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Timothy L. Righetti, Carmo Vasconcelos, David R. Sandrock, Samuel Ortega-Farias, Yerko Moreno, and Francisco J. Meza

This paper compares the use of slope-based and ratio-based approaches to evaluate CO 2 assimilation. Mathematical principles inherent in any ratio-based efficiency assessment ( Atchley et al., 1976 ; Packard and Boardman, 1988 ; Pearson, 1897

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Lili Zhou, Maria Eloisa Q. Reyes, and Robert E. Paull

severely impact papaya fruit quality ( Zhou et al., 2000 ), although its impact on the net photosynthetic CO 2 assimilation rate has not been reported. Efforts to model papaya plant growth and fruit development under stress and following high wind damage

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R.E. Moran, D.E. Deyton, C.E. Sams, J. Cummins, and C.D. Pless

Soybean oil can be used as an alternative pesticide for fruit trees. Two separate studies were conducted to determine the effects of oil concentration on leaf phytotoxicity and net CO2 assimilation (ACO2). In one study, concentrations of 0%, 2%, 4%, and 6% soybean oil in water were applied to individual shoots with a hand-held mist bottle. In the second study, 0%, 1.0%, and 1.5% were applied to whole trees with an airblast sprayer. Petroleum oil was applied as a separate treatment. Net CO2 assimilation was measured on single leaves. Oil residue was removed from the leaf with chloroform, dried, and weighed. Chlorosis and defoliation occurred with applications of 4% and 6% soybean oil. No visible phytotoxicity occurred with 2% or less oil. Net CO2 assimilation decreased as the rate of soybean oil increased from 0% to 4% oil, but there was no difference between 4% and 6%. Net CO2 assimilation decreased with increasing oil concentration from 0% to 1.5% and recovered to the rate of the control on day 7. Net CO2 assimilation was negatively related to oil residue. At an equivalent oil residue, there was no difference in ACO2 between petroleum and soybean oil. Below a residue of 0.15 mg·cm–2, foliar phytoxicity did not occur. Reductions in ACO2 were small and did not last longer than 7 days if residues were ≤0.10 mg·cm–2.

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Sang Deok Lee, Soon Jae Kim, Seung Il Jung, Ki-Cheol Son, and Stanley J. Kays

CO2 assimilation rate of Crassula hybrid `Himaturi', a succulent ornamental species with the crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthetic pathway, was affected by light intensity (50, 100, 300 μmol·m–2·s–1), photoperiod (16/8, 8/16 h day/night), and temperature (30/25, 25/20 °C day/night). Maximum assimilation of CO2 occurred at 300 μmol·m–2·s–1 of diurnal irradiance, 16/8 h day/night photoperiod, and a day/night temperature of 30/25 °C. Diurnal CO2 assimilation patterns of nine succulent ornamental CAM species were evaluated (300 μmol·m–2 s–1, 35/25 °C day/night and a 16/8-h day/night photoperiod) for CO2 fixation. Of the nine ornamentals, Crassula `Himaturi' had the highest and Echeveria derembergii the lowest maximum CO2 absorption rate (13.0 vs 2.4 μmol kg–1·s–1), total nighttime (179.3 vs 13.4 mmol·kg–1), and 24 h total (200.6 vs 19.0 mmol·kg–1) absorption. Based on the CO2 assimilation patterns, the nine ornamentals were separated into two groups: 1) full CAM (Faucaria tigrina, Gasteria gracilis var. minima, Haworthia cymbiformis, and Haworthia fasciata); and 2) weakly CAM (Adromischus clarifolius, Crassula hybrids `Moonglow' and `Himaturi', E. derembergii, and Haworthia retusa).

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Jason D. McAfee and Curt R. Rom

Pesticides and alternative fruit thinners are needed for certified organic fruit growers. Transient reductions in photosynthesis (Pn) have proven an effective technique for fruit thinning. Pesticides can be detrimental to plant growth by Pn reduction. A two-part study was developed to measure plant response to foliar applications of sulfur compounds. In study 1, 2% concentrations of various sulfur compounds were observed for potential physiological or pesticidal effects. Foliar treatments were applied to vegetative apple trees grown under controlled environment conditions to study photosynthetic effects. No treatments significantly reduced CO2 assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance (gs). Copper sulfate, ammonium sulfate, and potassium sulfate significantly reduced evapotranspiration (Et) 7 days after treatment. No significance was observed for plant growth. In study 2, a 2% potassium sulfate concentration significantly reduced A 22 days after treatment; however, no differences were observed for Et and gs. Differences in plant growth were not significantly different among treatments.

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Li-Song Chen, Brandon R. Smith, and Lailiang Cheng

Own-rooted 1-year-old `Concord' grapevines (Vitis labruscana Bailey) were fertigated twice weekly for 11 weeks with 1, 10, 20, 50, or 100 μm iron (Fe) from ferric ethylenediamine di (o-hydroxyphenylacetic) acid (Fe-EDDHA) in a complete nutrient solution. As Fe supply increased, leaf total Fe content did not show a significant change, whereas active Fe (extracted by 2,2′-dipyridyl) content increased curvilinearly. Chlorophyll (Chl) content increased as Fe supply increased, with a greater response at the lower Fe rates. Chl a: b ratio remained relatively constant over the range of Fe supply, except for a slight increase at the lowest Fe treatment. Both CO2 assimilation and stomatal conductance increased curvilinearly with increasing leaf active Fe, whereas intercellular CO2 concentrations decreased linearly. Activities of key enzymes in the Calvin cycle, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), NADP-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), phosphoribulokinase (PRK), stromal fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase), and a key enzyme in sucrose synthesis, cytosolic FBPase, all increased linearly with increasing leaf active Fe. No significant difference was found in the activities of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) and sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) of leaves between the lowest and the highest Fe treatments, whereas slightly lower activities of AGPase and SPS were observed in the other three Fe treatments. Content of 3-phosphoglycerate (PGA) increased curvilinearly with increasing leaf active Fe, whereas glucose-6-phosphate (G6P), fructose-6-phosphate (F6P), and the ratio of G6P: F6P remained unchanged over the range of Fe supply. Concentrations of glucose, fructose, sucrose, starch, and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) at both dusk and predawn increased with increasing leaf active Fe. Concentrations of starch and TNC at any given leaf active Fe content were higher at dusk than at predawn, but both glucose and fructose showed the opposite trend. No difference in sucrose concentration was found at dusk or predawn. The export of carbon from starch breakdown during the night, calculated as the difference between dusk and predawn measurements, increased as leaf active Fe content increased. The ratio of starch to sucrose at both dusk and predawn also increased with increasing leaf active Fe. In conclusion, Fe limitation reduces the activities of Rubisco and other photosynthetic enzymes, and hence CO2 assimilation capacity. Fe-deficient grapevines have lower concentrations of nonstructural carbohydrates in source leaves and, therefore, are source limited.

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John L. Jifon and Jim Syvertsen

Maximum CO2 assimilation rates (ACO2) in citrus are not realized in environments with high irradiance, high temperatures, and high leaf-to-air vapor pressure differences (D). We hypothesized that moderate shading would reduce leaf temperature and D, thereby increasing stomatal conductance (g s) and ACO2. A 61% reduction in irradiance under aluminum net shade screens reduced midday leaf temperatures by 8 °C and D by 62%. This effect was prominent on clear days when average midday air temperature and vapor pressure deficits exceeded 30 °C and 3 kPa. ACO2 and gs increased 42% and 104%, respectively, in response to shading. Although shaded leaves had higher gs, their transpiration rates were only 7% higher and not significantly different from sunlit leaves. Leaf water use efficiency (WUE) was significantly improved in shaded leaves (39%) compared to sunlit leaves due to the increase in ACO2. Early in the morning and late afternoon when irradiance and air temperatures were low, shading had no beneficial effect on ACO2 or other gas exchange characteristics. On cloudy days or when the maximum daytime temperature and atmospheric vapor pressure deficits were less than 30 °C and 2 kPa, respectively, shading had little effect on leaf gas exchange properties. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the beneficial effect of radiation load reduction on ACO2 is related to improved stomatal conductance in response to lowered D.

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Maria Derkacz, Calvin Chong, and John Proctor

Growth of peach fruits is characterized by a double-sigmoid curve; two periods of rapid enlargement (stages I and III) separated by a lag phase (stage II). Seasonal net CO2 assimilation rates (NAR) were compared in leaves from fruiting and non-fruiting (deblossomed) trees of `Harrow Diamond' (early), and `Vivid' (mid-summer) peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch.) and `Fantasia' (late) nectarine (P. persica) to determine 1) the influence of fruits on photosynthesis and 2) the relationship between NAR and fruit growth. Seasonal trends in NAR tended to be qualitatively similar among the three cultivars, despite genotypic and phenotypic differences. There was a distinct increase in NAR at the time of horticultural fruit maturity (stage III) of each cultivar. Shortly after harvest, NAR rates declined. The average seasonal NAR of fruiting `Harrow Diamond', `Vivid', and `Fantasia' trees was 9%, 11%, and 10% higher, respectively, than that of corresponding non-fruiting trees. Parallel data for total chlorophyll was 28%, 20%, and 19% higher, and specific leaf weight (SLW) was 3%, 5%, and 6% lower, respectively. A negative correlation between NAR and SLW may indicate a feedback inhibition of photosynthesis.

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J.D. Mcafee and C.R. Rom

Alternative fruit thinners and pesticides are needed for certified organic fruit growers. A transient reduction in photosynthesis has proven to be an effective technique used for fruit thinning. Conversely, pesticides, which reduce Pn may be detrimental to plant growth. This study was developed to measure plant response to foliar applications of various organic acids as potential horticultural chemicals Treatments were applied to vegetative apple trees under controlled environmental conditions to study photosynthetic effects. CO2 assimilation significantly decreased temporarily 3 days after treatment with citric acid. Decreased trends of evapotranspiration were observed for all treatments 1 day after foliar application; however, not significant. Salicylic acid significantly decreased stomatal conductance 1 and 15 days after treatment. Average leaf area was not significantly affected but oxalic acid increased plant stem growth while acetic acid application reduced growth. This model system for screening new and alternative compounds will be a basis to study agents that may have potential to be used as certified pesticides or fruit thinning agents.

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R. Romero-Aranda and J.P. Syvertsen

The penetration of foliar-applied urea and salt solutions into citrus leaves was investigated using `Duncan' grapefruit and `Valencia' orange seedlings in a greenhouse, and 8-year-old `Ruby Red' grapefruit trees in field tests during the summer and fall. Net gas exchange rates, Cl, nitrogen, and chlorophyll concentrations of singles leaves were measured during or after the period of foliar applications. Foliar-applied salt treatments increased leaf Cl, and visible burn symptoms were observed when Cl levels reached ≈0.4% of leaf dry weight. After 11 weeks, green areas from salt-treated leaves had similar rates of net CO2 assimilation as control plants. Leaf nitrogen and total chlorophyll increased with repeated sprays. Urea sprayed at 15% caused foliar burn symptoms after two to three applications and increased the amount of leaf abscission. Urea sprayed at 6% increased CO2 assimilation rate ≈50% after three foliar applications in 3 weeks. Nitrogen content and net CO2 assimilation of urea and urea + salt leaves were similar.