Genotypic Variation in Apple Rootstock Low Temperature Tolerance During Spring and Fall

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

To identify genotypes of apple (Malus ×domestica) rootstock with vulnerability to low temperature, we measured the low temperature tolerance of xylem, phloem and cambium in 2-year-old shoot pieces from cultivars Budagovsky 9 (B.9), M.7 EMLA (M.7), M.9 EMLA (M.9), Geneva® 41 (G.41), Geneva 30 (G.30), Geneva 214 (G.214), Geneva 814 (G.814), and Geneva 935 (G.935), as well as six advanced selections in the Geneva (G.) series and three in the Vineland (V.) series. From Oct. 2013 to Apr. 2014, injury was measured as a 0–10 rating based on percentage of discolored cross-sectional xylem and phloem, and cambial length and circumference with brown discoloration, with 0 indicating no browning and 10 indicating browning in the entire tissue. From Oct. 2014 to Apr. 2015, injury was measured as xylem, phloem and cambium browning using a similar rating scale that accounted for both the percentage of browned tissues and the intensity of browning. Following exposure to −35 to −40 °C, many genotypes, including ‘M.7’, ‘M.9’, ‘G.935’, G.4011, G.4292, G.5087, and V.5, had only partial xylem injury in the fall, whereas others, ‘M.7’, ‘G.41’, ‘G.214’, and G.4011, had more extensive xylem browning at −30 °C and colder. ‘G.30’ had moderate to severe xylem browning at −15 to −19 °C. In late October of both years, G.4013 exhibited severe phloem browning at relatively high temperatures, but accrued additional hardiness by Nov. 2014, whereas genotypes ‘B.9’, ‘M.9’, ‘G.30’, and ‘G.41’ developed considerable phloem hardiness by late October with no additional increase in hardiness in November. Geneva and Vineland genotypes exhibited a low degree of susceptibility to injury at −35 to −40 °C in Jan. 2014 and Mar. 2015. Shoot hardiness in Apr. 2014 and 2015 was highly variable between the 2 years, with severe browning of xylem and cambium at −40 °C in every genotype sampled in Apr. 2014, but not in Apr. 2015. ‘M.9’ and G.3902 appeared to be the least vulnerable to injury in April, whereas ‘G.30’, ‘G.41’, ‘G.814’, G.4292, and G.5257 seem more likely to suffer injury in spring. ‘G.30’ had tender xylem in both fall and spring, G.4013 had the least hardy cambium and phloem in fall, and G.5257 the least hardy cambium in the spring. These genotypes are vulnerable to damaging temperatures during fall acclimation and spring deacclimation.

Contributor Notes

Funded by the International Tree Fruit Association, New England Tree Fruit Growers Research Committee, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture project NC140. Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station Publication Number 3616.

Corresponding author. E-mail: rmoran@maine.edu.

Article Sections

Article Figures

  • View in gallery

    A temperature response function, y = Bmax/[1 + eb(TI – x)], where y = the amount of tissue browning from none (0) to severe (10), and x = temperature. Bmax indicates the upper asymptote or the maximum amount of browning within the temperature range tested. The inflection point, b, is the point on the curve where the slope is greatest, and TI is the corresponding temperature.

  • View in gallery

    Minimum and maximum air temperatures at the rootstock orchard in the weeks preceding low temperature tolerance measurements in Expt. 1. The arrows along the x-axis indicate measurement dates.

  • View in gallery

    Minimum and maximum air temperatures at the rootstock orchard in the weeks preceding low temperature tolerance measurements in Expt. 2. The arrows along the x-axis indicate measurement dates.

  • View in gallery

    Xylem browning in 2-year-old shoot pieces in seven apple rootstock cultivars and nine advanced selections exposed to subfreezing temperatures in Oct., Jan., and Apr. 2013–14. Browning was rated as a proportion of tissue that was brown on a scale of 0 (indicating none) to 10 (indicating complete discoloration).

  • View in gallery

    Phloem browning in 2-year-old shoot pieces in seven apple rootstock cultivars and nine advanced selections exposed to subfreezing temperatures in Oct., Jan., and Apr. 2013–14. Browning was rated as a proportion of tissue that was brown on a scale of 0 (indicating none) to 10 (indicating complete discoloration).

  • View in gallery

    Cambial browning in 2-year-old shoot pieces in seven apple rootstock cultivars and nine advanced selections exposed to subfreezing temperatures in Jan. and Apr. 2014. Browning was rated as a proportion of tissue that was brown on a scale of 0 (indicating none) to 10 (indicating complete discoloration).

  • View in gallery

    Xylem browning in 2-year-old shoot pieces in seven apple rootstock cultivars and nine advanced selections exposed to subfreezing temperatures in Oct. and Nov. 2014. Browning was rated as an index whereby index = (proportion of tissue discolored + intensity of discoloration × 2)/2, with proportion of discoloration rated on a scale of 0 indicating none and 10 indicating complete discoloration and degree of darkening using a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 indicated no browning and 5 indicated dark brown. Asterisks indicate a significant difference in browning between October and November, but within a genotype and temperature.

  • View in gallery

    Phloem browning in 2-year-old shoot pieces in seven apple rootstock cultivars and nine advanced selections exposed to subfreezing temperatures in Oct. and Nov. 2014. Browning was rated as an index whereby index = (proportion of tissue discolored + intensity of discoloration × 2)/2, with proportion of discoloration rated on a scale of 0 indicating none and 10 indicating complete discoloration and degree of darkening using a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 indicated no browning and 5 indicated dark brown. Asterisks indicate a significant difference in browning between October and November, but within a genotype and temperature.

  • View in gallery

    Cambial browning in 2-year-old shoot pieces in seven apple rootstock cultivars and nine advanced selections exposed to subfreezing temperatures in Oct. and Nov. 2014. Browning was rated as an index whereby index = (proportion of tissue discolored + intensity of discoloration × 2)/2, with proportion of discoloration rated on a scale of 0 indicating none and 10 indicating complete discoloration and degree of darkening using a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 indicated no browning and 5 indicated dark brown. Asterisks indicate a significant difference in browning between October and November, but within a genotype and temperature.

Article References

  • CaprioJ.M.QuammeH.A.1999Weather conditions associated with apple production in the Okanagan Valley of British ColumbiaCan. J. Plant Sci.79129137

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ClineJ.A.NeilsenD.NeilsenG.BrownleeR.NortonD.QuammeH.2012Cold hardiness of new apple cultivars of commercial importance in CanadaJ. Amer. Pomol. Soc.66174182

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ColemanW.K.EstabrooksE.N.1988An evaluation of the effect of plant growth regulators on cold hardiness in apple treesCan. J. Plant Sci.68859869

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CumminsJ.N.AldwinkleH.S.1974Breeding apple rootstocksHort Science91318

  • DeytonD.E.SamsC.E.CumminsJ.C.LockwoodD.W.1996Cambial browning of cold injured peach nursery treesFruit Var. J.50226229

  • DomotoP.A.AutioW.R.BrownG.R.FerreeD.C.HirstP.M.MullinsC.A.SchuppJ.R.2001Blackheart injury in ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Jonagold’, ‘Empire’ and ‘Rome Beauty’ apple trees on five rootstocks in the 1990 NC-140 cultivar/rootstock trialJ. Amer. Pomol. Soc.55146153

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EinhornT.C.TurnerJ.GibeautD.PostmanJ.D.2011Characterization of cold hardiness in quince: Potential pear rootstock candidates for northern pear production regionsActa Hort.909137143

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ElfvingD.C.SchecterI.HutchinsonA.1993The history of the Vineland (V.) apple rootstocksFruit Var. J.475258

  • EmbreeC.1988Apple rootstock cold hardiness evaluationCompact Fruit Tree2199105

  • HolubowiczT.CumminsJ.N.ForslineP.L.1982Responses of Malus clones to programmed low-temperature stresses in late winterJ. Amer. Pomol. Soc.107492496

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HongS.SucoffE.1982Rapid increase in deep supercooling of xylem parenchymaPlant Physiol.69697700

  • HowellG.S.WeiserC.J.1970aThe environmental control of cold acclimation in applePlant Physiol.45390394

  • HowellG.S.WeiserC.J.1970bFluctuations in the cold resistance of apple twigs during spring dehardeningJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.95190192

  • JensenP.J.HalbrendtN.FazioG.MakalowskaI.AltmanN.PraulC.MaximovaS.N.NgugiH.K.CrasswellerR.M.TravisJ.W.McNellisT.W.2012Rootstock-regulated gene expression patterns associated with fire blight resistance in appleBMC Genomics139

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KetchieD.O.1985Cold resistance of apple trees through the year and its relationship to the physiological stagesActa Hort.168131137

  • KetchieD.O.BeemanC.H.1973Cold acclimation in ‘Red Delicious’ apple trees under natural conditions during four wintersJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.98257261

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LapinsK.1961Artificial freezing of 1-year-old shoots of apple varietiesCan. J. Plant Sci.41381393

  • LayneR.1994Prunus rootstocks affect long-term orchard performance of ‘Redhaven’ peach on Brookston clay loamHortScience29167171

  • LayneR.JacksonH.O.StroudF.D.1977Influence of peach seedling rootstocks on defoliation and cold hardiness of peach cultivarsJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.1028992

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MathersH.M.2004Supercooling and cold hardiness in sour cherry germplasm: Vegetative tissueJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.129682689

  • MathersH.M.StushnoffC.2005Screening Malus seedlings for cold hardinessHortScience40318322

  • McArtneyS.ObermillerJ.D.2011Effect of dwarfing rootstocks on low temperature tolerance of ‘Golden Delicious’ apple trees during winter 2008-2009J. Amer. Soc. Pomol. Sci.65178184

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MoranR.E.SunY.GengF.ZhangD.FazioG.2011Cold temperature tolerance of trunk and root tissues in one- or two-year-old apple rootstocksHortScience4614601464

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NesmithW.C.DowlerW.M.1976Cultural practices affect cold hardiness and peach tree short lifeJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.101116119

  • PalonenP.BuszardD.1997Current state of cold hardiness research on fruit cropsCan. J. Plant Sci.77399420

  • PramsohlerM.HackerJ.NeunerG.2012Freezing pattern and frost killing temperature of apple (Malus domestica) wood under controlled conditions and in natureTree Physiol.32819828

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • QuammeH.A.1976Relationship of the low temperature exotherm to apple and pear production in North AmericaCan. J. Plant Sci.56493500

  • QuammeH.StushnoffC.WeiserC.J.1972The relationship of exotherms to cold injury in apple stem tissuesJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.97608613

  • QuammeH.WeiserC.J.StushnoffC.1973The mechanism of freezing injury in xylem of winter apple twigsPlant Physiol.51273277

  • QuammeH.HampsonC.2004Winter hardiness measurements on 15 new apple cultivarsJ. Amer. Pomol. Soc.5898107

  • RepoT.LappiJ.1989Estimation of standard error of impedance-estimated frost resistanceScand. J. For. Res.46774

  • RobinsonT.L.FazioG.AldwinckleH.S.HoyingS.A.RussoN.2006Field performance of Geneva apple rootstocks in the eastern USAScientific Works Lithuanian Inst. Hort. Lithuanian Univ. Agr.25181191

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RochetteP.BelangerG.CastonguayY.BootsmaA.MongrainD.2004Climate change and winter damage to fruit trees in eastern CanadaCan. J. Plant Sci.8411131125

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SimonsR.K.1970Phloem tissue development in response to freeze injury to trunks of apple treesJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.95182190

  • SteinmetzF.H.HilbornM.T.1938A histological evaluation of low temperature injury to apple trees. Univ. Maine Maine Agr. Expt. Sta. Res. Bul. 388

  • TaninoK.2012From lab to nature: Assessing injury in xylem parenchyma cellsTree Physiol.32815818

  • WarmundM.R.AutioW.R.BardenJ.A.CumminsJ.N.DomotoP.A.EmbreeC.G.GrangerR.L.MorrisonF.D.SchuppJ.R.YoungE.1996Blackheart injury in ‘Starkspur Supreme Delicious’ on 15 rootstocks in the 1984 NC-140 cooperative plantingFruit Var. J.505562

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WestwoodM.N.BjornstadH.O.1981Winter injury to apple cultivars as affected by growth regulators, weed control method, and rootstocksJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.106430432

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WildungD.K.WeiserC.J.PelletH.M.1973Cold hardiness of Malling clonal apple rootstocks under different conditions of winter soil coverCan. J. Plant Sci.53323329

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Article Information

Google Scholar

Related Content

Article Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 87 87 9
Full Text Views 49 49 2
PDF Downloads 25 25 2