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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 36, Issue 5 — September 2010

Penconazole Induced Heat Tolerance in Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Evergreen Oak (Quercus ilex)    (View PDF)

Glynn C. Percival and Kelly Noviss

Abstract: The ability of penconazole, a triazole fungicide derivative, to protect against and ameliorate heat stress was studied in evergreen oak (Quercus ilex) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). Under laboratory conditions, heat damage to the leaf photosynthetic system based on the stability of the chlorophyll a/b light-harvesting complex within photosystem II (chlorophyll fluorescence Fo responses) and leaf photochemical efficiency (chlorophyll fluorescence Fv/Fm emissions) of detached leaves was constantly less in penconazole treated trees. In both species, greatest protection of the leaf photosynthetic system to heat induced disorders was achieved by application of penconazole at a concentration of 30 g per liter of water compared to penconazole applied at a concentration of 0.15 or 0.45 g per liter of water. Subjecting containerized trees of both species to 10 minutes at 50C significantly reduced tree vitality with respect to chlorophyll fluorescence Fo and Fv/ Fm emissions, total foliar chlorophylls, leaf photosynthetic rates (Pn) and significantly increased damage to cellular membrane integrity as manifest by higher leaf electrolyte leakage and visual leaf necrosis between stressed and non-heat stressed well-watered trees. The influence of penconazole applied immediately after heat stress on the pattern of recovery over the following twelve weeks demonstrated penconazole treated trees were the most capable of recovery. With respect to chlorophyll fluorescence Fo and leaf electrolyte leakage values recovery rates of heat damaged trees treated with penconazole ranged from 20%50% higher than non-triazole treated control trees. In all cases nonpenconazole treated control trees had the least capacity for recovery. Regardless of species, height, leaf area, root, shoot, and total plant dry weight were, in virtually all instances, greater than non-penconazole treated controls. The tactical use of the triazole derivative penconazole as an ameliorant against heat damage and recovery from heat stress in Scots pine and evergreen oak would be of benefit to improve tree recovery rates and growth. From a practical point of view penconazole at 30 g a.i. per liter of water is suggested based on the results of this study.

Keywords: Chlorophylls; Chlorophyll Fluorescence; Electrolyte Leakage; Fungicides; Growth Inhibitor; Physiogenic Stress; Stress Enzymes

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