Journal Article

Vascular flows and transpiration affect peach (<i>Prunus persica</i> Batsch.) fruit daily growth

Brunella Morandi, Mark Rieger and Luca Corelli Grappadelli

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 58, issue 14, pages 3941-3947
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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The relative contributions of xylem, phloem, and transpiration to fruit growth and the daily patterns of their flows have been determined in peach, during the two stages of rapid diameter increase, by precise and continuous monitoring of fruit diameter variations. Xylem, phloem, and transpiration contributions to growth were quantified by comparing the diurnal patterns of diameter change of fruits, which were then girdled and subsequently detached. Xylem supports peach growth by 70%, and phloem 30%, while transpiration accounts for ∼60% of daily total inflows. These figures and their diurnal patterns were comparable among years, stages, and cultivars. Xylem was functional at both stage I and III, while fruit transpiration was high and strictly dependent on environmental conditions, causing periods of fruit shrinkage. Phloem imports were correlated to fruit shrinkage and appear to facilitate subsequent fruit enlargement. Peach displays a growth mechanism which can be explained on the basis of passive unloading of photoassimilates from the phloem. A pivotal role is played by the large amount of water flowing from the tree to the fruit and from the fruit to the atmosphere.

Keywords: Fruit growth; fruit transpiration; peach; phloem; xylem

Journal Article.  4787 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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