Date of Award:

1978

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Range Science

Advisor/Chair:

Martyn M. Caldwell

Abstract

Two factors which affect leaf ontogeny and ultimate leaf size: (1) the rate and duration of cell expansion, and (2) the rate and duration of cell division, were examined for their role in the slowed early growth rate and smaller ultimate leaf size when plants are exposed to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. Rumex patientia L. was grown in controlled environment chambers under enhanced UV-B radiation (equivalent to daily solar UV-B irradiation at 40°N latitude in mid-May with an atmospheric ozone concentration of 0.20 atm-cm) and control treatments. The pattern of growth as expressed in changes of mean cell size of two distinct cell types, tissue cell density, and length of the entire blade are consistent with the hypothesis that the radiation primarily affects cell division rather than cell expansion. Furthermore, it appears that the radiation probably alters the rate rather than the duration of cell division. An understanding of the mechanism of radiation damage should facilitate prediction of how this stress may interact with other stresses to which plants are normally subjected.

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