Title

The Effects of Drought Stress on Squash Plants

Date

5-26-2016 1:30 PM

End Time

26-5-2016 3:30 PM

Location

WUC Pacific Room

Department

Biology

Session Chair

Kristin Latham

Session Chair

Jeff Snyder

Session Title

Research in the Biological Sciences

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Ava Howard

Presentation Type

Poster session

Abstract

With competition for water resources increasing drastically, it’s paramount that stores are utilized sustainably. Understanding plant stress responses is crucial for strategic conservation. We measured the physiological effects of drought on Cucurbita pepo L. Honey Boat delicata squash, looking at specific leaf area, minimum transpiration, minimum conductance, water potential, stem and leaf growth, and overall biomass. Seedlings grew in greenhouse conditions with weekly fertilizer for seven weeks. Drought-treated plants received water once weekly, and controls thrice weekly. Individuals receiving drought treatment exhibited more negative water potential values in dark conditions, demonstrating that they were experiencing drought conditions. Other measures showed no significant difference between groups, indicating that C. pepo might have lost the majority of its drought response over time due to selective breeding. In the face of increasing water shortages, this practice may be more harmful than helpful, robbing this crop of its ability to survive in varying conditions.

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May 26th, 1:30 PM May 26th, 3:30 PM

The Effects of Drought Stress on Squash Plants

WUC Pacific Room

With competition for water resources increasing drastically, it’s paramount that stores are utilized sustainably. Understanding plant stress responses is crucial for strategic conservation. We measured the physiological effects of drought on Cucurbita pepo L. Honey Boat delicata squash, looking at specific leaf area, minimum transpiration, minimum conductance, water potential, stem and leaf growth, and overall biomass. Seedlings grew in greenhouse conditions with weekly fertilizer for seven weeks. Drought-treated plants received water once weekly, and controls thrice weekly. Individuals receiving drought treatment exhibited more negative water potential values in dark conditions, demonstrating that they were experiencing drought conditions. Other measures showed no significant difference between groups, indicating that C. pepo might have lost the majority of its drought response over time due to selective breeding. In the face of increasing water shortages, this practice may be more harmful than helpful, robbing this crop of its ability to survive in varying conditions.