Genotypic Differences in the Length-Diameter Relationship of Branches of One-year-old Peach and Nectarine Trees

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Jocelyne KervellaInstitut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Domaine Saint-Paul, 84143 Montfavet cedex, France

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Loïc PagèsInstitut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Domaine Saint-Paul, 84143 Montfavet cedex, France

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Michel GénardInstitut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Domaine Saint-Paul, 84143 Montfavet cedex, France

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Genotypic variations in the length-diameter relationship of branches among peach and nectarine [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] cultivars were investigated. The length and basal diameter of all undamaged first-order shoots from 1-year-old trees of 14 cultivars and one accession were measured. Statistical analysis of the allometric relationship between length and basal diameter of shoots provided evidence of genotypic differences for that relationship, although the diameter of very short shoots did not differ between genotypes. A gradient existed from `Armking' with thin shoots (9 mm in diameter for 85.5-cm-long shoots) to `Flavorcrest' with thick shoots (16.4 mm in diameter for 85.5-cm-long shoots). Early selection for shoot thickness should be possible in breeding programs. The likely consequences of observed shoot thickness variations on the mechanical and hydraulic properties of shoots are discussed.

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