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Effects of temperature and photoperiod on tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum Dunal) and its potential range in the U.S.

  • David T. Patterson, Mike McGowan (a1), J. Jeff Mullahey (a2) and Randy G. Westbrooks (a3)

Abstract

Tropical soda apple is an exotic perennial pasture weed currently reported in the U.S. only from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina. In experiments to determine its environmental requirements and potential range, tropical soda apple was grown in growth chambers in 16 day/night temperature regimes ranging from 18/8 to 36/26 C. After 100 d of growth, maximum height, leaf area, and shoot biomass occurred at day/night temperatures ranging from 24/26 to 36/26 C. The plants achieved 50% or more of maximum leaf area, biomass, and height at 18/26, 24/20, 24/26, 30/26, and 36/26 C. Plants survived in 8 C nights with day temperatures of 18 to 36 C, but biomass and leaf area were only 3 to 10% of maximum. Leaf appearance rate was linearly related to mean temperature over the range of 11.3 to 29.3 C, with a slope coefficient of 0.018 leaves/day/degree C. Flowering was delayed by photoperiods shorter than 10 h or temperatures lower than 24/20 C. In favorable temperatures, plants flowered within 60 d after emergence in photoperiods ranging from 8 to 16 h. Artificially pollinated flowers produced fruit with germinable seeds within 6 to 7 wk, at temperatures ranging from 23/17 to 32/26 C. A regression equation relating vegetative growth to day and night temperatures indicated that tropical soda apple could achieve 30% or more of its maximum growth rate during 7 mo of the year in southern Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas and during 4 to 5 mo of the year at sites in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Neither temperature nor photoperiod will limit its further spread in the southern U.S. and adjacent regions.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author. USDA/ARS, 2199 S. Rock Rd., Ft. Pierce, FL 34945-3138.

References

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Keywords

Effects of temperature and photoperiod on tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum Dunal) and its potential range in the U.S.

  • David T. Patterson, Mike McGowan (a1), J. Jeff Mullahey (a2) and Randy G. Westbrooks (a3)

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