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Douglas A. Hopper and P. Allen Hammer

Abbreviations: DT, day temperature, NT, night temperature; PPF, photosynthetic photon flux. 1 Graduate Research Assistant. Currently, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Horticulture, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523. 2 Professor. Journal

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Carl E. Niedziela Jr., Mary A. Depa, Paul V. Nelson, Daniel H. Willits, Mary M. Peet, David A. Dickey, and Nancy C. Mingis

concentration during daylight hours, daily total photosynthetic photon flux ( PPF ), and mean day and night air temperatures at the top of the plant canopy over 5 weeks in three experiments. Greenhouse facilities. This study was conducted in Raleigh, NC (lat. 35

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Charles Barnes, Theodore Tibbitts, John Sager, Gerald Deitzer, David Bubenheim, Gus Koerner, and Bruce Bugbee

Photosynthesis is fundamentally driven by photon flux rather than energy flux, but not all absorbed photons yield equal amounts of photosynthesis. Thus, two measures of photosynthetically active radiation have emerged: photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), which values all photons from 400 to 700 nm equally, and yield photon flux (YPF), which weights photons in the range from 360 to 760 nm according to plant photosynthetic response. We selected seven common radiation sources and measured YPF and PPF from each source with a spectroradiometer. We then compared these measurements with measurements from three quantum sensors designed to measure YPF, and from six quantum sensors designed to measure PPF. There were few differences among sensors within a group (usually <5%), but YPF values from sensors were consistently lower (3 % to 20 %) than YPF values calculated from spectroradiometric measurements. Quantum sensor measurements of PPF also were consistently lower than PPF values calculated from spectroradiometric measurements, but the differences were <7% for all sources, except red-light-emitting diodes. The sensors were most accurate for broad-band sources and least accurate for narrow-band sources. According to spectroradiometric measurement, YPF sensors were significantly less accurate (>9% difference) than PPF sensors under metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and low-pressure sodium lamps. Both sensor types were inaccurate (>18% error) under red-light-emitting diodes. Because both YPF and PPF sensors are imperfect integrators, and because spectroradiometers can measure photosynthetically active radiation much more accurately, researchers should consider developing calibration factors from spectroradiometric data for some specific radiation sources to improve the accuracy of integrating sensors.

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Blanche Dansereau and Gagnon Serge

The first study was undertaken during fall 1989 and the second in winter 1990 using Callistephus chinensis `Pink Carpet', and Calceolaria herbeohybrida `Anytime mixture' seedlings. In both experiments, four photosynthetic photon flux levels were used; 30, 60, 90 and 120 mmol m-2 s-1 to obtain a 16 hr photoperiod. All lighting treatments were provided by HPS lamps (400 W) and compared to natural light condition (control). The utilisation of this electrotechnology not only increased vegetative growth but also reproductive development which resulted in shortening production time. Flower number was also greatly enhanced. Differences measured between control plants and those having received a supplementary light treatment were greater during fall 1989 than winter 1990 study.

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Keith A. Funnell, Errol W. Hewett, Julie A. Plummer, and Ian J. Warrington

Photosynthetic activity of individual leaves of Zantedeschia Spreng. `Best Gold' aff. Z. pentlandii (Wats.) Wittm. [syn. Richardia pentlandii Wats.] (`Best Gold'), were quantified with leaf expansion and diurnally, under a range of temperature and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) regimes. Predictive models incorporating PPF, day temperature, and percentage leaf area expansion accounted for 78% and 81% of variation in net photosynthetic rate (Pn) before, and postattainment of, 75% maximum leaf area, respectively. Minimal changes in Pn occurred during the photoperiod when environmental conditions were stable. Maximum Pn (10.9μmol·m-2·s-1 or 13.3 μmol·g-1·s-1) occurred for plants grown under high PPF (694 μmol·m-2·s-1) and day temperature (28 °C). Acclimation of Pn was less than complete, with any gain through a greater light-saturated photosynthetic rate (Pmax) at high PPF also resulting in a reduction in quantum yield. Similarly, any gain in acclimation through increased quantum yield under low PPF occurred concurrently with reduced Pmax. It was concluded that Zantedeschia `Best Gold' is a shade tolerant selection, adapted to optimize photosynthetic rate under the climate of its natural habitat, by not having obligate adaptation to sun or shade habitats.

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Changhoo Chun and Cary A. Mitchell

`Waldmann's Green' leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is being used as a model leafy vegetable crop to develop a protocol for variable control of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) during crop production. Feedback from real-time photosynthetic gas exchange rates by lettuce canopies is used to modulate electronic dimming ballasts of lamp banks. Algorithms within process-control software are being fine tuned to maximize increments of photosynthetic output relative to increments of photon input. Dynamic optimization of PPF was 21% more efficient than constant high PPF saturating photosynthesis with respect to biomass accumulated per photons absorbed. Dynamic optimization also is being combined with principles of phasic control, in which environmental resources such as photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are deliberatively limited in input during specific phases of crop development when plants are less sensitive to inputs (e.g., lag, plateau, and senescence phases) but optimized for the responsive exponential phase. Preliminary results indicate that leaf lettuce growth benefits from optimizing environments for no more than 4 or 5 days during a 20-day production cycle. Dynamic optimization of CO2 level is achieved by controlling the injection of CO2 into the inlet air stream of Minitron II crop canopy cuvette/growth chambers. Algorithms are being modified to simultaneously vary PPF and CO2 for optimum photosynthesis.

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Peter R. Hicklenton, Suzie M. Newman, and Lindsay J. Davies

The effects of night temperature (NT) and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) on time to flower and flower yield in `Bristol Fairy' and `Bridal Veil' Gypsophila paniculata L. (perennial baby's breath) were studied in controlled environments. Plants were grown with nights at 8, 12, 16, and 20C and 450 or 710 μmol·s-1·m-2 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF). Days were at 20C. In both cultivars, the times from the start of treatments to visible bud and from visible bud to anthesis were delayed at the lower PPF and at an NT <20C. The delays in `Bristol Fairy' were greater than those in `Bridal Veil'. Failure of `Bristol Fairy' plants to reach anthesis was common at SC NT and either 450 or 710 μmol·s-1·m-2 PPF; whereas in `Bridal Veil', nearly all plants flowered, regardless of environmental conditions. Flower yield (measured as fresh weight of inflorescences) decreased with NT in `Bristol Fairy' but was highest at 8 or 12C in `Bridal Veil'. In a second experiment using the same cultivars, the effect of curtailing long-day (LD) conditions at various stages on stem elongation and flower yield was investigated. `Bristol Fairy' required more LD cycles (>56) than `Bridal Veil' for maximum stem elongation and flower yield. Terminating LD conditions before the start of inflorescence expansion resulted in lower yields and shorter plants in both cultivars.

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Linda Gaudreau, Josée Charbonneau, Louis-Philippe Vézina, and André Gosselin

`Karlo' and `Rosana', two Boston-type lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) cultivars, were subjected to various light treatments in greenhouses equipped with one of two propane heating systems. Photoperiods of 16, 20, 24, or 24 hours for 2 weeks after transplanting and then 16 hours (24–16) and photosynthetic photon flux of 50 or 100 μmol·m–2·s–1 provided by supplementary lighting (high-pressure sodium vapor lamps) were compared to natural light during four experiments performed in greenhouses between Sept. 1989 and May 1990. Using supplementary lighting resulted in significant increases in biomass (≤270%), head firmness, and tipburn incidence and decreases in production cycle length (≈30%). Treatment effects were most pronounced during the months when natural-light levels were low. Fresh weights were higher for `Karlo' than `Rosana'; however, `Rosana' was less susceptible to tipburn than `Karlo'. In general, the radiant heating system resulted in earlier crop maturity and a higher incidence of tipburn than the hot-air system.

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C. Chun and C.A. Mitchell

For biomass production in a space-deployed Controlled Ecological Life-Support System (CELSS), efficient usage of limited resources such as light, CO2, growth area, and labor is more consequential than for biomass production on Earth. Light will be one of the most energy-consuming environmental factors to provide in CELSS. Therefore, development of an energy-efficient lighting-control strategy would make a great contribution to the sustainability of CELSS. Lettuce (Latuca sativa L.) was used as a model salad crop for the development of new control methods due to its rapid growth rate and high harvest index (≥80%). Lettuce seeds were sown and plants were cultured hydroponically in the Minitron II plant growth/canopy gas-exchange system. Canopy net photosynthetic rates (μmol CO2/m2 per s) were measured under a specific photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) and analyzed to decide the PPF of the next 1-h interval. Appropriate PPFs were provided on the initial day and during the first 1-h interval of each 20-h photoperiod. Plant-growth indices, crop yield rates (g/m2 per day), and power consumption rates were determined for different lighting strategies to identify the best compromise between energy cost and yield. Day/night temperature and CO2 concentration were maintained at 25/25C and 1100/400 μl·liter–1, respectively. This research is supported by NASA grant NAGW-2329.

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Richard K. Schoellhorn, James E. Barrett, and Terril A. Nell

Effects of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) and temperature on quantitative axillary budbreak and elongation of pinched chrysanthemum [Dendranthema ×grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura] plants were studied in three experiments. In Expt. 1, 12 commercial cultivars were compared under fall and spring environmental conditions. Spring increases in lateral shoot counts were attributable to increased PPF and air temperature. Cultivars varied from 0 to 12 lateral branches per pinched plant and by as much as 60% between seasons. There was a linear relationship between lateral branches >5 cm at 3 weeks after pinching and final branch count (y = 0.407 + 0.914(x), r 2 = 0.92). In Expt. 2, air was at 20 or 25C and the root zone was maintained at 5, 0, or –5C relative to air temperature. With air at 20C, lateral branch counts (3 weeks after pinch) declined by ≤50% with the medium at 15C relative to 25C. At 25C, lateral branch count was lower with medium at 30C than at 20C. Cultivars differed in their response to the treatments. Experiment 3 compared the interactions among temperature, PPF, and cultivar on lateral branch count. Depending on cultivar, the count increased the higher the PPF between 400 and 1400 μmol·m–2·s–1. Air temperature had no effect on lateral branch count. PPF had a stronger effect on lateral branch count than air temperature, and cultivars differed in their response.