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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 20:9-10 (article 5) 1997

The Effect of Low Temperatures on Leaves of Different Cucumber Cultivars

Dang Yonghua ¹ , Cheng Zhihui ² , Du Junzhi ¹ and Wang Nong ¹

¹ Vegetable Institute, Shaanxi Academy of Agriculture, YangLing, Shaanxi, 712100, P.R. China

² Department of Horticulture, Northwestern Agricultural University, YangLing, Shaanxi, 712100, P.R.

Introduction. Cucumber is one of the most important temperature fruit vegetables worldwide. Recently in China, more attention has been placed on anti-season cultivation of cucumber. Thus, research on cold tolerance in cucumber related to this type of cultivation has increased (1-5). However, there have been no reports dealing with the reaction of leaves at different plant positions to low temperature exposure. Therefore, we report herein the effect of low temperatures on leaf position in cucumber.

Material and Methods. Tow cultivars, Jing Za No. 3 (spring season cultivation) and Autumn Chief (autumn season cultivation), were used in this experiment. Seedlings and plants were grown under polyethylene plastic film tent cultivation in the spring-summer season in China. Sample leaves were taken from plants when they reached maturity, cleaned and rinsed, and leaf discs (1.0 cm diameter) were prepared. Then, these discs were exposed to different temperatures (-4, -2, 0, 2, 4, 6 C) for 3 hours. The leakage (%) of electrolytes from leaf discs was measured by a conductivity gauge.

Results and Discussion. The results are provided in Table 1. (1) As the treatment temperature decreased, the electrolytes leakage percentage increased. This indicates that the destruction (degree) of cell membrane increases. There was only a slight difference between the temperature treatments of 6 C and 4 C, but electrolyte leakage sharply increased when temperature was decreased to 2 C or lower. Generally, the leakage rose to ~50% when the temperature was decreased to 0, -2 C or lower. (2) The electrolyte leakage from the leaf discs increased as the leaf position from the base of the plant increased. This indicates that the higher the leaf position, the more sensitive they are to low temperatures. This finding may be explained by the fact that the higher position leaves are growing in the higher temperature condition than lower leaves, and thus lack adaptability to the low temperatures. (3) The differences in cultivar tolerance to low temperature shows that electrolyte leakage from leaf discs of 'Jing Za No. 3' is lower. This means that 'Jing Za No. 3' is more tolerant to lower temperatures than the cultivar Autumn Chief.

Table 1. Electrolyte leakage (%) from cucumber leaves at different positions and when exposed to different temperatures.

Cultivar
Leaf position

Temperature (C)

6
4
2
0
-2
-4
Jing Za No. 3
5
21.3 ± 1.4
22.8 ± 0.7
28.8 ± 1.5
32.0 ± 3.0
47.3 ± 4.7
67.8 ± 3.2
 
10
25.4 ± 3.3
26.2 ± 1.0
31.8 ± 3.0
36.3 ± 3.0
51.0 ± 2.6
57.2 ± 2.9
 
15
28.3 ± 3.8
34.2 ± 6.6
34.4 ± 7.9
38.4 ± 2.3
46.4 ± 8.1
59.7 ± 3.3
 
20
27.4 ± 2.5
30.2 ± 2.7
29.6 ± 1.2
33.9 ± 3.9
42.5 ± 8.4
-
 
25
34.2 ± 2.3
35.0 ± 3.8
36.0 ± 1.9
37.1 ± 2.3
42.5 ± 0.9
40.7 ± 4.9
Autumn Chief
5
24.5 ± 2.3
24.7 ± 1.9
33.5 ± 2.5
35.3 ± 2.6
44.2 ± 9.8
63.6 ± 3.8
 
10
28.4 ± 4.7
28.8 ± 2.6
33.6 ± 0.6
39.1 ± 3.8
47.0 ± 7.0
54.0 ± 1.3
 
15
29.0 ± 2.7
32.8 ± 3.9
37.8 ± 2.9
43.7 ± 3.5
52.1 ± 2.6
57.4 ± 3.7
 
20
34.2 ± 2.9
34.2 ± 2.0
37.2 ± 2.8
39.9 ± 6.2
51.4 ± 5.5
54.0 ± 0.9
 
25
42.6 ± 9.0
46.8 ± 2.5
46.5 ± 4.5
53.1 ± 8.2
60.1 ± 3.4
57.6 ± 8.2

Literature Cited

  1. Guo Niangdong. 1994. Research on strengthening cold resistance of cucumber by cold treatment. Acta Horticulturae Sinica 21 (1):101-102.
  2. Li Xiaoping and Guo Junyan. 1993. Changes of polypeptides in cotyledons during seedling development and cold hardiness of cucumber. Acta Botany Sinica 35(10):766-771.
  3. Liu Jianhui, Cui Hongwen, etc. 1994. Influences of low temperature on amount of ethylene releasing and leaking percentage of electrolytes of cucumber seedlings. Acta Universitatis Agriculturalis Boreali-Occidentialis 22 (4):61-65.
  4. Liu Hongxian, Zeng Shaoxi and Wang Yirou. 1984. Influences of low temperature on respiration metabolism of cucumber seedlings with different cold tolerance. Acta Plant Physiology Sinica 3: 191-198.
  5. Yang Arming and Shen Zhengyan. 1992. Effects of cold hardiness on increase of cold tolerance of cucumber seedlings. Acta Horticulturae Sinica 19 (1):61-66.
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Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
Created by T.C. Wehner and T. Ng, 1 June 2005; design by C.T. Glenn;
send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 15 December, 2009