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Kristian Borch, Carter Miller, Kathleen M. Brown and Jonathan P. Lynch

A series of experiments was conducted to investigate the response to drought stress of marigold (Tagetes patula L. `Janie Tangerine') plants grown with reduced phosphorus. Plants were grown with convention al phosphorus fertilization (1 mm, control) or one of two levels of alumina-buffered phosphorus (Al-P), 21 or 5 μm. Plants supplied with 21 μm Al-P produced plants with equal total dry weight, more flowers and reduced leaf area compared to control plants. Whole-plant photosynthetic CO2 assimilation expressed on a leaf area basis was nearly twice as high in 21 μm Al-P plants as in controls, probably as a result of reduced intraplant shading. In plants supplied with 21 μm Al-P, smaller leaf area resulted in reduced whole-plant transpiration. Moreover, the relative water content of the growing medium was significantly lower at wilting with 21 μm Al-P than for control or 5 μm Al-P regimes. The improved water acquisition with 21 μm Al-P could be explained by increased root proliferation via longer main roots and less densely distributed lateral roots. The results indicate that optimizing phosphorus nutrition with solid-phase buffered-phosphorus fertilizer improves drought tolerance by reducing transpiration and increasing water acquisition from the medium.

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Gerry H. Neilsen, Denise Neilsen, Peter Toivonen and Linda Herbert

R.P. Jr 1979 Phosphorus nutrition of young ‘Golden Delicious’ apple trees growing in gravel culture J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 104 682 685 Bould, C. Parfitt, R.I. 1973 Leaf analysis as a guide to the

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María José Jiménez-Moreno and Ricardo Fernández-Escobar

. Herschbach, C. 2013 Phosphorus nutrition of woody plants: Many questions-few answers Plant Biol. 15 785 788 Restrepo-Diaz, H. Benlloch, M. Fernández-Escobar, R. 2008 Plant water stress and K + starvation reduce absorption of foliar applied K + by olive leaves

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Steven P.C. Groot, Sierd Zijlstra and Johannes Jansen

Powdery mildew-resistant (PMR) cultivars of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) grown in greenhouses in the Netherlands during winter show chlorosis on the full-grown leaves of the main stem. The symptoms are yellowing and occasional necrosis between the main veins of the leaves, resembling symptoms of P toxicity. Severity of the chlorosis may vary from one winter to another. Variation is also observed in the severity of the symptoms between cultivars and individual plants of a cultivar. High P nutrition results in an increase of the severity of chlorosis and provides a better discriminating environment for the selection of PMR genotypes that are less susceptible for leaf chlorosis.

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Kimberly A. Klock, Henry G. Taber and William R. Graves

Growth of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plants decreases at root-zone temperatures (RZTs) >30 °C, but no research has been conducted on the effects of changes in root respiration on P acquisition at supraoptimal RZT. We monitored the changes every 3 to 5 days in root respiration, root surface phosphatase activity, and P acquisition of `Jet Star' tomato plants grown in Hoagland's no. 1 solution held at 25 and 36 °C RZT for 19 days. Root respiration rate in plants grown at 25 °C increased linearly from RZT initiation to day 12, but there was no difference in respiration between days 12 and 19. Root respiration at 36 °C, however, increased from RZT initiation to day 8 and then decreased. Shoot P concentration and root phosphatase activity for plants grown at 25 °C did not change during the experiment. Shoot P concentration for plants at 36 °C, however, linearly decreased over time, and root phosphatase activity linearly increased over time. Decreased shoot growth and demand for P along with decreased root respiration after day 8 probably resulted in the decreased P uptake and shoot P concentration in plants grown at 36 °C RZT.

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L. Phavaphutanon, F.T. Davies Jr. and S.A. Duray

Cuttings of neem trees (Azadirachta indica) were grown for 65 days at four P levels: 0, 15, 30, and 60 mg P/kg soil. Half of the plants were inoculated with the vesicular–arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (VAM) Glomus intraradices. VAM increased growth and net photosynthesis (A) at the lowest two soil P levels. Increased A was attributed to increased stomatal conductance (g) and greater leaf P concentration. Nonstomatal inhibition of A due to P deficiency also was observed in non-VAM plants at lower soil P levels. At higher soil P, VAM and non-VAM plants had comparable growth, A, g, and tissue concentration of P and other elements. VAM plants at 0 mg P/kg soil had similar growth and leaf P concentration when compared to non-VAM plants at 15 mg P/kg soil, yet had a 11% higher A, indicating a direct effect of VAM on gas exchange. As soil P increased, total VAM colonization and vesicle formation decreased, while the amount of extraradical hyphae increased. Arbuscule formation was highest at 0 and 15 mg P/kg soil. Apparently, arbuscules and extraradical hyphae play an important role in the enhanced growth and gas exchange of VAM plants at lower soil P levels.

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Thomas A. Obreza, Robert E. Rouse and Kelly T. Morgan

No calibrated phosphorus (P) soil test exists to guide Florida citrus fertilization. Applying P fertilizer to citrus when it is not needed is wasteful and may cause undesirable P enrichment of adjacent surface water. The objective of this study was to establish guidelines for P management in developing Florida grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) and orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osb.) orchards by determining the effect of P fertilizer rate on soil test P and subsequently calibrating a P soil test for citrus yield and fresh fruit quality. Two orchards were planted on sandy soil with 3 mg·kg−1 (very low) Mehlich 1 soil test P. In Years 1 through 3, P fertilization increased soil test P up to 102 mg·kg−1 (very high). In Years 4 through 7, canopy volume, yield, and fruit quality did not respond to available soil P as indexed by soil testing. As tree size and fruit production increased, leaf P was below optimum where soil test P was below 13 mg·kg−1 (grapefruit) or 31 mg·kg−1 (oranges). Total P in the native soil at planting was ≈42 mg·kg−1, which was apparently available enough to support maximum tree growth, fruit yield, and fruit quality for the first 7 years after planting. Trees were highly efficient in taking up P from a soil considered very low in available P. Citrus producers can likely refrain from applying P fertilizer to young trees on Florida sandy soils if soil test P is very high or high and probably medium as well.

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Robert Augé and Ann Stodola

Using psychrometric pressure-volume analysis, root water relations following drought were characterized in Rosa hybrida L. plants colonized by the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith. Measurements were also made on uncolonized plants of similar size and adequate phosphorus nutrition. Under well-watered conditions mycorrhizal colonization resulted in lower solute concentrations in root symplasm, and hence lower root turgors. Following drought, however, mycorrhizal roots maintained greater turgor across a range of tissue hydration. This effect was apparently not due to increased osmotic adjustment (full turgor osmotic potentials were similar in mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal roots after drought) or to altered elasticity but to an increased partitioning of water into the symplast. Symplast osmolality at full turgor was equivalent in mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal roots but because of higher symplastic water percentages mycorrhizal roots had greater absolute numbers of osmotic (symplastic) solutes. Drought-induced osmotic potential changes were observed only in mycorrhizal roots, where a 0.4 megapascal decrease (relative to well-watered controls) brought full turgor osmotic potential of mycorrhizae to the same level as nonmycorrhizal roots under either moisture treatment.

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Martin P.N. Gent, Zakia D. Parrish and Jason C. White

Exudation of organic acids by roots has been implicated in uptake of minerals from soil. Three cultivars within each of two subspecies of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo ssp. ovifera D. S. Decker var. ovifera and C. pepo ssp. pepo var. pepo) were grown in the field. Plants of ssp. pepo had higher concentrations of K, P, and Zn than those of ssp. ovifera. These same cultivars were grown under P sufficient and depleted conditions in hydroponics, to measure exudation of organic acids from roots. When grown in hydroponics, tissues of ssp. ovifera had similar or higher concentrations of nutrients than ssp. pepo. Therefore, differences in tissue composition of field-grown plants are likely due to differences in nutrient uptake ability, not inherent differences in tissue composition between subspecies. Phosphorus nutrition played a significant role in exudation of organic acids into the hydroponics solution. For both subspecies, P depletion resulted in exudation of more citric and succinic acid, and less oxalic and tartaric acid. Under P depletion, ssp. pepo exuded more citric acid than ssp. ovifera. When soil was eluted with solution containing root exudates, the exudates from ssp. pepo eluted more K, Mg, Fe, and Zn than did those from ssp. ovifera. Among subspecies of C. pepo, exudation of organic acids, particularly exudation of citric acid in response to P depletion, is associated with the plant's ability to accumulate more inorganic nutrients when grown in the field.

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Carolyn J. DeMoranville

In Massachusetts, cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) bogs were historically developed in existing wetlands and new plantings are now established in mineral soils that are converted into constructed wetlands. To streamline the interaction between cranberry farming and wetlands protection, the state has defined “normal agricultural practices” that are exempt from wetlands regulations under certain circumstances. As part of that process and to qualify for the exemption, farmers are required to have a conservation farm plan and demonstrate the use of best management practices (BMPs) on their farms. The University of Massachusetts Amherst Cranberry Experiment Station (UMass Cranberry Station) was engaged to bring together the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and cranberry industry representatives to define BMPs specific to cranberry farming practices. Initially, the documents were reviewed by scientists and regulators for soundness of science and rigor of environmental protection. A grower committee reviewed the proposed BMPs to determine if the BMPs could be implemented on real farms. The next stage of the project consisted of defining areas where more research was needed to formulate good BMPs. In particular, research projects were initiated to study nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition. This research has become the basis for nutrition BMPs, national cranberry nutrition guidelines, and standards used by NRCS for cranberry nutrient management plans. The cranberry BMP project has continued with a regular cycle of revision and additions based on grower-identified needs for horticultural and environmental guidance. This connection to the growers, along with the regulatory link, accounts for the widespread adoption of BMPs in the cranberry industry. Local NRCS estimates that 75% to 80% of Massachusetts cranberry growers have current conservation farm plans that include BMP implementation.