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Impact of developmental stage on CAM expression and growth in an Aechmea hybrid under greenhouse conditions

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Besides environmental factors, expression of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) and the related production ofmalic acid may depend on plant developmental stage. This topic has not yet been investigated under commercialgreenhouse conditions. In CAM plant cultivation, malic acid is a central determinant of plant growth, but can alsocause physiological leaf damage problems. Here, we present data on diurnal leaf malic acid contents, relative watercontent dynamics, and measurements of growth at four stages of the plant growth cycle (i.e., ex vitro-acclimatedplantlets, 6-month, 12-month, and 18-month-old plants) of Aechmea ‘Maya’. The results obtained showed thatAechmea ‘Maya’ was an obligate CAM plant at all developmental stages during cultivation. Nevertheless, there was some developmental control on the expression of CAM. Under the same environmental conditions, 6-month-oldplants accumulated significantly higher amounts of malic acid in their leaves, thus supporting higher growth rates, than in the other growth stages. This larger malic acid pool implied a higher risk of physiological leaf damage, but since remobilisation of malic acid in the early morning remained unaffected during growth, physiological leaf damage might occur throughout vegetative growth.
Journal: Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology (The)
ISSN: 1462-0316
Issue: 4
Volume: 84
Pages: 399 - 402
Publication year:2009
Keywords:Plant & soil science & technology