The relationship of electrical impedance to vegetative maturity and dormancy in red-osier dogwood Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8623j087x

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  • Techniques to measure vegetative maturity and dormancy of deciduous nursery stock were investigated in red-osier dogwood. Previous methods which were based on: survival or tip dieback, change in level of ethylene production, xylem water potential, and alteration of square wave traces traces, provided no better indication of dormancy than did a knowledge of calendar date. Tissue response to and modification of applied electrical currents however, indicated that electrical impedance ratios could be used successfully not only in plant breeding, presymptomatic disease diagnosis, water relations, and frost hardiness studies, but as a predictor for vegetative maturity and dormancy development as well. Impedance ratios and water contents were determined concomitantly during the development of vegetative maturity in a clone of red-osier dogwood which enters dormancy at a photoperiod of 14.2 hours or less. Plants were exposed to 16 hr. and 12 hr. photoperiods in growth chambers to selectively prevent (16 hr.) or induce (12 hr.) dormancy. The onset of vegetative maturity was measured by defoliating plants at weekly intervals and subsequently observing whether or not previously dormant buds were stimulated to grow. There was a consistent and significant increase in the impedance ratios of dogwood stems at time plants became vegetatively mature. During the first 5 weeks, impedance values obtained from frequencies 10⁴/10⁵ Hz remained relatively stable at 2.3 in plants grown at the 12 hr. photoperiod. After week 5, a significant increase in the ratio occurred, rising to a peak of 4.0 by the 7th week, and remained at that level. Stem moisture content declined gradually as the plants matured, and was approximately inversely proportional to impedance value. Changes in impedance ratios were consistent and less subject to variation than stem water contents. Impedance ratio measurements have potential for predicting the timing of vegetative maturity and dormancy in woody deciduous species.
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