Leaf Morphology and Photosynthesis of Cotton Seedlings as Influenced by Spectral Balance of Light Reflected from the Soil Surface

P.J. Bauer and M.J. Kasperbauer


Narrow row cotton production is now a possible management option for picker-type cotton growers. Decreasing the distance between plants will influence the FR/R ratio of the reflected light plant leaves receive. Our objective was to determine the influence of the FR/R light ratio received by cotton leaves on leaf morphology and photosynthesis. Plants were grown over green (higher reflected FR/R light ratio relative to incoming sunlight) and white (reflected FR/R light ratio similar to the ratio found in incoming sunlight) soil surface colors in 1992. Photosynthesis was determined on 9 July and 13 July when the plants had about five fully expanded leaves. Representative leaves were collected on 10 July for leaf area, leaf weight, and stomate number determinations. Leaves that developed over the white had higher specific leaf weight and more stomates per unit area than leaves that developed over the green. Photosynthesis per unit leaf area was generally higher for leaves that developed over the white than leaves that developed over green. However, when calculated on a leaf weight basis, photosynthesis was greater in the leaves that developed over the green on 13 July and there was no difference between the surface colors on 9 July. These preliminary findings suggest that the FR/R light ratio can influence both cotton leaf morphology and photosynthesis.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 1339 - 1340
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998