XYLEM FLOW IN CUT ACACIA HOLOSERICEA STEMS

Jilushi Damunupola (2009). XYLEM FLOW IN CUT ACACIA HOLOSERICEA STEMS PhD Thesis, School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Jilushi Damunupola
Thesis Title XYLEM FLOW IN CUT ACACIA HOLOSERICEA STEMS
School, Centre or Institute School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-03
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Prof. Daryl Joyce
Dr. Donald Irving
Total pages 175
Total colour pages 10
Total black and white pages 165
Subjects 300000 Agricultural, Veterinary and Environmental Sciences
Abstract/Summary Acacia holosericea A. Cunn. Ex G. Don (Velvet Leaf Wattle, Family Mimosaceae) is indigenous to Australia and holds promise as a novel cut foliage crop due to its silvery green silky phyllodes. Insufficient water uptake, possibly due to low stem hydraulic conductivity (Kh), is potentially responsible for early wilting and desiccation of phyllodes and limiting vase life. This study aimed to characterize the anatomy of stem xylem conduits and determine cation (K+ and Ca2+) mediated stem Kh. Differential localization of Ca2+ in xylem vessels and the effects of KCl and CaCl2 salts as cation contributors in vase solutions were also evaluated for their effects on cut foliage longevity. Anatomical characteristics of stem xylem conduits were studied using light, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Tracheids and vessels with simple perforation plates were the principal water conducting cells. SEM and TEM revealed bordered vestured intervessel pits in xylem conduits. Vestures were branched and coralloid-like structures. Xylem conduit lengths were assessed by ink perfusion. The majority of conduits (89%) were short (1 to 5 cm), and only ~ 2% were long (15 to 16 cm). Mean conduit diameter was 77 ± 0.9 µm, with 29% of conduits in the range 70 to 80 µm. Effects of S-carvone (0, 0.318, and 0.636 mM), a monoterpene inhibitor of wound-healing enzyme inhibitor found in caraway (Carum carvi) and dill (Anethum graveoleus) seeds, on several native Australian, non-proteaceous cut flower and foliage species including A. holosericea (Mimosaceae), Baeckea frutescens (Myrtaceae), Chamelaucium uncinatum cv. ‘Mullering Brook’ (Myrtaceae), and the non-native Chrysanthemum sp. cv. ‘Dark Splendid Reagan’ (Asteraceae) were examined. As comparator treatments regular recutting of stem ends and use of standard tap water (STW: 0.7 mM CaCl2, 1.5 mM NaHCO3, and 0.05 mM CuSO4 in vases) were tested. S-Carvone treatments significantly (P≤0.05) extended the vase life of B. frutescens and C. uncinatum, constituting the first report of positive S-carvone effects on the vase life of Myrtaceous species. S-Carvone at 0.318 and 0.636 mM did not have antibacterial effects against Bacillus cereus (the main vase solution microbe) either in vitro or in the vase solution. Regular recutting of stem ends consistently improved all vase life parameters [viz. relative fresh weight (RFW), solution uptake, and vase life] in the three native species examined. STW had a positive effect on RFW and solution uptake only for A. holosericea cut foliage. Effects of di- and monovalent cations (Ca2+ as CaCl2 and K+ as KCl) on stem Kh of cut stem segments were studied. Abundance of Ca2+ on pit membranes versus xylem lumen wall surfaces was investigated using a novel low vacuum (LV) SEM plus energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) microanalysis technique. Both salts (0.1, 1, 10, and 100 mM KCl or CaCl2) did not significantly increase stem Kh compared to the corresponding deionised (DI) water controls (experiment 1). Highest increase in Kh was with KCl and CaCl2 at 10 and 1 mM, respectively. Increases in Kh with 100 mM KCl and CaCl2 were significant over DI water (experiment 2) for long (10 and 20 cm) and short (2 and 5 cm) stem segments, respectively. Increases in Kh of 1.2- and 2.4-fold for 100 mM KCl over DI water were found with increasing stem length from 2 to 20 cm. Kh decreased as stem segment length increased from 5 to 20 cm. However, contrasting results were found with 100 mM CaCl2, where ΔKh was larger in shorter (2 cm) than longer (20 cm) segments. To prevent dislocation of ions and distortion damage to the specimens, stem pieces were first LV freeze-dried, and then carbon-coated, viewed under SEM, and analysed for elemental composition and distribution by EDX. However, the method could not identify specific calcium peaks in xylem vessels perhaps because background signals were too high, and tissue topography interfered with signal detection. Effects of KCl and CaCl2 on vase life were also tested. RFW, solution uptake, and vase life were higher with 10 mM KCl and CaCl2 in the vase solution than with 0, 1, and 100 mM. STW had a significant (P≤0.05) positive effect on RFW and solution uptake rate when tested against deionised water, 10 mM KCl and 10 mM CaCl2. Different combinations of 0.05 mM CuSO4, 10 mM CaCl2, and 10 mM KCl were also tested as vase solutions. A significant positive effect on RFW and vase life was obtained with CuSO4 alone, CaCl2 alone, and CuSO4 plus KCl. Only CuSO4 and CaCl2 gave a significant positive effect on solution uptake rate. None of the eight treatments tested showed a consistent effect on stomatal conductance or stem Kh. Overall, the research revealed that tracheids and vessels with simple perforation plates and bordered vestured intervessel pits are the principal water conducting cells in A. holosericea. LV-SEM-EDX technique was unable to assess the spatial distribution of Ca2+ on xylem vessels, but this was the first attempt to apply this technique. Also, this is the first report on the extension of vase life of B. frutescens and C. uncinatum (Myrtaceous species) using S-carvone. In vase solutions, 0.05 mM CuSO4, 10 mM KCl plus 0.05 mM CuSO4 and 10 mM CaCl2 should have positive influences on the water balance of A. holosericea cut foliage stems.
Keyword CaCl2, cut foliage, electron microscopy, hydraulic conductivity, KCl, pit membrane, vase life, xylem
Additional Notes Colour pages - 16, 40, 41, 49, 51, 82, 95, 96, 106, 108 Landscape pages - 11, 100, 152-163

 
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