A study to determine the influence of light duration on seed germination was performed in a temperature-controlled growth chamber. Light treatments consisted of 0 (control), 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 h of light exposure. Cool fluorescent light bulbs provided 19 μMol·m-2·s-1 light. Fifty seeds of each treatment were placed into separately labeled 6.0-cm-diameter petri dishes lined with Whatman #42 filter papers moistened with 2 mL of distilled water. Seed of both species germinated poorly in the control treatment. Mean time of germination (MTG) and germination percentage increased for both species when seeds were exposed to light. Pre-soaking seed in gibberellic acid (GA) significantly improved germination percentages of both species compared to the untreated control. Centipedegrass germination percentage and MTG also increased with light exposure. Carpetgrass seed germination was not enhanced by GA treatments with light exposure. The results of this experiment suggests that, if seed are covered too deeply, excluding light, MTG and percentage germination will be reduced. However, pre-soaking seed in a GA solution can improve dark germination by as much as 50% for both grass species.
High synchrony, rate, and germination of needle palm [Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Pursh) H.A. Wendle & Drude] seeds were achieved only after removing the sclerotesta and embryo cap, which imposed physical dormancy. After scarification, recently harvested seeds or seeds stored for 12 months at 5C and 100% relative humidity had 96% and 98% final germination (G), with 9 to 11 days required to achieve 50% of final germination (T50) at 30C. Germination temperature controlled G, T50, and days between 10% and 90% of final germination (T90 - T10) of scarified seeds, with respective values of 98%) 9 days, and 5 days at 30C, and 18%, 31 days, and 12 days at 15C. Seeds with 36% moisture at harvest had no reduction in G until moisture was <14%. Germination of seeds with 19% moisture declined from 80% if stored at 0C to 33% if stored at -l0C; no seeds germinated after storage at less than -l0C.
Chlorophyll fluorescence was measured under both laboratory and greenhouse conditions in an effort to develop a quick, reliable, and inexpensive laboratory procedure capable of predicting heat stress experienced by tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) under greenhouse conditions. The laboratory tests consisted of measurements of the ratio of variable to maximal chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) performed on leaf discs taken from whole tomato leaves and placed on a temperature controlled plate. Comparisons were made with greenhouse measurements of the same parameter conducted on intact leaves of whole plants exposed to different temperature treatments imposed by manipulation of the aerial environment of the greenhouse. Dark adaption periods ranging from 15 min to all day in the greenhouse and temperature exposure periods ranging from 5 min to 60 min in the laboratory were compared to find the best correlation between the two tests. Best agreement was obtained with 60 min treatment times in the laboratory and 60 min dark adaption periods in the greenhouse. Fv/Fm decreased quadratically with increasing leaf temperature in a similar fashion in both tests, suggesting that the laboratory approach can adequately predict plant response to greenhouse heat stress.
Eureka lemon (Cirrus limon L. `Eureka') trees were grown in factorial combinations of low (L) or high (H) temperature [day/night temperature regimens of 29.4C/21.1C or 40.5C/32.2C] and ambient (C380) or enriched (C680) atmospheric CO2 concentrations [380 umol mol-1 or 680 umol mol-1, respectively]. After growth under these conditions for 5 months, morning and afternoon leaf carbon assimilation measurements were made with a temperature-controlled cuvette attached to a portable photosynthesis system. Net (P3) and gross (Pg) photosynthesis were measured at 30 umol mol-1 intervals as leaves were exposed to cuvette CO2 drawndowns from 700 to 300 umol mol-1 at 21% and 1% O2, respectively. Photorespiration (Rp) was estimated as the difference between Pg and Pn. Generally, Rp increased as cuvette CO2 decreased. Morning and afternoon Rp of leaves adapted to LC380 conditions were similar. Morning Rp was higher than afternoon Rp for leaves adapted to LC680 conditions. Morning Rp was higher for leaves adapted to HC380 conditions as compared to HC680-adapted leaves. In contrast, afternoon Rp was higher for leaves adapted to HC680 conditions than for H&,-adapted leaves.
Heat stress induces leaf senescence and causes changes in protein metabolism. The objective of this study was to investigate effects of exogenous application of a synthetic form of cytokinin, zeatin riboside (ZR), on protein metabolism associated with leaf senescence under heat stress for a cool-season grass species. Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) (cv. Penncross) plants were exposed to optimum temperature control (20/15 °C, day/night) and heat stress (35/30 °C) in growth chambers. Before heat stress treatments, foliage was sprayed with 10 μmol ZR or water (untreated) for 3 days and then once per week during 35 days of heat stress. Leaf chlorophyll content, photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), and soluble protein content declined, whereas protease activity increased during heat stress. Treatments with ZR helped maintain higher leaf chlorophyll content, Fv/Fm, and soluble protein content under heat stress. Protease activity in ZR-treated plants was lower than that of untreated plants. Zeatin riboside-treated plants had less severe degradation of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase proteins than untreated plants exposed to heat stress. In addition, ZR treatment upregulated the expression of 32- and 57-kDa proteins under heat stress conditions. These results demonstrated that the exogenous application of ZR ameliorated the negative effects of heat stress, as manifested by suppression or delay of leaf senescence. Cytokinins may have helped to alleviate heat stress injury, probably by slowing down the action of protease and by induction or upregulation of heat-shock proteins.
Tulip bulbs (Tulipa spp.) were placed under ventilated low pressure storage (LPS) conditions for 14 days in either August or September. Compared to 760 mm Hg stored bulbs, LPS suppressed leaf growth and floral development. These effects were highly visible after storage in air at either 76 or 150 mm Hg and in the month of August. When tulip bulbs were forced, LPS treatments applied in August delayed flowering of most cultivars and flower size was occasionally reduced; in September treatments, LPS ventilation with additional O2 and CO2 accelerated flowering of 2 cultivars, but flower size was reduced. When stored under 76 mm Hg in air in August, most cultivars of hyacinth (Hyacinthus spp.) were subsequently delayed in flowering, but daffodils (Narcissus spp.) were not. Except for one cultivar of each species, LPS did not affect the percent of plants flowering, plant height or flower size. Penicillium growth on the bulb tunics was enhanced by humidifying the air under LPS conditions. It is concluded that LPS provides no advantages over the ventilated, temperature controlled units presently employed.
Rhizomes of black cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.) grown in the deep woodland shade of eastern North America have been used historically as medicinals, but wild populations have declined because of collection pressure. The purpose of this study is to determine the potential for black cohosh production in perlite. Currently, cultivated plants represent just 3% of the total harvest. Perlite production should also result in clean, uniform plant material. Rhizomes were grown at 18 °C in controlled environment chambers in the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Phytotron in perlite for 42 days with fertigation 3, 6, or 12 times daily and 18.5, 21.5, or 24.5 °C root zone temperatures adjusted using heating cables. Leaf areas of the 21.5 and 24.5 °C root temperature treatments were greater than the 18.5 °C treatment. Stem number and new root number was highest in the 21.5 °C treatment. No effects of the fertigation treatments were significant. The second experiment was conducted 7 June–31 Oct. 2004 in a naturally lit temperature-controlled (22/18 °C) glass greenhouse in the NCSU Phytotron at nutrient solution EC levels of 0.7, 1.1, or 1.5 dS·m-1 and shading levels of 0%, 50%, and 75%. Highest leaf area and increase in fresh weight of the rhizomes over the experimental period was in the 50% shading treatment, but no significant effects of EC treatments were observed. Rhizome fresh weight increased 310% in the 50% shade, compared to 193% and 196% in the 0% and 75% shading treatments, respectively. In conclusion, black cohosh appears to prefer some shading during summer and 21.5 °C root temperatures. Low EC (0.7 dS·m-1) and infrequent watering (3 times daily) did not appear to limit growth in this system, but these results should be confirmed in larger studies in commercial greenhouses.
CO2 enrichment increases efficiency of light utilization and rate of growth, thereby reducing the need for supplemental lighting and potentially lowering cost of production. However, during warmer periods of the year, CO2 enrichment is only possible intermittently due to the need to vent for temperature control. Previous research investigated the separate and combined effects of daily light integral and continuous CO2 enrichment on biomass accumulation in lettuce. The current research was designed to look at the efficiency with which lettuce is able to utilize intermittent CO2 enrichment, test the accuracy with which growth can be predicted and controlled, and examine effects of varying CO2 enrichment and supplemental lighting on carbon assimilation and plant transpiration on a minute by minute basis. Experiments included application of various schedules of intermittent CO2 enrichment and gas exchange analysis to elucidate underlying physiological processes. Same-day and day-to-day adjustments in daily light integrals were made in response to occasional CO2 venting episodes, using an up-to-the-minute estimate of growth progress based on an integration of growth increments that were calculated from actual light levels and CO2 concentrations experienced by the plants. Results indicated lettuce integrates periods of intermittent CO2 enrichment well, achieving expected growth targets as measured by destructive sampling. The gas-exchange work quantified a pervasive impact of instantaneous light level and CO2 concentration on conductance and CO2 assimilation. Implications for when to apply supplemental lighting and CO2 enrichment to best advantage and methods for predicting and controlling growth under intermittent CO2 enrichment are discussed.
This research explored cool crop production in various climate zones using CEA facilities and hydroponics ponds to control growth rate and quality through root zone temperature control. The precise controls were used to vary air and water temperatures to study the temperature gradient between root and shoot zones. Effect of this gradient was measured by growth rates and final harvest dry weights. Lactuca sativa L. cv. Ostinata seedlings were germinated and grown 11 days in a growth chamber and moved to greenhouse ponds. Air temperatures chosen were 17, 24, and 31°C. These were constant for the 24 days that lettuce grew in the ponds with a 5°C decrease for 14 hours. during the night. Water temperatures of the three ponds in the greenhouse were set and maintained at 17, 24, and 31°C. Maximum final harvest weights were obtained at 24°C air/water 24°C. Final weights for the 17 and 31°C water setpoint were comparable at 24°C air. The 31 °C air /water inhibited quality and final dry weight, while 17 and 24°C water produced equivalent dry weights at 31°C air. At 31°C air heads were tighter at 17 than at 24°C, and loose at 31°C. At air 17 °C maximum weight was at 24°C water and minimum at 31°C water. At 17°C air, the 24°C water plants were of good quality, with thicker leaves but visibly smaller than the 31°C water crop. Significant differences in harvest dry weights were shown at each 7-day harvest beginning on day 14, due to both air and water setpoint factors and there was significant interaction between them.
This experiment was performed to test the hypothesis that tuber formation in potato is inhibited by short-term increases in root-zone temperature. Micro-propagated potato cv. Norland plantlets were grown in recirculating nutrient film culture under daylight fluorescent lamps at 350 μmol·m–2·s–1 PPF with at 20/16°C thermocycle at 1200 μmol·mol–1 CO2 under inductive (12-hr light/12-hr dark) or non-inductive (12-hr light/12-hr dark with a 15-min light break 6 hr into the cycle) photoperiods for 42 days. Root-zone treatments consisted of continuous 18°C, continuous 24°C, 18°C with a 24°C cycle between 14 and 21 DAP (prior to tuber initiation), and 18°C with a 24°C cycle between 21 and 28 DAP (during the period of tuber initiation). The root-zone temperature was maintained with a recirculating, temperature-controlled, heat-exchange coil submerged in each nutrient solution. Warm root-zone temperatures did not inhibit tuber formation under an inductive photoperiod. The non-inductive photoperiod resulted in a 65% reduction in tuber biomass compared to the inductive photoperiod. Continuous 24°C and exposure to 24°C prior to tuber initiation reduced tuber formation an additional 40% under the non-inductive photoperiod. Both continuous and transient 24°C root-zone temperatures increased biomass partitioning to root/stolons compared to the 18°C treatment under both photoperiods. Total plant biomass was highest in plants exposed to continuous 24°C under both photoperiods. Results suggest that transient episodes of warm (24°C) root-zone temperature do not inhibit tuber formation in potato under inductive photoperiods. However, transient episodes of warm (24°C) root-zone temperatures did interact with stage of development under the non-inductive photoperiod.