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Yasutaka Kano

To investigate the relationship between cell size and sugar accumulation, fruit of the melon was heated during the early stage of the growing period. The minimum air temperature in the heating apparatus was ≈10 °C higher than the ambient air temperature, and the weight of the heated fruit was greater than that of the control fruit. The number of rectangular parallelepiped (7-mm-long sample serially collected beginning at one end of the 10-mm-wide strip removed from the 10-mm-thick disk at the maximum transverse diameter of the fruit to the opposite end) with cells larger than 200 μm in the heated fruit at 17 days after anthesis (DAA, the end of heating treatment) was much larger that of the control fruit. The mean cell size in the heated fruit at 17 DAA was larger than that of the control fruit. Mean sucrose content of the heated fruit on 40 DAA was larger than the level in the control fruit. Higher fruit temperatures in melons covered with heating apparatus results in the predominance of larger cells and increased accumulation of sucrose in the fruit.

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Dong Geun Choi and Song Joong Yun

The softening of fruit dramatically reduces its market value, especially when this occurs on the tree before ripening. The causes of fruit softening, before ripening, were examined through anatomical and phytochemical comparative analyses between normal fruit, fruit softened on the tree, and stored fruit. The typical morphological changes that occurred with the fruit included early senescence and decreased firmness. The decrease in firmness of softening fruit was due to smaller cell sizes but larger intercellular spaces. The water and free sugar content of the fruit flesh, as well as the weight and sugar content of the cell walls, were significantly lower in softening fruit. Conversely, uronic acid levels and β-galactosidase activity were slightly higher in the softening compared to normal fruit, but the latter was lower than in stored fruit. The results indicated that reduced cell size and cell wall mass were major changes occurring during fruit softening on the tree before ripening, suggesting a difference in the softening mechanisms in ripening and stored fruit.

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Yahya K. Al-Hinai and Teryl R. Roper

The effects of rootstock on growth of fruit cell number and size of `Gala' apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh) were investigated over three consecutive seasons (2000-02) growing on Malling 26 (M.26), Ottawa-3, Pajam-1, and Vineland (V)-605 rootstocks at the Peninsular Agricultural Research Station near Sturgeon Bay, WI. Fruit growth as a function of cell division and expansion was monitored from full bloom until harvest using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Cell count and cell size measurements showed that rootstock had no affect on fruit growth and final size even when crop load effects were removed. Cell division ceased about 5 to 6 weeks after full bloom (WAFB) followed by cell expansion. Fruit size was positively correlated (r 2 = 0.85) with cell size, suggesting that differences in fruit size were primarily a result of changes in cell size rather than cell number or intercellular space (IS).

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Yasutaka Kano, Hiroshi Nakagawa, Masami Sekine, Hideyuki Goto, and Akira Sugiura

observed to decrease in response to increased application of nitrogen fertilizer ( Takebe et al., 1995 ; Watanabe et al., 1988 ). Kano illustrated that cell size in melon fruit is closely related to sugar accumulation ( Kano, 2003 , 2004 , 2005 ). With

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Jun Matsumoto, Hideyuki Goto, Yasutaka Kano, Akira Kikuchi, Hideaki Ueda, and Yuta Nakatsubo

segments (L1–L5 and R5–R1) as shown in Figure 2 . Fig. 2. A schematic of sampling each melon fruit for analysis. Segments taken for cell morphology, enzyme and sugar analyses. An illustration of the collection of rectangular sections for cell size, enzyme

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Dyremple B. Marsh and K. B. Paul

Abstract

Greenhouse and field studies were conducted to determine the influence of container type and cell size on cabbage [Brassica oleracea (L.) Capitata Group] transplant growth and subsequent yield. Cabbage seedlings were grown in the greenhouse in two types of containers, Sutton polystyrene and Speedling styrofoam “Todd Trays”. Four sizes of each tray were tested, ranging from 8.0 to 80.5 cm3 for polystyrene and 7.5 to 80 cm3 for styrofoam. In general, stem diameter, plant height, and leaf area of seedlings increased with increase in container size, but container type had no influence. In the field, head width and length were similar for all treatments. Plants grown from the large cell sizes had higher head weight than those from small cell sizes.

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Silvana Nicola and Daniel J. Cantliffe

`South Bay' lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seedlings were grown in a greenhouse during winter, spring, and fall to investigate the effect of cell size and medium compression on transplant quality and yield. Four Speedling planter flats (1.9-, 10.9-, 19.3-, 39.7-cm3 cells) and two medium compression levels [noncompressed and compressed (1.5 times in weight)] were tested. The two larger cell sizes and compression of the medium led to increased plant shoot growth. Conversely, root weight ratio [RWR = (final root dry weight ÷ final total dry weight + initial root dry weight ÷ initial total dry weight) ÷ 2] was highest with the smaller cells without medium compression. Lettuce transplants were field-grown on sand and muck soils. The larger cells delayed harvest by >2 weeks for plants grown on muck soil, but yield was unaffected. When grown on sandy soil, earliness was enhanced from plants grown in 19- and 40-cm3 cells, but head weights were not affected in the spring planting. In fall, heads were heavier for plants grown in 11-, 19-, or 40-cm3 cells compared with those from 2-cm3 cells. On sandy soil, harvest was delayed 13 days in spring and 16 days in fall for plants grown in the smallest cell size. Using the two smaller cell sizes saved medium and space in the greenhouse and increased the root growth ratio, but it led to reduced plant growth compared to using the bigger cells. Yield and earliness were more related to season and soil type than to transplant quality. On sandy soil, plants grown in 2- and 11-cm3 cells matured later, and yield was significantly decreased (8.6%) in fall by using plants from the 2-cm3 cells compared to the other sizes. From our results, compressing the medium in the cells was not justified because it is more costly and did not benefit yield in the field.

Open access

Melvin R. Hall

Abstract

Dry weight of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] transplants grown in flats containing 39.5-cm3 cells were three times greater than when grown in 18.8-cm3 cells. Early vine growth was more advanced from transplanted than from direct-seeded plants and from transplants grown in the larger cells. Also, late and total tonnage yields were higher with transplanted than direct-seeded vines and with 39.5 rather than 18.8 cm3 cells for ‘Charleston Gray’, but not ‘Crimson Sweet’ transplanted watermelons. Cell size did not influence number of fruits, but more fruits were produced with transplanted than direct-seeded vines of both cultivars.

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Daniel I. Leskovar and Charles S. Vavrina

The effect of cell volume and age of `Texas Grano 1015Y' onion transplants on survival, growth, and yield were evaluated. Transplant ages and cell volume were 5, 7, 9, and 11 weeks (W) and 6.5 cm3 and 20.0 cm3 in Florida; and 6, 8, 10, and 12W, and 4.0 and 7.1 cm3 in Texas. In Florida, total yields were unaffected by transplant age and cell volume, but jumbo size bulbs increased with increasing age from 5 to 9W in 6.5 cm3 cells. Bulb size increased significantly for 11W transplants only in 20.0 cm3 cells. In Texas, survival was reduced for 6W compared to ≥8W transplants. At planting, root count increased linearly with age. Cell volume did not affect root count, plant height, or leaf number, but shoot dry weight was greater in 7.1 cm3 compared to 4.0 cm3. Total jumbo and large size yields were highest for ≥10W in 7. 1 cm3 and ≥8W in 4.0 cm3 cells. Total yields were unaffected by cell size but seedlings in 4.0 cm3 had a 16% decrease of jumbo size compared to 7.1 cm3. The use of 10 and 12W transplants produced in small cell sizes may be viable for onion establishment.

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Paul T. Wismer, J.T.A. Proctor, and D.C. Elfving

Benzyladenine (BA), carbaryl (CB), daminozide (DM), and naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) were applied postbloom, as fruitlet thinning agents, to mature `Empire' apple trees. Although fruit set and yield were similar for BA, NAA, and CB, BA-treated fruit were larger, indicating BA increased fruit size beyond the effect attributable to thinning. BA applied at 100 mg·liter–1 increased the rate of cell layer formation in the fruit cortex, indicating that BA stimulated cortical cell division. The maximum rate of cell division occurred 10 to 14 days after full bloom (DAFB) when fruit relative growth rate and density reached a maximum and percent dry weight reached a minimum. Cell size in BA-treated fruit was similar to the control. Cell division ended by 35 DAFB in the control and BA-treated fruit when percent dry weight and dry weight began to increase rapidly and fruit density changed from a rapid to a slower rate of decreased density. These data support the hypothesis that BA-induced fruit size increases in `Empire' apple result largely from greater numbers of cells in the fruit cortex, whereas the fruit size increase due to NAA or CB is a consequence of larger cell size.