs that are resistant to exchange of gases. These fluctuations may regulate mass flow of gases or solutions within plants. Patterns of diurnal temperature changes were generated to illustrate temperature gradients between roots and shoots. Experimental confirmation of pressure changes induced by temperature differences between roots and shoots were measured with water manometers attached to stumps of detopped tomato plants. When roots were maintained 8 C lower than shoots, internal pressure decreased by 22 cm H2O. Reversing the direction of the temperature gradient led to an approximately equal and opposite pressure change and to sap movement. These results support a hypothesis that internal pressure gradients resulting from temperature gradients contribute to transport of substances in plants.
K.A. Corey and Zhi Yi Tan
Yields and quality of witloof chicory are often low when roots are forced following several months storage or when forced at high temperatures. A technique was developed to improve the yield and quality of the chicons forced hydroponically and a method developed to determine the rates of respiration and ethylene production during the application of the technique. The technique involves the use of a resilient material (polyurethane) combined with the application of pressure to the developing chicons. Marketable yields and density of `Faro' and `Bea' chicons increased with increasing pressure applied. Increasing pressure also resulted in a significant decrease in the length to diameter ratio of chicons, an indicator of improved quality. Mechanical pressure resulted in a 3 to 4 fold greater increase in ethylene production than the control. Respiration rate increased to about twice that of the control after 10 days forcing and thereafter declined slightly. The technique provides a tool for improving economic yields of hydroponically forced witloof chicory. A possible physiological explanation for the technique is provided.
Zhiyong Hu, Qing Liu, Meilian Tan, Hualin Yi and Xiuxin Deng
In this article, we describe a novel biological phenomenon that the tips of the juice sac of citrus hybrid HRB turned brown and became tough like many “brown thorns”; HRB is a triploid hybrid regenerated from the cross of diploid tangerine BDZ (Citrus reticulata Blanco cv. Huanongbendizao) with an allotetraploid somatic hybrid HR [Hamlin sweet orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck) + rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri Lush)]. Histochemical analysis indicated that the “brown thorn” of HRB resulted from lignin deposition. The juice sac of HRB had 4.6- and 3.8-fold content of lignin of its parents tangerine and HR, respectively. Microscopy observation of the cross-sections of the juice sac verified that the cell wall of the “brown thorn” was lignified. Moreover, the cell walls near the “brown thorns” were obviously thickened. Analysis of enzyme activity indicated that the peroxidase (POD) activity of HRB was significantly higher than its parents. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the transcript abundance of the cinnamate 4-hydroxylase (C4H) gene in HRB was 6.5- and 3.4-fold of its parent BDZ and HR, respectively, but the POD gene transcript abundance was lower than its parent with 1/2-fold of BDZ and 1/7-fold of HR. These facts led to the conclusion that POD and C4H were the key regulating factors for lignin biosynthesis in juice sacs of the hybrid HRB. The POD gene, one member of the POD family, with transcript abundance lower than its parent indicated that this POD isoenzyme was not the regulating factor of lignin biosynthesis, and further study should be carried out to determine which POD isoenzyme is the key factor for lignin biosynthesis.
Yi Tan, Baisha Li, Yi Wang, Ting Wu, Zhenhai Han and Xinzhong Zhang
Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation is commonly used in dicotyledon plants such as apples. The regeneration ability of the recipient is an important factor in transformation efficiency. Here, the variations in bud regeneration rate (BRR) and the number of adventitious buds (NAB) formed per explant in Malus germplasm accessions with phenological stage were estimated. Both BRR and NAB of explants at the dormancy broken and spring sprouting stages were significantly higher than those at the autumn sprouting stage. The genetic diversity and inheritance of BRR and NAB were evaluated using 153 Malus germplasm accessions and 78 hybrid trees of Jonathan × Golden Delicious. Malus sieversii 31, Liberty, and Smoothee exhibited significantly high BRR (98.33%, 98.33%, and 93.33%, respectively) and a large NAB without vitrification. BRR and NAB linearly correlated with each other but not with callus formation rate. The broad sense heritability of the regeneration rate was 92.16%. The three Malus accessions that had high regeneration ability, and some of their sexual descendants, might be outstanding genetic resources for future genetic transformation.