GA3, GA4+7, and GA7 Inhibit Flower Bud Formation and Reduce Alternate Bearing in Apple (Malus domestic Borkh.)

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture and Crop Science, Howlett Hall, 2001 Fyffe Court, The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210-1096.

A single spray of either GA3 or GA4+7 at full bloom reduced the severity of the alternate bearing cycle of `Braeburn' apples, measured as the proportion of flowering spurs over the 2 years following treatment. Increasing the concentration of GA3 applied in the light-flowering year linearly reduced the proportion of flowering spurs in the following year and linearly increased the proportion of flowering spurs 2 years after treatment. Application of GA3 or GA4+7 at full bloom inhibited flower bud formation on spurs only, whereas, in a separate experiment, GA3 or GA7 applied later than 8 weeks after bloom inhibited flower bud formation on 1-year wood only. Thus, delayed GA treatments may provide suitable technology for the selective removal of fruit from 1-year wood in apple.

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