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Photosynthetic Apparatus in Cold-Stored Conifer Seedlings Is Affected by Nursery and Storage Photoperiod

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The photosynthetic apparatus of outdoor grown seedlings of white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. var. latifolia Englem.) responded in different ways to similar nursery and storage photoperiod treatments. Seedlings of both species were (1) exposed to natural or short days (SD: 8-hr photoperiod for 4 or 8 wk) during late summer, (2) returned to natural conditions, and (3) subsequently put in indoor storage at 2°C in the dark or with a low intensity photoperiod (≤15 mol m-2-s-1, 8 hr daylength) for a 6 mo storage period starting October, December, or January. Poststorage measurements of chlorophyll (chl) a fluorescence in light-stored white spruce showed, relative to dark controls, increased variable fluorescence and decreased photochemical quenching (qP), with little increase in nonphotochemical quenching (qN). In contrast, qP was relatively unaffected in lodgepole pine seedlings, although the combination of SD treatment followed weeks later by light in storage induced an increase in qN. The sequentially applied SD treatment plus light during storage also led to the accumulation of a foliar 23kD protein in pine seedlings. The above foliar responses to the treatments were only weakly related to effects of treatments on diameter and height increase assessed 3 mo after spring planting. The interaction of the treatments shows that the pine foliage was able to integrate environmental signals received months apart. For. Sci. 39(3):546-560.

Keywords: chl a fluorescence; lodgepole pine; nonphotochemical quenching; photochemical quenching; white spruce

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, Department of Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver B.C. Canada, V6T 1Z4

Publication date: August 1, 1993

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