Manual 21389844

Manual 21389844
CHAPTERS EFFECT OF NITRA TEl AMMONIUM RATIO AND CONCENTRA TION ON VEGETATIVE GROWTH, SEED YIELD AND YIELD COMPONENTS OF DRY BEAN UNDER GREENHOUSE CONDITIONS 5.1
INTRODUCTION
Ammonium (NH4 +) and nitrate (N03-) are the two forms of nitrogen available for plant
growth. The use of NH4 + in nutrient solutions has been reported as early as 1860, and
mixtures ofNH4 + and N0 3- have been adapted into many nutrient solution formulas (Hewitt,
1966). Barker & Mills, 1980 and Cao & Tibbitts (1993) state that most plant species grow
better with N0 3- than NH/ nutrition. Other hydroponics studies have demonstrated
advantages of mixed nitrogen forms with several different crops such as wheat (Cox &
Reisenauer, 1973), triticale, wheat and rye (Gas haw & Mugwira, 1981), corn and sorghum
(Clark, 1982), potato (Davis, Loescher, Hammond & Thornton, 1989) and tomato (Ikeda &
Tan,
1998). For potatoes, applications of combined nitrogen forms are generally
recommended for production in most growing areas (Hendrickson Keeney, Walsh, & Liegel,
1978). Studies with spring wheat showed increase in growth and yield when plants were fed
on combined NH/-N and N0 3 --N compared with those fed on predominantly N0 3--N (Wang
& Below, 1992). In similar experiments, Cox & Reisenauer (1973) report that plants grown
with N0 3 - as the sole source of nitrogen often develop Fe deficiency while those grown in
NH4 + as the sole source of nitrogen may show NH4 + toxicity effects if the NH4 + levels are too
high. The growth rates of both wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) were
stimulated when NH/ was added to growth media containing N0 3 - over the growth rates of
plants grown with N0 3 - alone. More nitrogen is said to be absorbed and assimilated when
both NH/ and N0 3 - are provided in the growth solutions than when either NH/ or N0 3 ­
alone is given (Jackson, Kwik & Volk, 1976).
The form of nitrogen in a nutrient solution influences the solution pH. The pH of nutrient
solutions with N0 3- as the sole source ofN rises to near or above 7 for many plants (Hewitt,
1966). On the other hand the pH of nutrient solutions with NH/ as the sole source of
nitrogen decreases to near 4 when many plants are grown in them. This prompted Trelease &
66
Trelease (1935) to suggest a balance ofN0 3- and NH/ as a buffer against large changes in
pH.
According to Claassens (2000, personal communication 3) the nutritional status of the
Hoagland type nutrient solutions commonly used are relatively high, especially for
environmental conditions like in South Africa where the rate of crop transpiration may be
much higher than in Europe, Lower concentration of nutrient solutions would be less
expensive and make production more cost efficient. The objective of this experiment was to
determine the optimum N0 3-:NH/ ratio, and the concentration of nutrient solution that
would optimise growth and yield of dry bean under greenhouse conditions,
5.2
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Experiment 1
Seed of cultivar Kranskop was planted in 10 litre Mitscherlich pots filled with sterilised sand
media, Three seeds were planted in each pot and thinned to one plant per pot during the V2
growth stage, Four treatments were used each replicated three times, There were an adequate
number of pots to allow five serial harvests at two weeks intervals and a final harvest at
physiological maturity (figure 5,1 a) Treatments included two N0 3-:NH 4+ ratios of 14: 1 meq/l
(93% N03--N: 7% NH/ -N) and 77 meq/l (50% N0 3--N 50% NH/-N), designated as 14:1
and 1: 1 N03-:NH4 + ratios respectively, each applied at full strength (FS) and half strength
(HS) concentrations, The four nutrient solutions were prepared separately, The full strength
(FS) concentration of the 14:1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio is equivalent to the standard Hoagland
nutrient solution, Micronutrients as suggested by Nitsch (1972) (Table 1c) were added at the
same concentration (20ml per 20 litre water) to all the four solutions, The pH of the nutrient
solutions was not adjusted and ranged between 5,58 - 8,5 while electrical conductivity (EC)
ranged between 1.25 - 2,25 mScm- 1 (Table 5, 1a), The recommended pH values are between
5,3 - 6,3 and electrical conductivity (EC) between 1.5 - 25mS,cm- 1 (Association for Intensive
Plant Production, 1999), The nutrient solutions were applied three times a week, twice with
fresh solution and a third with recycled solution after which the pots were flushed with water
to avoid salt accumulation, The composition of the nutrient solutions is outlined in Table 1b,
67
Prof A. S, Claassens, Department of Plant Production and Soil Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002,
Republic of South Africa,
3
Serial harvesting started two weeks after emergence. Three pots were harvested fortnightly
from each treatment over a period of eight weeks to monitor fresh biomass, dry matter
accumulation and leaf area development. The data was plotted in a graph to observe the
growth trend of each treatment. Furthermore, statistical analysis was applied to the vegetative
growth data at 58 days after emergence (DAB). Three replicates from each treatment were
left to reach maturity. These were used to collect data for evaluation of seed yield and yield
components of the crop.
TabJe S.la. Composition of four nutrient solutions with two N0 3-:.N}-L + ratios and two
concentrations (full strength (FS) and half strength (HS)) used in the first experiment.
N03-:NH/ RATIO (meq /l)
141 (FS)
14 : 1 (HS)
11 (FS)
11(HS)
Ca(N0 3h4H 2O
8
4
7
3.5
MgS0 47H 2O
4
2
4
2
KN03
6
3
0
0
K2S0 4
0
0
6
3
SALT
0.5
0.5
NH 4H 2P04
(NH 4)2S04
0
0
6
3
TOTAL-N
15
7.5
14
7
Mean pH
8.45
8.23
5.58
670
Mean EC (mScm- 1)
1.65
1.25
2.25
1.35
TabJe 5.1 b. Composition of micronutrients*
QUANTITY PER LITRE INGREDIENT
KCI
2.7g
H3B 03
2.9g
MnS04
1.7g
ZnS04
0.27g
(NH 4)2M0 7024
O.27g
CUS04
0.14g
H2S04
0.31ml
* Added at rate of 20ml per 201 nutrient solution
68
Experiment 2
In the second experiment, cultivar Kranskop was planted in 8 litre capacity pots filled with
sterilised sand media (Figure 5.1 b). Three seeds were planted in each pot and thinned to one
plant per pot during the V2 growth stage as in experiment 1. Nine treatments were compared
each replicated three times. Treatments included three N0 3-:NH/ ratios of 141 meq!1 (93%
N0 3 --N: 7% NH/-N), 77 meq!1 (50% N03--N : 50% NH/ -N) and 114 meq!1 (7% N0 3--N
93% NH/-N), designated as 14 :1, 11 and 114 N0 3 -:NH/ ratios respectively, each at, full
strength (FS), half strength (HS) and quarter strength (QS) concentrations. The nine nutrient
solutions were prepared separately and their composition is presented in Table 5.2. The full
strength nutrient solution of the 14: 1 N0 3-NH/ ratio is equivalent to the standard Hoagland
nutrient solution while the others are modifications of it Micronutrients were added as
suggested by Nitsch (1972) (Table 5 .1 b) at the same concentration (20ml per 20 litre water)
to all the nine solutions. The pH of the fresh solution was monitored and adjusted to the
recommended values of between 5.3 and 6.3 (Association for Intensive Plant Production,
1999). Electrical conductivity (EC) varied between 0.9 and 2mS .cm- 1 although the
recommended conductivity is between 1.5 and 25mS.cm- 1 (Association for Intensive Plant
Production, 1999). The drain to waste system with no recycling of nutrient solution was used.
The nutrient solutions were prepared in 20 litre plastic containers and applied three times a
week and then flushed with water to avoid salt accumulation . Three replicates were harvested
from each treatment at 40 DAE for comparison of vegetative and reproductive growth. Three
replicates from each treatment were left to reach maturity. These were used to collect data for
evaluation of seed yield and yield components of the crop .
Data analysis
In both experiments data was analysed using the General Linear Models (GLM) procedure of
the Statistical System (SAS Institute, 1989) computer program. Differences at the P< 0.05
level of significance are reported . Means were separated using Tukey's studentised range test.
70 Table 5.2. Composition of nine nutrient solutions of three NH4 +: N0 3- ratios (meg/I) and
three concentrations (full strength (FS), half strength (BS) and quarter strength (QS)) used in
the second experiment.
N0 3 -:NH/
RATIO (meq/I)
14 : 1
141
141
1:1
1: 1
1:1
1: 14
1:14
1:14
(FS)
(BS)
(QS)
(FS)
(BS)
(QS)
(FS)
(BS)
(QS)
Ca(N0 3 h4H 2O
8
4
2
7
3.5
1.75
0.5
0.25
MgS0 47H 2 O
4
2
1
4
2
1
2
1
0.5
KN0 3
6
3
1.5
6
3
1.5
3
1.5
0.75
1
0.5
025
0.5
0.25
6
3
1.5
13
6.5
3.25
14
7
3.5
15
7.5
3.75
SALTS
K2 S0 4
NH 4H2 P0 4
1
0.5
0.25
(NH 4hS04
TOTAL-N
5.3
15
7.5
3.75
RESULTS
Experiment 1
General observations
Plants receiving the nutrient solution containing 50% N03--N with 50% NH/-N (1 1 N0 3­
:NH/ ratio) showed deep pigmentation. The leaves developed deep green colouration unlike
those receiving the nutrient solution containing 93% N0 3--N with 7% NH/-N (14:1 N0 3 ­
:NH/ ratio) at both the full strength and half strength concentrations. This gives an
indication that NH4 +-N enhances chlorophyl development, the green pigmentation in leaves.
According to Makus (1984) vegetable amaranth plants fertilized with more NH/-N were
higher in leaf pigments than those receiving nitrogen in the other form. Cao & Tibbits (1993)
attributed this to the concentration and accumulation of more nitrogen in the shoots and roots
with a combination of NH/-N and N03--N nutrition. The physiological aspect of this is not
yet established.
71
Effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on vegetative growth
Fresh biomass (g)
Data from the five serial harvests is presented in Figure 5.2, and the results of the last of
these sampling periods (58 DAE) are summarised in Table 5.3. The nitrate / ammonium ratio
main effect significantly affected fresh biomass accumulation while the concentration main
effect and the ratio x concentration interactions did not.
Fresh biomass accumulation of plants differed in the different treatments. Plants receiving
the nutrient solutions containing 14 :1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio at the full strength and half strength
concentrations showed better growth rates than those receiving the nutrient solutions
containing 1: 1 N0 3":NH/ ratio at the two concentrations (Figure 5.2). Within the 1: 1 N0 3­
:NH4 + ratio, plants receiving the half strength nutrient solution grew better than those
receiving the full strength nutrient solution.
Signifiant ratio main effect indicates that the different ratio treatments affected the fresh
biomass differently . The 14 :1 N0 3-NH/ ratio accumulated significantly more fresh biomass
(89.3g) than the 1: 1 N0 3":NH/ ratio (66.1g). Differences between plants receiving the full
strength and half strength nutrient solution were not significant, although there was a
tendency by plants receiving the full strength nutrient solution developing a somewhat larger
(80.5g) fresh biomass than those receiving the half strength nutrient solution (74 .9g)(Table
5.3).
Leaf area (cm
2
)
Data from the five serial harvests is presented in Figure 5.3, and the results of the last of
these sampling periods (58 DAE) are summarised in Table 5.3 . The nitrate / ammonium ratio
main effect significantly affected the leaf area development while the concentration maIn
effect and the ratio x concentration interactions did not
The leaf area development followed a similar trend as fresh biomass accumulation. Poor leaf
area development was observed in some plants receiving the full strength nutrient solution
treatment containing the 1: 1 N0 3":NH/ ratio. This affected the treatment's overall
performance. On the other hand, plants receiving the half strength nutrient solution
containing the 1 1 N0 3":NH4+ ratio maintained a steady increase in leaf area similar to plants
72
Dry biomass (g)
Table 5.3 shows the effect of N0 3-:NH/
ratio and concentration on dry biomass
accumulation of dry bean . The ratio main effect was significantly different while the
concentration main effect and the ratio x concentration interactions were not.
Plants receiving the nutrient solution containing the 14 : 1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio accumulated larger
dry biomass (12.4g) than those receiving the nutrient solution containing the 1: 1 N0 3-:NH/
ratio (9 .5g). No differences in dry biomass were observed among plants receiving the full
strength and half strength nutrient solutions. A somewhat larger dry biomass (11.4g) was
produced by plants receiving the full strength nutrient solution than 1O.5g produced by plants
recei ving the half strength nutrient solution.
Shoot dry weight (g)
The effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on shoot dry weight is shown in
Table 5.3. Only the ratio main effect was significant while the concentration main effect and
the ratio x concentration interactions were not.
Plants receiving the nutrient solution containing 14: 1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio produced significantly
larger shoot dry weight (11.5g) than those receiving the nutrient solution containing 1: 1 N03­
:NH/ ratio (8.77g) . No differences were observed between plants receiving the different
nitrogen concentration treatments . However, plants receiving the full strength nutrient
solution produced a somewhat larger (10.6g) shoot dry weight than those fed on the half
strength nutrient solution (9.7g) .
The non significant ratio x concentration interactions effects show that different treatment
combinations produced similar shoot dry weights .
Root dry weight (g)
The data for the effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on the root dry weight
of dry bean cultivar Kranskop at 58 DAB is presented in Table 5.3. Both the ratio and
concentration main effect and the ratio x concentration interactions were not significant.
75
A somewhat larger (0.85g) root dry weight was produced by plants receiving the nutrient
solution containing 141 N03"NH/ ratio than those receiving the nutrient solution containing
11 N0 3":NH/ ratio (0.71g). No differences were observed among plants receiving the two
different nutrient solution concentrations. However, plants receiving the full strength nutrient
solution developed a somewhat larger (0.80g) root dry weight than 0.76g produced by plants
receiving the half strength nutrient solution.
Effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on seed yield and yield
components
Table 5.4 shows the effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on seed yield and
yield components of dry bean cultivar Kranskop. Both the ratio and concentration malTI
effects and the ratio x concentration interactions effects were not significant.
Despite the differences observed in vegetative growth of dry bean plants receiving the two
rliffereut nitrate / ammonium
ratio~ ,
no significant differences wele observed in seed yield
and yield components. The number of pods per plant, seeds per pod, ] 00 seed mass, seed
yield per plant and harvest index were similar among all plants receiving both the nutrient
solutions containing 141 N03"NH/ ratio and 11 NOJ"NH/ ratio (Table 5.4) . Similarly no
differences were observed in seed yields and yield components among plants receiving the
full strength and half strength nutrient solutions (Table 5.4). Both the full strength and half
strength nutrient solutions affected seed yields and yield components in a similar way,
indicating that either of the concentrations can be used without affecting seed yields of the
crop.
76 Table 5.4 Effect of NH/ :NO)- ratio and concentration on yield and yield components of dry
bean (ANOVA Appendix Table 85 F - 8.5J).
PODSIPLANT
SEEDSIPOD
100 SEED
MASS (g)
YIELDIPLANT
(g)
HI (%)
14: I
10.17a
3.7a
54.4a
20.4a
47.2a
II
1O.67a
3.7a
49.0a
17. 2a
48.4a
Full strengtll (FS)
1LOa
3.7a
52.2a
21 .0a
47. 7a
Half strength (HS)
9. 83a
3.7a
51.2
16.6a
48 .0a
SE
0.75
0.1 7
2.61
2.82
0.49
2.46
0.49
8.53
4.60
1.61
R2
0.30
0.08
023
0.58
0.30
CV(%)
17.7
9.92
12.4
18.4
2.53
N03 -:NH 4+RATIO
CONCENTRATION
LSD
(P ~ 0 0 5)
Means within the columns followed by the same letter are not significantly different (PS::O .05) according to Tukey's
studentized range test.
Experiment 2
General observations
Initially, plant growth was normal for all the treatment combinations as observed in figure
5.1b. However visual differences were observed among the different treatments with time,
especially between plants receiving the nutrient solution containing 1: 14 N0 3-:NH 4 + ratio and
those receiving the 14: 1 and 1: 1 N03-:NH/ ratios . Plants receiving the nutrient solution
containing 1: 14 N03-:NH4 + ratio were poorly developed, stunted and weak. The leaves were
rather small, curled, thick and initially with a deep green pigmentation that faded with time
becoming chlorotic at both the full strength and half strength nutrient solution treatments (see
Figure SA). When grown to maturity the leaves of the plants in this treatment were
completely chlorotic resulting in early harvest of the treatment (see Figure 5.5). On the other
hand plants receiving the full strength and half strength nutrient solutions containing the 14: 1
and 1: 1 N03 -NH 4+ ratios were healthy.
77
Plants receiving the quarter strength nutrient solution initially grew better in all the three
N0 3-:N& + ratios but changed with age, The plants receiving the quarter strength nutrient
solutions containing the 14:1 and 1:1 N0 3 -NH/ ratios were healthy and good looking
throughout the growing period, becoming slightly yellowish with slight chlorosis especially
on the edges (see Figure 5,4 & 5,5), On the other hand the plants receiving the quarter
strength nutrient solution containing the 1: 14 N0 3-:NH/ ratio became more yellowish and
rather weak as they grew older. Slight curling of leaves and chlorosis were also observed
(Figure 55)
Effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on vegetative growth 40 DAE
Table 5,5 shows the effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio on the vegetative growth of dry bean
cultivar Kranskop at 40 DAB,
Fresh biomass (g)
The data for the effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on fresh biomass of dry
bean cultivar Kranskop at 40 DAB are presented in Table 5,5 , The concentration main effect
was significant while both the ratio main effect and the ratio x concentration interactions
effects were not.
No difference was observed among plants receiving the different nitrate / ammonium ratios,
Plants receiving the nutrient solution containing the 1: 1 N0 3-:NH 4+ ratio accumulated
somewhat more (45 ,2g) fresh biomass than those receiving the nutrient solutions containing
14:1 N0 3 -:NH/ ratio (42,7g) and 1:14 N0 3-:NH/ ratio (38 ,Og),
Significant differences in fresh biomass accumulation were observed among plants receiving
the different nutrient solution concentrations (Table 5,5), Plants receiving the full strength
and half strength nutrient solution concentrations accumulated more fresh biomass (48, 5g
and 44 ,6g respectively) than those receiving the quarter strength nutrient solution (32,8g),
Leaf area (cm
2
)
The data for the effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on leaf area of dry
bean cultivar Kranskop at 40 DAB are presented in Table 5,5, The ratio and concentration
main effects were significant while the ratio x concentration interaction effects were not.
79
Plants recelvmg the nutrient solution containing the 1: 1 N0 3 -:NH/ ratio developed a
significantly larger (1216.3 cm
2
containing the 1:14 N03 -NH/
ratio (9248cm\ The leaf area (1077.2 cm 2 ) for plants
)
leaf area than those receiving the nutrient solution
receiving the nutrient solution containing the 14: 1 N0 3 -:NH/ ratio was intermediate and not
different from that of plants in the other two treatments .
Significant differences were also observed in leaf area among plants receiving the different
nutrient solution concentrations. Plants receiving the full strength nutrient solution developed
a significantly larger leaf area (1268.8cm
2
)
than those receiving the quarter strength nutrient
solution (8044cm\ The leaf area of plants receiving the half strength nutrient solution was
intermediate (1145.1) and significantly larger than that of plants receiving the quarter
strength nutrient solution but not different from the leaf area of plants receiving the full
strength nutrient solution.
Dry biomass (g)
Table 5.5 shows the data for the effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on dry
biomass of dry bean cultivar Kranskop 40 DAB. Significant concentration main effect was
observed while both the ratio and ratio x concentration interaction effects were not.
Although the ratio main effect was not significant, plants receiving the nutrient solution
containing the 11 N03-NH/ ratio accumulated somewhat more (14.0g) dry biomass than
those receiving the nutrient solutions containing the 141 N0 3-NH/ ratio (13.0g) and the
114 N03-:NH/
ratio (l1.8g). The significant concentration main effect shows that
differences existed in dry biomass accumulation among plants receiving the different nutrient
solution concentrations. Plants receiving the full strength and half strength nutrient solutions
accumulated significantly more (14.5g and 14.0g respectively) dry mass than those receiving
the quarter strength nutrient solution (l0.3g).
Shoot dry weight (g)
Table 5.5 also shows the data for the effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on
shoot dry weight of dry bean cultivar Kranskop 40 DAB. Significant concentration main
effect was observed while both the ratio and the ratio x concentration interaction effects were
not
80
Plants receiving the nutrient solution containing the 11 N0 3 -:NH/
ratio developed
somewhat more (6Ag) shoot dry weight than those receiving the nutrient solutions containing
the 14:1 N03 -:NH/
ratio (6.1 g) and the 1:14 N0 3-:NH/
ratio (5.3g). The significant
concentration main effect indicates that plants receiving the different nutrient solution
concentrations differed in their shoot dry weight accumulation. Plants receiving the full
strength and half strength nutrient solutions accumulated significantly more shoot dry weight
(6.8g and 6Ag respectively) than plants receiving the quarter strength nutrient solution
(4 .8g).
Root dry weight (g)
Table 5.5 shows the data for the effect of nitrate I ammonium ratio and concentration on root
dry weight of dry bean cultivar Kranskop 40 DAE . Both the ratio and concentration main
effects and the ratio x concentration interaction effects were not significant.
Despite the non significant ratio main effect, plants receiving the nutrient solution containing
the 114 N0 3- NH/ ratio developed somewhat larger (0.99g) root dry weight than that of
plants receiving the nutrient solutions containing the 1: 1 N0 3 -:NH/ ratio (0.85g) and the
14: 1 N0 3 -:NH/ ratio (0.71g). Plants receiving the full strength nutrient solution developed
somewhat more (0 .95g) root dry weight than those receiving the half strength (O.92g) and
quarter strength (0.68g) nutrient solutions.
81
Table 5.5 Effect of N0 3 -NH/ ratio and concentration on vegetative growth of dry bean 40
DAE (ANOVA: Appendix Tables 8.6A - 8.6E).
FRESH
BIOMAS (g)
LEAF AREA
(cm 2 )
DRY
BIOMASS (g)
SHOOT DRY
WEIGHT (g)
ROOT DRY
WEIGHT (g)
14: 1
42 .7a
1077.2ab
13.0a
6.1a
0.71a
1:1
45.2a
1216.3a
14.0a
6.4a
0.85a
1: 14
380a
9248b
11 .8a
5.3a
099a
Full strength (FS)
48.5a
1268.8a
14.5a
6.8a
095a
Half strength (HS)
44.6a
1145 .1a
14.0(1
6.4a
0.92a
Quarter strength (QS)
32.8b
804.4b
1O .3 b
4.8b
0.68a
SE
3. 02
66.14
0.91
0.39
0.17
10.9
238.7
3.28
1.40
0.62
0.53
0 .70
0.52
0.58
0.19
21.6
18.5
21.1
19.6
60. 6
N0 3 ­:NH 4 +RATIO
CON CENTRATION
LSD (P:::;0.05)
R2
CV(%)
Means within the columns followed by the same letter are not significantly different (P::;0.05) according to
Tukey's studentized range test.
Effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on seed yield and seed yield
components at harvest
After physiological maturity, seed yield and yield components data from all treatments were
analysed .
Seed mass per plant (g)
The effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on seed mass per plant (g) of dry
bean cultivar Kranskop is presented in Table 5.6. Only the ratio main effect and the ratio x
concentration interaction effects were highly significant while concentration main effect was
not.
82
Table 5.6 Effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on seed mass (g) per plant of
dry bean cultivar Kranskop at maturity CANOVA: Appendix Table 8.6F)
Concentration
Nitrate / ammonium ratio (R)
(C)
14: 1
1:1
1:14
Mean
Full strength
24.9
20.6
3.0
16.2
Half strength
18.8
22.7
6.4
16.0
Quarter strength
13.5
20.5
12.6
15.5
Mean
19.1
21.2
7.3
15.9
LSD (R) = 3.4
LSD (C) = ns
CV (%) = 14.6
SE = 1.9
LSD (R xC) = 10.7
R2 = 0.5
Main effects. Different N0 3-NH/ ratio treatments affected the seed mass of dry bean
differently. The highest seed mass per plant (21.2g) was produced by plants receiving the
nutrient solution containing the 1: 1 N0 3-:NH 4+ ratio even though this was not significantly
different from the seed mass per plant (19.1g) produced by plants receiving the nutrient
solution containing the 14: 1 N03-NH/ ratio (Table 5.6) . Plants receiving the nutrient
solution containing the 1: 14 N0 3-NH/ ratio produced the lowest seed mass per plant (7.3 g).
No difference was observed among plants receiving the different nutrient solution
concentrations. A somewhat larger seed mass per plant (16.2g) was produced by plants
receiving the full strength nutrient solution. This decreased as the concentration treatment
decreased. On average plants receiving the nutrient solution containing the 1: 14 N0 3-NH/
ratio produced the lowest seed mass per plant at all nutrient solution concentrations and over
all concentration treatments.
Interaction. The significant ratio x concentration interaction shows that different ratio x
concentration treatment combinations affected the seed mass per plant differently. The
largest (24.9g) seed mass per plant was produced by plants receiving the full strength nutrient
solution containing the 141 N0 3-:NH/ ratio followed by 22.7g produced by plants receiving
the half strength nutrient solution containing the 1: 1 N0 3-:NH 4+ ratio.
83
Table 5.7 shows the effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on number of pods
per plant. The ratio main effect and ratio x concentration interaction were significant
(PS;0 .05) while the concentration main effect was not
Table 5.7 Effect of ammonium/nitrate ratio and concentration on number of pods per plant of
dry bean cultivar Kranskop at maturity (ANOVA Appendix Table 8.6G)
Concentration
Nitrate / Ammonium ratio (R)
(C)
144
1:1
1: 14
Mean
Full strength
12.0
8.8
1.2
7.3
Half strength
8.5
9.5
5.5
7.8
Quarter strength
6.5
8.0
7.3
7.3
Mean
9.0
8.8
4.7
7.5
LSD (R) = 14
LSD (C) = ns
CV (%) = 21.0
SE = 078
LSD (R xC) = 4.3
R2 = 0.81
Main effects. The significant ratio main effect indicates that there were differences in the
number of pods per plant due to changes in the N0 3- :NH/ ratio. The highest number of pods
per plant (9 .0) was produced by plants receiving the 14: 1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio followed by plants
receiving the 1:1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio (8.8) and then those receiving the 1:14 N03-:NH/
ratio
(4.7) (Table 5.7) . Although the effect of nitrogen concentration in the nutrient solution was
not significant, the highest number of pods per plant (7.8) was produced by plants receiving
the half strength nutrient solution while those receiving the full strength and quarter strength
nutrient solutions both produced 7.3 pods per plant
Interaction. The significant ratio x concentration interaction effect reflects the differences in
podset per plant due to different ratio x concentration treatment combinations. Different
ratios at different nutrient solution concentrations produced different number of pods per
plant. The highest number of pods per plant (12) was set by plants receiving the full strength
nutrient solution containing the 14: 1 N0 3-NH/ ratio followed by those receiving the half
strength nutrient solution containing the 1 1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio which produced 9.5 pods per
plant.
84 The effect of nitrate I ammonium ratio and concentration on number of seeds per pod is
shown in Table 5.8. Both the ratio and concentration main effects and the ratio x
concentration interaction effects were not significant (P::;;0 .05) .
Table 5.8 Effect of nitrate I ammonium ratio and concentration on number of seeds per pod
of dry bean cultivar Kranskop at maturity (ANOV A: Appendix Table 8.6H)
Concentration
Nitrate I Ammonium ratio (R)
(C)
14: 1
1:1
1: 14
Mean
Full strength
3.4
4.0
4.0
3.8
Half strength
3.5
4.0
3.8
3.8
Quarter strength
3.6
3.8
3.8
3.8
Mean
3.6
3.9
3.9
3.8
LSD (R)
CV (%)
=
ns
= 13.5
LSD (C) = ns
LSD (R x C) = ns
R2 = 0 14
SE = 0.26
Main effects. The non significant main effects indicate that there were no differences in the
number of seeds per pod set due to changes in the nitrate I ammonium ratio and nutrient
solution concentration. Plants receiving the nutrient solutions containing the 1: 1 and the 1: 14
N0 3-:NH/ ratios set relatively more seeds per pod (3.9) than those receiving the nutrient
solution containing the 141 N03- :NH/ ratio (36). For some unclear reason, plants receiving
the nutrient solution containing the 14 :1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio produced somewhat less number of
seeds per pod at all nutrient solution concentrations (Table 5.8).
Interaction. Just as with the main effects, no differences were observed in seedset among all
the ratio x concentration interaction combinations. Relatively more seeds per pod (4 seeds)
were set by plants receiving the nutrient solution containing the 1: 1 N03-:NH4 + ratio at the
full strength and half strength and those receiving the full strength nutrient solution
containing the 14 : 1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio. The lowest number of seeds per pod was set by plants
receiving the nutrient solution containing the 114 N0 3-:NH/ ratio at all nutrient solution
concentrations, with plants receiving the full strength nutrient solution setting the lowest (3.4
seeds per pod).
85
Table 5. 9 shows the effect of the nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on 100 seed
mass (g) of dry bean. The ratio main effect and the ratio x concentration interaction effects
were highly significant
(P~O . Ol)
while the concentration main effect was not .
Table 5.9 Effect of nitrate / ammonium ratio and concentration on 100 seed mass (g) of dry
bean cultivar Kranskop at maturity (ANOV A: Appendix Table 8.61)
Concentration
Nitrate / Ammonium ratio (R)
(C)
14 :1
1:1
1:14
Mean
Full strength
60.5
57.7
59 .0
59.1
Hal f strength
60 .0
61.5
29.4
50.3
Quarter strength
55.6
65.7
45.6
55 .6
Mean
58.7
61.6
44.7
55 .0
LSD (R) = 7.9
LSD (C) = ns
CV (%) = 16.2
SE = 4.5
LSD (R xC) = 24.6
R2 = 0.65
Main effects. The significant nitrate / ammonium ratio main effect shows that changes in the
N0 3-N1-Lt + ratio affected the seed size of dry bean cultivar Kranskop. The largest seed size
(61.6g1100 seed) was produced by plants receiving the nutrient solution containing the 1: 1
N0 3-NH/
ratio although this was not significantly different from the 58 7gll 00 seed
produced by plants receiving the nutrient solution containing the 14: 1 NO]-:NH/ ratio . The
smallest seed size (44.7 gil 00 seed) was produced by plants receiving the nutrient solution
containing the 114 N0 3-:NH/ ratio. The non significant concentration main effect shows
that changes in the nutrient solution concentration did not affect the seed size of dry bean in
the experiment. Plants receiving the full strength nutrient solution produced a somewhat
larger seed size (59.9g1100 seed) than those receiving the quarter strength (55 .6gIl00 seed)
nutrient solution. The smallest seed size (50JgllOO seed) was produced by plants receiving
the half strength nutrient solution.
Interaction. The significant interaction effects indicate that the different ratio x concentration
interaction treatment combinations affected seed size of dry bean differently . The largest
seed size (65.7gIl00 seed) was produced by plants receiving the quarter strength nutrient
solution containing the 1: 1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio followed by 61.5g1l00 seed produced by plants
receiving the half strength nutrient solution containing the 1:1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio too. The
86
significant ratio x concentration treatment combination could be attributed to the unexpected
low seed size (29.4gl1 00 seed) produced by plants receiving the half strength nutrient
solution containing the 1: 1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio. This may have been due to the termination of
assi milate supply during pod fill stage as almost all the leaves of plants in this treatment
senesced early due to chlorosis. This prompted early harvest of the treatment.
Table 5. 10 shows the effect of nitrate I ammonium ratio and concentration on harvest index
(%) of dry bean. Only the ratio main effect was highly significant (P::;:O.Ol) while the
concentration main effect and the ratio x concentration interaction effects were not.
Table 5.10 Effect of nitrate I ammonium ratio and concentration on harvest index (HI) (%) of
dry bean cultivar Kranskop at maturity (ANOY A: Appendix Table 8.6J)
N-Concentration
Nitrate I Ammonium ratio (R)
(C)
14: 1
1:1(7:7)
114
Mean
Full strength
45 .1
48.6
30.6
41.4
Half strength
46.1
50 .0
40.3
45.5
Quarter strength
43.0
45 .7
44.9
44.5
Mean
44 .7
48 .1
38.6
43.8
LSD (R) = 5.6
LSD (C) = ns
CY (%) = 14.6
SE = 3.2
LSD (R x C) = ns
R2 = 050
Main effects. The significant ratio main effect shows that the different the N0 3 -:NH4 + ratios
affected harvest index differently The highest harvest index (48 .1%) was observed among
plants receiving the nutrient solution containing the 1:1 N0 3 -NH/ ratio. This was not
significantly different from the harvest index observed among plants receiving the nutrient
solution containing the 1:14 N0 3 -:NH/ ratio (Table 510) No differences were observed
among plants receiving the different nutrient solution concentrations. A somewhat higher
harvest index (45 .5%) was observed among plants receiving the half strength nutrient
solution followed by that observed among plants receiving the quarter strength nutrient
solution (44.5 %) and the full strength nutrient solution (41.4%).
Interaction. The non significant ratio x concentration treatment interaction shows that the
main effects affected the harvest index independent of each other. However, a somewhat
87
higher harvest index (50%) was obtained among plants receiving the half strength nutrient
solution containing the 1: 1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio followed by 48.6% produced by plants receiving
the full strength nutrient solution containing the 1: 1 N0 3-NH 4+ ratio.
The non significant ratio x concentration interaction effect for harvest index, while that of
seed mass was significant, could be attributed to the loss of biomass in the half strength
nutrient solution containing the 1: 14 N0 3-NH/ ratio. The plants in this treatment lost the
leaves due to chlorosis and suspected ammonium to xicity. As such, the high harvest index
shown does not take into account this loss in biomass.
5.4
DISCUSSION
The main outcome of this experiment
IS
that N0 3-:NH/ ratio and nutrient solution
concentration affected growth, development and productivity of dry bean. More attention
should be paid to N0 3 -:NH/ ratio as it has an overriding effect on plant growth and
productivity. Both vegetative and reproductive growth were enhanced with a combination of
N0 3--N and ~+-N in the nutrient solution. More vegetative growth was associated with
plants receiving either the nutrient solutions containing 93% N0 3--N (14 :1 N0 3-:NH/ ratio)
or 50% N03--N (1: 1 NO]-NH/ ratio) in combination with NH/-N
Theoretically, NH4 + is a more desirable form of nitrogen for plants as it is the form in which
plants assimilate nitrogen directly into amides and amino acids (Davis et ai, 1986). In
contrast, N0 3 --N requires a lot of energy for it to be reduced to NH/ before assimilation . The
toxicity observed among plants receiving high NH/-N could be attributed to limited use of
the absorbed and assimilated NH4 + Plants need to balance between the rates of uptake and
detoxification during its utilisation as suggested by Ikeda & Tan (1998) . They further
observed a trend of NH4 + decreasing cation absorption and
occasionally causing
physiological disorders like Ca deficiency . The Association for Intensive Plant Production
(1999) reports that high NH/-N concentration may result in NH/ competing with cation
uptake of especially K, Ca and Mg and that the rhizosphere acidifies to unacceptably low pH.
Ikeda & Tan (1998) concluded that NH/-N is detrimental to potato growth regardless of
stage of development if it is the sole source of nitrogen. They also state that nitrogen source
influenced the mineral composition of potato tissue, particularly levels of P , Ca and Mg.
Bernardo et al (1984 b) indicate that as the proportion ofNH/ in solution increased, K , Ca,
Mn, and Zn concentrations decreased in the leaves, while Ca, Mg, Mn and Cu concentrations
88
decreased in roots.
In these experiments good ,pJant growth was observed among plants receiving the nutrient
solutions containing 141 and 11 N0 3-NH/ ratios (93% N0 3--N with 7% NH/ -N and 50%
N0 3--N with 50% NH/ -N respectively) and poor among plants receiving the nutrient
solution containing 114 N0 3 - :NH/ ratio (7% N0 3--N with 93% NH/ -N). More leaf area
and total biomass (both fresh and dry) were produced by plants receiving the nutrient
solution containing 1: 1 N0 3 - :NH4+ ratio treatment than those receiving the nutrient solution
containing 141 N0 3- :NH 4+ ratio treatment although the differences were not significant. Dry
biomass production was poor among plants receiving the nutrient solution containing 1: 14
N0 3 - :NH/ ratio treatment. Gashaw & Mugwira (1981) found similar results in their work
with triticale in which a 1: 1 N0 3-:NH4 + ratio produced more shoot and root dry matter than
with the mixture of 13 N0 3 -:NH/ ratio and sole NH/ -N They further report poor
performance of wheat and rye when grown in solutions containing 0:4: than with 4:0,3 :1, 1:1
and 13 N0 3 -:NH/ -N mixtures, indicating that high NH/-N in nutrient solutions affects
plant growth. Poor growth of plants receiving the nutrient solution containing high NH/-N
has also been reported for potato. Reports using potato meristem and stem culture show that
NH4 +- N may be detrimental to potato growth. In studies of potatoes grown to maturity in
solution and sand cultures, Davis et at. (1986) report that NH/ -N reduced growth, caused
leaf roll, suppressed Ca and Mg absorption and increased P and N accumulation.
Studies with maize have also shown the benefit of combining different nitrogen sources in
nutrient solutions (Schrader, Domska, Jung & Peterson, 1972 and Below & Gentry, 1992). In
all these experiments, results have shown that plant growth is usually greater at 25% and
50% NH/ -N than with 75% NH/-N (Gamnore - Newmann & Kafkafi, 1980; Gashaw &
Mugwira, 1981). Working with potatoes Cao & Tibbitts (1993) found that dry weights of
whole plant and separate plant parts were significantly higher with all N0 3--N / NH/ -N
combinations from 4% to 20% NH/-N than with N0 3 --N only.
While a number of studies have been undertaken to determine the effect ofN0 3-:NH/
ratio
on different crops, many have mostly focussed on vegetative growth and have been
terminated before physiological maturity. In the first experiment there were no differences in
yields and yield components due to changes in the N0 3 -:NH/ ratio. The non significant yield
and yield components among plants recei ving the nutrient solutions containing 14: 1 and 1: 1
89
N0 3- :NH/ ratios shows that either of the two ratios can be used without any compromise on
seed yield quantity (Table 5.4). Differences were observed in the second experiment in which
significantly higher seed yields per plant (21.2g and 19.1g) were produced by plants
receiving the nutrient solutions containing 1: 1 and 141 N0 3-:NH/ ratios respectively than
the 7.5g seed yield per plant produced by plants receiving the nutrient solution containing
1: 14 N0 3- :NH/ ratio The use and benefits of combined nitrogen sources in crop production
have been reported for potatoes (Hendrickson et ai , 1978), wheat and rye (Gashaw &
Mugwira, 1981) and tomatoes (Ikeda & Tan, 1998) under hydroponic systems. Solanaceous
crops such as tobacco and tomato have also been reported to prefer a high N0 3 -:N1-I/ -N ratio
(Davis et ai , 1986) .
The concentration of nitrogen in the nutrient solution plays a role in determining seed yield
and yield components of dry bean. In the first experiment there was no advantage in seed
yields and yield components among plants receiving the full strength nutrient solution over
those receiving the half strength nutrient solution concentration. For the nutrient solutions
containing 141 and 1:1 N03- :NH/ ratios, the concentration of the nutrient solution does not
matter. Both the full strength and half strength nutrient solution concentrations may be used
with minimal yield differences.
If a high NH/ -N source is to be used, there may be need to reduce the concentration of the
nutrient solution. NH/-N source is reported to be less toxic at low concentration. As plants
require large quantities of nitrogen, this level of nitrogen may not be adequate for plant
grO\vth. Nitrogen deficiency symptoms may be observed as the case in this study. Plants
receiving the quarter strength nutrient solution in all the three N0 3 -NH/
ratios developed
nitrogen deficiency symptoms. Plants developed pale yellow coloration. The quarter strength
nutrient solution with high NH/ -N treatment (7% NO)--N with 93% NH/ -N) showed severe
deficiency with age and some brownish blotches on the leaf edges. This has been associated
with Ca deficiency (Ikeda & Tan, 1998 and Association for Intensive Plant Production,
1999). Similar results have been reported for tomato plants too (Kirkby & Mengel, 1967).
90 5.5
CONCLUSION A combination of N0 3 --N and NH/-N in nutrient solutions is suitable for dry bean
production. Limiting the NH/-N to between 7 - 50% in combination with N0 3 --N would
enhance vegetative growth and provide adequate nutrients for good growth and seed yield.
Both the full strength and half strength concentrations produced similar seed yields indicating
possibility of cost saving by using the half strength nutrient solution. These combined NRt +
and N0 3 --N sources have also been associated with more stable nutrient solution pH due to
their relatively high buffering capacities as observed by Clark (1982) and Bernardo, et at.
(1984a & b).
5.6
REFERENCES
ASSOCIATION FOR INTENSIVE PLANT PRODUCTION, 1999. Basic principles of
plant nutrition for intensive plant production. ARC, Roodeplaat , Western Cape.
BARKER, AV & MILLS , H.A, 1980. Ammonium and nitrate nutrition of horticultural
crops. Hart. Rev. 2, 395 - 423.
BELOW, F .E. & GENTRY, L.E., 1992. Maize productivity as influenced by mixed
nitrogen supplied before or after anthesis. Crop Sci. 32, 163 - 168.
BERNARDO, L. M ., CLARK, R B . & MARANVILLE, 1 W, 1984a.
Nitrate/Ammonium ratio effects on nutrient solution pH, dry matter yield , and
nitrogen uptake of sorghum. 1. Plant Nutr . 7, 1389 - 1400.
BERNARDO, L. M., CLARK, R . B. & MARANVILLE, 1 W ., 1984b
Nitrate/Ammonium
ratio effects on mineral element uptake by sorghum . 1.
Plant NutI'. 7, 1401-1414.
CAO, W & TIBBITTS, T.W., 1993. Study of various NH/: N0 3 -mixtures for enhancing
growth of potatoes. 1. Plant Nutri. 16, 1691 - 1704.
CLARK, R.B. , 1982. Nutrient solution growth of sorghum and corn in mineral nutrition
studies. 1. Plant Nutri. 5, 1039 - 1057.
91
COX, WI & REISENAUER, HM., 1973. Grovvth and ion uptake by wheat supplied
nitrogen as nitrate, or ammonium or both. Plant Soil 38, 363 - 380.
DAVIS , 1.M., LOESCHER, W.H , HAMMOND, M .W. & THORNTON, R.E , 1986.
Response of potatoes to nitrogen form and change in nitrogen form at tuber
initiation. J Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 111, 70 - 72.
GAMNORE-NEWMANN, R. & KAFKAFI, U, 1980. Root temperature and percentage
N0 3 - -/ NH/ + effect on tomato plant development. 1. Morphology and grovvth.
Agron. 1. 758 - 761.
GASHAW, L & MUGWIRA, LM., 1981. Ammonium-N and nitrate-N effects on the
grovvth and mineral compositions of triticale, wheat and rye. Agron. J 73, 47 - 51.
HENDRICKSON, LL, KEENEY, D.R., WALSH, LM. & LIEGEL, EA., 1978. Evaluation
of nitrapyrin as a means of improving N efficiency in irrigated sands. Agron. 1. 70,
699 - 703.
HEWLTT, EJ. , 1966. Sand and water culture methods used in the study of plant nutrition.
Tech. Commun. No. 22, 2
nd
edition. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham
Royal, Bucks, England .
IKEDA, H & TAN, X, 1998 . Urea as an organic nitrogen source for hydroponically
grown Tomatoes in comparison with inorganic nitrogen sources. Soil Sci. Plant
Nutri. 44 , 609 - 615.
JACKSON, W .A., KWII<., KD . & VOLK, RI, 1976. Nitrate uptake during recovery from
nitrogen deficincy . Physiol. Plant. 36, 174-181.
KIRKBY, EA. & MENGEL, K, 1967. Ionic balance in different tissues of the tomato plant
in relation to nitrate, urea, or ammonium nutrition . Plant Physiol. 42, 6 - 14.
MAKUS, D . 1., 1984. Evaluation of vegetable amaranth as a greens crop in the mid­
South. Hort. Sci. 19, 881
~
883.
MENGEL, K & KIRKBY, EA., 1987. Principles of plant nutrition, 4th edn . International
Potash Institute, Worblaufen-Ben, Switzerland.
92
NITSCH, JP" 1972, Phytotrons : past achievements and future needs, In : AR Rees, KE,
Cockshull, D ,W , Hand and RG , Hurd (ed ,), Crop Processes in Controlled Environments Academic Press, London, 33-55 , SAS INSTITUTE, 1989, SAS/ STAT users' guide, SAS Inst. , CARY, NC.
TRELEASE, S.F. & TRELEASE, HM , 1935 , Changes in hydrogen iron concentration of culture solut ions containing nitrate and ammonium nitrogen , Am. J Bot. 22, 520-542, WANG, X & BELOW F.E. , 1992, Root growth, nitrogen uptake and tillering of wheat induced by mixed-nitrogen source , Crop Sci. 32, 997 - 1002 , 93 CHAPTER 6 EFFECT OF A CYTOKININ-CONTAINING GROWTH REGULATOR ON SEED YIELD AND YIELD COMPONENTS OF DRY BEAN
6.1
INTRODUCTION
Seed yield per plant is determined by number of flowers formed per plant, percentage podset,
number of seeds per pod and seed size. Dry beans form more flowers than mature pods. The
difference between number of flowers and number of pods set has been attributed to
abscission of both flowers and immature pods (Binnie & Clifford, 1981) and this may be one
of the possible reasons for not maximising seed yield in dry beans. According to Tamas,
Ozbun, Wallace, Powell & Engels (1979) abscission of pods appears to be the last step in the
process of fruit abortion, which is characterised by cessation of seed development, flattening
of pod walls and loss of green colour. These processes have been said to be under hormonal
control and events leading to pod abortion have been associated with a decrease in the
concentration of auxins (Luckwill, 1953, 1981) and an increase in the concentration of
ethylene and abscisic acid (ABA) (Davis & Addicott, 1972; Lipe & Morgan 1972).
Although it cannot be stated categorically that overcoming abscission would result in yield
increase, information concerning flower and pod abscission and the possible causes of the
phenomenon is vital (Van Schaik & Probst, 1958 and Ojehomon, 1970). There is a need to
evaluate available growth regulators to identify products with the potential to improve the
productivity of dry bean by reducing flower and pod abortion. This information could
provide a basis for possible intervention to control the phenomenon. Application of
exogenous growth regulators offers one possibility of intervening in the process of abscission
(Keller & Belluci, 1983).
The objective of this experiment was to establish whether a cytokinin-containing growth
regulator (trade name Marinure), a seaweed extract containing 15ml per litre cytokinin and
22ml per litre auxin (Canyon Report, 1998), affects vegetative growth and yield of dry bean
by limiting abscission and enhancing dry matter partitioning to the reproductive organs.
94 6.2
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Plant material and growth conditions
Seed of two dry bean cultivars, Teebus and Kranskop, were planted in a pot experiment in a
th
greenhouse on 10 August 2000 at the University of Pretoria Experimental Farm (Lat 25°
45'S, Long,28° 16'E, elevation 1372masl), Five litre capacity pots were filled with sterilised
sand and three seeds were planted per pot and thinned to one plant per pot five days after
emergence, The Nitsch nutrient solution (Nitsch, 1972) was applied at a rate of 600 ml per
application three times a week. Tap water was supplied on the other days to leach the sand
and hence avoid salt accumulation,
Aldicarb (Temik), a systemic insecticide and Triforine (Fungitex), a systemic fungicide, were
applied for control of aphids and fungal infection respectively , Tetradifon, a red spidercide
was also applied once weekly for three weeks to control spidermite infection,
Cytokinin - containing growth regulator treatments
Three treatments of a cytokinin-containing growth regulator (trade name Marinure), a sea
weed extract, were used in the experiment. A control (without growth regulator) and two
growth regulator treatments namely the recommended rate of 8ml growth regulator per litre
nutrient solution (Canyon Report, 1998) and double the recommended rate at 16ml growth
regulator per litre nutrient solution, were applied in the experiment The seaweed extract is
composed of 15ml per litre cytokinin and 22ml per litre auxin, The cytokinin-containing
seaweed extract was mixed with the full strength Nitsch nutrient solution and applied twice
fortnightl y as a full cover spray,
Harvest and analysis
During the growing period three plants were harvested fortnightly from each treatment to
monitor biomass accumulation, leaf area development, shoot and root development The
experiment was arranged in a completely randomised design with three replications , Three
replicates of each treatment were left to reach maturity and were harvested on 25 th November
2000, Data on seed yield and yield components were recorded, The seed yield and yield
components data was subjected to statistical analysis using the SAS statistical package (SAS
95
Institute, 1989) with cultivar and growth regulator treatments as main effects in the ANOV A
The separation of means was done by means of the Duncan Multiple Range Test.
6.3
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Vegetative growth
The effect of a cytokinin-containing growth regulator on biomass accumulation is presented
in Figure 6.1. Biomass accumulation in all the treatments increased exponentially as days
after emergence (DAE) increased . Differences were observed for cultivar Teebus in which
plants treated with the double rate cytokinin-containing growth regulator (T2) developed at a
slower rate than plants treated with the control (TO) and the recommended rate (Tl). No
differences were observed for cultivar Kranskop, although plants receiving the double rate
treatment had a somewhat larger biomass accumulation than those treated with the other two
treatments especially during the first five weeks of growth .
Figure 6.2 shows the effect of the cytokinin-containing growth regulator treatment on leaf
area development. No differences were observed among plants treated with different levels
of cytokinin-containing growth regulator in the fi rst six weeks for both Kranskop and
Teebus cultivars. Cultivar differences in leaf area was observed after six weeks of growth .
Cultivar Kranskop had a larger and more vigorous leaf area development than cultivar
Teebus over all growth regulator treatments. Plants receiving both the recommended rate and
the double rate treatments developed a somewhat higher leaf area than those in the control
for cultivar Kranskop . For cultivar Teebus, plants receiving both the recommended and
double rate treatments had a smaller leaf area than those of the control treatment.
96 Main effects. Significant seed yield differences were observed between cultivar Kranskop
and cultivar Teebus over all growth regulator treatments (Table 6.1) . Cultivar Kranskop
produced a higher seed mass per plant (154g) than cultivar Teebus (11.0g). No differences
were observed among growth regulator treatments for either of the cultivars.
Interaction. The non significant cultivar x growth regulator interaction indicates that both
cultivar and growth regulator treatments influenced seed mass independent of each other.
Table 6.1 Effect of the cytokinin-containing growth regulator on seed yield per plant of dry
bean, cultivars Teebus and Kranskop (ANOYA: Appendix Table 8.7 A)
Growth regulator
treatment
Cultivar
Teebus
Kranskop
Mean
Control
11.3
144
12.8
Recommended rate
114
16.3
13.9
Double rate
10.2
15 .5
12.9
Mean
11.0
154
13 .2
LSD (C)
(P ~ 0 . 05)
= 3 .6
CY(%)
=
SE = 2.0
26.2
LSD values given only where e.Uects are significant.
N umber of pods per plant
Data for the effect of cultivar and growth regulator on number of pods per plant is shown in
Table 6.2 . The cultivar main effect was highly significant while both the growth regulator
main effect and the cultivar x growth regulator interaction were not.
Main effect. The significant cultivar main effect indicates that the cultivars differed in the
production of pods per plant. Cultivar Teebus produced a significantly higher number of pods
per plant (154) than cultivar Kranskop (9 .0). The non-significant growth regulator main
effect observed shows that the three treatments did not influence the number of pods per
plant differently . This means that there was no advantage in using growth regulator
treatments over control treatment for improving number of pods per plant. However, the
recommended rate treatment produced a somewhat higher number of pods per plant (13.3)
than both the control and double rate treatments which produced 11 .7 pods.
100
Interaction. The non significant cultivar x growth regulator interaction indicates that the
growth regulator treatments did not affect the two cultivars differentially.
Table 6.2 Effect of the cytokinin-containing growth regulator on the number of pods per
plant of dry bean cultivars Teebus and Kranskop (ANOY A: Appendix Table 8. 7B)
Growth regulator
treatment
Cultivar
Teebus
Kranskop
Mean
Control
16.3
7.0
11.7
Recommended rate
16.3
10.3
133
Double rate
13.7
9.7
11.7
Mean
15.4
9.0
12.2
LSD (C) (PS:0.05)
=
2.2
CY(%)
=
R2
17.2
=
0.80
SE
=
1.2
LSD values given only where effects are significant.
Number of seeds per pod
Effect of cultivar and growth regulator on number of seeds per pod is presented in Table 6.3.
Only the cultivar main effect was significant while the growth regulator main effect and the
cultivar x growth regulator interaction were not
Main effects. The significant cultivar main effect indicates that both cultivars performed
differently over all growth regulator treatments. Number of seeds per pod was higher for
cultivar Teebus (4 .7) than for cultivar Kranskop (37) (Table 6.3) . The non significant growth
regulator main treatment effect highlights the fact that the treatments applied did not affect
the number of seeds per pod over both cultivars. Nevertheless, a somewhat decreasing trend
in the number of seeds per pod with increasing growth regulator treatments was observed.
The control had a somewhat higher number of seeds per pod (4.4) than the recommended rate
(4.2) and the doubl e rate (4. 1) treatments.
101
Interaction. The cultivar x growth regulator interaction was not significant showing that the
cultivars were not affected differently by the growth regulator treatments.
Table 6.3 Effect of the cytokinin-containing growth regulator on the number of seeds per
pod of dry bean cultivars Teebus and Kranskop (ANOY A: Appendix Table 8.7C)
Growth regulator
treatment
Cultivar
Teebus
Kranskop
Mean
Control
4.7
4.0
4.4
Recommended rate
4.8
3 .6
4 .2
Double rate
4.7
3.S
4 .1
Mean
4.7
3.7
4.2
LSD (C) (P::;OOS)
=
O.S
R 2 = 0.64
CY(%) = 11.2
SE
=
0.3
LSD values given only where effects are sign?ficant.
Seed size (100 seed mass)
The data for the effect of cultivar and growth regulator on seed size is given in Table 6.4.
Only the cultivar main effect was significant while the growth regulator main effect and the
cultivar x growth regulator interaction were not.
lvlain effects. The significant cultivar main effect shows that the two cultivars differed in seed
size. Cultivar Kranskop produced a significantly larger seed (46 .6g) than cultivar Teebus
(22 .9g) The non significant growth regulator main treatment effect shows that the three
treatments did not affect seed size differently over both cultivars. No clear trend was
observed in seed size as growth regulator treatment increased. The largest seed size over both
cultivars was observed in plants receiving the control treatment (36.7g) followed by those
receiving the double rate treatment (3S .Sg) and the recommended rate treatment (32.6g).
Interaction. No significant interactive effect was observed in seed size between cultivar and
growth regulator treatments. This indicates that the effect of the growth regulator on the two
cultivars was similar. The trend showed an increase in seed size from 22.1g to 23.9g for
cultivar Teebus as growth regulator treatment increased from the control treatment to the
102
double rate treatment. No clear trend was observed for cultivar Kranskop, producing the
largest seed size by plants receiving the control treatment (51.3g) and the smallest size
among plants receiving the recommended rate treatment. Plants receiving the double rate
treatment were intermediate.
Table 6.4 Effect of the cytokinin-containing growth regulator on the seed size (g) of dry bean
cultivars Teebus and Kranskop (ANOY A: Appendix Table 8.7D)
Growth regulator
treatment
Cultivar
Teebus
Kranskop
Mean
Control
22.1
51.2
36.7
Recommended rate
22.8
42.4
32.6
Double rate
23.9
46.2
35.0
Mean
22.9
46.6
34.8
LSD (C) (P::;0.05) = 5.7
R2 = 0.88
CY(%) = 15.8
SE = 3.2
LSD values given only where effects are significant.
Harvest index (%)
Table 6.5 shows the effect of cultivar and growth regulator on harvest index of dry bean. No
significant cultivar main effect was observed, while the growth regulator main effect and the
cultivar x growth regulator interaction were significant.
Main effects. The non significant cultivar main effect shows that no difference in harvest
index was observed between the two cultivars over all growth regulator treatments, averaging
48.8% for cultivar Teebus and 46 .3% for cultivar Kranskop. The growth regulator main
effect was highly significant showing that the different treatments affected harvest index for
both cultivars. The highest harvest index was observed among plants receiving the
recommended rate treatment (54.1%) and lowest among plants receiving the control
treatment (36.9%) while those receiving the double rate treatment were intermediate (51.7%).
103
Interaction. The significant cultivar x growth regulator interaction indicates that the harvest
index for both cultivars were affected differently by the different growth regulator
treatments. For cultivar Teebus the highest harvest index (590%) was observed for plants
receiving the recommended rate of the growth regulator, followed by those receiving the
double rate treatment (46 .7%) and plants receiving the control treatment had the lowest
harvest index (40.6%). For cultivar Kranskop, the highest harvest index
(56.7%) was
observed for plants receiving the double rate treatment followed by those receiving the
recommended rate treatment (491%) while plants receiving the control treatment had the
lowest harvest index (369%).
Table 6. 5 Effect of the cytokinin-containing growth regulator on the harvest index (%) of
dry bean cultivars Teebus and Kranskop (ANOVA Appendix Table 8.7E).
Cultivar (C)
Growth regulator
(GR) treatment
Teebus
Mean
Kranskop
--
Control
40 .6
33.1
36.9
Recommended rate
59 .0
49.1
54.1
Double rate
46.7
56.7
51.7
Mean
48.8
46.3
47 .6
10.2
LSD (C x GR) (P:::;0.05)
LSD (GR) (P :::;0.05)
CV(%)
=
13.9
=
=
11.8
= 3.8
SE
LSD values given only where effects are significant.
According to Donald (1968) harvest index is the ratio of seed yield to total shoot dry matter,
which reflects the partitioning of photosynthate to seed. The results of the experiment clearly
show that a cytokinin-containing growth regulator had some positive effect on harvest index
of the two cultivars. While there were no differences in seed yield and yield components due
to different growth regulator treatments, the significant harvest index indicates the possible
influence of growth regulator on the reproductive sink of dry bean.
More assimilates have been allocated to the sink (the seed) than other plant parts as reported
by Clifford , Pentland & Baylis (1992) who indicated the role of growth regulators in the
104
control of photosynthate competition between reproductive and vegetative sinks . However,
Cipollini (1997) suggests to the contrary that due to the numerous effects that exogenously
applied hormones can have on plant growth, it is impossible that a particular plant hormone
treatment can alter a plants assimilatory capacity and I or resource allocation pattern (such as
root/shoot ratio). It may therefore be possible that the improved harvest index observed may
be associated with limited vegetative growth of plants in the cytokinin-containing growth
regulator treatments.
6.4
CONCLUSION
There may be a possibility of improving bean production with the growth regulator used in
this experiment, a cytokinin-containing seaweed extract (trade name marinure) treatment, and
that different cultivars may be affected differently . Somewhat higher seed yield and yield
component values were obtained with the recommended rate of application .
As the results are not conclusive, further research is required. The cytokinin-containing
growth regulator evaluated in this trial did not improve seed set and seed development and
can not be recommended for dry bean seed production under greenhouse conditions.
6.5
REFERENCES
BINNIE, RC. & CLIFFORD, PE. , 1981. Flower and pod production in Phaseolus
vulgaris. 1. Agric. Sci. , Camb . 97, 397 - 402 .
CANYON REPORT, 1998. Marinure seaweed extract. Product report. Canyon International
(PTY) Ltd, Rustenburg, RSA
CIPOLLINI Jf , D.F , 1997. Gibberellic acid treatment reduces the tolerance of field­
grown common bean to leafremoval. 1. Plant Growth Regul. 16, 123 - 127.
105
CLIFFORD, PE., PENTLAND, B.S . & BAYLIS, AD ., 1992. Effect of growth regulators on
reproductive abscission in faba bean (Vicia faba cv. Troy). 1. Agric. Sci. Camb . 119,
71 - 78 .
DAVIS , L.A & ADDICOTT F.T , 1972. Abscisic acid correlations with abscission and with
development in the cotton fruit. Plant Physiol49 , 644 - 648.
KELLER, E.R & BELLUCI, S., 1983. The influence of growth regulators on
development and yield of Vjciafaba L. In PD Hebblethwaite (ed .). The faba
bean (Viciafaba L) . A basis for improvement, pp. 181 - 195. London, Butterworths.
LIPE, fA & MORGAN, P .W. 1972 . Ethylene role in fruit abscission and dehiscence
processes. Plant Physiol. 50, 759 - 764.
LUCKWIL, L. c. , 1953 . Studies of fruit development in relation to plant hormones . 1. J. Hort.
Sci.28, 14 - 24 .
LUCKWIL, L.c. , 1981 Growth regulators in crop production. Studies in Biology; no.
129. Arnold publishers, London .
NITSCH, J.P. , 1972. Phytotrons past achievements and future needs. In AR Rees, K.E.
Cockshull , D .W. Hand and RG. Hurd (ed). Crop Processes in Controlled
Environments. Academic Press. London, 33-55 .
OJEHOMON, 0 .0 . 1970. Effect of continuous removal of open flowers on the seed yield
of two varieties of cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp . 1. Agric. Sci. Camb. 74, 375
- 381.
SAS INSTITUTE, 1989. SAS/STAT users' guide. 5th Edition . SAS Instistute , CARY, NC. ,
USA
TAMAS, LA , OZBUN, J.L., WALLACE, D .H , POWELL, CJ. & ENGELS, c.J., 1979.
Effect of fruits on dormancy and abscisic acid concentration in the axillary buds of
Phaseolus vulgaris L. Plant Physiol. 64, 615 - 619.
106
VAN SCHAlK, P .H. & PROBST, A.H. , 1958. The inheritance of inflorescence type,
peduncle length, flowers per node, and percent flower shedding in soybeans.
Agron. 1. 50, 98 - 102.
107
CHAPTER 7
GENERAL DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
The objective of this study was to evaluate ways of optimising dry bean seed multiplication
under greenhouse conditions. This is with a view to improve the commercial dry bean seed
multiplication programme by increasing the quantity of disease-free seed produced in the
greenhouse multiplication phase.
Three factors, (i) plant density, (ii) nitrate/ammonium ratio and concentration and (iii) the use
of a cytokinin-containing growth regulator were investigated.
7.1
PLANT DENSITY
This investigation has shown that dry bean seed yield per unit area can be increased by
planting at very high plant densities. A plant population of 139 plants m- 2 , achieved by a
spacing of 12 x 6cm produced a seed yield of 822g m-2 in the greenhouse, which is
equivalent to 8.2 tons ha- I. Such high plant densities have been reported by many authors
(Mack & Hatch, 1968; Crandall, 1971; Cooper, 1977), with an equidistant spacing being
more beneficial than a rectangular arrangement (Crothers & Westermann, 1976). While in
most of these reports there has not been an indication of seed yield per plant, there is a
tendency of a negative relationship between seed yield per plant and seed yield per unit area.
An increase in seed yield per unit area in our investigation was associated with reduced seed
yield per plant. It seems that 139 plants m-2 approaches the threshhold plant population for
cultivar Kranskop indicating that there is no benefIt in increasing the plant density beyond
this threshhold level. Plant morphology and / or growth habit has been reported to influence
seed yields at very high plant densities as suggested by Crothers & Westermann (1976) . This
indicates that different cultivars may require different spacings.
Large differences in yield per plant for comparable plant densities were observed between
the pot trial , the first crate trial and the field trial , indicating the important role of other
environmental factors (water supply, nutrition, climate, pests, growing period etc) in the
determination of yield. This emphasises that the optimum plant density will differ between
108
different growing conditions.
The number of pods per plant seems to be the determining factor of seed yield per plant. The
number of pods per plant showed a positive relationship with seed yield per plant, decreasing
with increasing plant density. The number of seeds per pod and seed size remained relatively
stable even at high plant densities. This is in agreement with Leakey (1972) and Crothers &
Westermann (1976) who indicated a direct relationship between seed yield and number of
pods per plant. They also stated that the number of pods per unit area was the major seed
yield component influencing seed yield , with little influence of either seed size or seeds per
pod on seed yield per unit area.
The greenhouse trials showed that relatively high seed yields of up to 822g m- 2 could be
obtained using the cultivar Kranskop when seed was used as planting material. Provided
similar results can be obtained with explants, this indicates that greenhouse multiplication
can be a viable procedure in a seed multiplication programme. The highest yield was
obtained with a high population of 139 plants m- 2 In a commercial situation the growing
conditions and convenience of crop management practices will affect the optimum plant
density The optimum density will be determined by the unit cost of explants and the
production cost per unit area of greenhouse space.
Although in practice explants from meristem cultures multiplied in vitro will be the main
source of planting material in the greenhouse multiplication phase, plants in this investigation
were produced from seed . No comparison between the performance of plants derived from in
vitro culture and from seed was attempted. Based on the appearance of plants derived from in
vitro plantlets in greenhouses of the Dry Bean Producers Organisation it was assumed that
growth habit, reaction to plant density, nutritional requirements and other growth reactions
are similar for plants from seed . Provided seed can be multiplied economically in
greenhouses or other protective structures, multiplication for more than one generation after
the in vitro phase with seed as planting material may also be a viable proposition.
7.2
NITROGEN SOURCE AND CONCENTRATION
Nitrogen plays a vital role in the growth and development of dry bean and determining seed
yields and yield components. Experiments were conducted to determine the effect of the
source of nitrogen (NH/ -N, N0 3 --N or a combination of the two) as well as the
109
concentration of nitrogen in the nutrient solution on seed yield . Good plant growth and
similar seed yields were observed among plants receiving the full strength and half strength
nutrient solutions containing either 7% NH/-N with 93% N0 3--N (1 :14) or 50% NH/-N
with 50% N0 3--N (1: 1). A nitrate / ammonium ratio in the nutrient solution with more
ammonium than nitrate detrimentally affected yield . The high NH/-N (93% NH/-N with
7% N0 3--N) treatment caused stunted growth and chlorotic lesions on leaves. This was more
pronounced in plants receiving the full strength and half strength nutrient solution, and
almost all plants were dead by the time of harvest maturity due to ammonium toxicity
Similar findings have been reported for potatoes by Cao & Tibbitts (1993) where enhanced
growth was observed when 80 to 92% of the nitrogen in the solution was in the nitrate form.
Hydroponic studies with corn (Gashaw & Mugwira, 1981; Below & Gentry, 1992; Shrader et
al. 1972), tomato (Gamnore-Newmann & Kafkafi , 1980) and wheat (Wang & Below, 1992)
have shown better plant growth with 25% and 50% NH/-N than with 75% NH/-N. Barker
& Mills, 1980; Below & Gentry (1992) and Pilbeam & Kirkby (1992) state that enhanced
growth when both ammonium and nitrate is supplied, results from increased nitrogen
accumulation in the plants, even though the physiological basis of the benefit is yet to be
established.
The results indicate that good seed yields can be obtained with nitrate/ammonium ratios of
either 14:1 or 1: 1. As reported in Chapter 5 it seems that a nutrient solution containing a 1: 1
nitrate/ammonium ratio may be advantagous for dry bean production. This ratio enhanced the
green colouration in the bean plants and resulted in a somewhat larger leaf area and stronger
shoot growth at 40 DAE (Table 54a) This ratio also results in a more stable nutrient solution
pH due to its relatively high buffering capacity according to Clark (1982) and Bernardo, et
al. (1984a & b).
Similar seed yields were produced when either the full strength or half strength nutrient
solution concentrations were supplied, indicating possible cost savings by applying diluted
nutrient solutions.
110
7.3
CYTOKININ-CONTAINING GROWTH REGULATOR No yield benefit was obtained by applying a cytokinin-containing growth regulator to the
nutrient solution in a pot trial. The use of plant growth regulants to limit abscission of
flowers and pods deserves more research attention.
7.4
FUTURE RESEARCH
Aspects not included in this investigation and deserving further research include;
1
Comparison of the growth, development and yield of in vitro plantlets to that of
plants derived from seed .
11
Evaluation of the reaction of other important dry bean cultivars, as this research
focussed on cultivars Kranskop and Teebus.
Ill.
Confirmation of the results on a larger (semi-commercial) scale. This should include
a treatment where the cultivar Kranskop is grown at approximately 139 plants m­ 2 and
supplied with a half strength nutrient solution containing 11 N0 3-
IV.
NH/ ratio.
Evaluation of other plant growth regulators to limit abscission of flowers and young
pods.
7.5
REFERENCES
BARKER, AV & MILLS, B.A , 1980. Ammonium and nitrate nutrition of horticultural
crops. Hort. Rev. 2,395 - 423.
BELOW, F.E. & GENTRY, LE, 1992. Maize productivity as influenced by mixed
nitrogen supplied before or after anthesis. Crop Sci . 32, 163 - 168.
BERNARDO, L M. , CLARK, R B. & MARANVILLE, J. W., 1984a. Nitrate/Ammonium
ratio effects on nutrient solution pH, dry matter yield , and
nitrogen uptake of
sorghum. 1. Plant Nutr . 7, 1389 - 1400.
BERNARDO, L M. , CLARK, R B. & MARAl"JVILLE, J. W. , 1984b. Nitrate/Ammonium
ratio effects on mineral element uptake by sorghum. 1. Plant Nutr. 7, 1401-1414.
111
CAO, W. & TIBBITTS, T.W., 1993 . Study of various NH/: N0 3-mixtures for enhancing
growth of potatoes. J Plant Nutri. 16, 1691 - 1704.
CLARK, RB , 1982. Nutrient solution growth of sorghum and corn in mineral nutrition
studies. J Plant Nutri. 5,1039 - 1057.
COOPER, RL, 1977. Response of soybean cultivars to narrow rows and planting rates
under weed-free conditions. Agron. J 6989-92.
CRANDALL, P .C, 1971. Effect of row width and direction and mist irrigation on the
microclimate of bush beans. Hort. Sci. 6, 345 - 347.
CROTHERS, S.E. & WESTERMANN, D .T ., 1976. Plant population effects on seed
yield of Phaseolus vulgaris L Agron. J 68,958-960 .
GAMNORE-NEWMANN, R 7 KAFKAFI, U , 1980. Root temperature and percentage
N0 3 - -/ NH/+ effect on tomato plant development. 1. Morphology and growth.
Agron. J 758 - 761.
GASHAW, L & MUGWIRA, LM. , 1981. Ammonium-N and nitrate-N effects on the
growth and mineral compositions of triticale, wheat and rye . Agron. J 73,47 -
51.
LEAKEY, CLA, 1972 . The effect of plant population and fertility level on yield and its
components in two determinate cultivars of phaseolus vulgaris (L) Savi oJ Agric. Sci.
Camb . 79,259 - 267 .
MACK, Hl & HATCH D.L , 1968. The effects of plant arrangement and population
density on yield of bush snap beans. Proc. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci. 92,418 - 307 .
PILBEAM, DJ & KIRKBY, E.A , 1992. Some aspects of the utilisation of nitrate and
ammonium by plants. In K. Mengel & D .l Pilbeam (eds.), Nitrogen metabolism of
plants. Claredon Press, Oxford .
\VANG, X. & BELO\V F.E. , 1992. Root growth, nitrogen uptake and tillering of wheat
induced by mixed-nitrogen source. Crop Sci. 32, 997 - 1002.
112
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