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Junyang Song

flower bulbs as it is composed of the basal root system and the stem root system. The fleshy basal roots grow at the basal plate under the bulb, while after the shoot has emerged from the soil and grown to a certain height, the stem roots will grow as

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Peter J. Stoffella, Michele Lipucci Di Paola, Alberto Pardossi, and Franco Tognoni

Primed, pregerminated, or nontreated seeds of bell pepper (Capsicum annum L.) `Early California Wonder' were grown in controlled conditions for 14 days in glass tubes containing a gel medium. The number of basal roots (one per plant), lateral roots (one per plant), and taproot length (64 mm) did not differ between seed treatments 14 days after seeding. Roots of seedlings from nontreated seeds weighed more than seedlings from primed seeds, and the seedlings had smaller shoot: root ratios than those from pregerminated or primed seeds. Seedlings from pregerminated seeds had heavier and taller shoots than seedlings from nontreated or primed seeds. Taproot length from 1 to 6 days after radicle protrusion increased linearly for all seed treatments. Seedlings from pregerminated seeds initially had longer taproots but had slower linear taproot growth up to 6 days after seeding than seedlings from nontreated or primed seeds.

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Peter J. Stoffella, Michele Lipucci DiPaola, Alberto Pardossi, and Franco Tognoni

Bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L. `Early California Wonder') were seeded in glass tubes on agar-based media adjusted to pH 4.1, 5.9, or 7.3 to evaluate germination, emergence, shoot growth, and root morphology for 16-day-old seedlings. Taproot lengths were measured daily from 1 to 10 days following radicle protrusion. Time from seeding to germination (radicle protrusion) differed by only one-half day among pH treatments. Peppers in a pH 5.9 medium emerged (fully expanded cotyledons) 1 day earlier than plants grown in media at pH 4.1 or 7.3. Plants grown in a pH 5.9 medium had higher shoot and root weights and longer stems than plants grown at pH 4.1 or 7.3. Shoot: root ratios were similar regardless of medium pH. However, taproot growth rate from 1 to 10 days after radicle protrusion was faster for plants grown in a pH 5.9 than in a pH 4.1 or 7.3 medium. On average, there was one basal and one lateral root per plant and they were minimally influenced by pH. The data suggest that acidic or alkaline media adversely affect early shoot and taproot development of bell peppers, but with minimal influence on time to germination or emergence, and on subsequent lateral and basal root initiation.

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Daniel I. Leskovar, Daniel J. Cantliffe, and Peter J. Stoffella

`Sunny' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) containerized transplants were grown with the standard or conventional systems (SS) and with recently developed flotation systems (FS). Standard system and FS transplants, and direct-seeding using coated seeds were evaluated in the field for root and shoot growth and yield at Parrish, Bradenton, and Naples during fall, winter, and spring plantings. Plant growth characteristics were measured weekly before, during, and after transplanting or sowing. In the Parrish and Bradenton Fall 1987 and Bradenton Spring 1988 experiments, SS transplants had greater leaf area, root volume, shoot dry weights, and shoot: root ratios than FS transplants. During early development, the FS transplants had more lateral root growth than SS transplants, but had similar total root growth and horizontal and vertical root distribution after transplanting in the field. Transplants and direct-seeded plants allocated 72% of the total root mass in the upper 0 to 10 cm of the soil. In Fall 1987, SS transplants had between 29% and 41% more fruit yield than FS transplants at Bradenton and Parrish, respectively. In the Naples Winter 1988 and Parrish and Bradenton Fall 1989 experiments, both transplant types had similar fruit yields, but more than direct-seeded plants. Transplants grown with the flotation system are recommended for use provided that seedlings are grown and maintained with minimum hardening before establishment in the field.

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A.A. De Hertogh and M. Tilley

The Swaziland-grown Hippeastrum bulbs `Summertime' and `Sun Dance' reached the market and flowering stages of development in fewer days than the Dutch-grown bulbs `Apple Blossom' and `Red Lion'. `Sun Dance' was the quickest flower and `Red Lion' the slowest. The effects of the planting medium on days to market and flowering were variable and no medium appeared to be the best for this criterion. `Summertime' and `Red Lion' produced longer leaves at flowering than `Apple Blossom' and `Sun Dance'. Three media that led to the production of the longest leaves, a desirable trait, were: Sunshine no. 4, Fafard 3-B, and Sunshine Post-Harvest. `Apple Blossom' was the tallest cultivar followed by `Sun Dance', `Red Lion', and `Summertime'. Effects of the planting medium on total plant height were variable. The overall plant quality ratings for use as potted plants ranged from 3.4 to 3.8 out of 4 for `Summertime', `Sun Dance', and `Red Lion'. `Apple Blossom' was rated 3.0 because it was tall and had short leaves. It would be suitable as a cut flower. Regardless of the planting medium used, `Apple Blossom' lost the greatest amount of old basal roots. Consequently, it produced many new basal roots. The planting medium had variable effects on old and new basal roots and secondary root growth, depending on the cultivar. Based on all the flowering criteria and the rooting responses, the best media for all cultivars as potted plants were Fafard 3-B and Sunshine Mix no. 4. Fafard no. 2 was best for cut-flower usage since it produced taller plants with a good root system.

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A. A. De Hertogh and M. Tilley

Almost all Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) forced in the U.S. and Canada by either homeowners or commercial forcers are grown overseas. In order to comply with USDA/APHIS plant quarantine regulations, all bulbs must be free of soil. Thus, they are washed once or twice prior to packing and shipping. As a result of this treatment, the bulbs arrive with only basal roots and no secondary roots. Therefore, over the past year, 2 hand made mixes and 7 commercially prepared mixes were evaluated using 2 cultivars each of Swaziland- and Dutch-grown bulbs. The effects of these media on forcing characteristics, e.g. total plant height, leaf length, flower number, etc. were examined. Also, the influence of the various media on basal root growth and formation of new secondary roots was measured. The results of these 2 studies will be presented.

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Daniel I. Leskovar and Ronald R. Heineman

Two studies were conducted to determine how greenhouse irrigation systems alter root elongation, root morphology, shoot growth, and water status of `TAM-Mild Jalapeño-1' pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) seedlings. Transplants were grown in containerized trays for 48 days in a greenhouse. Irrigation systems were 1) flotation (FI), 2) 28 days FI plus 14 days overhead (OI; FI + OI), 3) alternate OI and FI (OI–FI), and 4) OI. FI and OI–FI transplants maintained a uniform lateral root length increase between 20 and 41 days after seeding (DAS). In FI + OI and OI transplants, lateral root elongation tended to plateau at ≈31 DAS; however, by increasing the number and length (33%) of basal roots, OI transplants had a total root growth compensation during the remaining growth period. At 41 DAS, OI transplants had a higher shoot: root ratio (S: R = 5) and maintained a higher shoot water potential (Ψstem = –0.58) than FI transplants (S: R = 3; Ψstem= –0.69 MPa, respectively). In the second study, OI transplants maintained higher Ψstem than FI transplants. The latter had a lower stomatal conductance and photosynthesis rate than OI and FI + OI transplants. FI may be used to lower the S: R ratio and promote hardiness in jalapeño transplants.

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Daniel I. Leskovar and Ronald R. Heineman

This study was conducted to investigate how irrigation systems alter root elongation, root morphology, shoot growth characteristics and yield of `TAM-M' jalapeno pepper seedlings. Transplants were grown in containerized trays (18 cm3/cell) for 6 weeks in a greenhouse in Spring 1991. Irrigation systems were: a) floatation (FI), b) 4-week floatation plus 2-week overhead (FI+OI); c) alternate floatation and overhead (FI/OI), and d) overhead (OI). The growing media was maintained between 50 and 20% of its water holding capacity. Between 20 and 41 days after seeding (DAS), FI and FI/OI transplants maintained a constant lateral root length increase. In both FI+OI and OI transplants, lateral root elongation response tended to a `plateau' at ≈ 31 DAS. However, between 31 and 41 DAS, OI transplants had a root growth compensation, increasing the number and length (33%) of basal roots. In FI+OI transplants, basal root growth compensation occurred later in the field. At planting, OI transplants had higher shoot/root ratio (S:R=5) and maintained a higher shoot water potential (ψ= -0.58 MPa) than FI transplants (S:R=3; ψ= -0.69 MPa), respectively. Overhead-irrigated transplants had higher early fruit yields than floatation-irrigated transplants, but total yields were unaffected.

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Jonathan Lynch

Low P availability is a primary limitation to plant growth on most native soils. Crop genotypes differ substantially in their ability to grow in low P soils. Understanding the physiological basis for such variation would be useful in developing genotypes with superior P efficiency, which would have utility in low-input systems and might permit more. efficient fertilizer use in high-input systems. In common bean (Phasecolus vulgaris), growth under P stress is reduced because of increased C costs of the root system. Genetic contrasts in P efficiency were not associated with reduced shoot requirement, mycorrhizal associations, chemical interactions with specific soil P pools, or root system size, but were associated with root system architecture. SimRoot, an explicit geometric model of bean root growth, confirmed that architectural traits can influence the relationship of root C costs and P acquisition. Root growth responds dynamically to P stress, through changes in the proliferation of lateral roots and the geotropic response of basal roots. Differences in root architecture arising from these growth responses to P stress may account for genetic differences in P efficiency.

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Richard W. Zobel

Different root types have different temporal and morphological patterns of development, functionality and adaptation. Root based adaptation to stresses can not be assessed on a root system basis, but must be employed on an individual root type basis. Three different types of root are developed by most seedlings: tap root, basal roots, and lateral roots. These have been demonstrated to have temporally and spatially different developmental and functional patterns. If a stress occurs prior to the onset of an especially sensitive type of root or after that type has shut down functionally, the seedling will demonstrate resistance, when it is not correctly resistant. Timing of screening treatments and scoring of the results is, therefore, extremely critical. Different genotypes within a species demonstrate strong differences in numbers and timing of root initiation and functional maturity for each of the root typos. In addition, different types of root demonstrate sensitivity/tolerance to different chemicals, suggesting that functionality and, therefore, resistance/tolerance mechanisms may differ. All root types present on a seedling must be scored for resistance/sensitivity to the stress, even if morphological/physiological symptoms are not readily apparent. The technology (knowledge, software and equipment) necessary to detect tolerance/resistance and to establish genetic selection schemes is available. Root type differences and the potential for genetic selection will be discussed.