Growth, Gas Exchange, Water Uptake, and Drought Response of Seedling- and Cutting-propagated Peach and Citrus Rootstocks

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Author: Mark Rieger1
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

Growth, gas exchange, root hydraulic conductivity, and drought response of seedling and rooted cuttings of Lovell and Nemaguard peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch], and Carrizo (Poncirus trifoliata × Citrus sinensis) and sour orange (C. aurantium L.) citrus rootstocks were compared to determine the influence of propagation method on these characteristics. Rooted peach cuttings had a higher proportion of root biomass in fibrous roots (≤ mm in diameter) and lower root: shoot ratios than seedlings, although this did not occur in citrus. Net CO2 assimilation (A) was higher for peach seedlings than for cuttings, but similar for `Redhaven' (RH) scions on either seedling- or cutting-propagated rootstocks, suggesting that leaf-associated factors were responsible for differences. As in peach, A was higher for Carrizo seedlings than for cuttings, but A was not affected by propagation method in sour orange. Peach seedlings maintained higher A than cuttings as water potentials declined during short-term soil drying, although in citrus this occurred only for Carrizo. RH scions on either root type exhibited similar declines in A as soil dried, indicating the lack of a rootstock effect. Root hydraulic conductivity (Lp) was similar between seedlings and cuttings of all cultivars when expressed on a length basis. Leaf conductance and osmotic adjustment were similar for RH scions on seedling- or cutting-propogated rootstocks during 45 days of drought stress, indicating the lack of a rootstock effect on long-term stress response.

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