volumes with maximal root recovery, minimal root damage, and little to no water use. Material and Methods A root separator was developed to speed root isolation for dry mass determination ( Fig. 1 ). Mechanical separation is provided by a rotating cylinder
Dilma Silva, Donald Cox and Richard C. Beeson Jr
Christopher J. Currey and Roberto G. Lopez
and leaves were excised from the stem and dried separately in an oven at 70 °C for 3 d. After 3 d roots, stems, and leaves were weighed to determine root (RDM), stem (SDM), and leaf dry mass (LDM), respectively. Data calculated for each cutting
Ariana P. Torres and Roberto G. Lopez
rooted. This and previous studies have shown that as DLI increases, shoot and root dry weight, stem diameter, leaf area, plug pullability, root number, and dry mass in seedlings and cutting transplants increase ( Islam and Willumsen, 2001 ; Lopez and
Madeline W. Olberg and Roberto G. Lopez
separately in an oven at 70 °C. After 4 d of drying, roots and shoots were weighed to determine root dry mass (RDM) and SDM, respectively. Time to flower was calculated as days from transplant (21 Jan.) to first open flower. Root-to-shoot ratio (RDM:SDM) was
W. Garrett Owen and Roberto G. Lopez
were excised from the single-internode culm cutting and roots and culms were dried separately in an oven at 70 °C. Roots and culms were weighed to determine root dry mass and culm dry mass, respectively. Data calculated for each single-internode culm
De-Xing Chen and J. Heinrich Lieth
A two-dimensional mathematical model was developed to describe the time course of root growth and its spatial distribution for container-grown plants, using chrysanthemum [Dendranthema ×grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura] as the model system. Potential root growth was considered as consisting of several concurrent processes, including branching, extension, and death. Branching rate was assumed to be related sigmoidally to existing root weight density. Root growth extension rate was assumed to be proportional to the existing root weight density above some threshold root weight density in adjacent cells. The senescence rate of root weight density was assumed to be proportional to existing root mass. The effects of soil matric potential and temperature on root growth were quantified with an exponential function and the modified Arrhenius equation, respectively. The actual root growth rate was limited by the amount of carbohydrate supplied by the canopy to roots. Parameters in the model were estimated by fitting the model to experimental data using nonlinear regression. Required inputs into the model included initial root dry weight density distribution, soil temperature, and soil water potential data. Being a submodel of the whole-plant growth model, the supply of carbohydrates from canopy to roots was required; the total root weight incremental rate was used to represent this factor. Rather than linking to a complex whole-plant C balance model, the total root weight growth over time was described by a logistic equation. The model was validated by comparing the predicted results with independently measured data. The model described root growth dynamics and its spatial distribution well. A sensitivity analysis of modeled root weight density to the estimated parameters indicated that the model was more sensitive to carbohydrate supply parameters than to root growth distribution parameters.
Brian A. Kahn and Peter J. Stoffella
Field experiments were conducted in 1985 at Fort Pierce, Fla., and Bixby, Okla., to quantify and describe the distribution of nodules among root morphological components of cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.]. Plants of `Knuckle Purplehull', `Mississippi Cream', and `White Acre' were sampled by cultivar on separate dates at three growth stages: pre-anthesis, seed initiation, and harvest, when most pods were dry. Root masses were partitioned into adventitious, basal, lateral, and taproot components. Nodules were removed from roots, grouped according to root morphological component of origin, and weighed. No linear correlation was found between the weight of a particular root morphological component and the nodule weight associated with that component. Total root weight and total nodule weight also were not strongly correlated. Nodule weights usually were lower at harvest than at earlier stages of ontogeny, especially for nodules from taproots. Although ≈70% of the root mass was in the taproot and its associated laterals at both locations, the taproot per se was not the primary locus of nodulation. Instead, most nodules generally were located on the basal and lateral roots. When percentage distribution of total nodule weight was examined, neither growth stage nor cultivar was found to affect nodulation of basal or lateral roots.
Marc van Iersel
Various growth stimulators have been reported to improve plant growth. Some of these are formulated to improve root growth, which would be particularly beneficial for reestablishing transplants. Three commercially available plant growth stimulators—PGR IV (MicroFlo, Lakeland, Fla.), Roots2 (Lisa Products Corp., Independence, Mo.), and Up-Start (The Solaris Group, San Ramon, Calif.)—were tested to quantify their effect on post-transplant growth of petunia (Petunia × hybrida Hort. Vilm.-Andr.) and impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook.f.) seedlings and to assess their value for the greenhouse industry. Seedlings were transplanted from plug flats into larger 5.6-fl oz (166-cm3) containers and treated with 1.1 fl oz (31 mL) of growth stimulator per plant (22 fl oz/ft2). Applications were made immediately after transplant. None of the treatments affected root mass at any time. Up-Start (2 fl oz/gal) increased final shoot dry mass by ≈20% compared to the control plants. The increase in shoot growth by Up-Start most likely is caused by the fertilizer it contains. Up-Start also increased flowering of petunia from 34 to 40 days after transplant. PGR IV (0.5 fl oz/gal) and Roots2 (1.28 fl oz/gal) did not affect dry mass of the plants. PGR IV increased the number of flowers of petunia and impatiens, but this effect occurred well after the plants were marketable. Roots2 caused a small delay in early flowering and an increase in late flowering of petunia but had no effect on flowering of impatiens. Since the effects of the growth stimulators was either due their fertilizer content (Up-Start) or occurred after the plants would have been sold (PGR IV, Roots2), none of the growth stimulators appears to be beneficial for bedding plant producers.
Caroline S. Donnelly and Paul R. Fisher
The objective was to quantify the effect of supplemental lighting on cutting production for 10 herbaceous annual cultivars. Stock plants of four cultivars (Heliotropium arborescens `Atlantis', Petunia `Supertunia Sun Snow', Scaevola aemula `New Wonder', and Verbena `Tapien Soft Pink') received ambient light [average 6.2 mol·m-2·d-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) during the photoperiod], or ambient light plus either 1.6 or 2.8 mol·m-2·d-1 PPF from high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps for 11 hours. In a second experiment, the same four species plus six other cultivars were grown under ambient light (average 7.9 mol·m-2·d-1 PPF) or ambient plus 1.9 mol·m-2·d-1 PPF from HPS. The effect of HPS on the production of cuttings varied greatly between species. Growth of Heliotropium was not significantly affected by light level in either experiment. In the first experiment, the addition of 1.6 mol·m-2·d-1 PPF from HPS increased the number of Petunia `Supertunia Sun Snow', Scaevola, and Verbena cuttings by 14%, 51%, and 12%. The addition of 2.8 mol·m-2·d-1 PPF from HPS, increased cuttings harvested from these three species by 23%, 73%, and 22% respectively. In the second experiment, Petunia `Supertunia Sun Snow', Scaevola, Aloysia triphylla (lemon verbena), and Osteospermum `Lemon Symphony' had a positive cutting production response to HPS (17% to 45% increase), whereas cutting numbers of other species (Argyranthemum `Summer Melody', Lantana `Patriot Firewagon', Impatiens New Guinea hybrid `Pedro', Petunia `Supertunia Blue Wren', and Verbena) were not significantly affected by HPS. In both experiments, cutting quality (length, stem caliper, fresh mass, and dry mass) and subsequent rooting of cuttings were not significantly affected by light level.
Marc van Iersel
Uprooting and transplanting seedlings can cause root damage, which may reduce water and nutrient uptake. Initiation of new roots and rapid elongation of existing roots may help minimize the negative effects of transplant shock. In this study, seedlings with four true leaves were transplanted into diatomaceous earth and the plants were transferred to a growth chamber, where they were treated with NAA (0, 0.025, 0.25, and 2.5 mg·L-1; 36 mL/plant). The effects of drenches with various amounts of 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) on the posttransplant CO2 exchange rate of vinca [Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don] were quantified. Whole-plant CO2 exchange rate of the plants was measured once every 20 minutes for a 28 day period. Seedlings treated with 0.025 or 0.25 mg·L-1 recovered from transplant shock more quickly than plants in the 0 and 2.5 mg·L-1 treatments. Naphthaleneacetic acid drenches containing 0.025 or 0.25 mg·L-1 increased whole-plant net photosynthesis (Pnet) from 10 days, dark respiration (Rdark) from 12 days, and carbon use efficiency (CUE) from 11 days after transplanting until the end of the experiment. The increase in CUE seems to have been the result of the larger size of the plants in these two treatments, and thus an indirect effect of the NAA applications. These differences in CO2 metabolism among the treatments resulted in a 46% dry mass increase in the 0.025 mg·L-1 treatment compared to the control, but shoot-root ratio was not affected. The highest rate of NAA (2.5 mg·L-1) was slightly phytotoxic and reduced the growth rate of the plants.