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Title: Ultrahigh C02 levels enhance cuphea growth and morphogenesis

item Tisserat, Brent
item Vaughn, Steven
item Berhow, Mark

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/2007
Publication Date: 1/1/2008
Citation: Tisserat, B., Vaughn, S.F., Berhow, M.A. 2008. Ultrahigh C02 levels enhance cuphea growth and morphogenesis. Industrial Crops and Products. 27(1):133-135.

Interpretive Summary: Cuphea species (Lythraceae) produces an oil seed that is high in saturated, medium-chain triacylglycerols and can be used for making detergents, surfactants, lubricants, and other products. Unfortunately, several negative traits retard optimum cuphea cultivation such as indeterminate flowering, seed shattering, seed dormancy, lack of self-pollination, sticky glandular hairs, and temporary arrested growth following germination. Much breeding work is required to optimize the cultivation of cuphea. In an effort to speed cuphea growth to aid in more rapid breeding efforts, we tested the benefits of employing elevated levels of CO2. Our CO2 studies show that ultrahigh CO2 significantly enhances biomass production in just 30 days. Employment of short term CO2 applications accelerate cuphea seedling development and may increase growth rates over 600%.

Technical Abstract: Applications of ultrahigh C02 treatments accelerated cuphea (Cuphea viscosissima x C. lanceolata ‘RSR 23’) growth and development and aided in seedling establishment. The growth (fresh weight) and morphogenesis (number of leaves and roots and shoot length) were determined in cuphea seedlings exposed to 350, 1,500, 3,000, 10,000, or 30,000 micro-mol mol-1 CO2 for 30 days under greenhouse conditions. Greater CO2 levels, especially the ultrahigh levels (i.e., greater than or equal to 3,000 micro-mol mol-1 (C02) resulted in significantly higher (P is less than or equal to 0.05) fresh weights, leaf numbers, root numbers, and shoot lengths compared to seedlings grown under ambient air (350 micro-mol mol-1 (CO2). For example, seedling fresh weight, leaf number, root number, and shoot length from cuphea ‘PSR 23’ Morris Heavy seedlings supplemented with 10,000 micro-mol mol-1 C02 increased 607%, 184%, 784%, and 175%, respectively, when compared to seedlings grown without C02 enrichment.