DROUGHT STRESS ALTERS BIOGENESIS OF APPLE LEAF VOLATILES

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  • 1 1Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design, University of Tennessee, P.O. Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071.
  • 2 2USDA-ARS, Tree Fruit Research Laboratory, 1104 N. Western Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801.

Potted apple trees were severely (S) or moderately (M) droughted and compared to a well-watered control (C) to determine changes in biogenesis of leaf volatile compounds. Total available water (TAW) of the soil was allowed to decline to near 0% TAW, 20% TAW, and 100% TAW, for S, M and C, respectively, by the end of a two-week drying period. Twenty-nine volatile compounds were identified by GC-MS using headspace sampling of detached leaves. Concentrations of (E)-2-hexenal, (E)-2-hexenyl acetate, l-hexanol, (E)-2-hexen-1-ol and hexyl acetate were 5 to 310 times higher for S than C. It is suggested that the large drought induced increase in C-6 compounds was related to enhanced lipoxygenase activity.

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