Rapid cycling brassica (RCB) plants, because of their short life cycle and ease of growth under laboratory conditions, offer a valuable tool for studying Brassica nutrition. We have been particularly interested in B nutrition in Brassica and, therefore, a hydroponic system was developed to accurately deliver micronutrient concentrations to RCB plants. RCB plants were supported in predrilled holes in the lids of brown 1-L plastic containers. Nutrients were supplied by spraying a modified Hoagland's solution onto the plant roots as they developed inside the containers. This system provided adequate solution aeration for plant growth and allowed analysis of both plant shoots and roots. RCB seeds were pregerminated for radicle emergence, then placed in the holes in the plastic container lids. The effect of B nutrient concentration on B uptake was examined using nutrient solutions containing 0.08, 0.02 and 0.00 ppm added B. Leaf B contents were 139.5, 26.1, and 7.1 g·g–1 for plants grown in 0.08, 0.02 and 0.00 ppm added B, respectively. Effects of drought stress on B uptake and distribution were studied by adjusting nutrient solution osmotic potential using polyethylene glycol (PEG) 8000. PEG-induced drought, (osmotic potential –0.1 MPa) reduced leaf and root B content ≈50% compared to plants grown in nutrient solution only (–0.05 MPa). Boron content in the shoots and pods, however, was not affected by PEG-induced drought stress. These results suggest that this system provides a reliable tool for studying nutrition and drought stress effects using RCB plants.
Little is known about drought stress resistance of Freeman maples (Acer ×freemanii E. Murray), which are hybrids of red maples (A. rubrum L.) and silver maples (A. saccharinum L.). The objective of our study was to measure plant growth and leaf water relations of `D.T.R. 102' (Autumn Fantasy), `Celzam' (Celebration), and `Marmo' Freeman maples subjected to drought. Plants grown from rooted cuttings were subjected to four consecutive cycles of water deficit followed by irrigation to container capacity. Average stomatal conductance at container capacity for all cultivars was 255 mmol·s-1·m-2 in the first drought cycle and 43 mmol·s-1·m-2 during the fourth drought cycle. Predawn and midmorning leaf water potentials of droughted plants at the end of the fourth drought cycle were 1.16 and 0.82 MPa more negative than respective values for control plants. Osmotic potential of leaves at full turgor was -1.05 MPa for controls and -1.29 MPa for droughted plants, indicating an osmotic adjustment of 0.24 MPa. Root and shoot dry mass and leaf area were reduced similarly by drought for all cultivars, while Celebration exhibited the least stem elongation. `Marmo' treated with drought had the lowest root-to-shoot ratio and the greatest ratio of leaf surface area to root dry mass. Autumn Fantasy had the lowest ratio of leaf area to stem xylem diameter. Specific leaf mass of drought-stressed Autumn Fantasy was 1.89 mg·cm-2 greater than that of corresponding controls, whereas specific masses of Celebration and `Marmo' leaves were not affected by drought. Leaf thickness was similar among cultivars, but leaves of droughted plants were 9.6 μm thicker than leaves of controls. This initial characterization of responses to drought illustrates variation among Freeman maples and suggests that breeding and selection programs might produce superior genotypes for water-deficient sites in the landscape.
Responses of five bottomland tree taxa to drought and flooding were studied to identify those adapted to urban environments. During one experiment, containerized `Franksred' red maple [Acer rubrum L. `Franksred' (trademark = Red Sunset)], sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana L.), black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica Marsh.), bald cypress [Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.], and pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal.] were treated with various irrigation regimes for up to 118 days. Net assimilation rate (NAR) and relative growth rate (RGR) were reduced more by flooding than by drought for plants of all taxa, except pawpaw, which showed similar NAR and RGR during flooding and drought. Only sweetbay magnolia and bald cypress maintained positive NAR and RGR during flooding, and sweetbay magnolia was the only taxon that did not produce significantly less leaf surface area, shoot dry mass, and root dry mass during flooding and drought. Apparent morphological mechanisms of stress resistance included an increase in specific mass of leaves (mg·cm-2) during drought for red maple and bald cypress and a 385% increase in the root: shoot mass ratio for droughted plants of pawpaw. Leaf water relations of drought- and flood-stressed `Franksred' red maple and sweetbay magnolia were determined in a second experiment. Predawn and mid-day leaf water potential (ψ) decreased with decreasing root-zone matric potential for both taxa, and transpiration rate was reduced by drought and flooding. Pressure-volume analysis showed that leaves of `Franksred' red maple responded to drought by shifting symplastic water to the apoplast. Leaves of drought-stressed sweetbay magnolia adjusted osmotically by reducing osmotic potential (ψπ) at full turgor by 0.26 MPa. Our results suggest that sweetbay magnolia and bald cypress will perform well at urban planting sites where episodes of drought and flooding regularly occur.
Abbreviations: FC, Fragaria chiloensis (L.) Duch. `BSP14'; FV, Fragaria virginiana (L.) Duch. `NCC85-13V'; RWC, relative water content; Ψ water potential; Ψ P , turgor potential; Ψ p osmotic potential; Ψπ 100 , osmotic potential at full turgor
Changes in tissue water relations, cell wall calcium (Ca) levels and physical properties of Ca-treated and untreated `Golden Delicious' apples (Malus×domestica Borkh.) were monitored for up to 8 months after harvest. Pressure infiltration of fruit with CaCl2 solutions at concentrations up to 0.34 mol·L-1 reduced both fruit softening and air space volume of fruit in a concentration-dependent manner. Turgor potential-related stress within the fruit persisted during storage and was higher in Ca-treated than in untreated fruit. Fruit that were pressure infiltrated with CaCl2 solutions between 0.14 and 0.20 mol·L-1 and then waxed to reduce water loss during storage showed no peel injury. Calcium efflux patterns from apple tissue disks indicated two distinct Ca compartments having efflux kinetics consistent with those for cell wall Donnan-phase bound and water free space soluble Ca. At Ca concentrations up to 0.20 mol·L-1, cell wall bound Ca approached saturation whereas soluble Ca showed a linear dependence. At higher external Ca concentrations, only soluble Ca in the tissue increased. During 8 months of cold storage, cell wall Ca-binding capacity increased up to 48%. The osmotic potential of apples harvested over three seasons ranged between-1.32 and -2.33 MPa. In tissue disks, turgor potential changes caused by adjusting the osmolality of the incubation solution with CaCl2 or sorbitol were accompanied by changes in the osmotic and water potentials of the tissue. In CaCl2 solutions up to 0.34 mol·L-1, turgor potential was ≥0.6 MPa in tissue incubated in 0.14 or 0.17 mol·L-1 solutions of CaCl2 and was more than 3 times higher than in tissues incubated in low (≤0.03 mol·L-1) or high (≥0.27 mol·L-1) concentrations of CaCl2. At osmotically equivalent concentrations, turgor potential was up to 40% higher in Ca-than in sorbitol-treated tissue. The results suggest that postharvest treatment with 0.14 to 0.20 mol·L-1 solutions of CaCl2 are best for maintaining fruit water relations and storage life of `Golden Delicious' apples while minimizing the risk of salt-related injuries to the fruit. While higher concentrations of CaCl2 may better maintain firmness, these treatments adversely affect fruit water relations and increase the risk of fruit injury.
The fleshy parenchyma tissue of celery [Apium graveolens L. var. dulce (Mill.) Pers.] petioles is the major storage tissue for the sugar alcohol mannitol and for the hexoses, glucose and fructose. In this study, we found that plants grown in the soilless mixture, Promix, fertilized weekly with a nutrient solution, or grown in a hydroponic container culture, differed in carbohydrate composition. However, plant growth was not affected. Higher mannitol and lower hexose concentrations were present in petioles from plants grown hydroponically. This was true in petioles that did not differ in total soluble carbohydrate concentration. The ratio of mannitol to hexose concentration in petioles was ≈2-fold higher for hydroponically grown plants compared to Promix-grown plants, and the higher ratio was maintained during the entire 12-week experimental period. Carbohydrate partitioning was also affected by petiole development within the plant. Sucrose and hexose concentrations were highest in mature petioles, whereas mannitol was relatively high in all petioles except the oldest ones. Because the mineral solution applied to the Promix-grown plants had a lower total salt concentration compared to hydroponically grown plants, we postulated that the salt concentration of the mineral solution might be an important factor affecting C partitioning in celery petioles. When plants were grown hydroponically at two different salt concentrations [electrical conductivity (EC) = 2.7 and 6.0 mS·cm-1], high mannitol-to-hexose ratios were observed in celery petioles of plants grown at high salt concentration (EC = 6.0 mS·cm-1), a result supporting the hypothesis that the salt environment might alter mannitol and hexose concentrations in a coordinated way. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that elevated mannitol levels may be a significant component of plant adjustment to salt stress, possibly adding osmotic adjustment and preventing inactivation of metabolic processes.
Traits associated with drought resistance vary with provenance of hard maples (Acer sp.), but the stability of differences ex situ and over time is unknown. We compared growth, dry-matter partitioning, leaf anatomy, and water relations of seedlings from central Iowa, eastern Iowa, and the northeastern United States over 2 years. Some seedlings from each of the three provenances were used as well-irrigated controls. The remaining seedlings were drought-stressed and irrigated based on evapotranspiration. Across irrigation treatments, plants from Iowa had shorter stems and higher specific weight of lamina, root: shoot dry-weight ratios, and root: lamina dry-weight ratios than did plants from the northeastern United States when treatments began. Biomass partitioning did not differ based on provenance after irrigation treatment for 2 years, but leaves from central Iowa had a higher specific weight, and their abaxial surfaces had more stomates and trichomes, than did leaves from the Northeast. Drought stress reduced conductance only in plants from central Iowa. Across provenances, drought stress reduced stomatal frequency, surface area of laminae, and dry weights of laminae and roots, and increased root: shoot dry-weight ratio. Leaf water potential of plants subjected to drought was lower at predawn and higher at midday than that of control plants. Drought did not cause osmotic adjustment in leaves. We conclude that the stability of foliar differences among provenances of hard maples validates using these traits as criteria for selecting ecotypes for use in managed landscapes prone to drought.
Growth, gas exchange, root hydraulic conductivity, and drought response of seedling and rooted cuttings of Lovell and Nemaguard peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch], and Carrizo (Poncirus trifoliata × Citrus sinensis) and sour orange (C. aurantium L.) citrus rootstocks were compared to determine the influence of propagation method on these characteristics. Rooted peach cuttings had a higher proportion of root biomass in fibrous roots (≤ mm in diameter) and lower root: shoot ratios than seedlings, although this did not occur in citrus. Net CO2 assimilation (A) was higher for peach seedlings than for cuttings, but similar for `Redhaven' (RH) scions on either seedling- or cutting-propagated rootstocks, suggesting that leaf-associated factors were responsible for differences. As in peach, A was higher for Carrizo seedlings than for cuttings, but A was not affected by propagation method in sour orange. Peach seedlings maintained higher A than cuttings as water potentials declined during short-term soil drying, although in citrus this occurred only for Carrizo. RH scions on either root type exhibited similar declines in A as soil dried, indicating the lack of a rootstock effect. Root hydraulic conductivity (Lp) was similar between seedlings and cuttings of all cultivars when expressed on a length basis. Leaf conductance and osmotic adjustment were similar for RH scions on seedling- or cutting-propogated rootstocks during 45 days of drought stress, indicating the lack of a rootstock effect on long-term stress response.
A salt-tolerance selected F5 generation from a cross between the wild tomato species, Lycopersicon cheesmanii, ecotype LA 1401, and the cultivated species, L. esculentum Mill. (cv Heinz 1350) was compared to the wild parental line in a solution culture experiment to determine the effects of selection on salt tolerance, and ion discrimination and accumulation characteristics in the selected line. Seedlings were transplanted to nutrient solutions at the 3 to 4-leaf stage of growth and after a 1-week period of adjustment, were salinized at 25 mM NaCl day-1 (approximately -1 bar osmotic potential) to final salt concentrations of 0, 50, and 100 mM. Plasmalemma and tonoplast vesicles were isolated from fresh root samples, and ATPase and Na+/H+ antiport activity was determined using fluorescence assays. The selected line restricted Na uptake into the shoot and maintained higher shoot K+ than did the wild parent. Growth rate under salinity was greater in the selected line than in the wild species, but relative salt tolerance was higher in the wild parent. Interspecific hybridization appears to be a useful process for the transfer of salt tolerance characters from wild to cultivated tomato.
Plant water deficits usually result in severe inhibition of shoot growth, while root growth is less inhibited or even promoted. Recent advances in understanding the physiology of the differential responses of root and shoot growth to low water potentials will be reviewed.
While it might be readily accepted that hormones arc important in transducing environmental conditions into growth responses, there is surprisingly little definitive evidence for the role of any hormone in regulating plant growth in soils of low water potential. Using maize seedlings as a model system, the increase in ABA that accompanies plant water deficits has been shown to be required for root growth maintenance, and also to play a role in shoot growth inhibition. The action of ABA in root growth maintenance appears to involve regulation of ethylene synthesis and/or sensitivity, while the mechanism of shoot growth inhibition is not known. Evidence that ABA acts as a root `signal controlling shoot growth in drying soil will also be considered.
The importance of osmotic adjustment as a mechanism of growth maintenance at low water potentials has been questioned by suggestions that solute accumulation may be merely a consequence of stress-induced growth inhibition. Recent studies will be discussed which do not support this idea, and suggest that the response may be useful for crop improvement.