Effect of Boron and Calcium Foliar Sprays on Pollen Germination and Development, Fruit Set, Seed Development, and Berry Yield and Quality in Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.)

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Youzhi ChenDepartment of Biosystems Science and Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5722

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John M. SmagulaDepartment of Biosystems Science and Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5722

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Walter LittenDepartment of Biosystems Science and Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5722

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Scott DunhamDepartment of Biosystems Science and Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5722

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In a managed field of native Vaccinium angustifolium Ait. clones, the effect of fall foliar sprays of B at 345 g·ha-1 and/or Ca at 3,450 g·ha-1 in remedying tissue deficiency of B varied among 12 clones, as seen in pollen germinability and on individual stems as seen in flower number, fruit set, and number of harvestable berries. With Ca applied alone, increased berry size did not overcome yield reduction due to fewer flowers and berries per stem. Berry diameter and mass correlated better to number of seeds of germinable size than to total number of seeds. Pollen germination averaged 17.4% on stigmata from untreated clones, and all three treatments (B, Ca, B + Ca) increased that average by 8%. More seeds per berry with the B-alone treatment implies more ovules fertilized when B deficiency is remedied. No relation was found between in vitro and in vivo pollen germination.

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