Performance of Eight Apomictic Selections as Apple Rootstocks

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  • 1 Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, OH 44691

The apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) cultivars Starkspur Supreme Delicious and Melrose were planted in 1987 on eight apomictic apple rootstock selections made in Germany by Dr. Hanna Schmidt and on M.7. Selections 2 [M. hupehensis (Pamp.) Rehd. parentage] and 8 [M. sieboldii (Regel) Rehd. parentage] were similar to M.7 in precocity, cumulative yield per tree, and yield efficiency, while the other selections with M. sargenti Rehd. in their parentage were slower to flower and had lower yields and yield efficiencies. Selections 2 and 8 tended to result in larger trees than M.7, while the selections with M. sargenti parentage were generally similar to M.7 in size. Except for trees on M.7 and selection 2, `Starkspur Supreme Delicious' developed more severe symptoms of internal bark necrosis (IBN) than did `Melrose', which normally does not show IBN. However, `Melrose' showed IBN symptoms on selections with M. sargenti parentage. IBN symptoms were positively correlated with leaf Mn concentrations. Influence of rootstocks on other nutrient elements, although significant, were small compared to the effect on Mn. A significant interaction occurred between cultivar and rootstock in their effects upon branch morphology, mostly because fewer flowering spurs and more vegetative spurs were observed on `Melrose' than on `Starkspur Supreme Delicious' when grafted on Selection 2. These apomictic selections offered no advantage over M.7 as rootstocks for apples.

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