Journal Article

Response of winter root starch concentration to severe water stress and fruit load and its subsequent effects on early peach fruit development

Gerardo Lopez, Joan Girona and Jordi Marsal

in Tree Physiology

Volume 27, issue 11, pages 1619-1626
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/27.11.1619
Response of winter root starch concentration to severe water stress and fruit load and its subsequent effects on early peach fruit development

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Effect of water stress during stage III of peach fruit development on winter root starch concentration (RSC) and subsequent reproductive development was studied. Two irrigation treatments were applied in two consecutive seasons (2003–2004): full irrigation (FI) and no irrigation during stage III of fruit development until visible leaf wilting (LWI), which occurred when midday stem water potential reached –1.80 MPa. Three fruit thinning intensities were applied within each irrigation treatment. The year 2005 was a recovery year in which all trees received full irrigation and commercial fruit thinning. Water deficit and high fruit loads in the previous season significantly reduced the concentration of winter RSC. Fruit set and fruit growth from full bloom to 30 days after full bloom (30 DAFB) increased with increasing winter RSC before other factors, such as inter-fruit competition and availability of carbon from current photosynthesis, came into play. Consequently, severe water stress reduced the total number of fruits and fruit dry mass growth 30 DAFB. However, during the recovery year and after fruit thinning, fruit loads were similar between irrigation treatments and yield capacity remained unaffected. Peach fruit production recovered quickly from the deleterious effects of two consecutive years of water stress because of a combination of two factors: (1) reduced initial fruit set that was still adequate to achieve a commercial crop; and (2) the low sensitivity of fruit growth 30 DAFB to winter RSC.

Keywords: early fruit growth; fruit number; Prunus persica; root reserves; stem water potential

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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