PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF YOUNG APPLE TREES ON 3 ROOTSTOCKS TO DROUGHT STRESS

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1325.

`Imperial Gala' on M.9 EMLA, MM.111 and Mark rootstocks were planted in a rain exclusion shelter. Two drought stress periods lasting approximately 1 month each were imposed during 1991. Water was supplied at 2 liters per day per tree before and after each drought cycle while water was withheld from half of the trees during the drought stresses. Maximal and variable chlorophyll fluorescence and fluorescence quenching were significantly reduced by the drought stress with M.111 generally affected first and with the largest difference between drought and control followed by Mark and then M.9. Leaf and stomatal conductance, assimilation and transpiration usually occurred first and were lowest for M.9 followed by Mark and then M.111 during the first stress cycle while Mark responded more rapidly and to a greater extent than M.9 and M.111 during the second stress. Water potential was lower for the stressed trees during both stress periods but osmotic and turgor potentials were reduced only during the first stress period. Changes in water relations were noticed first and to a greater extent for Mark followed by M.9 with M.111 exhibiting the least sensitivity and differences.

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