High temperature reduces fruit set in bell pepper [Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum (Grossum Group)], and reduction of pepper productivity, resulting from high temperature, may be a direct effect of temperature or an indirect effect of water stress induced by increased vapor pressure deficits (VPDs) at high temperature. We evaluated responses of plant growth, reproduction, net photosynthesis (PN), chlorophyll fluorescence, predawn respiration, leaf water potential, and stomatal conductance of `Ace' and `Bell Boy' bell pepper to elevated temperature (33 °C) with increased VPD (2.1 kPa) or elevated temperature with no increase in VPD (1.1 kPa). VPD had no effect on flower number or fruit set and did not adversely influence the physiological processes measured. Therefore, deleterious effects of high temperature on pepper fruit set does not appear to be temperature induced water stress, but is more likely a direct temperature response. Elevated temperature decreased fruit set but not flower production. Gas exchange measurements suggest failure to set fruit was not due to reduced leaf photosynthesis.
Tomato production represents >70% of all greenhouse vegetables produced in Quebec, Canada. To obtain high yields and high quality fruit, an adequate control of greenhouse environmental characteristics, including the vapor pressure deficit (VPD), is necessary. Our study examines four VPD treatments (0.5 kPa day and night, 0.8 kPa day and night, 0.8 kPa day 0.5 kPa night, and automatic VPD management according to transpiration) and three photoperiods [12 h, 14 h, and variable-12 h (summer) 16 h (winter)] on growth, yield, and photosynthetic capacity of tomato plants. Greenhouse temperature was maintained at 22C day/18C night. Pure CO2 was injected into the greenhouse to maintain a constant atmospheric concentration of 800 ppm throughout the experiment. Growth, yield, and leaf mineral composition were determined monthly for each treatment during the experiment. The photosynthetic rate of the 5th and 10th leaves also were measured in addition to the content of chlorophyll a and b. Our results indicated an increase in total yield and photosynthetic rate under a VPD of 0.8 kPa during day and night. An increase in leaf mineral concentration also was noted in plants grown under high VPD. Differences in yield and photosynthetic capacity were not found between the three photoperiods studied. However, there was a tendency to have higher yields under longer photoperiods.
Three genotypes (‘Heinz 1350’, neglecta-1, yellow-green-5) of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were grown during winter under natural light or with natural light supplemented with light from high-pressure sodium vapor (HPS) lamps (200-400 μmol·s-1·m-2). The plants were grown in sand culture with NO- 3 or NH+ 4 nutrition. Symptoms resembling Ca, Mg, K, and P deficiencies developed on the foliage of plants exposed to radiation from HPS lamps. Clustering of short branches in the lateral and terminal growing regions (yg-5) and epinasty (‘Heinz 1350’ and neg-1) developed on the shoots receiving HPS irradiation. Ethylene evolution by the three genotypes was enhanced by the supplemental lighting and NH+ 4 nutrition. Concentrations of Ca, Mg, K, and P in the shoots were lower in plants receiving HPS irradiation than in plants grown under natural light. Dry weights of shoots were increased by supplemental lighting relative to the weights of the plants receiving only natural light. Total accumulation of Ca, Mg, K, and P was not suppressed by HPS lighting, indicating that the phytotoxic effects of the lamps was not due to their effects on total nutrient accumulation.
Hexanal vapor is a natural, metabolizable fungicide that inhibits fungal activity and enhances the aroma biosynthesis in sliced apple fruit. Whole apple fruit were inoculated at two points per fruit with Penicillium expansum at a concentration of 0.5 × 105 spore/ml and treated with hexanal vapors. Inoculated fruit were exposed to hexanal for 48 hr and kept for another 72 hr in hexanal-free air at 22°C. Treatments included 8.2–12.3 μmol·L–1 (200–300 ppm), 14.5-18.6 μmol·L–1 (350–450 ppm), and 24.8-28.9 μmol·L–1 (600–700 ppm), each with an air control. At a concentration of 200–300 ppm hexanal, there was no fungal growth during treatment, but lesion development was evident on 100% of the treated fruit following cessation of treatment. After 72 hr holding in air, lesion diameter was significantly smaller for treated fruit. When inoculated apple fruit were exposed to 350–450 ppm and 600–700 ppm hexanal vapors, the decay rate was 44.7% and 23.9%, respectively, while the decay rate of inoculated control apple fruit was 100% and 98%, respectively, after 72 hr holding in air. The development of aroma volatiles was investigated for both treated and untreated whole apple fruit. Hexanal was actively converted to aroma volatiles by `Golden Delicious' fruit and there was no detectable hexanal emanations. The amount of hexylacetate, hexylbutanoate, hexylhexanoate, hexylpropionate, butylhexanoate, and hexyl-2-methybutanoate were about 2- to 4-fold higher in treated apple fruit than in untreated apple fruit. `Mutsu' apple fruit were treated with 350–450 ppm hexanal for 48 hr and processed into apple sauce within 4 hr. An informal sensory evaluation for processed `Mutsu' apple revealed no apparent flavor difference between treated and control fruit sauce.
Producing high quality rooted stem cuttings on a large scale requires precise management of the rooting environment. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of the rooting environment on adventitious root formation of stem cuttings of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.). Hardwood stem cuttings of loblolly pine were collected in Feb. 2002 from hedged stock plants and stored at 4 °C until setting in Apr. 2002. One hundred stem cuttings per plot in each of two replications received 45, 61, 73, 102, 147, or 310 mL·m-2 of mist delivered intermittently by a traveling gantry (boom) system. Mist frequency was similar for all treatments and was related inversely to relative humidity (RH) within the polyethylene covered greenhouse. Rooting tubs in each plot were filled with a substrate of fine silica sand, and substrate water potential was held constant using soil tensiometers that activated a subirrigation system. Cutting water potential was measured destructively on two cuttings per plot beginning at 0500 hr every 3 hh until 2300 hr (seven measurements) 7, 14, 21, or 28 days after setting. During rooting, leaf temperature and RH were recorded in each plot to calculate vapor pressure deficit (VPD). Cutting water potential and VPD were strongly related to mist application. Cutting water potential was also related to VPD. Rooting percentage had a linear and quadratic relationship with mean cutting water potential and VPD averaged between 1000 and 1800 HR. Eighty percent rooting occurred within a range of values for VPD. Data suggest that VPD can be used to manage the water deficit of stem cuttings of loblolly pine to increase rooting percentage. These results may be applicable to other species and to other rooting environments.
Acetic acid (AA) fumigation of rootstocks and dormant shoots was explored as a method of eliminating plant pathogens from propagation material. Dormant shoots were tested in early winter to determine the rate of AA vapor that they could tolerate before being damaged. Apricot (Prunus armeniaca), apple (Malus ×domestica), and peach (Prunus persica) shoots collected from a single site in Dec. 1999 tolerated 30, 12, or 6 mg·L–1 AA, respectively. Vineland 3 (V3) and Malling-Merton 106 (MM.106) rootstock liners fumigated with 1 mg·L–1 AA were adequately surface-sterilized although the effect on growth was not recorded. A similar experiment with Malling 9 (M9) rootstocks showed that 12 mg·L–1 AA would eliminate most surface microorganisims from roots although it delayed shoot growth when the trees were planted. The higher 15 mg·L–1 rate delayed tree growth and appeared to kill some trees. The 12 mg·L–1 rate prevented growth of Erwinia amylovora and Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae bacteria on shoots even when an enrichment technique was used to detect them. Finally, when 96 `Jonagold' apple shoots known to be infected by Podosphaera leucotricha were fumigated with AA in 2001, none developed powdery mildew, although 99% of the control shoots did. These promising results suggest that further research should be done toward adapting AA fumigation for use by commercial nurseries.
The generation of dilute vapor phase standards using the static headspace method can be challenging, requiring the construction of specialized chambers or use special methods for adding minute amounts of the compound of interest. The vapor concentration above a dilute water solution can be effective and accurate and has been used to create standards to measure the concentration for a wide range of volatile and semivolatile organic compounds. Such systems are highly temperature-sensitive, however. The goal of this work is to mathematically describe the relationship between vapor concentration above a dilute water mixture for compounds important to postharvest physiology, such as ethanol, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate, and hexanol. The experiments were carried out in the range of 0 to 40°C and concentration of 0 to 1000 ppm for each compound. Three replications were used for each data point. The concentration was measured after thermal and chemical equilibration by gas chromatography containing a HAYESSEP-N column, by injecting 1 cc of the vapor headspace, using a 8-cm-long needle Hamilton syringe. Relationships for each of the compounds noted were successfully described employing multiple-order equations. For example, the relationship for ethanol vapor concentration was: Y = 12.12356 + 0.9461594*X + 0.5761110e-01*X2 + 0.6565694E-03*X3 + 0.23499598E-04*X4 (R 2 = 1.000), with X being the temperature in °C. The relationships described for those compounds provides an useful tool that allows us to dilute liquid standards across a range of temperatures.
Net photosynthesis (Pn), transpiration (Tr), and stomatal conductance for CO2 (gs) were determined at 26° ± 1°C for leaves on intact and excised apple shoots at different vapor pressure gradients (VPG’s). Pn, Tr, and gs of leaves on intact and excised shoots responded similarly to changes in VPG. Pn and gs were not affected directly by VPG. Tr increased as VPG increased since stomatal closure did not counterbalance the increased VPG.
Refrigerated fresh-cut fruit and vegetables are the most rapidly expanding area in produce sales. Shelf life for minimally processed produce depends on natural product senescence or spoilage organism decay. Shelf life limits, near-aseptic cutting facilities, refrigerated transportation, and refrigerated storage make it possible to ship precut cantaloupe coast to coast on a year-round basis. Thorough cantaloupe surface disinfection reduces potential spoilage organisms and harmful pathogens. We compared using vapor hydrogen peroxide and sulfur dioxide to the current practice of hypochlorite (HOCL) washing to reduce cantaloupe microbial load. After treatment, cantaloupe were stored in unsealed polyethylene bags at 2.2°C for 4 weeks. The HOCL treated fruit were scrubbed and soaked for 5 minutes in a commercial HOCL solution. After 4 weeks, the HOCL washed fruit had reduced visible molds compared to controls. Cantaloupes fumigated for 60 minutes with 5000 or 10,000 ppm sulfur dioxide developed sunken lesions but no significant decay after 4 weeks storage. Cantaloupes, treated 60 minutes with 3 mg·L–1 volume vapor hydrogen peroxide, did not show injury or significant decay after 4 weeks storage. Sulfur dioxide and vapor hydrogen peroxide show promise as alternatives to HOCL.
Two experiments were conducted during which juvenile hardwood or softwood stem cuttings of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) were rooted under six mist regimes in a polyethylene-covered greenhouse to investigate the effect of mist level on vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and cutting water potential (Ψcut), and to determine the relationships between these variables and rooting percentage. In addition, net photosynthesis at ambient conditions (Aambient) and stomatal conductance (gs) were measured in stem cuttings during adventitious root formation to determine their relationship to rooting percentage. Hardwood stem cuttings rooted ≥80% when mean daily VPD between 1000 and 1800 hr ranged from 0.60 to 0.85 kPa. Although rooting percentage was related to Ψcut, and Aambient was related to Ψcut, rooting percentage of softwood stem cuttings was not related to Aambient of stem cuttings. Using VPD as a control mechanism for mist application during adventitious rooting of stem cuttings of loblolly pine might increase rooting percentages across a variety of rooting environments.