A 50% increase in total radiation by extending the photoperiod from 16 to 24 hr doubled the weight of all cultivars of loose-leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) 'Grand Rapids Forcing', 'Waldmanns Green', 'Salad Bowl', and 'RubyConn', but not a Butterhead cultivar, 'Salina'. When total daily radiation (moles of photons) was the same, plants under continuous radiation weighed 30% to 50% more than plants under a 16 hr photoperiod. By using continuous radiation on loose-leaf lettuce, fewer lamp fixtures were required and yield was increased.
We investigated patterns of variation in alkamides and cichoric acid accumulation in the roots and aboveground parts of Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench. These phytochemicals were extracted from fresh plant parts with 60% ethanol and quantified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. Concentrations of alkamides and cichoric acid were measured on a dry-weight basis (mg·g(-1)). For total alkamides, concentrations among individual plants varied from 5.02 to 27.67 (mean = 14.4%) in roots, from 0.62 to 3.42 (mean = 1.54) in nearly matured seed heads (NMSH), and 0.22 to 5.25 (mean = 0.77) in young tops (about ½ flower heads, ¼ leaves, and ¼ stems). For cichoric acid, concentrations among individual plants varied from 2.65 to 37.52 (mean = 8.95), from 2.03 to 31.58 (mean = 10.9), and from 4.79 to 38.55 (mean = 18.88) in the roots, the NMSH, and the tops, respectively. Dodeca-2E, 4E, 8Z, 10E-tetraenoic acid isobutylamide and dodeca-2E, 4E, 8Z, 10Z-tetraenoic acid isobutylamide (alkamides 8/9) accounted for only 9.4% of the total alkamides in roots, but comprised 87.9% in the NMSH, and 76.6% in the young tops. Correlations of concentrations of alkamides or cichoric acid between those of roots and those of the NMSH were not statistically significant, and either within the roots, the NMSH, and the young tops. However, a significant negative correlation was observed between the concentration of cichoric acid in the roots and in young tops, and a significant positive correlation was observed between total alkamide concentration in the roots and cichoric acid concentration in the young tops. These results may be useful in the genetic improvement of E. purpurea for medicinal use.
Treatment of greenhouse-grown eggplant (Solanum melongena L. var. esculentum Nees. 'Burpee's Black Beauty') seedlings with supplemental photosynthetically active radiation from cool-white fluorescent lamps increased growth of plants subsequently transferred outdoors relative to growth of plants that received no supplemental radiation or were shaded to 45% of solar irradiation in the greenhouse before transfer outdoors. Eggplant seedlings transferred outdoors were placed under plastic tarps either to provide relative protection from solar ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation (280-315 nm) using Mylar film or to allow exposure to UV-B using cellulose acetate. Protection of seedlings from UV-B radiation resulted in greater leaf expansion than for UV-B-exposed seedlings, but no change in leaf or shoot dry weight occurred after 9 days of treatment. Specific leaf weight increased in response to UV-B exposure outdoors. Exposure of eggplant to UV-B radiation from fluorescent sunlamps in the greenhouse also decreased leaf expansion and leaf and shoot dry weight gain after 5 days of treatment. However, there were no differences in leaf or shoot dry weight relative to control plants after 12 days of UV-B treatment, indicating that UV-B treated plants had acclimated to the treatment and actually had caught up with non-UV-B-irradiated plants in terms of growth.
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 measurements, 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.
Calcium is known to be a second messenger in many developmental processes in animal systems, but it has only recently become evident that Ca is an important intracellular messenger in plants as well. The level of free Ca concentration in the cytoplasm is extremely low, and it is influenced by extracellular signals such as light, gravity, and hormones. Investigations from our laboratory indicated that Ca and its binding protein, calmodulin, play an important role in stimulus-response coupling by regulating enzyme activities, especially through protein phosphorylation. In vivo and in vitro protein phosphorylation studies have revealed Ca-dependent changes in various plant tissues. We have also been able to influence various physiological processes such as cell elongation, abscission, senescence, and tuberization by altering extracellular and intracellular Ca levels. Other examples of Ca-mediated processes in plants are as follows: a) cell division, b) geotropism, c) protoplasmic streaming, d) stomatal control, e) chloroplast movement, f) secretion, g) hormone-dependent changes, h) enzyme activation, and i) protein phosphorylation.
An overview of the major concepts of Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) includes an identification of environmental factors, such as gravity levels, light levels, and growth volume, that influence the type of CELSS system that can be developed. Various plant growth systems are described together with their possible space applications. Life support functions performed by plants include food production, atmosphere regeneration, and water purification. Selected relationships between biological and physical-chemical life support techniques are considered as a part of these functions. Consumers in a CELSS may be humans, animals, or microorganisms, but nutritional, water, and atmosphere requirements of humans are emphasized in this report, as they are the primary requirement drivers for a CELSS design. The human role in waste generation is discussed as it affects plant nutrient availability. The role of waste management systems in recovering nutrients for plant growth and requirements for CELSS are defined for air, water, and food. Both physical and a biological nutrient recovery/waste disposal systems are examined. The separate subsystems of a CELSS are identified and discussed. Nutrient recovery, plant irradiation, automation, and facilities equipment and applications are reviewed with special attention to direct solar irradiation using fiber optics. These subsystems, along with other environmental control systems, such as thermal, humidity, and ventilation, are essential to plant growth in the space environment.
Limited-cluster production systems may be a useful strategy to increase crop production and profitability for the greenhouse tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill). In this study, using an ebb-and-flood hydroponics system, we modified plant architecture and spacing and determined the effects on fruit yield and harvest index at two light levels. Single-cluster plants pruned to allow two leaves above the cluster had 25% higher fruit yields than did plants pruned directly above the cluster; this was due to an increase in fruit weight, not fruit number. Both fruit yield and harvest index were greater for all single-cluster plants at the higher light level because of increases in both fruit weight and fruit number. Fruit yield for two-cluster plants was 30% to 40% higher than for single-cluster plants, and there was little difference in the dates or length of the harvest period. Fruit yield for three-cluster plants was not significantly different from that of two-cluster plants; moreover, the harvest period was delayed by 5 days. Plant density (5.5, 7.4, 9.2 plants/m2) affected fruit yield/plant, but not fruit yield/unit area. Given the higher costs for materials and labor associated with higher plant densities, a two-cluster crop at 5.5 plants/m2 with two leaves above the cluster was the best of the production system strategies tested.
The respiration of cut flowers of gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii H. Bolus ex Hook.f. 'Vesuvio') and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) increased exponentially with increasing storage temperature. Poststorage vase life and negatively gravitropic bending of the neck of the flowers were both strongly affected by simulated transport at higher temperatures. Vase life and stem bending after dry storage showed highly significant linear relationships (negative and positive, respectively) with the rate of respiration during storage. The data indicate the importance of maintaining temperatures close to the freezing point during commercial handling and transport of these important commercial cut-flower crops for maximum vase life.
The day-neutral, semidwarf rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivar Ai-Nan-Tsao was grown in a greenhouse under summer conditions using high-pressure sodium lamps to extend the natural photoperiod. After allowing 2 weeks for germination, stand establishment, and thinning to a consistent planting density of 212 plants/m2, stands were maintained under continuous lighting for 35 or 49 days before shifting to 8- or 12-h photoperiods until harvest 76 days after planting. Non-shifted control treatments consisting of 8-, 12-, or 24-h photoperiods also were maintained throughout production. Tiller number increased as duration of exposure to continuous light increased before shifting to shorter photoperiods. However, shoot harvest index and yield efficiency rate were lower for all plants receiving continuous light than for those under the 8- or 12-h photoperiods. Stands receiving 12-h photoperiods throughout production had the highest grain yield per plant and equaled the 8-h-photoperiod control plants for the lowest tiller number per plant. As long as stands were exposed to continuous light, tiller formation continued. Shifting to shorter photoperiods late in the cropping cycle resulted in newly formed tillers that were either sterile or unable to mature grain before harvest. Late-forming tillers also suppressed yield of grain in early-forming tillers, presumably by competing for photosynthate or for remobilized assimilate during senescence. Stands receiving 12-h photoperiods throughout production not only produced the highest grain yield at harvest but had the highest shoot harvest index, which is important for resource-recovery strategies in advanced life-support systems proposed for space.
Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the effects of spectral quality on disease development when other wavelengths were included in the light source (MH-, 660/BF-, and 660/735-grown plants) were equivocal. These results demonstrate that spectral quality may be useful as a component of an integrated pest management program for future space-based controlled ecological life support systems.
A system was developed for subjecting plants to elevated air ion levels. This system consisted of a rectangular Plexiglas chamber lined with a Faraday cage. Air ions were generated by corona discharge from frayed stainless steel fibers placed at one end of the chamber. This source was capable of producing varying levels of either positive or negative air ions. During plant exposures, environmental conditions were controlled by operating the unit in a growth chamber.
Chromosome karyotypes of the most commonly cultivated and medicinally used Echinacea taxa, E. angustifolia DC. var. angustifolia and E. purpurea (L.) Moench., were analyzed. The chromosomes of both taxa are medium in length, ranging from 4.12 to 5.83 μm in E. angustifolia var. angustifolia and 3.99 to 6.08 μm in E. purpurea. No abrupt length changes in the chromosomes were noted. The karyotypes of the two species are generally similar, but a distinguishable feature exists in one pair of chromosomes. The centromere of chromosome pair 10 is subterminally located in E. purpurea, but terminally located in E. angustifolia var. angustifolia, which can be readily recognized in mitotic metaphase cell plates. This finding may provide useful information for Echinacea evolutionary, genetic, and breeding studies.
Seeds from five lots each of Echinacea angustifolia DC, and E. pallida (Nutt.) Nutt. were germinated in a growth chamber in light (40 μmol·m(-2)· s(-1)) or darkness at 25 °C for 16 to 20 d after soaking in 1 mM ethephon or water for 10 min, or moist stratification at 4 - 6 °C for two weeks. Either light or ethephon promoted seed germination of E. angustifolia and E. pallida, in comparison with darkness in nine of ten lots. Ethephon in the dark had similar or greater germination percentages than water with light. Ethephon with light improved germination in three of ten lots compared with ethephon in the dark. The effect of cold, moist stratification in comparison with darkness varied by seed lot. Five lots of E. purpurea (L.) Moench were tested; however, no treatment differences were measured. The finding that ethethon promoted E. angustifolia and E. pallida seed germination in darkness could be useful in the cultivation of these two species. Chemical name used: 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon).
Most economically important bananas and plantains are large triploid seedless herbs that must be propagated vegetatively by removing small side shoots or "suckers" from the parent plant or by planting seed pieces of larger corms. Consequently, multiplication of stock material is time consuming, Recently, the rapid production of young banana plantlets suitable for use as "seed" material has been described. Vegetative shoot apices were isolated and multiplied using aseptic tissue culture techniques. Although these multiplication systems, once established, can produce thousands of plants in a relatively short period of time, their establishment necessitates the initial sacrifice of an individual specimen, which may not always be desirable or prudent should a limited parent stock be available. We describe here the production and multiplication of rooted banana plantlets from the isolation and culture of terminal floral apices.
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) plants were grown hydroponically, using continuously recirculating nutrient solution. Two culture tray designs were tested; one tray design used only nutrient solution, while the other used a sphagnum-filled pod development compartment just beneath the cover and above the nutrient solution. Both trays were fitted with slotted covers to allow developing gynophores to reach the root zone. Peanut seed yields averaged 350 gm-2 dry mass, regardless of tray design, suggesting that substrate is not required for hydroponic peanut production.
'Georgia Red' peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and TU-82-155 sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] were grown in monocultured or intercropped recirculating hydroponic systems in a greenhouse using the nutrient film technique (NFT). The objective was to determine whether growth and subsequent yield would be affected by intercropping. Treatments were sweetpotato monoculture (SP), peanut monoculture (PN), and sweetpotato and peanut grown in separate NFT channels but sharing a common nutrient solution (SP-PN). Greenhouse conditions ranged from 24 to 33 degrees C, 60% to 90% relative humidity (RH), and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) of 200 to 1700 micromoles m-2 s-1. Sweetpotato cuttings (15 cm long) and 14-day-old seedlings of peanuts were planted into growth channels (0.15 x 0.15 x 1.2 m). Plants were spaced 25 cm apart within and 25 cm apart between growing channels. A modified half-Hoagland solution with a 1 N: 2.4 K ratio was used. Solution pH was maintained between 5.5 and 6.0 for treatments involving SP and 6.4 and 6.7 for PN. Electrical conductivity (EC) ranged between 1100 and 1200 microS cm-1. The number of storage roots per sweetpotato plant was similar for both SP and SP-PN. Storage root fresh and dry mass were 29% and 36% greater, respectively, for plants in the SP-PN treatment than for plants in the SP treatment. The percent dry mass of the storage roots, dry mass of fibrous and pencil roots, and the length-to-diameter ratio of storage roots were similar for SP and SP-PN sweetpotato plants. Likewise, foliage fresh and dry mass and harvest index were not significantly influenced by treatment. Total dry mass was 37% greater for PN than for SP-PN peanut plants, and pod dry mass was 82% higher. Mature and total seed dry mass and fibrous root dry mass were significantly greater for PN than for SP-PN plants. Harvest index (HI) was similar for both treatments. Root length tended to be lower for seedlings grown in the nutrient solution from the SP-PN treatment.
Plants will be an important component of future long-term space missions. Lighting systems for growing plants will need to be lightweight, reliable, and durable, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have these characteristics. Previous studies demonstrated that the combination of red and blue light was an effective light source for several crops. Yet the appearance of plants under red and blue lighting is purplish gray making visual assessment of any problems difficult. The addition of green light would make the plant leave appear green and normal similar to a natural setting under white light and may also offer a psychological benefit to the crew. Green supplemental lighting could also offer benefits, since green light can better penetrate the plant canopy and potentially increase plant growth by increasing photosynthesis from the leaves in the lower canopy. In this study, four light sources were tested: 1) red and blue LEDs (RB), 2) red and blue LEDs with green fluorescent lamps (RGB), 3) green fluorescent lamps (GF), and 4) cool-white fluorescent lamps (CWF), that provided 0%, 24%, 86%, and 51% of the total PPF in the green region of the spectrum, respectively. The addition of 24% green light (500 to 600 nm) to red and blue LEDs (RGB treatment) enhanced plant growth. The RGB treatment plants produced more biomass than the plants grown under the cool-white fluorescent lamps (CWF treatment), a commonly tested light source used as a broad-spectrum control.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with high-intensity output are being studied as a photosynthetic light source for plants. High-output LEDs have peak emission at approximately 660 nm concentrated in a waveband of +/- 30 nm. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa Grand Rapids') seedlings developed extended hypocotyls and elongated cotyledons when grown under these LEDs as a sole source of irradiance. This extension and elongation was prevented when the red LED radiation was supplemented with more than 15 micromoles m-2 s-1 of 400- to 500-nm photons from blue fluorescent lamps. Blue radiation effects were independent of the photon level of the red radiation.
Radish (Raphanus sativus L. cv. Cherriette), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Waldmann's Green), and spinach (Spinacea oleracea L. cv. Nordic IV) plants were grown under 660-nm red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and were compared at equal photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) with either plants grown under cool-white fluorescent lamps (CWF) or red LEDs supplemented with 10% (30 micromoles m-2 s-1) blue light (400-500 nm) from blue fluorescent (BF) lamps. At 21 days after planting (DAP), leaf photosynthetic rates and stomatal conductance were greater for plants grown under CWF light than for those grown under red LEDs, with or without supplemental blue light. At harvest (21 DAP), total dry-weight accumulation was significantly lower for all species tested when grown under red LEDs alone than when grown under CWF light or red LEDs + 10% BF light. Moreover, total dry weight for radish and spinach was significantly lower under red LEDs + 10% BF than under CWF light, suggesting that addition of blue light to the red LEDs was still insufficient for achieving maximal growth for these crops.
Prunella vulgaris (Lamiaceae), commonly known as selfheal, is a perennial herb with a long history of use in traditional medicine. Recent studies have found that P. vulgaris possesses anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, and it is likely that this will lead to increased commercial demand for this species. To date, research publications on P. vulgaris cultivation and genetics are scarce. Using accessions originally collected from different geographical regions, we investigated the breeding system of this species by observing variation in floral morphology, time of pollen release, and selfed-seed set in bagged flowers and isolated plants. Two types of floral morphology, one with exerted styles, extending past open corollas when viewed from above, and the other with shorter, inserted styles, were found among 30 accessions. Two accessions originally collected from Asia uniformly displayed exerted styles, and 27 accessions had inserted styles. One accession from Oregon displayed variation in this trait among individual plants. Microscopic observation of seven accessions, including ones with both exerted and inserted styles, revealed that they all release pollen to some degree before the flowers open. Using bagged flowers, we found that selfed-seed set varied widely among eight accessions, ranging from 6% to 94%. However, bagging may underestimate seed set for some accessions. The two accessions with the lowest rates when using bagged flowers increased in seed set by 350% and 158%, respectively, when we evaluated single, unbagged plants in isolation cages. The accession with 6% selfed-seed set when bagged also had exerted styles. These findings suggest that mating systems in P. vulgaris may be in the process of evolutionary change and that understanding breeding-system variation should be useful in developing efficient seed-regeneration protocols and breeding and selection strategies for this species.
This paper describes the use of a commercial growth chamber for canopy photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration measurements. The system was designed to measure transpiration via water vapor fluxes, and the importance of this measurement is discussed. Procedures for continuous measurement of root-zone respiration are described, and new data is presented to dispel myths about sources of water vapor interference in photosynthesis and in the measurement of CO2 by infrared gas analysis. Mitchell (1992) has described the fundamentals of various approaches to measuring photosynthesis. Because our system evolved from experience with other types of single-leaf and canopy gas-exchange systems, it is useful to review advantages and disadvantages of different systems as they apply to various research objectives.