Rootstock Effects on Growth and Flowering in Young Apple Trees Grown with Ammonium and Nitrate Nitrogen

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Ungrafted trees of seven apple rootstock cultivars, M.4, M.7, M.11, M.26, M.27, MM.106, and Maru. bakaidou (Malus prunifolia Borkh. var. ringo Asami; weeping type), and `Fuji' (Malus domestics Borkh.) trees grafted on these seven plus M.9 and M. 16 rootstock were grown in sand. They were regularly supplied with nutrient solutions of N as ammonium alone (A), nitrate alone (T), and both (AT). With both ungrafted and grafted trees, the shoot growth of six rootstock (M.11, M.4, M.7, MM.106, M.26, and M.27) was significantly less with A than with T. With `Fuji' trees grafted on the above six rootstock, the number of flowering buds and the ratios of flowering buds to total emerged buds were significantly enhanced by treatments A and AT, especially in the formation of axillary flowering buds. Flowering and shoot growth of `Fuji' trees grafted on M. prunifolia and M.16 were slightly affected by the form of supplied N. In the xylem sap, cytokinin-like activity was detected in a single zone in paper chromatography in all rootstock and `Fuji' trees. The activity in six ungrafted rootstock (M.4, M.7, M.11, M.26, M.27, and MM.106) and `Fuji' trees grafted on these plus M.9 rootstock were higher with A than with T. Gibberellin-like activity in the same sap was detected in two zones, Rfs 0.3 to 0.4 and Rfs 0.7 to 0.8 in paper chromatography. In the six ungrafted rootstock and in `Fuji' trees grafted on these plus M.9, A led to higher activity at Rfs 0.7 to 0.S, but T led to higher activity at Rfs 0.3 to 0.4. Cytokinin-like and gibberellin-like activities in ungrafted M. prunfolia and `Fuji' trees grafted on M. prunifolia or M.16 were not affected by the form of N.

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