Cool Orchard Temperatures or Growing Trees in Containers Can Inhibit Leaf Gas Exchange of Avocado and Mango

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Anthony W. WhileyMaroochy Research Station, Centre for Subtropical Fruit, Queensland Horticulture Institute, Department of Primary Industries, P.O. Box 5083 S.C.M.C., Nambour 4560, Australia

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Christopher SearleBundaberg Research Station, Queensland Horticulture Institute, Department of Primary Industries, Ashfield Road, Kalkie 4670, Australia

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Bruce SchafferTropical Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 18905 S.W. 280 Street, Homestead, FL 33031

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B. Nigel WolstenholmeDepartment of Horticultural Science, University of Natal, Private Bag X01 Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa

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Leaf gas exchange of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) and mango (Mangifera indica L.) trees in containers and in an orchard (field-grown trees) was measured over a range of photosynthetic photon fluxes (PPF) and ambient CO2 concentrations (Ca). Net CO2 assimilation (A) and intercellular partial pressure of CO2 (Ci) were determined for all trees in early autumn (noncold-stressed leaves) when minimum daily temperatures were ≥14 °C, and for field-grown trees in winter (cold-stressed leaves) when minimum daily temperatures were ≤10 °C. Cold-stressed trees of both species had lower maximum CO2 assimilation rates (Amax), light saturation points (QA), CO2 saturation points (CaSAT) and quantum yields than leaves of noncold-stressed, field-grown trees. The ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence (Fv/Fm) was ≈50% lower for leaves of cold-stressed, field-grown trees than for leaves of nonstressed, field-grown trees, indicating chill-induced photoinhibition of leaves had occurred in winter. The data indicate that chill-induced photoinhibition of A and/or sink limitations caused by root restriction in container-grown trees can limit carbon assimilation in avocado and mango trees.

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