Rootstock Influences Seasonal Dry Matter and Carbohydrate Content and Partitioning in Above-ground Components of `Flordaprince' Peach Trees

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Istituto di Coltivazioni Arboree, Università de gli Studi di Napoli `Federico II', 80055 Napoli, Italy
  • 2 Istituto di Colture Legnose Agrarie e Forestali, Università de gli Studi di Reggio Calabria, 89061 Reggio Calabria, Italy
  • 3 Dipartimento di Agrochimica ed Agrobiologia, Università de gli Studi di Reggio Calabria, 89061 Reggio Calabria, Italy
  • 4 Istituto di Coltivazioni Arboree, Università de gli Studi di Palermo, 90128 Palermo, Italy

Seasonal development of leaf area, leaf area index (LAI), dry matter, and carbohydrate content were measured from harvest 1992 to harvest 1993 in above-ground components of `Flordaprince' peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] trees grafted on GF 677 (Prunus persica × Prunus amygdalus) and MrS 2/5 (Prunus cerasifera free pollinated) rootstocks, which widely differ in vigor. Whole trees were separated into fruit, leaves, shoots, 1-year-old wood and >1-year-old wood. Sampling dates were coincident with key fruit and tree developmental stages: dormancy, fruit set, pit hardening, and fruit harvest. Rootstock modified the vegetative vigor of the tree, the seasonal partitioning of dry matter, and starch content in above-ground components. Leaf area, LAI, and total above-ground dry matter were twice as high in the most vigorous combination (`Flordaprince'/GF 677), which gave the highest yield, but had the lowest harvest index. Rootstock vigor did not affect soluble sugar concentration in any of the canopy components. Starch content was greatest during dormancy and in the oldest wood of GF 677 trees. During fruit development, starch content rapidly decreased in 1-year-old wood and perennial components; at pit hardening it was four times greater in MrS 2/5 than in GF 677 trees. The vegetative-to-fruit dry mass ratio by pit hardening was 3:1 for MrS 2/5 and 9:1 for GF 677 trees. Competition with shoot growth apparently reduced fruit growth, particularly during Stage I and Stage II, as fruit size at harvest was significantly lower (17%) in GF 677 than in MrS 2/5 trees.

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