Influence of Rootstock, Scion, and Water Deficits on Growth of `Colt' and `Meteor' Cherry Trees

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  • 1 Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • | 2 Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Growth and physiological characteristics were evaluated in autografted and reciprocally grafted plants of Prunus avium L. ×pseudocerasus Lindl. `Colt' and Prunus cerasus L. `Meteor'. Containerized plants were grown for 150 days in a greenhouse under either well-watered or water-stressed conditions. Both the scion and rootstock influenced growth (relative growth rate, R̄), morphological [leaf area : root surface area (LARSA) and specific leaf area (SLA)], and physiological (mean net assimilation rate, Ē) characteristics of grafted plants. Regardless of the watering regime, plants with `Meteor' scions and `Colt' rootstocks maintained higher R̄ than plants with `Colt' scions and `Meteor' rootstocks. This enhanced growth occurred as a result of higher Ē. Measurements on water-stressed plants also showed that the graft combination of `Meteor' on `Colt' had the lowest LARSA, while the reciprocal combination of `Colt' on `Meteor' had the highest. Differences in LARSA among water-stressed plants primarily reflected changes in SLA, as influenced by both rootstock and scion, and not in partitioning of dry weight between these organs.

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To whom reprint requests should be addressed. Current address: Dept. of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State Univ., Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, 2016 Fanning Bridge Rd., Fletcher, NC 28732.
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